Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wide Body Update

Continued to do as I have been when it comes to diet and exercise, and results continue to happen.

Today at the doctor's office, I weighted in at 275, which is 30 pounds down from my peak weight of 305.

Hopefully I can keep this up.  I think I'll set my goal as 250.

Now that summer is here, I should start getting more exercise, either through yard work or actually dedicating time to physical activity. 

By this time next year, I should be svelte and fast.  Or at least not round and slow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Digging in the dirt

Decided to take advantage of the first dry, sunny afternoon we've had this week to get some work done on the new fence.

Irish Woman had started a hole by hand before the rain on Saturday, so I finished it out and then used the auger my brother-in-law was gracious enough to loan me to do two more.  Having an auger sure beats doing it by hand.  Especially with all of the roots and such in our yard. Once you get below the grass, it's touch going. 

The three first posts are set in concrete in their holes now. Next evening I have more time, I'll use them to dig and set the other posts.  The hard part is mostly over now. 

Famous last words.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sounds Like A Plan

A group of veterans has taken the fight to the asshats at the Westboro "church" that spends a good chunk of its time picketing at military funerals.

I'm all for this.  Let their holy proceedings be disrupted.  I think a brigade sized formation across the street marching in place and singing cadences for an hour or so while they try to hold their Sunday school would be just about right.


H/T to David Bellavia.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Boobquake Day Update

Well, since I'm pretty much stuck in the house, I can't report on participation, but here are a few videos that will illustrate the cause from Rodney Carrington:

And my two favorite things:

And of course, it can all go horribly wrong:

Happy Boobquake Day!

OK, I'm childish, but like most other guys, I like a well tailored low cut blouse on a woman.   Or a nice pair of well fitting jeans on a lady who has nice, shall we say, assets.

Recently, some asshat in Iran stated that the earthquakes and other catastrophes in the recent past are caused by women who show too much skin in public. 

Some wonderful woman decided that today would be a good day to test that theory by having all women who wanted to dress provocatively and see if any earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, or plagues of locusts descended on the world.  Apparently the idea has taken off.

I think this needs to be a long-term study, and I would be more than happy to pay a .5% increase in my sales tax to pay for it.

So, all of you ladies who are so inclined, please feel free to let it all hang out, so to speak.  I won't complain, and I may lay a beating on any male who does.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Interesting thought

Joe over at Viking Preparedness has an interesting thought about buying silver or gold bullion for use as a hedge against inflation of more common currency.  His basic conclusion is that it's OK to have some, but don't use anything other than extra money to buy bullion.  If you don't have your basic needs provided for, such as food, water, security, etc., then don't spend good money on silver and gold for trading.

My take on it is that if the economy gets so bad that the local farmer or mechanic doesn't want to take greenbacks for food or skilled labor, they're probably not going to be interested in gold or silver.  If we get to that point, then trading useful goods or labor will be more likely.  Why trade for bullion when .22 cartridges will be more useful?  A farmer is more likely to trade a few days labor in the harvest for some bags of potatoes or some grain than a couple silver dollars.   A mechanic will probably get more use out of a bag of coffee or fresh vegetables than a gold coin in exchange for fixing some piece of machinery.

Just prior to Y2K, a co-worker who had lived through the inflation of the '60's and '70's decided to take all of his money, including retirement, and buy gold bullion.  He figured that after the world came to a stop because the mainframes locked up, he'd be sitting pretty.  On January 2, 2000, he watched all of that wealth become pretty much useless as the price of gold dropped.  For his sake, I hope he held onto it until now so that he didn't take it as a total loss.  I've tried not to follow his bad example as we do our preparations for bad times.

So, Irish Woman and I take care of our basic needs, make sure we have enough food and then some, and don't spend money on bullion.  In the event of the world coming to an end, I'd rather depend on trading and working to get what I can't grow or make than the hope that someone will place value in precious metals.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Now this is a bad idea

NATO has given Bosnia a "preliminary" membership nod, with further consideration for full membership to follow.

