Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Peek Into My Internet Life

posted by John Blanco @ 8:09 PM


Tonight, the in-laws, Michele, and I went to Bandimere to see the Christmas Lights presentation. What they've done this year is create all these custom light arrangements and make it a drive-thru showing. It was pretty neat - not overwhelming - but very pretty. Couple that with the Muppet version of "12 Days of Christmas" and it was a fun ride. :-)

Since nothing much else of interest occurred today, except maybe being denied Nintendo DS 2 more times (we're up to 5 total now), I thought I'd let you peek into my life and see all the Web sites that I visited today. So, without further ado, is John's Internet sites o' the day:

Red Hot Pawn - a correspondence chess site which I abused for quite a while a few months ago. Nowadays, I'm just getting back to playing some chess, but it's far more casual than it once was. No more tourneys for me, just some coffeehouse chess from time to time.

ESPN - The sports leader, and incidentally, the best commercials as well. :-) I checked this site about 20 times today, a little high only because the Mets are hot on the trail of Pedro Martinez! Oooh, baby!

CNN - The best source of news. This is the potpourri of news sites, but I access it about 50 times a day because they break most important news first. (No, Dick Cheney isn't dead yet.)

Is Dick Cheney Dead Yet? - One of my favorite blogs. Unfortunately, the answer is still no.

Air America Radio - My favorite Internet and Analog radio station. I do enjoy Morning Sedition in the mornings, but I absolutely live for Randi Rhodes. She is the ultimate political radio host. I live by her word because she speaks the truth...none of that hate-dribble from the you-know-who "competition." Highly recommended. Randi comes on at 1 PM Mountain Time.

Michele's Blog - The blog site for my babalicious wife, Michele. :-) She updates once every few days...and it features BABY WATCH 2005! ;-)

Bite Size Studios - Home of my personal software venture. Bite Size Studios specializes in J2ME game programming...that is, games for cell phones! Our first game, Ascent To Power, is in the works! I maintain the BSS blog on this site so you can keep up to date with its progress.

Weird Al Yankovic - The official site. Home of one of my favorite artists. I've been to two of his concerts, both amazing! He is truly a timeless classic!

Channel 9 News (Denver) - Home of Denver local news for Channel 9. Nice snag of a domain if you ask me! This is where I keep track of the local happenings.

Origami Boulder! - A sorta parody site, but very real. As I may be getting into origami, I remember this site today and took another look. You really need to read this, it's hysterical!

Marilyn Manson - Home of my definitively favorite artist, Marilyn!! Love the man, love the band, love the music, love the message. Need I say more? The most underrated and overhated artist of our time. The Christians are terrified of the one who understands the way of things better than they. Tsk tsk...

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 29, 2004

Happy Birthday, Dad!

posted by John Blanco @ 6:46 PM


Today's my dad's birthday. Happy 66th, Dad! :-D

Return of the Jedi

posted by John Blanco @ 6:19 PM


Note to Reader: As I've never truly understood the Star Wars Trilogy, nor watched it in detail, the rest of this blog will be written as if it is 1983 (without checking my sources), and I've just seen "The Return of the Jedi" (which I have):

Dude, I totally just watched "Return of the Jedi" and it rocked!! I was forced to put down my Slinky for a couple hours and watch the movie in theaters. The Dolby sound was amazing!! The cushioned seats in the new theater downtown was cool too, which is good, since I know my $2.50 ticket price is going towards something...SHEEESH! RIPOFF!!

So, the movie was the best ever! Vader and Skywalker finally fight, like they should have in Empire...SHAAA! And when the Death Star gets blowed up again, rock!!!! I swear, they should make a joke in some future movie where they mention the poor contractors abord the Death Star when it explodes. I mean, they weren't all evil.

We also enjoyed some Holiday Spice Pepsi while we watched. The stuff ROCKED! It's like soooooo much better than New Coke. New Coke sucks, dude!!!!

Well, I gotta go...me and my buds are gonna check out some new circuit board by Apple. Apprently, they're going to use graphics for the Operating System. Bogus!!! I think it's a dumb idea.

Later, dudes.

Lettin' Down the Team

posted by John Blanco @ 1:15 PM


Today just wasn't my day. I woke up this morning facing more snow. So, I decided to give it an hour so I could let the cars ahead of me blaze a trail to work. But, facing 3 hours of driving (that's how long it takes when it snows this bad), I decided I'd do some Flex work from home.

Bad idea.

After a couple hours of futzing around, Flex is a no-go on my laptop. At that point, it's too late to go into work...by the time I get there, I'd have to come back home. SUCK! So, I've gotten a couple hours of work done today that to some IM'ing...and I'm set for tomorrow...but I have about 6 hours to make up this week. Yuck.

