Thursday, December 31, 2009

Update on Predictions

Back in January, I made some predictions.  Here's how they turned out:

1.  The price of oil would go up significantly.   Kind of.  The price is up from the low it got to last year, but it didn't raise as much as I thought it would.

2.  The economy will continue to drop.  Spot on.  The economists say the recession is over, but I'm still seeing a lot of folks looking for a job.

3.  The housing market will bottom out.  Got this one right, I hope.  Prices are stabilizing.  I hope this is the bottom instead of a plateau before plunging again.

4.  One of the Detroit Big 3 will go out of business.  Well, sort of got this one.  Chrysler and GM are working on making it back, and GM is selling off most of their subsidiaries.  But they're still independent companies.  Ford seems to be doing well.

5.  A major disaster will occur and President Obama will not react well.  Not even close.  No big disasters this year, which is a good thing.

6.  Iran will get the bomb.  Not yet, but they're getting closer.

7.  US casualties in Iraq will decline and those in Afghanistan will increase.  Spot on.

8.  Obama will have dwindling approval ratings.  Yep, got that one.

9.  The Republicans will work to make themselves more electable at the expense of their credibility as conservatives.  I'll take the hit on this one.  They're making themselves more electable, but President Obama is helping them stay on the right of center by pushing legislation and policies that are very left of center.

10.  The Republicans in Congress will have a hard time keeping President Obama from getting everything he wishes for.  Correct, but with a caveat.  The legislation that Obama and the Democrat leadership have put forward is so polarizing it's making it easy for Republicans to get unity in their opposition, and making it hard for the Democrats to keep their conservative brethren in line.

11.  UK will beat UL.  Wrong, but the rivalry continues.

So, I got a few right, and a few wrong.  I'll have my 2010 predictions up in a few days.

Happy New Year!

Well, it's been a heck of a year, and I'm looking forward to 2010. 

I've had a lot of people who've made this a good year, and I'd like to thank each of you.

I hope that you all have had a good year, and I also hope you have a safe New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Picks, Week 17

Last week of the regular season.

Indy and Buffalo - Indy
New Orleans and Carolina - New Orleans
Jacksonville and Cleveland - Cleveland
New England and Houston - Houston
New York Giants and Minnesota - Minnesota.  A friend of mine is going to the game in Minneapolis, and I hope she has a great time!
San Fransisco and Saint Louis - San Fransisco
Atlanta and Tampa Bay - Tampa
Pittsburgh and Miami - Pittsburgh
Chicago and Detroit - Chicago
Philadelphia and Dallas - Dallas
Kansas City and Denver - KC
Baltimore and Oakland - Oakland.  RAIDERS!!!!
Tennessee and Seattle - Seattle
Washington and San Diego - Washington.  Come on guys, just win one more!
Green Bay and Arizona - Green Bay
Cinci and New York Jets - Cinci

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Results, Weeks 14, 15, and 16

Just catching up.

Week 14 - 9 and 7
Week 15 - 6 and 10
Week 16 - 8 and 8

For the season I've got 126 correct picks and 114 incorrect picks. 

Monday, December 28, 2009

Breaking a policy

I admit it, I read "I Can Has Cheezburger".  Yes, it's childish, but it gives me a chuckle.

However, I have a policy of not posting the pictures.  But I have to break my policy today:

I probably find it funny for two reasons. First, I recently had a baby in the house with 3 cats, and this is one of the ways they would react if the baby was crying.  After a few minutes of trying to continue their lives with BooBoo crying, they'd all make their way to wherever Irish Woman and I happened to be and add their meows and nips to the noise.  Kind of their way of telling us that the baby needed us and to make it stop.  As he got older, we were able to differentiate between his "I'm just squawling to hear my own voice" cries and the cries for actual problems.  The cats, however, never did.  It was kind of entertaining to watch Koshka go into spasms trying to get us to go take care of BooBoo when he was just crying because he was tired but not yet ready to go to sleep.

Second, it's funny because my friend just brought home twin boys, and I'm sure this scene is being played out at his house over and over again.  As much as I love my kids, I think the Lord every time they get in trouble or are being uber-kids that they weren't twins.

Abducted child back home

This may be old news, but I've been mulling how to approach this story after my rant about it last week.

David and Sean Goldman have been reunited after 5 years, numerous court cases, and some international wrangling by two administrations. 

The Brazilian courts finally wound their way to the correct decision, and Mr. Goldman got the heck out of Brazil as soon as he had his son.  I'm sure it's going to be rocky for them at first, and there will be years of counseling and healing for them before all is said and done. I hope for their sake that the press backs off and lets them grow together as a family.  I wish them luck, and I give thanks that this situation is well on its way to being resolved for them.

I have always dreaded custody disputes.  My mother and father used my brothers and sisters and I as pawns, and I've shied away from court fights to protect my kids from that.  I only went to court over Girlie Bear when her mom couldn't properly take care of her.  I would have fought for Little Bear just as hard if the courts would have let me.  I've always looked for some way to come to a deal with their mom just to spare the kids a fight.

I guess my frustration over the Goldman case was me projecting my own fears on that situation. Like I said in my last post about this, having my kids in a place where I couldn't see them and had to fight for them in an unbalanced game would be my worst nightmare. 

Christmas Schlep

Hope everyone had a good holiday.  Overall ours was good.  Tiring, but good.

On Christmas Eve, BooBoo woke up with with a fever.  He hadn't been feeling well the night before, so we decided to take him to the doctor.  Luckily our family doctor was open until noon.  One double ear infection later, we picked up some antibiotics at Walgreens and headed home.  I took the day as a sick day, so I took the quiet of him sleeping to  clean the house and wrap some presents.  He was fine by the next morning.

Christmas morning started with a round trip drive across Louisville to pick up Girlie Bear and Little Bear.  She had spent the first half of Christmas break with her mom, and he wanted to come spend Christmas with us.  We went over to Indiana to see family in the afternoon, and then went back to Louisville to spend the evening with friends.  That evening I took Little Bear home, but he says he wants to come over more often.

Overall, everyone got what they wanted for Christmas.  The kids all got a bit of stuff, but not an over-the-top amount.  The older kids got mostly clothes and books.  BooBoo got a few toys, but mostly ones without speakers.  We were dreading a repeat of his birthday where all of the gifts made noise, lots of noise.  My gift to Irish Woman was to pay off her car early, and her gift to me was a box of .45 ACP in my stocking.  Got to love a woman who gives ammo for Christmas.  The kids got her a nice watch, and I got an Amazon gift card.  How did they know I had enough junk?

Our gifts to other families this year were baskets of fresh fruit and homemade cookies.  I made snickerdoodles, sandbakkel, banana spice cake, pumpkin bars, and cranberry bread.  Irish woman made chocolate chip, 7 layer cookies, and some confections that were made up of preserves and white chocolate.  Yum.

Saturday morning we went over to the home of a family that have adopted Girlie Bear and Little Bear as grandkids.  They knew their mom when she was growing up, and have filled in as the sane grandparents for those two.  They've become close, and treat Junior Bear and BooBoo just as well as they do the other two kids.  It was a nice brunch, and after eating and having coffee, we opened a few more presents.  Since Little Bear lives a block away, I had called and asked him to come over.  To my astonishment and mortal emberrassment, his mother came as well.  Nothing says Merry Christmas like the ex-wife coming over for a family gathering that includes the current wife.  Irish Woman took it all in stride, but drew the line when the ex wanted to take family pictures that included BooBoo.  Bad joo-joo there.  On the way home from that, I stopped off and bought her a nice bunch of flowers.  It's the "I'm sorry my ex showed up at the party and made you feel uncomfortable" bouquet.

Last night was the big Hoosier shindig.  About 10 families all got together for a potluck dinner and games.  Hoosier Mom and Dad are the patriarchs of this clan, and they really enjoy seeing everyone there.  All of the sons and daughters came, even the ones that had to drive through a blizzard to get home.  Hoosier Mom made sure that all 16 of her grandkids got together for a picture.  The kids all had a ball running around with their cousins, and it was nice to catch up with Irish Woman's brothers and sisters.  We had to leave a bit early because BooBoo had had a very long day and was making sure we all knew about it at about 8:30. The roads were like hockey rinks in Indiana as we made our way home, but once we got on the interstate it wasn't as bad.  I'm glad it was only a light rain/snow mix.  Much more and we would have been spending the night in Hoosier-ville.

So, we put a lot of miles on the cars this weekend, but got to see all of family.  We have a few more things to do to tie things up, but I've survived another Christmas.

