Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

In honor of being with various family and friends for over a week, eating unbelievable amounts of food that will undoubtedly put me in an early grave, and watching as much football as I possibly can, I give you my two favorite Christmas pictures (shamelessly stolen from elsewhere on the 'net), one of a secular nature and the other religious:

1) The Secular:
2) The Religious, and I'm probably going to get in trouble from my Mom and others (e.g., God) for this one:
Have a good and safe holiday everyone.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Jif has never lied to me!

This is hands down the crazist, funniest, least science-based, hell, the least REASON-based, denial of evolution I've ever seen or heard. I don't even understand how a person with faith and of reasonable intelligence could begin to rationalize this tripe, much less actively encourage others to believe it. This is the kind of crap that does nothing but harm to both sides of the Intelligent Design/Evolution debate. Man, I love the Internet:

Friday, November 23, 2007

What about the Pope?

I chuckled.

Black Friday Vent

Yes, I went shopping on Black Friday. I wasn't exactly planning on it, but last night I saw some decent prices on one of the Black Friday deals aggregator web sites. Still, I wasn't planning on doing, well, anything today, good deals or not.

Then the dog ABSOLUTELY HAD TO GO OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW! at 5:35 AM, and I was awake and couldn't get back to sleep. So I said "screw it" and drove up to Office Depot (they had good prices on what I actually needed), thinking (correctly) that they wouldn't have the people crazy enough to camp outside. I passed Best Buy on the way home last night: the tent people were already out there, at 9:00 PM or so. So when I got to Office Depot, there were only 20 or so people in line at the door, with only five minutes til the doors were scheduled to open. "Sweet!" thought I, "I'll be able to get in and out and home in time for the second half of the morning news."

I was wrong.

There was only 1 manager with the keys to the locked cases, where approximately half of the "must-have" deals resided. There was only one register open, so the line reached 50 people deep (literally; I stopped counting the people with whom I was queued at 50) in a matter of minutes. To Office Depot's credit, they had plenty of stock for the initial rush, which, according to a manager I overheard, they had "not anticipated." Not anticipated? On the vaunted and much-hyped "Black-Friday?" Idiots.

Luckily for me, only one of the 4 items I bought was an "OMG-we-need-15-of-those-'cause-it's-such-a-good-price" item, so I was able to get what I what I wanted to the mega-checkout line without any hassle.

Still, other than the wait to actually pay for my goods, I got some good deals: a $15.00 piece of crap (but working) DVD player for either the garage or the guest bedroom, a good price on a couple gigs of RAM for the PCs (really improved performance, by the way, on Linux and XP), and a good deal on something for someone who'll probably read this.

Still, though. . . "didn't anticipate" a crowd on Black Friday? I say again: Idiots. At least I didn't go to Best Buy or, God forbid, Wal-Mart.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

44 years ago today/Back and to the left

There's nothing funny about a President, any President, no matter his policies and politics, being assassinated. That being said. . .

And for the record, it was Oswald, alone, with a mail-order rifle. He also murdered Officer J.D. Tippit later in the day, a fact glossed over or outright ignored by many histories and movies of the events on that day.

Thanksgiving

I'll be spending today with family, which is nice. Since I'm not the (publicly) sentimental sort, I'm not going to gush about all the things I'm thankful for (except puppies; I love and am thankful for puppies), and instead present this strange and possibly disturbing video. I thought it was pretty funny in a weird way, even if it does look like someone slapped it together three days before his film school class final, while high. Enjoy, and have a happy thanksgiving:

"Do the math Frankenstein." Heh, kills me. That's a minute and a half of your life you won't get back. The story behind the masks is here, by the way.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Freak

If you're a bass player (or for some weird reason, like the bass guitar), you'll probably get a kick out of how freakishly fast this guy is on a 7-string, playing Flight of the Bumblebee:

I could do without the Casio-rific background music, but daggum, that guy's good.

And Victor Wooten is still better.

Never bring a battery to a gun fight

Even though "gun" is in the name, a stun gun is hardly as effective as a firearm, as this unlucky, and unprepared, victim found out, five times over:
A man tried to use a stun gun to fend off a carjacker and ended up being shot five times.

The man was taken to the hospital Wednesday with wounds to his abdomen and leg but was expected to survive, Atlanta police Sgt. Lisa Keyes said.

The man was driving a minivan in southeast Atlanta when he was confronted by a carjacker at an intersection. The carjacker jumped in, told the man to drive and demanded money, police said.

While trying to reach for his money, the man also pulled out his stun gun and shocked the carjacker.

But the carjacker reacted by shooting the man at least five times, Keyes said. The van, which was still moving, crashed into a tree and the carjacker ran away.

The victim, whose name was not immediately released, was conscious and talking to investigators when he was taken to the hospital, Keyes said.

Keyes stressed the importance simply giving up the vehicle when confronted by a carjacker.

"Make the situation safe for you," she said. "You know you have to get away from that person. Just try to give the car up."
Keyes is right; possessions are not worth your life, or anyone else's, for that matter. The key word is try. If your life, or that of your loved ones, is in danger, then by all means you should take all available precautions and actions to secure your safety. This is just a general rule, however, and I don't mean to suggest that the victim in the above story didn't fear for his life or that his life was or was not in imminent danger. If I was in that situation, I would certainly believe that my life and/or physical well-being was in jeopardy and would hopefully make the appropriate response. . . which would not include a stun gun.

However, using deadly force (a firearm, most likely) wouldn't be my first choice.

Remember folks, if you're behind the wheel of a car, you have the ability to get away. Just don't make it easy on your attacker(s): I keep the doors locked and the windows up, especially if I'm in a "bad" area; Southeast Atlanta, where the above crime took place, is, for the most part, an example of such an area. It's better to see a threat coming rather than be surprised by one, so I keep my eyes up and scanning the area, including my mirrors. I do it when driving anyway, might as well do it when stopped. If my doors are locked and a would-be-assailant attempts to gain entry, remember, I'm in a VEHICLE. If there isn't a car in front of me, I'd floor it and rapidly remove myself from the area. If there is a vehicle in front of me, but not behind, I'd shift to reverse and floor it. I attempt to keep enough room in front and behind my vehicle to avoid being boxed in.

Only if I were unable to maneuver away from the threat would I escalate my response into the "deadly" range. Hopefully, the assailant would cease assailing, but if not, force would have to be applied. I sincerely don't ever want this for myself or anyone else. Deadly force is the last resort, but "going home alive" is always rule #1, at least in my mind.

