The Journey of a Jedi Master

Posted by Mike Merritt in Creative on | 3 Comments

Though I knew the peril that lie in the journey ahead, I was determined to see it through. I took my ship and glided throughout the vast reaches of space. But, alas! I was thwarted by engine trouble. There I was, stuck in the orbit of a planet that looked all I had learned of the Dark Side. Slowly, my ship fell into the atmosphere, and so I knew I only had one chance. I used the skills learned from pilot school to create a controlled crash. After I landed (with a lot of crunching sounds coming from the ship), I got out and looked around. The ship was cabin deep in a bog, and I feared that it would not fly again.

Crashed X-Wing

Exploring this vast planet further, I remembered a story from my youth. They said that a little man with great knowledge and fighting skill inhabited this place. I could not see why anybody would come here, as it reeked of the Dark Side. I explored further, and just as I was about to give up hope, I was startled by a, “I am wondering, why are you here?”

Yoda

I feel that my time with this sage was well spent. He taught me some new tricks I had not known before, and helped my polish some of those that I did. He was a very nice guy, and even helped me get my ship out of the disgusting muck. I was happy to leave the planet.

I finally got to my destination, and exhausted from all that had happened to me so far, decided to go to the local Cantina for a drink, and a good square meal (the hermit’s food wasn’t that good).

Me with Cantina menu.

Finally, I felt up to continuing my journey. However, I had not crossed half the city, when my journey came to meet me. “So, we meet at last, Merritt!” The Dark Side had come at last, and the reason for my journey was revealed. The time for the battle that would decide who was supreme, the Light Side or the Dark Side, had arrived.

Light Saber Duel

Who won? What do you think? Seriously, though, tell me what you think in the comments.

Photos © 2007 Katie Baker

 

The Chris Benoit Mystery

Posted by Mike Merritt in Rambling, Television on | 7 Comments

Update (Fri, 6/29): The anonymous contributor who wrote the bit about Nancy Benoit’s death seems to have spoken at last. He claims it was all a coincidence, so apparently I was wrong. But, was I? I still think that this contributor, whoever he or she is, is going to get a visit by Stamford police, once they’ve tracked the person down. At the very least, I feel they’ll get a statement from the person. If it goes further than that, we’ll find out.

I know I said I’d speak more about the Veep today, but that’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

Now, I’m not a professional wrestling watching guy. I’ve only seen it a few times, and really haven’t liked what I’ve seen. Steroid slurping guys beating each over the head, all for a pre-determined outcome just doesn’t do it for me. However, I can’t get past that many of them seem to have died because of what they do.

The latest death of a wrestler is that of Chris Benoit. This thing is a mystery like I’ve never seen. On the surface, it seems simple. Guy takes steroids, alcohol, and maybe drugs. Gets angry, or mentally diseased, kills wife and son, and then hangs himself. Simple, right? Case in the bag, right? Maybe not so much.

It’s now been revealed in the media (and anyone with a working knowledge of Wikipedia can look this up themselves), someone altered his Wikipedia article at 12:01am on Monday, 14 hours before the bodies were found. This is either the biggest the world has ever seen, or somebody else knows what’s going on. Now, I’m not going to second guess the police, but if someone did have knowledge of these deaths, the Stamford (, CT, where the posting took place from) police need to find out who it is. Even if it was just a coincidence, somebody in Stamford just found themselves in between a rock and a tight place. And no, it cannot have been Benoit who did it, as he hails from, and was found dead in, Georgia.

What with his doctor’s (who prescribed him testosterone) office being raided, and the new wife of Benoit’s wife’s ex-husband found dead 10 days before the Benoit family (though this is one that is more acceptable as a coincidence), the mystery just gets deeper. I think that we may find out someone knew something was wrong with the Benoit family. How much they knew, I can’t tell.

In all of this, I feel most sorry for the son, who has a severe medical condition, and which reportedly had his parents fighting over how to treat him. The son hardly deserved for his life to be cut short. It is a shame. Obviously, unless we find out something else, I don’t really feel sorry for Benoit.

 

Bad Cheney

Posted by Mike Merritt in Politics on | 2 Comments

For a while now, I’ve maintained that Vice President Dick Cheney is the person in the Bush administration who is hurting it the most. For example, the most relevant I can think of is the Saddam/bin Laden connection that has been proved as non-existent, yet the VP continues to maintain it exists. Now there’s this whole debacle about his claiming he’s not part of the executive branch, so that he can get out of following an executive order. He seems to have backed off an on this now, but I think Cheney’s secretive nature is what hurts this administration the most. A series of articles at the Washington Post show why this may be so.

The fact is, not many people, other than those close to him and the President, actually know Cheney, or how much influence he may have had on the course of the nation over the last seven years.  However, if those articles are any indication, it’s quite a bit, and it’s a little unnerving, since George Bush is the President.