Well, might as well make the best of it.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Sick Feeling is Back!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:35 PM


Well, there we go, the Broncos absolutely blew their game against the Raiders and lost 25-24. So many chances to win, including 2 directly in the last 30 seconds, but not to be. They lose to the hated Raiders, in Denver, during a blizzard. Nice.

The last time I felt this sick over a game was last year against the Patriots when they had a seemingly insurmountable lead revoked in the last minutes. This one is worse because of what it means: the Broncos must win next week, or goodbye playoffs. A sickening thought really, since next week is in San Diego.

If they lose, their division hopes are ruined (to the Chargers??) and the AFC is much too competitive to be hoping for a Wild Card spot, especially when you have games against the Chiefs, Colts, and Titans left!

No matter what, this either really makes the Colts game that we're going to on Jan. 2nd very crucial, or about to be meaningless.

Well, more than that happened today, even if it's hard to remember now through the pain. We saw "The Empire Strikes Back," which I found to be a very good movie that didn't seem to go anywhere. I mean, what did they accomplish? They lost their base, Luke lost a hand (miraculously reincarnated however), and the pinnacle scene of Skywalker vs. Vader ended up in a forfeit. How's that for anti-climactic?

But I guess that's why they call it "The Empire Strikes Back," eh?

I'd have been a bit dissapointed leaving the theater in 1980 seeing that I'd waited 3 years for this sequel and nothing really happened. Then, I'd have to have waited 3 more years to see some sort of conclusion. That's a lot of time. :-)

Tomorrow night I hope we get to see "Return of the Jedi" and then finally we'll know the story. I know I've seen parts of these three original films, but I think I mostly spent my life acknowledging that I've seen them rather than realize I've only seen part of them and I know butkis about the story! I'll probably need to see the first two episodes again, but not now.

Right now, I'm trying to figure out how I'll make it to work tomorrow. I'll prolly stroll in very late...giving the ice a chance to melt. The streets outside my house are in terrible condition!

My gosh, I still can't get over this horrible loss! If the Broncos don't win the division but get a Wild Card, they will likely face the Colts again in Indy just like last year, when they got spanked!!! AKKK! As it is now, they absolutely must defeat the Chargers and Dolphins and Chiefs and Titans...4 in a row...to have a good shot. You have to expect a loss against the Colts (and hope for the best playing them). That would leave them at 11-5. The Chargers, assuming the Broncos can beat them next week, would have a couple gimmes against Tampa and Cleveland, but then would also have to fact Indy and KC. It'll be very tight.

Snow Bowl

posted by John Blanco @ 7:15 PM


Broncos are up 10-7 at the half. I'm gazing outside...is it possible to get to work in the morning? Crap.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Frozen Weekend

posted by John Blanco @ 9:37 PM


So it's hella-cold outside, Thanksgiving weekend, and we're still searching for Nintendo DS. What to do...?


Michele, Jackie, and I too advantage of some free passes and went to the Zoo again. I feel like a real Colorado veteran now because this is like my 4th pass through the Zoo. It was very cold today, but that also meant less crowds and less zoo-y smell.

Along with the crowds, though, went some animals. But, we had some highlights, most notably the baby lion cubs that were so very cute. :-) The mommy lion was right next to the glass, looking right at us, eyeball to eyeball. It was creepy, but we were safe, and it was interesting to see that natural love.

Another highlight was one of the gorillas in the Big Apes area was just sitting there facing the glass. He was gnawing on something, and he just looked so eerily human. He made this laughing motion every so often. One of the Zoo workers was there outside the cage and she was saying how this is his favorite seat. He would stick his tongue out at us, it was hilarious.

So, come to think of it, this was probably the best Zoo visit ever. :-)

Afterwards, we enjoyed dinner at "Claim Jumper" which is a great dinner spot located at C-40 and Quebec. *BIG* helpings. It's also where Michele had her Bachelorette Party dinner...which is a funny story in itself. OK, I got time...

Jackie, our Zoo partner, was Michele's maid-of-honor and hosted her, a few other CO friends and, well, a very large NY contingent mde up of my family. :-) It was my mom, my sisters Susan and Pam, my sister-in-law Carollanne, and my sister's partner, Chrissie. Along with Michele's sister-in-law Shannon, they had a heckuva time embarrassing the hell out of Michele!

So, at Claim Jumper, they had Michele dressed up in a "Last Night Single" shirt, making her wear her wedding vail and some balloons tied to her. If ya know Michele, ya know the hell. ;-) Then...in true loud NY-er style, Michele was followed by the Backelorette group wheerever she walked...to the table, away from the table, to the restrooms...with every nearly screaming "Da da da da!" (the wedding march). We have video. ;-) It was great to watch.

