Third Presidential Debate (Horses & Bayonets)

My roommate and I didn’t watch the third presidential debate. The World Series game between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers was on. That’s right. The World Series was far more important than who will become the next leader of the Free World. We did, however, monitored the Tweet stream on our iPads while watching the game, calling out what we thought were relevant and sometimes funny tweets. The “horses and bayonets” line from President Obama became our favorite. Out of three debates, the middle debate was probably the most engaging with both candidates landing hits than the first or second debates.

After the debate was over and the game was still playing, I went back to playing Tiny Tower on the iPad. I have already constructed the 75th floor, which I haven’t expected to do before the third debate as it takes three days to earn enough coins to construct a floor. Being sick for four days last week left me with plenty of time to keep restocking the stores to earn more coins at a faster rate.

Which presidential candidate is getting my vote? That was a done deal immediately after the Republican and Democratic conventions. I’m voting for President Obama.

The Republicans are under the delusion that 2012 is 1980 again, with President Obama being President Jimmy Carter and Governor Mitt Romney being the future President Ronald Reagan. Uh, no. President Carter had high inflation, the energy crisis and the Iranian hostage crisis during his four years. President Obama has inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression and a Republicans Party committed to turning him into a one-term president.

Should the American public reward the Republican Party for eight years of incompetence under President George W. Bush and four years of hindering President Obama’s attempt to turn America around?

As a moderate conservative, I would say: “Oh, hell no!”

Vice Presidential Debate (Marlarkey)

Unlike the first presidential debate last week, I was looking forward to the vice presidential debate. Vice President Joe Biden can always be counted on to provide a good show with his gregarious personality. Congressman Paul Ryan looked like the guilty little schoolboy who stole his sister’s panties and on the verge of being caught redhanded with them on national TV. Both sides hit their talking points without revealing anything new in the back-and-forth discussion moderated by Martha Raddatz, who did a much better job than Jim Lehrer did in keeping President Barack Obama awake during the first presidential debate.

Meanwhile, I was still playing Tiny Towers on my iPad as the candidates talked over each other. I added the 71st floor to my tower. It’s taking about three days to add a new floor in the game. A day to collect 800,000+ coins and two days for construction. Like the 2012 presidential election, this is dragging on as the end comes nigh.

Again, Governor Mitt Romney is still MIA from appearing on The Late Show With David Letterman. But that didn’t stop Letterman from commenting on the Ryan gym photos that Time released before the debate. Does anyone really want this guilty little schoolboy to be a heartbeat within the presidency?


Great America’s Gold Striker Roller Coaster

California’s Great America amusement park in Santa Clara, CA, is getting a new wooden roller coaster called the “Gold Striker” in 2013. After watching the video a few times, it looks like the old Lockheed IMAX Pictorium building will be demolished after being closed for a decade. If you wanted to see an IMAX movie, this was the only place to go to for many years before IMAX theaters became commonplace in recent years. On a middle school field trip in 1984, I saw a short video of the Space Shuttle Challenger being launched into space at night, where the roar of the engines shook the six-story tall building. Nice to see this part of the amusement park finally being renovated.


I’m not a fan of roller coasters. I have fear of heights and hate surrendering control, which is what makes roller coasters fun for most people. I prefer roller coasters that go up and down without too many variations in between. Plain and boring works well for me.

A college roommate tricked me into riding “Montezooma’s Revenge” at Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California in 1994. That roller coaster does a loop and goes straight up before going backwards in reverse. My guts felt like it was hanging out through my mouth on the return trip. This wasn’t a “beginner” roller coaster as he had promised.

The “Gold Striker” makes the venerable “Grizzly,” the other wooden roller coaster at the park that I rode twice before, look tame in comparison by being taller, longer and faster. I’m looking forward to riding the new roller coaster next year. I might even ride it more than twice.

