Category Archives: Politics & News

Looking back on 2016, and looking forward to 2017

I keep hearing about how awful 2016 was and how 2017 should hopefully be better. There were a lot of celebrity deaths in 2016, and I was devastated by the presidential election. More personally, I was laid off from Toshiba in a huge reduction-in-force, and my roommate had to put our two dogs to sleep. Yeah, there were negatives. And yet I’ll be lucky if 2017 lives up to 2016.

I traveled to Europe and saw eight countries with three of my closest friends, gem, Antonio, and Anela, and visited two great friends, Jessica and Andrew, who had recently moved to Paris. I saw Denmark, the UK (including England and Northern Ireland), the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, and Sweden. It was amazing, and I swear I’ll get to sorting photos and blogging eventually.

I saw Disneyland Paris and our hometown Disneyland’s Season of the Force. I attended Devin and Lorena’s 30th wedding anniversary party that included a face-painted bar crawl and a 1920s speakeasy party. I saw Kristine’s first exhibit that she curated in LA – Firsts, Seconds and Thirds: African American Leaders in Los Angeles During the 1960s & 70s.

I watched Anela dance a few times, including Shimmy Shakedown featuring her and Melissa. I saw the Wet Silk art exhibit, met Jon Klassen at the LA Times Festival of Books, and watched an LA KISS Arena football game.

The Holi Festival was a colorful blast of fun. Here I am with gem, Tory, Sean, and Nicole. I also went to the Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom Festival!

I went to a number of photoshoots with Anela, including this Fourth of July shoot that I really enjoyed, a fairy photoshoot, cherry blossoms, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall and train tracks in LA where I also got to shoot gem!

I took a bunch of friends to the Alpaca Hacienda for Anela’s birthday, and we got to see feed and pet alpacas and a llama!

I watched Sherlock Holmes and the Time Portal as well as Sweeney Todd, and gem surprised me with tickets to see Patton Oswalt. I’d been wanting to see his stand-up for a long time, and he didn’t disappoint. I had the three most amazing meals of my life – two at Frame in Paris and one for Edward’s birthday at Alexander’s Steakhouse in Pasadena.

I participated in a high-altitude sleep and cognitive ability sleep study at Barcroft Station, White Mountain Research Center where I witnessed some of the most beautiful views of nature I’ve ever seen. I saw the B-52s and Flight of the Conchords live as well as a number of local ska bands that I see regularly. I went to Allison’s awesome gaybut party and finally made it to one of Bryan’s parties where I participated in some of the most stimulating conversation I’ve had in a while.

I cosplayed Luke while gem cosplayed Professor Layton at San Diego Comic-Con. I also cosplayed Fix-It Felix Jr., and a Pokemon Go trainer. I got to dress as a zombie later in the year as well! I attended the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th anniversary party and saw some improv such as Spectacles, ImprovCity, and more.

Two great friends, Gracie and Jon, got married, and I got to watch.

I worked for three months doing server and other hardware installation for California DMVs. While I was traveling across the state, I got to visit my friends Matt, Katie, and Marc. I also had the chance to have lunch with Chuck Sommerville, a game designer whom I’ve admired for a very long time. He’s incredibly fascinating and has done many interesting things, and he was every bit as nice as I could have hoped.

And I even got to meet Alex and Darnell’s beautiful new daughter, Meredith.

Now I’m sure I’m missing many awesome things about 2016, but that just proves my point. If 2017 is half as good to me as 2016 was, I’ll be very grateful. Happy New Year.

Firsts, Seconds and Thirds: African American Leaders in Los Angeles During the 1960s & 1970s

IMG_5563Last week was the opening reception of Firsts, Seconds and Thirds: African American Leaders in Los Angeles During the 1960s & 1970s. kristine
My friend Kristine has been working at the Los Angeles Public Library Central Branch Photo Collection Department as an archivist for the Rolland J. Curtis Photo Archive. Curtis was the Field Deputy to Billy G. Mills and Tom Bradley, who were two of the first three African-American councilman on the LA city council in the ’60s. Kristine sorted through thousands of photographs and was the curator. How cool is that? You can read more about her project on her blog, Film Is Memory. IMG_5555

Look, her name’s on the poster!

