Thursday, May 31, 2007

Earth to Parents: Get The Blinders Off and Check Out What Your Kids Are Doing!

The editor of the Conifer High School yearbook is defending her decision to print images of her classmates smoking marijuana and drinking beer. Many parents were struck with disbelief at the illicit behavior depicted in the yearbook. The pictures ranged from students posing with bongs and drinking alcohol to holding up police tickets for underage drinking.

Hannah Fredrickson, a senior, said she regrets not balancing the yearbook pictures of teenagers smoking pot with pictures of non-drug users. She also said she is sorry about not warning her principal and the faculty yearbook advisor about the pictures. Fredrickson said she wanted to open people's eyes and show them what was really going on. "Yes, smoking pot and underage drinking is illegal, but it doesn't mean it doesn't happen, and the point of the yearbook entirely is to cover what happens in the year," she said.

Fredrickson said she didn't want to gloss over the truths of life. The "Health -- Addicted to Addictions" a five-page section of the yearbook boldly illustrates the use of illegal drugs. "You'd be surprised at how many children at Conifer High School smoke pot," she said. "I wanted to push more for a deeper side of Conifer, which, for a lot of students, is drugs and alcohol," she said. In an ironic twist of fate and maybe an eye-opener for parents and administrators, it was just over a week ago that two Conifer students died when their Jeep rolled off the road. The Colorado State Patrol believes drugs may have played a role in that crash. Hello? Parents? Wake Up!

"It makes me feel good." That is how one high school senior put it in this year's edition of the Conifer High School yearbook. However, the quote isn't referring to all the memories made over four years, nor does it convey the satisfaction of the student's impending graduation. It's about marijuana. "I don't think it's that big of a deal," said freshman Drew Daughtry. "There are drugs wherever you go. They were just trying to show what really happens with students. It's part of their life."

The yearbook advisor for the school, Amy McTague, holds the students were only trying to capture the full extent of student life. When parents objected to the offensive material, she stated the students have a constitutional right to publish what they wish. The students' right to free speech did not stop her however from issuing letters of apology to parents. McTague agreed the pages were inappropriate.

Joy Reinke, 45, of Evergreen, parent of two daughters at Conifer, including one who is graduating this year, said she couldn't believe that the photos and quotes were published. Reinke said she talked to the yearbook adviser, Amy McTague, last week about her concerns and was disappointed in McTague's response. "She went on about it was the students' First Amendment right to freedom of speech, and we disagreed about that," Reinke said. "She has betrayed the trust of this community." McTague she sent a letter apologizing to parents. "It wasn't my intent or my students' intent to portray such a negative tone in their attempt to cover all aspects of a students' life and some of the very difficult choices they face," she wrote. Interim Principal Pat Termin agreed that mistakes were made. According to school administrators, it's too early to say if McTague will be disciplined. They say she has a great record with the school and has produced at least six amazing yearbooks.

Parent's have got to start getting involved in their kids' lives. I found a blog with comments written by some of the Conifer HS students. Like their comments are any different than the ones we made in High School. Some kids are bored with school. Check out some highlights of those entries...remember us making these?


Senior year is supposed to be the time of our lives, a milestone, the ending of the first chapter and starting of a new one. I remember anxiously awaiting the coveted year. So far this year I have learned a few things, the most important that I am ready to leave high school. I have spent a lot of time wandering the halls thinking up good excuses to be late again. My grandparents have died one too many times, my cat has used up more then her nine lives and I can't even begin to count how many times I have been to the doctor, dentist or orthodontist.
Coming to school offers no excitement anymore; I have exhausted everything this school has to offer. CHS doesn't offer fun and unusual courses such as bowling, swimming, Chinese, sociology, astronomy or career prepping classes such as oceanography and forensic science like Dakota Ridge and Chatfield do. Schools of equivalent size such as Evergreen still offer atypical classes such as AP European History and Social Science Perspectives. Classes at CHS are the typical and boring English, Spanish, history and math.
Even with the already limited schedule choices students are still faced with conflicts and forced to prioritize their classes. When arranging my classes for this year I was unable to enroll in a math course unless I dropped newspaper; I shouldn't be pressured to choose.

So far I have perfected the arts of procrastination, sleeping with my eyes open and getting by with the least amount of work, so this year hasn't been a total waste. I can think of one thing that would make this last semester more enjoyable. At least it's almost over. I will finally be able to escape the never-ending
high school drama of pointless arguments and back stabbing friends. One day I will probably want to be back but right now the countdown to graduation is on.

Kayla Huddleston



And from another part of their blog, this student puts my whole position into perspective. Hello Parents? Are you listening yet. Get off your ass, stop watching Oprah and Dr. Phil and get involved wuth what you kids are doing. This is one kid who's got her finger on the heart of the problem...