OK, that's the story. Back to present day.

So we gorged on dinner and it was delectible, including a 6-layer chocolate cake appropriately named "The Motherlode." It's been featured on the Discovery channel for gosh sakes. I think I'll send on to my mom in NY for her birthday...well, it's in June...hmmm, maybe not the best time of season!

I also snagged the Star Wars Trilogy from my in-laws on Thanksgiving Day, and we watched Star Wars tonight. Ya know, I don't think I'd ever seen the whole thing through...cause the story was completely new to me. All I knew was Vader was bad, the Deathstar blew up due to some well-aimed shots, and the nerds loved Leia.

Now, I am well versed on the story that is "Episode IV" and I look forward to Empire tomorrow. At least this time, I'll be up-to-date on the story by the time the final installment (Episode III) comes out in May. I probably need to see the first two again as well. Geesh!

Friday, November 26, 2004

National Treasure: 4 Blancos

posted by John Blanco @ 9:06 PM


The world doesn't seem right. Two good movies in a row? Surely, the moons don't align?

We went out with Michele's workmate and friend, Jessica, and her boyfriend, Jason, (cool people) to the Molly Brown house today. A very neat interior, especially the front room. $6.50 per person, so if you like history and the like, I recommend it.

Afterwards, and this is a strange story, Michele and I recommend our favorite Denver eatery: New York on 17th. It's a NY deli, with a wait-staff eatery as well. I always get the Roast Beef and Cheddar and my god I forget how great Boors Head meats really are until I let their sandwiches jog my memory!

So, we go to the door but notice that the front door has changed. OK. Walk down the sidewalk to the *new* entrance and we're greeted and asked if we want Lunch or Dinner. Ummm...we prolly shoulda asked what the difference is but we just say, "Dinner."

Well, as we go to our table we notice that the tables all have long black tablecloths and all the pictures of old NY Daily News back-page covers are missing. Hmm. We sit down and as we're looking through the menus Michele and I notice that the menu is different. And the name of the place isn't NY on 17th! What the hell?

In a fit of panic, we're all like, "Ummm, do you wanna go somewhere else?" and the waiter notices our displeasure and says, "Oh, you probably want the lunch menus." Turns out, NY on 17th sold their soul and is now a lunch/dinner restaurant. No deli counter. No more fun atmosphere. Our waiter seemed depressed, too. The place was empty. It was all very strange and although the food I had was just as good as before (though it's now called the "Guilliani" and that makes me so angry cause I hate that fucker now), I can't call it my favorite eatery anymore.

Congratulations, Croc's Bar and Grill, you get the crown back.

Afterwards, we headed to the theaters to see National Treasure. It's another Jerry Bruckenheimer "Haven't I heard this theme music before?" flic. But, it was very, very good. The action starts quickly, and never stops. Lots of nice plot twists, and the only plot error happens in the first 5 minutes. By the time the movie's over, you've long forgotten about it.

How *do* they track that ship down in the arctic anyway? I dunno, maybe I just missed it...Oh, almost forgot, as another perc, Jessica had free passes to the movie thanks to her connected brother. FREE MOVIE!

I'll share Jason's alien story with you in a future blog. For now, I need to rest my feet. Tomorrow, we're headed to the Denver Zoo and I have to be ready.

Can't wait to see my favorite otter again. :-)

Worst Metal Songs Ever - and Civil War @ the Blanco's

posted by John Blanco @ 12:25 PM


Michele and I just finished watching a VH-1 special on the Top 40 worst metal songs ever. On this list were many songs and bands that Michele spent her teen years (and some after) listening to. So sad. There were three songs on the list that I disagreed with:

Marilyn Manson's "Don't Like the Drugs"
Rammstein's "Du Hast"
Europe's "Final Countdown"

This last song Michele refers to as quite "gay." I think she is mistaken. Nay, I know it! The song is quite singable, and Michele is a fat-head for not liking it. A FAT-HEAD!

Let me say something about Michele. Michele has CD's by Slayer, Cinderella, and Loverboy in her collection. Not to mention Whitesnake, White Lion, and Warrant. I hardly think of her as a music critic. She should be ashamed. All of this is true.

As I type, she is mocking "The Final Countdown" again. Sadly, the song is stuck in her head and she still can't admit to the fact that she likes (LOVES) the song and therefore finds it quite "hetero."

Michele's the kind of girl who lifts up her shirt at metal concerts. I'll post pictures if possible. Don't let her innocent facade fool you.