To me, having a reaction plan is half the battle. After all, a prepared mind always has an advantage over one that is unprepared.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Debunking the "Non-sporting" firearm myth

It's still a rifle, remember? Pretty cool AK deer hunter over at The High Road with pictures (of the deer, the gun, and possibly the brightest jihadi ever):
Yugoslavian Underfolder AK47, 5 round magazine, Remington 123gr. PSP , iron sights at 65 yds, 1 shot thru the heart...runs about 30yds and folds up in a heap. The small entrance and exit wound are in perfect alignment just behind the front shoulders. I don't think the bullet expanded or fragmented, It just cleanly passed thru the heart and made for a very clean and quick harvest. This was probably one the most unique hunts with a rifle I've ever had.
Awesome: no lost meat, minimal suffering for the deer, and all with an eviillll black commie assault baby-killer inexpensive, rugged, semi-automatic rifle. . . with iron sights. no less. He also makes a good argument in favor of the AK as a sporter:
Folding up that AK and putting it on my backside made it whole lot easier than sporting that scoped 10 pound bolt action monstrosity around.
Damn straight. Who needs a long-barreled, heavy, expensive (and expensively scoped), rare-wood stocked rifle to hunt deer when an inexpensive, virtually indestructible, decently iron sighted rifle will work just fine? "Always use the right tool for the job" and all that.

h/t to Countertop

Wrong Place

Looks like I may have disappointed someone when they didn't find what they were looking for:Sorry, buddy.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Quote of the Day

Third paragraph:
"Vonnegut was the American Mark Twain."
-J. Michael Lennon, who, according to the Wiki,
"is a former professor of English at Sagamon State University, in Illinois, and Wilkes University in Pennsylvania."
Man, I hope that was just a slip of the tongue.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

And you thought TV here was weird. . .

Not that I didn't watch this Japanese Bikini Rodeo Pie Fight* a few times, because that video is weird in a good way. These guys, on the other hand, well, they're just plain weird:
Yeah, try getting that image out of your head. You're welcome.

*Safe For Work, if your work allows Japanese girls in bikinis throwing pies at each other while riding mechanical bull thingies.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Their system must be wrong. . .

'course, if it's not, I'm flattered. Notice, however, that I'm purposefully placing this pointless post directly above a post that contains a dead man, a trouser snake, and a picture of Homer Simpson. This test has to be random, although I have tried it 3 times or so over the course of the day when perusing my "to be checked later" temporary bookmark folder. Tip 'O the hat to Tam.
cash advance

Man killed by trouser snake

You and your dirty mind. No, really, this is proof that stupid crazy drunk rednecks exist everywhere, not just here in Georgia:

A Cambodian man's time on this earth ran out when, during a drinking session, he spotted a 2-metre-long cobra swimming in a river – and immediately decided to remove his trousers and use them to wrangle the snake.

The Bangkok Post reports that he planned to sell the snake later.

Unfortunately for the man, 36-year-old Chab Kear, his trouser-wrangling skills were no match for the snake.

Once he had tied that animal inside his trousers, attached to his waist with a scarf, it managed to get its fangs through the fabric of the trousers, biting him three times in the stomach.

The paper reports that Kear's response to the cobra bites were, heroically: 'don't worry - it's nothing a drink can't fix.'

These were also the last words he uttered on this mortal plane.

Heh. "Alchohol: The cause of and solution to life's problems" apparently did not apply in this case. My crack reporting staff* managed to get a film of the autopsy X-Ray:Additionally, I feel that I should receive an award or some other recognition for Google Image Searching "trouser snake" with Safe Search off in a fruitless attempt to find an amusing, yet safe for work, image with which to entertain you people. I've seen things I'll not easily be able to unsee. I knew I would, but still. . .

*Two drunk monkeys and an aloe plant totally count as a reporting staff.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I want pictures!

If you're in Cullman, Alabama on November 10th, please get many pictures of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan protesting against the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. That's right, the KKK is protesting the KKK. Why? Well, in the most ironic comment I've heard in awhile, an "investigator" for the Alabama KKK [whatever that is] said,
We are opposed to the ignorance and stupidity as displayed by the individuals that thumbed their nose at the area churches by continuing to use racial slurs, threats and avoided Christian deportment.
I. . . I think my eyes just broke themselves off their optic nerves from rotating up and around so quickly. Also, if violence breaks out between the two groups, I hope the police just grab some coffee and watch the racist bastards kill each other off.

UPDATE: The Southern Poverty Law Center has more.

Nerdgasm

I found this video here. Here's the explanation:
Twin Solid State Musical Tesla coils at the 2007 Lightning on the Lawn Teslathon hosted by DC Cox (Resonance Research Corp) in Baraboo WI.

The music that you hear is coming from the sparks that these two identical high power solid state Tesla coils are generating. There are no speakers involved. The Tesla coils stand 7 feet tall and are each capable of putting out over 12 foot of spark. They are spaced about 18 feet apart. The coils are controlled over a fiber optic link by a single laptop computer. Each coil is assigned to a midi channel which it responds to by playing notes that are programed into the computer software. These coils were constructed by Steve Ward and Jeff Larson. Video was captured by Terry Blake. What is not obvious is how loud the coils are. They are well over 110dB.
Pure awesomeness. The Mario Bros. Theme:

Question - Answer

Plane loses engine during takeoff:
South African officials were trying to determine Thursday why an engine fell off a Boeing 737 during takeoff at Cape Town International Airport.
Gravity would be my starting point. Also, they didn't lose the engine; it was right there on the runway for the majority of the flight.

Seriously, though, that ranks high on my list of "Things That Suck."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Random Pictures Because I Haven't Felt Like Posting In Awhile Post

I hate the commercial, so this made me laugh:












Trustworthy. Really:












Check out the pansy in the front row; dude looks like an epileptic Prince Valient:






















Hottest thing I've seen all day week month (even though she looks like she's mad that she has to be a Stormtrooper):






















OK, normally I hate the LOLCats! meme, but I have to say, this is just awesome:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Rectum? Damn Near Killed Him!

Just when you've thought you've heard it all, along comes the lady who accidentally (maybe) killed her husband by inducing alcohol poisoning via a sherry enema:
Prosecutors have dropped charges that a Lake Jackson woman caused her husband's death by giving him a sherry enema, leading to alcohol poisoning.

Tammy Jean Warner, 45, now of Texas City, had been scheduled to go on trial next Monday on a charge of negligent homicide. It was the sixth trial date set for the case.

Court records state that the case was dismissed Aug. 31 due to insufficient evidence.

Warner's husband, Michael Warner, a 58-year-old machine shop operator, died at their Lake Jackson home on May 21, 2004. An autopsy report said he had been administered an enema with enough sherry to get a blood alcohol level of 0.47 percent. That is almost six times the level that can lead to a driving while intoxicated charge.

Warner told the Houston Chronicle that her husband had been addicted to enemas since he was a child. She said he often used alcohol in that manner to get drunk.

Neither Warner's attorney nor Brazoria County District Attorney Jeri Yenne could be reached for comment.
Man, people are freaks. I mean, sherry? C'mon, if you're going to let your freak flag fly that high, you might as well use something a bit better than sherry! Granted, anything with a higher alcohol content would just kill you faster, but if you're to the point where receiving (or giving, for that matter) alcohol enemas is what you require to get off, well. . . let's just say the rest of humanity hopes you haven't bred.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Who Knew?

Apparently those little horns and gigantic vertebrae are actually good for something.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Democracy In Action

Or at least the hypocrisy of Texas State Legislators in action, breaking their own rules. Their brazenness is disgusting and appalling. The whole video is worth watching, by the way, especially the laughably pathetic excuse given by Riddle, who, notably, is the author/sponsor of a bill to toughen citizen voting standards in Texas.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sorry

Just wanted to let everyone know that I'll get back to posting on a regular basis as soon as possible. There are some pretty serious things going on in my personal life that need to be addressed and that take priority over my little corner of the 'net.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Professional Journalism

Do professional news outlets, in a major market mind you, not hire or utilize editors anymore? What's wrong with the second sentence:
A Clayton County Sheriff's deputy is recovering following a crash about 1 a.m. Friday on Tara Boulevard.

