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Saturday, May 31, 2014

News isn't easy

News can be fun!

Most of us watch the news.  Local, national, we watch because the news people tell us what's going on in our towns, cities, and neighborhoods.  Sportscasters give us the latest scores and weathermen tell us how the weather is supposed to turn out.  But being a journalist isn't always as easy as it seems.  Now I'm not a professional journalist right now, I'm just some unemployed guy with a computer at the moment.  But just like every other job, journalists have bad days.  Many thanks to the YouTube channel NewsBeFunny for making me laugh and reminding me that television journalists may be local celebrities, but their jobs aren't always peaches and cream.  Take a look at a few things that have gone wrong:

There's the man in the black hoodie who spouts off the most profane thing he can think of.  *chuckle*  That's what you get when you do live interviews sometimes.  The blonde reporter who gets hit on by the guy with no shirt carrying a dog.  The nice reporter "Jeff" who ends up knee deep in some mud while someone back in the studio laughs away.  I wonder if he ever saw his shoes again?  Dave Marcheskie does his live report while a guy behind him chugs the water out of a vase.  Poor Dave, no one even bothers to tell him what's going on behind him.  

I love the shot of the guy behind a rugby interview who tries to catch a ball and then drops his kid.  There's really no need for me to go over everything that happens, watch the video for yourself.  It's hilarious!  And it shows that reporters are just regular people trying to do their jobs...and failing sometimes.  *chuckle*  Newer reporters always get sent out for the live shots.  A suave cameraman will catch things going on behind them and not give it away to the reporter sometimes.  It's hilarious and in a way, part of paying your dues as a reporter.

Holidays are special though, right?  Oh no they aren't!  Holidays can be just another excuse to harass a journalist while they're on the air.  Nothing is better than making a news anchor scream while they have a camera on them.  Take these Halloween clips for instance.  

Still want to be a reporter?  It does look like a bit of fun, doesn't it?  Try being a meteorologist.  But don't just be a weatherman or weather woman somewhere nice, go where there are storms.  Go where there are hurricanes like Sandy and report from there.  Your station will send you out to do live shots from the weather.  It's just a part of the job, right?  *chuckle*

And even while reporting from the middle of a storm people will still troll your live reports...

So here's to journalists and the jobs they do.  Thanks for all your patience.  *chuckle*

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Welcome to Minnesota and Fun!

Welcome to Minnesota!
Years ago I lived in a small town in Minnesota called Buffalo.  I had moved there to get into a relationship with a girl.  While things with the girl didn’t work out, I really enjoyed Buffalo.  Now you have to understand a few things about Minnesota.  First off, it’s full of typical American small towns where just about everyone knows just about everyone else.  And they all know each other’s business.  Not that this is a bad thing, it made for a family type atmosphere in everything you did.

Now why am I writing about Minnesota?  Because of one of my favorite movies called Drop Dead Gorgeous.  Click the name and a link will take you to to buy the movie.  I’ll warn you up front this one must be rare as right now it’s priced at $42.94!  But honestly, it’s one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen!  And it takes place in Minnesota.  It’s playing on the Starz movie channels now if you happen to pay for premium movie channels.  Click the word Starz and it will take you to the web page.

The movie takes place in the fictional town of Mount Rose, but I’ve had people tell me it was based on a place called Rosemount, Minnesota.  Click on the name for a quick view of small town affairs.  *chuckle*

Now a few things make this movie so hilarious.  The first is the Minnesota accent.  Not that it’s funny, but it’s really…unique. (Don’t cha know!)  And yes, people really talk that way.  They hit a lot of Minnesota life spot on!  These folks are down to earth, honest, and loveable.  Well, most of them are.  *chuckle*  There is the one rich, corrupt family in town who will do anything to make certain their daughter wins the local high school beauty pageant.  And I mean anything. 

