Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Care to back that up, Al Gore?

I've got a crisp $100 bill in my wallet that says you are full of shit.
Hell, even the scientist whose notes you cribbed from is perplexed.
I honestly didn't think you could look any more stupid. Way to prove me wrong.
God help us all if you and your ilk get to determine the future of this planet.
Dolt.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Topping the list...

...Of vital problems our nation is facing today that require immediate government intervention is...
Yes. The College Football BCS system.
I'm sure government interference in college sports is Constitutionally mandated somewhere. Our Founders must have obviously put in a provision somewhere about government's power to regulate confusing college sports rules - I mean, it just stands to reason, right?

The sky is the limit as far as government authority is concerned. Note that this is a bipartisan effort, too. So much for Republicans and their promises of limited government.

I personally don't like the BCS system much, mostly because I don't understand it all that well, but if that's how they want to run their leagues, so what?

Well, I guess if congressmen don't like it, they get to drop the Federal Banhammer.

Your tax dollars at work - banning college sport systems that our lords and masters don't like.
I'm sure that there are absolutely no weightier problems facing the US that merit congressional attention right now.

Have these guys ever read the Constitution?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quote of the day

From my father-in-law, on Climategate:

"For someone interested in science, who loves the process, it's a black eye."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Beachside...

...Sunset. This was our view off the bacony at dinnertime. Unusually clear enough to see San Clemente Island (that little black smudge to the right of the sun - hey, it was a cameraphone picture, OK).
Great way to spend Turkey Day...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Enjoy your day. I know I will. Heading out to the beach on my bike - celebrating turkey day at the in-laws condo...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Now I can relax...

...Albeit briefly...
After frantically cramming for the best part of this last week, I finally took my certification exam today - along with 366 other people (minus the one guy who got caught trying to sneak in some notes), and I feel cautiously optimistic about it.
I got home, feeling like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and popped open my emails, to find one from an organization that I had applied at back in the beginning of October. "Congratulations" it opened up...
Apparently I had been selected from amongst the many applicants to proceed to the next step of the selection process, which is....
...You guessed it...
Another exam! With my choice of Dec 12th or Dec 19th as exam date.
Sigh. Back to the books...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hacktacular!

HUGE news in the science world today...
It turns out that the University of East Anglia, Climate Research Unit - a facility funded to study Global Warming - got hacked this week. The data, containing a selection of over 1,000 emails over the past decade, as well as various other files and documents totalling about 62MB of information, was briefly posted up at a Russian server and quickly got disseminated throughout the internet.
It is now available here.
I first read of it last night at The Smallest Minority, but I didn't post on it right away because I wanted to see how things developed. The emails were quite damning, authored by and/or sent to some of the most prominent names in the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) camp, such as Michael Mann, the author/creator of the famous "hockey stick" diagram of warming, and some of the stuff in there seemed just a little too good to be true for Global Warming skeptics.
Well, the CRU confirmed today that it had been hacked, and Mann seems not a little pissed, which is unsurprising, because the contents of that data are more than enough to tarnish a number of careers.

Highlights include:
Deliberate fraud
Distorting data
Trying to delete information subject to a FOI (Freedom of Information) request
Conspiring to blackball scientific journals that publish dissenting views
Smug cheeriness at the death of a noted GW skeptic
Strategies to influence politicians at GW summits

Some thoughts...
Obviously hacking a research center like that is unethical, and it calls into question the validity of the data. That said, the consensus seems to be that it was an inside job, and may actually amount to whistle blowing, given the comments and practices outlined in the emails.
As to the veracity of the emails, at least some were genuine, as Phil Jones (CRU director) admitted as much, and Steve McIntyre, author of ClimateAudit.org said the emails released that were sent to/by him were "100% genuine"*
The release of this information is not necessarily proof that GW does not exist; however, it is pretty damning evidence of some major ethical issues with those involved in collecting the data, their shouting down of opposition, and the overt politicization of the whole subject - a classic example of what happens when politics enters the scientific arena.
In short this "science" - if it can even be called that - is tainted.**
Proponents of GW theory have called upon masive government intervention in the form of higher taxes, limited freedoms and immense spending to "save the world" based on what is increasingly seeming to be fraudulent data.
This may be the biggest hoax perpetrated on the human race to date, and if this turns out to be true, then a lot of "scientists" need to be going to jail for a long time.
Not going to happen, of course, since this whole theory dovetails quite nicely with big government agendas, but one can at least hope that their careers will be over - at least within the scientific community.

I've long been skeptical of AGW, partly due to the alarmist tone of the reports, the idiocy & hypocrisy of their famous figurehead, as well as the cries of "consensus!" (as though science is a democratic process. Science deals in fact, not popularity, and any findings must be peer reviewed as part of the process. The well documented resistance to such review by those at the forefront of this theory raised a few hackles for me, to say the least), but mostly because of the sheer arrogance of anyone who can stand up and say that they have all the answers on a subject so vast, with so many known and unknown potential variables, as the climate of the entire planet, and who will either ignore or ridicule any data (and believe me, there's plenty) that does not fit their hypothesis.

I haven't seen much on the MSM yet - I'll be most interested to see how this is portrayed.
The BBC is focusing on the hack itself, rather than the data released, as is Nature.
More GW defenders starting their spin.

Either way, kick back and grab the popcorn, because this promises to be a wild ride...



*See comment #23773 here
**Providing all these communications are legitimate, of course

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Timeless...Prophetic even


Made in 1948. It's like they had a crystal ball, or something...

Watch the whole thing.

Sent to me via email.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Random stuff...

Number One Son's teacher found out what I do for a living (I'm an environmental chemist) and since the class just learned about the water cycle, he asked me to come in and speak to the kids.
I have the type of job that sounds cool, but two minutes into a description of what I do, eyes start to glaze over, regardless of the audience. I'll try to keep it at their level, and bring in some props, so maybe I can push it out to five minutes or so before the kids check out...

This last weekend was pretty busy again - I've been putting in quite a bit of time in lately trying to help get our tackle football league off the ground. We've distributed fliers to 38 elementary schools and 8 middle schools, I've personally spent lunch hours at two middle schools talking to kids about the program. We've tossed out 25,000 fliers in all, spent two weekends manning a sign up booth in front of our local Wal Mart, and we have just under 100 kids to show for it. It's really not enough. We were hoping to get somewhere in the region of 400 kids, but it's the wrong time of year I suppose to try and get commitments from parents, what with the holidays right around the corner and this crapulent economy doesn't help at all...

My beautiful, gleaming new AR that I loving built a couple of weeks ago has been languishing in my safe ever since, and it's starting to chap my ass. I'm itching to try it out, but I just haven't had the time lately. I don't see much free time in the immediate future either, worse luck. Doesn't help that my local range got shut down by some jackass with a lawsuit. There's another one a little further out, but I'm not very familiar with it and I'd like to test the waters before I bring out an OLL that they may or may not be cool with.

I'm taking a test this weekend for a certification, that I really need to be studying for, but I'm here blogging instead - hopefully it'll be an easy enough one... it better be, because I'm going to have to take it quick and get over to My Little Princess' dance recital twenty miles away from the test site. I am NOT going to miss that.

Sunday afternoon will probably be spent manning the sign-up booth... again...

I'm going to make some changes to my blogroll - it just keeps expanding... I'd also like to reciprocate, so if there's anyone out there that links to me, let me know and I'll return the favor.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Interesting...