Mitt Romney’s Hard On Fetish For Big Bird

The references to Big Bird and PBS went over my head during the first presidential debate the other night. (I was too busy playing Tiny Tower—now at the 65th floor—at the time.) But, apparently, Mitt Romney has a real hard on fetish for Big Bird on the campaign trail. I’m shocked—shocked!—that Romney is a Big Bird stalker, professing his love and threatening to do harm in the same breath to America’s favorite fowl. I wouldn’t be surprised if Romney gets busted for possessing Evil Bert porn.


Big Bird, Sesame Street and PBS has always been a favorite target for the Republican Party since the multicultural wars of the 1960’s, where the old white men of history and literature were threatened by the emerging voices of emancipated slaves, liberated women and other minorities in the American melting pot.

Even if the public subsidy for PBS was completely eliminated, it would only amount to 1/100th of one percent of the federal budget. A number so small in a $3 trillion USD budget that it’s not even big enough to be a rounding error.

Big Bird’s real contribution to the American economy is $46.9 million USD and 1,320 jobs. That’s right. Big Bird is a job creator that Republicans loved to talk about. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Republicans will stop looking down their lily-white noses to acknowledge that politically inconvenient fact.

First Presidential Debate (Big Bird)

The first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney took place last night. I’m not sure who won. Like the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention, direct exposure can be hazardous to your health. I was too busy playing Tiny Tower on my iPad, adding the 64th floor and firing/hiring workers in my quest to become a “small” Donald Trump. The only time I looked up at the TV screen was when my roommate hurled a well-timed obscenity at Romney for lying about Medicare, Social Security and everything else. Ho-hum.

I was amused by the talking heads saying that Obama looked like he wanted to be somewhere else. Uh, hello? Last night was his 20th wedding anniversary to Michelle. Can’t blame the poor guy for wanting to be somewhere else on such an important night.

A real debate for Romney would be to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman before the election in November. Letterman held no punches when interviewing Obama last month, which is probably why Romney is afraid to come on the show. If Romney isn’t willing to be on the show, Letterman told viewers not to vote for him. Senator John McCain also snubbed Letterman in 2008—and lost the election to Obama.

A Supercomputer On A Chip For Everyone

Every now and then, an exciting Kickstarter project comes along that I want to support. Some succeed, some fail. The newest entry is developing an open source supercomputer-on-a-chip that is smaller than a credit card and suitable for parallel programming applications. For a $99 USD pledge, you can get a developer board and the open source software to play around with when it comes out.

The closest I ever got to parallel programming was running multiple threads concurrently in Java (i.e., one thread for main loop, one thread for user interface, and different threads for processing data) on a single-core CPU while taking programming courses at San Jose City College. Parallel programming is breaking the data into identical pieces that can be processed on multiple  CPUs or computers in a network from a master program.

For years I wanted to build a micro beowulf cluster that consisted of five micro-ATX boards in a stacked 16″ cube. Although the price for hardware has gotten lower over the years, it’s still expensive to get identical hardware to build it out at the same time. Even as a 16″ cube, a micro beowulf cluster still takes up space and produce heat. A supercomputer-on-a-chip doesn’t have to take up more space than a small form factor (SFF) computer. At $99 USD each, that’s a steal.

Two New Splatter Fest Movies For The Holidays

I’m looking forward to seeing two new splatter fest movies that are coming out for Christmas and New Year. The trailers were shown before “Resident Evil: Retribution” (read review) last week. Blood splatter, if done right to provoke laughs at a horrific moment, is an art form unto itself and an acquired taste.


The first movie is “Django Unchained,” coming out on Christmas 2012. Quentin Tarantino’s take on the Old West genre with a black slave becoming a bounty hunter, killing white people for money and searching every Southern plantation for his missing wife. This is the first Western movie to tackle slavery head on, a subject seldom acknowledged even though the Old West has everything to do with the American Civil War.