This movie is basically a black comedy as a pretend documentary crew shoots footage and does interviews throughout the pageant.  It stars Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, Kirsty Alley, and Ellen Barkin.  I don’t want to give anything away, but while watching this, I’ll usually laugh myself to tears.  I’ll at least show you the movie trailer:

Don't miss this one! 

I love black comedy and have even written one.  It’s called Terminating Vegas and is about a security officer at a casino who wins the lottery and decides he then wants to be fired from his job.  The casino keeps trying not to fire him and things quickly spiral out of control.  If you’re interested in a Kindle copy, they’re pretty cheap right now at only $1.49  Just click the name above and check it out.  You can also get the book through Barnes & Noble, but they only sell the paperback version of the book.  Maybe someday this will be made into a movie, too?  Nah…probably not.  But then again, stranger things have happened.  *chuckle*  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Self Defense

What is self defense?  Here in Las Vegas it's an excuse to kill someone, cut them up, and then use some concrete to bury them in your yard.  Yes, we're having a murder trial here in town and the defense for this guy murdering a woman is "self defense".  Now before I go on and comment about this, let's take a look at an article telling a bit about what's going on:

There you go.  Even a picture of the guy who's name is Jason Griffith while he's on the stand!  I had thought that you weren't allowed pictures or video when someone was on the stand in court, but I guess since this trial is such a circus, we have to let all the clowns into the center ring.  If you followed the link (or copied and pasted it…whatever.  *chuckle*) and read the news story, you see the defendant is claiming that this woman was "harassing" him.  He's so special that when he tried to break up with her, she went nuts and threatened to kill him.  Ah…yeah.  He claims she sent him "hundreds" of text messages and emails per day.  Hundreds, really?  If she was a dancer I can't imagine she got much rehearsing done if she was spending all day writing hundreds of emails and texts.  I email a lot, but I don't think I send ONE hundred emails a MONTH!  

So this Jason Griffith was being "harassed".  And since he felt "harassed" he feels that it was self defense and ok to strangle this lady and then hack her legs off and try to hide the body.  By the way, the guy who helped him hack the woman's legs off was given immunity from prosecution to testify.  So if you ever dismember someone here in Vegas, make sure you offer to testify against someone else for something, and then cutting up a dead person is ok.

Now this didn't even happen recently.  The woman was killed and hacked up back in 2010.  I don't even think Jason Griffith, her killer, has been in jail since the murder.  I guess saying it's self defense makes it ok to delay a trial for four years.  And since he was a dancer in a show at the Mirage hotel they probably wanted him to be able to keep dancing for a while.  It's a good thing no one hacked his legs off like he did to the dancer/girlfriend/supposed psycho.  

Do you like my picture of Norman Bates?  Norman was the star of the movie Psycho and killed a woman taking a shower.  I don't remember if he hacked her up afterwards, but he certainly hacked her up while she was showering!  He even had theme music during the shower scene!  But it was self defense!  She was "harassing" him while taking the shower!  There's no difference between him and the guy in Vegas who killed the dancer, is there?

Now as far as I know, it's not as easy as you might think to strangle someone.  And after actually killing another human being, how do you ask another guy to help you cut her up?

"Hey dude, I just killed this chick and want to bury her in the yard, but she won't fit in the tupperware I bought.  Can you help me hack her up?"

"Yeah, why not?  I have some free time, and if you get caught, I can just offer to testify against you and then not be prosecuted for doing that.  Hand me that hack saw over there."