IMG_5584

gem and Kristine!

kristine

I had to show her fiancé, Justin, some love too. IMG_5588Here’s gem and Justin as well. IMG_5559gem wanted to get a photo at the podium. She’s a thinker, that one.

kristine

I didn’t realize the mic was hot, and when I chuckled, it amplified it. I don’t think anyone noticed luckily.

kristine

gem also took this of me through some furniture. IMG_5604

After the opening reception, during which I managed to stuff my face full of cookies and miniature cinnamon buns, we had some dinner at Chego, a Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant in LA. I got a tasty kimchi spam bowl. Rather than show you that, I’m going to show a low-quality photo of the “Ooey Gooey Fries” – very unhealthy, I’m sure.

kristine

After dinner, we took some photos with Pooh and got some ice cream. Funny how my lips were inches away from Justin’s face in the photo I posted above, but when taking a photo with this disgusting public Pooh Bear, I accidentally touched my lips to him. Ugh. Pooh looks a bit bashful, don’t you think?

Arnold Schwarzenegger AMA

Schwarzenegger did a fantastic AMA over at Reddit today!

Here are some of my favorites.

“What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received in your life?”

– Pyrao

“My dad always said be useful”

– GovSchwarzenegger

Politicians are wildly unpopular these days – if you had to pick one current American politician who best embodies what is good about politics, who would you pick, and why? I’ve always appreciated your perspective on American politics and admired your optimistic spirit, so I’d love to hear your answer to this.

Thanks!

– rycla

Great question. And this has to be my last one.

Even though Congress has an approval rating of 9% (and loses to cockroaches and colonoscopies in polling), there are still some leaders who are doing the people’s work instead of the partys’ work. That’s political courage to me, being willing to risk your job to choose what’s good for the public instead of getting stuck in your ideology.

One of my favorites is Mayor Chuck Reed from San Jose. He’s a Democratic who took on pension reform, he has always put the people first. You should look him up.

– GovSchwarzenegger

What are your thoughts on the current state of the Republican party?

– y0nkers

The most important thing is that we need to be a party that is inclusive and tolerant. We can be those things and be the party we always have been. We need to think about the environment – Teddy Roosevelt was a great environmentalist and people forget Reagan was the one who dealt with the ozone layer with the Montreal protocol. We also need to talk about healthcare honestly – Nixon almost passed universal healthcare. We need to have an talk about immigration and realize you can’t just deport people. We need a comprehensive answer. We also need to stay out of people’s bedrooms. The party that is for small government shouldn’t be over-reaching into people’s private lives.

Mainly, we need to be a party where people know what we are for, not just what we are against.

– GovSchwarzenegger

Phoenix Jones, Superhero

Spider-Man Isn’t Alone as a Hero Willing to Risk Life and Limb – WSJ.com

SEATTLE – Life isn’t easy for the self-proclaimed superhero who calls himself “Phoenix Jones, Guardian of Seattle.” A 22-year-old day-care worker by day, he dons a black-and-gold costume by night to harass drug dealers and break up street fights.

Oh man. Fuck. Yes. Alex found this in the WSJ this morning. This is pretty much the most awesome news ever. Phoenix Jones, you are my hero.

Missing Girl Found 18 Years Later

The OC Register had an interesting but very eerie and disturbing story about a girl found alive after being kidnapped 18 years ago. Her kidnapper and his wife kept her in their backyard living in a tent. She had the ability to call for help or attempt to run away but didn’t. According to the article, she was screaming and fighting when kidnapped as a young girl, so obviously that drive to get away faded. Somehow she became emotionally attached the kidnapper, which isn’t unheard of by any means. What’s stranger is that she had two daughters with the kidnapper. These girls lived in the backyard in the tents with their mother, leading a private life without contact to the world. From the descriptions in the story they acted almost like robots and seemed to cling to their father emotionally. I wouldn’t blame anyone reading this for not clicking the link if this type of story isn’t of interest, but I think it’s odd enough to post.
Source: Cohen, Sharon and Brooke Donald. “Gone 18 years, girl found but questions remain.” The OC Register. 8/30/09.

