Monday, July 30, 2007

The Dark Side of the Moon

Friday night ended in a perfect way.
But… Let me back up… a bit.

When I was a much younger man, before I was married even, I used to go to a laser light show at the Hansen Planetarium. “Laser Floyd” it was called. Weekends at midnight, freaks from all around the Salt Lake Valley would gather at this ancient building to trip the light fantastic. Yes… many of them, I’m sure, were on some kind of enhancement just to make the light just a little more… trippy. I was not one of them, by the way.
It was great to hear music that I love, and see the laser effects, and just to let my mind go. It’s one of those memories from back then that I really like and really miss.

The Hansen Planetarium is gone now, replaced by a much more modern, if empty, Clark Planetarium. I say empty because there is not much in it except for a few little displays and a couple of theaters. I was a little disappointed by it until I saw that on Friday night, 11:00pm they were playing “Dark Side of the Moon” laser and light show.
So I went with my wife and my two oldest daughters.
That was awesome!
The effects that they can do now verses 20 years ago, makes the old show seem really cheesy and… well… old. My daughters, both of them Hanna Montana, and country music fans, were not really impressed, and spent most of the show with their hands over their ears and their eyes shut. What ya gonna do? I should ground them both, and have them listen to nothing but Floyd for a week.
Probably wouldn’t work.

Well, now that I know that it’s there, I expect to spend a few extra Friday nights there, tripping under the laser light.
Join me some night…
I’ll see you on the Dark Side of the Moon.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What Make's us Americans?

When was the last time you read the entire poem that bacame our national anthem? Never? Did you know that it was a poem first? Did you know that it has more than one verse? Did you know that “Play Ball” and “Gentlemen Start Your Engines” appears in the anthem, not at all?
Here’s your chance to read the whole thing. Look at the meanings and the imagery that Francis Scott Key put into the poem. Some would say that it has nothing to do with todays situations or the current state of our nation. But I think that they are wrong.
I believe that our situation today is far worse that that of the war of 1812, when the poem was written. For not only are we threatened by the world powers and Terrorists, but we are threatened by the week leadership we have in Washington (And I’m not just talking about our “so called” president, but the members of congress as well… both sides of the aisle) and we are threatened by out own lazyness and complicity, and we are threatened by the media around us. It is a sad time in our history, and I wonder sometimes if our republic can withstand the storm.
Read the poem and see what you think.

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen thro’ the mist of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream’
Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our Trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Have a safe 4th of July. Take some time to think about what this day really means. It’s not Beer, Nascar, hotdogs, or Chevrolet. Don’t focus on your rights and entitlements, but on your responsibilities as a citizen of this nation. I don’t care if you’re a Red Stater or a Blue Stater, Liberal or Conservative, think about what this nation has given you, and then ask yourself… what am I willing to do to keep it.
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