As for Marilyn, the man rocks. And perhaps the video was a little odd -- it was done in his "Dope Show" era of looking like an alien -- it is still a rocking song with a great riff...ala "The Final Countdown" and "Du Hast".

Oh yeah, and "Du Hast!" That song fucking rulez! I remember hearing it for the first time on "120 Minutes" and instantly fell in love. Regrettably, I fell for the post-Columbine "those kids listened to Rammstein" rhetoric and chucked the CD, but it's so good I've even contemplated buying it again. "Du Hast" is an industrial classic.

OK, back to my vacation...

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:36 PM


So much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. My Yog, my friends and family, my health, Harmony, Cimbi, and above all...Yogi's cookies.

No, really, she's backing them tomorrow morning!

Have a good holiday weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Incredibles: 5 Blancos

posted by John Blanco @ 8:45 PM


Saw the Incredibles tonight and it was...incredible. HA! No, really, it was great. Very cute, very clever...can't think of a single person who'd not like the movie. It also helps that my wife looks just like one of the main characters. ;-) ("Force field, honey!")

I'm glad that animated features are taking over the movie theaters. Mainstream, anyway. If the wonderful indie films can't manage it, I'd rather the best movies be kids/adults movies rather that teeny-bopper or action flicks. (Star Wars III is still welcome, though)

Monday, November 22, 2004

Sick Day

posted by John Blanco @ 10:42 AM


Brain. Hurting...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Patience, Ascent To Power, and a Splitting Headache

posted by John Blanco @ 5:20 PM


Today is the day Nintendo DS comes out! Michele and I played with it a bit at Best Buy yesterday, it was pretty impressive. I'm still unsure how the dual-screen and (worst of all) touch screen are accepted the mainstream. I had a bitch of a time controlling Miss Aran in Metroid...you're unable to shoot and turn at the same time, a major control oversight. But, perhaps there was a way to change the controls.

Playing an action game with a stylus is a major nightmare. But, the industry must figure out a way to translate all the analog controls of the home systems into portable success. I'm not sure if Nintendo has done it.

Worked on ATP today, got the day screen in place. The next step is a big step: actual gameplay! I need to put in the CHAT feature, which is the key to the whole game. From there, everything will hopefully fall into place in terms of the flow of the game.

Tonight, I played some Metroid Prime on GameCube, a game I was hoping to play through as I try to catch up on my current titles before investing in anything new. But...UGGGG. I got a major headache from it. MAJOR. It's a pretty game, but my mind still isn't ready for 3D games for too long a time. Perhaps it's just been so long since I'm played an FPS. (Probably, a good thing)

4 more hours left in the weekend, but this week will be a breeze. 4-day weekend coming up! Hope to get some major ATP work done, and it will start in an hour after I lie down a bit. :-)

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Total Failure

posted by John Blanco @ 8:22 AM


So I just learned that the brakes in my car are "near total failure." I've been driving for the last, hmmm...lessee...3 months, and have noticed that my brake light flickers on and off sporadically. I assumed it was an electronics issue, but I've learned that it means my brake fluid is running low!

This means, my brakes can give out at any moment. How's that for a nice thought? So, today, the first place I go is the brake place, and for the first time, I will drive scared. ;-)

In other news, Christmas shopping is going well, did some more last night. I love buying video games for my nephews! I got them Tetris, too. Whoo! While at Best Buy, I also got to play with the new Nintendo DS! (Comes out Sunday) Very cool, though questionable control scheme with the stylus. Hrrm.

Snow day today, and I'm snowed in with the Yog! Fun!! :-) We made bacon and eggs this morning, and in a little bit we'll begin a day of many tasks: Just Brakes, Jiffy Lube, Bally's, Toys R Us (again), Pottery Barn, and not sure what else.

This weekend we're also going to put up our Christmas stuff. I love this time of year. To quote Nina on 3rd Rock from the Sun, "Ya know, this is the one time of year I actually like white music." :-)

I'm also gonna do even more work on Ascent To Power. My goal is to have something demoable within a couple months. Very excited about it!

On Monday, we're going to see the Incredibles!

And now, I must call my friend Damon, for whom I've had the wrong phone # for a while.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

A Visual Demo! Finally! Yes!!!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:28 PM


Wow, what a milestone!

I was able to publish a visual demonstration of Ascent To Power tonight! YEAH!!

It's very basic...random characters are chosen, you see their items, and you see their trait meters. That's it. You can also navigate between them. It's pretty good progress for one 2-hour code burst! I'm very excited!

The best part is that Al can now start working on some graphics. I hope 20x20 pixels is OK for him. ;-)

3 Days of Coding Hell

posted by John Blanco @ 7:27 AM


The last 3 days, I've spent almost all of my evenings trying to get the build working for Ascent To Power...