As those of you who were't living under a rock in the '90's remember, Bosnia-Herzegovina was the setting for a protracted, brutal civil war.  NATO spent over 10 years patrolling the small country so that the parties involved wouldn't continue to target each other and all civilians within reach. 

Now, even though tensions in Bosnia are still very high, one of the three ethno-political entities that run the counry refuses to give up its stocks of weapons, and anyone who really things about it knows that at best we're a decade or so of the fighting starting back up, we're allowing them into our mutual defense pact.

So what will NATO do when the Bosnian Serbs get support from Serbia proper and start raping and killing their way across the countryside again?  Of if the Croats decide they'd rather take what they've got and merge with Croatia?

NATO was constructed to provide a united front against possible Soviet aggression.  It's reason for being is gone, and has been for almost two decades.  Why does our government continue to be a part of this group that is now reaching out to new countries that will drag the alliance, including the U.S., into civil wars?  Why don't we just take our tanks, planes, and troops, and go home?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Counter Attack in a Cyber Attack

Andrzej Dereszowski, a security consultant, has demonstrated that it's possible to reverse engineer some malware used in targeted attacks against a company or organization and then use that information to fight back.  

And here I was putting together a protocol for our company that involved helicopters, commandos, and nuking from orbit.  Guess his method would be effective, but not much more legal.  Although finding, fixing, defenestrating, and putting their heads on pikes to be hung from an overpass in their hometowns would be more gratifying on a gut level.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Overheard in the Yard

Irish Woman - "And over there, we'll put the gate.  I don't want it too wide, just wide enough to get the mower through."
DaddyBear - "Yes Dear"
Irish Woman - And I want the fence to come out to here around the tree, but not too far."
DaddyBear - "Yes Dear"
Irish Woman - "I think we'll stain the fence instead of painting it."
DaddyBear - "Yes Dear"
Irish Woman - "Please stop saying 'Yes Dear' to everything I say."
DaddyBear - "Yes, oh shining Goddess of my Life, without whom I would have no reason to go on."
Irish Woman - "Are you looking for an ass kicking?"

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wonderful Day

Started off the day by sleeping in until 8, then had a leisurely breakfast with BooBoo and Irish Woman.  Junior Bear left early to go to Thunder over Louisville with friends.

After breakfast, went to Home Depot and Lowe's to price fencing material for the back yard. BooBoo is getting adventurous, and it's easier to corral him than chase him.  While we were there, we picked up some plants for an early season garden. Irish Woman picked up onions, cauliflower, and broccoli.  I got some sage and thyme to add to my herb garden.  BooBoo picked up some marigold and sunflower seeds, which we will plant tomorrow.

This afternoon, we planted the herbs and vegetables, and did some clean-up in the yard.  I trimmed back some of the bushes, and got the dead pine tree out of the yard.  We'll put it all out for pickup this week.  BooBoo worked on his putting with the toy golf clubs he got for his birthday.

Dinner was a wonderful grilled chicken salad with a cold beer.  For dessert, BooBoo will be having a cookie, and I will be having a nice glass of cold limoncello.  Irish Woman is off to meet an old college buddy for a drink and conversation.

The weather was beautiful, the work was rewarding, and the food and drink were delicious.  Can't ask for much more in a day.

OK, I'll give him this one

President Obama has canceled his trip to Poland to attend the funeral of Polish President Kaczynski.

Since most of the airports in Europe are Tango Uniform at the moment due to volcanic ash, the only alternative for Obama to get there would be to fly where he could safely land, then take land transportation to the funeral and back.  The time to do this and the disruption of life for everyone along the route because of security make this idea a non-starter.

So I won't criticize the President on this one.  Hopefully once air travel returns to normal in Poland, he will take an opportunity to mend fences with a staunch ally and go to Poland to pay his respects.