The oddest things happen in Las Vegas sometimes.  I wonder how this trial will turn out?  Maybe if Jason Griffith is found guilty he can have his sentencing hearing delayed until 2018?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rewarding Everyone

Today will be my last class of PC Repair, at least for this semester.  And I should be getting an A in the class.  I only took two classes this semester, but made certain that I got an A in each of them.  I studied and studied and read the expensive books I had to buy and earned my grades.  I’m not quite ready to get a degree yet, but once I am, I will have earned it!  But there are some idiots here in town who think you should still be part of a graduation even if you don’t earn it!
Apparently a lot of students here in Clark County (That’s the county where Las Vegas and Henderson are located in the state of Nevada) have been traditionally allowed to go through graduation and receive a “certificate of attendance” or something like that if they don’t pass some state proficiency test and qualify to graduate from high school. 
Now the graduation rate in Clark County is pretty low.  I guess Nevada ranks around #49 out of the 50 states in education.  Hard to believe that there is a state dumber than Nevada.  I can now understand why when I go to a McDonald’s the kid running the cash register screws up my order, or why the kid running the register at Walmart can’t figure out how to count change back to me if I pay in cash.
Now I’ve heard all the arguments about how some people aren’t good taking tests, and how it’s a lot of pressure to put on a kid, and how it’s not right to let some kid go to a graduation with his friends just because he or she didn’t pass some test.  But I’ve also been told that they start giving these proficiency tests in the sophomore year of high school and the kids have three years to pass them.  THREE YEARS!  If you fail the first time, they can put you in special classes to help you study to take the exam again.  There are tutors and you can easily find the things you need to study for these exams.  And the students are given chance after chance to re-take failed portions, but people don’t think their kids need to do that.
Why work hard for something when you can just get it for nothing?  So many parents are upset saying “My kid deserves this” and “My kid deserves that”.  Your kid deserves the chance to succeed, but if you don’t do the work, you don’t deserve the rewards!  What the hell happened?  When did we become a bunch of whiners who think you should get a reward just for participation?

So what do these kids tell an employer when they’re trying to get a job and they are asked if they’ve graduated from high school?  Do they proudly show their certificate of attendance and say they went to school once in a while?  “Yeah, I was there to see all my friends.  I may show up at work once in a while, but don’t expect much from me.”  Would you hire someone who said this?  I guess some places have.  You don’t want mom and dad suing your company for discrimination against your kid because he didn’t graduate!
The whole controversy now is that the school district will no longer allow these under achievers to attend the graduations and get their “certificate of attendance”.  I saw one woman ranting that her kid had a “3.4” grade point average, and should still be allowed to graduate even though she didn’t pass the proficiency tests.  That makes me wonder how she got such an average in the first place.  Did she cheat?  Or take classes like “How to unbutton a shirt”?  How does the girl have a high grade point average without being able to pass basic proficiency tests?  I know we want to protect our children, but come on!
I think the school district is doing the right thing.  Can you imagine after a few law suits colleges having to hand out certificates of attendance during actual college degree ceremonies?  Maybe we can have hospitals full of doctors who didn’t pass any exams, but were registered at a medical school and have an attendance certificate from there?  You can have a fire department full of fireman who may, or may not show up if your house is on fire.  They have a certificate of attendance and may, or may not feel like actually fighting fires. 
We already have shops full of cashiers who need a calculator because I’m trying to buy one watermelon that’s on sale 2 for $10 and the clerk can’t figure out how much to charge me for just one.  Must we keep dumbing down our society?  I’m glad I went back to college and am proud of the grades I will receive for this semester.  And I’m proud to have actually earned my grades.
Don’t bother trying to rant away at me about what your child deserves or doesn’t deserve.  I don’t care.  When I enlisted in the Air Force you had to be a high school graduate.  Not a high school “attendee”, but a GRADUATE!  I had to give an actual copy of my diploma to my recruiter.  I had to earn my way in.  And even if they allow kids to enlist without graduating, you’ll have to actually pass Air Force school courses to get a good military career assignment.  Also keep in mind the Air Force tests for you to get promoted past a certain rank.  No “certificate of attendance” for that! 
Ok, my rant about this is over.  I just thought I’d write a bit about what was going on here.  I’ll go back to reading the other news stories about drunk drivers, shootings, and stabbings now.  While I’m doing that, take a look at a clip from the movie Idiocracy.  This is where we’re headed.