31 December 2008

Happy New Year!

30 December 2008

Shiny!

Today the happy elves from the USPS brought me this and this.

Now all I need is the time off of work to enjoy them.

24 December 2008

Season's Greetings

Not original, but somewhat amusing...
To All My Democrat Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To My Republican Friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Thanks to James for the email.

22 December 2008

A Scarred Childhood

This is an old article, but it's one I hadn't seen before.

To give you the background, I was looking for a better image of a photo I shamelessly stole from Hammer because I thought it was funny. It's in the top left corner of his banner, but it's a low-res photo now. It used to be a high-res photo, which would be OK to put on a blog post. The low-res photo is just too small. Somewhere along the line I've misplaced it.

During my search, I came upon the article.

The article was a good reason to find the photo.

I have to say that I'm stunned. What kind of a world have we created when a kids show is too dangerous to show the kids? What kind of meterosexual little pansies are we raising?

Cookie Monster is bad because he has a cookie habit? Hello!?!? COOKIE Monster?????

Oscar the Grouch is bad because he's a grouch????? Like we have never known anyone like that before?

It's my firm opinion that we are doing our kids no favors by trying to shield them from reality. We try to convince them that the world is a nice shiny place filled with fuzzy bunnies. It's not. What we get is a bunch of self-centered narcissistic little bastards who think the world revolves around them, and when they get their ADD infested selves into the real world they are stunned and butt-hurt that a) no one cares and b) everyone is in fact making fun of you behind your back. Deal with it.

Sesame Street encouraged kids to read and count. What could be better? Today's mindless pap teach our kids to be visually oriented, but doesn't teach them basics. What's worse is that today's mindless pap also teaches our kids that some things are right and proper, when we as parents would like them to know that they aren't.

Of course a large part of the blame rests squarely on the parents. The kids today are being raised by the X-box and the TV with little parental supervision. As long as they are being quiet and not bugging us we don't care what the little buggers are doing.

My parents could get away with that. We had Pong and Sesame Street. Today's parents can't. My parents sent me outside for the entire day. We lived in a small town, and today's worries of the kids getting snatched off the streets and killed for entertainment was unknown then.

I have a theory that the world has always been a pretty messed up place, but until we had the Internet and CNN we didn't hear about it as much. Things then stayed more local news, but now everything is national. But I digress.

The sad thing is that the more we hear about these things on the national news, the more we want to shield our kids from the ugliness. It's natural I guess, but I think we can find a lot worse things to expose our kids to than the Cookie Monster.

Om nom nom nom nom!

Life In The Fast Lane

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, my counterpart on the opposite night shift went and got himself fired over the Thanksgiving weekend and as a result I've been informed that the terms "excessive overtime" and "regular shifts" really don't apply to me anymore.

That means I am invited to work any day that I want, for as long as I want. The upside of that is I get to pick the days I want off, the downside is that I get to work a lot of extra time. The wife keeps pushing me out the door, something about cashing in while I'm still healthy or something like that.

She was the one who told me not to retire from the Navy because we might find out we didn't really like each other. I told her I would get two jobs and we could pretend I was still in. Now I don't have to get another job, I have two jobs where I'm at.

It's a nice problem to have, I guess, especially in today's economy and with the reality of layoffs and corporate downsizing. I would rather be overemployed than under (or un) employed.

Anyway, I'll post when I can. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

15 December 2008

Hello To My Visitors

I see I have a visitor from Orange Park, Florida from a Google search for VA-81 Sunliners, which is now VFA-81. They have recently transitioned from the Lot X F/A-18C model to the new F/A-18E, going from the oldest deployed Navy Hornet model to one of the newest.

Your humble host was a Sunliner from September 2000 to October 2003, deploying on USS George Washington (CVN-73).

Orange Park is just a little south of Jacksonville FL, the former home of Naval Air Station Cecil Field until the Navy shut it down in 1999, at which time the Hornets moved to NAS Oceana, VA and the Vikings went to NAS Jacksonville.

Thanks for dropping by!

13 December 2008

Twain Was Right

I have my grandsons living with me for the time being.

The youngest is three, and he's really a handful.

Today while "taking his nap" he managed to crawl into his pillowcase and zip the cover up on himself.

Of course his father took great pleasure in showing this to my wife and me.

And he wonders where the kid gets it. I could tell you some stories.

Electrical Safety

When installing a 115 VAC light into a control panel, it is necessary to disconnect the equipment from it's source of power by either unplugging it or pulling it's breaker.

Just shutting off the source of power to the light itself by turning the switch on the front of the panel off is not enough.

Even though the power is removed from the light, power is still present at the top of the switch, and since the light is in close proximity to the switch it is entirely possible (and probable) to touch the live wire on the switch while wiring in the light.

You will have just enough time while doing the 110 Fandango to contemplate the true reason that alternating current is measured in "hertz". Fortunately it is unlikely that the 110v will be enough to cause permanent injury, but it will get your attention for a while.

This Tim "The Toolman" Taylor safety moment is brought to you by Binford Tools.

10 December 2008

Welcome Home

Welcome Home, Ensign Robert G. Tills. Sorry it took so long.

06 December 2008

One Year

That's how long it's been since my wife's diagnosis.

Things have not worked out as well as we had hoped, but nowhere near as bad as I had feared.

Today we spent the whole day not talking about it.

03 December 2008

The Final Solution

Robert Kagan, writing in the Washington (Com)Post, theorizes that perhaps the international community, in an effort to thwart terrorism, should take over areas that are shown to be hotbeds of terroristic activities and assist the governments that have theoretical control over those areas to regain their lost control. From the article:

"Rather than simply begging the Indians to show restraint, a better option could be to internationalize the response. Have the international community declare that parts of Pakistan have become ungovernable and a menace to international security. Establish an international force to work with the Pakistanis to root out terrorist camps in Kashmir as well as in the tribal areas. This would have the advantage of preventing a direct military confrontation between India and Pakistan. It might also save face for the Pakistani government, since the international community would be helping the central government reestablish its authority in areas where it has lost it. But whether or not Islamabad is happy, don't the international community and the United States, at the end of the day, have some obligation to demonstrate to the Indian people that we take attacks on them as seriously as we take attacks on ourselves?"

I have a better idea. Yes indeed, let us send in a multinational force to isolate the areas of intense terroristic support and fence the whole damn place off.

Then, nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to make sure.

And for those who are wondering, yes. I am advocating the killing of every man, woman, child, guinea pig, bat, cow, dog, cat and fuzzy bunny within the fenced in area.

Face this fact. No one in those affected areas are innocent civilians. Not a damn one of them. Every one of them shows their support by not tossing these bastards out on their ears or by staying in these areas that show this support.

That makes them guilty by association, and that makes them legitimate targets.

War is hell, said General Sherman, and then he did his best to prove it.

Which caused Bobby Lee to remark "It is a good thing that war is so terrible, lest we become too fond of it."

02 December 2008

Adios

And now it is time to say goodbye to Kim DuToit. For personal reasons, he has hung up his blogging spurs and bid us all a fond farewell.

The Net is a smaller place because of it.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

27 November 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day where we stop and think for a moment of all the things we are thankful for.