Imagine you're a young man or woman, and your country is at war.  You want to serve, so you sign up for the service of your choice.

Upon entering the service, you are trained in a job that is almost exclusively way outside of direct combat.  When combat oriented training occurs, you zone out because, hey man you just signed up for the college money and you're in no danger of being shot at or captured.

One night, the world falls in.  Either you mess up something terrible or you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, but you end up captured by the enemy. You're low ranking, don't know anything useful, and to be honest, you're not worth much to the enemy except as a propaganda tool.

They start to question you.  Do you stick to half-remembered lessons about how to act as a POW and find a way to keep from answering their interrogation, or do you curl up into a ball, suck your thumb, and spill what little you do know?

If you're Seaman Doug Hegdahl, you act as stupid as you can, make yourself seem even less useful for information and propaganda, and continue the fight against the enemy even when you're in a prison camp.  You learn a new system of memorization, and use that skill to learn the name and identifying information for 256 fellow prisoners, a lot of which haven't been declared as captured. 

Check out OldNFO's post about Hegdahl and everything he went through and did after being captured by the North Vietnamese.

When I was an MI soldier, we learned about such heroes as Mr. Hegdahl.  You see, a lot of the things we were told about MI was similar to what he believed about his duty.  Yes, we were in the Army, but we were strategic assets and would probably never hear a shot fired in anger, much less run the risk of being captured. After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, our senior NCO's realized how much BS that was and started working to give us the skills to survive if we were ever sent into a fight. That included the Code of Conduct, which is a list of the things that an American Soldier demands of himself in the event of capture.  Hegdahl, along with others from Vietnam, Korea, and World War II, was used as an object lesson.

My thanks always go out to such men and women as Seaman Hegdahl.  They are an example of how to conduct yourself in the worst of times.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Interesting prepper question

A volcano in Iceland is spewing an ash plume all over Europe.  This is, of course, disrupting that most modern form of travel, aviation.  Having volcanic ash, which is really a microscopic shard of rock, sucked into your engine will really ruin your day.  Of course, you'll get a few seconds of glider time to add to your flight log, but it's unplanned.

The powers that be in Europe have prudently shut down their air travel network for the most part.  Thousands are stranded at airports and are scrambling for alternate means of transportation.  In Europe, that usually means the train.  Rail travel in Europe works very well, and to be honest is probably not much slower than flying once you take into account the amount of time it takes to go through security at an airport.

But what do you do if you're stranded at an airport in the US, where long-distance travel is usually either done by car or plane?  Amtrak isn't really an alternative. 

Let's say you're flying from Los Angeles to New York, with a layover in Denver.  That's probably the longest journey you will make in the continental United States.  You get to Denver, and a blizzard and ice storm comes in, stopping all air travel for the foreseeable future in Denver and the surrounding states. 

You aren't in LA, where you could just go home.  You're not in New York, where hopefully you'd have some people to assist you, either in business or personal life.  You're stranded in the middle of the continent with no real way of going forward or back. 

Best case scenario is you have friends or family in the Denver area who can take you in until you can get your travel mess straightened out.

If you're lucky and have the cash, you get to the rental car counter before the rest of the Golden Horde and get yourself a go-go mobile to get you back to LA.

If you can't do that, then if you have the money and you at least have some luck, you get into a motel to ride out the storm until transportation can be found.

But let's look at worst case scenario.  No friends or family.  The rental car counters are all closed because they're out of cars.  The hotels are all full to the brim. 

So you're stuck in the airport for the foreseeable future.  You have with you the clothes on your back, unless you can convince someone to get your bags out of the checked luggage area.  You may have some food and drink with you if you thought to bring some for the trip.  You may have some cash or a credit card to buy food at the airport, but that can run out fast.  Everyone and their brother who's stuck in the same predicament is at this very moment rushing through the food court and convenience stores to get what they can.  Maybe you have a book, or a laptop, or an iPod to keep you from going insane.  Hopefully, you packed a toothbrush and the small pack of toiletries the TSA will let you take on-board.  Did you put your necessary medication in your check baggage?