Seems like someone over at Calguns has come up with an interesting idea to allow folks to carry concealed throughout the entire country...
Apparently, under HR218, law enforcement officers are able to do so - and the prerequisites for becoming an LEO can vary quite wildly throughout the country. Some places it seems require little or no LEO training (NOT California), so the idea is to contact one of these out-of-the way places and set up a program where a (fairly large)fee is paid, a background check is conducted, and LEO ID is issued. The ID holder would have no powers/authority outside his jurisdiction aside from the ability to carry concealed. Could be a pretty large shot in the arm for some needy community in these tough times.
Sounded a little shady at first, but it's an interesting thought exercise at least, and it typifies the out-of-the-box thinking approach to 2A problems that I have seen in the Calguns community. Naturally, the cops in the forum are not too supportive, but it seems like a lot of the other folks are. I'm interested to see how this plays out, if it even does. Doubt I'd jump on board though.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fort Hood

Major Nidal survived and will be going to trial... but I guess it has still not been determined whether he'll face a military or civilian court, at least according to his defense attorney, who was just on with Greta Van Susteren...
While I agree 100% with the concept that everyone deserves a fair trial, even a mass-murdering animal like Nidal who was caught in the act (sorry, I know - there's a presumption of innocence), I don't know if I would share the lawyer's sentiment that it is a "privilege" (his word, I swear) to defend such a creature.
Until the shooting, I confess that I had no idea that our military bases were "gun-free zones" (although I had heard grumbles around the internet in the past about having to register and check personal weapons with the base commander) and I have small hope that an incident such as this will change that policy. Our soldiers can be trusted to carry their weapons into battle, but in this day and age, where are the front lines? There are none, really. As Fort Hood demonstrated, our servicemen may need to do battle in their very homes.
Arm. Our. Soldiers.
Does the federal government understand how stupid that sounds, that we even have to demand that our guardians, our warriors who work tirelessly to protect us, be armed?
Well, it's out now - on every news channel. Looking for a safe, convenient place to go on a shooting spree? Look no further than your local neighborhood military base.
Unbelievable.

Lionel McIntyre, Master Debater...

... and Columbia professor, who in the midst of a heated discussion about "white privilege" - whatever the hell that is - realizing that he was not getting his point across to his opponent, a female white university employee, decided to reinforce his argument by putting his fist into her face.
Hard.
Eloquently put, professor.
I'm sure she will come to appreciate the thrust of your argument now.
I really cannot communicate my contempt for men who treat women this way. That this man is in a position of responsibility with influence over young minds makes it all the more worse. You expect thuggish behavior from thugs, but university professors?
McIntyre, you are a complete scumbag. However passionately you feel about whatever cause du jour, on what fucking planet is it ever acceptable to hit a woman? Not only hit her, but punch her in the eye so hard it closed up. Wow, professor, there are some SERIOUS gaps in your societal education that really need to be addressed. Hopefully by the judge at your hearing, asshole.
The female, fearing repercussions (hmmm.... "Ivy League privilege", perhaps?) did not even press charges for three days. The professor was booked and released without bail because apparently he isn't a threat to society.
Unless you're white, female and happen to disagree with him.

All honor...

...to those who have served.
Thank you for your sacrifice.

Friday, November 06, 2009

That was interesting...

As I mentioned on Wednesday, I took pretty serious issue with my pastor's sermon last Sunday. After some thought, and encouragement, and time to calm down some, I decided to fire off a snail mail letter to him expressing my opinion. In no way did I want or expect an apology, I just felt that I had some feedback that he needed to be aware of. After a revision or two (the first draft was a little, shall we say, caustic) I mailed it yesterday with more than a little apprehension. I had no idea how receptive he would be, if at all to the letter.
Today, in the early afternoon, I received a call from an unknown local number that turned out to be my pastor. We had a pleasant conversation (at least as far as I was concerned) and he apologised for the tone of his sermon, as well as a few of the details. This was a little awkward for me, as I really hadn't looked for an apology, I was just expressing my opinion and told him so. I still don't think an apology is really warranted. I am, however, more firmly convinced by his response and our conversation that this church was a good choice for mine and my family's spiritual home.
Nuff said, though I will be cringing in my seat this Sunday if he makes any mention of this. I wrote him a letter by snail mail rather than posting it here or on facebook to let him address it as he wished - or if at all, if that was his wont...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Fort Hood

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those caught up in the shooting at Fort Hood today, with the obvious exception of the perpetrator. He can go rot. I don't know matters military well enough to know how this crime will be handled, but I hope it falls under the military's jurisdiction. I don't think the army will take too kindly to a soldier shooting up a bunch of his own at all.
That's about all I'll have to say on the matter, at least until I know more.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

It's been a rough week so far

It started out on Sunday with me having to sit through a poorly conceived anti-evolution tirade by my pastor at church, who was clearly angry (as was I) about the events surrounding the gang rape of that poor girl up in Richmond.
Sunday afternoon was spent manning a booth for our league's new tackle football program, which culminated in very few signups and a realization on my part that I wasn't going to see any NFL games at all, since the World Series was on.
As for the rest of the week, I've been getting progressively more sick with the attendant flu-like symptoms and rotten disposition. Feeling crappy, but not quite bad enough to call in.
The icing on the cake was my learning that our lords and masters in Sacramento have decided to avail themselves of an interest-free loan taken from the taxpayers without so much as a please or thank you as an idiotic and unethical budget shortfall stopgap, starting this week. I'm not kidding. Since it's not strictly a tax increase, (we'll supposedly get it back come tax time), those grasping thieves managed to slip this one under the radar. So until tax time, they'll get to use that money of mine, not me.
Well, maybe the rest of the week will improve.

Last night

I finally realized the cause for the incessant ache I've been experiencing in my right elbow joint of late - and no, it's not what you may be thinking, thankyouverymuch...
When I take our big dog, Lena, out for her last potty break of the day, I hold the leash in my right hand. Being the last break of the day, it is always after dark, and living at the foot of the mountain means there are plenty of rabbits around. Lena has a strong prey instinct, made all the stronger by having caught and eaten a couple of these critters, so she knows full well how yummy they taste. Being the one responsible for cleaning up the gastrointestinal explosions that result from these deviances from her diet, I am quite reluctant to let her have any more.
So, the result is a wrestling match every evening where she spots a bunny, launches herself at it and yanks on the leash. Hard. Multiple times. Whereupon I yank back to regain control.
There you have it. See, I can figure things out eventually. Usually.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halo 3 ODST

Number One Son came into some money over the weekend and begged me to take him to GameStop after school on Monday, where he traded said cash for the latest in the Halo saga.
So far, it's an excellent game, game play being very much like Halo 3 with the obvious exception that the player is no longer a Spartan with powered armor, but an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, and as such much more susceptible to hits. The storyline is a little more complex - a lot of flashbacks rather than a straight line, but it's very interesting, made even more so since some of the voice actors portraying characters will be very familiar to those of you who are Firefly fans. Number One Son, however, is much more interested in completing the "vidmaster" achievements within the game to unlock the "Recon" armor in XBOX Live game play, which up till now was pretty much limited to employees of Bungie (the creators of Halo).
Of course, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't enjoying the game as much as him - at least when I've had the opportunity to play - it's been quite a busy week thus far...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yay!

Yesterday, the Big Brown Truck Of Happiness paid me a visit and dropped something off...




Hmm... now what could that be? All the way from North Carolina?




Why, it's my Del-Ton rifle kit! Woohoo! And only seventeen weeks after I placed the order! I was jazzed to finally receive it, but I had no time last night to tinker, so I repacked it back into its snug little box and got on with my evening. Of course, it was never far from top of mind all day today... so when I got home from work, my friend and I completed the build.


Voila!



Heh. What can Brown do for you?

Pretty, no? I took a shot of Number One Son holding it too, but I'd better not post it. The last time I did that, my mom didn't speak to me for two weeks :).

To recap:

Grizzly LAR-15 lower

CMMG LPK

Del-Ton A2 16in upper and 6 position stock

Bullet Button

Magpul PMAG permanently modified to 10 rounds

Can't wait to try her out... mwahahahaha!

Random Thoughts...

