Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

A Merry Christmas to all of my readers, past, present, oft or occasional. May God draw you to himself and grant you blessings.

For any of you who feel like a real Christmas story, then please visit my friend Gravelbelly's post here: The Combat Master's Christmas Tale. Ever heard of a "must-read"? Yeah, it is one. Now go "Have Yourself a Manly Little Christmas"!

Merry Christmas and God bless!

Spencer

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Movie Review: Tron: Legacy (2010)



And you thought the first one was good.

I decided I had to see this one when I inadvertently saw the video game trailer (Tron: Evolution), not realizing that there was even a film at all at first. The greatness of said trailer soon made me watch the first film, then go see this one this weekend.

Jumping off from where 1982's Tron left us, this sequel is faithful to the original while adding something the original did not have. With today's possibilities, Disney (who I'm actually opposed to and usually hate their products) has really done something this time. I can only call this film one thing: freakin' AMAZING!

Sure, it's entirely impossible. Yes, the ultimate consequences of the idea of programs such as those in this and the first film are very dangerous. And I even had a few very small issues with this film, such as the Isos, how they literally manifested out of nowhere (Evolution reference!) and will change life for humans forever, including "religion" it is said, and Kevin Flynn's Buddhist character touches, such as his sitting posture and overall behavior (he even says he has a "Zen thing" at one point). Other believing viewers may also have an issue with Quorra referring to Flynn, the human maker of all the programs, as "the Creator", but on this count I didn't really mind much. (The whole Kevin Flynn as Creator vs. the big bad guy in this movie could serve as an allegory of God vs. Satan in some ways, but it better not have been written that way, as it is NOT an appropriate take all the way through the whole plot!) I also question how a flesh-and-blood person can be dematerialized to live on the "Grid" (which is inside of a computer) and, just for one thing, transfer their soul as well. (This issue came up in a different form at the ending of the film. I won't spoil it for you, but let's just say that the idea is pretty much offensive to a guy like me.)

Despite all of this, I still say this was one of the best films I've seen in a long while, and it's beyond innovative. The black, and occasionally white suits with blue and red lighting effects, coupled with laser discs and swords as weapons, and vehicles ranging from light cycles to fighter planes to massive ships, all cater to Spencer's style. The plot surely wasn't Shakespeare, but was good enough to keep the movie going.

What this movie is really all about is the visuals. Amazing effects and coolness oozing out of the digital pores, this amazing piece of cinematic art is well worth seeing. Also, Daft Punk created one of the best soundtracks in a very long time (perhaps since Hans Zimmer's The Dark Knight). What more can I say? A valid piece of science fiction.

And for those of you worried about violence, it's all digital, literally (I think there's only one drop of blood?), and as to sex...well, there simply was none (unless you count a soft dressing scene, where the main character is dressed for a form gladiator combat--nothing is actually shown except his bare torso really--and of course tight, form-fitting clothes on the ladies). It's only rated PG--and what I can't get over is that I just can't even remember the last time I went to see (or even willingly watched at all) a PG film. Ha!

One great movie. A must for every fan of the genre--oh, and a must for everyone else out there who enjoys cool movies.

I'm gonna go buy myself an Identity Disc. (No, really, I think I am....)

Spencer

Monday, December 20, 2010

Obama attempting internet takeover

I hear the decision is going to be tomorrow?

What will they not do?

Spencer

Saturday, December 18, 2010

From our Fearless Leader

I just got this in my inbox today, from Barack Hussein Obama "himself" (written by someone else, most likely).

You may be able to guess what I'm thinking.


Friend --

Moments ago, the Senate voted to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

When that bill reaches my desk, I will sign it, and this discriminatory law will be repealed.

Gay and lesbian service members -- brave Americans who enable our freedoms -- will no longer have to hide who they are.

The fight for civil rights, a struggle that continues, will no longer include this one.

This victory belongs to you. Without your commitment, the promise I made as a candidate would have remained just that.