Can you go for 3 or 4 days on what you have in your carry on? 

Here's what I always pack in my carry-on no matter what when I travel by air:

  1. Blanket - either a small thermal blanket or one of those space blankets
  2. Water - After I get through security, I always buy two of the biggest bottles of water available.  TSA doesn't allow bottles of liquid through their checkpoints, so I'm forced to grin and bear it on the price of water.
  3. Food - I always pack some snacky smores for munching, but I also pack two or three energy bars for emergencies.  You can stretch this out for a day or two.
  4. Communications - Always have a cell phone with you, even if you have to buy one of those disposable pay-as-you-go phones at Best Buy.   If you've got a laptop and can get access to a power outlet, you can use wireless Internet connections to stay in contact with home.
  5. Entertainment - You'll always find two or three books in my carry-on.  A book of puzzles like crosswords and a pencil or two will give your mind something to do.  My iPhone is with me, of course, but I always make sure I have the 110 to USB adaptor for it too, along with a charging cable.  If you've got a laptop, you can get absorbed in a video game to wile away the hours.
  6. Toiletries - At the very least, I have my toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste, and some baby wipes. You'd be surprised how good it feels to brush your teeth and wash your face.  Even if you can't get a shower or shave, little things like that can make you feel human again.
  7. Medication - I always hand carry my meds.  In addition to my normal daily medication, I make sure I take along some extra Benadryl, Immodium, and Pepto-Bismol in case I get sick during a trip.  Nothing worse than trying to find a drug store when you've got a raging case of Montezuma's Revenge.

As for what you do when you're stranded, I suggest finding a place where you can see all around you to camp out.  Hopefully the airport has TV monitors so at least you can see CNN or whatever they're piping in.  Don't go off somewhere quiet to try to get some sleep.  Being alone makes you an easier target, no matter if you're a 6'4" lumberjack or a 4'10" housewife.  Stay with the crowd, and try to group up with people you can spend extended time with.

And until you find a way to either continue your journey or go home, try to keep a good attitude.  Every jerk in the airport is going to be harassing the staff either for information on when they can get out or for help in getting the things they need but didn't think to bring along.  Being polite to those around you, especially airport staff, will go a long way to keeping everyone from turning into wolves.

More on Dueling

A few weeks ago, I wondered if the use of dueling would do anything to bring down the level of stupid in our society.

Well, Cracked has taken up that meme and done a pretty good job of explaining why dueling would be a good alternative to our kinder, gentler way of resolving minor conflicts:

Go and read the entire article.  It's good for a chuckle and to make you think.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bayou Renaiscance Man has an excellent series of four articles discussing the crisis erupting globally within the Catholic church over sexual abuse of children by clergy. 

He discusses the basic structure of the church, the process of becoming a priest and how it might add to the problem, priestly celibacy, and the churches response to the crisis.

Go read his articles, then come back for my commentary.

First, some background:

As some of you know, I consider myself a lapsed Catholic.  I was born into a Lutheran family, and celebrated my faith in that mostly Catholic environment until my parents divorced when I was 12.  My mother then went on a tour of all the local denominations, and took us along for the ride.  When she met my step-father, she, along with all of us kids, entered the Catholic church.  The stability and serene environment of the Church after several years of holy-rollers and snake handlers brought a lot of comfort to me, and I stayed in the faith even after I was divorced and could no longer take part in all of the sacraments.

When Irish Woman and I met and wanted to marry, a problem was found.  You see, it was hard to get an annulment of my previous marriage when all of the witnesses were scattered to the four winds by military life.  After a year and a half of working with the local diocese, we decided that it would be best if we went outside the Church for our marriage and life afterwards.  It wasn't just the issue of the annulment, but let's just say it was the final straw.  The way that the church in Louisville specifically and the U.S. generally was dealing with the sex abuse scandal, along with other issues, led us to look elsewhere.