Obama. Dude. Shit or get off the pot. Seriously. I support the war in Afghanistan, always have, but if you’re not going to give your generals what they need to win, then just pull out. This half-assed limbo is achieving nothing but an increased American body count. Time for a little bit of leadership, bucko. While you’re at it, I’d also strongly recommend against second-guessing the guys on the ground, you know, the guys who have made a career out of the military, the guys who you hired to wage the wars because they’re the best at what they do, and much better at this stuff than a Chicago community organizer. The former president of our company once said in an interview that the secret to our success was to hire exceptional people and then get out of the way and let them do their jobs – some words of wisdom for you, Mr. President.



I hate Riverside nazis. Honestly, I was more than a little surprised to see these cockroaches comes out of the woodwork, having had no idea that there were any around here. I was very pleased to note that the counter demonstrators outnumbered them by a healthy 30 to 1. Yeah, yeah, freedom of speech, I know, but that’s the first thing that would go if these clowns got into power.



My worst nightmare. I have a particular dread of something like this happening to my own little girl, and a particular hatred of those who would do such a thing. This is disgusting. These are animals that need to be put down. There is no place in civilized society for such creatures. So much wrong on so many levels. That father must be despising himself for not being around when his daughter needed him. Why the hell he didn’t pick her up right at the school, in such a crappy town as Richmond we may never know. To the spectators who watched and did nothing: fuck you. You all need to be arrested as accomplices, especially those who took camera phone footage of this atrocity. The indifference to the crime is almost as appalling as the crime itself. My thoughts are with that poor girl.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Quote of the day

....In the car with my friend Danny...
Talking about our Kia...
Danny: "You know, those damn Kias are throwaway cars, and you've done pulled that one out of the trash three times already".
Yup. I'll keep doing it until the wheels fall off, too...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fascism...

...Defined.
The "pay czar" is now going to determine executive pay at those companies that received TARP funds, cutting pay by as much as 90%.
I'm glad that they're doing this.
Not because I think that they deserve the cuts, because it's "my" tax money, because it really isn't. It's deficit money - "pretend" money that the govt has pretty much just printed up, but that's another topic entirely.
Not because I buy into that class warfare bullshit either, because dragging rich people down does nothing to help me climb up.
No, I'm glad they're doing it because it serves as a perfect example of what happens when you look to the government to solve your problems.
You ask the government for help, eventually you're going to get fucked.
Hopefully people will learn from this.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Random things...

Been a little busy of late, hence no bloggage. This past weekend I went up to Redding to help a friend and his wife out who just bought a house up there - a 3 bedroom on 9 acres for 125K, the lucky buggers. I love it up there, and would move in a heartbeat were it not for the fact that we're so upside down on our house it's not even funny.
Anyways, during the time we were up there, three of us managed to put in a new, bigger window, frame up an interior wall, clean out two nasty sheds (the house has stood vacant for two years) cut out and install 6 can lights in the kitchen area, rewire a bunch of crap, pull out some flooring, and generally make a huge mess... lots of fun.
The town the house is located in is a little place called Ono, population 598. The town eatery and bar is pretty much right at the end of the driveway (although it's a pretty long driveway) and the serve $6 pitchers! Oh yeah, baby!
Forgot to mention that they have a year-round creek running through the property too... plenty of fish in it from what I saw... yes, I'm jealous!
Another reason that I haven't been blogging much is that I've been looking for a new job, tossing out resumes and doing the associated research. I like the place that I'm at right now - hell, it's less than two miles from my home, flexible hours and nice folks to work with - but I'm getting the distinct feeling that it's not going to be there forever. I'd rather get out on my terms than wait, if you know what I mean...
Finally picked up a copy of Monster Hunter International... late to the party again, I know. I got it last night and I'm already on page 391. Hard to put down - I'm really digging the story. Hopefully number two will be out soon... I'll have to drop Mr Correia a line and let him know how much I like it...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mondays suck

Especially this Monday. Over at Say Uncle, I learned that Arnold signed AB962, the Ammo bill, right before midnight last night. There's not much more to say, really. If he represents the Republican party in this state, then I have no use for them. They're not protecting my rights or interests. Days like this make me wish I could just up and leave. I'm gonna go pout now.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nordyke...

...Got punted by the 9th circuit panel, because they were waiting to see what would come of several Second Amendment cases before the Supreme Court. Guess they didn't want to see their decision overturned?
Anyway, the Supreme Court granted cert to one of the three cases today, and Alan Gura, the attorney who argued for Heller, will be going to Washington again. High hopes here... even with Sotomayor appointed earlier this year, the basic ideological makeup of the court remains the same as when Heller was decided.
I'm not sure exactly when this one will be heard, but I'll be keeping an eye out for sure...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Preemptive...

When I was a kid living in the UK, I used to subscribe to a comic book called 2000AD. There were always several serial stories going on, but the centerpiece story revolved around a character called Judge Dredd - in a future post-apocalyptic America where much of the country was radioactive wasteland and the population was concentrated in a very few huge "MegaCities". It was an very authoritarian regime, where Judges were raised from childhood to their profession - they were cop, judge, jury and executioner rolled into one. Judge Dredd never had a romantic interest (none of the Judges did) because his only love was the Law.
As bad as life sounded there for a liberty-loving individual, there were worse places. Among his often recurring nemeses was a group of Judges (Fear, Fire, Death and Mortis) from an alternate universe where they had extinguished their populace and were themselves kind of undead. You see, they had come to the logical conclusion that all crime was committed by the living, so to produce a truly ordered society, they had passed a law stating that life itself was a crime. Obviously, they had eventually run out of perps, which was why they kept trying to break into JD's dimension, to bring law unto the lawless.
They had finally found that one law that would prevent all crime.

Busy Sunday...

Another Chargers home game, so I get up at 5:30, pack an ice chest and meet up with my buddy at his house by 6:30. Hour and a half drive to the stadium, get in at 8am for five hours of tailgating prior to kickoff. The game lasts about three hours, then another hour waiting in the parking lot for the traffic to clear (we grilled up hot dogs while we waited) and the hour and a half drive home. A whole lot of fun, but a loooooong day....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Neato!

What I initially thought was a weed in our garden, turned out to be a watermelon plant. Once we (or rather my father in law) had ID'd the leafy plant as such, I left it to its own devices, just to see what would happen.
Lo and behold, a watermelon, just chillin' on my driveway...



Looks like it's almost ready! My Little Princess proudly claimed the credit for surreptitiously planting watermelon seeds in the garden...

Ce n'est pas possible!

Never thought I'd see the day where I'd take the side of the French premier over the US President...
But is Sarkozy really taking a principled stand, or is it just typical Gallic contrariness? They do, after all, pride themselves on squabbling with us...
Found at Instapundit.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Smug

Have you ever found yourself in a competitive endeavor where your opponent starts talking trash at the outset, to get inside your head, then experienced the satisfaction of subsequently completely kicking his ass up and down the street?
I had such an experience last night playing Halo 3. Some guy on the other team in the pre-game lobby singled me out for reasons unknown and proceeded to sling a bunch of juvenile, anatomically impossible abuse my way. Normally I would mute such persons, but this time I didn’t, nor did I respond.
Cut to the game. Not only did my team win handily, I scored the highest number of kills overall, and as a bonus, I got to ice the smack-talking jackass while he was teabagging* one of my team-mates. Being the imperfect human that I am, I stooped to his level in the post-game lobby:
“Talk your shit now, bitch! HAHAHA!”
“Well, I wasn’t really trying.” Uh-huh.
Yes, I’m gloating. Yes, it's puerile. Sue me.
Owned.


*Teabagging – when you stand over your vanquished opponent, squatting up and down repeatedly. Very disrespectful behavior during a game. I hardly ever do it at all. Honest.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nordyke today!