The deputy's cruiser apparently blew a tire, causing it to blow a tire and flip into a ditch.

The deputy was not seriously injured but was taken to Atlanta Medical Center to be checked out as a precaution.
*Sigh* 'Course, maybe it blew two tires. . .

Fridayt, 9:42 PM

Click link, scroll down to the day and time above.

OK, Fri. 2142 is funny, but there's just oodles (that's right, oodles) of awesomeness on that page:
Monday, 12:24 p.m. Caller reports cars speeding down the street, Lewis St. at Manomet Ave., and he’s threatening to put his truck in the middle of the road. O/Dunn detailed. Male put a little green man in the road and was advised that he cannot…

Monday,
3:04 p.m. Caller reports males are shooting a video for YouTube in their underwear, Hull Shore Drive. S/Reilly reports males have left the beach…

Tuesday,
11:42 p.m. Nantasket Ave. caller requests to speak with an officer regarding a past assault; caller is drunk. O/Mahoney responding. Same requests O/Saunders to respond. Female is unclothed and will not put her clothes on. O/Mahoney will be waiting outside for assistance. O/Saunders reports the female will be going to bed for the night. Same was looking for someone to talk to…
Man, I love police blotters; they're like the regular news, but on drugs.

FAIL!

I usually don't get involved in Internet memes and cliches, but this is the best fail picture ever. I swear I know what Mama Duck is thinking in the last frame:
"What in the HELL just happened!?!"

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Random Gun Pr0n

Sorry I haven't posted much anything this week; work/life has been hectic, to say the least, and I've been too tired to care much about the Internet lately (blasphemy, I know). In the meantime, if you like guns, photography, and/or gun photography, you might find this thread over at The High Road pretty interesting. Lots of great gun pics and loads of great advice on taking pictures of those guns, not to mention good advice on taking good somewhat-close-range static pictures in general. Cool stuff.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Bend Over and Relax, Citizen

For someone who ostensibly wishes to become our next President, John Edwards certainly seems more than willing to shoot himself in the foot. Yesterday Edwards revealed another facet of his version of Universal Healthcare: forced medical evaluations of ALL Americans.
"It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."

He noted, for example, that women would be required to have regular mammograms in an effort to find and treat "the first trace of problem."
For a proponent of Universal Socialized Healthcare, forced evaluations make perfect sense; preventative medicine is after all the best way to, well, prevent and detect illnesses before they become untreatable, expensive, etc. I don't have a problem with preventative treatment in and of itself; I go to the doctor yearly for a general physical exam. Since I'm self-employed, I also pay for my own health insurance. Of course, I choose to go to the doctor, and that freedom of choice is something that Edwards seeks to take away from me and from all Americans.

Unfortunately, not a single journalist that I could find, including the AP writer who wrote the linked article, thought to ask Edwards what would happen were an American to refuse to seek treatment. For example, would a Christian Scientist, after refusing medical treatment, be fined, jailed, committed, or what? After all, Edwards includes metal health screening and treatment in his authoritarian health plan:
Edwards said his mandatory health care plan would cover preventive, chronic and long-term health care. The plan would include mental health care as well as dental and vision coverage for all Americans.

"The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death," he said.
Would refusal to imbibe the bitter medicine of the overarching Nanny State be regarded as a mental illness? After all, the State knows what's best for you. Every citizen in this country would be required to submit to government-run psychological screening. Would there be pass/fail standards? What would those standards be? What happens when a citizen fails? Would they be removed from their job, their family, or from society in general?

Universal healthcare is a slippery slope of socialism that leads to authoritarianism. Edwards believes that it would be both more cost-effective and simply better for the overall health of the populace to force all citizens to undergo preventative medical and mental health treatment. Using this logic, wouldn't forcing exercise and a government-approved diet also be cost effective and better for general health? After all, diet and exercise have been conclusivly shown to increase life expectancy and quality of life. Of course, citizens would have better health if they had better genes to begin with, so the government might as well begin to weed out all the impurities in the genetic mix. Not through executions or imprisonment, mind you, but because the government will have the health information of everyone on file, it should be relatively simple to allow only those couples with superior genetics to breed. Why not give everyone Soma while we're at it; we'd hate for all those Alphas and Betas to begin wondering why their government doesn't want them thinking for themselves. All in the name of national well-being, of course.

Were Edwards and his ilk to get their way, the Federal Government will know the intimate physical, metal, and emotional details of every citizen in this country, whether the citizenry wants those details known or not. Were Edwards and his ilk to get their way, a gigantic step in eroding the personal freedoms of all Americans will have been taken. Stalin, Lenin, Mao, and all their cronies would be proud. In Edwards' view,
"[E]verybody is worth health care."
Whether or not they actually want that health care, well, Edwards just doesn't seem to think that choice should be up to us. As Big Brothers to us all, he and the other authoritarian, liberal universal healthcare advocates know exactly how we should live our lives.

Heavy Metal Pork

I'm not a moonbat animal rights activist by any means, but this is pretty messed up. I love pork, in virtually all of its myriad forms (except maybe pig's feet), but force feeding a pig sand and metal in order to create a pig heavy enough to make it "worthy" of religious sacrifice crosses the line.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Site Stuff

Posting will most likely be nonexistent today; I have a large family get-together all day and won't be near a computer. Hopefully I'll be able to get behind the keyboard later this evening, but I'm not making any promises.

Also, I made a break with Blogger's commenting system, so if you're looking for a post with comments, you won't find any. Sorry, but using Haloscan to handle everything is both easier and more efficient.

Hope ya'll are having a good holiday weekend.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Football = Stressful

Army 14 - Akron 22
*Sigh* Just go .500 this year boys, that's all I ask.
Kansas State 13 - (18) Auburn 23
The phrase "skin of our teeth" comes to mind. I'm glad we won, but the score doesn't show the fact that the Wildcats were winning the game until about 2 minutes left in the 4th. Kansas State played pretty strong until then, when Auburn's defense finally wore them down. That, combined with some poor coaching decisions on the part of the Kansas State coaches in the latter part of the 4th was the only thing that allowed the Tigers to win. Our offense was extremely shaky; a bunch of young players on the O-line combined with a QB with somewhat limited mobility due to last year's injuries is decidedly not a good combination. If Auburn doesn't get it together, by, say, tomorrow, it's going to be a long season.
Oklahoma State 14 - (13) Georgia 35
The score belies the fact that the Dawgs got off to a pretty slow start. The Cowboys were a good team with which to start the season; strong enough to test and create a learning experience for the Bulldogs, but not so strong as to, you know, win.
Notable:

Georgia Tech 33 - Notre Dame 3
NICE! Love seeing Tech beat up on Notre Dame at Notre Dame. I'm not a GT fan by any means, but hey, they're a home team and I'll root for them.
Appalachian State 34 - (5) Michigan 32
What. the. hell. Easily the biggest upset in college football history. There's no way a I-AA school should be capable of beating #5-ranked Michigan at MICHIGAN! I know Appalachian State's the defending National Champions (two years in a row) of their division, but still. . . that's just stellar play on their part. What's crazy is that, from what I saw of the highlights, Michigan didn't even look that bad; I mean, they weren't running the wrong way or anything. They made some mistakes, but the Mountaineers simply played a better game of football today. Amazing. I was able to see the last 5 or so minutes of the game, and it was great. Who says there aren't any good games on opening day?

