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Blog Posts for November 2007

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Harvard Discovers Left-Leaning Media Bias

 

American media outlets, as studied by Harvard (and no conservative bastion that), are defintively biased against Republican candidates.

Democrats are not only favored in the tone of the coverage. They get more coverage period. This is particularly evident on morning news shows, which "produced almost twice as many stories (51% to 27%) focused on Democratic candidates than on Republicans."

The most flagrant bias, however, was found in newspapers. In reviewing front-page coverage in 11 newspapers, the study found the tone positive in nearly six times as many stories about Democrats as it was negative.

Yep - I knew this back when I did my own research on it during the 2004 presidential campaign. Kerry got more coverage and he also get more favorable coverage.

And the Democrats have the gall to float the Fairness Doctrine. As if...

I have no problem with newspapers and TV stations and other outlets having their slant toward Democrats. I just won't watch them or read them. As many other Americans aren't, these days.

Circulation for newspapers is dropping because newspapers, consciously or unconsciously, decided to niche themselves as a voice for the Left. If the owners of these companies are comfortable with a smaller audience, then that's their business, and frankly, their choice. But I don't want to hear any boo-hoo'ing about it. Just like Hollywood these days... putting out anti-war films that few people care to watch. And then they wonder why these things bomb.

Viva the marketplace!

 

0 Comments
Tags: politics | media bias
by Brett Rogers, 11/2/2007 1:32:21 PM
Permalink


43

 

At 11:04 AM, on November 4, 1964, I was born.

Today is day #15,705

Each day is so important... Make the most of it!

Think of all that you did yesterday... from getting up in the morning and getting ready for the day, to the chores and things you did, to the people you met and the conversations you had, to the things you wrote and said and thought... so much gets packed into a day.

I've lived 15,705 of those.

I am incredibly grateful.

I live in the best nation that's ever graced the earth. I'm free to say what I like, work in the job that I choose, go home to the family I love... thank God for this United States of America.

I have the best wife, who loves me and cares for me in ways that heal me from previous hurt I've endured - some self-inflicted and some inflicted by others. I'm grateful that relatively little of it was inflicted out of malice.

I'm grateful that my children are the amazing people they are and that I have the privilege of knowing them and being close to their lives as I am.

I'm thankful for the work that I get to do and for my boss, a genuinely good man.

Somehow, I got the gene for big time persistence, and so I get to work on entrepreneurial side projects. Not everyone is wired that way and you can't do that in some places on the planet, but I can. How wonderful to do this...

Where I live is a wonderful place, surrounded by good neighbors and trees and bike paths and a park nearby. Sitting on my back deck and playing cribbage with Tamara is my every evening's joy, diggin' the scenery and laughing.

Every day is worth so much. I pray that I never waste one day, and that I work to make the most of each precious day.

And thank you... to everyone who has touched my life in the way you have.

Finally, a big thank you to all of the people who've visited this web site, for whatever reason. I hope you got something from it that made it worthwhile.

ETC: Mom got me a perfect present - it's what I'm wearing below:

But I'm standing next to the better gift.

 

4 Comments
Tags: my life
by Brett Rogers, 11/4/2007 1:34:09 PM
Permalink


Fell, Down, Tumbling, and Declining

 

To the point of what I said a couple of days ago...

For The New York Times, daily circulation fell 4.51%...

Daily circulation at The Washington Post was down 3.2%...

Daily circulation at The Boston Globe tumbled 6.6%...

Both The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News experienced deep declines -- over 10%...

Of the top 25 papers in daily circulation (see chart, separate story), only four showed gains.

Every writer's first question should always be: who is my intended audience? When you forget that, you'll miss the mark. If editors begrudge the falling numbers, then the bias in their company's product has to give way to the need for an larger audience. Personally, if I felt that I could trust the newspaper to provide me with an accurate and comprehensive picture of the news, I'd subscribe and read. In the meantime, I'll save my money.