I’ll continue tomorrow on my own feeling on Cheney, and what roles I think he might have taken in shaping policy, and how much influence I think he really has.

 

America’s Worst Hospital?

Posted by Mike Merritt in Rambling, Society on | No Comments

I’ve heard this story before, but now that I see what seems to be all the details, I now think more than ever that this place is a disgusting example of bad horrible health care.

The subject of tonight’s entry is the Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital of Los Angeles, California. The incident in particular I speak of concerns Edith Isabel Rodriguez, who died in the hospital last month while pleading with the hospital staff for help with pain in her stomach. She had apparently been previously seen by doctors, who diagnosed her with gallstones, gave her a prescription, and sent her on her merry way. However, this time was different, and to save the easily woozy their lunch, I’ll continue on the flip side.

Continue reading »

 

Books Galore

Posted by Mike Merritt in Personal Life on | No Comments

Had an interview at Barnes and Noble today for a job interview.  The women said she’d led me know on Monday if I got it, so keep your fingers crossed.  This’ll be the third interview I’ve been on for a job this Summer, the first two for Circuit City.  I know that B&N needs some help, especially with Harry Potter coming out on July 21st.  So, with that known, I’m hoping I’ll be employed there this Summer.  There’s one place left that I need to call back, since they say they’re hiring, but have yet to call me for an interview.  Of course, it could be like CVS, where the manager said he hadn’t gotten to looking at them yet.

So, we’ll see what happens.

 

A Day of Celebs

Posted by Mike Merritt in Personal Life on | No Comments

Yesterday, for my WFSB internship, I went to the Traveller’s Championship (formerly the GHO) in Cromwell.  Yesterday happened to be Pro Am day, so many celebrities were there, including Dennis Haysbert (24, The Unit, All-State), Joe Pesci (so damn many I can’t count), Stewart Scott (ESPN), Geoge Lopez (George Lopez Show) and many athletic celebrities, including Geno Auriemma and Kara Walters (UConn).  Jim Caulhoun and Michael Bolton were supposed to show up, but didn’t for whatever reason.

I didn’t have much to do for actual duties, but it was fun to walk around and see people play some golf all day.  Some people (like Lopez) were very good, while others, not so good.  However, I think it was all for charity, so raising the money is somewhat more important than how good people were.

Overall, the internship has been going well, though a little more monotonous than I had intended.  I’ll change that soon, though, since I’m going to get out with the photogs and reporters more often, and will make a point of emphasizing my wish to do so.  Things will be getting a little crazy soon, especially after next week, because of their move to Rocky Hill.  I think any major packing will be done in the week to couple days prior to the move, so that gives me plenty of time for field experience.  Then there will be some time to adjust to Rocky Hill, and after that I can continue going out.   So, I look forward to all of that.

Oh, and by the way, 1 month until 21.  Yea!

 

Immigration Redux

Posted by Mike Merritt in Politics on | One Comment

I said I’d get to it later…and it’s later!  Yea, that’s it!

I know some people are not going to like what I say about this…from both sides.  The fact is – although some would have you believe otherwise – immigration is good.  It brings new ideas and cultural customs to this country, and provides those people who come here with new opportunities, and a new life.  This nation was built on immigration, but it was largely legal immigration that built it, not illegal immigration.

I’m not saying that these people shouldn’t come here, but they need to fill out the proper forms, just like everyone else.  Once they’ve got their green card or whatever, they can come over, and start their path toward citizenship.  No, not automatic citizenship, but a long, tenuous journey toward the goal of becoming a true American.  Learning the language of the land, and its history, laws, and values, and then showing that they know these things.  How it’s always been done.

The problem with the illegal immigration is not that they shouldn’t come here, or that they’ll topple the WASP elite in power (cough, cough, O’Reilly).  The problem is that all these other immigrants are filling out the forms and doing everything on the proper channels to make sure they’re here and paying taxes, following the rules, etc.  Now it’s mainly about getting money to send back home, and to make a better financial situation.  Those are not bad goals, but they shouldn’t be the only things immigrants come here for.  They should aim to someday be a citizen.

So, what do we do?  Well, to enforce the border.  Right now, it’s too porous.  Aside from illegal immigration, we have a lot of drug smugglers coming through.  So, we need to enforce the border, and do what it takes, whether it be building walls, or putting National Guard troops there (ooops, they’re all in Iraq), or both.  We need to make sure people understand our laws, and that if you come here without filling out all the paperwork, you’re going to get sent back.  What I don’t agree with is the jailing of illegals (unless they’re committing other crimes).  Our jail system is already beyond capacity.  They need to be sent back to their countries, and barred from coming here.  Now, I don’t know how long we should bar them from entering this country.  The ultra conservatives would say forever, and they ultra liberals would say never, but somewhere in between.  Maybe 5 years (it’s kinda arbitrary).

