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Monday, November 21, 2005

Ambled to the Ramble 

Well... we did another Fairchild Ramble. This is about the fifth year straight. As you can see, the lily pond has a few new additions. Not at all like Last Year's Ramble. The Gardens are preparing for an exhibition of glassworks by the artist, Chihuly, whose shop makes all sorts of very pretty and quite unusual glass objet d'art. This is what the lily pond looks like, this year, complete with odd looking globes of glass. Thank God it doesn't look as if Tropical Storm Gamma's going to make it to us. It would ruin a whole lotta Thanksgivings and smash some priceless works of art.

Actually... that might be cool to see. A new art form. Install large glass objects and let a storm break them down into something new. Performance art with Nature as one of the artists!


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ramble Time 

No, I'm not talking about it being Ramble time at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, though the event is going on this very weekend.
No... I'm referring to the fact that I'm just going to ramble on a bit. Like that's anything new.

Things are mostly back to normal, after Wilma. Back to normal if you still have a roof over your head. My sister Irene lost her roof and all of the walls on her floor of the condo will need to be replaced, as well. Estimated reapair time? Six fuckin' month's to a god-damned year! (
pardon my French). My sister Sue has leaks and has to deal with her idiotic condo association. My mother's house was bearly touched, but now she's got Irene living with her, so that'll take some adjustment.

Anyway... at least Terrible T can go to the
Miami Book Fair, this year. I'll stay home with the kids. Going with T is no issue, but those kiddies do get to be a pain in the ass when we go to events they're not as appreciative of. And they've got Disney World to look forward to. Soon.

Of course, we also plan to go to the Fairchhild
Ramble. So this weekend looks to be especially hectic. The kiddies do like the Ramble, though. So long as we take a rest frequently. Most years it's unusually hot on the day of the Ramble. I'd hoped we actually get Autumn weather, this time around. Wouldn't that be nice. Like... a nice low temperature of 75 degrees F?
Unfortuantely, the
Oracle says it'll be up near 80. Ick.

The stuff I sent to
Found Magazine did not get published, this time around. Oh well. I guess I'll have to keep trying.
Here's a preview of the type of stuff I send them... for for the fun of it:

I found this item in the parking lot of a local Einstein Bros. Bagel shop.

It doesn't look like a very threatening Gangsta Get-Together. I expecially got a kick out of the last lines, "Warning: Gangsters may be present. We do not take any responsibility for any shootings, Creative movement, or other activities on the scene."


Creative movement? Like what?

Silly Walks?


Friday, November 11, 2005

Clean Up Time! 

Most of South Florida finally has electricity, if not a roof that doesn't leak. Everywhere you go, you see blue tarps draped over roofs (shouldn't that be rooves?).
They ("They" being the extra ten thousand or so aliens who've come to South Florida to charge us an arm and a leg to do those things that just gotta be done) have finally taken the logs and branches away from the front of my property. I can now travel down my street at more than 2 miles per hour since I'll actually be able to see if someone's trying to back out of their driveway.
My "On-The-Way-To-Work" Traffic has improved greatly. Not just because most of the lights are now in working order. It has more to do with the fact that I'm coming in at 4:00 AM. Not fun when Terrible T makes me take the family to her favorite mall in Boca Raton and keeps me up until 10:00 PM. Five hours of sleep just doesn't cut it for an old guy like me.
Too bad I'm not too fond of the taste of Red Bull. That would certainly keep my eyes opened.
Of course, drinking Red Bull would be greatly preferred over this device, invented by some fun-loving Japanese folks. Seriously. A Japanese man created a new art form, a few years back, he calls "Chindogu." It's the humorous art of creating something that's almost useful, but not quite. You can read a bit about it from this article, "The Chindogu Champion: Can absurd analog gadgets help dispel the digital doldrums?"

You might have more fun just Googling Chindogu. So here's your assignment: Search out the meaning of Chindogu and read all ten tenets. Then write a foot and a half about the subject and have it ready for our next lesson. (No magic allowed for this assignment.)
Marc and I are going to create some Chindogu, ourselves. We've each done one and I have a second one planned. I'll post photos, once I figure out a way to get decent shots.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Reason and Emotion 

During the war years.../

Errr... Pardon me. These
are the war years. I meant the real war. World War Two.

During the years our country was entrenched in 'Good Ol' World War Two, Walt Disney's animators made a number of films to help our nation learn why it was important to pay taxes and
save cooking grease. These are wonderful films to watch. The animation is fabulous and the learning experience is unbeatable.
I'd purchased a tinned DVD set over a year ago. It's one of only a quarter million made. I guess that makes it a "Collectible".
I finally started watching it, last night.
The Three Little Pigs explained to Canadians why it was important to buy War Savings Certificates (Bonds).
Donald Fauntleroy Duck volunteered for service (flat-footed though he is) and entertained audiences.
But I was most impressed by some of the more propagandist films they made.
Chicken Little had the none-too-subtle (German) fox turning the chickens against each other.
Der Fuhrer's Face made fun of Hitler, Hirohito, Mussolini, Wagner, and anything German.
The Making of a Nazi turned a innocent
little kid into a killing (and then dying) machine.
But I was truly amazed by a film called, "Reason and Emotion." It explains that each of us has, inside our heads, two miniature versions of ourselves. One is properly dressed and wears glasses. He (or she) is Reason. Emotion, of course, wears caveman skins. For women, reason is a prim and proper librarian (with glasses) and Emotion is a slightly chunky broad who's ready to run into a deli and order a big sandwich and side order of potato salad. (Actually, I thought she was kinda cute).
Usually, Reason is at the wheel in our brains.
Occasionally, Emotion throws Reason (and all care) aside to take over the helm. That's when all Hell breaks loose.
The cartoon is actually quite funny, at first. It's a telling story about a time when we all had to pull together to win the war and think positively.
Then this animation short quickly switches gears. Suddenly, we see Hitler and the narrator explains how Der Fuckhead (my words, not Walt's) used Emotion to brainwash the German people. Sure, he used Sympathy and Pride with unmatched expertise. But he started with Fear... Fear... FEAR!! This way, he could convince the entire country that it was right to kill 6 million Jews and 6 million additional non-Aryans. It was right to attack (more or less) peaceful neighboring countries with designs on the entire globe.
When this chilling cartoon ended, I immediately thought of another leader who likes to use fear to brainwash innocent men into a war for all of the wrong reasons. With his control over the media, he ensured that thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqi's would die.
He called forth Fear by claiming there were weapons of mass destruction.
He manipulated with Pride.
He pretty much ignored Sympathy, though.

Reason and Emotion is worth watching. If only to see the parallels.
Was this movie propaganda or an eerily accurate prediction?

We never learn. Do we?


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