April 30, 2007

Sixes and Sevens

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 9:32 pm

There is so much to ponder in this life. While to many I appear to be completely settled in my opinions etc. it is an illusion. In fact I am completely unsettled in almost everything, and what I feel settled in should be quacking in its mental boots, because its day of reckoning is coming fast I am sure.

For today, I’m a big fan of religion. I see it as a no-lose scenario. If it is real, well… that pretty much covers it… if its real… its obviously a very good thing. If its hokie BS… well, it is still quite useful. I mean, if you look at the low level nihilism that is present in our inner cities, etc. (low level compared to what it would be like if there was mass acceptance that there is nothing after you die… just… nothing). People just cannot handle that kind of “truth”. I would not want to be around to see how that shook out. Look at how people handle mass power outages for example… within hours (if not minutes) there is mass looting etc. Imagine now… that everyone knew there was simply nothing left after this life… imagine what they (they being many… not all… maybe not even most) would do. Then imagine the other “good” people, and what they would do, in response… in order to survive. Simply put, they would become “bad” people, quite quickly. It is a very slippery slope, if, in fact, it is not a cliff. So, for today, I’m a big fan of religion. (Note – this is not commentary on my personal beliefs, they have not changed, just commentary on the general importance of religion in society).

There is much that I am unsettled about right now (hence the subject of this post), religion is just an example that is kind of low hanging fruit and allows me to maintain a level of personal detachment.

Blah blah blah… back to work with me, there are simple and direct answers there!


Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 9:21 pm

It is quite strange to me how streaky I am when it comes to sports these days.  I enjoyed a run of about 2 weeks where I shot about 60-65% consistantly, handled the ball well, even rebounded.  Then last week, I could not make a shot to save my life, or the lives of my kids (not to mention the ones starving in africa).  Today, my passing is back… maybe better than it has been in a long time… but still not much of a shot (although I warmed up strong… so probably just did not put enough shots up in the games).  Just strange… I guess we’ll see tomorrow when I give it another try.  I have a little friendly rivalry going with a guy at the gym… so I need to get the shot to start falling.. perhaps a heavy dose of free throws would help…

April 25, 2007

Overwhelmed… PS

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 9:43 pm

The first person who suggests “fewer movies” will be perma-banned!!!


Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 9:42 pm

I’m trying to figure out a good way to manage my life.  I’m doing okay, but just keeping my head above water is not an acceptable standard.  I’ve gotten to the point of looking into project management software for my life (GANT charts etc.)… madness!!!  However something must be done!

I think this would all be easier if I could ever feel rested, but that seems to be a part of my bygone youth.  Oh well.

I also feel the need, quite strongly, to travel soon.  Not sure how I will swing that, but trying to work something out.  I want to take the boys out into the works before they get to “Americanized”.  While their minds are still relatively open.  Shahien is in pretty good shape, as he goes abroad once a year, but its not the same as what I have in mind for them.  Obviously, there is some Daniele convincing to do there as well… *sigh*.

Once more into the breech… dear friends… once more into the breech!

Amazing Grace – Movie Review

Filed under: Movie Reviews — sbj @ 9:06 pm

Go see this movie… bring your children, and anyone else you know that is marginally impressionable or open minded.  This is a great story of a great accomplishment by a decent fellow.  It is more than worth the money spent on tickets.  I took my 12 year old son, for the many lessons he could learn from the film (turned out he enjoyed it to boot).

The movie was entertaining as well as historically significant (what a thought!!!!).  The movie was set to release in the 200th year after the English abolished their slave trade, so it is timely as well.

Well acted and fantastically set, this movie wins in all areas, not just message.  Go, enjoy, and learn!

6 of 6 on the 1-6 o’meter

April 24, 2007

Article about my nephews experience at St Lukes…

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 7:51 pm

Fisher Ocamica

PICU/Pediatric Unit


Darrell Ocamica will never forget the ambulance ride with his son, one year-old Fisher, who lay limp on the gurney, his head and eyes frozen to the left side. Antibiotics flowed through an IV into his tiny veins. Tests at St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center had revealed bacteria in Fisher’s system, and he was being transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise.