Hope your list is long and varied.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

25 November 2008

Evolation

From the Rott I see that the evolution vs. creationism debate is well underway once more.

This time it seems as if it’s actually the creationists who have the slight patina of rationality. All they want is for the evolutionists to admit that evolution is a theory, and not an established cold hard fact.

Of course that puts the evolutionists on the edge, much like the global warmingists get on the edge whenever a “denier” surfaces.

Did I mention it snowed here? Anyway, moving on.

My parents adhere to the strict creationist theory, they being ordained ministers of the fundamentalist Christian faith. Their view is that things happened exactly the way it’s laid out in Genesis, and if you don’t believe that you are a Godless heathen.

I love my parents, I don’t think I could have gotten a better set if I had had a year to pick them out. It doesn’t alter the fact that I think they are wrong. And I say that with all the respect that a Godless heathen can muster.

I’m reminded of the verse in Job, where God says “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the Earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.”

To me that’s a commandment from on high, saying “You weren’t there, you don’t know, so STFU about it already.”

I have an idea that once we are at that place where we have those answers, they won’t really matter all that much anymore.

But getting back to the subject on hand, I don’t have a problem reconciling religion with science. One must actually credit religion with advancing the cause of science if one is to be completely honest with oneself. The best colleges and universities have historically been sponsored by the Church, and in fact many of the first scientists were monks.

Then politics got involved, and things went completely to Hell from there, if you will pardon the expression. The Church found itself at the beginning of a rise to power, and political considerations soon overrode religious ones. After that the Church began setting itself up as the absolute moral authority on the face of the Earth.

Of course any true scientist will tell you that part of science is formulating theory and then proving it right or wrong. The problem is that when you set yourself up as the absolute moral authority, you have to be right all the time. If you aren’t, people will begin to doubt.

And as any theologian will tell you, doubt is bad for the faith.

Not long afterwards the Church started persecuting scientists who disagreed with their theories and teachings. The Church taught that the Sun revolved around the Earth, and when Science proved them wrong Science was vilified. The Church taught that the Earth was the center of the universe, and once again when Science proved them wrong, Science was vilified.

It didn’t take long for Science to develop an attitudinal problem with the Church, as could be expected.

This adversarial relationship exists to this day. The sad thing about it is that there can be no separation between religion and science, because one Supreme Being created them both. This schism is political, and therefore man-made.

I don’t know how God created the Heavens and the Earth, I wasn’t standing beside Him that day to see how He did it. It could have very well been that He said “Let it be so” and it was.

On the other hand, He could have said “Hey, hold my beer and watch this!”

It could be that the Heavens and the Earth were all created in six magnificent days, or it could be that it took eons. Who among us has the audacity to take a stopwatch to the Almighty, after all?

(If that’s you, kindly stand well away from me. Thanks.)

For all we know we are a science experiment gone horribly wrong and God only keeps us around to serve as an object lesson to the rest of the Cosmos (“Watch yourself there buddy or you’re gonna end up like that Earth place!”), in which case Einstein was way off; not only does God play dice with the universe, but occasionally even He craps out.

The science of evolution is not set in stone, but neither has it been disproven. It could be that God uses evolution to refine the product, at least that is what I believe. And when it is written that God created life from the dust of the Earth, he could have been talking about how life evolved from the primeval ooze. We don’t know.

Keep in mind that the book of Genesis was written by someone (or some ones, the latest thing I read is that there may have been as many as five original authors and the final product is an amalgamation of their works) who couldn’t grasp the fact that thunder is caused by lightning. This is the greatest engineering mind that has ever existed, the very mind that created engineering itself, trying to explain the creation of the world to someone who doesn’t even have the understanding of an infant in comparison.

Even today, not only would we (still) not understand the answers, we don’t even have enough knowledge to ask sensible questions. All we can do is stand around like two year olds asking “Why? Why? Why?”

I’m a parent, I have no problems believing that God finally threw His hands up in exasperation and said “Because that’s the way I made it!”

So it was written, so it was done.

In this instance both sides need to admit that neither one of them was there. The evolutionists need to admit that yes, evolution is in fact just a theory, and the creationists need to acknowledge the fact that the Bible was written to the lowest common denominator, and even Einstein couldn’t wrap his head around quantum mechanics.

In short, both sides need to admit that yes, they can in fact be mistaken. It happens every day, to all sorts of people.

And then they need to STFU about it already.

Picture shamelessly stolen from somewhere off the internet.

22 November 2008

Where Are We Again?

Snow this morning.

In North Carolina.

What happened to all the Global Warming? Seriously?

My grandson was excited, it was his first time seeing snow (he's from Florida) and I was happy for him.

I was also happy that the snow was gone when I got up.

19 November 2008

Another New Link

Please welcome The Gonzman, from Gonzo's Bar and Go Go Grille.

The link is on the sidebar.

Go, read, enjoy.

Class 1 beverage alert in effect.

You have been warned.

This photo shamelessly stolen from Jenn of the Jungle.

Entropy

Greg from 454 Monte tells a story about how not using certain skills causes them to degrade.

I was unpleasantly brought to the same conclusion recently myself.

I am taking a course on industrial electronics to be a better technician where I work as an equipment technician on semiconductor manufacturing equipment. When I got my list of the topics in the course I thought to myself "This will be easy!"

Over half of the topics are basically reviews of what I learned in my Navy tech courses many years ago. Of course, it's been almost 20 years since my last tech course, so I expected to be a bit rusty.

What I didn't expect was to have completely forgotten, except for a vague memory, entire swaths of the subject material.

I have been able to refresh myself on the subjects that I had forgotten, but it took a bit of study to do so. In the end it will be a good experience, but in the meantime it's a humbling one.

16 November 2008

Project Valor - IT



It's that time again.

Actually, it's past that time and I'm slow on the uptake.

Of course, for obvious reasons, I'm plugging for Team Navy.

Please go and make your donations. Thank you.

12 November 2008

Link Updates

Since I got the sitemeter turned back on I have been able to see who has been visiting my little corner of the world.

I also have been able to see where they are coming from, and I am a little surprised to announce that I am linked elsewhere.

So, without further ado, I would like to welcome Pam from Iraq War Today and Annie from Purely Politics to the old blogroll. Welcome aboard!

Unexpected Blessings

I have just gotten an email from my daughter who I haven't spoken to in many years. I am hopeful that this is a trend that will continue.

Her mother and I divorced when she was two, her mother got full custody since I was in the Navy and couldn't provide a full-time stable home, they moved away and we haven't lived in the same state since. In fact, we have usually been separated by 2000 miles or more.

I've lived long enough that I've gotten over the blame game. Suffice it to say that Navy life is not easy for a spouse, she was miserable in the Navy and found her own way out. I haven't been good at keeping the lines of communication open, so I kicked my own dog in that respect.

It's enough to know that she's healthy and happy, anything above and beyond that is a bonus.

Veterans Day

"We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;"

To all who have served, to all who are currently serving, to all who will serve, this fat old retired squid thanks you from the bottom of his heart.

Well done, Shipmates.

08 November 2008

An Open Letter To The 52

Dear 52,

I have been thinking about your proposal.

While I have thought about your proposal, I have been thinking of the last 8 years.