I had totally forgotten about this! Thankfully, one of the bloggers I read daily, DavidWhiteWolf over at RNS hadn't, and posted a link to a Calgunner who was going to give a feed via Twitter during the proceeding...
From the Twitter feed, it seemed very positive, although over on Calguns, the folks there who had heard the audio weren't as optimistic. I'm interested in hearing David's take, since he attended also...
OK, I'm gonna go listen to the audio now...

Not quite sure...

What to make of it yet. I saw the article via Billy Beck about the census worker found hanging from a tree in rural Kentucky, with the word "Fed" scrawled on his chest. Listening to the radio later last night, I heard about the story again. The hosts had found out the guy was near terminal with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, had a sizeable life insurance policy and had expressed a desire to not see his family saddled withhis medical bills, so they were speculating that it was a suicide. I can't verify any of this - it's just stuff I heard on the radio - but taking out a middle-aged part time census worker in the middle of nowhere strikes me as an odd way to start the revolution. Guess I'll reserve judgement until I hear more about it. My thoughts are with his family regardless. I can only imagine what it must have felt like to get that call.
Bracing for the inevitable torrent of anti-conservative "red-neck domestic terrorist wacko" invective from the media...

Updated to add links. Yeah, another iPhone post...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Random stuff...

Wifey took My Little Princess to the Miley Cyrus concert at the Staples Center last night, which is quite a ways away from the valley and not in one of LA's best neighborhoods. Yes, I was a little concerned for them, especially since the laws in this state effectively keep my wife (and me) disarmed.
They had a good time, although it was made quite glaringly clear to them that Miley Cyrus is desperate to shed her "Hannah Montana - little girl" image, as evidenced by her on-stage gyrations and song selection. Good for her, but maybe we could've gotten a heads-up prior to dropping $200?
No, I didn't climb the hill last night - the temperature was still obscene after 5pm, but I did do the next best thing. I dusted off my 24 Hour Fitness membership card (yes, its been that long) and "hit the gym". I trudged along on a treadmill at 3.2mph, with the incline set at 8.5 for 35 minutes... I know, probably a piece of cake to all you out there, but whatever. Baby steps, right? That was enough to get me all tired and sweaty anyway. Today is even hotter, so I'll want to do the same tonight once wifey gets home...
Just got an email from Del-Ton which was a bit of a downer. They are currently working on orders placed in March. I ordered my rifle kit in June. What a bummer. The 12-16 week estimate on their website is just a tad bit on the low side, dontchyathink? Oh well, more time to stash money for it, I guess.
Work is slooooowww... scary slow. I've been filling my time with busy work all week. I don't mind doing that stuff - a lot of it is necessary after all - but the bread-and-butter stuff just doesn't seem to be coming in the door and that's a little disconcerting. We usually get a boost towards the end of the year, once all the local municipalities rush to get their required analyses done that they've been holding off all year - I just hope it's enough for us. Sure as hell don't relish looking for a job in this state, at this particular moment in history...

Playing with numbers

Numbers

CA population (2006): 36,457,549 (Number found here)
CA total labor force (2006): 17,929,100 (Number found here)
CA unemployed (2006): 880,400 (Number found here)
CA working (2006): 19,929,100-880,400 = 17,048,700
CA number of state/local workers per 10,000 residents (2006): 486 (Number found here)
Therefore, total number of state/local workers in CA (2006): 36,457,549/10,000 X 486 = 1,771,836
Total # of Californians working in private sector (2006): 17,929,100 – (1,771836+880,400) = 15,276,863
Public sector jobs as a percentage of the workforce: 1,771,836/17,048,700 X 100 = 10.39%
Number private sector workers per public sector worker: 15,276,863/1,771,836 = 8.6

Analysis

Wow! I knew the numbers would be ugly, but this was still a bit of a surprise to me. 8.6 private sector workers per public sector worker? Really? All of these jobs are critical to the smooth running of our society? Over ten percent of the workforce is paid by taxing the rest. How can this be sustainable? I guess by looking at California’s current fiscal crisis, it really can’t.
I’m pretty sure these numbers don’t even include federal employees (nor military, whom I do not begrudge paying), so the numbers must be even worse than that – nor do they include the thousands of govt. retirees in the state, busily chugging away at the public tit at a rate typically north of 90% of their pay at retirement.
Please bear in mind that these numbers are from 2006, when the economy was humming, and the state unemployment rate was a mere 4.9%.

So how do the numbers look like this year?

Current numbers for this year: Total labor force: 18,390,500, unemployed 2,248,000, giving us a total number working in CA of 16,142,500, and an unemployment rate of 12.2%.
So – the total number of workers has shrunk by almost one million since 2006, and although I cannot find numbers of state/local workers for this year (my google-fu is not so strong), I can almost guaran-fucking-tee you that it’s gotten higher than 486 per 10,000 residents.
Here's a rough number - 2.5 million, which works out to 15.49% of the workforce! Or, 5.45 private sector employees per public sector employee. Unbelievable. Not to mention the fact that the average government wage is about 14% higher than its private sector equivalent. All under the watchful eye of a Republican governor. Who happened to run on promises of fiscal responsibility. I don't think he really gets that concept.

I guess at least its not as bad as the UK... yet.

The reason I started looking into this was something that I read in the local fishwrap about Meg Whitman, the former CEO of Ebay who is going to run for governor in 2010. One of her promises is apparently to cut 40,000 state employees from the workforce.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Linktacular

In my internet wanders lately, I've come across a few links I'd like to share.
LabRat put up an excellent post about ACORN and its defenders...
A depressing look at the unintended consequences of sex-offender laws... found via Radley...
A hilarious twitter feed about a cranky old bastard, as related by his lagger-still-living-at-home-son...

Ugh

The thermometer on my porch is holding steady right at 100 degrees at the moment, and I'm still determined to walk the hill... just not right now.
I have to find that sweet spot, that timeframe where the heat is tolerable enough to be outside hiking, yet it is still light enough out to see where the hell I'm going (and to be able to spot rattlesnakes. Yep, folks, it's that time again...)

Government solutions

You may or may not have heard about California’s water shortage. We’ve had a drought here for the past few years which has led to obvious difficulties in keeping this large population watered, as well as supply problems for the San Joaquin Valley, the agricultural center of our state.
Well, this problem has been exacerbated by a federal judge’s timely decision to redivert a huge chunk of water back to the Sacramento River delta, at the urging of environmentalists in order to “save” the Delta Smelt.
The consequences of this idiocy has compounded the problem and effectively turned the valley into a dust bowl, putting many farms out of business and thousands of people out of work. Expect prices for your food to go up too, since this state supplies the rest of the nation and that supply just took a hefty kick in the balls.
Well, I saw this headline today in my daily “BC Water News” email, and felt the stirrings of hope. USDA declared California a disaster area? Wow! Maybe that’ll be enough to override the judge’s decision and get the spigots turned on again!
Yes, I am a naïve fool.
What it means is that they’ll be starting to make loans to the farmers.
Let’s look at the implications of that, shall we? A government policy creates the conditions to put the farmer in straits of impoverishment, and the “solution” they come up with to “help” is to offer said farmer a loan. Why? The water won’t be coming back unless the decision gets overturned, so how the hell will the farmer repay the loan? What happens if/when you default on a government loan? Do they take your farm? Do you go to jail?
This doesn’t make sense to me, unless the goal is to destroy agriculture in the valley, to which I see no point. So are we looking at an uncaring, faceless bureaucracy here, or evil masterminds out to do harm and create more dependents on government? Does it even matter at this point?
I doubt Obama will give much of a crap about this (remember, this is a guy who thinks “economic stimulus” means literally destroying tens of thousands of cars that poor people might otherwise buy) since it likely won’t affect his penchant for arugula, or Michelle’s supply of Tuscan kale, but the rest of us proles who actually have to factor our food costs into our budget are probably going to feel this one pretty good.
Your tax dollars at work; shut off the water supply to farmers during a drought, thereby losing thousands of jobs during a recession.
You know, I have to go with evil. Nobody's that stupid.
Like Reagan said, “Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem”.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sign of the times