 

0 Comments
Tags: media bias
by Brett Rogers, 11/5/2007 9:03:43 AM
Permalink


Images from my Birthday Weekend

 

And fittingly, a fragment of Lori McKenna's "You Are Loved."





 

2 Comments
Tags: my life
by Brett Rogers, 11/5/2007 10:40:07 AM
Permalink


They're Selling Music Online

 

And no, I don't mean iTunes, with all of its proprietary Apple bunk.

I mean Amazon's MP3 site. It's only about $8 an album, and all of the songs are in MP3 format, a beautifully universal file type that doesn't have any DRM restrictions.

Oh heavenly joy... I'm leaving everyone else behind and buying from Amazon from now on.

In the past, I had purchased somewhere around 800 songs from MusicMatch, which was later bought by Yahoo. Yahoo's Music Jukebox recently forced me to upgrade it and in the process, I lost the license to play all 800 songs.

I hate Yahoo. Yahoo and DRM licenses suck, big time.

Amazon's MP3 store doesn't carry that risk for me. No licenses, no forced software upgrades.

Perfect. Jeff Bezos is on my Christmas card list.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 11/5/2007 9:47:15 PM
Permalink


The Power of the Idea

 

I don't know about you, but I am sick and tired of those Ron Paul political ads on the TV and radio. Aren't you?

Oh, you haven't seen or heard any? Hmm... come to think of it, me neither.

Via Glenn Reynolds, I read:

He raised almost $4 million over the Internet without spending so much as a thin dime (beyond transaction fees, of course). This sort of thing just isn't done - usually you spend between fifty and eighty cents for every dollar you raise.
So why did that happen? Ron Paul has a face for radio. His voice isn't pleasant. He's not great in debates. How is it, then, that he raised so much money so effortlessly?

Because his libertarian ideas are that appealing, and he's the only one out there voicing them.

Let me put this another way. A lot of people probably support Rudy or Mitt because of who they are, but the cult of personality only goes so far.

Ron Paul is an obscure legislator. He's no reknowned leader. But his appeal is in his ideas. And on that merit alone, he netted "the largest Internet fundraising day in U.S. history. [He] attracted 40,000 donors who gave about $98 on average."

His supporters are fervent, that's for sure. I saw that at the Iowa Straw Poll when I was there. I used to laugh about this guy because I thought he had no chance in hell, but frankly, if he's gaining traction with money so easily, then it's worth knowing why.

ETC: Pale Rider rides in with an interesting message to all Ron Paul supporters.





I've taken a look at Ron's positions now on his web site. More about that later.

 

2 Comments
Tags: politics
by Brett Rogers, 11/6/2007 10:34:19 AM
Permalink


Ron Paul's 4 Million Dollar Ideas

 

The venerable Ron Paul raised $4 million through a savvy Internet campaign and spent nothing to do so. Which goes to show that nobody who is actually vote-worthy and electable in the Republican sphere has a clue how to gain traction online.

So...

It's my contention that he did this because the presidentially unelectable Ron Paul is no towering figure of gravitas but rather has a keen view of the Constitution that many running for office today don't have. That hearkening back to our nation's roots is what drives his swelling coffers.

Am I right?

Let's take a look at the 11 issues he outlines on his web site:


Debt and Taxes: "Too many politicians and lobbyists are spending America into ruin. We are nine trillion dollars in debt as a nation. Our mounting government debt endangers the financial future of our children and grandchildren. If we don't cut spending now, higher taxes and economic disaster will be in their future - and yours."

Amen brother. An opinion like that is worth every penny of that $4 million.

American Independence and Sovereignty: "So called free trade deals and world governmental organizations like the International Criminal Court (ICC), NAFTA, GATT, WTO, and CAFTA are a threat to our independence as a nation. They transfer power from our government to unelected foreign elites. We must withdraw from any organizations and trade deals that infringe upon the freedom and independence of the United States of America."

I agree with the precept, but I don't think that free trade is wrong. A tariff-free world is fine with me. With that caveat, any encroachment upon our ability to govern ourselves should be stiffarmed vigorously.

