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.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's the big deal?

I recently watched the new BattleStar Galactica series. A friend of mine had the first 3 seasons on DVD and allowed me to watch them, and I watched the rest through Netflix.

Overall, I'd give the series an A. It was engrossing, interesting, and fun to watch. Yes, it got a bit melodramatic at times, but it didn't make up for that with a lot of gratuitous explosions and such.

I was told when I started watching to be prepared to be disappointed in the end of the series.

I was actually happy with the way the series ended. Do I think it's plausible that 10's of thousands of people would give up all of their worldly possessions to live as subsistence farmers and gatherers after 4+ years locked in a tin can? I'd certainly go for it if the alternative was to live as a fugitive until I either starved to death or the ship quit working. That ending was better than a Gotterdammerung of a fight to the death with the Cylons.

Anyway, I enjoyed the series from start to finish. I've put "Caprica", the pilot for the prequel series in my Netflix queue, and "The Plan", which comes out later this month, is supposed to explain the series from the standpoint of the Cylons. I'll see if these other two are worth the watching.

Results, Week 5

Well, not too bad. Not very good, but not too bad.

I was 7 and 9 this week, which brings me to 42 and 38 for the season so far.

I would have been 8 and 8, but the Dolphins made a go of it in the 4th quarter and pulled it out at the last 20 seconds. I hate to be wrong on a game, but that was a great game to watch.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Today's German Phrase of the Day

Here is your German Phrase of the Day:

Deine Katze ist gebrennt.

Deine Katze ist gebrennt.

That's "Your cat is on fire". Your German Phrase of the Day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Evening Snack

OK, tonights evening snack was leftover beef Stroganoff and a bologna and pickle sandwich.

Either I'm pregnant or someone put THC in my Diet Coke.

Should have been wearing Off

OK, so a trucker is tooling down the road near Minot Air Force Base, carrying unspecified parts to an ICBM. A "large bug" lands on his back, and in his panic to get the thing off of him, rolls the truck over.

Sounds silly, but I grew up near there. Have you ever seen the bugs in North Dakota? We had to post sky guards around the kindergartens, for pity's sake. Give the guy a break. One mosquito up there can make a man lightheaded.

H/T to Danger Room for the linked article.

call center script

while true
read $input
if $input
(light(blinky) = true)
(database(crash) = true)
(application(slow) = true)
call(application developer)
open(conference call)
(user(squawk) = true)
call(someone who cares)
(server(smoke) = true)
$input = “”
sleep 30 or die “Can’t sleep on duty”

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Plans Made, Plans Changed

Here's how I expected my weekend to go:

Friday - Go to Fort Knox at lunch to sign out an area for the weekend. Spend the evening getting me and Girlie Bear ready for our weekend bow hunt at Fort Knox

Saturday - Get up early, head down to Radcliff, and spend the day bow hunting with Girlie Bear. Maybe knock off early and take the family to the Louisville Zoo for their Halloween party.

Sunday - Hunt in the morning and early afternoon. Spend the early evening dialed in to support some network testing. Watch football that was recorded earlier that day.

Here's how it went:

Thursday - Junior Bear has a very severe teenager meltdown. Up until the wee hours of the morning dealing with that

Friday - Have to take the day off work to deal with the aftermath of Thursday evening. Do not go to Fort Knox, do not collect $200. When I drop Baby Bear off at day care, the !@#$!@!@#$! van won't start, again.

Saturday - Can't go hunting because it would be irresponsible to be out of contact for 12 hours when the family is having a dramatic episode. Spend the day doing house work and playing with Girlie Bear and Baby Bear. Take Girlie Bear out for a treat to try to make up a little for not going hunting. Go to dinner at a friend's house instead of the zoo.

Sunday - Go grocery shopping because Old Mother Hubbard had moved into our kitchen. Take myself up to the day care center and fix the van. It wasn't Chrysler's fault. When I "fixed" it last weekend, I had put the bolts that hold the starter on the block improperly, and the starter was coming off of the block when I tried to start it. That only took about 2 hours to diagnose and other hour to fix. Luckily, I didn't ruin either the flywheel or the starter. Watched a little football, then dialed in to support that network testing. After the baby went to bed, played Yahtzee and drank Mexican Coca-Cola with Girlie Bear and Irish Woman. We lit the first fire of the year, and it's a good relaxing way to end the weekend.