Gun vs. Fist

What do you do if some idiot sticks a gun in your face and demands money? Well, if you're this guy, you get out of your car and beat the crap out of him:
Devon Barker says he was about to get out of the car when the robber stuck a gun into the driver's side window and demanded money.

Barker says he got out of the car, went around the backside, and tackled the robber. Barker says he punched the robber, but the man managed to get away.

Boulder Police arrested 20-year-old Kaleb Nelson a short time later at an apartment a block away from the Spanish Towers.
There's just something that makes my John Wayne Man Gene click on when I read about some bozo with a gun getting smacked down by his intended, and unarmed, victim. That Nelson is going to jail, where I'm sure his tale of criminal derring-do will be met with, shall we say, derision by his collegues, is just icing on the cake.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Obligatory Craig Opinion

Everyone else is talking about it, so why shouldn't I? Here are my thoughts:
  • Is Larry Craig guilty? Well, yes. . . he admitted as much when he pled guilty.
  • Did Larry Craig actually solicit gay sex from a police officer in a men's bathroom? Signs point to "yes," but after reading the transcript [PDF], I don't know for sure; only Craig knows for sure. Besides, how do you, I, or the police officer know whether or not Craig wanted to do the deed in the restroom? What if he was planning on going elsewhere? Soliciting, and having, consensual sex with another adult in a private setting shouldn't be illegal.
  • Do I care whether or not Craig is gay? Nope.
  • Did the cop behave in an improper/illegal manner? Nope. The cop, though kind of a jerk, did what cops do: attempt to get a confession, guilty plea, and/or enough evidence to procure a conviction of some sort. . . you know, his job.
  • Is Craig an IDIOT for not hiring an attorney as soon as he was allowed to touch some sort of communications device? Yup. He should have lawyered up immediately. Whether you're guilty or innocent, you get a lawyer. You'd think a sitting U.S. Senator might know a few decent criminal defense attorneys. Bitter sums up my thoughts for me:
    Craig could have deflected this. If he came out of that arrest swinging emphasizing the overreaching police state in the airport where actions such as putting the your bag in front of you in the bathroom stall will draw police attention and lead to arrest.
  • Do I have any sympathy for Craig? Nope. Seems to me he made a series of bad decisions and now he has to live with them.
  • Is it wrong for the Republican Party to essentially force him to resign? Not really; he certainly showed enough poor judgment throughout this affair to warrant calls for his resignation. That being said, the fact that members of the party had to have known about the arrest and said nothing until the story broke independently gives lie to any claim of "moral outrage." Of course, it helps that the governor of Idaho is a Republican who will replace Craig with a member of the party.
And that's all I have to say about that. UPDATE: Craig is resigning tomorrow, according to this. Again, I don't care what he does in his personal life, but he should resign for being too stupid/proud/whatever to hire a lawyer.

Non-Reunion Lament

Thurston Moore regrets not breaking up. . . or rather, he regrets not breaking up so Sonic Youth could reform years later for a pretty decent payday:
"The Pixies reunion was a real success, and Dinosaur Jr. seems like a big success, and both those bands play as good as they ever did. Mission Of Burma blew my mind when they came back. But a band like us never did break up. Which was to our own detriment. What would have happened if we did break up after [classic 1988 double album] Daydream Nation - or even after [1990's] Dirty - and had gotten back together two years ago? You'd be interviewing me at the Chateau Marmont as I'm waiting for my limousine. We probably would have made so much money. This was our biggest career faux-pas - not breaking up."
I don't know if he's serious, ironic, sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek, or (most likely) a combination, but I do know he's right. I've never been that big of a Sonic Youth fan, but I've always respected what they do, and they could have been like any one of many bands who've broken up and come back for their "triumphant" mega-tour. Unfortunately for music geeks such as myself, any former glory was most likely lost before whatever band in question disbanded. It doesn't matter the decade or the genre; this is an overarching phenomenon. All we're left with is overweight, balding shells of our former icons who either pander to their fans in an attempt to get the money they weren't able to manage in their heyday or whose earnestness, spontaneity, and onetime brilliance has unavoidably tarnished with age. Not to say that once obscure/now legendary bands shouldn't get the monetary rewards their relative obscurity has denied them, but will they be as good as they once were? Sure, they may be technically better musicians, and they may understand how to work a crowd, but it's not the proficiency or showmanship alone that draws us in; it's the feeling we get when we listen or watch. . . and a reunion concert or album cannot recapture that feeling in us; it can only replicate what we once felt.

Let's face it, every musician or band you love will either die or break up, for one reason or another.* Nothing will ever top the moment you first listened to that cassette of [Band X] your friend dubbed from the music collection of his older brother, or seeing [Musician Y] play the greatest set ever, before the drugs, ex-wives, and record labels took control, or popping a brand new CD into the car, listening to a band for the first time, and having to pull the car to the shoulder because it was the music that you wish you could write, but can't and are overwhelmed.

No reunion tour, no ten-years-later album with better production values and also-famous guest musicians will ever make you feel the way you felt when you became a fan in the first place. The music of the musicians we love may last forever, but the musicians themselves never will, and they'll never recapture what they once created.

*Except the Rolling Stones; they may get more craptacular with age, but I'll be damned if anything can actually kill those guys.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Quote of the Day

At the end of the day, the Brady Campaign "wins" by taking away your rights. The NRA "wins" by protecting them. And ultimately, I believe that's why we'll win more battles than we lose.
-Wayne LaPierre, Why They'll Lose

The Simpsons Movie: The Red State Review

The Simpsons movie is out, and it’s funny. It’s not super, like you can’t look away because it’s so beautiful, but good. Unlike the South Park movie, which towered above the series, the Simpsons movie is more like a great Simpsons’ episode that you don’t want to end. Luckily, it doesn’t end; it just keeps going strong the whole feature. The question for many is the controversy factor. Environmentalism, anti-military, anti-all-censorship, anti-religious, and anti-capitalist/anti-corporation (ironically), these are the some of the many pet liberal/progressive causes which pop up in the Simpson series. The movie is no exception, but I had to roll the dice for my fellow evil conservatives and answer one question:

Does the Simpson’s movie break the Red State Filter?

It's hard to be a red stater--you work hard, come home, you want to veg out, and WHAM! Some commie sticks a sickening liberal public-service message in the middle of your program. The Red State Filter is when your brain filters out the bull and only accepts the good stuff. For example, in the commentaries on Return of the Jedi Lucas compared the Ewoks to the Viet Cong! Claimed it was like Vietnam: a primitive culture defeats an imperial superpower! Filtered. It didn't happen for me. I just ignored the political commentary. Or the unbelievably forced lesbian-storyline in the Buffy series. How brave to make the mousy, Thelma-eqse, bookworm wicca into a lipstick lesbian. Really breaking new ground with the teenage male demo, guess we’ll just have to vote for “gay marriage” now. Almost killed the fun. I love They Live, but when an evil alien gives Reagan's “Morning in America” speech, you're pushing the filter to the limit. And every once in a while the Simpsons do, too.

