Narrative

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

Barack Obama Playing BasketballIt never ceases to amaze me how a single event, action, or activity can be shaped to produce a narrative intended to spread a viewpoint or bias. Then again, we are humans, who have long had the capability to tap into anything and create a story. Tonight I’ve been thinking of sports. It’s fascinating how different athletic and sporting activities have been perceived and interpreted by a group of people, depending on their bias.

Take golf: When the subject of a game of golf is Barack Obama, the narrative is often of a weak, ineffectual, and distant man, seemingly unbothered by the current events, and perhaps demonstrating a dereliction of duty to his office. On the other hand, golf has long been the game of choice of the rich and powerful. We’ve seen it in a thousand movies: the golf course is where lucrative business deals are and tycoons show their power. I don’t doubt reality is much different. When you end up on a golf course a businessman, you have “made it.” But for politicians – at least in Obama’s case – the narrative is complete opposite. It’s not one that’s entirely undeserved, but it is interesting.

Then there’s bicycling: When the subject is Barack Obama, he’s a sissy street bicycler, wearing helmets and taking it slow on the sidewalks (though in most pics he seems to be with his children). Bicycling isn’t always done by the “sissies,” of course. George W. Bush is a well known athletic bicycler, often taking to the dirt on off-road bikes. Of course, the narrative here is between the city biker, who doesn’t have a competitive, aggressive bone in his body, and the athletic competitor, who goes off road to compete.

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A thought on how memories are created

Posted by Mike Merritt in Rambling on | No Comments

As I was doing some brainstorming earlier at work, I had the weirdest stray thought. You know how sometimes you start to come up with an idea and it’s not fully formed at first, but over time fully develops?  Well, I likened this process to filling a container (bowl, storage box, whatever) with a liquid.  When you first pour it, there’s not enough to fill the bottom of the container, but as the container fills up it takes up the entire bottom and beyond.

In some cases memories seem to be much like this. The memory sparks, but not enough to fill whatever space the chemical substance that makes up memories occupies.  But as you flesh out the idea or concept or plan or whatever it is you’re thinking, the memory chemical continues to fill up its space until the area is full enough to make you feel like the memory is complete.

This doesn’t always happen — only with memories that you have to work on a bit before they’re complete. It is one of the most odd feelings I know.  It’s similar in nature to what happens when you remember something that’s on the tip of your tongue, but different, if only because your mind only feels fulfilled, but not rewarded.

 

Is Reuters Going Downhill Like the AP?

Posted by Mike Merritt in Rambling on | No Comments

With all the reports going around about a month ago about the Associated Press taking a decidedly different approach in their reporting – namely one that mixes in judgement calls with facts, and thus limiting objectivity – it seemed like the world would have to look somewhere differently from a source of objective reporting.  How about Reuters?

Maybe not so much.

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Exhaustion

Posted by Mike Merritt in Rambling on | No Comments

I’d make an entry, but exhaustion precludes me from doing so.

Bed time.

 

Disneyfied

Posted by Mike Merritt in Rambling on | No Comments

Seems like everyone has been going to Disney World in the past few weeks, or is going this week. What’s with that?

That’s all for tonight, because for some reason, I’m dead exhausted again. Not sure why, since I got a decent amount of sleep last night.

 

Merry Christmas

Posted by Mike Merritt in Holidays, Rambling on | One Comment

And I mean it. Not Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas. Don’t like me saying that because you celebrate something else, or just want to be inclusive to others? Tough. Before you yell, hear me out.

I’ve covered this issue before, but I’ll quote what I said then, in case any far-left liberals got the willies off that entry because it included the name Bill O’Reilly.

I think the whole “you must be sensitive to other religions” things as crap. When I say “Merry Christmas,” I mean it in its most secular sense, since I don’t really submit to the whole religion thing. Christmas has become secularized enough that saying that greeting shouldn’t be met with disgust, and I don’t think it does for the majority of Americans. Places like Walmart changing their greeting seem to only happen when a minority complain. On the other hand, I think the idea of a “War on Christmas” is equally as stupid. Yea, some places and people may want to push for a more “sensitive” America, but come on. I’ve already stated that I don’t think most people honestly care. Let the ACLU or whoever else bring it on – newsflash for them: bugger off.

I agree with Dave over at Blogography. I’m not religious, so when I say to you, “Merry Christmas,” I mean, “Enjoy the Christmas holiday however you live it.” That can mean going to church, opening presents, having food, or being with family. Whatever the significance of Christmas is to you, that’s how I mean it. For those who don’t celebrate the holiday, it means, “Enjoy it, because you probably have the day off like the rest of us.” In retrospect, I guess that can go under the first meaning as well, because that’s how people who don’t celebrate Christmas will probably be enjoying it, as an extra vacation day.

So, enjoy the holiday, but to the “we’ve gotta be inclusive” and the “we’ve gotta take back Christmas” sides, forget about it! It’s such a non-issue, so why waste your energy?

That said, Merry Christmas!

 

The Parties

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

Speaking of parties, yesterday, my Dad and I stopped by a bar on the way home, since he had noticed my uncle was there on his way up to get me.  It only dawned on me, as I was drinking my beer, that it was my first time drinking at a bar.  In the U.S., anyway.  I’d already been to a couple in Greece.  But, I digress.

Now, as promised several days ago, I’m going to discuss how the Democrats and Republicans handle scandal.  As I see it, anyway…

*P.S., like my new post image?

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Packing Procrastination

Posted by Mike Merritt in Personal Life, Rambling on | No Comments

Ever need to pack for a trip, and you find yourself doing something else instead? Or, college students: packing for college and you get lazy?

That was me for much of yesterday and today. I’m mostly packed now, but it took two days to do what I probably could have achieved in one. I definitely want to get back to campus, but going upstairs and downstairs to round all my stuff up seems like more effort than it’s worth. Therefore, I think it would be really cool if people could use the ‘pack’ spell from Harry Potter. Just take out your trunk, pack, and everything would go into it, neatly if you got the hang of the spell.

If only, right? Well, off to pack the rest of my stuff. Or more likely, to finish the movie I was watching.

 

**** Dell

Posted by Mike Merritt in Personal Life, Rambling on | 3 Comments

I never thought I’d say this, since my experience with Dell laptops has been more or less satisfactory, but **** Dell.

So, I wanted a Firewire card for my laptop, so I could do some video stuff.  Pretty reasonable request, right?  Should be easy to find, right?  Well, it was easy to find, and my dad got one from one of his vendors.  Not thinking, since EVERY OTHER LAPTOP MAKER USES PCMICA (PC CARD), he got that kind.

So, my Firewire card came today.  I come home to put it in, and find a problem: it’s only going in halfway!  I go to Dell’s site to find out why this might be, but of course their specs for my computer suck.  So, I look up on Google “Dell B130 PC Card.”  And what do I find to my surprise?

It’s a ******* express card slot!!!!  So, my card’s not going to work with it, since the express card is different.  And you know what?  On a quick search on eBay, it seems they cost A LOT more than PC Cards (which tend to be an industry standard, and have been for years)!  And everywhere I’ve seen still seems to be using them, mostly!  Even Verizon touts their PC Card wireless internet.

I know I should have checked before buying, but neither me or my dad thought of it, since most laptops we’ve dealt with have uses PC Cards.

This…sucks.  Now we gotta get an express card Firewire card, so it’ll take even longer!!!

 

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