I have been thinking of the last 8 years of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

I have thought of all the times you questioned President Bush's intelligence, character and honor. I have thought of all the times you accused him of being nothing but a puppet, with Karl Rove or Dick Cheney controlling the strings.

Speaking of Dick Cheney, I have thought of all the times he did not escape your attention, either.

As I thought of you questioning President Bush's intelligence, character and honor I have thought of the way you likewise questioned Governor Palin's intelligence, character and honor.

I understand what a big threat she is to you. She can speak to us, heart to heart, the way Ronald Reagan could speak to us. She can inspire and motivate us, the way Ronald Reagan could. And she is capable of great things, the way he was. If God wills it, she will be a great President one day.

By the way, I am old enough to remember the way he was treated by your side as well. I remember a lot of things.

I remember the way we have been called chickenhawk, godbag and Christofacist. I remember how you have treated our troops in harm's way. I remember how you screamed at the tops of your lungs that President Bush (the same President Bush who's intelligence you questioned) managed to pull off the largest scam in history by having two very large remote controlled airplanes hit the World Trade Center towers, and how they were brought down by high explosives in a controlled demolition.

I remember every insane ranting and accusation. I remember every insult and invective. I remember every comparison you made to the Third Reich (never mind that Hitler was a Socialist). I remember every time you screamed about perceived insults to imagined rights, even as you ignored real insults to actual rights, like the Second Amendment.

Speaking of the Second Amendment, I remember how you say that the Constitution is a “living document” and can be changed (or in extreme cases, ignored altogether when it would be convenient for you to do so). I remember how you screamed (again with the screaming, it's all you have done for eight years over one thing or another) that an extremist Supreme Court invented new rights out of whole cloth when they ruled on Heller vs. DC, which is based on an actual freedom written into the fabric of the Constitution, but you staunchly defend abortion (which actually was invented out of whole cloth by an actual extremist Supreme Court) as an inviolate and sacred right.

I remember how the Fairness Doctrine is an actual, rather than perceived, violation of an actual, rather than imagined, right as laid out in the First Amendment. I see that there are Democrats in Congress and in the Senate who are panting even now to re-institute it, and I notice that you don't have much to say on the subject. Yet, once again you would take to the streets with your effigies and your burning flags to protest some imagined slight on your own First Amendment rights, while completely ignoring actual slights on the rights of others.

In fact, you have taken to the streets quite a bit with your effigies and burning flags over the last eight years, all the time chanting your slogans and claiming Bush = Hitler and Cheney = Himmler and AmeriKKKa = oppression and fascism. Somehow it escapes you completely that if these things were true you would have been arrested, if not outright executed on the spot.

I've noticed that you aren't very familiar with history at all.

I've heard you make fun of the racist hillbilly gun and Bible clinging sister swapping rednecks out here in Flyover Country. I've heard you call Condolezza Rice horrible names, and seen you draw offensive cartoons with her as the subject, all the time while claiming to champion the equal rights of black Americans. And while you are doing this, I have heard you claim that it is the "Rethuglicans" who are racists because they do not agree with your victimist mentality.

(Please note that I will not use hyphenated terms. Once upon a time another American President warned us of doing just that. Once again, not familiar with your history, you wish us to be doomed to repeat it.)

I've heard you mistake academic credentials for actual intelligence. I've heard you extol the virtues of academians who you admire for their degrees while ignoring their hatred towards this country. I've heard you call the rest of us unenlightened ignorant rubes because we have degrees from state “cow colleges” instead of Ivy League universities.

And I have heard you praise actual morons in the entertainment industry as enlightened intellectuals because they blindly parrot your ideals and practice professional McCarthyism on their conservative colleagues.

Finally, I have heard you scream "FOUL" over every slightest shadow of "us" doing to you what you have constantly and brazenly done to us, whether the insult actually occurred or not. Most of the time it did not, but the Republican leadership has had the spine of boiled spaghetti for the last 10 years or so and so they haven't called you on it.

Frankly, I've heard you say and do and scream quite a bit for the last eight years, and I'm sick of it. I'm sick of your elitist condescending attitude, I'm sick of your rank hypocrisy, and I'm sick of your imbecility masquerading as culture.

Now you have what you wanted. Congratulations. But it's not over.

Now you own it.

Every market hiccup will soon belong to you. And with the economic plans of the next President and Congress, it shouldn't take long before our economy is in actual, rather than imagined, trouble. Even now it is starting as those with accumulated wealth divests from the stock markets and places their assets somewhere safe, out of reach.

The next terrorist attack on our soil will likewise belong to you. And there will be one, mark my words. It's a mean old world out there, much meaner than Michelle Obama imagines this country to be, and it is filled with people who don't like us very much. And they are just waiting for their chance to tear a hunk out of us.

You think they don't like us because we are mean, or unenlightened, or that our current President has incited their hatred of us. You are wrong. President Carter had the Iranian Hostage Crisis, and President Clinton had the first WTC bombing as well as a long string of smaller attacks on our embassies and servicemembers. And never forget, the second WTC attacks, the one that finally brought them down, was years in the planning. Years that occurred during the Clinton Presidency. I don't think that anyone in his or her right mind can say that Carter or Clinton displayed any serious tendancy to confront terrorism.

They hated us before George W. Bush, and they will hate us after. The only reason they have not brought the fight back to us, in our homeland, is because this President, for all his faults (and there are many), understood that if we engage them over there we won't have to engage them over here. Our next President doesn't seem to understand that, and we will pay for it in our blood, running in our streets.

We on the Right won't be devolving into Obama Derangement Syndrome, but we will be pointing out every fatal flaw. And we will be back.

We will be busy in the meantime, trying to convince the Republican National Committee that running candidates that are RINO's (that's an acronym, it means a democrat in Republican clothing, or Republican In Name Only) will not be acceptable to us anymore. When you choose the lesser of two evils, you still choose evil. We are done with evil. We will instead find actual Conservatives in the mold of our beloved leader Ronald Reagan to run for office, and we will win. Perhaps it will not be the Republican party at all, but some other political vehicle. Much of that depends on the Republican party.

And finally, when the Democratic led Congress and Presidency has left this country a shattered hulk, we will once again step in and pick up the pieces. It's what we do. We do it because we have to live here, too, and while the idea of a Socialistic hellhole might appeal to you it does not appeal to us.

I will not join you, I will not forget what you have done, and I do not forgive you.

See you next election.

05 November 2008

After Action Report

Congratulations to President Elect Barack Obama. May God grant him the wisdom to lead for the next four years, may God keep us and bless us as a Nation, as he has ever done, amen.

On a personal note, I will hold President Obama's feet to the fire, but I will not degenerate into the same kind of hysterical screechy ODS that was so typical of the left's reaction to George Bush's election and subsequent re-election. I have more respect for myself than that.

So, what have we learned?

The first thing I hope we have learned is that mavericky RINOs who delight in sticking their thumbs into their conservative base's eyes don't win elections. McCain's vote tally, even with the support of the PUMAs, was more than SEVEN MILLION less that George W. Bush won by in 2004. Sarah Palin's addition to the ticket, rather than being a drag, improved that figure slightly by giving conservatives something to vote for, but in the end it wasn't enough. I don't have any numerical evidence for that last line, but I do know of several people (myself included) who decided to support the Republican ticket only because of the selection of Sarah Palin as VP.