Over the last few days I realize that there has been a lot of controversy over the Conifer High School yearbook and the subjects included in our yearbook. Before I go any farther I would like to clarify that I have never used marijuana and do not plan to, in fact I think that people that use marijuana just think they are "cool" and use it for solely that purpose. I ask that you read what I have to say with respect and consider my opinion with an open mind. On that note I have several things to say about the drug use publicized in our yearbook.

All the students in our school are aware that there are kids who smoke pot. The yearbook wasn't a "rude awakening" and by covering up the pages we are not going to suddenly think that people don't smoke pot. I realize the parents concerns for their children but hiding them from reality is not going to help them in any way. Some parents may say that the yearbook will influence their children to experiment with drugs. These parents should not be concerned about what the yearbook says, but how they raised their children. If a yearbook page will influence their child to use drugs then I think something is seriously wrong with their parenting style.

Parents should be able to trust their kids to know what is right and what is wrong and not worry and be suspicious that a few words in a yearbook will ruin their kids for life. In addition, I think that parents don't want to admit that their kids are exposed to drugs everyday. While all the students know it is happening I think that parents want to think that we are still little kids and we can't get into any trouble. The teenage years are a time of change and independence. Parents don't want to let go of their children and have a hard time dealing with their new found independence. I think that this attack on the yearbook is just an attempt to control what little of our lives they still can. I understand that our parents want to protect us butthree pages in a yearbook are not going to significantly affect our lives.

I do not agree that Mrs. McTague should be fired or punished in anyway. The majority of the yearbook is amazing and without flaw so why should 3 pages affect her career as a teacher. If anything, I think that she should be thanked. By allowing these pages in the yearbook she has revealed the fact that drug use is a problem in high school. And not only at conifer high, but high schools everywhere. The state should realize that drug use is an issue and should take action and do something about it. What are they doing right now? From what I see, they are publicizing the fact that there is questionable content in a yearbook and considering firing a teacher. How will that help to fix the real problem?

Ask yourself this, would you rather have a clean yearbook and not know what goes on in your kid's life or have the truth be told and take action against drug use?

Amanda Kuker



Maybe the issue of drug use was not as widely known. Maybe people try to deny that it is really happening as often as it is. The truth is Mom & Dad, it is happening, and it happens a lot. According to editor Hannah Fredrickson, "I hope this book teaches everyone a lesson here and opens a few people's eyes."

The fact that a kid in High School can have the stones to "pull one over" on what must be a pretty mindless school administration make her my Hero this week. I'm not going to go on about the whole first ammendment thing. We've beat that to death. But this HS student has brought forth the problem that too many of todays parents cannot face is actually happening in their schools...and with their own kids! It's time for parents to wake up and smell the marijuana!

According to officials, students can return their yearbook to get a refund or to have the offending text covered with stickers featuring new captions and quotes. The "Health - addicted to addictions" pages will be glued together. Gee, if next years topics happens to be "Sex Underneath The Bleachers" then I'll be people will really be wondering what glue was used to stick those pages together!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Good, The Bad, And A Few Big A--holes!

On Monday, we celebrated Memorial Day. It was a time to reflect and thank our military people who are fighting to defend ??? Now, even though I do not agree with the purpose of this "war" nor the actions of President Bush in continuing this ongoing bloody battle, no matter what, I still have to support our troops...many of whom have died for a cause that even they didn't understand. There were many tributes across the US honoring soldiers both alive and dead. And as in most cases, there is always some a--hole, or a couple of a--holes who have to turn to the criminal element to get their stupid point across at the expense of hard working citizens. But before I rant on about these a--holes, let me tell about about the good in today's world...

If you haven't seen the commercials on TV by now, Orange Lutheran senior Shauna Fleming is being featured during May's National Military Appreciation Month, in a series of national television ads. She is the founder of A Million Thanks, which has collected and distributed more than 2.6 million thank-you letters and cards to U.S. military members since March 2004. Shauna is partnering with General Motors and in the commercials, she asks the viewers to thank our military men and women by writing a thank you letter and depositing them in special A Million Thanks mailboxes at all 3,500 Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealers across the country. Her goal is to collect 1 million thank-you letters during May at collection points in each dealership. Once collected, the notes will be distributed by A Million Thanks.

Her story is incredible and inspiring. Shauna's father, Mike Fleming, had urged her to use her high school project to "do something special for the troops." In less than seven months after she began, Shauna received her millionth letter -- a handmade card from a high school student in St. Charles, Mo. Reaching her million-letter goal was not the end of Shauna's project, but rather was just the beginning. Having collected a million, she changed her goal to one letter for every member of the U.S. military. In February, Fleming presented her program’s 2.6 millionth letter for our troops. The total represents the number of men and women in the nation’s active and reserve-component forces.