War and Foreign Policy: "The war in Iraq was sold to us with false information. The area is more dangerous now than when we entered it. This war has cost more than 3,000 American lives, thousands of seriously wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars. We must have new leadership in the White House to ensure this never happens again."

The number one job of any government official in the US is obvious: the preservation of the US. While it's great to want to adhere to the Constitution in matters of non-interference, the founding fathers did not have to deal with intercontinental weapons. They were doing combat back then that allowed people to ride around on horseback all night warning others of impending invasion. Today, we get fifteen minutes - at most - before the New York City could be erased.

Dr. Paul and I part company here.

I wholeheartedly agree with him on this point: "Under no circumstances should the U.S. again go to war as the result of a resolution that comes from an unelected, foreign body, such as the United Nations."

Life and Liberty (aka, Ron Hates Abortion): "The right of an innocent, unborn child to life is at the heart of the American ideals of liberty. As an OB/GYN doctor, I've delivered over 4,000 babies. That experience has made me an unshakable foe of abortion. In 40 years of medical practice, I never once considered performing an abortion, nor did I ever find abortion necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman."

Abortion is killing a baby; I agree with that, and I think that's mighty hard to disagree with that, although some obviously do. Whether it is "at the heart of the American ideals of liberty," that's up for debate.

What I do think is that the Constitution says nothing about this. I think it's a matter for states to determine (see the 10th amendment). It has no business in presidential politics.

The Second Amendment: "I share our Founders' belief that in a free society each citizen must have the right to keep and bear arms. They ratified the Second Amendment knowing that this right is the guardian of every other right. You have the right to protect your life, liberty, and property. As President, I will continue to guard the liberties stated in the Second Amendment."

I'm hip to that.

Social Security: I'm quoting him in full on this one because he's dead on through the whole thing.

"Our nation's promise to its seniors, once considered a sacred trust, has become little more than a tool for politicians to scare retirees while robbing them of their promised benefits. Today, the Social Security system is broke and broken.

"Those in the system are seeing their benefits dwindle due to higher taxes, increasing inflation, and irresponsible public spending.

"The proposed solutions, ranging from lower benefits to higher taxes to increasing the age of eligibility, are NOT solutions; they are betrayals.

"Imposing any tax on Social Security benefits is unfair and illogical. In Congress, I have introduced the Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act (H.R. 191), which repeals ALL taxes on Social Security benefits, to eliminate political theft of our seniors' income and raise their standard of living.

"Solvency is the key to keeping our promise to our seniors, and I have introduced the Social Security Preservation Act (H.R. 219) to ensure that money paid into the system is only used for Social Security.

"It is fundamentally unfair to give benefits to anyone who has not paid into the system. The Social Security for Americans Only Act (H.R. 190) ends the drain on Social Security caused by illegal aliens seeking the fruits of your labor.

"We must also address the desire of younger workers to save and invest on their own. We should cut payroll taxes and give workers the opportunity to seek better returns in the private market.

"Excessive government spending has created the insolvency crisis in Social Security. We must significantly reduce spending so that our nation can keep its promise to our seniors."

Border Security and Immigration Reform: He nailed this one too.

"The talk must stop. We must secure our borders now. A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked. This is my six point plan:

  • Physically secure our borders and coastlines. We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country before we undertake complicated immigration reform proposals.
  • Enforce visa rules. Immigration officials must track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa or otherwise violates U.S. law. This is especially important when we recall that a number of 9/11 terrorists had expired visas.
  • No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That's a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.
  • No welfare for illegal aliens. Americans have welcomed immigrants who seek opportunity, work hard, and play by the rules. But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.
  • End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.
  • Pass true immigration reform. The current system is incoherent and unfair. But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation. This is insanity. Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.

Privacy and Personal Liberty: "The biggest threat to your privacy is the government. We must drastically limit the ability of government to collect and store data regarding citizens' personal matters. I sponsored a bill to overturn the Patriot Act and have won some victories, but today the threat to your liberty and privacy is very real. We need leadership at the top that will prevent Washington from centralizing power and private data about our lives."