Elections

Note: I’m dating this one week ahead of when I actually wrote it so that it’ll stay at the top of WebPageless for a week. I’ll restore the date to it’s correct value next week.
Obama won the presidency obviously. I wish I had more to say on it, but I really don’t. I wanted him to win, and I’m glad he did. But I have other things on my mind.
For instance, how the fuck did California proposition 8 pass? What the hell is wrong with people? People learn as they grow up that discrimination is wrong, but obviously people don’t really feel like that. They might decide that gender discrimination is wrong or that racial discrimination is wrong, but then we “protect families” by now allowing gays to marry? How does that protect the families they’re trying to create? I’m completely sickened by anyone who voted yes on proposition 8.
You shouldn’t steal because it’s wrong to steal. People shouldn’t avoid stealing because they’re scared of getting in legal or social trouble. Clearly that’s what’s going on with discrimination. At least in the books we have equal racial and gender rights in this country. People believe this is right because that’s what’s currently in the books. People claim they’re against discrimination because they have it ingrained in their heads that racial and gender discrimination is wrong. However, they don’t truly understand the topic. They think they do, but they don’t. If they did, how could they say that discrimination is wrong and then pass this fucking law?
Also, why is teaching gay marriage in school even an issue? First, I don’t believe they teach marriage in school at all. How come we learn about the rights movements we’ve had in this country? Why aren’t we content that we have equal gender and racial rights? I think it’s because it’s important that history doesn’t repeat itself. We need to remember our (as a nation, a people) past mistakes, even if they were before our, as individuals’, lives. Not only is it so that we make sure not to discriminate based on these qualities again, but because we’re supposedly an intelligent species, it’s so we can generalize and apply the knowledge of history to future events. Then how the fuck could we have let this pass? I certainly hope this is taught in schools! Not the concept of gay marriage. Marriage isn’t and shouldn’t be taught in schools at all. But the political fight for equal marriage laws should most definitely be taught in schools. I hope every student in every grade is learning that this piece of shit country is still discriminating in law and in social behavior.
This also brings up the confusion I have for this legal system. What if we put it to a vote and we amend the United States’ Constitution to ban gay marriage? What if that’s what the people want? The only way then to get gay marriage would be to remove it from the Constitution. Sure, we’ve removed things that we added previously, but what if the majority of the people in the country say that they want it kept in the Constitution? It would legally be in the highest form of law in this country even though it’s wrong. Clearly, someone should be able to say, “I don’t care that this is what the people want. It’s incorrect. It’s evil. I won’t allow it.” Who could do that? No one person can just strike laws out of existence. I think what I’m asking for is a dictatorship or monarchy. Clearly, that doesn’t work either, but I think this shows that a democratic republic only works as long as the people aren’t discriminating bigots who are evil.
Luckily, I do believe the time will come eventually when gay marriage is allowed all across the nation. It might take some time, but the young people are generally more allowing of it. We just have to wait out the lives of the older pieces of shit in this nation.

Hey Look News

Thursday’s News

Wednesday News

Tuesday’s News

Weekend and Monday News

Interesting News for Thursday

Random Interesting News Stories

PHaSR

Personal Halting and Stimulation Response rifle? A PHaSR rifle? God, that’s funny. There’s an article here if you haven’t heard about it. It really looks like some weapon from a FPS or something.

Amateur Photos Used More Often

I found an interesting article at Wired News titled Cell Phones Capture London Blasts. News agencies received hundreds of photos, mostly taken by cells, and even some movies. Some places now let you send the messages directly from your cell phone. Everyday people seem to be getting better at doing this as well. During the September 11 attacks, many txts were sent in, but few pictures, and the captions weren’t very good. Now the captions are almost professional quality.

Religious Devotion

I don’t have any sources to cite, but I heard on the news today that religious devotion in the United States is at a high. Nearly all people polled at least say they believe in God. Also, Americans now accept and like religion in politics much more than most other countries. Interesting.