Hope all of you had a good holiday, and everyone got home safe.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Picks Week 16

OK, for the 3rd straight week, I didn't get my picks in on time, and I'll have to take an automatic loss on the non-weekend game.

Here's the rest of this week's picks:

Buffalo and Atlanta - Atlanta
KC and Cinci - Cinci
Oakland and Cleveland - Oakland
Seattle and Green Bay - Green Bay
Houston and Miami - Houston
Baltimore and Pittsburgh - Baltimore
Carolina and New York Giants - Carolina
Jacksonville and New England - Jacksonville
Tampa Bay and New Orleans - New Orleans
Saint Louis and Arizona - Arizona
Detroit and San Fransisco - San Fransisco
Denver and Philadelphia -Denver
New York Jets and Indy - Indy
Dallas and Washington - Washington
Minnesota and Chicago - Chicago

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Shout Outs

To the dedicated Salvation Army bell ringer in front of Walmart this afternoon, thanks.  You're doing the Lord's work.

To the nice lady who stopped and gave a soda to the bell ringer as she left and her daughter put money in his pot, good on ya! 

To the nice lady in Walmart who gave me the stinky eye because I was in line ahead of her, my apologies for being able to find what I need quicker than you did.  I'm also sorry that my milk, bread, cheese, and coffee were in line ahead of your DVD player and video games.

To the genius who came up with the automatic machine at the post office for purchasing stamps, my most heartfelt thanks.  The line to the counter was 15 deep and moving slow.

And last, but certainly not least, to the pretty young lady who left the post office as I was pulling into the parking lot, thank you.  The naughty elf outfit you were wearing put a lot of Christmas cheer into my heart.

And to the rest of you, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Life is Good

Sitting in my living room, drinking egg nog.  Siamese cat is curled up on my lap purring.  Two big dogs sleeping on the rug.  Kids safe in their beds, wife in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies.

I'm just living the dream, guys, just living the dream.

Very Pretty

Og has pics of his handiwork in putting a beautiful finish on his M1 carbine.

I put a new set of furniture for my Garand on my list-o-stuff when I bought it.  I'll have to keep the Minwax product in mind when I get it.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Isn't this fun?

I finally get my body used to working nights, and now I can't get to sleep at a normal hour.  I'm flipping back to days tomorrow, so I need to get to sleep, but I can only count sheep for so long.

Guess I'll find something interesting yet soporific to read and try to at least get a few hours under my belt.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Picks Week 15

Well, with all the weird scheduling this week, I forgot to get my picks in before the Thursday night game.  I'll take that as an automatic loss.

Dallas and New Orleans - New Orleans
New England and Buffalo - Buffalo
Houston and Saint Louis - Houston
Arizona and Detroit - Arizona
Atlanta and New York Jets - Jets
Cleveland and Kansas City - Cleveland
Oakland and Denver - Oakland
Cinci and San Diego - Cinci
Chicago and Baltimore - Baltimore
San Fransisco and Philadelphia - San Fransisco
Tampa Bay and Seattle - Seattle
Green Bay and Pittsburgh - Green Bay
Minnesota and Carolina - Minnesota
New York Giants and Washington - Washington
Miami and Tennessee - Tennessee

No Snow So Far

Had a few stray flakes, but nothing sticking.

Did see a few pretty impressive sets of spin-out tracks in the median on the way home.  Guess it got icy in spots.

We're projected to get another storm in later in the week.  Maybe we'll get a white Christmas.

Update - We had about half an inch of white dust on the cars and some parts of the yard this morning, so the weatherman was at least close.  I'll post pics later.

Every Father's Worst Nightmare

I've been watching the case of David Goldman and his son for a long time.  I'm sure I'm not the only divorced dad who has been monitoring the plight of this dad and his child.  For those of you who aren't familiar with the story, Mr. Goldman married a woman from Brazil and had a son. She took the boy to Brazil for a visit and then divorced him in Brazil. Of course she got custody of the little boy.  She remarried, but then died in childbirth.  Her family has kept Sean, even though his father wants him back.  Mr Goldman has been fighting his way through the Brazilian courts to  regain custody.  It's been an emotional roller coaster for him and no doubt for his son.

Every father who goes through a divorce fears that his ex will take the child or children away to a place where he can't retrieve them.  I've been there.  That's why I'm a computer geek in Kentucky instead of a government contractor in Arizona.  My lawyer in Arizona told me that if I wanted any rights to see my children, I had to go to Kentucky.  The courts just wouldn't help me much if I lived halfway across the continent.  

It's bad enough when you have to go between one US state and another.  It's quite another thing when you're fighting in the courts of another country altogether.  There are treaties to prevent just this situation, but Brazil is apparently not following their treaty obligations. 

The boy is a U.S. citizen, period.  A foreign country is holding him against the wishes of his remaining biological parent and in contravention of treaties that both countries have signed.  So far our government has only given lip service to getting the Brazilian government to release this young child to his father. Presidents Bush and Obama both made noises about this, but nothing has come of it.  The State Department is squawking now, but I don't have much faith in that resolving the issue.

Congress is threatening to stop a trade deal we have with Brazil and its neighbors.  I think this doesn't go far enough.  If I were president (OK, OK, I know, that thought gives you all shivers and night sweats) Brazil would be restricted from doing any trade with any entity that is headquartered in the United States.  I would stop our Olympic team from participating in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. I would recall our ambassador, and ask Brazil to remove theirs.  Yes, that would hurt a valuable trading relationship and negatively impact the economies of both countries, but I'm pretty sure that Brazil would hurt more than we would.

If after 30 days they still don't send the boy home, I would go before the United Nations and ask that other countries join us in punishing Brazil for not living up to their treaty obligations.  Again, I think the global economy could survive losing Brazil better than Brazil can survive losing the rest of the global economy. 

If that still didn't work after another 90 days, I would go to Congress for a declaration of war.  It wouldn't be one of those  resolutions authorizing force.  I'm talking about an honest to goodness, re-direct the entire country to one purpose declaration of war.   Yes, that's extreme, but the life and freedom of one American citizen is worth it. 

No country has the right to unlawfully detain a citizen of another, especially a child.  Until Brazil sends little Sean home to his father, then we have no business acting like Brazil deserves our friendship.

Last Night of Night Shift

Well, I've almost made it through the week.  I can't believe I did this for a couple of years when I was in Germany.  Guess it's easier to be nocturnal when you don't have kids.  Only reason I know it's Friday night is the calendar.  My time sense is messed up beyond all recognition.

The guys I've been working with are pretty easy to hang around with.  For the most part we've been monitoring systems and watching bad movies on AMC.  The 1970's King Kong remake is on at the moment.  Not sure if I like it or not.  I remember this movie scaring the heck out of me when I was a kid.  Guess I'm just jaded now.

I tried doing some coding last night, but it's unreadable, which is pretty hard to do with PERL.  I must have been either hyped up on coffee or half asleep when I wrote it.  I'm going to scrap it and try again on Monday.  If you can't read your own code, even if it somehow works, then it's not going to work when someone comes back to modify or re-use it.

Hopefully I'll get some sleep this morning and then get some Christmas shopping done in the afternoon and evening.  Girlie Bear went to her mom's for the week last night, so all Irish Woman and I have to do is trade off on taking care of BooBoo.  I've gotten a few things, but I'm nowhere near done.  This is going to be a small Christmas, but even at that I'm way behind the power curve.

Girlie Bear and I went out and got a Christmas tree this afternoon.  It's a little late in the season, so the pickings were a bit slim. We found a nice fir and got it set up in the living room.  So far, it's just got lights on it, but we'll finish trimming it tonight.  I'll post a pic once it's done.

It's been raining here for about 12 hours now, and it's supposed to move over to snow later this morning.  We're supposed to get one or two inches, but the eastern part of the state already had 5 inches or so at dinnertime, with more to accumulate overnight.  That's messing up some hunting plans.  The first modern black bear hunt in Kentucky is this weekend, and the area the hunt is occurring is the counties that are going to be hit hardest by the weather.  Here's hoping that some people are able to connect and that everyone comes back safe.  A bear hunt is on my list of things to do sometime in my life, but I'll wait until the state figures out how it wants to run the hunts.

Irish Woman got BooBoo a pair of snow boots, a hat, and a pair of mittens so we can take him out and play if we get an appreciable amount of snow.  My mental image of his snow apparel roughly equates to the suits that climbers wear while climbing up Mt. Everest, with a dash of space shuttle EVA thrown in.  It's her babies first time out in the snow, so I guess she's justified in overdressing him.