Basically, while I've been doing software development for 10 years now, I have very little experience with the new J2ME platform. As a result, the simpel act of getting a PNG graphic to load out of a JAR is mind-boggling to me. Top that with the fact that I have very little in the way of seeing what is actually going wrong, and you see where my time was spent.

After several emails with the EclipseME developer (the Eclipse plugin responsible for building J2ME), I still couldn't find an answer and I've now switched back to good ole Antenna. Probably the smarter pick anyway, and I was even able to cut down the complexity of the build.xml file to something very simple, too.

So, tonight, I go straight to bally's after work, and then go home and get started on my screen layout for ATP. Finally, I can code again!

Today, I have heard murmurings of election fraud possibilities from BlackBoxVoting.org. They have found election tapes that have literally been THROWN AWAY and uncounted. Keeping an eye on this developing story...

Monday, November 15, 2004

Wacky Weekend

posted by John Blanco @ 7:37 PM


Enjoyed a good weekend did Michele and I.

On Friday, her parents took us out for my birthday dinner! We went to White Fence Farm, which was good and yummy! I highly recommend the place, especially when it's busy and during Christmas time. I promise I'll find the hat, Yog! ;-)

On Saturday, we hopped down to Castlerock Public Library where the Adventure Club gang joined together for the latest installment of AC movies: The Fashion of the Christ. As the sotry goes, Jesus is a great fashion model - so great in fact, that the other models hate him so. It's a story of a rise to fame, and a great fall. The editing should be done in about 5 months, and we all look forward to it. Thanks to Aaron (my work building mate) and Ramon for their talents in filming and directing!

In Sunday, Michele and I hung out and got our Christmas shopping started. We're already finished with a few people, though one is a dog. :-) I also found some neat toys to add to my XMas list!

In J2ME news, my game "Friends + Enemies" has undergone its first serious design revision. The details that led to the "why" are a bit complicated and too annoying to type in a blog, but the major design overhaul is that instead of managing a group of friends, you'll be managing your way through a corporate empire! The game has been renamed "CEO: Ascent to Power" and is back on development track after a stall.

While fixing the design of Friends + Enemies, I also came up with an idea for another little game I'd like to call "Painter's Apprentice" I'll withhold details for now.

Things are very exciting on these here fronts. :-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


posted by John Blanco @ 12:59 PM


I am not leaving!
Please hear what I said,
I am not leaving!
I’m staying where I’m at, thank-you very much.

And as long as I stand upon her soil,
She will be my land of the free.
As long as I believe what I believe,
You will see the meaning of brave!

I will not under threat of tyranny or mob,
Toss the place that I love in the ashen pile of lost causes,
And walk quietly into a meaningless mist!
No, I will stay, and you will listen.
You will not lecture me about values!
You will not receive the exclusive rights to my morality!

Please hear what I said.
For where ever I stand upon her soil,
I am the deep well of my beloved country’s finest values and highest morals,
Fairness, compassion, wisdom, strength, commonsense, tolerance,
And you shall tremble before them, for they are righteous!

So let the cheers for my demise die this night in a million throats!
Let the gloating turn to great and frightening doubt!
For I am not leaving!

My beloved country needs me now more than she ever has before.
And I pledge my allegiance to that which she still is,
And to that great and shining day that she has yet to live!

-Author unknown-

Happy Birthday To Me...

posted by John Blanco @ 6:38 AM


Happy Birthday To Me
Happy Birthday To Me
In two years I'll be thir-teeeee...
Happy Birthday To Me


Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Rules for Relieving Debt

posted by John Blanco @ 9:07 PM


In the face of some unforseen expenses, Michele and I have done some things to aid our debt payoff. Here it is, step-by-step. :-)

1) Sign up for 0% APR credit card (for a year, then 10%).

2) Move $2,500 debt off active credit card, and $6,500 off inactive credit card.

3) Keep the active card blanked out from here on out. WHOO-HOOEEE!

4) Finish paying off debt for french doors, new windows: $2,300. Paid off in 2-3 months.

5) Free up $300 a month from that debt and apply half of that to savings, half to car payment. Make other bulk payments to car as well. Paid off in 5 months.

6) When that $188 is freed up, apply $200 to savings and $288 (plus an existing $712) to inactive credit card, totalling about $1000 per month. Paid off in 5 months.

7) With inactive card, french doors, and car paid off...an extra $788 is yours per month! Now use that to pay off the new credit card just as it starts kicking in on finance charges. Paid off within a year, easy.

Full proof! (Let's see if I agree in a year)

How are they still alive? :-)

posted by John Blanco @ 6:41 AM


So my former company, CorAccess, is still alive. I left them just over a year ago, when being an employee at that place was pure hell and not worth my sanity.

