07 January 2007:

Happy New Year, everybody!  My most recent e-mail from my cousin Tommy who works as an assistant producer on American Dad:

From: Tom Welch
Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2007 2:54:19 PM
To: Agent Mike Scully; AJ; Chris Thompson; WILLKIES Kevin & Lisa; DAD; Devan Nanda; Jason JK Kelley; jon tempelmeier; Judy Siegel; Kerry; TED NORWOOD; Richie Gartland; Kelly Barry; Ken & Andrea Majoros; AK Murtadha; Mike Schafer; Megan C. Scully; Matt Rengel; Matthew Scully; MOM; Kyle GREEN; SAM I AM; Tim Lucas; Scott Strathman; Vincent Barbera; Uncle Jack (work)

Subject: Bush comes to dinner!

New Episode of AMERICAN DAD This Sunday Night on FOX... 

In this episode... George Bush comes to town and gets wasted and runs
around town naked!!!

I hope we get in trouble for it!!!  Anyway.... WATCH!!!!   woo-hoo

HOPE 2007 is going well.

So everybody tune into American Dad after the Pats game tonight!

I know this website has been pretty barren lately.  Ever since I got Direct TV most of my computer time has been spent encoding episodes of TV shows and seeding them on Bit Torrent.  Let me tell you, forget digital cable because Direct TV is friggin' awesome!  The picture quality is so much better than digital cable - probably because digital cable just transcodes its video into digital format, the original video is in its crappy analog format so you're not getting any better quality.  My only real beef with Direct TV is purely technical and is more about the 1080i format, which has become the standard in digital television.  Simply, it doesn't make much sense to me to interlace digital video since most of the new video screens are progressive anyways.  Also, it takes up almost twice as much bandwidth to broadcast than it would if it were in 1080p.  Based on this, I doubt that electrical engineers were consulted in the decision to make 1080i the standard digital video format.  The final decision was probably made by people who don't understand these things, like Jessica Simpson.

Back to my encoding, I've been working on South Park and Star Trek Remastered recently.  I've been seeding them on Bit Torrent, you can download the torrents on my Vidz webpage.  I was hoping to start encoding The Man Show, but the only channel that shows it anymore is G4 Tech TV and they cut out the trampoline scenes at the end - very disappointing.

Yesterday, my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a celebration at Ocean Beach!  It was a fun time, I got to see a lot of my family that I haven't seen in quite a while.  The food was awesome!  It was so warm out that afterwards I went down to the beach with Amanda, my sisters and my cousins.  We thought about going swimming but didn't have any towells so decided not to.  That would have been awesome, swimming in the ocean in Connecticut in the middle of January!  I got some great pix and vidz with my new digicam.

Coming Soon!:

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January 2007
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08 January 2006:

Each and every day the dignity and honor of the men and women of the armed services are trampled on by petty political squabble.  Since I hold politics in absolutely no esteem whatsoever I may be rather biased, but it seems to me that in this heated debate over the situation in Iraq and this overall "War on Terror" the voices that matter the most are the ones being silenced and ignored.  First of all, I must point out that the perception of the military as a single entity is entirely false.  Despite what some people think service men and women do not fit into a single mold in any respect.  Teamwork and common purpose is highly valued, but that can only come from the diversity of individuals who make up the whole. 

That being said, it is my personal experience that each and every veteran of this war, like any other war, has their own unique and personal perception of what is going on "over there".  To them, the war is not some academic exercise or political discussion at the dinner table, it is a real, deeply emotional and deeply personal aspect of their life that most vets don't care to share with people unless they feel very close to them on some level. 

During the Vietnam War, veterans were largely demonized by the civilian population, who were frustrated at the seemingly little progress being made, the cost in human life and tax dollars and the endless lies that came from the government.  Feel free to make comparisons to the war in Iraq if you must, that is not the objective of this particular entry.  Today, only a small percentage of the population treats vets with the level of contempt seen 35 years ago.  But now the disrespect and humiliation is coming in a more subtle fashion and most people probably don't even realize that they're doing it.  Instead of spitting on veterans, they're using them to further their side in the ongoing political debate over the war.  Images of vets both living and deceased are constantly being used by both sides of the political spectrum to aid their respective agenda.

This may not seem like much of an offense at first, but ask yourself this:  Would you want your image, name, or identity to be used for a cause without even being asked what your opinion of the issue was?  As  I said, to most vets that I know the war is more personal than political and they're simply not interested in picking sides.  In addition, they are not happy about being generally perceived as either trophy heroes by pro-war conservatives or helpless victims by anti-war liberals.  They'd prefer to be able to speak for themselves but it's because the war is so political in nature that vets don't care to share their experiences with others even if they felt emotionally up to the task.  I have not met a person who served in either theater had an experience that completely validates or invalidates either side of the political argument.  Most people can't understand that and are afraid to confront any first-hand knowledge that conflicts with their preconceived political notions. 

Rather than try to gain some insight into a veteran's experiences in the war, some people seem only interested in acquiring evidence to support their already established stance on the war.  If a vet expresses an educated opinion on an issue regarding the war that does not jive with their stance, their opinion is often immediately and quite rudely dismissed.  Conservatives say, "Well, you're just one set of boots on the ground.  You don't see the big picture."  And liberals like to say, "Well, I'm sure that's what they wanted you to believe but that's really not the case."  Or, the trans-political-spectrum "Whatever." serves as the epitome of arrogant responses.  They'll march around New York City carrying photos of us but they don't actually listen to anything we have to say.

These days, it seems like the only vets whose stories are ever acknowledged are those that fit nicely into either camp of the political debate.  Even the frustrated silence of veterans is being manipulated by both sides.  I guess the point to all this is to try and get readers to understand that the war may be entirely political to you but just because everybody seems to be taking politics way too seriously these days to some of us it's a bit more important than that - Please don't presume to speak on our behalf, we are perfectly capable of doing that ourselves if we choose to do so.  Also keep in mind:  Nobody can see the big picture.  Presuming to makes you look like an asshole.
19 January 2006:

It's a lazy Friday and I've been kicking back most of the day.  I just watched an episode of Stargate Atlantis from the upcoming second half of season 3 and I am rather disappointed that one of my favorite characters was killed unnecessarily.  I don't think the episode will run in the U.S. until May this year but most of the fans already know.  It's too bad.

My letter to The Powers That Be:

Dear Powers That Be:
While I have to admit that "Sunday" was one of the most powerful episodes of the Stargate Atlantis series I was very disappointed in the demise of the character Dr. Carson Beckett.  to your credit, the character went out in a heroic manner, but I'd be lying if I said that the series as a whole is not diminished by his absence.  Please find some way to bring him back, even if you have to pull a Daniel-Jackson-like cheat!

Speaking of TV, new episodes of my favorite show are arriving on Sunday!  Too bad it's on so late that nobody who watches it will have a full night of sleep before work the next day.  It's a good thing that I have my DVD recorder!

Also, check out the new pix that I took with my new Canon PowerShot SD450 Digital Elph!  It's so tiny!
31 January 2006:

Conservatives blame the problems of the world on people who lack morality.  Liberals blame the problems of the world on people who lack intelligence.  Moderates blame the problems of the world on an abundance of bigotry.

"...for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted."  ~Luke 18:14