If the snow does come, I'll take a few pics and post them.  One of these days we'll get a real snowstorm and then we'll see how pretty Kentucky is.  I'm not looking for a blizzard another ice storm, but I would love to get about 6 inches of snow that lasts more than a few days.  I miss sledding and making snow forts.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Graveyard Shift Continues

Day 3 - Halfway there.

I'm not feeling too bad.  I got a good sleep this morning and afternoon. 

Last night was rough. I was tired all evening, and nothing was going on, so it was hard to stay awake.

I read Day by Day Armageddon the other night to stay awake.  Pretty good yarn.  I'll probably get the sequel when it comes out next July.  I seem to be on an end-of-the-world kick lately.  I may re-read Monster Hunter International this week.  Something that will keep me awake.

Irish Woman has been very understanding about my need to get sleep during the day, and hasn't asked me to do much more than start on dinner after I get up in the afternoon.  I may get ambitious today and take Girlie Bear out to do some Christmas shopping today. She wants to get coffee mugs for all of her teachers, and we may make baskets out of them with cocoa and hot cider mix.

Our holiday schedule is firming up.  We have shindigs planned from Christmas Eve until late on the 27th.  Girlie Bear and possibly Little Bear will be coming back from their mother's house Christmas morning, so it'll be a full weekend.

The Badass of the Year Award

goes to a young man in Arizona, who strangled a bloody rabid wildcat with his bare hands when it attacked him.

I feel that I'm an alpha male type.  I do my own lawn work, do all of the repairs to our house and cars that I can, and try hard to not be soft as much as possible.

But wrapping my hands around the neck of a rabid carnivore that wanted to eat me and wring the life out of it is not what would occur to me in the unlikely event that said carnivore would appear in my front yard.

Sir, you deserve this award, and I hope that you enjoy it for the rest of your life.  That is if you remember it as you spend the rest of your days wrapping and unwrapping barbed wire from around your biceps.  You probably do that instead of getting a silly tribal tattoo.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The suckage begins

Currently 3 hours away from the end of my first graveyard shift.  One week on the 11 to 8 shift, then back to normal hours.  Not working too hard, just sitting around monitoring servers to make sure nothing bad happens during the Christmas season.

I'm starting to fade, and it's the part of the night when things seem to move in slow motion.

I'll be OK tomorrow or Wednesday once I get my sleep cycles in sync. I tried to get as much sleep as I could today, but life intruded, so I'm living on coffee and sugar at the moment.

The tough part will be getting back to normal next week.  Luckily it's a short week and I'll be able to sleep in a bit since the kids will be out of school.

Tune into this channel for updates as I begin to hallucinate from my circadian rhythms going on strike.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thought for the day

The only gun show that the Obama's approve of is when Michelle is coming off of Air Force One in a tank top and shorts.

Class Act

Stephen King, author of all things boogie-boogie, has shown that even the morbidly strange have hearts:

 King and his wife, Tabitha, who live in Bangor, are paying $13,000 toward the cost of two bus trips so that members of the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Unit can travel from Camp Atterbury in Indiana to Maine for Christmas. The soldiers left Maine last week for training at Camp Atterbury. They are scheduled to depart for Afghanistan in January.
 No matter how nice Camp Atterbury is and how hard leadership tries to make the holidays good for the troops, nothing beats a ride home and time with your family.

Mr. King, I was reading "Tommyknockers" when I was going through recruit processing many years ago, and I have to say that yours was the last civilian voice I heard for a long time.  Thank you for that and for looking out for the men and women who continue to serve.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mixed Feelings

Just finishing up watching "Star Trek The Motion Picture".  It's the first Star Trek movie, not "Star Trek 90210" from earlier this year. 

It's a good movie, but it's painful to watch sometimes.  The acting is really bad at points, and those uniforms are hideous.  You can tell they were searching for a way to take a hokey TV show and make it into a movie setting.

Junior Bear had never seen it, so I got it off of Netflix.  I have the rest of the Star Trek movies in my queue, followed by all 6 of the Star Wars movies.  Yeah, I'm going to be watching some really good movies, and a few horrible ones. 

It'll be good to have some movies for the next few weeks that are fluff.  I'll be too busy to sit down and concentrate on things like plot and deep characters.

Nice Evening Out

The Irish Woman and I got a babysitter last night and went out for dinner and a show.

Dinner was at Cunningham's in downtown Louisville.  If you like Kentucky cuisine, it's really good.  If you're on a low-salt, low-cholesterol diet, I'd suggest another venue.  There's a reason that Kentucky ranks high on the heart disease listings for the United States.  It's mighty tasty, though.

The show was Lewis Black at the Louisville Palace.  I've been a fan of this comedian for years, and it was great to finally see him live.  He's definitely worth the ticket.  I was laughing so hard that I almost cracked skulls with the lady sitting behind me.  She was leaning way forward to laugh, and I reared back to laugh.  Luckily, no concussions.

We were celebrating our 5th anniversary.  It was a bit late, and it's been a long time since we had an evening out without kids.  We have to do that more often.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'm really trying this year

Christmas just isn't my thing, and sometimes I get downright grinchy this time of year.

This year, I am making an effort to be, if not jolly, at least tolerant of the holiday.

Heck, I even listened to Christmas music when I drove Girlie Bear to school this morning. 

Granted, after I dropped her off, I listened to Metallica's Black Album until I started feeling right again.  But I made the effort.

I'll be working graveyard shift next week, so posting may be at wacky hours.  Nothing says Merry Christmas like sleep deprivation and disturbed rest cycles.

You don't see this every day

When I think of the ocean around Australia, I think of surf, sun, and golden tans.

Not icebergs.

I'm not going to speculate as to what caused this, or if it's a sign of something to come.  It's definitely strange.

But here's an idea:

How about the Australian Navy tow some chunks of this thing ashore and have a Christmastime ice party on a beach for the Australian kids.  Since it's summer down there, it'll be a nice break. There could be sledding, snowball fights, and even ice sculpture competitions. 

Just a thought.  It would definitely be a memory kids down there would cherish forever.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's official

I'm allergic to Kentucky.  I had the allergy skin test this morning, and here are the high points of what I'm sensitive to:
  •  Every common species of grass and tree.  
  • All the molds and mildews.   
  • Ragweed too reared its ugly head in my test.
  • Cats, but I'm not getting rid of my furballs.  
For someone who enjoys fishing and hunting, and has had a cat all his life, this is quite a  list.  Now I know why I liked living in the Arizona desert.  No plant life, no pollen, no allergies.

I'll be starting allergy shots in the next couple of weeks.  Hopefully that will force my immune system to not overreact and let me live in peace here in God's country.

I'll let y'all know how it goes.  At the moment, I feel like dirt warmed over, then put between two pieces of stale rye and toasted. Once this Benadryl kicks in, I'm going to hibernate for a few hours.

Very Wise Picture

From Very Demotivational:

The more I get to know boys between 10 and 26, the more I agree with this.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Picks, Week 14

Pittsburgh at Cleveland - Pittsburgh
New Orleans at Atlanta - New Orleans
Detroit at Baltimore - Baltimore
Green Bay at Chicago - One of my favorite games to watch every year.  Green Bay
Seattle at Houston - Houston
Denver at Indy - Indy
Miami at Jacksonville - Another good rivalry game.  Jacksonville
Buffalo at Kansas City - Kansas City
Cinci at Minnesota - Minnesota.  But if the Vikings play like they did this week, they'll lose and it won't even be close.
Carolina at New England - Carolina
New York Jets at Tampa Bay - New York Jets
Saint Louis at Tennessee - Tennessee
Washington at Oakland - Darn it, two of my favorite teams are playing each other.  I'll take Oakland on this one.
San Diego at Dallas - San Diego
Philadelphia at New York Giants - New York Giants
Arizona at San Fransisco - Arizona

Results - Week 13

Well, I forgot to pick the San Diego/Cleveland game, so I'll take that as an automatic loss.

Even with that, it was a great weekend.  I was 11 and 5 for the week, and I'm 103 and 89 overall.

I have the Sunday and Monday night games on the DVR, and I'll give them a watch.  Otherwise, I caught snippets of games as I passed through the living room all weekend.  Busy busy busy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh Really?

Senator "Dingy" Harry Reid has compared Republicans and others who oppose his healthcare plan to people who wanted to keep slavery and opposed civil rights legislation.

OK, let's take a moment to reflect on the actual history:

Which party went to war in 1861 rather than see the Union split permanently between free and slave territories?  That's right, the Republicans.

Which party actively worked against the country during the Civil War and would have negotiated a peace with the Confederacy if they'd been able to win the presidency in 1864?  That's right, the Democrats.