After suffering through the last few weeks of a hedonistic, dissipative lifestyle, my conscience finally asserted itself and decided that I needed to start exercising regularly again. My exercise of choice is hiking to the "M" on the mountain right by my house... although I don't get up there much during the summer since its so freaking hot and I'm not all that much into misery.
I got home from work, excitedly told my wife of my plans ( who then rolled her eyes and directed me to the thermometer outside that still read 94 degrees - at 4:30!!) and invited my children along for the trip. Both promptly declined.
Undaunted, I hopped in the car and drove around to the back side of the mountain, where I usually park in order to make my way up the service road, a nice 5 mile round trip with enough steep spots to really get the juices flowing.
I pulled around the last bend and was confronted with a large sign, boldly stating that this parking lot was now a day-fee area - $4 per person, plus an additional dollar per dog.
WTF? When did this shit happen? I've been coming up here for years, and now I have to pay for the privilege? Oh HELL no! Because that collection of retarded clowns in Sacramento can't manage to run the state, I have to suffer? They want to up fees in a recession? Do these idiots have any sense of history? Do they truly want the whole house of cards to come crashing down? (actually, that might not be a bad thing - we sure as hell need a do-over in this state).
Park fees have been raised across the state - I heard it was coming in the news, but I honestly didn't expect to see this spot go from free to four bucks a head!
My plan was to hit the hill every day, either before or after work, when convenient. Four bucks a day? Not frikking happening.
Fuming, I spun the car around (it was dirt, so it was pretty easy) and made my way back around to another lot, where I was assured by some other hikers that there were no fees. The trails out of this lot are significantly steeper, but them's the breaks.
I parked and started up the mountain. Did I mention how steep these trails were? And how long it had been since I last did this?
Yeah, I lasted about forty minutes...
Next time - tomorrow - I'll do better.
Since my back yard butts up against the mountain, and there are trails out there, from here on out I'll just be going out from my back yard. At least I've already paid to park there.
Bastards.

Weekend wrap-up...

I didn't get much time in front of a computer this weekend, certainly not enough to post...

Saturday morning was spent digging up what I thought was a busted sprinkler line, but turned out to be our water main... like a lot of the other crap I've fixed around this place, it was not to code, and built as though it was designed to fail at some strategic point in time... that point being right when I excavated around it. The line was leaking at a joint already, but as I moved the dirt around from under it, the line popped right out of the fitting (into which it was seated less than an eighth of an inch! Who DOES that!?) so there was water and mud everywhere. So, having located the leak, I turned off the water at the street and got to work fixing it. Once I got the right sized pipes, fittings, primer and Red Hot Blue Glue, everything went pretty quickly, although my family wasn't too pleased at being deprived of water for a couple of hours. What really pisses me off is that this whole mess just had to happen in the one part of my lawn that looks lush and green , even in late summer in the valley. I tried to put the sod back to fit as best I could, but its going to take a little while for it all to recover.
Sunday was Game Day, and I had the good fortune to be able to go with a friend to the Chargers home opener versus Baltimore. Game on at 1:15, which meant that the parking lot opened up at 8am, which meant we had to leave from the valley at 6:45am... tailgating there is great - I've met a bunch of really cool folks, who come loaded for bear - grilled shrimp, bratwurst, stuffed jalapenos - you name it, plus plenty of beer and such to wash it all down. The best part is I don't have to spend a dime once I'm inside the stadium, being all full with a warm, mild buzz...
The game was a little disappointing, what with Sproles getting stuffed by Lewis on the las play of the game and ending up as a Charger loss, but I love watching NFL football.
Course, spending the entire third quarter inside the team store while my buddy was agonizing over which jersey he should buy didn't help... that guy is worse than my wife, I swear! Still, had a great time, and I'm only too happy to go when I'm invited.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Random thought...

Motorcycle helmet mohawks looked cool when they first came out. Briefly. Now they look tacky and annoying.

Backyard...

Sunset...
Nope, I never get tired of this...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Public Safety

I saw a comment over at one of the Anarchangel's posts, bleating about "public safety". Oh, how I have come to loathe that phrase!
Public Safety is by far the easiest, most effective bait by which the state can hook the populace into giving up liberties.
Public Safety is the reason I can no longer buy ATVs for my children, out of fear they might chew on them, or something.
Public Safety is the reason I cannot arm myself in public for my own protection.
Public Safety is the reason for the nonsensical ban on antique children's books.
Public Safety is the reason for the War on Drugs, no-knock warrants and the carnage that has ensued.
Public Safety is the reason I have to take my shoes off at the airport and put up with TSA goons going through my crap.
Public Safety gave us the Patriot Act and all its attendant infringements.
Public Safety is the reason I can no longer talk on my cell phone in the car, despite never having had an accident while doing so.
Public Safety is the reason I couldn't shoot the rattlesnake that killed my dog in my back yard.
Public Safety is the reason for the ammo bill sitting on Arnold's desk right now.
Public Safety is a tyrant that will not rest until it rules EVERY aspect of our lives.
The list is endless.
Public Safety can go to hell.

(I would post a link to the Anarchangel, but I'm blogging this from my iPhone and haven't figured out how to do that yet).
Updated to add a link, and correct spelling... yes, I'm in front of a real computer now...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bow-Chica-Wah-Wah!

That's right, baby; time for some gun porn!
So... what are we looking at here?

Well, if I still lived in the United Kingdom, I'd be looking at 5 years in one of Her Majesty's prisons... but since I have the great good fortune to reside in the United States, what we have here is a Springfield Armory 1911-A1, chambered in nothing other than the mighty .45ACP, pretty much bone-stock with the exception of a Wilson Combat 8 round mag and a Hogue rubber wrap-around grip.

I added the grip because the grips that this puppy came with made the whole thing feel way too skinny enfolded in my meathook...

This baby was my very first handgun purchase (after all, if you were to own just one handgun, it would be sacrilege to have anything but a 1911 as we all know), and if she looks very clean it's because I really don't use her all that much. I know, shame on me, but I tend to prefer shooting my long guns when I get the opportunity...

Buying handguns in California is a little more involved than buying a rifle. First off, you may not purchase a handgun in the Golden State unless you have a Handgun Safety Certificate, or HSC.

Well, how does one obtain a HSC, you ask? You get one by coughing up $25 (at least that was how much it was when I did it) and taking a test in basic firearm safety. These tests are administered by most any gun store out there. Then you get a pretty little card with the seal of the Great State of California on it, with your name, date of issue and expiration date on it. With this in hand, you are now qualified to purchase a handgun.

The other major differences between handgun and rifle purchases? You have to DROS both (fill out a Dealer Record Of Sale form) and wait 10 days for both. In order to pick up your handgun, however, you need TWO forms of ID - a driver's license alone is not sufficient. Typically, your car registration would suffice as a second form of ID. The biggest difference, though, is the fact that handguns are registered with the state DOJ. Along with the DROS form, make, model and serial number are also passed along to those fine fellows in Sacramento...



Here we can see a slight difference between my 1911 and what one in a free state would look like. See that tiny little slot in the barrel (the silver part) toward the rear? That is a California-mandated Loaded Chamber Indicator - a way to instantly tell if the gun is loaded by simply looking at it. If it were loaded, you would see the tell-tale gleam of brass instead of the black void of an empty chamber.

So there you have it; my 1911. A beautiful little piece, a time-tested design, but one that spends far too much time in the safe as opposed to on the range...