Luckily, we found a small Episcopalean congregation that accepted us, flaws and all, as full members of their family immediately after we entered their chapel.  Other than the fact that the Father is really a father, the sacraments and beliefs are very close to what we were both used to.  And when we go for counseling to our priest, he can empathize with us about our problems as a couple and as parents. 

Here is my take on the abuse scandal within the church, and they mostly parallel what BRM has to say:

  1. Clergy who have harmed their parishioners, child or adult, male or female, in such a reprehensible manner need to be defrocked.  They can be forgiven for their acts if they express true contrition and sin no more, but they should never be trusted in a capacity that would allow them to have authority in the Church.  If a priest breaks his vow of celibacy with a willing adult woman, he can be defrocked.  Why should the penalty for forced sex with a minor be less?
  2. The Church should be open and transparent on how it deals with these fallen men and women.  Nothing cleans out a problem like sunlight.  The secrecy and stonewalling the Church has practiced so far have done more to harm Her than anything wayward priests have done.  It's not the crime, it's the cover-up that causes the most harm.  Bishops and other church officials who have facilitated this abuse by trying to either ignore the problem or shuffle problem priests around after "treatment" should be removed from their vocation.
  3. Each and every bishop in the church should meet with the victims of sexual abuse in his diocese and sincerely and vociferously apologize.  He should offer any and all resources of the Church that can be used for treatment of the harm done to these people.  He should also offer any and all measures available to atone to them for the heinous crime that a representative of the Church inflicted on them.

I have no expertise in how a seminarian should be indoctrinated on his responsibilities to his flock, or how those who are at great risk of doing such horrible things should be filtered out of the seminaries.  I also will not comment on the applicability of celibacy in our modern world.  All I can say is that celibacy is one of the punches on the ordination ticket.  If someone does not feel that they can faithfully remain celibate as a condition of their ordination, then they should not be ordained.  Whether or not we should allow Catholic priests to marry and all that that entails, I will leave up to those who know more about it than I.

Those who harm children are the lowest of the low.  Those who enable them are just as bad.  The leadership of the Church needs to be honest with itself, with its parishioners, and with the world at large on this problem.  Only when the light of day is shone on those who harm those entrusted to their care, those who have been harmed have been healed, and a way is found to prevent such things from happening will the Church regain its reputation in the world.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Color Me Suprised

I'm pleasantly surprised that President Obama is going in person to Poland for the funeral of the Polish president.  I half expected him to send Cussin' Joe Biden.  Guess Joe hasn't been let out of the pit in the basement of the White House yet.

Obama has seemingly gone out of his way to insult our friends and allies, including Poland.  The Poles I met when I was in the military were very pro-Western, and especially pro-American.  Poland has worked hard in the years since they got the Soviet troops out of their country to become a productive member of NATO, including offering to house our troops and missile emplacements.  On a couple of occasions, President Obama has kicked Poland in the teeth in attempts to curry favor from Russia.

Now, that country has been pretty much decapitated.  The Poles are still trying to get their legs underneath themselves, and any moral assistance we can give them will probably help.  

Obama going to Poland will go a long way to heal wounds that his treatment of our European allies has caused.  He just needs to remember this:  the trip is not about him.  He is going to pay his respects to the leader of a friendly nation, and by so doing show how much that nation means to our country.  He is not there for sound-bites or photo-ops.  Classiest thing he can do while he's there is to tell the press that he's not going to answer any questions, and that he's only there to share in the grief of the Polish people.  I hope that he shows at least some class here.

Couldn't have said it better myself

I was going to say something about the dumbass who is refusing to deploy to Afghanistan because he believes that President Obama can't be president due to the supposed location of his birth.

But Uncle Jimbo over at Blackfive beat me to the punch and did it in a very good way. 