Instead, you helped prove again that no one should underestimate this movement. Every phone call to a senator on the fence, every letter to the editor in a local paper, and every message in a congressional inbox makes it clear to those who would stand in the way of justice: We will not quit.

This victory also belongs to Senator Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and our many allies in Congress who refused to let politics get in the way of what was right.

Like you, they never gave up, and I want them to know how grateful we are for that commitment.

Will you join me in thanking them by adding your name to Organizing for America's letter?

I will make sure these messages are delivered -- you can also add a comment about what the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" means to you.

As Commander in Chief, I fought to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" because it weakens our national security and military readiness. It violates the fundamental American principles of equality and fairness.

But this victory is also personal.

I will never know what it feels like to be discriminated against because of my sexual orientation.

But I know my story would not be possible without the sacrifice and struggle of those who came before me -- many I will never meet, and can never thank.

I know this repeal is a crucial step for civil rights, and that it strengthens our military and national security. I know it is the right thing to do.

But the rightness of our cause does not guarantee success, and today, celebration of this historic step forward is tempered by the defeat of another -- the DREAM Act. I am incredibly disappointed that a minority of senators refused to move forward on this important, commonsense reform that most Americans understand is the right thing for our country. On this issue, our work must continue.

Today, I'm proud that we took these fights on.

Please join me in thanking those in Congress who helped make "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal possible:

http://my.barackobama.com/Repealed

Thank you,

Barack



Just for the record, this may surprise many of you but I too am against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" regarding homosexuals in the military. We simply shouldn't have them in our military at all.

Spencer

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Doug Phillips' and sons' first home video

First, being the huge Vision Forum fan that I am, this video was quite the treat to watch. Second, I'm so jealous of Doug's backyard! Third...awesome music. :-)

Spencer

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spencer needs a hat

Alright, kiddies. The men over at the AoM community have had me peg this question to them (see link). I simply have no idea what kind of hat would suit my style with me liking it at the same time, so y'all here who know Spencer best get to help him choose! (Possibly the one and only time you will get the oppurtunity to potentially influence my clothing choices.) I've been pondering on it for far too long; it's time to bring in more minds!

Should anyone find the successful hat for me, I figure I'll give you a little prize....

Spencer

Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review: Fruitless Fall, by Rowan Jacobsen


Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis, by Rowan Jacobsen, 2008, Bloomsbury USA, New York


A couple of months ago, I read this book for a defined reason. Due to personal issues over the past two years, some of my earlier activities slipped into the background as I had to deal with what was in front of me. If you've been on my blog that long, you might remember that I tried to keep up on what is called CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder. Well, keeping up on, and therefore keeping you guys up on, CCD was one of those somethings that suffered (to be fair, however, no big news hit). So recently when I ran into this book, I put it at the top of my reading list. It's two years old now, so it's semi-current (considering that CCD is still a very new issue). Here commence my thoughts.

If any of you have suddenly seen an explosion in interest on my part in honey, bees and beekeeping, or what I've decided to call the "Bee Apocalypse", then this book is why. (If you're just hearing about CCD as you read this, in a nutshell, bees across the world are disappearing in the millions, leaving their hives behind, and leaving the human keepers of those hives with countless questions and zero answers.)

From start to finish, Jacobsen tells it straight and at times in a near novel-esque form of narrative (i.e., highly engaging). Drawing from countless sources, covering just about all the issues (that I am aware of, at least) and treating it all with an appropriate level of caution (the primary cause of Colony Collapse Disorder is still officially undiscovered), this book was not only one of the most timely and informative books I've read in some time, it was one of the best books I've ever read.

Appropriately, Jacobsen spends a good deal of time on the ailments of bees today (especially the few left from CCD-infected hives), everything from parasites (Varroa destructor, Nosema ceranae), IAPV (Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus), pesticides, overwork, globalization, and mismanagement by the human system (bees aren't meant to be trucked around the country, aren't meant to work through their "hibernation" period, and aren't meant to eat one kind of pollen nonstop). (While this book made me walk away with the author-encouraged opinion that America's beekeepers are doing their absolute best at working in a potentially-cataclysmic system, one cannot help but also walk away with the idea that today's agricultural industry is in need of dire reform.)

