The Abyss of Human Response & The Las Vegas Massacre

This wasn’t the time to stick your flag in the ground and fly it proudly. Unfortunately and predictably, thats what almost everyone did. It seems we live in a society that thrives on people’s opinions being heard and self righteous, boastful ideals being put on display, more so than prioritizing a basic human trait of sensitivity and humanity.

As if the massacre in Las Vegas wasn’t bad enough, how disgusting of a people have we become when the way the average person reacts is running to their side of the crowd, huddling up and playing follow the leader. Let me explain a little more clearly.

The cowardly, evil acts transpired on the night of Oct. 1 2017, and before Oct. 2nd turned my calendar, every social media or news outlet was filled with people who were attempting to state their case and dig their flag deeper in the ground. The Republicans or people who identify with the “right” attempting to preserve their guns and the rite to have them. The Democrat side of things or people who identify with the “left” rummaging to bash the media for not calling this a ‘terrorist’ attack because the shooter was white.

I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life to call myself a human. Listen, 58 souls died that night and guess what? All of them didn’t side with your political party, all of them didn’t have agendas that leaked out their nose. The majority of them weren’t like you.

But..

All of them most certainly had families. All of them were dads, moms, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins. You get the point.

Or do you?

I’m not so sure the average person does anymore. Human’s revolting recital to act like an insensitive blob of thoughtless flesh has proven beyond astounding to me. How did we get here? When mass amounts of innocent people are killed by a madman, and as humans we just use the event as a pawn in our chess game to further agendas.

It’s disgusting, unacceptable and reality.

Do you care so much about what others think about you and your political stances that you gladly will use someone’s disaster as your benefit? These are questions EVERYONE needs to start asking themselves. In an honest, humbling manner. What are we as humans if we walk over dead corpses only to gain ground for our beliefs, political gains, and the idea of false-self fulfillment? The answer is quite simple actually, we’re not humans at all .

I understand there is a perception now that you as a person, are so important. So you flock to social media because you must be heard. But the reality is your not important. These victims are and were and you took their precious last moments and reflection/ respect time to walk all over them and spew your prideful ideals out of your selfish mouths. Is it too much to ask the average person to put aside their own motives and be sensitive to people’s lives and the families of the victims? I fear the answer is an astounding, despicable yes.

To the very few I saw respecting the victims, thank you. You are a light in a very dark place. To the majority who plainly showed zero respect, I would say shame on you, but you obviously lack the ability to feel shame.

Below are the majority of identifiable victim’s names, DOBs, and gender. Please spend some time in prayer or solitude for the families of these souls. To us they are just names, to their loved ones, they are so much more than we could ever imagine:

  • Ahlers, Hannah Lassette — 6/2/1983 Female
  • Alvarado, Heather Lorraine — 9/20/1982 Female
  • Anderson, Dorene — 4/16/1968 Female
  • Barnette, Carrie Rae — 12/16/1982 Female
  • Beaton, Jack Reginald — 12/10/1962 Male
  • Berger, Stephen Richard — 9/30/1973 Male
  • Bowers, Candice Ryan — 8/10/1977 Female
  • Burditus, Denise — 6/5/1967 Female
  • Casey, Sandra — 11/1/1982 Female
  • Castilla, Andrea Lee Anna — 9/29/1989 Female
  • Cohen, Denise — 8/2/1959 Female
  • Davis, Austin William — 6/20/1988 Male
  • Day Jr., Thomas — 10/29/1962 Male
  • Duarte, Christiana — 8/7/1995 Female
  • Etcheber, Stacee Ann — 2/26/1967 Female
  • Fraser, Brian S. — 8/20/1978 Male
  • Galvan, Keri — 8/20/1986 Female
  • Gardner, Dana Leann — 7/6/1965Female
  • Gomez, Angela C. — 12/26/1996Female
  • Guillen, Rocio — 12/20/1976 Female
  • Hartfield, Charleston — 5/16/1983Male
  • Hazencomb, Christopher — 9/27/1973 Male
  • Irvine, Jennifer Topaz — 6/6/1975 Female
  • Kimura, Teresa Nicol — 3/24/1979 Female
  • Klymchuk, Jessica — 5/1/1983 Female
  • Kreibaum, Carly Anne — 12/9/1983 Female
  • LeRocque, Rhonda M. — 8/29/1975 Female
  • Link, Victor L. — 9/7/1962 Male
  • Mclldoon, Jordan — 10/6/1993 Male
  • Meadows, Kelsey Breanne — 6/26/1989 Female
  • Medig, Calla-Marie — 8/8/1989 Female
  • Melton, James — 8/2/1988 Male
  • Mestas, Patricia — 7/25/1950 Female
  • Meyer, Austin Cooper — 9/18/1993 Male
  • Murfitt, Adrian Allan — 7/5/1982 Male
  • Parker, Rachael Kathleen — 12/16/1983 Female
  • Parks, Jennifer — 1/18/1981 Female
  • Parsons, Carolyn Lee — 12/28/1985 Female
  • Patterson, Lisa Marie — 6/26/1971 Female
  • Phippen, John Joseph — 10/25/1960 Male
  • Ramirez, Melissa V. — 11/29/1990 Female
  • Rivera, Jordyn N. — 7/22/1996 Female
  • Robbins, Quinton — 3/21/1997 Male
  • Robinson, Cameron — 1/1/1989 Male
  • Roe, Tara Ann — 9/1/1983 Female
  • Romero-Muniz, Lisa — 5/19/1969 Female
  • Roybal, Christopher Louis — 10/9/1988 Male
  • Schwanbeck, Brett — 1/31/1956 Male
  • Schweitzer, Bailey — 4/5/1997 Female
  • Shipp, Laura Anne — 5/9/1967 Female
  • Silva, Erick — 8/19/1996 Male
  • Smith, Susan — 8/24/1964 Female
  • Stewart, Brennan Lee — 2/19/1987 Male
  • Taylor, Derrick Dean — 9/25/1961 Male
  • Tonks, Neysa C. — 7/27/1971 Female
  • Vo, Michelle — 1/10/1985 Female
  • Von Tillow, Kurt Allen — 12/4/1961 Male
  • Wolfe Jr., William W. — 10/15/1974 Male