In fact, creator Matt Groening admits that the show's pot shots are intentional: "In America there's someone to pretend to be offended by everything. Yeah, we annoy people, but that's part of the appeal. We aim to entertain people, but also to annoy a certain segment of the audience." I’m positive some will claim Simpsons is an equal opportunity annoyer, but in reality they are just not as bad as all the other shows. Here’s the break down on the movie’s transgressions against our malevolent beliefs.

Bart is dared to skate board naked through the town by Homer, but Homer sells him out when caught leading to a Bart/Homer movie long feud. Slap in the face number one is Bart’s full-on naked crotch-shot. Is it funny? Meh. The joke is that they beautifully animate a minute long sequence where every possible object blocks the view and then for one second there’s this absurd bush that blocks the view of everything but Bart’s genitals. It probably would have been almost as funny blurred. But really who cares? Well, as with most of the slaps I’m going to list, it is the attempt to offend which is really the annoying part. Going out of your way to offend “prudes,” (those who think this kind of humor is kind of unnecessary) because we represent evil in its purest form, in such pedestrian way displays how unsophisticated you think we are. All in all, this was done purely for ratings or to reeducate the straitlaced menace which is destroying our “hey, man, be cool” society. I stand by my “meh.” Unnecessary, but non filter breaking.

Slap number two is the whacks at God, the Bible, and church. Religion and the insanely religious are a big target, and not above a good swipe or two. But in reality the Media is riddled with attacks on religion. Frankly, the Simpsons have consistently gotten by with this story that because they have religion and even a vengeful God in their series they are actually a pro-religion show. Sure, super Christian Ned Flanders is happier than Homer, but he’s depicted na├»ve, effeminate, uncool, slightly mentally ill on occasion, and a total zealot that even annoys the minister. Unlike marriage, raising a family, and even civics, religion is something the Simpsons almost never get square with by the end of an ep. In the movie, God makes a small appearance as a beam of light and most of the spirituality is handled by a medicine woman because everyone knows vision quests are more realistic than all that hokey praying stuff. At the end, Marge says “G.D.,” which unless you never want to hear that phrase, was timed where it was reasonable and funny. Regardless, the jokes, while profane, are nothing to write home about. Only mild filter use, mostly just tried of the Simpsons trying to have it both ways.

Slap number three is Otto’s bong hit. Maybe this is a personal thing, but I hate marijuana use in shows. It’s almost never a plot point. Half the time it’s just a way to advance the “every body does it” idea, which just gets kids in trouble. But here Otto is smoking a bong right at the movie’s climax? Were we really longing to see Otto getting stoned on screen that bad? The gag is that he doesn’t know what going on at all during the critical moment. Internal chortle at best. While the placement is pretty annoying, the Red State Filter wouldn’t be very useful if it couldn’t handle wanton and superfluous drug use on screen.

Slap number four is the environmentalism. This was my big fear. In the past, Lisa Simpson has championed some pretty liberal views including the green politics (which seem more red to me). Theses eps often rival the Catwoman/anti-hunting episodes of Batman: TAS in filter busting. But other than a running gag that environmentalism is wrongfully ignored in America (which suggests it shouldn’t be and that it isn’t, in reality, constantly on being pushed on us at all levels of the media 24 hours a day) and a slash at Alaska for *gasp* allowing satanic oil companies to drill (shudder), the green peace brainwashing was not too bad. The filter is pretty good on this one and luckily its use was not taxing at all.

One might think slap number five would be the shots at the US government. Other than constantly portraying our servicemen and women as drunk, slack-jawed psychos, the Simpsons series does a good job lampooning the gov’ment. I can’t figure out why they put Schwarzenegger in the oval office, maybe because neither the far left or right firmly support him. Conservatives might be more supportive of terrorist surveillance then your average pot-growing hippie, but we’ve never been super comfortable with the federal government or its large agencies like the EPA. Of course, the bad guy is actually a rich white guy (the source of all evil) but the government jokes were generally funny and delightfully cynical.

Of course, it is the Simpsons. I still buy Marvel even though they constantly create books and give interviews, like Millar’s recent one to CBR, that proclaim their distaste for conservative views. It is Marvel. And like any cornerstone of geekdom the Simpsons are good even when they are bad—most of the time. Watching the movie I realized how much of a cornerstone: the Simpsons have changed things.

Geekdom owes the Simpsons a nod. A long time ago, I told my mother my friend said Star Trek was stupid become it wasn’t about the real world. My mother told me I didn’t need friends like that. Hard to believe but about ten years ago, or more, it was a prevailing belief that cartoons, anime, and comic books were either for kids or geeky perma-virgins. People like my friend roamed the earth with no clue what “spidey-sense” was—the wretched fools. The Simpsons had a lot to do with changing the perception of cartoons and other geek interests. Just by being a cartoon for adults, the Simpsons opened up the world. Crazy recluse Matt Groening’s little known “Life in Hell” comics launched him to do the Simpsons, and the underground went primetime. The Simpsons spread into toys, games, DVDs, and, of course, comics. Animated series popped up everywhere, even a Sci-Fi one called Futurama. Adults had Homer Simpson dolls and coffee mugs in their offices. Ever heard of Adult Swim? How about South Park? It isn’t a stretch to say that this one small step in cartoony goodness was one giant leap for geek-kind. Sure lots of things led to the world changing, but just step back and realize we have cartoons, high production value comics, superhero movies that don’t suck, anime—we’ve come a long way baby. And one must credit the Simpsons with some part in this boom, if only to say they helped make watching cartoons cool.

Well, this cartoon is still cool. Conservatives fear not, the movie isn’t lame or too liberal. So, strap on your Red State Filter and have a good time.

Note: This post was actually written by genie junkie, I'm just posting it to save him the 4 clicks of a mouse.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Richard Jewell dies

According to CNN, Richard Jewell has died of natural causes. Jewell, if you remember, was the security guard who found the bomb in Atlanta's Centennial Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics. He was first hailed as a hero for moving the crowd away from the bomb and later falsely accused by the FBI and the media for planting it; nutjob Eric Rudolph actually committed the crime. Jewell's life was made a living hell for months, and affixed him with a false stigma that even now he cannot shake, as evidenced by the CNN article's first sentence:
Richard Jewell, the security guard wrongly suspected of setting off a deadly bomb at Atlanta, Georgia's Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Olympics, has died, his attorney, Lin Wood, told CNN on Wednesday.
In a just world (which this decidedly is not), that sentence should read:
Richard Jewell, who saved many lives from being painfully lost in an explosion, has died of natural causes.
Two people died; what would the death toll have been had Jewell not discovered the bomb or not moved the crowd away? Yet because of overreaction by the Feds and the national/local media, Jewell is still remembered as "that guy who didn't set the bomb" instead of "that guy who saved all those people from the bomb."

