About me

I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

My Pandora "radio station" profile
This is my favorite way to listen to music now.

My Yahoo "radio station"
(Unfortunately, only works in IE.)

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I knew that I knew it from somewhere. It sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it. Now I know. The Olympics stole their theme song from the opening credits ofWhat do Bruce Campbell and the Olympics have in common? - Tuesday TubeWatch

Well, I was on the live session tonight (read about my experience with last week's recorded session). For the most part, as I expected, the experiences were the same. ThereOprah's Online Training - live experience review

This time I followed the directions to delete (almost) all the WordPress files on the server before uploading the new versions. That seems to work much better than overwriting them. SoUpgrade successful!

(Originally posted Jul 31, 2005 on my older blog) I've been watching Justice League and Justice League Unlimited lately. This is good stuff. Mike got me hooked. I'd caught it while flippingReview: Justice League

The Smothers Brothers have the classic team act perfected. They are right up there with Abbott and Costello, and Laurel and Hardy. I remember loving their TV show when ITuesday TubeWatch Contest: Smothered in Classic Comedy

(Yeah, I know I'm months behind 90% of the free world in seeing this one...) Okay, obviously from the trailers the special effects on this movie were going to be top-notch.Review: Transformers

Vanguard − The "Dilbert" guide to personal finance This list from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, is about 2 years old, but I just saw it for the first time,Personal Finance advice from "Dilbert"

This is a follow-up to my previous, spoiler-free post. I have a few observations about continuity problems in Superman Returns. Spoilers below! If you want to read it, take your mouseReview: Superman Returns :: Spoilers!!

Star Wars: Community | ILM's Greenscreen Challenge Entry Stephen Colbert, of the Comedy Central's Colbert Report, issued a challenge to the public at large to put his lightsaber antics in frontStephen Colbert, a Greenscreen, and ILM

I've got one year to make up my mind. Maybe it won't seem like as big of a deal then. But for right now? I must have it. I haven't beenCould this be the one?

Finding Neverland wasn't boisterous, or exhuberantly full of wonder. It was, if anything, understated and simple in its execution. Despite the drama of a crumbling marriage, oppression, depression, and death,Review: Finding Neverland

Quick, think of all those movies from the '60s. The fun ones. The ones with energy that just kept going. Fast dialogue. Bold colors. Doris Day. Frankie and Annette.Review: Down with Love

SCI FI Wire | The News Service of the SCI FI Channel The latest info coming out about Heroes just bolsters my impression that this is going to be a goodHeroes - the dark side

Bryce Zabel's FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH: Santa's 2007 Movie Smackdown! Bryce has put together a fun poll on which Christmas/holiday movies make the cut for annual viewing. Which ones can youThe Santa Smackdown!

Here's a tip from my sister-in-law. Pretty impressive savings. This is the perfect time to shop for next year's winter clothes. We shop at department stores like Macy's andShop Ahead

I’m a prejudiced idiot

Apparently, I’m prejudiced.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I persisted in believing an unfounded assumption rather than taking a few minutes to find out the truth. Because of that stupidity, I missed out on some enjoyment. Luckily, I can make up for that in this case. As I’ll come back to, that’s not always true.

The name “Five for Fighting” applied to a music group immediately conjured up images of hard, driving rock music, with lots of screaming and anger. It’s just the name alone that brought that image to mind. The only music I had heard from the group at that time was “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” which is one of my favorite songs. But I persisted in my faulty image, thinking that maybe this was the song that broke their mold, and the rest of their songs were just as I imagined.

Then I heard a couple more of their songs, and they were all very nice, acoustic piano-driven songs with thoughtful lyrics and beautiful orchestration. And still I rationalized. “Maybe they do one nice song per album.”

Eventually I realized that was a stupid assumption to make and I should look into the group and see if I was missing out on something great. Still, it took a while to do anything about it. In fact, it wasn’t until I started exploring Pandora that I really found out how stupid I am.

I had a lot of my facts wrong. First off, “Five for Fighting” isn’t a group. It’s a guy. He just figured his name was harder to remember than a marketing title, and he was right. I haven’t had any trouble remembering the name (which refers to a hockey penalty) – I just associated it poorly. Which leads to my other large mistake. It’s still amazing to me that presented with nothing but music that I loved, I still had this notion that the majority of Five for Fighting’s catalog would be stuff I hated. I’ve listened to probably 15 of his songs now, and I have liked all of them. Most share the same acoustic, orchestrated, piano-led sound.

While I have a few contenders for my favorite so far, I have to give the nod to the radio hit “100 years”.

That song perfectly blends many of the elements I love. Strong rhythm piano, nice orchestration, a distinctive sound, strong solo work moving into full instrumentation, and lyrics about the passage of time and life. I’m a sucker for the “time passing” motif.

So why, presented with only music that I love, did I persist in my prejudiced viewpoint? Ignorance. Ignorance is at the heart of all prejudice.

There are people who hate others based only on their race. They don’t get to know the people or what they stand for at all – they simply believe their prejudiced views, despite evidence to the contrary. The same applies to religion and politics. There are Republicans who recoil at anything labeled “Democrat” without any knowledge of the message’s content. Likewise, there are Democrats who cringe at anything to come out of a Republican’s mouth, simply because a Republican said it, with no regard for the content of the statement (or its context).

This problem of prejudice is exacerbated by the sound-bite driven, attention-deficit guided media coverage that focuses on isolated incidents or statements with no regard to context, frequently presenting a misleading, or even wholly inaccurate, picture.

Don’t allow prejudice to guide you. Don’t be ignorant. Don’t assume that you know; know that you know. Find out the truth. You don’t have to agree with it, but discover the truth. Unlike choosing which music group to listen to, some choices can have lasting and dangerous consequences.

And on your way out, take a listen to this lesser known Five for Fighting song that I discovered after I started paying attention.

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