This high school girl has had to juggle her project, appearances, commercial filming, prom, boyfriend and the college application process all the while still being a student!Shauna's met with military members and their families, promoted her project in media interviews, worked with celebrities, participated in local and national events, and reached out to Americans via her Web-based radio talk show program, "A Million Thanks." She also wrote a book with the same name that includes photos of her travels and some of the letters she has received from servicemembers serving overseas, and has had offers to turn her story into a television movie.

Her website, AmillionThanks.org, (click on the banner below to go to her site) is been set up to provide specific rules and guidelines about how and where the letters are to be mailed to them for delivery to service members. Bulk letters must be bundled a certain way, and food items cannot be included with the letters. My hat and heart goes out to this kid who has touched the lives of many of our boys in Iraq and elsewhere. It's great to see at least one kid taking an interest in an idea and doing something about it.




Now, for the ugly news and this story really pisses me off...

Vandals twice attacked Veterans' graves in Woodlawn Cemetery on Orcas Island in Washington this Memorial Day weekend, burning American flags and placing swastika-bearing flags in their place. "This crime is an outrage to every veteran, veteran's family, friends of their family, and the community as a whole," San Juan County Sheriff Bill Cumming said. "This is not an act of free speech, this is a crime."

The Orcas Island American Legion members and friends decorated the graves with more than 100 small American flags Saturday evening. On Sunday morning, forty-six flags were stolen and 33 were burned with their remnants still attached to their small standards. Fourteen of the American flags were replaced with flags on sheets of paper bearing hand-made swastikas.

Legionnaires and their friends rounded up flags to replace the missing and charred flags by Sunday evening. A cemetery caretaker remained in the area and watched the cemetery until 4 a.m. Monday morning. A short time later it was discovered that the vandals struck again, cutting up flags and replacing 33 of them with the hand-drawn swastika flags.

Investigators believe there's more than one culprit, based on the number of flags that were vandalized, but they have no leads on any possible suspects, Cumming said. The sheriff said deputies were trying to lift fingerprints off what little physical evidence they were able to recover and were asking people on this bucolic island to contact the sheriff's office."We don't view this as free speech," Cumming said. "We view this as a hate crime, and it's being investigated as such."

I hope that these a--holes are caught and put away for a long time for their crime. I understand the free speech thing and it's their right to protest. But when their rights infringe on the rights of others, then they must pay. And in this case, it's not just the rights of the people involved, it's the rights of the millions of Americans who used Memorial Day to tribute our armed forces. I cannot believe that some idiot's would do this to someone grave. It really pisses me off and I am saddened that this type of crap has to happen at all.

But to all of those who are serving diligently and faithfully in our armed forces, I salute you and apologize for the select few who had to disgrace the ultimate purpose of Memorial Day. God Bless You All!

The LA County Jail: Hollywood's New Hot Spot!

Oh yeah, the Hollywood Elite is at it again. By now you've all heard that Lindsay Lohan reportedly checked herself into an addiction treatment center after being arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated after crashing early Saturday. Beverly Hills police booked Lohan on suspicion of driving under the influence and said a "usuable" amount of what appeared to be cocaine was recovered from the wrecked Mercedes SL65. Lohan isn't alone when it comes to being rich, young and in trouble with the law. Paris Hilton (a real non-celeb) is due to report to jail for a 45-day sentence on June 5 and Hilton's pal and sidekick Nicole Richie, is also facing a possible jail term for driving while intoxicated arrest. It seem's these chickies have an affinity for the "simple life" inside an 8x8 foot jail cell!

Good old Lindsay's been down this road before. Not even 21, she already been through rehab. Are you freaking kidding me? She's a kid and turns 21 on July 2 and has had problems keeping her sports car on the road before. She crashed a Mercedes SL65 into a van that made a U-turn in front of her in West Hollywood on Oct. 4, 2005. On May 31 of the same year, her vehicle hit a photographer's van near the Beverly Center. I figure that on her upcoming birthday she'll be out in full-force, like she's been many time before, drinking and partying with other kids with too much money and not enough brains. And if we're luck, she'll make the news again with a "legal aged" DUI arrest. We could only hope!

Her arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 24. She was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence or drugs or alcohol. She also may face other charges, including drug possession and leaving the scene of an accident. Police said a "useable" amount of what appeared to be cocaine was recovered during the investigation. So let's take a look at this. She's under the age for legal drinking (strike 1), she was found with "possible" drugs (strike 2), she was drunk and got into an accident (strike 3), she left the scene of an accident and there's video showing her quite "mobile" (strike 4), she convinced her bodyguard to remove the vehicle (strike 5), she's been in two accidents before (strike 6), and she's already done rehab once before (strike 7). How nice.