Since then, they lost another major cog developer. Since then, they've lost thei main Customer Service guy and instead of replacing said guy they are now trying to "avoid" calls by relocating developers. Since then, the VP of Engineering has left and has since sued the company -- he was replaced by a marketing guy: yes, a marketing guy is running Engineering!

Also, the support site which hosted forums where people could ask questions, etc. has been removed. Everything has been removed. The only way to get help is to send an email and hope to get a response.

They've lost their Logistics person with no replacement.

They were almost evicted. I believe the rent and salaries are being paid privately by the co-owner.

The man whi was responsible for the loss of focus and the impending doom of the company was made co-owner...?

And they are still alive?? I don't understand.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

ER and the Shittiest Week Ever

posted by John Blanco @ 12:55 PM


Yesterday, I had to take Michele to the ER! She was feeling sick and cramping all day yesterday, and around 2:30 she started vomiting, and convulsing in pain...it was very scary.

I called an ambulance it was so bad and we rushed her to Littleton Hospital. She was still vomiting when she got there and in a HUGE amount of pain. The doctors manager to the get things under control and a few hours later we got her out of there.

I'll try to post pictures if possible, all I have is some cell phone pics.

So, this caps a shitty week. Hopefully, the worst of the year. No more savings to pay for our cat defending himself, 4 more years of the idiot-blow-monkey George W. Bush, and Michele going to the ER and living on crackers right now.

Sigh. :-)

Friday, November 05, 2004

What is happening? Mobilization in order...

posted by John Blanco @ 2:29 PM


Reports are all over the news and radio today about cases of black box fraud and vote fraud.

I'll try to post this as much as I can, here's the first chart:

Exit Polling doesn't match actual voting in states with E-voting.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

A day of hurt...

posted by John Blanco @ 7:30 PM


Well, Bush has won. The little pisser gets to have his way with us for the next 4 years, and it should be even worse. Still, I'll try to hold out hope that he'll consider Kerry's message of unity and try to appease many of the Kerry supporters in their search for comparison and care for the working class.

It was definitely a day of pain...having to hear it was down to Ohio, with a slim chance...to concession. The music artist, Moby, wondered on his blog if some states might start thinking about "secession" so that the blue states can just have their own damn country. :-) Not a bad idea.

Had a Flex class today, plus a half more tomorrow. Flex is an XML-base, RIA (Rich Internet Application) system for posting interactive, glamorous GUI on the Web. It's like HTML, JSP, etc, but richer. It's like Laszlo, but a lot more expensive. ;-) The key here is that it is all Flash-based and very neat. It's a new technology, and I'm glad to be on it early!

The Halloween chocolate is almost gone...I can't stand it anymo -- Mmm, three musketeers!


posted by John Blanco @ 10:23 AM




posted by John Blanco @ 6:23 AM


Batton down the hatches, Bush is about to win the election barring a miracle in Ohio. Very depressed today.

We've all lost.

Monday, November 01, 2004

One more day...

posted by John Blanco @ 7:35 PM


It's the night before election day...Michele and I will be voting at about 4 PM. We can't wait.

We will be casting our vote for John F. Kerry. As registered Independents, we've been following the issues and politicking for about 6 months now. Our came about quite easily and we'll share with you why.

In an election with an incumbent president running, there arises one simple question: Am I better off now than I was 4 years ago?

Four years ago, I was making more money than I ever have. The country was safe. I was living in a nice townhome and enjoying life. Much of this was due to the tech boom.

My ex and I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. We decided on this vote for a couple of reasons. First, a close friend of mine was working with the Colorado Green Party campaign and he was able to give us very good points on what the party represented. I already loved Ralph Nader, a man who fought his whole life for the consumer. The man got cigarettes banned on airplanes, so how could you ever hate the guy? And those are the second reasons. We voted our hearts, because Nader represented something we didn't see in either of the two candidates: someone you could trust, someone who cared for you.

While Nader enjoyed a nice 3% vote, pretty good for a third-world party, he lost to Al Gore. Al Gore was someone we respected, and considered voting for, but the country was in a good place and time and we didn't find any need to "not waste" our vote. We voted for Nader, not because we thought he'd win, but because we wanted to send a message that issues such as the environment need to be addressed. That people need to be addressed. But, we were happy Gore won.

Later that election night, we were watching the news when Fox News Channel called out that Florida was indeed *not* ready to be called for Gore after all. "That's odd, they were just seen on TV celebrating...all the channels called it." Now, I didn't know it at the time, but the Fox News Channel is the home of Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and is universally regarded as a heavily biased news source. In fact, recent polls show that almost 80% of people who rely on FNC for their political news are *still* convinced that there is a link between al Qaeda and Iraq. There is none. No other news channels' viewers believe this falsification.