He wants to, in effect, ban Social Security Numbers, avoid watching for money laundering, limit terrorism monitoring...

I disagree.

Property Rights and Eminent Domain: "We must stop special interests from violating property rights and literally driving families from their homes, farms and ranches. Property rights are the foundation of all rights in a free society. Without the right to own a printing press, for example, freedom of the press becomes meaningless. The next president must get federal agencies out of these schemes to deny property owners their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property."

Couldn't agree more.

Health Freedom: "Americans are justifiably concerned over the government's escalating intervention into their freedom to choose what they eat and how they take care of their health. The government should never have the power to require immunizations or vaccinations."

Um, okay. If some massive outbreak occurs and we all need vaccinations to prevent its spread to spare the rest of us death from your contagion, then I think you get the shot. But anything short of that, I agree - the government has no say in how I manage my health.

Home Schooling: "My commitment to ensuring home schooling remains a practical alternative for American families is unmatched by any Presidential candidate. I will veto any legislation that creates national standards or national testing for home school parents or students."

I'm all for home schooling. Homeschoolers are, on average, remarkably better prepared / educated than public schoolers. I don't think it's because the parents are better teachers, but because of the individual focus and the lack of classroom distraction. Marshalling kids into the public classroom by mandate is absurd. Parents should have every freedom to school their kids where they choose.

That said, why is Ron Paul, Mr. Constitution, making a big deal out of this? Education is a state rights issue and has nothing to do with the federal government. While I agree with his position, as a presidential candidate, it's none of his business.


So there you have it. Those ideas are worth $4 million in a day.

Is that so different than the other candidates?

I'll find out... more later.

 

8 Comments
Tags: politics
by Brett Rogers, 11/7/2007 11:19:21 AM
Permalink


How to Get People Excited to Give You $4 Million

 

Why is it that the obscure and hyperventilated Ron Paul can raise $4 million in a day, but the most likely guys to win the nomination - Mitt and Rudy - can't? Plus, Mitt's spending a beejesus to get funds raised; Ron Paul spends nothing. I'm sure that the businessman in Mitt has respect for the efficiency of Ron's money machine.

I looked over Ron's ideas and plans, believing that therein lie the core of his attraction to folks.

That's part of it.

How did Ron outraise Mitt and Rudy in a day and spend nothing to do it? Why did it work?

In other words, what are they doing wrong?

Mitt's web site is easy to find; it's his name - mittromney.com. That shows some vision.

Rudy's? Not so much. It's the unintuitive joinrudy2008.com. The simpler rudy08.com is taken by someone hoping to make a buck off it, and Rudy's too cheap to buy it.

Once you get to either site, you can browse their issues and plans like I did .

Mitt's issues are here.

At a glance, what do you learn about the governor? Not much. Now, you can click into each issue and learn more, but holy smokes is it hard to find the bullet points version.

Rudy's issues are here.

I really don't like videos that automatically start playing when I visit a site. Rudy's issues page does that. It's annoying.

And while he has more text on his issues and plans than Mitt, it's all basically a recap of his time as mayor of New York City. He's gotten criticism for doing that in debates, and he's backed off that tactic. His web site, unfortunately, carries it on. But maybe that doesn't matter because maybe nobody's visiting his web site...

Ron Paul's web site does a good job of listing out his issues and plans.

And if I click on the link to learn more, I get a concise explanation of his position and his plan. In a brief 30 minutes, I know the guy.

With Mitt, I need a few hours or days, and frankly, nothing is really clear. His links to learn more about each issue are nothing more than a coupe of blurbs and a video per issue. Looks pretty, but it's hollow and flat. There are links that provide more substance, but they're not intuitive and they're a thick read when you do get to them.

With Rudy, his links to learn more are mostly videos... and it's just him talking. Big deal.

As a blogger, I devoted a lot of space to Ron Paul because I could - he made it easy for me to do that. The post I did on Ron's positions - I can't do that for Rudy or Mitt. They don't make it easy for me at all.