Reports say she went to a party at a Hollywood home about 3 a.m. Then she went to the Mondrian Hotel and tried to get a room about 4 a.m. but was reportedly told none was available. She returned to her condominium at about 5 a.m., driven by her bodyguard, to pick up her Mercedes. What the hell was she doing driving in the first place? Beverly Hills police are reported to have one of the fastest response times in the nation but after the accident Lohan's bodyguard arrived within moments and drove away the damaged car before Beverly Hills police arrived at the scene. Do I hear "evidence tampering" coming?

Michael Lohan is using Lindsay's weekend car crash and DUI arrest as an opportunity to once again encourage the starlet to get in touch with him. Daddy Lohan recently did time for driving under the influence, and didn't waste the opportunity to reach out to his daughter – via the media, of course – to send his hard-partying daughter a message. He wants her to quit the partying, find God, and, hey, give Dear Old Dad a call. "This could be a blessing. This could be the sign that gets her the help she needs...I believe the people my daughter is hanging around with are the wrong people. Lindsay has to find hope in God and put her family first, not listen to what other people say, and listen to her heart."

I think Princess Lindsay needs a bit more than God right now. It's time for some Judge to make an example of these rich kids and show them the consequences of what they do. You and I would never get the star treatment if we did that same thing. We definitely wouldn't get the press coverage or the chance to maybe reduce our charges by doing rehab...TWICE! I think it's time for Corporate Hollywood to hit her right where it hurts, in her big old wallet. And while we're at it, maybe give her one of those "I think I should of had a V-8" whacks to the head is what's needed here!

Looks like we're going to need a four-star VIP section in the County jail!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day: No Matter How I Feel About "The War," I Stand In Admiration Of It's Heroes!

A substantially significant holiday is upon us. On this last Monday in May, fly your flags with great pride, bow your heads in reverence, share stories of those you remember and adorn the graves of the fallen with the most beautiful d├ęcor. Remember that this day is not just a day off, a chance to start up the grill or an excuse to picnic at the park. This day is to honor our fallen heroes, recognize the sacrifices they made and make tribute to their memory.

It's hard to know how much time to spend remembering. Memories are more often sad than happy.

The word "memorial" itself has a sad sound to it. Those to whom we are close die, and we want to remember them. We die, and we want to be remembered, but no amount of longing can bring anyone back, so there is a limit to the value of grief. Servicemen and women do not choose their battles, they do not choose their enemies. They are told where to go and what to do by leaders that may or may not have their best interests at heart, by leaders who may or may not have seen combat themselves. And they do the very best they can, under circumstances the rest of us will never be able to comprehend.

We think of this war now in Iraq as terrible because every day we get the news that three or seven more Americans have been killed. In the Civil War, 365,000 Northern soldiers were killed, and 133,000 soldiers from the South died. In World War I, 116,000 American soldiers were killed. In World War II, 407,000 died, 54,000 died in Korea, 58,000 in Vietnam. More than a million Americans have died in our wars, each one much loved by someone. It’s hard for most people to understand that you can hate wars and the reasons for fighting them, but still love, honor, and support the US military.


My Dad served in the U.S. Navy and although he never saw a battle, the love and respect that he taught us - for the soldiers - for the flag, will never be forgotten!


There are men in every country on earth - mostly men - who spend full time devising new ways for us to kill each other. In the United States alone, we spend seven times as much on war as on education. There's something wrong there. On this Memorial Day, we should certainly honor those who have died at war, but we should dedicate this day, not so much to their memory, but to the search for a way to end the idiocy of the wars that killed them.

Also on this day falls the National Moment of Remembrance. A resolution passed in 2000 designated 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day as the moment for all to spend a moment in silence to appreciate what those in uniform have given so others may enjoy freedom. This may be the best time to put down your cell phone, lower the volume of the stereo, turn off the television and pause a moment to recognize our brave troops. Take the time to observe in your own way what patriotism means, how the families of the fallen have grieved, and the freedom Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers fought for. A loved one. A friend. A husband, wife, brother or sister. A classmate. A fellow servicemember. It was for these our heroes paid the ultimate price. One day. One day out of 365 days. This is a small price to pay.

My humble thanks to all our Military Men and Women for watching, defending, and protecting this great land of ours. Those who didn't make it home, my prayers go out to your families and children left behind. Some of whom never got to know you. They are proud I am sure, but it is a sad proudness. Because no matter what, a loss is always felt deeply and for some will be felt always..We will never forget! Enjoy the weekend and enjoy the holiday, but remember and remind others of the true meaning of Memorial Day. Let your feelings of support, unity and patriotism flow freely on this day, and stand together in appreciation of our military men and women.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hello? Dick Tracy? Sony's Got Something For You I Think You'll Want To See!