My favorite line:

We've been around this block enough times, but to clarify once again- Officers in the military do not get to question the credentials of those lawfully appointed over them.
 Here's my take on it:  What this jerk pulled not only hurts himself, but makes life harder on the soldiers he has trained and worked with.  Their team has lost a member, which means that whatever expertise he has is gone, and must be made up by someone else.  Deployment is hard enough.  It's even harder when you have to do your job and someone else's too.

I hope they throw the book at this guy and he lives a long time to regret it.

Happy Birthday to BooBoo

Two years ago this evening, a small, wonderful, strong package of stubbornness entered my life.

Since then, I've been fortunate to re-live all of the parts of raising a small child that I love, and I'm experienced enough to side step those parts I dislike.

He started this day as he started his first day, crying and in a bad mood.  He's a chip off the old block.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Free Ice Cream

Over at Monster Hunter Nation, Larry Correia has posted the first 7 chapters of his upcoming novel, "The Grimnoir Chronicles:  Hard Magic".  Larry is fast becoming one of my favorite story tellers. 

The story will appeal to you if you enjoy the noir detective novels from the 40's and 50's.  Or if you like science fiction/fantasy. Or heck if you just enjoy a good yarn.

Go, enjoy.  Leave Mr. Correia a comment or two so he knows we appreciate him giving us a taste. Of course, he'll make money on the comeback, like any dealer.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Other Saturday Activities

After I left the machine gun shoot, I picked up Little Bear from his grandmother's house.  We got home, cleaned up, and took possession of an additional young lady for the night.  One of Girlie Bear's school friends came over for a sleep over.  I piled the older kids into the car, and took them to see How to Train Your Dragon.  If you haven't seen it, it's a great movie.  Definitely going to be a buyer when it comes out around Christmas.

Dinner was grilled out hamburgers and hotdogs, followed by toasted marshmallows over the grill.  Nothing like filling young people up with sugar to make an evening exciting.

Overheard during the marshmallow roasting:

DaddyBear - I'm going in to grab a jacket.  You guys be good for a few minutes.
Little Bear - Don't worry, I'll watch them.
Girlie Bear - Whatever
Little Bear - I'm older!  You respect your elders!
Girlie Bear and friend, in harmony - Whatever!

Currently, the kids are enjoying some video games in lieu of another movie.  Girlie Bear's friend is kicking both of the others' butts at Wii Sports Resort. 

Now that I've had two eleven year old girls in close proximity to both each other and me for a few hours, I know why I'm glad Girlie Bear wasn't a twin.  They've all been very well behaved, but they've been twittering like birds since 3 this afternoon.  Oh well, better chattering than sullen silence.

I'm looking forward to going to bed in a few hours.  Hopefully the girls will get at least a few minutes of sleep tonight.

Watching people turn money into smoke and noise

Took a morning jaunt down to Knob Creek for their spring machine gun shoot, and a good time was had by all.  It's funny when you realize that  a .50 caliber sniper rifle doesn't sound so loud when it's competing with machine guns and cannons.  I personally didn't pay to shoot automatic weapons, but it's almost as much fun to watch other people do it.

The accompanying gun show was also excellent.  If you were looking for something and couldn't find it, you weren't looking hard enough.  Only thing I was looking for was a .22 conversion kit for my1911, and they had them.  I can get a better price online, so I passed.  I did buy 100 rounds of .38 at a really good price.  The ammunition situation appears to be loosening up, at least for common calibers.  Lots of 7.62x39, 7.62x54, .308, and .223 to be found.  The only one I didn't see was .380, and it may have sold out yesterday.

Props to the crew at Knob Creek, who are as always on the ball.  I don't expect to ever meet a nicer, more professional group of people.  I'm definitely going to go back in the future.

Here are a few pics of the festivities

Some old-time bang bang.  Imagine having to polish the brass on a gatling gun after battle!

Need a light?

Big Boom Coming Right Up!

Where old boats and cars go to die

MG-42's and M-60's
Enough firepower to make Nancy Pelosi cry.