Which makes them personality candidates, and that's a problem.

The second thing is that Ron Paul has outsourced the marketing for his campaign to a very passionate group: his supporters.

One guy created a sign that read "GOOGLE RON PAUL" and erected it to be read by a lot of New York City.

Another supporter takes off her clothes on YouTube to promote Ron Paul.

His people are as much the campaign as Dr. Paul.

"The organization of the campaign popped up spontaneously on the Internet with these meet-up groups," Paul said in a recent interview with ABC News. "It's natural that they would donate the money. So in many ways the campaign has found me as much as I have found them. It's not a top-down organization. Its sort of bottom up. All we have done at the campaign is provide the message and the message turns out to be popular."
Said another way: it's not what Ron can do for them, but what they're doing through Ron. That's not true for Mitt or Rudy. Rudy's just being his prosecutorially verbal self and Mitt comes off like a 62-page corporate report fresh from Kinko's.

For the "What will you do and how will you do it?" crowd, Ron gives them an easily-digested answer.

Unless Mitt and Rudy figure out how to do some of the same, Ron might surprise them. Ron's campaign feels like his message: "We the People," a statement that is definitely true of him and his supporters.

 

3 Comments
Tags: politics
by Brett Rogers, 11/8/2007 11:28:31 AM
Permalink


William Joyce's Man in the Moon

 

My favorite children's literature author is William Joyce, who wrote my favorite children's book ever, Santa Calls.

Love his artwork... and the story is exquisite.

He's got some sort of new thing going on... and by browsing around, I found this.

Here's the short video from the site.

Great stuff... and interesting.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 11/12/2007 9:34:44 AM
Permalink


Happiness is... Self-Imposed Higher Tax Rates

 

Recently, Warren Buffet said that he needed a higher tax rate. Barak Obama has now said that he too needs a higher tax rate.

This is where my call for greater self-sufficiency is important. You see, poor Warren and Barak are under the impression that they need to wait for the government to legislate their ability to pay more taxes. But you see, government is not the answer, although it's not atypical of leftists to believe that it would be.

Instead, they only need to send the money they feel they're shorting the government to the IRS as an anonymous donation, which can't be returned and will go to the general fund. Of course, in making such a donation anonymously, they'll abandon any need for adulation for their selfless act. After all, such charity is best had simply through the act, and warms the heart of the giver without the need for recognition. Why, it's almost patriotism.

For the rest of us who feel our tax rate is adequate or burdensome, we'll send positive vibes in their anonymous direction knowing that they have helped to stave off the need for any of us less inclined to pay more. And we appreciate that.

So I encourage Warren and Barry to be self-sufficient and creative about giving, and do what they in their hearts feel is best... without mandating their inner turmoil on the rest of us. This country was founded on the notion of rugged individualism, and they have my full support to individually give more, since they feel so strongly about this.

 

2 Comments
Tags: politics
by Brett Rogers, 11/12/2007 1:38:33 PM
Permalink


Harvest

 

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 11/13/2007 1:05:59 AM
Permalink


The, Um, Smartest Woman in the World

 

Back in August, I said that "Clinton is too smart to blow a [double-digit] lead that big with her own gaffe."

I gave her too much credit, as she has emerged as a sock puppeteer. Here's the Wikipedia definition, with minor editing:

A sockpuppet is an identity used for purposes of deception within a community. In its earliest usage, a sockpuppet was a false identity through which a member of a community speaks while pretending not to, like a puppeteer manipulating a hand puppet.

The key difference between a sockpuppet and a regular pseudonym is the pretence that the puppet is a third party who is not affiliated with the puppeteer.

In this case, a young woman's sincere question was not adequate. Instead, Hillary stuck her hand up the woman's body and uttered the question for which Hillary was prepared.
A senior Clinton staffer asked if she'd like to ask the senator a question after an energy speech the Democratic presidential hopeful gave in Newton, Iowa, on November 6.

"I sort of thought about it, and I said 'Yeah, can I ask how her energy plan compares to the other candidates' energy plans?'" Gallo-Chasanoff said.