Who pushed through amendments to the Constitution that not only made slavery illegal, but also guaranteed the rights of the former slaves?  That's right, the Republicans.

What party was in power in the 1860's and 1870's and had to deal with Southern Democrat partisans riding around in sheets and lynching black people?  That's right, the Republicans.

Which party actively opposed civil rights legislation in the late 1950's, even going so far as to filibuster the Senate and stand in the door to stop black students from attending white schools?  That's right, the Democrats.

Senator Reid, before you ratchet up the rhetoric, and go beyond calling Republicans Nazi's and such, please get your facts straight.  The Democratic party has a lot more to answer to about slavery and civil rights than the Republicans do.

Big Boy Bed, Big Boy Name

Over the weekend, we were awakened by the sound of Baby Bear dropping from the side of his crib to the floor.  He had been able to get one leg up on the rail of his crib and pull himself over.  Good news is that he landed on his butt and not his head.  Bad news is he thought this was a neat thing and proceeded to do it every time we put him to bed.

Sunday, we dismantled the crib and put in a twin set for him.  The crib doesn't convert to a toddler bed, so he went straight to a twin.  We got a set of snap-together railings for him and he thinks it's just the most neat thing he's ever seen.  No trouble getting him to go to bed.

We also put up a swinging gate on his bedroom door so we could still leave his door open and monitor his activities, but he can't roam the house while the rest of the family sleeps.

Since he's not in a crib, talks a bit now, and has been walking for over 6 months, I think it's time I stopped calling him Baby Bear.

From now on, his name is BooBoo.  Kind of fits, don't you think?

Dream Analysis Bleg

OK, this morning, between getting the older kids out the door and getting Baby Bear up and ready for day care, I crashed on the couch.

During that time, I had the following dream:

Elmo from Sesame Street was moderating a Jerry Springer/Maury Povich kind of show, and he had Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog on there for one of those "Who's the Daddy?" kind of episodes.  Turns out Miss Piggy wasn't sure, and they were doing DNA tests.  Elmo kept saying "Elmo wants to know why you would hurt Kermit's froggy feelings so bad?"

Then I woke up, thank goodness. 

So, what do y'all think this means?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Range Report

Took a little time today and went out to the range. 

Today was a pistols only trip, since I didn't want to drive to the outdoor range.  The indoor range I go to has rifle lanes, but they're prohibitively expensive on my budget.

The 1911 continues to be a good shoot, even if I don't burn through a couple hundred rounds.  I put 50 rounds through it and was able to bring my groups to about 4" for a magazine of 7 at 20 feet.  I put in a few snapcaps and loaded the magazines without looking, so I was able to practice my malfunction drill a bit.  I did get bitten by the slide a couple of times in the space between my thumb and finger, so I need to work on my grip with it.  I need to do something with the front sight on this one.  I can barely see it against a dark background. 

I recently put Hogue rubber grips on my Taurus .38, and I was curious to see if that made a difference with how the gun sits in my hand and felt recoil.  I definitely felt a difference in recoil.  My groups with this one weren't even close to the .45, though.  I need to start making a habit of doing a lot of dry fire with the .38, and maybe that'll improve my shots.  The sights on this one were hard to see against a dark background too.  I burned through two cylinders of rounds before the range safety asked me to stop using CCI Blazer ammo.  Appears that it messes up their brass collection and they have to manually sort out the aluminum cases.  I looked at their ammo, but the price was way too much for my budget.  I'll remember that range rule next time and save the CCI rounds for Knob Creek.

I also tried out the Bianci speed strips that I picked up , and I like them.  They're faster than hand loading, and a lot less bulky than a speed-loader.  Those are definitely staying with me for carry.

At the pro shop, I picked up a Galco IWB holster for the .38.  I bought it specifically for carry.  My shooting with it is good enough that I'd feel comfortable using it in an emergency, but I'll of course work to improve.

Now I need to work to improve my ammunition situation.  I've burned through almost all of my .45 and I only have a few rounds of .38.   I'm considering purchasing bulk reloads from Precision Cartridge.  That would definitely allow me to go to the range and not hear a cash register ring every time I pulled the trigger. 

An Open Letter to a Moron

Dear Moron,

Last evening, we met as you were walking down the double dividing line of a four lane, 55 mile an hour road.  You were the one wearing cargo shorts, a boonie hat, and walking with one crutch.  I was the the 3rd driver I know who was moving in the opposite direction who had to swerve at the last minute so as to not turn you into a statistic.

You see, there are no streetlights in that section of road.  While you weren't wearing your SnakeEyes costume, you weren't lighting up in the headlights too well either.  Thankfully, the fish belly white reflection from your lower legs helped a lot once I was close enough that my low-beams illuminated you.

While I am sorry that we, the users of the road, were driving at or below the legal speed limit and had to react violently to not strike you, I do not feel that bad.

You see, there was a perfectly good shoulder at the side of the road that people use every day to walk down that particular stretch of road.  Why you felt it necessary to prove your manhood and walk down the center of the road is unknown, but now that you know you're mui macho, please begin using it.  It would do my heart, suspension, and steering wheel a lot of good to not have to go almost 90 degrees to the right at 55 miles an hour so as to not turn you into road pizza.

Thanks ever so much, and I hope you're enjoying the hangover from whatever chemical enhancement brought you to the center of the road last night.



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Foregoing football for love

Tonight, as I type, the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills are battling on the gridiron.

I, a football fan since before I could ride a bicycle, am not watching.

I am watching the new Celtic Woman special on PBS with the Irish Woman.   I don't call her the Irish Woman for nothing.

About 15 minutes into the program, she asked me if the setting for the concert looked familiar.  Lo and behold, it appears to be at Powerscourt Manor in Wicklow.  We went there when we had our honeymoon in Ireland.  It's a beautiful place.  If you're ever in the neighborhood, check it out.

I think, however, that Celtic Woman has pretty much run their course.  There is only so much Irish music that can be sung by 4 female voices.  And singing "You'll Be In My Heart" from Disney's Tarzan cartoon movie smacks of jumping the shark.

However, they still sing very prettily.  Only 2 of the 4 original singers are still in the group, and the new ladies do add some variety. 

I'll flip over to the game once the show is done.    Neither team plays well until the second half anyway.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Getting out of the doghouse

Sherman, set the wayback machine to the summer of 2007.

Our intrepid author learned that The Police were going to be coming to Churchill Downs for a concert on their reunion tour.  Being a lifelong Police fan and having a contact with the company that would be providing ushers, security, and ticket takers, I asked if I could get a couple of slots to work it.  I got lucky and was able to get two slots.

Originally, I planned on working it with the Irish Woman, who at the time seemed happy but not psyched about going.

The day of the concert, Junior Bear asked if he could go.  He apparently had liked the music he'd heard and wanted to hear it live.  I asked the Irish Woman and she said OK, but I didn't pick up on the subtle queues she gave that said she wasn't happy about it.

So I took my merry self and Junior Bear out to the Downs, and we worked our butts off while listening to Roxanne and Every Breath You Take.

I got home at about 2 AM, tired and dehydrated.   I had picked up a tee shirt for the Irish Woman.

Little did I know what awaited me.  She had been up all night, stewing.

You see, the Irish Woman has been a fan of the Police since about 30 seconds after their first LP hit the stores.  In the big box of records in the basement is every bit of vinyl they have ever released. 

And I had asked her to not accompany me to the one and only chance she would ever get to see them in concert.

To say that I was in trouble would be a vast understatement.  The tee shirt didn't help, either.

She was mad, but the next day things were going OK.  But the subject of that concert has always been a sore subject.

Now, Churchill Downs is going to hold a 3 day concert festival called HullabaLou.  The premiere act on the first day will be Bon Jovi, another of the Irish Woman's favorites.  The B-52's, Doobie Brothers, and others will also play, so it's going to be a hoot.  She wanted to go, but thought that it would sell out too quickly for us to get a reasonably priced ticket.

I just coughed really hard for Ticketmaster and am the proud owner of a set of tickets for her.  I thought about waiting for Christmas to give the confirmation to her, but she'd be bummed if she thought it was sold out before I could get tickets.  So I gave the confirmation to her and she's currently on the phone to one of her friends making plans for July.  I'm not going to go.  I've never really cared too much for Bon Jovi, and I'll get to spend the afternoon with the kids with no maternal influence.

Think I'm out of the doghouse?

Bullet Train to Heck

OK, I have to ask these people to check on my condo on the lake of fire once they get to Hades.

First, the mayor of Baltimore has been convicted of stealing gift cards that were donated for poor people.

Let me say that again.  The mayor, an elected official who is entrusted to run the city and enforce the laws, has been convicted of obsconding with materials that were donated so that poor people could live a better life.