In the race for ever thinner displays for TVs, cell phones and other gadgets, Sony (otherwise known as "Soon Only Not Yet") may have developed one to beat them all - a razor-thin display that bends like paper while showing full-colour video. Sony Corporation posted video of the new 2.5 inch display on its' web page. The possibilities for use of this technology are endless!

Sony will present the research and video at an academic symposium this week. In the video, a hand squeezes the 0.3 millimetre (0.01 inch)-thick display, which shows color video of a bicyclist stuntman, a picturesque lake and other images.

The display combines Sony's organic thin film transistor, or TFT, technology, which is required to make flexible displays, with another kind of technology called organic electroluminescent display, it said. The latter technology is not as widespread for gadgets as the two main display technologies now on the market - liquid crystal displays and plasma display panels. Although flat-panel TVs are getting slimmer, a display that's so thin it bends in a human hand marks a breakthrough. You can drop it, and it won't break because it's as thin as paper.

Think about this. This type of screen could get wrapped around a person's wrist...making the idea of a "Dick Tracy" type watch not that far tetched. And think of the other uses, maybe even worn as clothing or put up like wallpaper.

Sony said plans for a commercial product using the technology were still undecided. Sure, like their minds aren't dreaming of things to do with this. That's kind of like Steve Jobs not having a clue about what to do with that thing called an iPod!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The First 100 Days of Insanity:
Of Course That's Just My Opinion!

Holy Crap! That was quick. The blog is only a month and a half or so old. You may not get Quality here folks but you sure get I have strong opinions, and I do speak them, loudly and frequently. If I believe something is wrong, I do not hesitate to say so. I don't see anyone stepping up to do much these days - it's all talk and no action. It seems apathy is reaching an all time high and insanity is taking its place.

I've been a blogger for a whopping 100 days, and it's been a delightful and educational, and fun experience. I feel like it’s my birthday today because this is my 100th blog post since I started blogging back in February. As such, I was contemplating the significance of this blog and I have come to the realization that it has helped me more than I could have ever imagined. I am constantly reading other blogs, investigating news stories, searching the web, networking and trying to keep up with trends in technology, and of course, following the careers of Paris Hilton and Knute the Cute! Who would have ever imagined that I would gain so much knowledge just by doing blog?


I have quite a few observations about my blogging experience, so here goes:


1. The more a blogger uses the pronoun “I,” the less he has to say. Many bloggers apparently believe that people not only give a crap about everything they say, but that these people are hanging on to every word. I know they don't but do I really care? Nope. Heck, I put so many words in some of my stories even I skim over them when I'm reading them. Just look at this paragraph...there's 5 "I's". If you've ready to this point...STOP. Move on. The words that follow in this paragraph were put here to test you.



2. There isn't any money in blogging. Unless I do some earth-shattering story I don't think I'm going to make millions doing this blog. Advertising revenues don't add up to much, but there are other significant rewards like helping people change the world..like my 6 Degrees sidebar soliciting donations for the USO. I got that idea from actor Kevin Bacon and thought it was a good thing to do. Somebody donated $25.00 and whoever you are, I thank you! And the USO thanks you. That's what doing this blog is all about...helping change the world, one step at a time!


3. I realize that the lives of celebrities are just as screwed up as mine. I look at Paris Hilton. I look at Anna Nicole. Both of them are more insane than I am. And thank God for that! I work in the entertainment business and I find it to be a unique place, with unique individuals, who are no better off than me or you...they just get their asses kissed a lot more!




4. There is some news out there that most people just don't read. I guess I try to put that stuff here in Discover Insanity. But who wants to read just hard news? It's the commentary that makes the difference. Like how much waste our government spends. And how illegal aliens and criminals are allowed to get away with crap that you and I could never get away with. It's always been, and always will be, the goal of this blog to reveal the truth...along with my opinion of course, which may be wrong. You don't have to agree with me, that's like kissing my ass.


5. I saw Gene Simmons of "Kiss" the other day. What a nice guy. I worked with him years ago when I was doing a show for VH1. He may look radical and be an insane rock star but he loves America. Just like me. this is the best country in the world. Where else can you rant crap like I do? The only thing that bugs me is the lack of respect for authority that is becoming more and more prevalent in our society. I don't agree with President Bush's position on Iraq. Most people don't. But he was elected and has a job to do. He may not be doing it the way you or me wants it done but the bottom line is this. He is the President and we should respect that office, not matter who is in it. To me, he's not Bush, W, or George, he's President Bush and that's the respect he deserves.