 

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Thoughts & Impressions on Apple Event

In order of appearance:

Steve Jobs Tribute – Easily best part of the keynote. I had goosebumps when Job’s voice came over the speakers in that dark, intimate setting. Tim Cook was understandably, emotionally shaken. He delivered a well structured tribute for a well deserved man. Again, easily the best part of the keynote.

Apple Park Video – Very impressive. Very awkward. Don’t get me wrong, Apple Park is amazing. Every inch of the place looks like an Apple product. Obviously no money was left on the table here, Apple spared no expense in building this. So, in that instance, sure the video was great. Unfortunately it ran long for me. And by the end, it felt more like a “look what we did and you can’t have” video. Maybe thats just me, but after the first couple minutes, I’m thinking… “Are you guys just showing off at this point?” To which I’m pretty sure they would have answered: “yes and your welcome.”

Apple Retail Update – I like Angela Ahrendts a lot. I really do and I think shes doing great work…. But Apple Townsquares? Just stop. Its a place we go to give you money..

Apple Watch Series 3Solid upgrade in the Apple Watch line. I don’t love the price bump, but its Apple. Now we have an LTE enabled watch which I think makes sense, but the other side of me can’t quite connect the dots yet. Especially when cellular companies are selling me ‘air.’ Or more specifically charging me 10 extra dollars for use of the Watch on their network. A great reminder that I loath cell companies. All in all, same design, awesome new bands (sport loop) and good on Apple for pushing the line forward. If cellular means the world to you then update. If you have a series 2 and don’t care much about LTE, then sit this one out. Even if you have a Series 1 or 0, (like myself) I think unless cellular is something you’ve been waiting for for a while, then jump, if not. No worries and wait for next year’s redesign. (My opinion)

Apple TV – 4K, HDR, chip bump and SAME remote. Apple really? That remote is without a doubt one of the worst designed pieces of hardware to ever creep out of Apple. How in the world was this not redesigned and let out a 2nd time. 4k is great if you have a TV that supports it, HDR is the real winner here. Again, your TV has to support it, but HDR alone would make me upgrade if I had a TV capable. I’m holding off, but considering our Apple TV is our main way we watch our television, I’m happy to see Apple pushing their TV agenda forward.

iPhone 8’s – Its been the popular thing to bash these phones all because iPhone X was announced at the same event. Sure, the 8’s are less desirable for tech enthusiasts. But not only tech obsessed people buy iPhones. Apple knows this, and the truth is the 8’s are unbelievably great products. I really love the way the aluminum mixes with the new glass back. Also, the new gold color looks fantastic. I wouldn’t write off these phones just yet. I’m sure the demand will be a whole lot less compared to iPhone X, but these are solid upgrades which Apple should be commended for. Not to mention they feature almost every software upgrade that iPhone X does. iPhone X trumps 8 in hardware, sure. But there’s something to be said for tried and true, and the 8 is exactly that to the core: tried and true. I’m still heavily considering purchasing one.

iPhone X – The main event. I felt a very odd merging of emotions watching the unveil of iPhone X. Sure, I have been waiting for over a year for this phone, even published why I was passing on the 7 to wait on this very model. But as Phil Schiller was proudly announcing iPhone X I felt a sense of dread mixed in with my excitement. The lack of home button is really bothering me. I love my home button, specifically because I think its easily the best feature ever implemented on any tech product. And now Apple is ditching it. There is no denying how good iPhone X looks though. Its everything I thought it would be a year ago and in some ways more. I was little worried about Face ID and how well it would execute, but the hands on videos and trusted tech reporters cleared any doubt on that front. But one more gripe… That notch at the top of the display literally offends me. I don’t know how else to say it. It looks so out of place and so un-Apple. I get that Apple had no choice. That’s obvious. Internally, they can’t be thrilled with it either. But man, its rough to look at. Maybe using in real life changes things, but that notch. Anyways, bottom line for me is I’m excited to use it. As far as iPhone X as an over all product: Its obvious they believe in the design language and clearly is the future moving forward. Very impressive work for Apple.