UPDATE: His Rottiness, Emperor Misha I, has the proof that you seek.

Hopefully the Republican party learns the lesson that they obviously failed to learn when they were banished back to the political hinterland from whence they came in 2006, and we will have actual conservatives (Palin/Jindal?) on the ticket for the next election cycle. If not, this will be another long walk through the political wilderness, and they will have earned every step of it. You own this one, RNC. Enjoy it.

The second thing that we have learned is that the projected huge youth vote once again failed to materialize. There was certainly some improvement, but even with that, coupled with the historic turnout of the black vote, Barack Obama was elected with only 400,000 more votes than George W. Bush won with in 2004. The net total is 3 and a quarter million less votes for this election than for the last. Some of McCain's missing seven million, I am certain, showed up to vote for Obama. The rest of the Republicans either stayed home or did not vote for a Presidential candidate. I base this assumption on the fact that the down ticket races did not see a huge increase in voter totals, either. The Democrats picked up some seats, as expected, but did not get the desired super majority. Also, since the third party candidates did not fare any better than they usually do, it's pretty evident that the Republicans did not come out to pull a lever for them either.

The third thing we have learned is that if you are a Democrat running for election in Pennsylvania you can call your prospective constituents all kinds of names, insult their honor and intelligence, and promise to bankrupt their biggest industry, and still get elected. Apparently the insults to their intelligence was, in large part, deserved. Barack Obama was elected despite his bitter, gun and god clinging remarks and Jack Murtha was re-elected despite his crucifiction of the Haditha Marines and his "my constituents are racist morons" remarks. Congratulations to the Keystone state, you have, as a group, won the coveted Electoral Idiocy Award.

Second runner up could still very well go to Minnesota. At the time of this writing, with a spread of only 500 votes or so, Norm Coleman and Al Franken (really?!?) are statistically tied for the Senate race. When the final results are tallied the judge (me, of course) will announce his decision.

UPDATE: Now it looks like the Democrats want to make up. That's nice. Hat tip to Sockless Joe over at Alabama In Between.

04 November 2008

Election 2008

I did my part.

What I found particularly interesting was that here in North Carolina, the Libertarian party had a straight-party ticket option.

Friend James is looking for a local liquor store. If the election goes the way he wants it to he will have a drink (or two, or three) to celebrate.

If not, he'll empty the bottle to commiserate.

02 November 2008

Down to the Wire



So it's come down to this.

This week we find out if Obama will show us his "O face".

You know what I'm talking about.

O

01 November 2008

A Show Worth Watching?

Finally? Something on TV that's worth the time to watch?

Time will tell.

Legend of the Seeker
, based on the Sword of Truth novels by Terry Goodkind.

And I have the good fortune to catch it at the beginning of the first episode!

If it's any good, it will become a regularly recorded show.

UPDATE: Eh, it's OK. Gives at least a passing familiarity with the book outside of having the characters names, but also has a number of really obvious differences. The action is good, but personally I would have found a different actor for Zed. I will likely watch it if I'm home but won't make a special effort to tape it.

If you are a fanatic fan of the Sword of Truth novels who starts every day with a devotional to the Lord Rahl, do not watch this series. If you can understand that the series is supposed to be mindless entertainment along the lines of Xena, Warrior Princess, you will be OK with the series. If you have never read the books, by all means do so, but you will probably enjoy the series much more for having not read the books.

Not nearly as good an adaptation as Hogfather (but then again, I don't know if anything could have been as good as that), but not as bad as, say, Starship Troopers (but then again, I don't know if anything could have been as bad as that). Call it maybe halfway between the two. And, as it is a series, it may grow on me. Like I said before, time will tell.

At least it's not I, Robot where only a few of the characters names were the same and the rest is completely unfamiliar to those who read the books.

31 October 2008

Happy Halloween

Hamburgers have been grilled and consumed.

The stew has been made up for tomorrow evening. (By the way, it's great. I highly recommend it. Try it with port wine.)

Costumes have been donned and pictures taken.

Treats have been obtained.

And at the end of the evening the car split it's radiator.

Big sigh. I guess I won't take tomorrow off after all.

Oh well. Happy Halloween everybody!

Interesting

I recently sent an Email to Senator Elizabeth Dole regarding her NO vote for the bailout package.

I didn't get the expected canned email response, and had put it out of my mind.

Today I got an actual letter from Senator Dole thanking me for my email.

It was, as expected, a canned response regarding the bailout bill, but still a nice touch.

She didn't say anything at all about my remark regarding the Fair Tax, but you can't have everything.

Wow, I've done a lot of posting today. I think I'll take the day off tomorrow.

Random Wandering Thought

Inspired by my trips through the interwebtubbie thingies (and not by the aforementioned port wine, honestly) comes this random thought:

Why is it the Left is full of people with advanced degrees in higher learning and other supposedly essential markers of higher civilization and yet who are absolutely devoid of anything approaching rational thought? (hat tip to Tam of VFTP)

And while we are at it, why should any American give a flying fornicative act at a rolling pastry what the You're-a-peeing's think of us?

I've been to many so-called garden spots in Europe, and have never seen anything I want to go back for. In fact, I'd rather be in the worst spots in the good old US of A, because I can always walk home from there if I need to.

Hmmm....

While trying out this recipe from our favorite lawman, I made an interesting discovery.

Port wine (the wine I chose for the recipe) is pretty good. And I'm not a wine conny-sewer.

More later. Maybe.

The Ten Cannots

By way of Lawdog is an introduction to The Reverend William J. H. Boetcker, who I had never heard of, and his Ten Cannots, which are ten pretty good reasons to hear of him.

For those of you who don't follow links, the "Ten Cannots" are listed below.

  1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  2. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
  3. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  5. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
  6. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
  7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
  8. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
  9. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
  10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

29 October 2008

Cause and Effect

Let's say you are a small business owner. Lets say you own a plumbing business.

Why not. You are Joe. (Or at least you soon will be, as we will see.)

You have two teams, each made up of a master plumber, a journeyman plumber, and an apprentice plumber.

The masters have the knowledge, so they get 15 dollars an hour (just to keep it simple, I know they make probably twice that at least).

The journeymen do most of the work but don't have the knowledge or the license, so they each get 10 dollars an hour.

The apprentices are basically floor sweepers, so they get minimum wage, let's say 5 dollars an hour.

Each team makes you 50 dollars an hour (once again to keep it simple, good luck finding a decent plumber for 50 bucks an hour). Each team costs you 30 dollars an hour in labor costs, and the rest of your business expenses (gas for the trucks, tools, supplies, electricity, on and on) eats up another 20 dollars an hour. At the end of the day, you put 20 dollars an hour in your pocket. Life is good.

Bill down at the hardware store is doing pretty well, too. In fact, he's talking to you about putting in a hot tub. You can do that, sure. And it's not just Bill, it's Jim down at the appliance store who wants a new bathroom sink, and John over at the furniture place who wants floor drains put in his garage, and that doesn't even include Mr. Moneybags at the bank who wants his entire kitchen remodeled, which means a big plumbing job right there.