Oh, the humanity!!!!

Saw this, and had to get a pic.  Wonder if the armed librarian knows she's named after a machine gun?  My guess is yes, yes she does.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Captain Success Strikes Again

Dude, if you hide your stash in your kid's school bag, make sure you get it before he leaves for the bus.

If you forget, then be cool.  Calling the school to see if you can come get something you put in his bag tends to get them interested in exactly what it is.

Have fun trying to figure out prison etiquette over 4 ounces of weed in an Elmo bag.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A pledge to emasculate our country

So the president doesn't like nuclear weapons.  No-one does.    I grew up next to missile and bomber bases.  B-52's used to use my elementary school as a notional target because the land around it resembled their actual wartime targets.  We had at least two 'civil defense' drills every year, which is code for 'nuclear war' drills.  We knew that if the balloon ever went up for real, our city was a first strike target, and there wasn't much sense in planning for the aftermath.

Nukes are weapons of mass destruction.  They kill and destroy without regard to age, sex, or military designation.  They are really only good against large targets such as cities, unless we choose to use a small arsenal of penetrator warheads to hit underground bunkers, and even then the lingering after effects of radiation will hurt the surrounding population for generations.

However, the understood threat that our large nuclear arsenal would be unleashed against any power, nation state or otherwise, that used any weapon of mass destruction against us, has been around longer than I have been alive.  A biological weapon is a chemical weapon is a nuclear weapon.  A mass nerve gas attack against Baltimore would be treated as if someone had fired an ICBM into the harbor.

Also, the knowledge that we were willing, in very limited circumstances, to use nuclear weapons to defend western Europe and other allies kept the Soviet bear at bay long enough that he crumbled from the inside.  Without this umbrella of menace that we stretched across the Fulda Gap, it is hard to imagine the Soviets not taking advantage of their local superiority to take over Europe. 

So even though the use of nuclear weapons is horrific and probably immoral, their threatened use if we or our allies are attacked has been and is a strong deterrent against the portions of the world that wish us ill.

So now the president has made a public pledge to not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear nations.  Instead a threat of massive conventional retaliation takes the place of a nuclear deterrent.  So if a country decides to gas one of our cities, or releases a biological agent into our food system, we promise to bomb them with HE.  Sure, we'll do a lot of damage, but if someone is planning an attack like that, they will make sure the parts of their country they need protected from a conventional attack are either buried or dispersed.  Nuclear weapons can, through the use of penetrators or just their large explosive power make burying of assets useless.  And their large blast radii can make dispersal of a countries military into the hinterlands less effective. 

In addition, the president has pledged to stop development and improvement of our aging stockpile.  So even if he decides to use these weapons, there is no guarantee that they will work.  Imagine what will happen if a multi-megaton warhead fails to go off over its target.  Think the target will be saturated with second strikes to not only destroy the target but keep an example of American nuclear technology from being picked apart and studied?  Think the warhead would be paraded through the streets of a capital as a symbol of American impotence?  You have to do maintenance and testing of any system that you plan on ever using.  By stopping testing and development of our deterrent, the president puts us in danger.

Also, I don't believe the president.  In the heat of the moment, if our homeland has been attacked with a weapon of mass destruction and the president is watching some people die and others cry out for revenge on CNN, I think his emotions will override his pledge.  He will lash out out of fear and anger.  And his fear of political retaliation will drive him to make a politically expedient choice.  He will lay waste to another nation so that he can continue to be the "leader" of this nation.

So, the president has made a pledge that I feel makes us less secure in a world that is looking for openings to harm us.  His pledge will embolden those who want to attack the American homeland. And it means nothing when coming from an administration that will forget it in the name of political expediency when a poll of eligible voters shows they want blood to run in the streets of whatever country attacked us.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I may need some of this

At least, according to my last personnel review:

H/T to Dr. Grumpy.