Heartless

Wifey and I take turns taking the kids to school in the morning - she does Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Whoever doesn't drop them off, picks them up, so on those days we go into work very early. We are fortunate to both work at the same place, which is less than two miles from home and our employer is very flexible when it comes to scheduling.
That said, today was my turn to drop the kids off. I got up a little late, but the kids were up before me and they know their routine...
I was still fairly groggy by the time we hopped in the car and made our way to school, at which point My Little Princess turns to me with a stricken look and says, "Daddy! I left my backpack with my homework at home!"
My reply was: "Hmm, that sucks"...
Cut to two hours later; My Little Princess calls me from school. Bear in mind, I'm knee-deep in work at that point.
"Daddy, can you PLEASE bring me my backpack? The teacher says I'm going to get a zero for my homework!"
Now, I have a huge soft spot for my little girl, but I'm thinking this is a little too much, so I consider it. This is going to set my day back by an hour minimum, in a week where I already have to make up some hours...
"Honey, let me think about this. I'm not pleased you did this, and I don't know why I should have to suffer for your mistake. Let me talk to your mom."
"OK, Daddy"
I called my wife and asked for her take on it...
Her response: "Ha! You know why she didn't call ME!"
That settled it. My Little Princess had to deal with the consequences of her actions.
I called back to talk to the teacher who actually thanked me for staying strong. It's kinda hard when it comes to my girl though; had it been Number One Son, it would have been much easier to say no. I wonder why that is?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All right...

So how many people were there at the DC tea party this past weekend? I've seen estimates ranging from 70k on up to 2 million. There's a LOT of wiggle- room between those two numbers. The left and the MSM want to low-ball the numbers for obvious reasons, but then the organizers want to inflate them, also for obvious reasons. Everyone's objectivity is questionable when it comes to politics... The only reliable number that I can come up with for Saturday's attendance is "a shitload"...

Phew!

That was a close one! But in the end, I'll still get to enjoy that sweet, sweet taste of free beer! Both games were a real treat to watch last night, although I missed watching the Patriots' amazing comeback because I had to take My Little Princess to dance class...when I left, the Pats were down 24-13 with about 5 minutes to go and Brady had a sour look on his face as he got ready to step out onto the field...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Raiders better lose tonight...

'Cause I have a 12-pack of Stella Artois riding on the Chargers. My opponent (and hopefully my beer supplier) had some incisive, detailed and thoughtful analysis regarding tonight's game: "Rivers is a bitch". I had to chuckle.
We'll see, my friend. We'll see...

Week 1

Sigh. The Rams sure don't make it easy for their fans. A 28-0 shutout? C'mon guys...
I spent the bulk of the day watching football at a buddy's house, who has HDTV (I have yet to get a flat screen - I think I may be the last person in America without one), NFL Sunday Ticket and Red Zone - which is like football coverage for ADD sufferers - flicking around between games whenever something interesting is going on. Pretty cool.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

AB962, the ammo bill...

Has passed both houses in the state legislature and is now on Arnold's desk, awaiting his signature - or veto...
I'll be sending the governator an email. It's about all there is left to do at this point.

UPDATE: My email to the governor:

Governor Schwarzenegger,
I would most respectfully urge you to veto bill AB962 that just passed the assembly yesterday and is now on your desk. I believe that with the current economic issues facing this state, the government has bigger fish to fry at the moment. The new crimes and requirements that this bill creates should it pass into law create unneccessary fiscal challenges that California will be hard-pressed to meet in these current times. I am also very concerned about the impact this bill would have on law-abiding gun owners' opportunities and ability to purchase ammunition by mail order or on the internet, especially if the ammunition in question is not available in local stores. This bill will have a far greater impact on law-abiding gun owners than criminals, who by definition, ignore the law anyway. Please do not sign AB962 into law.
Sincerely,
Me


Contact info here, should anyone else feel inclined to urge a veto.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Backyard...

Sunset...
Looks like the entire sky is ablaze...

Terrorist

I just got to work after watching a remembrance ceremony at my kids' school, where the principal plainly stated that terrorists attacked us on 9/11.
Growing up in England, I think I was a little more familiar with terrorism in various forms than the typical American, seeing the IRA work their horrors over the years. On 9/11, the USA "joined the club" of those countries that have to deal with attacks on their own citizenry, in their own land, by organizations opposed to their way of life. The shock that this could happen here pervaded the entire country, regardless of political bent, and we all tried to find the answer to "why?" in our own ways. If there is one good to find from this horrific event, this evil act of war, it's that for a very brief time, this country was truly united, as we all learned the hard way what a truly evil thing a terrorist is.
Eight years down the road, there's a new sheriff in town, and according to his cronies, I and those who think like me are terrorists. How the hell did that happen?
Today should be a reminder of REAL terrorism. It's not a term you use for those who disagree with you. It's a term for those who gleefully massacre innocents in order to strike terror into the hearts of the rest of us, to make a political point.

September 11



I'll never forget.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Titans and Steelers

Wow, what a game to start the season off with! A defensive struggle played out into overtime! The Titans' defense looked so strong in the first half, I was sure they were going to take it, but they're human, they got tired, and the Steelers exploited a weakness and completed short pass after short pass all the way through the latter part of the game.
13-10 in OT, and NOT an easy victory for the Super Bowl champs...
Cannot wait until Sunday.

AB962 Update

The ammo bill got amended, tossing out the 50 rounds per month private transfer limit (good), the licensing requirement to sell ammo (also good), but keeping the ban on internet sales (BAD). So I guess if you have guns that shoot rare ammunition that isn't stocked in stores here in CA, you're shit out of luck once the governator signs this garbage.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

El Presidente

I got home from work just in time to catch the President's speech to Congress today, selling his health care reform.
I have to say, he did a pretty good job. Whether you like him or not, that man is a born orator, with a resonant voice that he pitches damn near perfectly depending on what emotion or response he is trying to evoke, and whoever writes his speeches is a master.
The way Obama framed his plan was quite compelling, I suppose, especially when he tossed the "tort reform" bone to the Republicans, but as well as he can speak, he cannot disguise the fundamental moral flaws inherent in the so called "public option".
Not everyone wants to be insured. There's no real reason for a healthy young guy in his early twenties with no family to worry about to be insured. This plan would take that guy's choice away. If this passes, health insurance would become mandatory for everyone, because as he put it, the taxpayer could not be expected to foot the bills for people's irresponsibility.
How will they enforce this? How does government enforce anything? That's right - with fines and jail. Government will yet again be fining and imprisoning "irresponsible" people to save them from themselves.
That's the kicker. Once government is in charge of something like healthcare, they can (and will - look at the UK) make demands like that, for the public good. It won't stop there, either. Since they're footing the bill, the government will feel entitled to make all kinds of decisions for us with regards to keeping health costs down. Just about any behavior you can think of could be regulated in this manner, as an appeal to reign in healthcare costs. It won't happen right away, but it will happen.
Individual liberty simply cannot exist in such an environment - it's too expensive when the government is writing the checks.

Meh.

On our way home from school yesterday, I asked the kids what they thought of Obama's speech.
My Little Princess didn't see it at all, as the school district decided to play it only for 5th grade and up.
Number One Son did see it. His verdict: "It was pretty boring".
Transcript here.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ghettolicious Shade Tree Mechanic

So the Kia's radiator started leaking a couple of weeks ago... and as such things do, it got progressively worse. Radiator Stop Leak didn't work at all, and the Kia is blessed with one of those crappy radiators with the plastic tanks crimped on with tiny aluminum tabs making a repair was out of the question, so I began to look around for a new one. New radiators start at around $190... yeah right! That's about half the value of the car! (well almost... it got smacked in the rear two Decembers back and still sports a mismatched back hatch - green on black - wifey calls it her "accent door").

So with reluctance, I started shopping junkyards and found one from a Kia a year older for 85 bucks - a little more doable. Still, I'm broke, so I needed to come up with the cash. Our shed was piled high with trash bags full of cans that I'd been putting off turning in - I guess now was the time. I had so many I scored a hundred bucks - woohoo! Free radiator!