6. We've lost patriotism here in America. We burn the flag in protest. That pisses me off. Guys in Iraq are dying for my right to do this blog. And I thank them. My Dad served in the Navy and flew the flag every chance he got. I loved that about him. He knew what it meant to serve his country. I hate reading stories about these kids who are dying over there. We need to give these guys the credit they are do no matter how small. Fly that flag people! And if you're in a Starbucks and see a solider waiting for a cup of coffee...buy it for him. If you're in line at the airport and see a soldier waiting behind you, let him in front of you. You may piss off a few people but guess what. It's the soldier who's protecting our country from the idiots in Iraq. Love them and respect them and take care of them. Fly that Flag!

7. This blogging thing is a great way to voice your opinion. It isn't that hard to do and most of us have an opinion anyway that we want someone to hear. That's what I do. I find stuff I think my readers would like to read and report on it. I comment on it. I rant on it. That's what I do. I love reading some the opinions of other people, some of whom are bloggers. Like Samantha burns (read her post here) who is so fed up with Cheryl Crow and Earth day that she used a whole wad of toliet paper on Earth Day to wipe her butt! I was laughing hysterically. Who the heck uses one sheet? I guess Cheryl does!


8. I've found that I really love life. I love my family. I love my job. I've had the chance to reflect on many of the good times and bad times in my life in doing this blog. I don't think I'm going to change the world doing it but maybe, just maybe, I can help my readers to see the good in life. Turn to the optimistic side and bury the pessimism. See the glass as half full, not half empty. Smile instead of frown. Laugh instead of cry. Let out that fart instead of holding it in! And laugh about it...I do!



9. By doing this blog I've had the chance to tell you some of the really cool things about Technology. Like where we're going with Hi-Def TV. And my gadgets section...that's a blast to do. There is so much happening out there in the world and most of it is electronic. I think one of the greatest gifts to mankind is Tivo. How did we ever live without it? I mean, I can record a show, pause a show, skip through commercials and never have to load a VHS tape. In a couple of years people are going to ask what VHS even is. That blows my mind. It's now easier and cheaper to get a DVD recorder than a VHS machine. The computer age is definitely here and if you're not a part of it, well, you're probably not reading this.

10. Another thing this blog has given me a forum to impart some wisdom and inspiration. Here are a few random rules about life that you may want to put somewhere and heck, it's my blog so I'm going to share a few. Here goes. Don’t confuse fun with fulfillment, or pleasure with happiness. Hating hurts you more than the person you hate. The easy way is rarely the best way. Control your attitude or it will control you. And finally, it’s more important to be significant than successful!


Okay folks, I'm curious: Who reads my blog? I've had some comments on some of my posts. But counted over all postings it was not that much. But that's ok (I'm not that greedy). But now, at least for this 100th post, I'd like to get a bit more response. I'd like to hear from my readers. Feel free to add your comments and let me know what you think of Discover Insanity! I wish to thank all my friends, readers and fellow bloggers who have encouraged me, all along the way.

Finally, a little story for you: At 11:00 pm a few weeks ago, my wife asked me, “What are you doing?” I wish I could have said, “Making money.” Instead I told her, “I'm changing the world, one person at a time.” To which she deadpanned, “Oh, you're doing your blog...the wife is always the last to know!”

I dedicate this 100th post to all my readers and to my Dad who passed away last year but would have loved my rants and raves!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fugitive Captured: Reggie The Alligator Captured While Cathing A Few Rays!

As reported on May 11th in Discover Insanity titled "Go Reggie Go!," it it sad for me to report that Reggie the alligator's two years of freedom ended yesterday when the coldblooded fugitive left the chilly waters of Lake Machado and was taken into custody on the shore. The wily beast became a celebrity as it eluded would-be gator wranglers and managed to disappear for 18 months until it recently resurfaced.


Bad timing may have ruined Reggie's free rein where the cold-blooded creature was sunning itself in an open fence erected several days ago in hopes of corralling it. Park officials then closed a gate and Los Angeles Zoo reptile expert Ian Recchio hooked its neck. Five or six men wrestled to restrain the thrashing alligator until his jaws could be duct taped shut. D'Lisa Davies of the city fire department said it is not yet confirmed that the animal is Reggie. Davies said experts will measure the animal to determine whether it is Reggie or a different alligator.

The capture came as experts from Australia were meeting with Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn and her aides on how to capture the alligator, which had been spotted recently in the lake near the Harbor Freeway in Harbor City. Reggie, who resurfaced in late last month after a nearly 18-month-long absence, had managed to elude professional alligator hunters, including a team from Gatorland in Florida, which spent part of 2005 searching for Reggie after the creature was allegedly dumped in the lake by owners who considered him too big to keep. The city has spent an estimated $180,000 to capture and protect the public from the reptile.