Finally, the recipes that I've always wanted to get!

Saw this linked to on a site that I can't remember now. 

Someone has finally figured out how to make Girl Scout cookies at home!

Yes, this will destroy my diet, thank you very much.

But for an occasional treat, you can't beat Samoa's.  Mmmm, coconut.

A good day

Today was the first day of my vacation with BooBoo.  I have today and tomorrow alone with him, then I share a day with Irish Woman.  Junior Bear is in California for spring break, and Little Bear and Girlie Bear are with their mom.

Today, BooBoo and I slept in until 8, which around here might as well be noon.  Breakfast was served, followed by medicine for him and a bath.  After getting dressed, we went to a coffee shop to get DaddyBear his medicine. 

We then went to Target to get him some warm weather clothes.  He's outgrown almost all of his clothes from last summer, and the clothes that Irish Woman got him a few weeks ago are too nice to play in.  Church yes, sandbox no.  I ended up getting him a couple pairs of shorts, some tee shirts, and a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor tennis shoes.  Yes, my kid wears Air Chucks.  They were good enough for his father, they're good enough for him.

After returning home, we enjoyed a simple lunch.  I had a bowl of tomato basil soup with red pepper flakes and cheese crackers.   He had a soft meal of pear slices, macaroni and cheese, and apple juice. 

Afterwards, we watched a Disney movie and fell asleep on the couch together.  We woke up at about 4:30 when Irish Woman called to let me know she was on her way home. 

I quickly tidied up the house a bit and awaited her return.  We just finished a good dinner, and are looking forward to a relaxing evening at home.

Yes, this was a good day.  I didn't think about work at all, and didn't even check email until a few minutes ago.  Usually I have to spend thousands of dollars to get away from the rat race this completely.  I'm enjoying being a stay-at-home dad for these few days.  I think I could get to like it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Update on BooBoo

BooBoo had his tonsils out on Friday, and spent Friday night in the hospital with Irish Woman attending.

He came home yesterday afternoon, and is doing well.  The doctors gave him some very nice pain medicine, which he will be taking regularly for the next few days, so he's comfortable.  He's enjoying on-demand popsicles and juice.  He's not too happy about a diet of macaroni and cheese, bananas, and mashed potatoes, but it will get better.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Light posting

I'm going to be going kinda quiet for a few days.  BooBoo is going into the hospital tomorrow to have his tonsils out and tubes put in his ears.  Hopefully this helps with all of the ear infections and such that he's been having in the past few months.

It's no big deal, but Irish Woman and I will have our hands full with a stoned, cranky two year old for the next few days.

I'll pop in and post a few things every now and then if I have a chance.

Have a great Easter!


I just finished reading several books, and I thought I'd share.

First, one of my managers loaned me a copy of "Andersonville, The Last Depot".  It's a very well written history of the Andersonville POW in the Confederacy during the Civil War.  Conditions weren't that great, and got pretty horrific pretty quickly.  Statistics in the book show that 35% of the prisoners that walked into the camp died there, mostly from malnutrition and disease.  Extremely good read, but not a very happy one.  It's a good look at how POW's were treated prior to the Geneva conventions, and how they're treated today when those conventions are ignored.

I also read the four books in the Joe Pitt vampire series by Charlie Huston.  Sparkly vampires do not make an appearance in this.  Again, if you're looking for a happy read, look elsewhere.  The main character of the books is very much an anti-hero.  He's a good guy, but he is not above doing some pretty bad things to stay alive.  Huston is an excellent novelist, and I look forward to reading more of his stuff. 

I read these using the Kindle software on my iPhone.  For those of you who haven't tried ebooks yet, their time seems to have come.  Amazon has a large percentage of their books available electronically, and there are a lot of other places to get them, including Baen books.  When I have the money for a dedicated reader, I'll be off to the races on these.  I can read the books on the iPhone, but setting the font to something I can see comfortably has me turning pages often enough that it's a distraction.
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