So, even though my plans for the weekend were totally dashed before the weekend even got started, it's been OK. Got a lot done, still spent time with Girlie Bear, and I even got to watch some football.

We'll go to the zoo next weekend. Hopefully the weather will be nice.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Picks for Week 5

OK, here we go. Here's hoping I can repeat my success of last weekend.

Cinci at Baltimore - Baltimore
Washington at Carolina - Carolina
Cleveland at Buffalo - Cleveland
Pittsburg at Detroit - Steelers
Dallas at Kansas City - Kansas City
Minnesota at Saint Louis - Minnesota. Go Vikings!
Oakland at New York Giants - Oakland RAIDERS!!!!!!
Tampa Bay at Philadelphia - Tampa Bay
Atlanta at San Fransisco - Atlanta
Houston at Arizona - Houston
New England at Denver - Denver
Jacksonville at Seattle - Jacksonville
Indianapolis at Tennessee - Indi
New York Jets at Miami - Jets

False Alarm

A few weeks ago, I reported that the firearms manufacturer Izmash might be going bankrupt.

For shooters, this would have been remarkable and troubling.

Turns out, it was a false alarm. A court in Russia has found that the company is indeed not going out of business.

Good to hear. I've been eyeing one of their products for a while.

A Sad Day to be Norwegian

OK, my ancestors conquered Britain, forced the king of France to give away almost half of their country, and settled lands as far west as Canada. My grandfather left a hard life in Norway to come to an even harder life in North Dakota.

Scandinavians are known to be practical, hard-nosed individuals. I certainly work to be that person.

Then why did a group of Norwegians award the Nobel Peace Prize to Barak Obama?

OK, he's a historical figure. He's the president, for one. He's also the first "minority" president.

But other than that, what has he done?

He's failed to get just about any major legislative initiatives through Congress. He's wasted his time trying to get Chicago a nod for host of the 2016 Olympics.

He hasn't done anything remarkable in the foreign policy realm. Heck, at least Clinton had the Dayton Accords to point at.

Now, if he does something remarkable over the rest of his term, I'll be the first one to applaud when he gets it. I'm not saying that he shouldn't ever get this honor, but he hasn't earned it.

If they're using this major award to encourage him to do good, then maybe they need to look at the charter for the award. It's not for what you might do, it's for what you have done.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Last night I drove through Starbucks and ordered a decaf nonfat no-whip pumpkin spice latte.


Did I pay $4.00 for a cup of hot flavored milk?

Career Hint

When you are in a meeting or on a conference call and your immediate response to a question is "Are you deaf or just stupid", you need to leave the meeting. Your job is not worth it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Results Week 4

Hey, I was 12 and 4 this weekend! Now I wish I was putting money on these things.

For the season, I'm up to 35 and 29. Getting better.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Scary Development

Over at Pepper Spray Me, a tale is told of how a bunch of gang-banger knuckleheads decided to target a police precinct for retribution. I imagine they felt the good men and women who served there were doing their job too well, and wanted to send a message ala Mogadishu or Sicily.

The police apparently were able to recognize what was going on and take appropriate action to discourage these wayward young men from carrying out their nefarious plans. But what if the first sign that there was a problem was several officers in the hospital or the morgue?

If street gangs, even in what we would consider bad neighborhoods of big cities, feel they have a shot at taking on the police in gangster style hit and run tactics, then we have a bigger problem than we thought. The fear of the consequences of personally attacking an officer of the law just for being an officer of the law is a big thing to lose.

If thugs like this feel they can take on the defenders of our day to day world, then the rest of us need to watch our backs as much as the police do. If they think they can attack the police, they won't think twice in attacking those of us who don't wear a badge and have a group of armed and trained friends to back us up.

Let's face it, even in suburbia there are gangs now. Our neighbor's oldest decided to go out of town for college rather than stay around when he ran afoul of the local gang of morons. If this can happen anywhere, it can happen everywhere.

Scum like that need to have their heads cracked, figuratively and literally, and the lesson that messing with the police and our society in general has dire consequences.