And Baltimore re-elected her why?  Hey, she can always run for office when she's among the souls that have to spend eternity cleaning the fur out of ManBearPig's fur.

Second, the home of a family that is dealing with the loss of four family members over the weekend was broken into and robbed.  The robbers didn't even have the decency to not trash the place.

I hope for their sake the burglars didn't know the families circumstances and just picked a house out at random.  If, however, they picked out the house on purpose assuming that no-one would be home because everyone would be at THE FUNERAL HOME, then they'll probably be too busy cleaning out the urinals at Dante's Sports Bar and Grill to housesit for me.

Just when I question my own worth and goodness, someone comes along and convinces me that I'm a little higher on the evolutionary ladder than slime mold.  Thanks Guys!


It's a word we need to explain to the honorable (cough cough) senator from California, Barbara Boxer.

Her committee is going to hold hearings about the hacked emails from the CRU in England.  I think the original focus of the request for a hearing was to examine the data in the emails, figure out to what extent the findings of the CRU have on our own climate and ecological policies, and decide if said policies were based on fabricated scientific evidence.

However, Senator Boxer seems to think that her committee should be looking into the legality of how these emails and such got into the public eye. 

So, data that was hosted at a university in the UK was taken without the consent of the university or the scientists involved, and was then posted to websites in Russia. 

And the good senator wants the United States Senate to investigate if a crime occurred. 

For a moment, I'll concede that the legality of taking data off of someone else's computer and posting it for the world to see is at best legally problematic.  But if a crime was committed, it was committed in Jolly Old England, not the United States.

Other than a wish to cloud the issue, why is Senator Boxer wasting our time and money looking into this to see if a crime has occurred?  My gut tells me it's because she's afraid that if our own climate policy is looked at critically, it will disappear like the smoke and mirrors it is.

Picks, Week 13

New York Jets at Buffalo - Jets
Saint Louis at Chicago - Da Bears
Denver at Kansas City - Denver, but look for this to be an ugly game.  I've never seen a clean game when these two play, especially at Arrowhead Stadium.
Tennessee at Indy - Indy, but Tennessee is on a roll.  This one is going to be close.
Philadelphia at Atlanta - Atlanta
New England at Miami - After getting their heads handed to them by New Orleans, I hope New England gets finished off by Miami.  Miami will win this one.
New Orleans at Washington - Redskins.  But the team is pushing my loyalty a bit far.  Time for a big upset to get them rev'ed back up.
Oakland at Pittsburgh - Oakland.  Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
Tampa Bay at Carolina - Carolina
Houston at Jacksonville - Houston
Detroit at Cinci - Cinci
Dallas at New York Giants - Giants
San Fransisco at Seattle - Seattle
Minnesota at Arizona - Minnesota.  Now is the time where Favre can prove that all the hoopla is worth it.  The season is 3/4 over, and he's got to be getting tired and a bit banged up.  Can he gut the season out and continue to perform?
Baltimore at Green Bay - Green Bay. 

Results - Week 12

Did OK this week.  Not great, but 7 and 9 isn't anything to complain about.  For the season, I'm 92 and 84.  Still above .500!

I fell asleep at halftime of the Patriots/Saints game.  Guess I missed the best part of the game. That's a hazard of living in the Eastern time zone and trying to watch a night game.  It doesn't end until almost midnight.  Wish the NFL didn't wait until 8:30 for that kickoff.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's a little early for this

 Usually, I make it at least until December 15th before I start to lose it from all the Christmas cheer.

WINONA, Minn., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- A man using a hammer to smash big-screen televisions and cameras in a Minnesota store was stopped when police tasered him, authorities said.
 Poor guy must have been trapped in the store since Black Friday and had finally had it.

Hopefully this year I can make it to Christmas without an intervention.

Update on Police Shooting

The main suspect in the shooting of 4 police officers in the Seattle-Tacoma area has been shot and killed.  Kinda wish that he could have been hauled into a court to answer for his crimes, but if it had to be, it had to be. 

Let the lawsuits begin!

I can hear it now:

"Why did they have to kill him?"
"Why didn't they just wound him?"
"He was a good guy.  He didn't do nothing!"

What's the line in Vegas on when the first ambulance chaser from the ACLU or something files in federal court saying that the police executed this guy in cold blood and violated his civil rights? 

Word of Warning

Putting a jar of pre-peeled garlic cloves into the food dryer and attempting to dry them overnight will cause your entire house to be vampire proof.

It will also get you up out of a warm bed at 2 AM to move said food dryer out to the porch.  Now the neighborhood is safe from the undead fiends.

That is all.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Man, I don't care!

I'm taking a look at the headlines after a good dinner, and the following things pop out as "news" that I couldn't care less about:

And that's just a smattering of the inane, the insane, and the pointless headlines that are on all of the news sites this evening.

Look, I understand that hard news needs to be leavened with human interest stories and some gossip.  But it doesn't even take a slow news day for stuff like this to be on the Internet equivalent of a front page.

How about we reserve the news sites for actual news, and leave the fluff like athletes behaving badly, twits marrying twits, and hypocrites being hypocrites either to scandal sheets or to linked pages from the main page?  I'd like to cut down on the cycles it takes to filter out the garbage and get to what is important.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Police shootings in Tacoma

Just a couple of quick thoughts on the sad news about the policemen who were murdered this morning.

First, my families prayers go out to the families devastated by this senseless crime.  Families of cops have to understand that bad things may happen on the job, but no-one expects it to happen when there is no apparent danger.

No-one knows the details yet, so most of the commentary about it, including mine is speculation and ill-informed speculation at that.  Take this with as much salt as you like:
  • The slime who did this had to be targeting at least one of the officers.  No innocent bystanders even got scratched, according to all accounts. 
  • This is the second time in recent memory that someone killed in the Northwest.  What is going on?
  • If this continues, will we start devolving into the same situation as we see in third world countries where the police have to look at all citizens as potential killers, not because they're paranoid, but because it's prudent?
  • I sincerely hope that the other customers in the shop cooperate and provide all the information they can in finding the killer.  It will worry me almost as much as the actual killings if they don't either because they don't want to get involved or because they're afraid for themselves.
Anyway, I hope they catch the mutant who did this and he or she spends a long time in a dark place.  When the wolves realize that it's easier to get the sheep after killing the sheep dogs, we all have reason to worry.  The justice system needs to teach those who might think this is a good idea that it's not worth their lives.

For the police officers out there, I hope this remains a rarity, and I always pray for your safety.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Just got back from dinner with family in Indiana.  It was great to see everyone.

I'm thankful that my family is together, safe, and healthy.

I'm grateful that the Irish Woman and I both have good jobs.  We are more fortunate than a lot of people this year, and it's not due to anything special about us.

I'm thankful that my children all go to good, safe schools. 

I'm thankful that my children are growing up in this country.  I've been all over the world, and I've seen wonderful places and terrible places, and there's no other place on the planet that I would want to raise my family.

I'm thankful for everyone who is foregoing their Thanksgiving with their families to keep me and mine safe.

And I'm grateful that I am able to keep doing this as long as y'all will read.

And here's your moment of snark, a wonderful picture of Thanksgiving in Kentucky:

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  Be safe, and God bless!

Picks - Week 12

OK, we're 3/4 of the way through the season. 

Green Bay at Detroit - Green Bay.  It's a Thanksgiving tradition to watch the Lions lose before dinner.
Oakland at Dallas - Oakland.  Hey, maybe we'll win two in a row for a change.
New York Giants at Denver - Denver
Miami at Buffalo - Miami
Seattle at Saint Louis - Seattle
Indy at Houston - Indy, but this is going to be a close game.
Cleveland at Cinci - Cinci
Carolina at New York Jets - Carolina
Tampa Bay at Atlanta - Tampa Bay
Washington at Philadelphia - Washington.  Hey, it could happen
Kansas City at San Diego - Kansas City
Jacksonville at San Fransisco - Jacksonville
Chicago at Minnesota - Vikings!!!!
Arizona at Tennessee - Arizona
Pittsburgh at Baltimore - Pittsburgh
New England at New Orleans - New Orleans

Results - Week 11

I went 8 and 8 this weekend.  Overall, I'm 85 and 75 for the season.

Didn't get to see much football this weekend because of hunting.  What did I miss?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Man After My Own Heart

Saw this over at My Life is Average:

Today, I was going to my friend's house, and we were in the car with her step-father. My mom called my cellphone to ask where I was, and I told her I was in a car. She asked who I was with, and I replied 'Some guy who offered me candy and a good time.'
From the front seat, my friend's step dad yelled, "I told you to shut up back there! Don't make me tie you up!" Best step-dad ever.
 I have to remember that one.  It may come in handy.