Business is picking up, so you look at hiring another team. You plan on promoting your senior journeyman to master, your two apprentices to journeymen, and hiring three new apprentices. You will make another 50 dollars an hour, minus thirty for labor, minus another ten for the new truck payment, insurance, and so on. At the end of the day you will be putting thirty dollars an hour into your pocket. Life is looking even better.

All of a sudden, the government steps in and increases minimum wage to 7 dollars an hour. You know that if your apprentices get a raise, your masters and journeyman damn sure better as well or they will end up quitting on you. So, each journeyman gets a $2.50 raise and each master gets a $3.00 raise. Your labor costs have just jumped by 15 dollars an hour, and you aren't making any more money. Expenses haven't dropped either, so now you are only putting 5 dollars an hour into your pocket. This just will not do! What do you do?

What happens is you fire one of your masters and you put your ass back into his truck. And all that business that was picking up? Well, Bill and Jim and John just had to do the same thing you did, so there won't be any hot tubs, or bathroom sinks, or floor drains, or anything else for that matter (except maybe for Mr. Moneybag's kitchen remodel). Gas ain't getting any cheaper, either. Now life is beginning to suck.

Not only that, but the master plumber you just fired is now drawing unemployment and welfare bennies. Instead of hiring three, you have fired one, so there's a net of four people in line at the unemployment office who weren't there before. Hello higher state tax rates!

Going one step further, he just defaulted on his mortgage and his car payment, and the credit card companies are calling non-stop. We know where that goes, don't we?

Now, this just happens to be an election year, and times are tough. Your Democrat Congresscritter, who is running for re-election, tells the now unemployed master plumber (and the three would-be apprentices) that he will pass a tax bill to raise your income and business taxes. The .gov will then take your tax money, since you are obviously doing well and just fired him because you are a heartless asshole, and give it to them. The higher taxes mean that you are now putting less in your pocket than the journeymen are. And, if that's not enough, Mama's pissed because she's not getting that swimming pool you promised, and the couch is cold at night. The suckage factor is increasing exponentially.

By the way, this is the same Congresscritter who you voted for the last time, and he is the guy that introduced the bill to increase the minimum wage for your floor sweepers.

Your former master plumber has just become a Democrat, and so have your three would-be apprentices.

Congratulations. You have just become a Republican.

Of course you are still outnumbered four to one. The best you can hope for is that the three would-be apprentices are too lazy to go vote, since they are just kids right out of high school and all.

Good luck, Joe.

24 October 2008

Link

I have been remiss.

My apologies to Greg at 454Monte.com.

Gee, wonder what kind of car he drives?

Busy Busy

I'm like an Oscar Meyer wiener lately, everyone wants to take a bite of me.

Actual content later when I have the time.

19 October 2008

I Am Joe


Iowahawk has another piece up.

If you go there expecting "teh funneh" you won't find it this time.

I think you will still like it, though. I know I did.

Sometimes (like when I think of Senator Tom Harkin) I'm not so proud of my Iowa roots.

But most of the time I am.

Click on the banner for a copy. Pay attention to the rules. No one makes money off of this except Joe.

18 October 2008

USS New York LPD-21

I got this in an Email today and had to pass it along. Feel free to copy and paste it into emails of your own to keep it moving.














She was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center.















She is the fifth in a new class of warship, designed for missions
that include special operations against terrorists. She will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.















Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in
Amite, LA to cast her bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept 9, 2003, "those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence," recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. "It was a spiritual moment for everybody there."















Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the "hair on my neck stood up." "It had a big meaning to it for all of us," he said.
"They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back."

The ship's motto? "Never Forget"

05 October 2008

Budweiser American Ale

Eh, not bad. I still prefer Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but I could get used to one or two of these as well.

Heh. Is this a great country or what? Here we are, faced with certain death because of the credit crunch/Obama presidency/McCain presidency/big atomic collider thingie, and I have time to drink beer.

Maybe we should follow Jimmy Buffet's advice.

18 September 2008

American History - The Basics

Here's a funny I got from Tamera via AD, just because that's how I get to her place.

The sad thing is, it makes perfect sense.

NSFW due to language.

Also, this one is for James since I couldn't remember what exactly Joe Biden said, cause I'm too stupid to remember. Thank goodness we have Rachel looking out for us. Same source, Tamera via AD.

Eh, you want original, go see Tam. You can find the link at AD's place.

17 September 2008

Fun With Politics

I had a short discussion with a co-worker who was surprised that I would vote for Sarah Palin.

He was under the mistaken (and stupid) impression that Governor Palin's popularity was entirely due to the estrogen vote, and was amazed that I, a male, would consider voting for her.

I pointed out to him that voting for Palin because she was a woman would not be any worse than voting for Obama because he's black. He grudgingly agreed, and then tried the "experience" angle.

"Don't even try it, junior" I advised him. I then pointed out that her ten years of executive experience was far more than the other three candidates combined.

"But as a small town mayor?" he questioned. "No, as the mayor of one of the largest towns in the nation's largest state, with the fifth largest economy for eight years, and then two years more experience as the governor of that very same largest state with the fifth largest economy, one who's borders are all international. And just how long has Obama been a Senator? And how much of that time has been spent running for President? You still want to talk about experience?" "Oh, but he was a state senator before that for eight years!" "Yeah, that's about the same amount of time that Sarah Palin was the mayor, of one of the biggest towns in the biggest state with the fifth largest economy. And what, exactly did Obama do as a state senator?" "I assume he passed laws." "Oh, boy, just what we need. More laws. Anything concrete?" Sadly, no, but at least he did catch all the talking points.

Besides, I pointed out, one of the things about Governor Palin that is so appealing is the fact that she's not one of the ivy-league self-selected nobility. She gets my vote for that fact alone, that she doesn't think she was born to rule us, and therefore deserves our vote - so don't question me, you bitter gun and God clinging sister swapping trailer trash toothless rubes.

I thought it was interesting that his next avenue of attack was the interview she had where she wanted to know what exactly a vice president did. I thought it was a pretty weak arguement against her and told him so. Besides, I thought it was a valid question, and she was just making the point that she wouldn't be the type to sit around waiting for the President to die so that she would have something to do.

I pointed out one other VP that only had two years of experience as a Governor. He was elevated to the position of President when the President was assasinated, and by all measures did a fine job. This, I pointed out, is why Americans like to elect Governers to the Presidency, because they are both executive positions.

His name was Theodore Roosevelt.

Listen kiddies, I don't mind talking politics, but at least have a passing aquaintence with history, mkay? And if you don't know what the connection between history and politics is, please stay home on election day.

11 September 2008

10 September 2008

Lipstick

Just for the record, I thought that what Barack Obama said about putting the lipstick on a pig was a pretty good comeback.

Some people got offended, poor babies. But when Sarah Palin threw out the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull being lipstick, she should have seen it coming.

If you saw the speech, you know she's deadly with the one-liners. I think she can handle a zinger coming back at her.

OK, so one for Barry O. Which means she owes him one.

Watch out Barry!

More Sarah Palin Rumors

You remember the joke about the Texan who went to Alaska and was told to be a "real man" he had to drink a keg of beer, make love to an Alaska woman and wrestle the polar bear?