The Rules of a Lost Art

Via Kim du Toit comes some superb advice for any young man (or a man of any age, for that matter). Equally well-written and brutally honest (by that, I mean he's honest in his language; the faint-of-heart might want to stop reading when he admits as much, but it's really nothing worse than one would hear on late-night cable), Kim expresses something I've noticed, struggled with, and have become annoyed with for quite some time:

It’s probably the only thing remaining which the French do better than we do.

I’m not talking about making wine, but making love—and I mean that in the most old-fashioned sense of the word: flirting.

Flirting is the art form in human communication and the piquant sauce in human interaction: that delicious, heady way in which the moth dances around the fire, getting closer and closer, sometimes getting singed, sometimes flying away, and sometimes being gloriously consumed by the flames.

[. . . ]

American men aren’t being taught this stuff anymore, and we are becoming the poorer for it. No wonder there are college rules which forbid complimenting and “staring”, when “Nice rack!” is what passes for a compliment.

You boor, you dolt, you insensitive, childish brute. Who the hell gave you the right to act that way towards a woman—a man’s daughter, another man’s sister, and somone’s future wife?

Because that’s where it ends. Without flirting, there is no romance. Without romance, all that’s left is heaving buttocks.

Here's a sample of Kim's rules:

1. Respect the lady. Respect at all times, respect beyond all reason, respect even if it makes no sense at all. All women are ladies. If they aren’t it’s only because they’ve never met the right gentleman before. Become the right gentleman.

How to show respect for women? Simple. Open the door for her. When a woman walks into the room for the first time, stand up. When you’re at the table, and she excuses herself, stand up when she leaves. Then, when she comes back, stand up again, and help her sit down in her chair. Always, always open the car door for her. When you arrive at a place, tell her to wait in her seat, then get out and run around to open the door for her. If she demurs, insist until she starts to expect it, and take it for granted. Always walk her to her front door, and wait until she closes the door before you leave. (And don’t expect a good-night kiss either, let alone anything else.) If she offers you her hand to shake, take it, and then bring it up to your mouth, and just touch it with your lips.

[. . . ]

5. Learn the difference between pride and vanity. Don’t be afraid of rejection. You are going to get rejected hundreds of times in your life when you flirt. Deal with it—that’s just hurt vanity, and that will pass. I don’t care how badly a woman treats you: either you deserved it (lesson learned) or you didn’t (let it become someone else’s problem).

[. . . ]

7. Finally, learn to love women. And I don’t mean that you should become a footstool; as a flirt, your whole life should revolve around making a woman feel appreciated, wanted, adored, and desired. Do it with subtlety, do it with grace, do it for fun, and do it without expecting sex at the end of it.

Learn to flirt. If some ghastly troll of a feminist thinks you’re trying to hit on her when you do so, just apologize graciously, and shut up. Move on to the next opportunity. You’ll be looking for someone who appreciates a man who loves women, and who appreciates being treated like a lady.

As Kim points out, both sexes, in this day and age, seem to be confused or misguided regarding how to flirt with and how to treat the opposite sex. In my experience, people are either unaware that there are in fact rules for flirting/dating/etc. or they are aware of the rules and are (like me) so socially awkward that any attempt at flirtation is saddled with self-doubt and a lack of confidence that is usually, if not always, noticeable by the lady in question. (I'm better than I used to be, I think; thanks for asking)

If you're a man, of any age/marital status, you owe it to yourself to read the whole thing; if you're a woman, you should read it as well, if for no other reasons than to learn how you should be treated and what you should expect from us.

Update: For a little perspective, from a lady and for the ladies, check out Mrs. du Toit's essay on the same subject. It's equally as honest Kim's missive and again with language not for the faint of heart; well -worth a read, regardless.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cowboy Up

It seems repression might actually be good for you. Repression is a subject, and lifestyle, that is near and dear to both mine and genie junkie's hearts. For years we've lived with the idea that neither of us wants to hear the other complain. . . although we haven't actually talked about it, since that would be sharing "emotions." It seems that at least according to a few professionals, we're on the right track:
“There’s a definite belief in our culture that talking about our problems makes you feel better,” says Rose, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Missouri, Columbia, whose research was published in the July issue of Developmental Psychology. “That’s true in moderation. ... It only becomes risky when it becomes excessive."

[. . . ]

Psychologists also warn against ranting over and over to the same audience. You don’t want to become known as the complainer of the group. That can take a toll on friendships; it’s draining to be around someone who’s always moaning about their troubles.

When faced with someone who’s intent on wallowing in their problems, give them some time to talk it out — maybe 15 minutes, suggests Annette Annechild, a marriage and family counselor in Del Ray Beach, Fla. After that, move away from complaining and on to problem solving.

Damn straight. Hell, I don't even talk about my problems (and boy, do I have some); I prefer to skip that step and move straight on to either fixing the problem or letting it slowly kill me. Why talk about your problems when you can do many other things to make yourself think you feel better, such as drink to excess, smoke, cry in the shower so you can't see the tears, grow either a tumor or an ulcer, and. . . wait, that's really about it. Either way, it turns out that my unhealthy ability to keep my feelings deep inside, where they can surprise me someday with an aneurysm, is actually healthy. Neat!

"I let him go"

One of the cheesiest action movies of the '80's, yet somehow I can't stop watching it (or at least parts of it) when it's on T.V.: Commando: Director's Cut on September 18th. The special features look sweet:
• Seamlessly branched Director’s Cut with never-before-seen footage
["Ooo, Arnold just killed another nameless Hispanic man from 400 feet with a blowgun!"]
• Audio commentary by director Mark Lester (on theatrical version only)
["And here you see Arnold kill another nameless Hispanic man from 400 feet with a blowgun. It took 12 days to film."]
• Deleted Scenes
[Ooo, Arnold killed a nameless Hispanic man from 400 feet with a blowgun, but the lighting was a little off.]
• Pure Action featurette
[wha? is this a porn reference?]
• Let Off Some Steam featurette
[Just try to imagine Arnold saying that; does it make sense now? Good.]
• Photo galleries with over 150 images
[It's called a Google Image Search]
- Creating Commando
[another porn reference?]
- Domestic Bliss with John and Jenny
[AWESOME!]
- Kill Arnold, Kill!
[AWESOME!]
- Trashing the Galleria
[AWE. . . no, wait, that was actually in the movie]
They want $20.00 for this? Really? I'll probably get it, but I'll wait until I see it in the $4.88 bin. Seriously though, some of the best action movie dialogue ever is in this movie:
Matrix: Remember, Sully, when I promised to kill you last?
Sully: That's right, Matrix. You did.
Matrix: I lied
[Matrix drops Sully off cliff]

Matrix: [after killing a man in the plane] Don't disturb my friend, he's dead tired.

Cindy: You steal my car, you rip the seat out, you kidnap me, you ask me to help you find your daughter which I very kindly do, and then you get me involved in a shoot out where people are dying and there's blood spurting all over the place, and then I watch you rip a phone booth out of a wall, swing from the ceiling like Tarzan, and then there's a cop that's going to shoot you and I save you and they start chasing me. Are you going to tell me what's going on or what?
Matrix: No.
Badass.

Backing Up

Chris Byrne has a good post up regarding the carry of backup weapons and, probably more important, carrying reloads for both the primary and secondary firearm:
When it comes to defending my life, and the lives of others, I follow the dictum “two is one, one is none”. As far as I’m concerned, when I've got my Colt Defender (7+1 and 7) and my P3AT (6+1 and 6) with reloads (which is my most frequent carry rig); the total round count may be 28, but I’ve only got 15 rounds there that I can count on.

