Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba

Cuba has been in a constant state of struggle since the Spanish crown slaughtered the Taino Indians.   Learning about the plight of Cubans since that time (over the last 500 years) is something that can’t help but evoke many emotions and thoughts about society, socialism, revolution, freedom, and justice.

I just finished the book titled “Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba”.  I have to say it was terrific.  It chronicled the last 150 years of Cuba’s history from the vantage point of the Barcadi family.   Based on the level of detail in the book and the exhaustive amount of sources used to tell the story, you can only imagine it was ten to twenty years in the making for author Tom Gjelten.  The book provoked much thought and provided many “jump off on tangent” points to go back to and dive into related historical events.  I truly look forward to chasing down more detail on some of the anecdotes presented and have already done so in some cases.

I suppose the most interesting thing about Cuba’s history to me was how much has been propagandized by my upbringing in suburban Detroit.  As a youth in metro Detroit, our school system didn’t touch on Cuba much.  We’re raised to know that: #1 Castro is bad   #2 Socialism is bad  #3 Communism is bad.  We’re also told that Castro seized people’s private property and murdered people without due process of the law.  That’s it.  Then we move on to the next subject.  Heck, kids today might not even get that much of the story.  So when I read the book, I must admit that my ignorance was profound.  Perhaps my ignorance on the subject is what made this book so much more thought provoking.  After all, a dry sponge soaks up more water than a wet one.

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Bill Watterson & Your Kids

Bill Watterson is an artist.  He is one of my favorite artists.  He is the creator of the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes.  We can be thankful to have enjoyed his art while we were growing up.  I can remember waking up each morning, going through my morning ablutions, getting dressed, grabbing a bowl of cereal, and heading straight for the Calvin & Hobbes strip while sitting across the breakfast table from my mom while she worked on her crossword puzzle.  These are the kind of memories that are some of the fondest.

When you’re a child, this comic strip isn’t ‘art’ or political or sage, it is just fun.  You don’t really know as much as you think you do at that age, but you generally know what’s the good stuff and what sucks.  And, Calvin & Hobbes was the good stuff.  I can honestly say that reading the those three blocks of this comic was the best thing about my morning routine.    This activity that took less than thirty seconds was something to be looked forward to more than anything else each waking day as a child.  It would be a bummer on those off chance days that the paper didn’t come or was soaked with rain or what-have-you.   Saturday’s where extra special because the comics were in color and it was generally a six-block strip.  Although Watterson was one of the first artists to turn his six-block real estate into one drawing or two normal size blocks and one taking up four spaces or any combination he felt like, he would sometimes do the customary six block strip.

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How To Copy Your WordPress Blog To Your Localhost

Overview:

This how to tutorial will explain how to copy your WordPress blog from your webserver to your home pc and run it on your localhost.  First we’ll talk about what I’m using because your situation might be different.  Then, we’ll talk about a couple things that you should already know how to do that are prerequisite.

The goal of this tutorial is to be hacker proof by knowing how to back your blog up to your home pc.  There are other conveniences of being able to ‘run’ your blog from your localhost too, like being able to tinker with it.  This is conceptually no different than backing up files at home to an external hard drive.   After you’ve done this a number of times, the whole process should only take you 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of your blog.   Once you have this process under your belt, you can screw around with PHP and CSS to try different things out with no fear.  If you get hacked you won’t care either because you’ll be backed up.  This is a good procedure to add to your knowledge tool box.

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Extract

This is a movie that you probably missed if you weren’t looking for it.  I wanted to see it in the theatre and was waiting and watching for it and I still couldn’t find it.  The film’s creator, Mike Judge, is also the creator of Beavis and Butt-Head and the movie Office Space.  Ever since Beavis and Butt-Head, I have been a huge Mike Judge fan.  Office Space sealed the deal and therefore, I couldn’t wait for Extract.

My wife was ho-hum about the movie but I managed to get it moved to the top of our Netflix cue when I realized that it was already on video (I still have no idea how it sneaked by us to video because I was honestly seeking it out to watch it at the theatre).  So having her being ho-hum and the movie completely falling off the radar, I had suspicion that it might suck.  Being that Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck, Kristen Wiig, and Mila Kunis are in this movie and that Mike Judge wrote and directed it, I just knew it couldn’t suck, but I was a little nervous.  As you will see in this review, it did not suck.

My initial draw to see the movie was Mike Judge.  But lately, I’ve been really digging Mila Kunis.  She is a total babe and it made me want to see the movie even more.  She ironically graced the cover of my Esquire magazine this month and there is a nice little layout with a couple good pics that you should check out.  So, enough with the prelude and on with the review.

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Media Bias

My dad watches Fox News.  He hates MSNBC.  Therefore, you have enough information to know how he votes.  Why?  Because the media is biased and you know it.  This post is not against Fox News exclusively, it’s against the news media in general.  They’re feeding the American people information with an agenda and the American people are eating it up.  This is because people like to hear what makes them feel good.  If you’re a Republican, you like the way Fox gives you the news because it makes you feel good about your view points.  If you’re a democrat, you like to watch MSNBC news because it makes you feel good about your viewpoints.

What if the owners of the media groups and the executives in charge wanted to cull certain thoughts you use to form your opinion?  What if they wanted you to think a certain way in order to get you to act in a certain way?  Is that just hogwash conspiracy theory?  Am I a lunatic out on the conspiracy fringe?  I don’t think so.  I think  you can ask yourself logical questions and realize that the news channels are feeding you slanted views.  Just like no one has time to make a good meal anymore, no one has time to get to the bottom of the story anymore.  If you decide to turn off your brain and take whatever they’re giving you, you deserve what you’ll get.

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