"'I don't think that's a good idea," the staffer said, according to Gallo-Chasanoff, "because I don't know how familiar she is with their plans."

He then opened a binder to a page that, according to Gallo-Chasanoff, had about eight questions on it.

"The top one was planned specifically for a college student," she added. " It said 'college student' in brackets and then the question."

Topping that sheet of paper was the following: "As a young person, I'm worried about the long-term effects of global warming. How does your plan combat climate change?"

And while she said she would have rather used her own question, Gallo-Chasanoff said she generally didn't have a problem asking the campaign's because she "likes to be agreeable," adding that since she told the staffer she'd ask their pre-typed question she "didn't want to go back on [her] word."

So much for supporting a woman's right to free speech.

Hillary is weak. She can't handle anything but easy, pre-selected questions from anyone. Any variation from the script is not a "good idea," whether it's Tim Russert or 19-year-old Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff.

We like need our presidents to be strong. "Don't hit me, I'm a girl" is not a winning campaign strategy, and she's an idiot to try this stuff.

The Democratic nomination is again up for grabs.

ETC: Yep - she's toast. This is gaining momentum.

This would never be said about a man. There is no way feminists will support her now, unless she puts this firmly and finally to bed, and quickly. And frankly, I don't think she's up to it. Which is a shame. Women deserve a better representative than Hillary.

MORE ETC: And noted feminist Camille Paglia weighs in...

Hillary's stonewalling evasions and mercurial, soulless self-positionings have been going on since her first run for the U.S. Senate from New York, a state she had never lived in and knew virtually nothing about. The liberal Northeastern media were criminally complicit in enabling her queenlike, content-free "listening tour," where she took no hard questions and where her staff and security people (including her government-supplied Secret Service detail) staged events stocked with vetted sympathizers, and where they ensured that no protesters would ever come within camera range.

That compulsive micromanagement, ultimately emanating from Hillary herself, has come back to haunt her in her dismaying inability to field complex unscripted questions in a public forum. The presidential sweepstakes are too harsh an arena for tenderfoot novices. Hillary's much-vaunted "experience" has evidently not extended to the dynamic give-and-take of authentic debate. The mild challenges she has faced would be pitiful indeed by British standards, which favor a caustic style of witty put-downs that draw applause and gales of laughter in the House of Commons. Women had better toughen up if they aspire to be commander in chief.

She titles the piece "Queen Hillary's disruptive court" and then subtitles it: "The press corps finally wakes up to her waffling and evasions."

And hopefully, America too.

 

3 Comments
Tags: politics
by Brett Rogers, 11/13/2007 10:37:52 AM
Permalink


Your Content is Much Better than Mine

 

The most popular part of beatcanvas.com, my little web site here, is not my blog posts, my artwork, or the game I created and put online. The most popular part of my web site, generating 500 users a week or more, is my Days Alive calculator. The reason is obvious: it's the one part of my web site that is about the visitor. It lets them see themselves in a new way.

The content that they create through my web site is much more interesting to them than my own.

It's all about the tools we provide and the capabilities that we bring to bear for others that matters most to them.

It used to be that we would marvel at the amazing deeds of others, but as tools become available to us, the proficiency of an elite few becomes less attractive.

What can we help others achieve? They'll be much more intrigued by their own content than anything we can produce.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 11/13/2007 5:31:45 PM
Permalink


Busy Busy - And Giving Thanks

 

Sometime in the next week, I should finish my work on the big project. The time off work (yayy for PTO!) will give me the space to complete it. I told myself that I can't paint until I finish that, and I'm quite eager to get back to painting.

I've trotted out my work on the web site to a few friends and colleagues to show them what it does and how it can be re-used for other companies than the one with which I'm partnering on this. I've learned through the years to take such feedback with a grain of salt because if it sucks, people generally sugarcoat those comments, but in this case, the people to whom I spoke are always honest with me, and the comments are all very positive. It seems that I have the beginning of something good here, and so the next step after development is to figure out how to make the most of it.