What I learned from this book, and what you will learn if you decide to read it for yourselves, is that God has created one of the planet's most wondrous little beings in the honey bee (however the book is written from an Evolutionist standpoint, of course), that the true cause of CCD is still unknown and may never be known (but it may be a form of bee AIDS, or immune system breakdown), that if we continue to operate in this manner, we may lose our bees, and with it, the pollinators of our food and the little insectoid Atlases that hold the massive infrastructure of our world on their shoulders(with pollinators, long story short we will have next to no food), that the Chinese beekeeping industry is bad for bees, humans, and why Chinese honey exports may not even be honey, and so much more. (Did I mention that the reader is also treated to a guide on how to create a bee-friendly garden, replete with lists of some of bees' favorite flowers?)

The three main things I have walked away with, overall:

- The honeybee is in dire straits. Meddling man really has done it this time. With globalization, a broken system, and the fragility of the bee in the first place, it will only be by the grace of God that our bees pull through. (I will most likely never use pesticides again.) It isn't about "the man" trashing "mother nature" this time, it's about the fact that God's way of doing things is far, far better than anything our puny minds can attempt.
- If our honey bees do not pull through, and they die out (some species of pollinator already have, mind you), the entire human race is in deep trouble. Mr. Jacobsen did not state such, but I personally expect their to be countless deaths worldwide if the honey bee does not survive.
- Honey, honey, honey! Buy it, eat it (Or if you can, make it! Beekeeping became an instantaneous desire of mine upon reading this book--again, it's author-encouraged.), or even use it to dress your wounds (yes, I've tried it, and yes, it seems to be working nicely). Rowan Jacobsen has singlehandedly taught me about real honey, how to tell the difference between the real stuff (raw, right-out-of-the-hive honey) and the goo sold in little plastic bears, and that honey is a wonderful thing for our bodies all the way around. (According to one cited study, it may also promote restorative brain sleep, and even weight loss!)

I really can't sum up this book in a review. In short, read it for yourselves. It's a book I think everyone should read. It will arm you with what you need to know right now. I'm not exaggerating when I call this book minorly life-changing.

Get it. Read it. Bee it.

Spencer

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Monday, December 06, 2010

Wal-Mart teams up with Big Brother

Not enough snooping for you yet, Janet Neapolitan? Just who is going to define suspicious? You? Oh, heaven help us....

See title link for more information, and thanks goes to Michael Bane for first alerting me to this.

You think "1984" is in the past? Nooo...future!

Spencer

P.S. I visited Wal-Mart just a few hours ago, before hearing about this. Is the steel shot for my slingshot "suspicious"?

CEDAW update

Apparently it hasn't been decided yet. See here:

"...they are going to continue to evaluate this treaty...we're expecting somewhere between January and March..."

Well, gives us more time to make some noise, eh? Thanks goes to my sources for this article.

Keep on fighting the good fight,

Spencer

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Blame Stacy, then Nathan...

...I won't be doing the entire thing, but I just can't resist doing this one!



So y'all know plenty about me already; how about some lesser-known stuff (or, at least relatively so)?


1. I don't believe in surrendering. I refuse to give up.

2. I usually prefer girls as friends than males--most males are worthless these days. But, given the chance, a manly friend is such a great thing.

3. I love what I call man gear. I carry a briefcase, keep my cell phone in a belt case as well as my keys (in a silencer holster--it silences my keys!). I have a variety of knives for different uses, and in my bag (or on my person) is everything from papers and information for me to do my work (addresses, datebook, political activism information), coins to flip or for change, handkerchiefs, first aid supplies and a dozen different ways to start a fire.