I picked up the radiator today and it looked worse than the one in my car - it also happened to be out of an automatic, so there were a couple of extra lines hanging off the back.

We got home and put the Kia up on ramps and let it sit for a couple of hours to cool off, then did the switch. While we were in there I replaced the alternator belt which looked a little tore up. My Little Princess was only too happy to help. She grabbed one of daddy's old T-shirts and dug right in. This is a shot of her putting the skid plate back on...


So why ghettolicious? Well, not only did I replace the radiator myself, I bought a used one from a junkyard, and I paid for it with funds gained from turning in beer cans... Ahhh yeah...

Let's hope it holds...

Monday, September 07, 2009

School tomorrow

So, Obama's giving his broadcast tomorrow, and I've thought about the implications for my kids.
After such a brouhaha this last week, Obama would have to be straight up stupid to try and deliver anything but a milquetoast "stay in school" message.
I really don't think politics has any place in the classroom, any more than religion does, and I believe the time spent on this broadcast would be better spent on, say, I don't know, EDUCATION, maybe?
That said, I'm not going to pull my kids out of school. I don't think thirty minutes with Obama is going to seriously counteract any influence my wife and I have with our children, and I'm not going to short them a day's worth of instruction out of pique.
The kids came home with fliers giving us an opportunity to "opt out", essentially meaning the kids would spend that time reading instead of watching dear leader - not a bad way to spend a half hour, in my book... but I'm kinda curious to hear what the man wants to say, and it'll be interesting to get my kids' take on it... I haven't decided whether to sign it or not. I probably won't.

Labor Day Weekend

It's been a long one...
Friday - skipped out of work early to go to the Charger game, got into the parking lot in time to tailgate for about five hours before the game. My friend and I brought a 30 pack of Coors Lite... at the end of the day there were 8 left... Chargers beat the Forty-niners 26-7. A good time was had.
Saturday - barbecue at my buddy's house - pool party - many beers were consumed (and shots) - again...
Sunday - Luau at another friend's house, followed by poker - many beers were consumed - again...
Today - barbecue at my house with my in-laws, including poker - not quite so many beers this time, but wine too...
I don't think I've partied this much since college.
My liver hates me right now.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Escaping

The summer heat in the valley has been particularly oppressive this week, so we bolted to my wife's parents place at the beach for the weekend to get some relief. It's cooler, but not much and the air is still, which is a surprise. Still better than roasting in the desert right now, though and we've got good eats coming up so I have to split. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Backyard...

...Sunset.
I know, I know...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

AB962...

...Is a festering turd of a bill that just popped out of the CA state senate appropriations committee today.
This is the one that seeks to restrict ammunition transactions - only licensed ammo dealers may sell more than 50 rounds per month, Internet ammunition sales will be banned, thumbprints required for purchases, create a whole new bunch of crimes, create a new registry for the CA DOJ to oversee - it's a nightmare. You can read the text of this thing here.
So - it passed in the Assembly, then went to the Senate appropriations committee, where it was placed in the suspense file a few weeks back. Well, they pulled it today and it appears that the APPROPRIATIONS committee thought that creating a new regulatory bureaucracy in the middle of the worst financial crisis in the state's history was just fine and dandy. How are they going to pay for this? Oh yeah, taxes on ammo.
Since both the Assembly and the Senate are stacked with Democrats in California (thanks to gerrymandering, as well as spinelessness on the part of the Republicans), it's pretty much a given that this will pass in the Senate also.
So, the only real hope of killing this thing is with a veto from Arnold. Yeah. Won't be holding my breath on that one. Political considerations are more important to him than freedoms for the populace, I think, and since he's squared off with the Dems over the budget for the last few months, he may just want to sign it to make nice... as he has done in the past...
Another shiv in the back of Lady Liberty.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tell me...

Have you seen or heard of this in the MSM? No? You're not likely to either. Wonder why that is? Hmmm... could it be because they're democrats? You know damn well that if Republicans had engaged in such shenanigans with guns, it would be over ALL the networks, repeatedly and in loving detail.
That's not even what I'm most annoyed about. Hell, I've come to expect bias from the mainstream media - any idiot can see that (Rathergate, anyone?) and I find myself more surprised when the news is actually portrayed in an objective manner..
No, what really chaps my ass is the fact that these hotheaded clowns get to suffer no consequences because they are local politicians. Can you imagine if you or I were to brandish a weapon in an argument and then ask the DA to just "forget about it"?
After he got done wiping the tears of derisive laughter from his eyes, I have absolutely no doubt that the response would be a resounding "F**k no. You're going to jail."
Some are more equal than others, indeed.
Citizens of Akron, do NOT vote these shits in. They are unworthy of you.

(H/T to Snowflakes in Hell)

Depeche Mode

Now, I'm not much of a concert-goer; I don't usually care to get into a crammed stadium full of drunk idiots to listen to overly loud music at an exorbitant price - in fact, this concert was the first I'd been to in at least 7-8 years... the company I'm with is much more important to me than the venue, and the company last night was excellent - as well as my wife, two of my best friends (who actually scored the tickets for us) went...
So,I'm pretty selective about who I'll go see, and an opportunity to see Depeche Mode was too good to pass up. They're a big name, with a long and fairly consistent history who produce a lot of music that I like.
We got in around 7, then lined up for some dumb Miller Lite taste test thingy that we had to pay a dollar for (hey, cheapest beer in the place!) - imagine that - Miller got a bunch of market research done last night, and actually got paid to do it too! Savvy guys...
We grabbed some overpriced beer then got to our seats... the stadium (the Honda Center in Anaheim, formerly the Pond) was almost empty at that point, and was filling sloooowly...
The opening band was a group of guys out of Sweden called Peter Bjorn and John. Their music was OK - nothing very memorable, but the sound absolutely sucked. Too much bass, and the vocals pretty much got lost in it, not crisp at all...
Depeche Mode was a whole different story. They came on to wild cheers, played their hearts out for the best part of two hours and whatever sound problems that plagued the opening band were not evident at all. They played a couple of songs from their new album that I'm not yet familiar with, and a bunch of their more famous ones, that everyone in the crowd knew.
Overall a very positive experience - the crowd was not rowdy at all, everyone was there to hear some good music and Depeche Mode did not disappoint. Probably the second best concert I've ever been to - after Eurythmics... not that I've been to a whole lot of 'em.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No time to blog...

...Going to a Depeche Mode concert...:)
AAR tomorrow...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Interesting...

According to Ian Plimer, author of Heaven and Earth, the entire energy output of a windmill turbine over a typical 25 year lifespan is less than the energy used to create the materials to build it.
That is what one would call a waste of resources.
How the hell can that be "green" if your net energy result is negative? Are we not supposed to husband our resources as efficiently as possible?
Environmentalists - worse for the planet than a Chinese power plant.

Playoffs

Well, the season is over for my mighty 8-11 Seahawks. They won their first game but then lost in the semi finals. Maybe next time... Fall will be upon us soon...
Here's a clip of Number One Son pulling off a "Statue of Liberty" play, and doing it very well, I might add. The defense bit on it pretty well...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Well THAT was scary...