Will the enterprise make money? Will my effort pay off? I'll soon find out.

This past week also saw Tamara and I grow a lot together in our marriage. Every day we know each other more deeply, and I find myself exceptionally grateful. It's an immense pleasure to have chosen so well.

Today, I drove my daughter to her job and we talked and reminisced a bit on the way. To be so close to her life to see her grow and change and make decisions and turn out to be a really sparkling, good person is a treat.

Our other children are doing ridiculously well. Tyler, Nick, and Aaron - who live with us - bring so much happiness and laughter to our home. Jacob and Austin are here this weekend and Aaron and Austin are playing Guitar Hero together and Cub bounced with simple joy at the chocolate fudge GoTarts I brought home for him. He's sunshine, that boy is. Tess called last night just to share some love... and Tate is grooving along.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and we have family coming in. Tamara's sister and her family will be here. Around our big table we'll eat great food and be thankful for everything we have, and I have to say, if today was my last day on the planet, life rocks and I'd go out in bliss. Does it get any better than that?

I'm thankful. For my beautiful wife, my amazing children, an interesting life filled with good family and friends, work that challenges me...

The only thing that I need to change in the midst of all of that is my eating habits, which went astray sometime earlier this year. As a result, I've gained over 20 pounds of the 60 I'd lost. So I make the decision again to change my diet-gone-wild. I owe that to myself and to my family. Thankfully, I'm in a good place to do it.

 

0 Comments
Tags: my life
by Brett Rogers, 11/18/2007 11:55:41 AM
Permalink


Laughing All the Way

 

Mark Cuban's and Brian De Palma's anti-war effort, Redacted, has now come out swinging at the box office.

Swing... and a miss. As I predicted.

It took in a whopping $25,000. Now granted, that's only in Mark's 15 theaters that he owns, but by any standard, that's bad.

I copied and pasted the Box Office Mojo stats and filtered to new movies only and then sorted them by how they did at each theater. Click on the image to see the larger, more readable view.

Of the ten new movies listed, it finishes second to last in terms of gross receipts per theater. It managed to beat just one movie, a film about gay soccer players that is playing in only 1 theater.

Mark, you savvy maven you.

None of Hollywood's antiwar movies have done well. In its second week out, Robert Redford's Lions for Lambs is doing worse per theater than Redacted.

The reason these films tank is because they don't tell the real story. The people who make them tell a sensationalized fiction to paint our guys maliciously, and the majority of Americans are smarter than that.

It's smarmy as hell to put out an antiwar film while our guys are actually in the field winning the war they're fighting. These filmakers get what they deserve - which is lost money. I hope they lose a ton of it. I'm laughing at them - all the way to the box office.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 11/21/2007 9:28:52 AM
Permalink


Art Sale

 

I have a few paintings I'd like to sell.


Vase and Cat
6" x 10"
Acrylic on Bristol Vellum paper
$50 - SOLD!


Front Porch
6" x 10"
Acrylic on Bristol Vellum paper
$25


Woman at Window
5" x 6"
Acrylic on Bristol Vellum paper
$25


Trafalgar Pigeons
6" x 9"
Watercolor
$25


Two Candles
6" x 10"
Acrylic on heavy paper
$40


Joy
6" x 10"
Acrylic on Bristol Vellum paper
$25


Sunflower
6" x 10"
Acrylic on Bristol Vellum paper
$50 - SOLD!


Ornament
6" x 10"
Acrylic on Bristol Vellum paper
$50 - SOLD!


April
6" x 10"
Acrylic on Bristol Vellum paper
$25


Giggle
6" x 6"
Acrylic on heavy paper
$40

Email me and let me know if you want to purchase any of these.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 11/21/2007 1:33:20 PM
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Details

 

I remember back when I was a Christian, it always struck me odd that people say "The devil is in the details." I get what they're saying, but the Christian in me wanted to correct that with "No, God is in the details." I can look at the works of man and the closer I look, the more imperfections I see. But I can look at the works of God, and the closer I look, the more beauty and wonder lie therein. God is all about details, evidently.

