Hymn to the Fallen


On this Veteran’s Day, I was remembering the opening scene from the movie Saving Private Ryan.




I want to comment on this opening. I remember seeing this in the theater and sensed that this was not going to be your typical “John Wayne” style of a WWII movie. The flag is shown with the sun backlighting it. The music is very mellow compared to the old war movies where the music is more of an upbeat “March to Battle”. The Old Man walking and you can tell he may have survived the war but time still has taken its toll on him. Also notice how the color of the scene is neutral. Where the older movies tended to make the “heroes” bright and the “enemy” darker. This scene shows how you can convey emotion without the need for dialogue or narration. And you really do not have to put images “right in the face” of the viewer to make them feel an emotion.

The song was composed by John Williams and was titled “Hymn to the Fallen”.

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I used to every morning while taking a break do my Lumosity exercises while listening to my daily podcasts. The public Wi-Fi spot I able to use has become an unreliable signal. It was upsetting when the connection was lost during one of these sessions. I cannot use the company’s computer to do them because there are strict controls for their use. I am pretty sure if I even told you that if I even turned one on. I may have to kill you. It sounds extreme. But someday it might happen someday.



I downloaded the Tetris app for my Kindle. I know originally I wanted to keep games off it. But I have found it useful to kill time usually waiting in lines. I never get interrupted. However, reading a book will assure an interruption.

I know the game seems simple. I still do not know how they can make a movie about it?

I was playing this morning. I got to thinking about what it may be representing. The metaphor.

You move the pieces to places you think the fit the best.

You make adjustments based on the previous moves along with trying to anticipate the next one coming up.

The speed, pace and time of the game is always working against you.

The game is not over because the pieces do not fit.

The game is over when the “spaces” between the pieces becomes “unmanageable”.


And then it is time for a change.

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Just Not That Right in the Head


That title is clearly a Major Understatement.

But then again what really is “right in the head” when it comes down to it.

The Middle East has been “misbehaving” my whole life. Test scores have always been low. The economy has always been “teetering” on the edge. People have always been protesting for change. And finding less of it. It would be nice if they would be an example of the change the want to have happen. There is no way the Psychology and Plastic Surgery Special Interest will allow that to happen. Nor are the majority of people giving up their “reasons to drink”.

It is weird where people are better planned for the “Zombie Apocalypse”. And they are all going to better than average when it comes to being able to survive it. Given what I said previously here. This is the most likely outcome. It is not the food and water that will disappear first. It will be the toilet paper and the diapers because most of these people will be “shitting” themselves. Figuratively and Literally.

What can I say? My mind just wanders about.

I just need to find humor where it should be. But it is there.

Yesterday was two years since my dad passed away. I did not realize at the time how much more I would have to let go with his passing. The details I will leave out here. I also remember the jokes I was making at the time to be able to deal with it. It was quiet day here for the most part. Except for the Bills losing to the Chargers. I was flipping channels and the local PBS station was playing an old Tom Lehrer concert. I only caught the last song. I will just say it “appropriately inappropriate” given me head space.




My family will never admit to it. But I think Dad would have chuckled a bit at the song.


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Cane Toads: The Conquest


Oh yeah “Ooh, aah”, that’s how it always starts. But then there’s running and screaming.

  • Ian Malcolm

    The Lost World: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

I have read a lot of Michael Crichton novels. One of the hallmarks of science fiction is even with the best of planning and intentions the “science experiment” always goes “awry”. And art imitates life. Science does not always plan for “Unintended Consequences”. However, the insurance industry does when setting its rates. And that is a bit ironic.

Borrowing a quote from the late Hunter S. Thompson who stated, “I have never believed much in luck, and my sense of humor has always walked on the dark side.”

I watched a documentary film that combines these two tangents. This is a movie to put in your Netflix queue.

Cane Toads: The Conquest is an “unintentionally funny and off-beat” documentary that turns out to be a very effective film.

In 1935, the cane beetle was destroying the sugar cane crop of Australia. The cane toad which did a good job of eating the grubs infesting the sugar fields of Puerto Rico were brought in. That was the “expert plan”. Well, there turned out to be a big difference between a grub and a beetle. The toads were not about “to jump for the Men Down Under”. They then did what many of the “unproductive” members of a species decide to do. They then went about reproducing in mass and wreaking havoc on the environment.

This movie is the story of the “bizarre” methods that people in Australia have employed in order to control the cane toad population. It is a population that is now estimated to be over a billion in numbers. So the strategy has been “flawed” at best. It shows a lot of the “fears” of mankind in regards to controlling nature. “The hubris” at work with the so called “experts” trying to take that control.

Plus, watch out for the poor dog that develops a strange “affection” for the toads.


Sorry, but he made me laugh at his “dilemma”.



Graeme Sawyer- The Lord Mayor, The City of Darwin says “Yeah, it was a bit of ‘Aw, shit’ moment to think it was there. It was a bit like an army on the march…there was just wave after wave of them.”

Think of the cane toads as mini Godzillas going wild.

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