My biggest concerns are malfunctions and environmental loss.

I carry a backup magazine because the smartest way to clear a malfunction is with a fresh mag. Most automatic pistol malfunctions are caused by either bad ammunition or bad magazines. When you have a serious stoppage malfunction, the best thing you can do to resolve it is clear the weapon of any potentially defective ammunition and magazine, and reload with a fresh, known good mag and ammo.

I carry a backup gun because clearing malfunctions is slower than grabbing another gun; and also because it isn’t hard to end up with a gun lost to the environment in the exigencies of a fight.

If you end up having to clear a vehicle or a door frame quickly, or if you god forbid fall down some stairs or the median or embankment of a road (and I’ve had all of the above happen while in potentially threatening situations), it isn’t hard to end up without your sidearm, or with it out of the action (I’ve never had the first happen, but I have had the second happen).
Having no gun in an already established gun fight is WAY the hell up there on my list of "Really Bad Things." Remember that bad primer on the range that time? Or that broken extractor that screwed up your whole day when shooting cans? Now think about what would happen if their was no "bang" after the "click" of the trigger when someone's shooting back.

Carry a secondary firearm whenever possible. . . and try to carry one when it's not possible.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The End of Slayer?

That's what The Gauntlet is reporting anyway:
[Tom Araya] does admit after spending more than half of his life entrenched within a band as aggressive as Slayer, that the end of the road may loom on the horizon. "Well, there have been remarks made about seeing an old man head-bang," laughs Araya. "And I have to agree. I think the Stones can do that, probably go out and do their stuff in their 80s, but it just wouldn't look right [for us], you know what I mean?

"It's actually pretty strenuous," he continues, "that's why I don't see it going any further than a certain point in time. We have one more record to do, which is our deal with [super producer Rick] Rubin, and we'll have to sit down and discuss the future. But I can't really see myself doing this at a later age."
Talk about your mixed emotions; not only do I love metal in general, but Slayer is, well, SLAYER! They're arguably the best thrash metal band of all time, and their albums Reign in Blood and Seasons in the Abyss are two of the most influential and best metal albums ever. . . and it's not like they've rested on their laurels since the release of those albums; their latest, Christ Illusion, kicks some serious ass. Moreover, unlike so many cookie-cutter bands (metal and otherwise) who sound great on the album but fall apart live, Slayer has consistently delivered one of the best and most intense live shows for decades now.

That being said, I'd hate to ever cringe at Slayer trying to tour when they obviously shouldn't. So if Slayer decides to hang it up after the next album, I'd say more power to them. These guys are already god-like in the eyes of many fans, and even their detractors cannot deny the giant place Slayer holds in the lexicon of Heavy Metal.

If they do decide to retire, my one hope (other than another great album), is that, on their way out the door, they kick the collective ass of the band who's been masquerading as Metallica for the last 15 or so years.

I see nothing wrong with this

Admittedly, I'm a dog lover and therefore somewhat biased, but I have no problem with an animal cruelty investigator taking a dying, abused dog to the vet after handcuffing the dog's owner to a car:
A pet detective who is temporarily suspended after rescuing a dog from a locked and overheated car says he was just doing what his mandate asks him to do – save animals' lives.
[. . . ]
On July 31, Smith responded to a call that Cyrus, a 50-kg Rottweiler, was locked in an overheated car. The Toronto Humane Society investigator smashed through the car window, rescued the dying dog, who was slumped and foaming at the mouth, and handcuffed the irate owner to the car. He then rushed the dog to a hospital, leaving the man there handcuffed until police arrived on the scene.
Sounds good to me. So does this:
[R]eports soon followed that the handcuffed dog owner was beaten by the crowd and was bleeding when police arrived.
And? I have absolutely no sympathy for someone who mistreats a dog in such a manner. Sounds to me like the dog's owner got exactly what he deserved. However, I do feel that Mr. Smith might have overstepped his bounds a bit. Could he have handled it in a fashion that wouldn't have subjected the owner to vigilante justice? Probably. I don't know what the specific animal cruelty laws in Canada entail, so perhaps Smith could have taken the dog owner's information, passed that information onto the police, and let the police handle it from there. Still though, I'm not that bothered by some dog owner being beaten for abusing his dog. Here's hoping the owner will be charged and prosecuted, and that Mr. Smith's job is reinstated.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Another one? Sheesh

I swear I'm not looking for stories regarding Human Amateur Castration (H.A.C., for short), I just seem to find them. Anyway, here's another one, with a great headline (gotta love The Sun):
BUILDING boss Howard Shelley carried out the ultimate DIY conversion — by CASTRATING himself so he could become a woman.

The 42-year-old dad of two decided on the drastic move after being told he would have to wait at least two years for a sex change on the NHS.

He found a website which gave a step-by-step guide to the eye-watering home surgery, then waited till wife Janet went out before setting to work with a kitchen knife in the loo.

With the job done, he wrapped his severed appendages in a cloth and dropped them in the bin.

Then he drove five miles to his local GP, explained what he’d done, and was packed off for treatment at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital, near Aylesbury, Bucks.

Amazingly, three days later he was back at his desk.

Now compare and contrast this H.A.C. with the one I posted yesterday regarding a guy who wanted to be rid of his giblets and hired someone else to do the deed. In the contest of who has the bigger balls (that aren't attached to the body), this new guy definitely wins:

“The worst bit was steeling myself for the first cut. The whole thing took six minutes. It was agony, but I knew I couldn’t stop.”
Hell yeah, dude. That's how to take the bull by the, er, balls! Not only were you not discovered naked, bleeding, and berry-less by your daughter, but you drove yourself to the hospital, strolled into the lobby like John F'ing Wayne, legs akimbo (obviously), and said, "Yeah, I cut off my own balls, pilgrim; now stitch me up and make me a woman, because that's how much of a MAN I am."

So in honor of these two paragons of the art of H.A.C., I present to you this little gem of a '70's commercial. The use of The Entertainer as theme music just adds to the hilarity. I love the little wink at the end, but honey, you better go easy on busting your husbands balls, he might just decide he'd rather be a woman.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wouldn't marriage work equally well?

Yeah, stories like this are why I love these here Intertubes: Man hires "doctors" to remove his wedding tackle:
Minnesota police are looking for suspected quack surgeons who removed a St. Paul man's testicles at his home, the Star Tribune reports.

The 62-year-old man, Russell Daniel Angus, said he'd been suffering from chronic pain and had asked doctors to remove his testicles, but they'd refused, the paper said, citing a search warrant affidavit filed Monday in Ramsey County District Court.

Police said Angus hired two or three "professionals" to do the job on a makeshift operating table in his home and that's where his daughter found him bleeding on July 28, the paper said.
Dude, have you tried a piece of fishing line tied to a door? Or alligators? Seriously, anyone can hire someone else to whack off the Ol' Beanbag, but it takes a real man to remove the twins with some panache. . . and preferably in public. Of course, the castration part of the story isn't what got my attention (that's just how jaded I am, folks), it's the last line of the article:
Police removed three specimen jars in their search of the home, but it was unclear if the man's testicles were found.
Oh, O.K., wait, What? THREE specimen jars? That just ain't right.