So, border enforcement is done.  Next, we should encourage immigration, but legally.  Make it clear that if all the paperwork isn’t done, they can’t come.  Next, we should make sure they have no criminal backgrounds.  This could be more difficult, since working with other governments on this issue might not always work.  But, I certainly don’t want a murderer here.  We’ve got enough of our own, lets not get more.

I’m not sure if I like the idea of a guest worker program, since I think there are already methods of dealing with this.  I’m also in support of allowing people who’re here legally preference over those who are not.  Speaking of businesses, they need to know that allowing illegals to work there will not be allowed, and that they should be fined if they are found to be hiring them.  Also, any immigrant that works for a U.S. business should be required to register with the IRS, and should be charged if they don’t pay taxes (if applicable to their bracket).  After all, if you want to become a citizen, you need to be paying into the system, just like us.

In conclusion, I have some ideas that’d fit in well with the Bush/Democrat idea for immigration, and ideas that would fit in with conservatives, or so I think.  I don’t like Bush’s bill as it stands, but I also don’t want closed borders as some conservatives might like to see.  Unfortunately, Bush doesn’t seem to understand that his ideas are not going to work, and that like his other big initiatives,  it’s not going to work, if the Republicans have anything to say about it, anyway.

 

Another Bill Bites the Dust

Posted by Mike Merritt in Politics on | No Comments

I know I do it to myself, watching all the coverage and punditry (is that a word?) over this immigration debate, but it’s starting to get annoying…but interesting at the same time.  Why?  Because it’s all anybody can talk about.  Everybody has to get in their opinion on it – some think it’s amnesty (like O’Reilly, Hannity, and Dobbs – who I’d like to meet, by the way), and others think it is the future of immigration reform (like Bush and McCain), and then there are others who think it just sucks completely (most of the Congressional Democratic leaders, though I’m sure there are more of them).  It’s so funny, since everyone I mentioned in the first two groups are conservatives, and yet the views between those sets of people are so far apart.

What can we do about this?  Well…it’s late, and the bed calls, but I’ll have another entry later on it, where I’ll share my views on the issue, and offer my own ideas and solutions to the problem.

I know, I’m a hypocrite for bashing the amount of coverage on this issue, and then say I’ll chime in on it myself.   Oh well.

 

Layout

Posted by Mike Merritt in Dymersion on | No Comments

For the LJ and Facebook readers, go to the main blog to see what I’m talking about.

I’ve been thinking of re-doing the layout for several months, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  Anyway, I’d like some suggestions on what to do.  I’d like to keep it relatively simple (because that’s just my thing), but is there anything that you think could be better?  I’m going to work on getting the sidebar back up today, since I know it still looks like crap after the upgrade, so you might want to return when it’s back to the proper layout.

Let me know your ideas here, on Facebook, or LJ.

 

An Unbalanced Debate

Posted by Mike Merritt in Politics, Television on | No Comments

I never seem to get these up when I’d like. Anyway…

After seeing the GOP debate on CNN, I’m not sure I want to see the Democrat one. I heard it was a big shouting match, anymore. More than that, however, this debate was unfairly unbalanced, to say the least. The numbers are in, and show that the front runners – Giuliani, McCain, and Romney – got a significant amount more time to speak than the other candidates, suggesting that CNN was focused on them, which is a little unfair.  I’ve also read they did this for the Democrat debate, too.  This annoys me a little bit, since they should give everyone equal time to speak.  Though, to their credit, the candidates sometimes spoke after their time was up.  However, it seemed that Wolf Blitzer had some trouble controlling them, which could foreshadow what might happen in future debates.   I’m also not happy that Blitzer promised Mike Huckabee that he would get back to immigration and let Huckabee speak more on it, and then really never did.

Their positions on the issues don’t really surprise me, though it’s interesting to note how many on them are anti-evolution.  Obviously, the current idiot-in-chief is probably not a bit supporter himself, though I don’t think he makes it well known, nor do I seem to remember him ever doing so (though I didn’t follow these things are much back then).  I’m glad they stick to their convictions, but might want to choose not to bring it up in the general election, so that they can get as wide a base  of support as possible.  I think the issue the candidates disagreed on most, at least, how to handle it, was immigration.  On one hand, you have McCain and those like him, who are in support of the recently killed immigration bill.  On the other hand, you have some of the other candidates who’d probably like to see the borders closed.  I think immigration, more than anything else (except the war) will be the defining issue for the Republican primary.

I’m not sure that I’d vote for any Republican candidate for President after the crap we’ve been put through with the current, but I’m not really interested in any of the currents, at least at the moment.  Although, Ron Paul is an interesting character.  I shall be interested to see if he upgrades to the status of “front runner.”  I thought he performed well at the debate.

 

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