If you haven't, he drank two kegs of beer and took a couple of more with him when he went looking for the polar bear. When he got back after being gone for a loooong time, he asked "Where's that Alaska woman you want me to wrestle?"

Well, here's the rest of the joke.

What I heard is that when he was told "Sarah Palin" he gave up.

Don't blame me. BoBo started it.

06 September 2008

Riding The Storm Out

All is well at the Refuge where we are in the path of Tropical Storm Hannah. It will pass well to the east of us if it stays on it's currently predicted path, but we will get some wind and rain.

We are getting some wind at present, we are due to be in the 40mph band until 4PM. We are also getting rain in earnest.

The power blinked twice, but came right back on both times.

I'm also happy to report that our roof, which had leaked for the backside of Gustav, seems to be holding up well with the repairs my son and I made on it yesterday afternoon. The insurance company won't cover the roof because it's "routine maintenance" but they will pay over 5K for the damages to the interior.

Silly, really. I could ignore the roof and have the insurance pay every time the ceiling caves in, but they won't fix the roof. That's the very definition of cost effectiveness.

Kind of reminds me of dealing with government.

03 September 2008

Attack Pilots Make History

This is an A-4 Skyhawk.

The Skyhawk is a single-seat single-engined carrier based light attack aircraft. The US Navy flew the Skyhawk from the decks of it's aircraft carriers from 1956 to 1975.

Two of the many squadrons that flew the A-4 Skyhawk were the Sunliners (WHO said Sunliners!) of VA-81 and the Saints of VA-163.

The Sunliners flew the aircraft from the decks of USS Forrestal (CVA-59) from 1964 to 1967.

The Saints flew the aircraft from the decks of USS Oriskany (CV-34) from 1962 to 1968.

John McCain flew the aircraft with VA-81 until the Forrestal fire in 1967 sent that ship home. At that time he requested, and received, a transfer to VA-163 onboard Oriskany.

On October 26, 1967 A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 149959 AH 300 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) during a combat mission over North Vietnam. The pilot, Lieutenant Commander John S. McCain III, successfully ejected and was made Prisoner of War.*

John McCain was NOT ... repeat NOT!!!! a FIGHTER PILOT!

He was an ATTACK PILOT!!!!!!!!

No slack in Light Attack.

*Citation from the VA-163 command history found at skyhawk.org

01 September 2008

Rumors

If you throw enough rumors around, sooner or later one will get some substantiation.

So it went with Sarah Palin, the presumptive Vice Presidential nominee for the Republican party.

Good Lord, have the nuts gone on the rampage over this lady! From the moment John McCain announced that she would be his running mate on Friday to today the rumors have sprung up, been soundly debunked, and just as quickly replaced with another rumor.

I won't stoop to the level of repeating the more slanderous ones, but finally one has found a mark. It seems that 17 year old Bristol is pregnant.

The Palin family announces that she will be keeping the baby and marrying the father. The McCain campaign announces that they knew, but thought Sarah was a good choice anyway. The Nutroots announces that they are, indeed, crazy insane and would like any reason to gnaw at the bones of their opponents.

This, if nothing else, proves that the Palins are just like the rest of us, much more so than the Ivy league self-selected nobility. They have their ups and downs, and they make mistakes. Then, rather than blame others, they deal with their mistakes in a rational manner, and they move on.

Here's a huge difference. In the Obama worldview, babies are seen as punishments and abortions are viewed as a reasonable escape from irresponsible behavior. In the Palin worldview, you screw up and you pay the price. No escape from acting irresponsibly.

I like the Palin worldview. It matches my own.

Bristol has just complicated her life, but it does not have to be a show stopper. I believe her Mom and Dad will be as supportive and loving as they always have been, and although they may be disappointed with her irresponsibility they can be proud that she is facing up to it. (Never mind that shotgun son, it's gonna be a beautiful wedding. Right?) She can still go on to do great things, she will just have to work harder at it because she has more things to deal with. But, that is a result of choices that she and her future husband made, and rather than duck the responsibility they are going to deal with it.

Barack Obama, after three days of scathing and, to put it bluntly, over the top attacks on the Palin family has finally declared the kids and families of politicians to be off limits. This of course doesn't mean the attacks will stop, it just means that BarryO can distance himself from them.

The right-leaning blogosphere, on the other hand, put itself on just such a restriction without any urgings from anyone else from the very beginning, thank you very much. You never heard slanderous and vile rumors about the Clinton kid or the Kerry girls from the Rightosphere because there was a gentleman's agreement in place that the kids were not running for office and were therefore off-limits. But remember, it's the leftists that are the caring ones.

This is the difference between the caring and compassionate Progressives and the evil Nazi Rethuglican Riech-wingers, I guess.

(Note to Barry, if you put your wife and kids on the campaign trail to make speeches for you, they become targets. Bristol has at no time made speeches for her mom.)

Update: BREAKING NEWS! Todd Palin had a DUI when he was 22!!!!!!!!ONE!!!!!!!!
Just think, if he would have driven off a bridge and let his secretary drown in his car he could be a US Senator by now.

30 August 2008

And the VP Nomination Goes To...

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Jack Kelly from Real Clear Politics lists a few credentials. Conservative, gun owner, NRA member, shoots mooses, has her picture taken on a Harley, AKA Sarah Barracuda for her intensity on the courts during her high school basketball team years. Busted on Ted Stevens for his porkbarreling, oldest son is in the Infantry, mother of 5, and easy on the eyes.

Oh yeah, and she's driving the Libs crazy just for getting the nomination.

Well done, John. Well done indeed. I approve, and you have just earned my vote this November.

Don't screw it up.

28 August 2008

Colors

I don't have a problem with Barack Obama because he's black.

I have a problem with Barack Obama because he's red.

24 August 2008

23 August 2008

Oh, Yay.

North Carolina has apparently been designated as a battleground state.

This means that we will be inundated by political ads.

The gubernatorial race is also heating up, and Libby Dole's seat in the Senate is also apparently targeted as being a possible Democratic pick-up.

We are getting the ads depicting the Republicans as Bush-bots and the Democrats as spineless weenie-wimps.

My joy knows no bounds.

21 August 2008

The Suzuki Chronicles

I wrote two posts about a motorcycle that I was restoring last year, but there was supposed to be a third. I started the third as a draft, and I finally posted it.

Thanks to the peculiarities that is Blogger it posted on the day I saved it as a draft, and not today. So, without further ado for those who are interested, are the three parts of the trilogy.

Part one, Silence

Part two, Redemption

Part three, Rebirth

Thanks for your patience. Enjoy!

20 August 2008

Hammer's Jackpot Meme

I don't usually do memes, but this one from Hammer sounded good. So, here we go!

You just won the mega powerball jackpot to the tune of 150 million dollars (after taxes)

1. What would be the very first thing you would do?


Invest at least half of it. Second would be to pay off everything I owe.

2. Where would you choose to live?

I would build a house somewhere, probably in south Georgia or in Florida...unless the oldest daughter moves to NC, in which case the house would be here somewhere.

3. What kind of house would you live in?


Near my hometown of Clarinda Iowa is a large brick farmhouse built by the local loony bin. I would send architects there to study it, and build as close to a duplicate as possible.