Back when I started my window washing business in the 80's, I learned quickly that windows are clear, and that imperfections are not unnoticed. Smudges from my shammy, a missed spot in a tall window, water accidentally left standing on a window sill... I didn't think back then that washing windows would become an effort in perfection, but because I was self-employed and doing residential windows, I had to push myself into the effort. It doesn't come naturally. There's always that little voice that whispers, "Don't worry. It won't matter. No one will notice." At first, I took the lazy way out. But later, another voice competed for my attention.

"You can do better. Do it right."

The more I had to live with my lack of diligence, the more I paid for it later. It sometimes meant a poor reference and the absence of much-needed word of mouth for a hungry would-be entrepreneur. It's not that I wasn't a good worker. It's that I wasn't the worker I could have been.

Every job is important. Every detail matters.

I say this because today I find that more mature voice in my head, spotlighting every detail and analyzing every scenario with the web site that I'm finishing. I'm very close to finishing the core work, and all that will be left is clean-up, testing, and then client feedback and tweaking before we go "live." A small part of me wants to whistle past things that no one else might notice. But I know better. The details matter. The success of my enterprise hinges, in no small part, on my ability to consider every detail I can before we open the doors to it. And so I obsess until 2 AM some nights to wrestle the smallest of code into what I expect it to be for my own standards.

But frankly, I'm getting tired and I'm itching to pick up my paintbrush and get back to regular schedule.

Don't get me wrong - I'm excited as I can be doing this. This has the potential to do well for my family. I just miss my normal life. But even that won't deter me from obsessing about the details.

Every line of code is important. Every detail matters.

...psst... on a cool note, a guy recently found my web site and sent me this picture.

Life is amazing.

 

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Tags: my life
by Brett Rogers, 11/27/2007 8:10:13 PM
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Digitizing Photos

 

Last night, I started digitizing a few photos. I think I'll spend a few minutes a day doing that with all of my old photos.

Here are a few:

This will keep these memories permanent for me.

In the last picture, on the right, is my Aunt Onie. The woman was like a second mother to me. It's easy to miss her.

 

6 Comments
Tags: my life | old photos
by Brett Rogers, 11/28/2007 12:28:27 PM
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Hens

 

While browsing the news after waking up this morning, I saw that a British schoolteacher might suffer 40 lashes because she named a classroom teddy bear "Muhammad."

My first thought was, "Will the feminists in this country stand up for the woman?"

I got my answer - they sidestep the issue:

A spokeswoman for the National Organization for Women said the situation "is definintely on the radar, and N.O.W. is not ignoring it.

But she added that the U.S.-based organization is "not putting out a statement or taking a position."

Radio personality Tammy Bruce, former president of the Los Angles chapter of the National Organization for Women and past member of their board of directors, criticized the organization for not taking a stand.

"We have a duty to make a difference for women around the world," Bruce told FOX News. "The supposed feminist establishment is refusing to take a position in this regard because they have no sensibility of what is right anymore. They're afraid of offending people. They are bound by political correctness."

"The American feminist movement has not taken one stand to support the women of Iraq, the women of Afghanistan, the women of Iran," she said. "It is the United States Marines who have been doing the feminist work by liberating women and children around the world."

Tammy's right - how weak is that? Geez - feminists used to have backbone. Today, they're just a bunch of chickens who don't truly stand up for women.

And how weak is your religion when an elementary classroom names a teddy bear the same name as your prophet and it makes you think that you need to whip a woman for doing so? In addition to feminists shouting out about this, Muslims ought to do the same - if they disagree with such an abhorrently ignorant reaction to the naming of a teddy bear.

 

2 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 11/28/2007 1:55:40 PM
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Old Photo of the Day

 

One of my favorite pictures of my daughter when she was maybe 8 or 9 months old. This started as a very messed-up picture, but I was able to clean it up to a decent state. Here's the original:

 

0 Comments
Tags: old photos
by Brett Rogers, 11/29/2007 5:09:44 PM
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