This Day in History

On this day in 1991, Freddie Mercury died due to complications from AIDS.  He had only publicly acknowledged his sickness the day before, and his death was quite a surprise to me.

I had been listening to Queen for years, but because I didn't pay attention to the British tabloids, I had no clue that he might have been ill.  I thought that Queen wasn't touring in the United States for other reasons, and when I was transferred to Germany in 1991, I looked forward to possibly seeing them in concert.  That's what I get for being an oblivious 20 year old, I guess.

Freddie Mercury was a consumate performer and songwriter.  Yes, he was a controversial public figure, but his talent outshines all that.  His music has seen me through good times and bad, through joy and pain, and is a frequent feature in my life.  As time goes on, Queen's music will continue to be played.  It's beauty and intricacy will carry it for decades.

This song in particular rings true to me:

And I think Freddie would approve of this little tidbit of fun:

It was released yesterday, and I don't think the timing is coincidental.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oh Great

A scientist came up with a synthetic version of the active ingredient in marijuana, and now the government is reacting to people using it to get high.  More laws are sure to be on their way, with  a corresponding increase in enforcement budgets.

Here's an idea:

How about we stop worrying about people using a freaking naturally occurring herb to get intoxicated and use the money and manpower to do something constructive?

I didn't start out believing in marijuana legalization, and I'm not quite sure how I got here. Maybe it's because of all the time and money that's spent fighting this drug, and not seeing any results. Maybe it's the proven therapeutic qualities of it as a pharmaceutical. Maybe it's just because I'm tired of the government putting its nose into every aspect of our lives, usually without any good reason. 

I'm not calling for legalization of other drugs like cocaine and heroine.  But I have decided that enough is enough.

We should legalize cannabis, and then regulate and tax it like we do with tobacco and alcohol.  Yes, it's not good for you unless you need it for a medical reason.  But it's not the government's place to stop me from doing something unhealthy unless it can hurt someone else.  And let's stop worrying about people using a substance that hasn't been banned.  We have too many banned substances as it is, we don't need to add more.

The one that got away

Girlie Bear and I went to our muzzleloader hunt at Fort Knox this weekend. 

The weather all weekend was fabulous.  Very chilly in the morning, but it warmed up as soon as the sun came up.  Clear skies, very little wind, and temperatures in the 40's and 50's.

Girlie Bear and I spent Saturday in the blind down in a draw.  Getting into the woods was a pain due to all of the fallen timber.  The area got hit hard last year when Hurricane Ike was followed up with a large ice storm a couple of months later.  My friend and his daughter hunted the adjoining spur.  Their trek was a lot easier.

We sat quietly in the blind all day, but didn't see anything.  We still had a good time, talking quietly, reading, and watching the squirrels.  We came out of the woods in the mid-afternoon.  Fort Knox wants everyone off by 5, so there was no sense trying to hunt until dark when we wouldn't have time to look for anything we got before we had to leave for the night.

Sunday morning rolled around very early, and after I woke her up, Girlie Bear decided she would rather spend the day playing with Baby Bear.  So I went out again without her.  No biggee.  She tried it, she says she wants to go again in the future, but she wanted to get some sleep.  I'll take her out again later.

I went a bit deeper into the same draw, and hunted from the ground without the blind. 

After I got settled, just before shooting light at 7, I heard something crashing around in the thicket above me.  Pretty sure it was a deer, but it wasn't acting like it was spooked, just walking around and wearing out trees.

A couple of hours later, I put my rifle down to drink some water and eat a snack.  Unfortunately, I left my gun leaning against the tree I was leaning on.  About 15 minutes later, I heard something coming down the draw behind me.  It wasn't walking like a human would, so I figured it was a deer.  I had no cover to my rear, so if I moved, I would get busted for sure.  All I could do was sit still and wait to see what the deer did.

As the deer got further downhill, it moved closer to my position.  By the time it got even with me in the draw, it was only about 10 or 15 yards away.  I caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye, and counted 3 or 4 widely spaced points on the side that was facing me. 

OK, it's a shooter.   I eased over to get my rifle, and began to draw it across my body to get a shot at it.  I was hoping to either catch it broadside or quartering away. 

However, Mr. Murphy stepped in.  My rifle caught a small branch that was sticking out of the tree, and it swung back and forth.  When Mr. Buck saw that, he took off, and no amount of bleating or grunting on my part could get him to stop or even slow down.

I'm proud of myself for not taking a shot at a running deer.  When the deer moved, I brought my rifle up and started to aim, but sanity took over and I didn't even look through the scope.

After calming down and sitting for a while to see if the buck had any followers, I picked up and headed up the ridge to see if my friend had any luck.  He hadn't seen anything, but his daughter had seen a small doe for a couple of seconds right after day break.

As we walked out to get lunch, we saw the most buck sign that either of us had ever seen.  I lost count of all the rubs we saw, and there were over a dozen large scrapes in the couple of hundred yards we walked. 

After lunch, we headed back down the draw to see if anything came up as the day got warmer.  No luck, but we found even more sign and a large bedding area.  I marked that on my map for later.

So, no joy in the hunting ground, but a good time was had by all.  I plan on going back to that area to bow hunt when it re-opens in December, and hopefully I'll get a bit of luck.  Hopefully we'll get drawn to hunt Fort Knox again next year.  It's the nicest area I've ever hunted.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Interesting Anniversary

On this date, in 1863, President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. I will always remember this as it was read to me earlier this year by Girlie Bear when we visited the Lincoln Memorial.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate...we can not consecrate...we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government: of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Picks, Week 11

Here we go.  Trying to keep my streak alive.

Miami and Carolina - Carolina
Seattle and Minnesota - Vikings
Atlanta and New York Giants - Atlanta
Washington and Dallas - Redskins
San Fransisco and Green Bay - Packers
Cleveland and Detroit - This is a touch choice.  Both teams have been terrible lately.  I'll take Detroit, but only because of home field advantage.
Indy at Baltimore - Colts
Pittsburgh at Kansas City - Pittsburgh
New Orleans at Tampa Bay - New Orleans
Buffalo at Jacksonville- Jacksonville
Arizona at Saint Louis - Arizona
Cinci at Oakland - Oakland, but only out of loyalty.  Could you guys call the starting line up and ask them to show up to the game, please?
San Diego at Denver - Denver
New York Jets at New England - Jets
Philadelphia at Chicago - Chicago
Tennessee at Houston - Houston

Results - Week 10

Went 9 and 6 for the week.  Overall for the season, I'm 77 and 67.

This was a great weekend for football.  Lots of great, close games.  I loved watching the end of the Indy/New England game.  Belichek is an idiot, but his idiocy broke my way this time.

14 Years on

And the Bosnians still need a foreign peace keeping force to keep them from slaughtering each other.

The UN just approved another year for their monitoring force. 

If all of the conflicts that still ooze blood in Bosnia are miraculously solved in the next 12 months, it will be almost 15 years since we first deployed troops there. 

At what point do you just throw up your hands, make sure each faction knows you'll be watching to kick some ass if they start something, and go home?  How much time and treasure does the world spend trying to get these groups to stop killing each other?

Lingua Franca in Europe

But it's not French.

Saw this over at Jigsaw's Thoughts.

The EU has decided to take English as their official inter-governmental language.  The other frontrunner was German.

Personally, I just can't see France, England, Poland, the Netherlands, or Belgium voluntarily speaking German for official communications.  Just a feeling.

UPDATE - OK, this was a joke that I took as snark.  Must have been sleep or something.  It's still funny.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I have to admit

As much as I complain about Kentucky, it sure is pretty here in the fall.

The colors are beautiful and when you get a nice soft rain in November you can smell all the spiciness in the fallen leaves.

There, I found something positive to say about Kentucky.

Ain't technology grand?

Currently sitting in the truck waiting for Junior Bear to finish an appointment. I'm listening to George Carlin, dialed into work via a cell card, and troubleshooting a storage issue at work.

I'm almost to the point that I could do just about every aspect of my job remotely. I just have to convince my boss that I can be as productive sitting on my couch in my pajamas as I can b in a cubicle wearing business casual.

Monday, November 16, 2009

IAEA believes that Iran may have more secret sites

Saw this over at Danger Room

... a pattern of secrecy persists when it comes to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. And unless Tehran shifts gears, “the Agency will not be in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.”

In other news, the IAEA believes that the United States may also be working on an atomic weapons program, and Russia may be as well.  And water may be wet, and the sky may occasionally be blue.