4. What kind of car would you buy?

Car? As in, one? Let's be serious, shall we?

5. Where would you vacation?


I would take my wife on a whirlwind tour of the Med, specifically Spain, Italy, and all the other ports of call that I hit in 20 years of Naval service. We would spend a great deal of time in Italy because her grandfather came from there.

6. Would you have anything on your body fixed?

Not myself, but I'm sure the wife would have quite a laundry list.

7. What kind of hobbies would you engage in?

Rebuilding old cars, riding motorcycles, a few guns and a lot of model trains.

8. What charities would you donate to?

Make A Wish would be stunned by my generosity. I like MaW because one of the kids wanted to go big-game hunting in Alaska. They sent him over the screeching protests from the usual suspects. Their position was "It's the kid's wish, that's what he wants, that's what he gets. Period." So, I always give what I can to them.

9. Would you give money to your relatives?

I would set up trust funds for the kids and I would pay off all of my parents' bills.

10.Would you run away from your current life?

I would change my current life, but I wouldn't run away from it. I've invested quite a bit of time in it already.

11. Would you continue to work?

I would start a business with my son restoring old cars and trucks.

12. Would the money change you in any way?

I'm certain that it would. It would solve some problems, only to replace them with others. I would have to adapt to those new problems, and I'm certain that would cause changes.

16 August 2008

You Keep Using That Word...

I just got done watching an episode of Penn and Teller's "Bullshit" on HBO. I like this show because it takes careful aim at a number of sacred cows and gores them thoroughly. I don't always agree with them, but as Neal Boortz likes to say if you agree with someone 100% of the time, one of you is irrelevant.

The latest episode was about the peace movement, and the conclusion was right on the mark; namely that feeeeeeelings matter more than actual results to the moonbats who do the marching and protesting. Nothing surprising there, and they make the very valid point that the surefire way to spread peace is through crass capitalism.

During the show I was constantly amused by the assertion that the present administration is fascist. GWB is constantly referred to as Bu$Hitler, or is portrayed on signs with a little toothbrush moustache. Cheney and Rove don't escape the notice of the morons either.

Reports from the occupied territories deep in our colleges and universities reveals that many a leftist professor will rant and rage to his or her captive audience on a myraid of subjects, each with a common theme: the current administration is made up of closet Nazis, that the government under the current administration is fascist, and that a shot of hopey-changitude will make it all A-OK.

The irony, which is absolutely lost in the din, is that if our government truly were as fascist as they say, and if GWB truly were Hitler, and if Rove truly was Goebbles, and if Cheney truly was Himmler, on and on and on, the people who would protest would either be dead, in prison waiting to be dead, or cowering in corners afraid to speak like the gutless cravens they are. The only reason they speak, march, protest and lecture is because they know, deep down in their cowardly souls, that there is nothing to fear and that no harm will come to them.

As a side note, it's funny that the gun owners who are generally supportive of government but want it to follow it's Constitutional forms are in greater danger of the 3 AM door-kicking-in than the frothing lefties who claim to be against the government - or, more to the point, against this particular administration. Of course leftists are all in favor of more government, as long as it is the right kind of more government, harder, faster.

In conclusion, I would like to direct your attention to one of my earlier, and in my opinion one of my best, posts entitled simply "Peace".

Photographer: Randi Motson
Photo courtesy of Musicians and Fine Artists For World Peace

15 August 2008

Here We Go Again

I don't really consider myself a misogynist, there are so many out there who can more rightfully claim the title. But sometimes people really get on my nerves.

Let's review, shall we?

Jimmy Carter is the worst president ever, mkay? George Bush, for all his faults, doesn't even come close. He's a wannabe in the Worst Of category. Anyone who survived the seventies should be smart enough to know that, unless they are senile.

Global warming is not caused by anything that mankind did or will ever do. In fact, it's cooling off now, and has been for a while. Yes, I know it's hot outside, but it's summertime, and that time of year tends to be a bit on the warm side (except for the southern hemisphere).

George W. Bush won the election in 2000. Every Florida recount, including an unofficial one done by the newspapers, verifies this. Gore lost. Deal with it.

And finally, the World Trade Center towers 1 and 2 were taken down by two aircraft piloted by terrorists. They were not taken down by demolition explosives, and the aircraft were not piloted by Air Force personnel in trailers.

Sometimes it's enough to make you want to bash your skull against a brick wall.

12 August 2008

RTWT

J.D. Pendry eloquently states one of my own core beliefs.

"The simple matter is that as soon as we make ourselves dependent on someone or some entity to meet our personal needs, we sacrifice our freedom."

Truer words were never written. Thank you CSM Pendry.

07 August 2008

Brain Smashing Stupidity

By now everyone has heard about the incident on the bus where a passenger was killed and beheaded by another passenger.

The dead man was identified as Tim McLean of Winnipeg, Canada. His slaying was a horrific incident that I pray we will never see the likes of again.

As Ron White says, I told you that so I could tell you this.

The Westboro Baptist "Church" (who is from Westboro Kansas, is not recognized by any Baptist entities, and as far as I'm concerned does not deserve the title "church") apparently isn't satisfied with pissing off the families of dead Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines here in the United States.

They now plan to take their insanity across international borders to picket the funeral of Tim McLean.

Words cannot express the emotion I feel when I think about these subhuman excuses for oxygen wasters. The only thing that would keep me from flying into a homicidal rage if I should ever encounter them is the bedrock principle that the Constitution gives everyone the right to spout their verbal garbage, and I would rather live in a country that allows it than live in one that doesn't.

However, Canada being Canada, the Constitution does not apply there. Unfortunately the PSH over guns is worse there than it is here, so the likelihood that some of the protesters will be returning in boxes is vanishingly small.

I wonder if the Patriot Guard Riders have a Canadian chapter? If not, maybe it is time to start one.

Crass Commercialism

If I never see another hard-on commercial on the TV I would be a happy guy.

I don't want to know what you do when you aren't feeling "fresh" down there either.

But then again I think all prescription medicines should be banned from advertising on the TV at all. Every over medicated hypochondriac insomniac sees these damn commercials and go to their doctor saying "I need this medicine!"

No you don't, fatass. Put the cheeseburger down and maybe your cholesterol, blood pressure and acid indigestion would take care of itself. Then you could lose a little weight and your wife would be glad to blow you again to get a little of the chandelier hanging monkey banging for herself.

I think it should be illegal for ambulance chasers to advertise on the TV as well. But then again, I don't have much use for ambulance chasers in general.

If there ought to be a law, there ought to be a loser pays law. That would fix some of the problems at least.

06 August 2008

Constitutional Authority

There is a discussion on one of the mailing lists I belong to over the future of the East Broad Top Railroad

The long-time owners of the railroad have been bled dry over the last 50+ years operating this little Pennsylvania short-line as a tourist operation. They are to be commended for their efforts, but the burden is getting too great for them to bear. They are looking to sell it off.

The Friends of the East Broad Top, of which I am a member, is understandably concerned about the railroad's fate. The mailing list is alive with speculation and ideas.

One of the ideas being bandied about is a Federal bail-out, or outright Federal ownership. The EBT is on the National Registry after all.

I think it's a bad idea, because I don't see a Constitutional authority for such an option. For this I have been called an anti-Government Kool-Aid drinker.