Darrell and his wife, Marni, had driven to the Meridian Medical Center emergency department from their home in Payette the day before, when Fisher’s flu-like symptoms grew worse. He had a fever and didn’t want to eat.


The hardest part was that he didn’t smile, Marni says. Here was this boy who always smiled, no matter what. To see him this way was really hard.


Once in the PICU, Fisher was diagnosed with streptococcus meningitis, the most common form of bacterial meningitis in infants and young children. Bacterial meningitis can come on very quickly, and if left untreated, can be fatal.


Fisher seemed to be improving, but after two days he had a seizure, the first of six. An MRI showed lesions on his brain. Darrell and Marni were devastated, and frightened.


Dr. Christensen was realistic with us, but he kept it positive, says Darrell, referring to Dr. David Christensen, pediatrician and critical care subspecialist, and also director of the PICU. He gave us hope when we had no hope left. He made us feel like it was going to be all right.


Fisher was a very lucky kid, says Marni. Anti-seizure drugs began to work, and he improved. Gradually the tubes and wires were removed, and Fisher started talking, eating, and laughing. After two weeks in the hospital, he was ready to go home.


We are really blessed, says Marni. We have a big support system of family and friends, but the people at St. Luke’s are like another family to us now. They took the time to explain everything to us, and they always talked to Fisher, even when we didn’t know if he could hear them.


St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital is home to the only PICU in Idaho, with the most advanced technology available, and a multidisciplinary team of highly skilled, specially trained health care professionals. The physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, social workers, child life specialists, and others are dedicated to providing the highest quality care to critically ill children, like Fisher.


There is nothing better than helping a sick or injured kid and bringing him back to health, and back home to his mom and dad, says Dr. Christensen.


The PICU cares for kids from newborns to age 17. We see a lot of kids with respiratory problems, such as asthma, kids who are recovering from complex surgeries or are dependent on medical technology, such as ventilators, and kids who are experiencing organ failure, says Dr. Christensen. We also support the oncology department and provide sedation services for kids.


Every day in the PICU is different, and very challenging, he says. Children get better or worse very quickly – they don’t linger or slowly improve.


Once Fisher was feeling better, he was moved to a room in the Pediatric Unit. There, young patients and their families are given special attention in a bright, colorful kid-friendly environment designed to help calm and comfort children. Staffed by specially trained pediatric nurses, all rooms on the unit are private, and parents are encouraged to stay 24 hours a day.

The Pediatric Unit is the largest in the state, and like the PICU and the rest of the Children’s Hospital, is devoted to caring for Fisher and thousands of other children each year. As Dr. Christensen says, We all just really like kids.

Interesting email I received…

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 5:57 pm

Not sure there is much I can add to this…


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, as his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing when to come in out of the rain.
Why the early bird gets the worm.
Life isn’t always fair.
And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies.
Don’t spend more than you can earn.

And reliable strategies.
Adults, not children, are in charge.

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a 6 year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate.
Teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch.
And a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student.
These only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get
parental consent to administer sun lotion or a band-aid to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband.
Churches became businesses.
And criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death:
By his parents, Truth and Trust;
His wife, Discretion;
His daughter, Responsibility;
And his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 3 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights,
Someone Else is To Blame,
And I’m A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

In the land of Women – Movie Review

Filed under: Movie Reviews — sbj @ 2:01 am

So, it appears that I am no longer cool (see post of a few days ago re: plants), but I’ve made up for this somewhat by virtue of the fact that I’m now a girl.  I REALLY liked this movie.  Willingly suspending my disbelief that so many folks are going to open up so rapidly to a complete stranger, this story is delightful, and the acting is far better than average.  Probably not Meg Ryans strongest work, but I’m not sure I like her at her strongest, so thats kind of a good thing.  The movie manages to take a glimpse into the lives of three generations of women (admittedly, it could have taken a closer look into the grandmothers character) and do a decent job of telling multiple stories at once.  I could have done without the “secrets” (to many and over done a touch) and the whole story line with the father was unneeded, IMO, but I loved it none-the-less.  The scene with the little girl and mom getting ice cream was terrific!