Over the next month, legal challenges were made in Florida, and Bush was declared winner. The Republicans fought to block completely valid votes from black precincts and won. It was a robbery...on the news channel (Fox News) where is cousin was in charge of declaring Bush the winner (against all other stations), in the state where W's brother is the governor, and the state where his campaign manager also happened to be in charge of the recount (!!)...Bush was declared the winner.

Well, that sucked, I thought. But, would Bush really be that bad? I was 23 years old and not quite into politics, so oh well. 8 months later, 9/11 hit. That morning, I was over at my other ex's place. (Lotta ex's, I know, try to keep up) I woke up to see that the Twin Towers had collapsed. I tried calling my family, but without any luck...they all live in New York. I went to work, hoping to be able to call in from there. I was so depressed. When I got to work, I also learned that the whole company had folded...I was also out of a job.

OK, none of this is Bush's fault, right? OK. I spent 3 months trying to find a new job. During this time, the US began its campaign against Afghanistan. I supported this war. That fucker had to die, I thought. George W. Bush's decision to invade, while seemingly obvious, was galvanizing the country. A good thing. Good job, Bush.

It was in the spring months of 2002 when the downturn occured. George W. Bush had decided that he wanted to invade Iraq. "But, bin Laden is in Afghanistan, right?" I thought. We hadn't caught him yet. I watched on the news, and Bush says "To be honest, I don't really think about [bin Laden] much, I just don't care." What?? Why not?? Things were fishy.

"Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction." My President was telling me that nukes were in Iraq, and something had to be done. Invasion was imminent. OK, I guess. That bastard has nukes, and he needs to die.

Now, at this point, you might be asking yourself, "Sounds like a great job, so why are you rooting for Kerry?" Simple.

---fast forward 2 years---


The 9/11 commision is finishing up, and more facts about Iraq are also coming out:

FACT: The CIA had sent a report to George W. Bush a full month before 9/11. It said that Osama bin Laden was determined to attack in the United Stated with airplanes.

WHAT HAPPENED: Bush ignored the report. He'd spent a full 50% of his presidency on VACATION. This is sickening. Like a flunking student, he ignored his work. 9/11 was preventable. He didn't prevent it.

FACT: When the first plane hit the tower, Bush was in a limo driving to a classroom for a photo op. When the second plane hit the tower, Bush was *in* the classroom. 7 minutes later, Bush was *still in the classroom*.

WHAT HAPPENED: When the first plane hit the tower, Bush declined to pass up his visit to the classroom. These were small children after all, and they looked forward to meeting him. Why would a silly thing like a COMMERCIAL AIRPLANE FLYING INTO THE WORLD'S ECONOMIC CENTER stop such a visit?? While in the classroom, he was told by secret service the now famous scene where the man leans over and whispers in Bush's ear) that a second plane had hit the towers. Instead of getting up and running to the limo to get back to Washington and make a decision, Bush sat there in the classroom for another 7 minutes. Is this what we are looking for in our President? Two other planes would later crash.

FACT: The CIA had doubts that Saddam was actually harboring nukes, or even running a WMD program.

WHAT HAPPENED: The Bush administration cherry-picked the intelligence in order to sway a Congress, and the citizens of America, to back the war. And we did. We were lied to. Our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, are all at war in Iraq against an enemy they're not sure who it is.

FACT: The color-coded terrorism alert system was created to keep us informed of terror threats.

WHAT HAPPENED: We have been living with this God forsaken system for 3 years now, and it is a sham. It goes higher and lower, keeping us on edge. The "threats" we hear about are vague, non-specific. We hear about threats "to our schools." No details, though. There could be an attack on one of our power plants...not sure which one though. Nothing ever happens.

Now, let's consider that last fact. We have not had a major attack in our country in 3 years. Hooray for Bush? No. The fact is that we haven't been attacked, but it's just our luck. In the 3 years since 9/11, Bush has busied himself with Iraq and more vacation time. He has neglected to secure our coastlines. He has neglected to secure our planes. He has neglected to secure our power plants. All the while, we now live under a greater fear for retribution with what we did to Iraq. We destroyed this country. They are better now than they were before you say?

Today, Iraq is in ruins. There is very little running water. There is very little electricity. Homes are destroyed. Wedding parties have been bombed. An estimated 100,000 Iraqi citizens are dead.

100,000 dead. This blood is on Bush's hands.