I spent 20 years of my life in the service of my country, pledging an oath to defend and support the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. I tend to take that oath seriously, even though it's been more than 3 years since I was last bound by that oath. And since I did pledge my life to defend it, I figured it was a good idea to have at least an idea of what it says.

Surprise surprise, there is nothing in there that says anything about owning railroads. I made this point once before.

There is also nothing in there about a National Parks Service, about a Department of Energy, or a Department of Education. In short, the Feds do a lot of things that are not Constitutionally authorized, and I think it's a bad idea all around.

I'm not saying that some of these agencies don't have a good purpose (regardless if they are doing a good job or not), I'm saying there's no Constitutional authority for them. I regularly get flamed for such a radical notion, but it won't stop me from having it.

As I said on the list, I want the EBT to be saved. I just want it to be saved legitimately.

Photo from the East Broad Top website

02 August 2008

August 2

Happy Birthday To Me!

26 July 2008

Finally!




A candidate I can believe in!

23 July 2008

In Praise of Modern Medicine

This has been on my mind for a couple of days now.

It all started with a bull session at work during shift change when the subject of insurance came up. One of my young, therefore liberal, co-workers opined that the Benevolent Federal Government (yeah, about that bridge...) should ensure that everyone had health insurance.

His point was that the uninsured costs us all in the fact that hospitals and doctors charge us more to cover those who don't pay. My reply was that non-life threatening medical care should be dependent on the ability to pay, period.

I then informed this young innocent that my wife, having been diagnosed with lung cancer in December, would likely have been near death by now under a socialized medical scheme. As it is, I told him, I would be willing to pay every cent I make for the rest of my life if that's what it took for the results we have gotten.

Under a socialized system the care she needed either would not have been available or would have been available at a future date based on a first-come first-served basis. She would likely have died on the waiting list.

As it is, without the corporate health insurance policy we would have had huge bills to pay. Thankfully the bills are manageable and well within our ability to stay ahead of them.

Under a socialized system the techniques and medicines that have been used so far likely would have never been developed, or would be prohibitively expensive and so not available to the commoners such as ourselves.

As it is the medicines and techniques she desperately needed were available, and they have done their work.

Our system may not be perfect. It is horrendously expensive, but it is readily available to all who need the care. Most importantly, the care is immediate, and for the most part effective. There are some things that are yet beyond the understanding of medicine to cure, but what we have is the best that is available in all the known world.

These advances are not without cost. Doctors and drug companies may make huge profits but I will never say they don't deserve them. Doctors gain their skills only after long and brutal hours of training and residency. Drug companies invest untold millions in their quest for new and better medicines, at great risk. The result is longer and better lives for us all.

They earn every penny.

21 July 2008

Red Curtain of Blood, Part 2

Words fail me.

Hat tip: Ace O' Spades HQ.

?!?!?!?!?!?

Can't afford meat, but apparently twinkies are still on the menu.

Hm. Subsidized housing. Unemployed, as are her siblings and sibling's spouses. Food stamps and welfare. Never had a job. No high school diploma. No marketable skills.

Here's the Red Curtain of Blood Money Quote:

People tell Nunez her daughter could get more money in public assistance if she had a child.

"A lot of people have told me, 'Why don't your daughter have a kid?'"

AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey, here's an idea for you. Go to the local junior college, sign up for the free GED courses, actually pass them, and GET A JOB! So your van's broke down? Take a bus! Or how about WALK, you look like you could use the exercise.

Once you stop living off of MY dime maybe you will be able to afford meat. Or Jenny Craig.

Do you get the idea that people who have never planned for their future and whine about the way their lives turn out just really infuriate me?

20 July 2008

Links

I switched over to the new Blogger layout so that I could edit the colors of the links. In the process some of my links got lost.

The new layout makes it easier to edit and add things, but there will always be growing pains. This is one of them.

I am working diligently to restore the missing links, but inevitably I will miss some. If you no longer see yourself linked, please drop me a note in comments and I will restore the link.

Thank you.

Birthday Wishes

Today is her birthday. We won't be celebrating today because I have to work, so we went out last Wednesday.

I dropped a C note on dinner for the two of us, a bit extravagant but we hadn't been out for a while since she hasn't felt up to it. She was feeling OK Wednesday, so off we went.

Her hair is growing back, it's short but it's there. She didn't wear her head scarf like she usually does, she said she felt a bit self-conscious at first but after a while it was OK. The hair loss was a Big Deal, so I'm glad to see it come back in. Hopefully when it grows back in a bit more it will turn back to red, it's a bit dark at the moment. If not, there's always Clairol.

She's still suffering some from the chemo, it upsets her stomach, and since she just had a treatment on Tuesday we were hoping she would get some time before the onset of troubles.I suggested we wait until the week after her birthday, say on the Tuesday or Wednesday following, but she said it was more likely she would be feeling knocked down the week after the treatment rather than the week of.

Unfortunately that didn't happen, so she's been feeling the effects of our night out for the past couple of days. But it was still worth it.

Happy Birthday Boo. Glad you are feeling better.

18 July 2008

For The Boys

In lieu of actual content:

Here's some eye candy.

15 July 2008

Medical Update

She had a treatment today, and they went over the scans they took last week.

The tumor has shrunk almost 50 percent.

The docs say another 3 treatments and she should be in remission.

3 more treatments including today's, that is. That's another month and a half.

So she should be in remission by September. After that, regular checkups every 6 months to ensure the monster stays gone.

This is a much better prognosis than was anticipated. My relief knows no bounds.

And now we are so happy we do the dance of joy!



Thank you everyone for your prayers and well-wishes.

14 July 2008

Asshats Revisited

So it seems that Phred Phelps's merry band of phelchers are going to be picketing Tony Snow's funeral.

Classy bunch.

When are the courts going to seize their assets to pay their court ordered fine?

Hat tip to Ms Underestimated.

12 July 2008

Asshats R Us

Here we have a government employee, someone who has never, ever held a job in the public sector, deciding when it is appropriate to half-staff the national ensign.

He says that he did not think it was appropriate to honor the late Senator Jesse Helms because of his "doctrine of negativity, hate, and prejudice" and his opposition to civil rights bills and the federal Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, according to the article in the News and Observer.

Of course the Screws and Disturber is a typically lefty rag, and so the article paints this guy as some sort of hero who quit rather than violate his own personal code of ethics by lowering the flag.

One of my favorite lines from the article is this one: "He also trained new employees on proper flag etiquette, including a one-person folding technique he learned in Boy Scouts."

I was in the Boy Scouts, and I served 20 years in the military, and I have never seen a one-person flag folding technique that would not drape the flag on the ground. In case you didn't know, that's a flag folding no-no.

The State of North Carolina is better off without him.

Hat tip, of all places, to Chris Muir in a Day by Day cartoon.

A Future Review

I just ordered a new DVD, it's a war film that I have never heard of that is being sold through independent channels. If it's any good I'll post a full review and order information.

Sorry for the light posting, life at the Refuge is calming down somewhat. The only thing I've been doing lately is working on the wife's dollhouse.

Until next time, here's a video for you to check out. More like them can be found here.

video

Video from Grouchy Media.