In Louisville, the police are attacked every time they give a gang member a traffic ticket, much less arrest them for warrants or whatever. If something happened here, would the police feel justified in taking similar measures to protect themselves and the community?

Life's Little Lessons

OK, people two things I need to make sure everyone understands here:

1. Animals that are normally considered "wild" should not be taken in as pets, and should always be treated as if they will attack. Last year, a woman was attacked and killed by a chimpanzee that her friend had raised as a human child. Recently, a woman was killed by a black bear that her husband was keeping in some kind of personal menagerie, which also included lions, tigers, and bears. Oh my, what a dunce.

Wild animals, especially carnivores or omnivores, should be considered dangerous, left along in the woods or the zoo, and never be taken in as pets.

The following sets of animals should never be kept as pets: snakes that can grow larger than your thumb in width or longer than your arm in length, canines that are closer to wolves than you are to chimpanzees, felines that you might see being used to adorn some 3rd world dictator's outfit, primates of any kind unless you or someone in your species birthed them, lizards that are bigger than the space between the base of your thumb and your elbow, things that are considered predators of humans, and anything with hands.

That means no monkeys, no chimps, no bears, no leopards, and especially no raccoons.

Which leads us to

2. Wild animals, no matter how cute or anthropomorphized by Walt Disney should be treated as dangerous. Dangerous animals should be dealt with with nothing lighter than a stout broom handle. Firearms are preferred. Do not try to shoo away a pack of raccoons you see in your yard. Thanks to 80 years of propaganda that makes woodland creatures seem to be harmless and cute, someone's grandmother is in the hospital, covered in stitches and staples.

Come on people, we're smarter than this.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fixed the van

Well, I guess practice makes perfect, or at least sort of.

Last time I swapped out the starter on the minivan, it took a day to get it out and another to get it back in.

This time it took less than 90 minutes from start to finish.

While I had the beast up in the air on jack stands, I changed the oil.

It's running OK now, or at least as OK as it ever does.

When the Irish Woman picked up the part from the dealership this week, the parts clerk mentioned that it had a one year warrantee. I still have the receipt from last year, so I'm going to mosey out there and see if I can get at least part of my money back.

What's the over and under on how long this son of a gun goes without needing another major repair?

Football Picks - Week 4

OK, here we go. This week, I try to regain .500.

Detroit at Chicago - Da Bears
Seattle at Indi - Indi
Tennessee at Jacksonville - Tennessee
New York Giants at Kansas City - New York
Tampa Bay at Washington - Washington
Baltimore at New England - Baltimore. Tom Brady sucks
Oakland at Houston - Raiders, of course
Cinci at Cleveland - Cinci
Buffalo at Miami - Miami
New York Jets at New Orleans - J E T S Jets Jets Jets!
Dallas at Denver - Denver
Saint Louis at San Fransisco - San Fransisco
San Diego at Pittsburg - Pittsburg
Green Bay at Minnesota - Got to love this game. This is the matchup that I absolutely have to watch every year. I'm a fan of both teams, so this is a tough one. I'll go with the Vikings on this one, just because they're the home team. I think the teams are pretty even at the moment. It all depends on whether or not Favre can keep up.

So, any predictions on how I'll do this week?

Friday, October 2, 2009


Now my day is complete.

I'm glad that Rio got the Olympics. It's time the 3rd world learned what a pain in the butt things like this are.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The President Schilling for Chicago

OK, you all should know how I feel about the Olympics.

I won't bore you by re-hashing what a waste of time, money, and effort they are.

I have another problem now: The President of the United States is in a foreign country, on the taxpayer dime, campaigning for his home town to get the 2016 Olympics.

I've read the Constitution several times, and I never saw anything that said it was the President's job to pressure international organizations to hold sporting events in his political backyard.

I'm pretty sure his job is to govern the country, make sure the laws are enforced, and to command the armed forces.

So now the prestige of his office, and through him the rest of the country, is riding on the decision of a wholly corrupt body. And he's making a fool of himself and the country by wasting time and money on this.

I hope that Chicago doesn't get it. I hope they don't even come close. Maybe then Obama will learn to stay in Washington and do the job he's getting paid to do.
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