How did Reggie get in the lake? Well, the stupidity of Ex-LAPD Officer Todd Natow and his friend, Anthony Brewer, were arrested after a tip led investigators to the pair. Authorities said Reggie had grown too large for a backyard pool where he was being kept. Brewer pleaded no contest to a state wildlife law violation and was sentenced to probation. Natow pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges tied to Reggie's possession and lake release. In my opinion, both guys should have ogtten stiifer sentences and should be made to pay the $180,000 that the city had to.

In LA, everything that happens is "Breaking News." In a scene reminiscent of a certain chase of a black man in a white Bronco, local news helicopters and a load of news vans followed the white Animal Control truck carrying Reggie up the Harbor Freeway.

The 7-foot alligator was taken to the Los Angeles Zoo, where he will be quarantined for up to 60 days to make sure he isn't carrying any diseases. City officials exchanged handshakes and high-fives as the caravan of police and animal control vehicles entered the zoo. Fans of Reggie gathered there with T-Shirts and signs almost reminescent of last nights premiere of "Pirates of the Carribbean!" Hahn said the alligator will remain at the zoo and people will be allowed to visit.

The gator inspired a zydeco song, two children's books and innumerable T-shirts. Students at Los Angeles Harbor College next to the lake adopted Reggie as a second mascot and the story of Los Angeles' mysterious urban alligator went worldwide. There was a MySpace Web Page and a Life On the Lake Blog all dedicated to our newest local celebrity. The city spent thousands of dollars in overtime pay to make sure the lake was staffed to warn people of Reggie's presence, Hahn said. "This is a good ending for everyone."

Reggie...it's sad to see you get captured and I wish you the best in your new endeavors!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hollywood Insanity: Nuts, Sluts, Staff Cuts, and People With No Freakin Brains!

On March 16th, during the CBS (my employer's) upfront presentation, it was revealed that the show "Jerico" was to be cancelled. It was one of the few shows (besides "Cops") that I Tivo'd. The reaction, well, you might say fans of the recently canceled CBS drama "Jericho" have gone nuts.

With the help of distributor NutsOnline.com, supporters of the show have ordered thousands of pounds of peanuts and other nuts, and have had them shipped to the network's headquarters on 52nd Street in Manhattan and to our facility in Hollywood to protest the cancellation. But I haven't seen any! Fans are pooling their money online to order the nuts, which are mostly peanuts, but have also included walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds. The grassroots campaign had shipped 8,681 pounds of nuts as of Wednesday, according to NutsOnline.com, including 4,042 pounds Tuesday and another 3,133 pounds Wednesday morning.


The idea stemmed from the final episode of the show in which Jake Green, a character played by actor Skeet Ulrich, was asked to surrender. He responded by saying, "Nuts!" The line was an homage to the famous reply from Gen. Anthony McAuliffe, U.S. commander at the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, when his German counterpart demanded that he surrender his besieged American troops in the cold Belgian forest.



Will the same happen for Jericho? Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment, released a statement to Jericho fans that seems to hint that there could be a future for Jericho – "Thank you for supporting Jericho with such passion," her statement read. "We truly appreciate the commitment you made to the series and we are humbled by your disappointment. In the coming weeks, we hope to develop a way to provide closure to the compelling drama that was the Jericho story." What our network is planning for that "closure" is not known yet but hopefully it'll answer many of the unanswered questions.

Nuts Online CEO Jeffrey Braverman was stunned when he saw the orders suddenly pouring. "It caught us a little by surprise when we had the first few orders come in," he told WCBS-TV. "I thought, 'What the heck is this?' I thought it might be fraudulent, but I looked around and saw this battle cry of nuts." "We jammed away, put up a Web page and then things went nuts, no pun intended," chuckled Braverman. "And the crazy thing is there are hundreds if not thousands of people clicking on this thing and I've received hundreds and hundreds of e-mails and over 1,000 orders from all over the world. It's insane!"

To monitor the shipments, NutsOnline created a special Web page designated for the campaign, which includes a log of the shipments being sent to CBS as well as their arrival, and pictures of the NutsOnline workers posing with the massive shipments.

According to news reports, it's not yet known what CBS officials plan to do with the nuts, but Braverman is asking that at the very least that they be distributed to charity and not thrown away.

Hey, I like peanuts...can we get a pound or two in my department Ms. Tassler? P.S. "I admire your work!"