The other movie is “Hansel And Gretal: Witch Hunters,” coming out in January 2013. The children of the fairy tale grow up to become witch hunters with an arsenal of fantastic weapons. I saw the red band trailer in the theater that was more gorier than the video above. The witches don’t go up in smoke and flames like sparkling vampires, they explode in a back splatter of bright crimson.


However, if splatter fest movies are too much for your fine sensibilities, check out the new Kia Motors America hamster video as an 18th-century opera theater is invaded by the 2013 Kia Soul SUV, hip hop music and a laser light show. I have never liked the hamster videos until this video came along with this catchy tune and surreal situation.

Texas Mom Jailed For Letting Kids Play Outside

As a native Californian who was born and raised here, I always have to wonder what’s in the water in Texas when weird things happen down yonder. A mom was thrown in jail for letting her young kids play outside after a busybody neighbor called the police to report them as being unsupervised. The stay-at-home mom was watching her kids from a lawn chair. The police officer who showed up didn’t believe her and arrested her for child endangerment. In the finest American tradition, the mother had filed a lawsuit against the police department, the police officer and the busybody neighbor.


We don’t know why the busybody neighbor called the police in Texas as she made no comment on the matter. If this had happen in California, it would be because the noisome kids were driving down the real estate values in the neighborhood.


Two roommates and I were renting the front apartment of a triplex not far from San Jose City College in 2002, which meant that we had to take care of the front yard. After a roommate’s mother raped my petunias to make potpourri, I stopped watering the planter and the naked petunias died.

An older neighbor lady walking her dog one morning informed us that the dead petunias had caused the real estate value of her house to drop by $25,000 USD. I asked her if her house was on the market and she said no. When I pointed out that her house has no relative value until it was on the market, she left in a huff and threaten to call the landlord.

We ended up moving shortly thereafter, but not because of the busybody neighbor down the street was fretting about real estate values.

A bisexual man with his straight girlfriend and his gay boyfriend—all Mexicans—moved into the front apartment of the triplex next door. He accused our Mexican roommate of peeping into his bedroom window while he was having sex with his girlfriend and lusting after his boyfriend. Mexican roommate told him he was stupid in Spanish and slammed the front door on him. Apparently, in Mexico, calling someone stupid and slamming the front door was socially unacceptable.

After a string of late night visits from the police inquiring about his legal status, the Mexican roommate moved out. The other roommate and I moved into a smaller apartment a month later. The landlord’s wife started pulling out the dead petunias as we handed over the keys to the apartment, restoring the neighborhood real estate values by $25,000 USD. No one gave us a commission for this economic miracle.

From what I later heard from another neighbor, the neighborhood was in turmoil for six months from the sexual hijinks of these neighbors before they were evicted. That probably didn’t effect the neighborhood real estate values as much as the dead petunias did. This situation was truly Californian. If this had happened in Texas, the troika next door would have been deported back to Mexico—or California.

DNC, Harold & Kumar

Unlike the Republican National Convention that featured Clint “Dotty Harry” Eastwood and an empty chair, the Democratic National Convention was perfect as factious Democrats unified to give former President Bill Clinton President Barack Obama the nomination. Despite not watching this one either, two things bubbled out of the gestalt to catch my attention.


I’m not sure what’s more disturbing in this campaign video: President Obama calling one of the potheads from Harold & Kumar, or knowing and dialing the phone number for Kumar—actor Kal Penn, now a political activist—without going through the White House switchboard.

Fortunately, this was a campaign video. If it was a H&K movie, we might be seeing a hairy penis and testicles that looked like Osama bin Laden’s face, a claymation penis flying everywhere, and a rubber penis stuck frozen to a light pole. Or, God forbid, Neil Patrick Harris pretending not to be gay.

Meanwhile, the DNC out tweeted the RNC by more than a 2-to-1 margin (i.e., 9.5 million vs. 4 million, respectively). The 2008 election only had 1.8 million tweets total. If Twitter replaces the electoral college in selecting a president, the 2012 election would already be over. Alas, we still have less than two months to go until the election is over—and then the vote counting lawsuits can begin.