It* had to happen

Well, no matter what you think about Bonds, he just hit 756 over the fence. Never thought I'd be an A-Rod fan, albeit begrudgingly.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Probably Not a Good Sign. . .

Heh. According to Slate, Rudy Giuliani's daughter is supporting Barack Obama instead of her father, at least according to her now-edited Facebook profile:
On her profile, she designates her political views as "liberal" and—until this morning—proclaimed her membership in the Facebook group "Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack)." According to her profile, she withdrew from the Obama group at 6 a.m. Monday, after Slate sent her an inquiry about it.
Standard youthful rebellion perhaps? Another symptom of the long-standing familial strife between Rudy and his offspring? Either way, pretty amusing. . . and something else for all the "Family Values" GOP stalwarts to cringe about come decision-making time in '08.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Done (More or Less)

OK, that's it, I'm done with the big site upgrade. The new Blogger code is pretty different than the old version, so it took some time to find my way around. All the tweaking to the template is done, with the one exception of Haloscan Trackback. Haloscan makes it easy to do comments & trackback, but I just want Trackback, which I'm still working on (and Haloscan ain't making that easy).

There's still a font issue under Linux, but it's very minor been fixed/is a client issue. Testing IE6, IE7, Firefox, and Opera running under XP revealed no issues. Again, no Mac/Safari to test.

As to the "new" Blogger system. . . I gotta say that I like it. Having built-in categories (Blogger calls them "Labels") is nice (less code to load/work with), the Archiving system is pretty sweet, and best of all, no more Endlessly Rotating Triangle of Publishing Death ("Old Blogger" users know what I'm talking about). Plus the backend is a bit easier to work with. Gotta love instant changes to template/widgets/etc.

I guess I'm happy with it. Now if I can just, y'know, keep publishing new stuff. . .

Backhand, Forehand, results matter

Well, while the Georgia House is busy doing wonderfully worthy things such as trying to take down street signs, it looks like the State Senate is trying to actually accomplish something:
The state Senate unanimously approved a bill Tuesday requiring Georgians to obtain a valid state driver's license before they can pick up a tag for their car.

The legislation would effectively make it harder for illegal immigrants to get behind the wheel.
Sounds good to me. Of course, that's not the only reason for the bill, says its sponsor, Chip Rogers, who said that
the bill is designed to close a gaping loophole that allows those who might not qualify to drive in Georgia to nonetheless slap a Georgia license plate on their car.
Of course, the local open borders crew isn't exactly happy about it:
Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, said it was another backhanded way to deal with the immigration issue.

Gonzales said Rogers' bill, along with a pair of other driver's licenses measures moving through the Legislature this session, will effectively make illegal immigrants less willing to cooperate with law enforcement out of fear they could be punished.
Oh, so people already breaking the law, who live in insular, already close-mouthed communities, are just jumping for joy when they see or have to interact with law enforcement as things stand now? I refuse to advocate extreme anti-illegal immigration measures, such as refusing hospital care, bigotry, etc., but any attempt to make areas of the country other than Georgia look more attractive to illegal immigrants is fine by me. By extension, of course, the Federal government should be doing similar things on the national level, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

Honestly though, how much effect will this have overall on the illegal immigration problems in the state? My guess is, not much. But every little bit helps.

Southern Baptism

God, do I miss football already. It's going to be a long time 'til fall.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Or as I like to call it: Tuesday

Blood-drinking woman slashes man during sex

Golden Dome Showers

I hate reading stuff like this. I don't expect any level of government to be efficient, but I wish the state government would at least act like they're using their time wisely. Bickering over whether or not to remove former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney's (D-Nutbag) name from street signs in Dekalb Co., on the other hand, is just blatantly saying, "Hey, look at us! We could give a crap about creating useful legislation!" to the taxpayers. What's worse is the fact that her supporters in the state House are fighting it by threatening to introduce their own legislation to remove the names of people they don't like from street signs. I'm no fan of McKinney, but this is just ridiculous.

Hey, guys, instead of wasting everyone's time with pissing contests off the roof of the State Capitol, why don't you work on important things that directly affect Georgia taxpayers? Or would that get in the way of your little pet projects?

Almost done

Did a few more things in between walking the dog and eating dinner, but I still have some features to add/upgrade. All the categories are up and all posts are labeled. All the colors/fonts are the way I want them (except one). No Trackback yet, although that's more because installing the peek-a-boo comments is a pain, at least on a custom template. If it wasn't for that, trackback would be up now.

I tested in IE6, IE7, Firefox, and Opera under WinXP, and Firefox under Kubuntu Linux, and everything seems to be working fine, other than a minor font issue under Linux, which isn't worth worrying about right now. Didn't test Mac/Safari, as I don't have 'em, but it shouldn't matter.

Hopefully I'll be done with upgrading this place soon, so I can go back to ignoring it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Still Building

OK, I worked on this place for a bit this evening, and all the basic stuff is up. Now I just have to tweak everything around (colors, fonts, getting my peek-a-boo comments back, trackback, etc.) so it looks right and has the functionality we want. I might get to it later tonight, but more likely it'll happen tomorrow.

The new Blogger backend is somewhat nicer than the old version, but time will tell. . .

Monday, February 12, 2007

Maintenance

I'm working on the site, so bear with me. I don't know why I'm doing so, since I barely have the time or desire to actually browse the Internet, much less comment on the things I find there. What can I say; I like things to be tidy. So I'm going to work on some Blogger-to-Blogger2 migration issues, including doing away with my del.icio.us category system, which takes time, as I have to set some things up manually. So anyway, I'll get everything cleaned up and hopefully start posting again.

I ain't making any promises though.

Frank Chen

Goddamnit.

I just found out via Chris and The Other Side Forum that Frank Chen aka Stiletto killed himself yesterday. I haven't been by the Forum (where I post, or used to post, occasionally) in awhile, but the threads he started were often the most discussed and often the most fun threads on that board; hell, he created or helped create more than a few of the cliches on the Forum. I didn't know the guy at all, no more than a handle, an avatar, and some interesting, if sometimes strange, firearms-related intellectual exercises, but he seemed to have a fine mind (especially in engineering) and a bright future.

What a waste. He was 21 years old.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Categories

Apparently, sometime in my two-month absence my del.icio.us tagging system went screwy. I'll fix it later, but for now, be warned.

As if anyone cares, or for that matter, reads this tripe, but hey, I'm anal-retentive about this stuff.

Ah, not this S**t again

When I read the Fark.com headline:
"Pimp my commode"
I'll admit, the first thing I thought was "Don't be Georgia, Don't be Georgia." [clicks link] ah, damnit:
A national plumbing products company is trying to get hip to the younger generation by giving away a home-entertainment toilet in Atlanta.

While sitting on this "pimped out" toilet, you can take care of business while notching a new high score on your PlayStation.However, video games are just the beginning. This toilet sports a DVD player and a even a beer tap. Everything is at arms length, including a Velcro strap for all of the remote controls.
Were I still capable of tears, I'd weep for our future.

(Although the beer tap sounds pretty sweet, to be honest.)