Go see it… 5 of 6 on the 1 to 6 o-meter

Fracture – Movie Review

Filed under: Movie Reviews — sbj @ 1:51 am

Ugh… what could have ben a decent movie wound up being a two hour “are you really that dense” fest.  The problem with basing your entire “mystery” on one plot “twist”, and then spoon feeding the audience the answer to the twist like they are second graders in need of help is this… anyone not in first grade or below is going to be annoyed within 15 minutes because of the idiocy of the supposedly wonder brains on the case.  If I sound bitter, it may be because I am.  There were two major surprises in this movie, and to say they were fore-shadowed is like saying a full eclipse takes a touch of the glare off.  Is it too much to ask for just a touch of respect.  sure, make some of it low hanging fruit for people who do not like to spend their movies “figuring it out”… but leave a little challange for the rest of us… please.

The acting was actually pretty good (except for the part where they acted like idiots), despite the shallow plot and poor script writing.  Save this one for a night when you have plenty of distractions, you seriously only need to watch the first 15 minutes or so and the last 15 or so.  The rest is a waste of time, unless you enjoy Anthony Hopkins being smug about outsmaring an over confident nit-wit… okay… its not a complete waste of time!!! ;)

3 on the 1 to 6 o’meter

April 20, 2007

I used to be cool…

Filed under: Just life — sbj @ 5:14 pm

I know I was… people told me so.  People wanted to have my life… they told me that as well.  So, after putting my boys to bed last night at 8:00pm what did I do with my evening?  Well, I tended to my plants for about 45 minutes (what is more hip than that)  and then went grocery shopping (I personify cool!!!).  Oh how the mighty have fallen…

April 19, 2007


Filed under: Conversations — sbj @ 9:16 pm

I’m probably going to make some enemies with this, but, honestly, I do not care. I received this earlier today and felt the need to reply with some of my thoughts to each of the “points” contained within. I have put my initials by all of my responses as I’m not about passing my opinions around in secret. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have on my views, I have plenty to say on all of them!



This actually was never said by Andy Rooney, but I still do think whoever said it makes some very good points….

I don’t think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers.

If only the basic logic of this statement would make its way through to everyone, minorities in the United States would not be victims because of the majority either. Unfortunately, too many people use this statement as a crutch against modifying their inappropriate behavior, rather than as the guideline it should be. -sbj

The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America.
Try to have things like the United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America; and see what happens… Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door.

This would actually be a good point, except for the victim issue raised above and the Boy/Girl Scouts issue used as an argument below… you can’t have it both ways… either exclusive clubs are okay, or they are not. -sbj

Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game.

The real question here is the abuse of guns and how to police it. I personally think restricting peoples rights to have guns is just a lazy mans solution, however I do not know of a good way to do this… I’m open to suggestion. -sbj

I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason; that is why there are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts!

I could not agree more on this one. I absolutely think any group of people should be able to get together with like minded people and form a private club. However, our government, public schools, or any other public entitys are not, nor should they ever be, nor should they act like private clubs. -sbj

I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.

It might or might not be a phobia, it is certainly an opinion. However, the latter does not preclude the former, that is a case by case thing that is certainly true of some. -sbj

I have the right “NOT” to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick you off.

Absolutely true, so long as you do not infringe on their rights in doing so. Not being tolerant is fine, grabbing a bat (and a car???) and abusing them, however, is not a right. It’s that not so fine line that causes the problems. -sbj

When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling; it is the Law of Probability.

Cute, but unless you live in Detroit (81%) this is simply not true, there are no major cities with that high a percentage (Baltimore is a distant second at 64%). The overall US population is 12% black, however the overall black prison population is disproportionate. Here are the facts, directly from the US Department of Justice “At yearend 2005 there were 3,145 black male sentenced prison inmates per 100,000 black males in the United States, compared to 1,244 Hispanic male inmates per 100,000 Hispanic males and 471 white male inmates per 100,000 white males.” -sbj

I believe that if you are selling me a milkshake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!