If anyone still needs to be convinced that Iran is running a clandestine atomic weapons program, please get in touch with me. I have some magic beans they can trade for their cow.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


When your toddler son points to the scantily clad spokeswoman for the cellular company during the pregame show and yells "Tata dada tata!", you know you're in trouble.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Picks for week 10

Chicago and SF - Chicago
Minnesota and Detroit- Minnesota
Tampa and Miami - Tampa
New Orleans and St Louis - New Orleans
Jacksonville and NY Jets - Jets
Buffalo and Tennessee - Tennessee
Denver and Washington - Redskins
Cincinnati and Pittsburgh - Steelers
Atlanta and Carolina - Atlanta
KC and Oakland - Raiders
Dallas and Green Bay - Packers
Seattle and Arizona - Arizona
Philly and San Diego - San Diego
New England and Indianapolis - Indy
Baltimore and Cleveland - Baltimore

Results week 9

Did pretty good. 9 and 4 for the week, 68 and 61 for the season so far.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veteran's Day

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day.

I want to remember all of the people in my life that have been in the military, especially those who I served with.

Guys, keep the faith and the beer cold until we meet again.

This is one of my favorite songs, and I recently stumbled across this rendition.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thoughts on Fort Hood

It's been a few days, and a lot of the facts about what happened are starting to come out. Now that the dust has settled a bit and the rumors aren't flying as thick, here are some of my thoughts:

1. Shout out to the civilian police officer who left a position of safety to run to the sound of gunfire and save unknown numbers of lives. Thank the Lord she and her comrades responded when they did and captured the mutant alive.

2. Many thanks and prayers for the soldiers, police, and EMS workers who surged to assist those who were wounded. Heck, I heard that the base hospital had to turn people away because they were overwhelmed by people wanting to give blood.

3. A lot of people, including people that I respect, have expressed the opinion that said mutant did this because of his Muslim faith. I'm not so sure. This guy seems to have been unhinged for quite a while, and his religion seems to be how he's chosen to express his personal crazy. This guy would have been wrong in the head if he'd been a lilly-white Baptist, instead of a devout Muslim child of Palestinian immigrants. I won't comment on whether or not his faith contributed to any violent tendencies, because I'm not qualified to do so. And for the love of God, no one should be tarring all Muslims with the brush that this bastard dipped in blood.

4. To the DOD official who decided at least a generation ago that soldiers didn't have the personal responsibility to have personal weapons on post, I hope you're proud of yourself. The moron who directed that people on military bases can't have knives longer than something Victorinox would put out and certainly can't have firearms of any kind on their persons or in their homes while on-post contributed to this. There's an old saw that an armed society is a polite society. It's also a safer society. If this mutant had suspected that at least some of his victims could have been armed at least as well as he was, maybe he just might have put the gun in his own mouth after giving away all of his worldly possessions and passing out copies of the Koran. These men and women are trusted with automatic weapons, high explosives, and incendiaries when they're deployed. Why can't they be trusted to conceal carry on-post? If DOD wants to require extra training on-post like they do with motorcycles, so be it. Don't muzzle our sheepdogs just because they're not in a combat zone.

5. To the mutant himself, I'm so very glad that you survived your little rampage. I'm so sorry that your little martyr operation didn't work out entirely to plan. I'm glad to hear that your health is improving in the hospital. I want you to live long enough to go to trial. I hope that the Army is smart enough to try this in a military court and that you are found guilty by a court of brother officers and are sentenced to hang by your neck until you are dead. You benefited from an education paid for by the military, and had a pretty safe job at Walter Reed afterward. I'm sorry you were upset by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but if you felt that badly, then resign your commission and repay the government the cost of your education. Or refuse to deploy when ordered, take the court martial like a man, and make a decent political statement. You are a coward, a nutjob, and a terrorist. I hope your injuries cause you untreated pain for the rest of your pitiful life.

6. To the wounded and the families of the dead, I offer up my thoughts and prayers. No one deserves to go through what you are suffering right now. I pray that the Lord holds you in the cup of His hand and leads you through this horrifying time of your lives.

I give up

Guess what won' start again? That's right, my 2006 Dodge Crap-mobile.

Same symptoms. This is the 3rd starter that I've had trouble with on this thing, and I'm officially done messing with it.

It's parked until I can get the cash to just have it towed to the dealer and have them figure out what's wrong with it.

Until then I'm driving the truck. It's 5 years older, gets almost as good in gas mileage, and has a better sound system. And the starter works!!!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NFL Picks - Week 9

OK, we're over halfway in the regular season.

Washington and Atlanta - Washington - They're due, and I'm a starry eyed optimist.
Arizona and Chicago - Arizona
Houston and Indiana - Tough one. Indy has a great season so far, but Houston is on a roll. Indy
Miami and New England - Miami
Green Bay at Tampa Bay - Green Bay
Kansas City at Jacksonville - Jacksonville
Baltimore at Cinci - Cinci
Carolina at New Orleans - New Orleans
Detroit at Seattle - Seattle
San Diego at New York Giants - Giants
Tennessee at San Fransisco - Tennessee
Dallas at Philadelphia - This is a coming together of some very big suck. I hope it's a tie, and the coaches of both teams code on the 50 yard line. I'll say that Dallas will take this one, but I hope both teams choke.
Pittsburgh at Denver - Pittsburgh

Results - Week 8 and A Correction

OK, I was 6 and 7 this week.

In total, I have 59 correct picks so far this year.

However, I have to revise the number of incorrect picks I've had.

I forgot to take into account the bye weeks that have kicked in for the past few weeks, and I've been calculating based on 16 games a week, instead of the reduced number.

In week 4, 5, and 6, there 14 games, and in week 7, there were 13.

So, I have 9 more bad picks in my tally than I actually earned.

So, my total bad picks number is 57 (59 - 9 + 7).

So my score for the year is 59 and 57. Still a bit over .500, but only because I can't pay attention to the schedules.

This weeks are coming soon.

Can I get one of these in Kentucky?

Hat Tip to Fail Blog!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fort Hood Shooting

Not going to comment too much on the shooting down at Fort Hood except for this:

1. The shooting apparently occured at the Soldier's Readiness Facility. The SRF is the place where troops leave and come home. It's the last place they see their normal life and the first place they see it again.

2. Normally, soldiers on a post like Fort Hood are unarmed. Even if they have a carry permit, they don't carry while on-duty. Ammunition is only given out to MP's on duty or at a training range. So the only armed person in this shooting was the shooter and the MP's.

3. My thoughts and prayers go out to the dead, wounded, and families.

More to come as details come to light.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Hunting We Will Go

Girlie Bear and I got drawn to hunt at Fort Knox later this month. She is totally stoked. Good thing about going out a bit earlier is that it tends to be a bit warmer.

We didn't get the area I wanted, but no part of Fort Knox isn't fun to hunt.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Attention Kmart Shoppers

We are happy to announce a 75% mark down on a matched set of nice older British people.

The Somali pirates who kidnapped a British couple and were demanding $7 million for their release have hinted that they may free them for $165,000.

Like Bette Midler in "Ruthless People", they've been put on sale. Must be great for their self esteem.

In Other News

A poll in Sweden reports that 20% of Swedes under the age of 30 believe that the United States planned 9/11.

In other news, Sweden recently bought 1000 used septic tanks from Finland. When they can get them running and learn to drive them, they plan to invade Norway.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

NFL Picks - Week 8

Denver and Baltimore - Baltimore
Houston and Buffalo - Houston
Cleveland and Chicago - Cleveland
Seattle and Dallas - Seattle
Miami and New York Jets - Jets
San Fransisco and Indy - Indy
New York Giants and Philadelphia - Giants
Saint Louis and Detroit - Tough one. Both suck this year. I guess I'll pick Detroit.
Oakland and San Diego - Oakland
Jacksonville and Tennessee - Jacksonville
Minnesota and Green Bay - Minnesota
Carolina and Arizona - Carolina
Atlanta and New Orleans - New Orleans

No Redskins this weekend.

Hopefully I'll do better this weekend. It would be very hard for me to do worse.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Negligent Discharge

Not me, at least not this time.

Someone's about to have a really bad week. Probably more than one someone.

While performing maintenance on a machine gun on the USS Ramage, someone fired 3 rounds into the Polish city of Gdinyia.

Rule #1 - All weapons are always loaded.
Rule #3 - Keep your booger hook off the bang switch.

And you always make sure your weapon is cleared before doing anything to it but shoot.

My guess is that they were finished with cleaning or what not and for some reason were putting rounds in the chamber. Maybe it's SOP to keep loaded machine guns ready on a US warship. That would make sense since the USS Cole attack.