There are no weapons of mass destruction. There are not even programs. The sanctions on Saddam were working. A recent report indicated that the only misjustice was that Saddam was violating the Oil-for-food program. He was overfunding his business partners to try to entice them to lessen the sanctions, which were working. The Bush administration has tried to convince us that this validates the war. It does not. Not even close. We invaded and destroyed a company for WMD. There were none. Oops, our bad? A reason for war cannot be produced 2 years after it started. And, are they saying that oil is a justification to kill 100,000 people?

Recently, George W. Bush had a naquet for he and and his Washington friends. During this banquet, he joked...yes, JOKED...about the search for weapons of mass destruction. Over 1,000 American soldiers...and 100,000 Iraqi citizens...lost their lives for this search. The atrocity is well captued by this political ad:


While the rest of the world was protesting this war...and we saw it all over the TV...Bush instead RUSHED to war, without a plan, and with assumptions that all fell well short of truth. We were not welcomed as liberaters, but invaders. The country is not better off without Saddam, it is far far worse. We did not weed out terror, we supplied them with weapons by not securing the weapons dumps. And there is no end in sight.

Now, on to domestic issues!

Three months ago, my company required us to all re-up on our medical insurance. The new rates were passed around. For the 4th time in 4 years, the rates increased!! Let me tell you, I thanked God (and I'm agnostic) I didn't have a family. As a well-paid software developer, even I couldn't afford health care for my children. Luckily, I had none. How sadistic is that, I was happy I didn't have a family to care for??? Now, think about the single mothers and fathers out there that do...

Where is Bush on the issue of skyrocketing medical costs? He says that medical litigation reform needs to be done to guarantee safety for insurance companies. Do you know what this means? What he is trying to do is protect drug companies from lawsuits if you get sick from their drugs. And guess what. It's already passed. It's called ARISA. If you get your medical coverage from your place of business (almost all of us do), and you get sick from a drug, you can't sure that drug company. Andm if your medical insurance company refuses to compensate you for your medical bills? Tough shit, you can't sue.

Lawsuits account for 1% of the costs you pay for your medical coverage. It happens a lot less than we think. Yet, our medical insurance has increased 300%. Do the math.

On abortion, Bush's stance is that he will ban partial birth abortions. OK, question time: What are partial birth abortions? A partial birth abortion is a procedure done in the second and third tri-mester for a preganant woman. The procedure involves pulling the baby's legs out of the womb with a set of tongs. Once pulled out to the neck, the doctor stabs a pair of scissors into the woman's vagina, and into the back of the baby's head (yes, baby, not fetus). The scissors are then spread, ripping open the baby's skull. We're not done. A vacuum tube is inserted into the vagins and the baby's brains are sucked right out of its skull. Dead, the baby's carcas is pulled out of the womb and disposed of in a garbage can.

This is Bush's stance on abortion. To ban this procedure. Sound good? One problem. John Kerry wants this ban. The American people want this ban. Pro-choice'ers want this this ban. EVERYBODY WANTS THIS BAN. On top of that, partial birth abortions accounts for less than 1% of all abortions performed in the country. It's barely a problem...and everyone wants it banned anyway.

With everyone in agreement, there is absolutely no reason to choose Bush simply on this issue.

Now, stem cell research. Bush wants it stopped. Oh, wait, I'm sorry, he said he'd like to continue the existing reasearch on the current strains. Oh, problem...those strains are currently tainted by feces. They are useless.

John Kerry wants to continue this research, to move the country forward. This research can cure diseases such as Parkinson's like Michael J. Fox has. Perhaps your grandma has this terrible disease? It can help cure Huntington's Disease, which a friend of mine Nathan has. It can cure spinal cord injuries and paralysis, something thousands of people in this world (hundreds of thousands?), including many of our soldiers. It can sure Alzheimer's, a diseas

We must move on with this research. It's so important to us.

Finally, unemployment. When asked about the unemployment problem, and what e would say to those who are unemployed and who can't find a job in this failing job market, Bush said, "I'd tell them that we have programs to help fund their attending of community colleges. That they should get an eduction and be successful. I'd tell them about No Child Left Behind."

FACT: Being unemployed does not mean you are uneducated. My wife has a Masters degree in Education, but could only earn a single inteview in her search for a teaching job.

FACT: No Child Left Beyond is an elementary school program that the President has underfund since he had it passed. He is leaving our children behind. Schools are crumbling to meet the requirements of this program. Schools that don't meet the standards lose funding. A gap is being created as a result.

So...after all this, and a lot more...Bush has proven to me that he is a failure. A COMPLETE FAILURE. John Kerry has outlined a plan for the future. He cares about the people. He knows about the issues. He understands things aren't always black and white.

And he is our choice for the future of this beautiful country.