My Verdict – I really enjoyed this event. A lot of it has to do with the Steve Jobs tribute in the new building. It just felt like an old school Apple event again. Maybe it was Steve’s voice. I don’t know. All the devices announced were impressive to say the least. The more interesting aspect of this event was wasn’t said though. No HomePod talk, no iMac Pro talk. Actually no Macintosh talk at all. Nothing ever mentioned. Thats kind of amazing to me. Amazing in a sad way. All in all, I’d say a solid day for Apple. They delivered on some heavy rumored products and high expectations of millions. But that notch though. Oh and by the way where in the world is dark mode?

Hurricane Irma

I currently am in the midst of Hurricane Irma. The rain is smashing against the windows and the wind, whistling seamlessly through the air.. I’m not sticking around for the worst of it though. I’m leaving for work in a few hours. I just wanted to document a little of this experience.

First and most importantly, Lindsey and the kids are safe about 6 hours north of here. They left yesterday morning while I was getting off shift work. We live in Kingsland, GA. We are very close to the coast and in the early days of this storm, the experts were reporting the eye was going to come right through here. Thus, we were under mandatory evacuation.  Since, Irma has changed its track and is currently hovering over the west coast of Florida.

My dad was down here visiting and had to book an emergency flight up to the safe north. So I picked him up and headed towards the airport. He was staying on Amelia Island or more specifically, right on Fernandina Beach. Dad said he wanted to stop at the beach to take a picture. To my surprise, it was extremely windy and the waves were about 6 feet high already. This was Saturday, Sept. 9 at about 9AM. The strength of this storm is amazing.

I came home and “prepared” our house as best as possible. Bringing in our grill, chairs, little stuff like that. Arriving home and driving through our neighborhood, I saw many houses boarded up. That gives off such an eerie feeling. Like an alien invasion was imminent. Anyways, yesterday I spent most of the day just relaxing, going for walks and keeping an eye on the storm. You know, taking it all in I’m a weather nerd, so as scary as this storm is, it’s equally intriguing to me.

I’ve kept the TV on to stay in the know. We don’t have cable, but some nice person is mirroring the weather channel live feed on YouTube. So that’s been great. Watching the destruction of the keys and Cuba has been very thought-provoking, though. Seeing devastation like this really puts things in perspective. Nature has a way of doing that for me.

Overnight, my sleep was interrupted numerous times by hard rain against our windows. When silence fills your home, I guess any noise is loud. That rain sounded violent. At one point around 3AM, I went outside. it was rainy, breezy and cool. Just my type of weather.

Today (Sept. 10) would be day 2 I guess. The storm is starting to pick up. The rain is coming down hard and the wind warrants a serious foretelling.  Hopefully everyone reading this is safe. I leave for work in a little bit and know we are possibly in for a long shift. Like I mentioned, this is only the beginning, but it looks as if Irma is delivering on the promises that a serious storm brings.

Tomorrow (Monday, Sept 11) is predicted to be the worst day for our area. Here’s to hoping it won’t be too bad and no one gets hurt. Make sure your loved ones are safe and take care of yourself.

See you on the other side.

40th Anniversary of Close Encounters

Today marks the 40th anniversary of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” Spielberg’s masterwork about UFO’s, obsession, and conspiracy. One of my favorite movies ever released. A theatrical release is also slated to start today through Wednesday, Sept 6!

So many interesting tidbits are coming to surface today regarding production, etc.

Here is one my favs from sci-fi 

“In the movie, the mothership lands, and then the little aliens start coming out. But as it was originally planned, they were supposed to come out and then sort of float around,” Alves says, still a bit bummed he couldn’t make the creatures fly around his massive set. “Flying all those kids would have been very, very difficult. And as it was, to begin with, the set was so big that we had 48 arcs up on that terrace and all these photo floodlights. It was just really, really complicated.”

The next idea was to have “little cuboids of light” fly all over the place. “The little cube things we had on wires, so there were little square lights flying by,” he recalls. “That became too much, so we killed that, too. Today we could do it with CGI. We would have flown the kids and gotten a green screen, put them in a layer and the same thing with the cubes.”

 

Unbelievable stuff. Please read the whole article though. If your interested in Close Encounters, its fantastic.