Number One Son and My Little Princess spent last week at summer camp and when we picked them up on Saturday, Number One Son had a fever and was feeling lethargic. His fever broke Monday morning but he's still been weak and has had a cough all week. Even now he's still feeling crappy.
As I was getting ready to leave to coach flag football, my wife called me from work to tell me she had just received an email from our church (the summer camp was a church event) that said there had been a confirmed case of swine flu at my son's camp. My heart stopped. I called our doctor, explained Number One Son's symptoms and they said to get him to urgent care in the next town over. So I got another coach to step in for my guys - I really didn't want to be around any kids until I knew for sure what was up anyways, and besides which, getting my kid to the doc was obviously more important - saddled up with the kids and jetted over to urgent care. On the way over, Number One Son told me that a kid in his tent at camp got sent home sick on the second day. Great.
We were interviewed by two med students before we got to see the doctor, gave them the whole story and then when the doc came in repeated it.
The doctor was a real calm guy and explained that despite the hype, swine flu actually is less damaging than the regular flu. He took a swab from my son's nose and said they'd be able to get a presence/absence test within ten minutes. That would tell if he had the flu, but not what strain. If it came up positive, they would have to send a swab to county to determine whether it was H1N1...
Ten minutes later he came back and said it was negative. I pretty much just melted in my chair. I'm not ashamed to say that I was very worried on the way over there, kicking myself for not taking my kid in to the doctor's earlier and just pretty much trying to hold it together in front of the kids (I think I did that quite well, actually).
Anyway, that was our excitement for the day. I think I'm going to have a beer now.

Why no post?

It's been a pretty hectic week, what with various adventures in car repair as well as other minor crises around the house... plus the kids started school yesterday and I had to adjust my work schedule accordingly, which essentially means no late night internet for me! Gotta go coach right now.. be back later...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Backyard...

Sunset. Sorry, just couldn't resist. Did I mention that I love this place?

Well, damn

Where the hell have I been? Like I said here, it's been quite a while since I've been shooting, but I really should have known before today that my local range had been closed down. Hearing that just really set the tone for the day.
They had been involved in a two-plus year long legal battle with some jackass developer who wanted to build townhomes or some such next door, and a judge finally came down on the developer's side I guess... they gave out notice around the end of July that after SIXTY-THREE YEARS, they would have to close their doors. Most of the range pics I have posted on this blog were taken at this range. It's sad and not a little infuriating to see it go.
Shooting options in Southern California were limited before these guys were shut down. It's almost as if the powers that be want to put an end to the gun culture here or something. Dammit, I need a beer.
This post at Calguns pretty much lays it all out.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy...

...for Luddites.
I saw a review in the local fishwrap for this book, breathlessly explaining in loving detail how our lives will become so much better when the cost of moving around becomes prohibitive; how, at $8 per gallon, airlines will disappear; at $14 a gallon, Walmart will cease to exist and so on until we reach the liberal utopia of, I suppose, a horse-and-cart economy, locally grown foodstuffs and so on...
So, if you live in an area where you can't actually grow food, or grow cotton, or live near the bio tech companies that produce modern medicines, then I guess you're fucked. Because if the cost of movement is prohibitive, you're not going to be able to leave - and what do we have then? A mass die-off, aka an environmentalist's wet dream. And it looks like the author is cool with that.

Look, it's quite simple really: the lower the cost of energy, the cheaper the goods you need are. The cheaper the necessities, the more time and money you have to devote to pursuing happiness and thus the higher the standard of living. As energy costs increase, so does EVERYTHING, since energy is required to grow, manufacture and transport everything we use, wear and eat. People will not be happier or better off when the majority of their time and sweat goes to just staying alive, even if the environmentalists insist "it's for their own good".
Tell me again why capitalism's so evil?

Good times


We invited a couple of good friends over last night for an improptu barbecue, so I had to stock up on some necessities - namely, a case of Stella Artois (my favorite beer in the whole wide world) and several pounds of carne asada (plus some insanely hot salsa) from a local carniceria...
This morning when I checked the cooler, there were only two beers left! Did we get robbed during the night? My memory is a little fuzzy...

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Well...

...looking around the web lately, it seems like the Democratics have gone and fired up middle America, and we have the usual intellectual heavyweights trying to douse the flames with gasoline...
They can barely conceal their contempt for the people anymore...

Fine. The more obvious they make it that they're completely uninterested in discourse, the more people will see them for what they truly are.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Sigh

One of my buddies at work gets to pick up his Lancaster Arms AK-47 tomorrow and invited me to go shooting on Saturday. No can do - flag football tahes up the lion's share of the day. Sunday's out too, worst luck.
You know, it's been way too long since I've actually hit the range - in light of the current ammo shortage, I've been doing a lot more hoarding than shooting, out of fears that the stuff I shoot might not be easily replaced. I've had a particularly tough time trying to get a hold of .30 carbine ammo at anything approaching a decent price.
I'm definitely going to have to make time - and soon. No point in having tools you don't use, eh what?

Any criticism...

Of Obama is racism.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Lunacy

Markadelphia, a fairly well-known liberal commenter over at The Smallest Minority, wrote up a fairly long-winded post on his blog singing the praises of Obama's health care propsals. It's a sum-up of the same leftist/class envy twaddle I've been hearing my whole life and I'm getting sick of it. I left a comment that I thought I'd share:

No deficit spending. The cost of health care reform under the legislation is fully paid for:

Have you seen the economy lately? We're ALREADY deficit spending.

half through making the Medicare and Medicaid program more efficient by eliminating waste

I have NEVER IN MY LIFE seen a government program eliminate waste. Every program I'm aware of GROWS in costs, most way beyond their original estimates. Why should this one be any different?

and half through a surtax on the income of the wealthiest individuals aka the top one percent

Ah yes, those rich bastards need to pay their fair share! Because they don't pay enough right now. It saddens me that you don't even see the immorality in this at all, Mark. It horrifies me that half the country agrees with you. "From each according to his ability to each according to his need". Honestly, you'd think we'd fucking LEARNED from the last century of history, but the left in this country thinks they've got it all figured out. This shining city on a hill has gotten noticeably dimmer over the last few months. God help humanity when you people finally extinguish it.

I'm sorry, but I love this country dearly and I hate to see it go the way of Europe.
The definition of insanity is repeating the same action over and over, expecting a different result. The left REFUSES to accept the realities of the last hundred years of human history, and they're going to make the whole damn country pay for their ignorance.
Once socialism gets a strong foothold here, it's all over. Everywhere. What sort of future are my children going to inherit?

Setting her straight

A young soldier schools Senator McCaskill on her duties and responsibilities to the Constitution. Check out the crowd - a standing ovation with every point the guy makes. Must be a bunch of those bought-and-paid-for, bussed in members of the astroturf VRWC that the DNC keeps whining about...

Found over at the gun counter...

The Nuge



Sent to me via email.


A little melodramatic, but I certainly agree with the sentiment...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Backyard...

...Sunset...
I love living here.

Monday, August 03, 2009

A Thought on Liberty

I was thinking up a rant about healthcare but it's late and I'm tired, so I'll save that for another day. I just got to thinking, what does liberty really mean?
To a liberal, the scope of liberty is limited to just a few things: freedom to ingest/smoke/inject whatever they want, freedom to wear whatever they want (including nothing if the boobs not bombs crowd is any indicator), and the freedom to bed whoever they want. That's about it. They'll happily trade away every other liberty for free shit.
Don't believe me? Look at Europe. They have that trivial stuff and they think they're free. The big stuff, the ability to make serious life decisions, about healthcare, about free speech, about protection - from both criminals and an overreaching government; well, they've lost just about all of that.
Next time you're at a zoo, look at the enclosures. The better zoos have nice, open enclosures, with vegetation and landscape to imitate the natural habitats - to an extent. No matter how nice the enclosure, however, there are still walls. There is still no escape, and the animals know it - they'll pace the perimeter again and again. Liberals still haven't figured that out yet.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cash for Clunkers

Seems to be going just swimmingly. A little too swimmingly, in fact. Our lords and masters expected the program as funded to last through October... it lasted a few days. They didn't anticipate the demand, so they had to give it another $2billion.
As far as government programs go, this is tiny. After hearing about the issues they've had with this, the paperwork the buyers have to fill out, the reimbursement problems the dealers have been facing, I'm so very confident they'll be able to handle healthcare just fine... Don't worry, they'll accurately forecast the demand for that, I'm sure...
I feel like Tea Leoni's character in Deep Impact, standing on a beach, helplessly watching a huge tsunami gathering force and heading my way.