I think this is the first time I have actually seen a stupid argument for the national language thing. Hello????, we live in the United States, bill of rights mean anything to you, how about free enterprise. Just the stuff this country was founded upon, thats all. If you have the best damn milkshake, sell it speaking whatever language you want… as long as I’m allowed to buy it, I’m cool. Now, if you want to buy something from me, and we are in the United States… don’t try to make me speak your language, cause I’ll just sell it so someone else… same rules apply. -sbj

My father and grandfather didn’t die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours.

Can’t stop laughing at this one, what did they “die in vain” for then??? If you are so fond of the english language learn how to use it!!!

I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry butt if you threaten & fail halt after they tell you to stop. If you can’t understand the word “freeze” or “stop” in English, see the above lines.

I don’t even know where to start on this one… but I’m sure any combination of my previous comments should address it. -sbj

I don’t think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.

Could not agree more. -sbj

We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their interpretations.

I have to admit, I missed this in the news… at least as stated, so I have no comment on this one either way. -sbj

I don’t hate the rich; I don’t pity the poor.

Yep, I’m with you on this one as well

I know pro wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television.
That doesn’t stop you from watching them.

I do not enjoy wrestling, boxing, NASCAR and many other things, however I fully support anyone who does. Do your thing, have a ball doing it, and leave me to enjoy my things as well.

I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that’s better, and put your name on the building

Hell yeah… this guy is on a roll now. -sbj

It doesn’t take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does take a parent to stand up to the kid; and smack their little behinds when necessary, and say “NO!”

No a villiage is not required, however, it is valuable and will enhance the raising of the child… so why not sue what is there and do the best possible job for your child!??!??!?!? -sbj

I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don’t pretend they are a political statement. And, please, stay home until that new lip ring heals. I don’t want to look at your ugly infected mouth as you serve me French fries!

I’m with you right up until the first comma… after that its just a bunch of personal opinions which are great for you… but as discussed before, not within your rights to force on others. if you don’t like the way someone looks, move on. -sbj

I am sick of “Political Correctness.” I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa ; so how can they be “African-Americans”? Besides, Africa is a continent. I don’t go around saying I am a European-American because my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather was from Europe . I am proud to be from America and nowhere else.

Good for you, and when it becomes law for me to pray to your god and wear your clothes and eat yoru choice of foods, I guess it will also become important for me to identify myself as you do. Until then, check out the bill of rights… again. -sbj

I was asked to send this on if I agree or delete if I don’t. It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a problem in having “In God We Trust” on our money and having “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why don’t we just tell the 14% to Shut Up, lay down and BE QUIET!!!
I’m cool with the God stuff, and don’t understand the fuss, myself. -sbj

If you agree, pass this on, if not delete…

April 18, 2007

Shooter – movie review

Filed under: Movie Reviews — sbj @ 11:06 pm

Shooter, starring Markey Mark, was my diversion on Monday night when I needed to get away from work and relax. I could not have chosen a better vessel for shutting down all brain activity.

This does not mean it was the worst movie ever, much like Rambo and Terminator, it is a “good” guy flick. However, Brave Heart (actually a good movie on most levels), or even Die Hard (not the best, but Bruce made the character interesting), it was not.

Containing lots of “good” wanton violence, without the John Woo choreography and creative musical accompaniment, this movie does require a healthy does of willing suspension of disbelief (how exactly do you kill dozens of US soldiers, I assume they were US military, and walk away Scott free is beyond me)… but, it’s a guy movie… so what’s new.

At any rate, a decent distraction if you want to see a few cool explosions, a green as a granny smith apple FBI agent become a quality sniper in 5 easy lessons, and lots of Marky Mark being, well, Marky Mark (which is really not such a bad thing).

I intended to go into more of a critical review of this, but there is not much to be critical of, positively or negatively… so I’ll hold off until next time on that. Shooter gets a flat 4 on my scale of 1 to 6.

Outstandingly cool link…

Filed under: Cool stuff — sbj @ 5:44 pm


Major post… no… worthy of note… hell yeah!!!

This is the difference between musical talent and the drivel that is on most of the radio stations today.

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