NBC Gets Stone Cold

In its effort to rein in costs, cuts $750 million via it's NBCU 2.0 initiative, to be able to "afford" other things, in addition to the 700 jobs to be lost already announced, NBC News is leaving no Stone unturned. That's right folks, Stone Phillips, who helped launch "Dateline NBC" 15 years ago, was unable to come to terms on a new contract as the news magazine's co-anchor and won't be replaced. His departure, set for the end of June, has been linked to belt-tightening at NBC News, which, like just about every old-school media organization, is trimming its roster and asking the personnel left behind to do more. Firing Stone could save the peacock as much as $5 million a year.

Phillips was with the program in the bad days and the glory days when NBC aired it as often as five times per week. "Dateline" executive producer David Corvo, in a statement, called Phillips "a loyal leader and patient mentor," while NBC News boss Steve Capus said Phillips' "legacy here will live on with the program he established and cares so much about." "Dateline" probably doesn't need two anchors. After all, how hard is it to say, "What Chris Hansen discovered online may shock you: That person in the chatroom with your son or daughter may be not be who he says he is"?

In his own statement, Stone refused to be thrown. "It's been a wonderful 15 years," he said. Capus went on to say. "His work on 'Dateline' over the past 15 years has been remarkable, as evidenced by the unprecedented awards Stone and the program have won, including 39 Emmys and four Peabodys." "If we don't change the company, we're doomed, absolutely doomed. The moves we make today will ensure that we'll exist going forward. I don't say that lightly. That is absolutely the truth. So to me, this is not a dark day.

Yeah, but when you ain't go nobody to feed the Peacock, he's gonna get sick and die!


6th Grade Director, Settles Lawsuit Over Creative Control

Hollywood is definitely insane. Check this out. An attorney says an 11-year-old director has settled his lawsuit against a woman he claimed demanded creative control over his short film after she helped financed it. Dominic Scott Kay sued Conroy Kanter alleging she demanded creative control and distribution and promotion rights of his movie "Saving Angelo" after she put about $11,000 into the project. The 15-minute movie stars Kevin Bacon and is based on Kay's real-life effort to nurse an abandoned, badly injured dog back to health.
As part of the settlement, Kay's attorney says Kanter will receive a producer credit and the young filmmaker will get full rights to the movie. Kay was the voice of Wilbur the pig in "Charlotte's Web."

I guess they have a "How To Make $$$ in Hollywood" class in 6th grade. Probably taught by the "experts" at the Learning Annex.



Paris Hilton Reveals Her Redneck Roots

Ahh yes. Paris Hilton. Now this is truly news worth reading. Troubled socialite and convicted drunk driver Paris is baffled by rumours romantically linking her to oil heir Brandon Davis, insisting they are more like family than lovers. Hilton admits she was once (once???) Davis' cousin through marriage, but the relationship has always been strictly platonic. She says, "Brandon used to be my cousin. My aunt married his uncle, so we were related for seven years and we've been best friends since we were about two. "We've been friends for 23 years. He's like a brother. I'd never, ever, ever date him in a billion years."

Hell Paris, you've done weirder stuff than this. Show us your "redneck" family values!


Celebrity Tattoo Stories...God Help Us All

What is it with tattoo's? I guess it's the newest form of advertising and our wonderful but stupid Hollywood celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon. I just love the fact that many of them have to change them when they jump from man to woman, woman to man, man to man, women to women...you get my drift? And aren't these things going to look like a graffiti'd wall when all is said and done? well, two of our big celebs are in the tattoo news today...

Country singer Keith Urban has altered a tattoo on his arm to pay tribute to his wife Nicole (Mrs. Tom Cruise...I bet she hates that) Kidman. Urban and his ex-girlfriend, supermodel Niki Taylor, had matching tattoos done in 2002, with the words 'Amor Vincit Omnia', which translates as 'Love Conquers All' in Latin. However, when the New Zealand-born star fell for Kidman in 2005, he changed the tattoo to honour the Oscar winner. He says, "It has my wife's initials in it. It was actually from another relationship where we had matching tattoos. We didn't need that anymore, so I had it altered."

Angelina Jolie is displaying her love for her four children with a series of tattoos on her left arm. The 31-year-old actress has etched the geographical co-ordinates for the countries all her kids were born in. Maddox was born in Cambodia in 2002, Zahara Marley in Ethiopia in January 2005, Shiloh Nouvel in Namibia in May 2006 and Pax Thien in Vietnam in 2004. The family tribute is the 13th tattoo Jolie has done. The co-ordinates are on the same place on Jolie's arm as her 'Billy Bob' tattoo, which she had removed after splitting from ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton in 2003. What, no room for Brad's name. Come on girl, quit being such a bitch and put his name on there too!

From nuts, to sluts, to people with guts (hell, I wouldn't get a tattoo if your paid for it), that's it for the Hollywood Insanity division today. Hope your day goes much better!