So either the weapon malfunctioned and fired when the sailor racked a round into the chamber, or the trigger got bumped.

Either way, some poor swabbie and his entire chain of command are about to have a very long, very rough week.

Cool DIY Plans Site

I stumbled across Vintage Projects while I was hunting for plans to make a wooden flat bottomed boat.

There are a lot of interesting projects on this site, and I may just have to take a swing at them.

Of course, the vintage instructions for setting up the home chemistry lab might get me visited by the men with the badges.

And the instructions for how to prospect for uranium could be hazardous to my health, but you take the good with the not so good.


Well, it's Halloween again. This is normally my favorite time of the year, but due to a pretty big piece of family drama, I just don't feel it this year.

Baby Bear will be dressed up as a pumpkin this year. He's old enough that I'll even let him have a bit of his candy.

Girlie Bear and Little Bear are going to go as vampires this year. They're not trick or treating, but will be dressing up for the event.

We'll take Baby Bear trick or treating and then go over to a friend's house for a get together.

Maybe next year I'll be in a better mood. I'm not even in a good enough frame of mind to celebrate the dark corners of my imagination this year.

Have a happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Results - Week 7

And the downward spiral begins.

This week, I was 5 and 11. I probably could have done better if I'd just tossed a coin 16 times.

For the season, I'm 53 and 59.

Tune in next week and see if I continue to circle the drain.


LabRat over at Atomic Nerds has an interesting rant about the controversy over climate science.

I tend to agree with him. I'm also somewhere in the middle on this question.

We know the natural environment is being destroyed in a lot of ways, but we are fixated on the whole carbon/global warming thing, and don't tackle the things that we could actually do something about.

I tend to lean towards the "do no harm" end of the scale on environmentalism. We should continue to exploit the bounty that we are blessed with, but we should do so in a way that doesn't destroy the beauty that comes with it, and in a way that ensures that the bounty is there for later generations.

I love seafood, but I only eat it once in a blue moon. Mostly that's because I feel guilty eating something that's been overfished and may not be there for my grandkids.

I prefer to drive my own car instead of taking a bus. But I know that I'm adding pollutants to our already polluted air here in the Ohio valley, so I drive as efficient a vehicle as I can get away with and still have room to transport the various people, children, dogs, and other mammals that I have.

I buy locally grown produce as much as I can. It tastes better than something that's been shipped from Chile, and it's better for me.

So, before I make a long post longer, I try to enjoy what's available to me, but try to make sure I don't do so in a way that does any harm that can't be avoided.

How about you?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

NFL Picks - Week 7

This week, I try to get ahead of .500 for the year again.

New England and Tampa Bay - Tampa
Green Bay and Cleveland - Green Bay
San Fransisco and Houston - Houston
Minnesota and Pittsburgh - Tossup. Both teams are doing pretty well this season, and I like both teams. I'll take Minnesota, but that's a total swag.
Indy and St. Louis - Indy
San Diego and Kansas City - San Diego
Buffalo and Carolina - Carolina
New York Jets and Oakland - Raiders, but only out of a deep seated sense of loyalty to Raider Nation
Atlanta and Dallas - Atlanta
Chicago and Cinci - Da Bears
New Orleans and Miami - New Orleans
Arizona and New York Giants - Giants
Philadelphia and Washington - Washington. Darn it, I'm going to have to skip Monday Night Football. And it's a Redskins game too.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Jazz Hands

Guess elections in Afghanistan are kinda like Dancing with the Stars.

Probably not a unique event

Something tells me that this has happened to this poor guy before:

Police in St. Clair Shores, Mich., said they mistakenly arrested the twin brother of a man suspected of trying to kill his former wife.

They are fraternal twins that are close enough to almost be identical.

If this is happening now, it's probably happened for less heinous infractions in the past. I can see this gentleman taking a lot of grief for things his brother did over the years.

Ahh, this will make the holidays awkward.

Honor among thieves

Apparently the scumbags who trashed and burglarized a woman's house in Florida felt bad when they discovered that among all of the swag they'd carried off was a vial containing some of the ashes of her son.

Apparently these were scumbags with a conscience, because they returned the vial so she wouldn't lose her son twice.

It probably didn't take long for them to realize what they had. Ashes don't look like coke or smack, but I hope they didn't taste them to see if they were drugs of some sort.

Anyway, it's good they returned the cremains. Now they need to work on that whole home invasion habit.

A sign I'd like to see more often

I don't need this one, because my neighbors don't want to ban guns, and I'm pretty sure that if the zombie horde comes over the ridge, at least one of them will be at the firing line before I am.

But if more people had this, then maybe people would get the idea that not everyone think that inanimate pieces of metal are evil and must be kept away from everyone.

H/T to John Dvorak's blog for the belly laugh.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Parental Observation

Did you ever notice how a toddler who wants to get out of his high chair can make a sound that would put any car alarm to shame.

I just did.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nutball scaring an old lady

Some jackass is suing and frightening an 80 year old Holocaust survivor.

Mrs. Zisblatt lived through the death camps, and decided to write a book about her experiences in her twilight years. You know, so the rest of us might remember what happened and try to not let it happen again or something.

A jerk by the name of Erik Hunt has decided that an old woman telling her story of survival is libel against him and is suing her in federal court. I guess in his many years of study on the subject on the matter that he's crammed into his 25 years of life, he's come to the conclusion that the whole thing was a hoax and a lie.

This is the same crazy who beat up Elie Wiesel, another Holocaust survivor and a Nobel laureate. Apparently he's been let out for good behavior.

I've been to Dachau. I've seen the ovens, the barracks, the piles of human ashes. I've seen the documents from Auschwitz that detailed the humans who were killed like cattle. I've met survivors, and I've spoken to soldiers who liberated camps. The Holocaust happened.

If you don't believe in the Holocaust, then I guess you're entitled to your opinion. But don't expect the rest of the world to think you're worth the protein that has been wasted on your existence. Leave the old ladies alone.

How can they tell the difference?

Apparently, the air quality in Detroit is pretty bad due to a tire fire.

Having visited Detroit a couple of times, I have to ask how they noticed? It's one of those places where you can get your daily dose of minerals by taking a brisk walk around the block.

Week 6 Results - Ouch

Well, I was 6 and 10 this weekend. Ouch.

I didn't think Tennessee would win, but I at least thought they would score.

I'm 48 and 48 for the year. That wonderful tipping place called .500.

Tune in next week where you'll see me making one bad pick after another. Same bat time, same bat channel.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

NFL Picks - week 6

OK, here we go. I'm still over .500 overall, and I'm hoping to open the gap up a little. I'm due to have a horrendous week sometime this season.

Houston and Cincinnati - Cinci
Detroit and Green Bay - Packers
Saint Louis and Jacksonville - Jacksonville
Baltimore and Minnesota - Vikings
New York Giants and New Orleans - Giants
Cleveland and Pittsburgh - Steelers, and I'm proud to say I finally learned to spell Pittsburgh
Carolina and Tampa Bay - Bucs
Kansas City and Washington - Redskins. They have to win sometime.
Philadelphia and Oakland - Raiders!
Arizona and Seattle - Arizona
Tennessee and New England - Tennessee, but it'll be a miracle.
Buffalo and New York Jets - Jets
Chicago and Atlanta - Da Bears
Denver and San Diego - San Diego

Saturday, October 17, 2009

On this day in history

In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck San Fransisco. Damage was heavy, and there were a few casualties.

At the time, I was in the final days of basic training. That means no contact with the outside world that my leadership didn't provide. No newspapers, no CNN.

So we were unaware of what had happened.

At morning formation the day after the earthquake the senior drill sergeant stepped out and shouted:

"Are any of you brain dead individuals from the San Fransisco Bay Area"

I and about 10 others raised our hands. I'm not from the Bay Area, but my family moved there a couple of years previously and I'd finished out high school.

"There was a massive earthquake last night. San Fransisco is in flames. Your families are all dead!"

Of course, that caused quite a stir. We were reminded not to talk in formation when 3 or 4 guys got dropped for pushups after they said some variation on "Oh,crap".

"All of you guys from San Fransisco have 15 minutes to call home. Move!"

Of course, all the phone lines into the Bay Area were down or busy, so none of us had any luck. This did nothing to ease our worries.

Luckily, the chaplain took pity on us when he found out what had happened, and he contacted the Red Cross to contact our families and make sure they were OK.

Noone lost anyone, so it ended up being no harm no foul.

However, if I ever have to break bad news to someone, I'll use that as an example of what not to do.
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