4. I love random jokes, of a certain brand. From silly youtube viral videos, Lady Gaga and Batman spoofs, to Pinky and the Brain and LOLcats, they all make me laugh.

5. I have two running lists, comprised of people. If you make the first, then you have cause to be very pleased, for you are my friend. If you make the second....

6. I'm quite serious about natural, but not nearly like you see everyone else hype about. Forget the current fad diet or supplement pills, you'll see me with any form of meat, vegetables, or fruit (and I don't have an issue with bread, btw). Honey is one of my passions!

7. Here's a strange one, something I've never before mentioned to anyone. I don't know how else to explain it, but I'm receptive to emotions women are supposed to feel. I do not feel them myself, rather, have a strange sixth sense that allows me to vicariously "feel", for lack of a better expression. I figured it out being accidentally exposed to romance films on occasion (unfortunate fact of life for us guys, isn't it?); this understanding was finally cemented and brought forefront, in a way, when I was exposed (Note: did not "watch", was "exposed"!) to a few moments of a Twilight movie. I don't feel anything, but I'm receptive to everything that the scene beckons for the female viewer to feel. I can't explain anything more, as I barely understand it so far.

8. Here's another weird sense I have: I can sense when televisions are on. I'm thinking that the newer TVs (HD, LCD, etc.) are not ones that I can sense from my few experiences with them, but the older boxey sets were often detectable by me. I used to live in a place with a TV in the room adjacent to the bathroom. The bathroom was down a small, contained hallway of sorts, the room itself even tighter, and the overhead light was rigged up with a roaring ceiling fan that made it impossible to hear anything but the loudest of sounds even just outside the door. Whenever someone turned the television on, I could always sense it turn on, the instant it was turned on.

Another event, a place I used to work, had the locker room upstairs in a dark, near-abandoned portion of the building. Inside this old room was a television, used on occasion by a few who preferred private lunches and breaks. I could always tell when it was on, before I could see the room or hear anything emanating from it. One time, almost trying to disprove myself, I sensed the television on, and found that it wasn't. Smiling and satisfied, I walked out with a few people who were leaving with me. To my surprise, in a nearby room, the training room, a television set was sitting alone in the room, static on the screen. I tried to disguise my surprise, and moved on without speaking.

This isn't hearing, but it's almost a form of hearing...it isn't, but that's the best way I can describe it. I can "hear" it but I'm not using my auditory senses. I have no explanation for it...it's also been a while since I've experienced this strange "phenomena".

9. I love insects, spiders, and the like, but hate having rabbits, squirrels, and mice around. At least I wage war on the troublesome arthropods....

10. I'm seriously getting into sci-fi. Mostly garbage from looking from the outside, I've come to love some aspects of the genre. Dystopian and post-apocalyptic are now my favorite fiction genres, and things such as Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers, the Matrix series, and the TV shows Battlestar Galactica, Jericho, and the like have all been blasts to go through. (I don't actually recommend all of those, btw.)

11. I'm a self-professed right-wing radical. Religiously, politically, socially, and even scientifically.

12. I've discovered sling shots. Man are they fun!

13. When I'm with friends, I'm all upbeat. When I'm with clients at my work, I'm all cheerfulness and pleasantries. When I'm out and about, I am usually near-scowling and prefer not to be spoken to. I wonder why....

14. I'm weird about technology...in case you haven't noticed. While I hate most of it, I love things like Abrams tanks and Apache Longbow helicopters. It all depends on the nature: under complete control by man, and efficiently advancing his work (i.e., the microscope, or the rifle), I love certain kinds of technology. Functioning improperly (most computers and digital devices!), being inferior to physical mediums, or, even worse, artificially intelligent.

15. I'm rather noisy....


Phew! That was tough...and enough!

Spencer

Doug's Blog:Remembering the Best of 2010: Thank You Michelle

I know I can definitely sympathize with the ladies in this video. Thank you, to Michelle, and to all the Duggars!

Spencer (who's only favorite reality show is "However-many Kids and Counting")