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.
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