Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More crazy.

This is a compilation of "best" Black Friday rush vids.

I think one definition of insanity would be to desire to be part of a mindless mob.




Note the woman at 2:12 who, after falling down just inside the doorway of a WalMart, chooses to stay down, risking trampling while she puts back on her wig.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Proving the Rule, yet again.

Leslie Neilsen died last night.

While I was looking up great old lines* that he had told, I found that even Leslie Neilsen, that white-haired octogenarian (R.I.P.), was proof of the validity of Rule 34:





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* Frank: "I’m single! I love being single! I haven’t had this much sex since I was a Boy Scout leader!"
(Music Stops. People stare.)
Frank: "I mean at the time I was dating a lot."

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Running before a bunch of charging dumb animals.

I suppose that I could see the sport in such things, maybe. But at least in Pamplona, there's a measure of respect to be had for the bulls and steers.

In this video of the doors opening at a Target early on Black Friday morning, we see that it's the runners who are the animals.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Liar.*

*The subject of this post has since decided to begin educating himself, and seems to have reversed his general position. Good for you, Dr. Holder! The will to educate one's self about subjects that one finds distasteful shows the soul of a true academic.
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It is to be presumed that a college president would be educated on that which he speaks, yes?

So, when Kilgore College President Bill Holda states a specific falsehood, openly and directly about an occasion in recent history, we may assume that he is lying.

In this interview (the money quote starts at 01:15), Holda refers to the famous massacre in Luby's in 1991:
"...in the Luby's restaurant and others, where you had multiple shooters, innocent people were killed by other people who had concealed licensed handguns because they weren't sure who was the shooter and who was the defender."

Okay, wait a second: The October 16, 1991 Luby's shooting in Killeen, TX was pivotal in Texas handgun carrying rights history, for the very fact that there was, at that time, no such thing as a legal way for a citizen to carry a handgun for self-defense, if that citizen wasn't one of the Only Ones. In 1995, the State Of Texas responded to that very event by creating the concealed handgun license (CHL). There was ONE shooter, named George Jo Hennard, who cornered a bunch of legally-disarmed people in a crowded restaurant, and murdered them one by one.

This incident motivated Texans like nothing else ever had before, to change over 100 years of law, to permit them to pack a handgun.

I am astonished that Holda does not remember this event, which happened in his state, like it was yesterday. I certainly do. I remember exactly where I was when I heard about it (at work, doing some production art). I remember my rage at the fact that one person could take so many people down without resistance.

Imagine if, yesterday, you had heard an educator tell about how he remembered the I.E.D's going off and killing Kennedy in Dealey Plaza, right before the Migs dropped their redundant-yet deadly load of explosives on the horrified watching crowd. I mean, sure, there's some dispute by some about the method of Kennedy's death, but we can agree that he was shot in the head, and was the only man to die in the plaza that day, 47 years ago.

You would think, "there is NO WAY that a thinking human who was alive at the time could forget these details. He is lying, to push an agenda. Or he's crazy. Either way, he is not trustworthy."

I cannot believe that he was not challenged on this issue by the talking heads.
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H/T to Tam.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Nice take on TSA screenings

Those Chinese news animators sure hit a home run on occasion, don't they?



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Without going into details, let me just say again that:

DAMN, but I love the protection that the mobile video camera on my patrol car provides me with.

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Battle of the 'bots.

You may recall a certain nifty washing machine that I geeked out over, a year or two ago. It does a GREAT job. It washes the heck outta my clothes, and centrifuges them dry enough that the dry cycle takes less time. It uses less soap. It just... it generally makes me happy.

But there are times when operator error in its use makes me unhappy.

Like, say, when I hurridly last night gathered up clothes for a wash and picked up my wife's jeans where she had shed them in the dark, and washed her iPhone.

It's a really clean paperweight, now. I've accepted that it will NEVER work again.

I just got off the phone the most Apple-icious guy I know. I have gone complete through denial, still feeling rage, sadness, and am going through my bargaining phase.

So, 18 year old phone. What's my best solution to get my wife back into a Genius Bar?

I am in soooo much trouble, right now.

I was just doing a little laundry in the dark.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Who knew there even WAS such a musical genre?

Friend QP introduced me to Professor Elemental's brand of steampunk British comedy hip-hop:

The Indifference Engine.

And it's actually kinda catchy.

I'm actually not kidding. Who knew?

"Cup Of Brown Joy" actually reminds me-- need to pack some good tea for my weekend hog-hunting trip with LawDog*, Ambulance Driver, Alan, and a cast of others.

Oh, hadn't I mentioned that, before?

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*Edited: LawDog had to cancel. :(

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Can we just admit that the terrorists won?

Bin Laden and his ilk, as disgusting as they are, have been completely successful. They have succeeded even beyond their own wildest dreams: they've got us taking our own freedoms away, so that they don't have to.

We're handling crying little three year-old girls as they sob and scream "stop touching me!"

We're manhandling amputee librarians until they are driven to tears.

We're groping nuns.

Why? So that planes won't fall out of the sky? Or just crash for no apparent reason?

Recall that we got into this frenzy after a bunch of religious extremists took over aircraft with box cutters, 9 years ago. We mandated lockable, hardened cockpit doors. We allowed pilots to go armed. We changed policy from "do what they say at all costs." Our passengers have learned to attack their attackers.

This isn't working.

Fire the TSA, keep the locked cockpit doors and armed pilots, and use the savings to put a few more Air Marshals on the flights. Otherwise, take us back to September 10, 2001, or before.

In the mean time, opt out, and then formally lodge your complaints against what's going on.


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Hat Tips:
Breda: First They Came For The Gimps "

Alan: Abolish The TSA "Like the war on (some) drugs, the negative externalities arising from the TSA are costing us dearly for no benefit."


Say Uncle: "Personally, I’ll be driving whenever it’s practical."

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Q.O.T.D.: Tamara

"By asking The One to not walk across the reflecting pool a second time, a firestorm was unleashed in the comments section that rivals anything to be found on YouTube in its capacity to Hoover the IQ points right out your optic nerve. Seriously, the thought of these people left alone in a voting booth for thirty seconds scares me positively spitless."


That's good stuff right there.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thin lines: You're doing it wrong.

During the Crimean War, on October 25, 1854, 'wayyyyy out on the southwestern tip of the Crimean Peninsula, the British Army had a little fight on their hands. Pulling back repeatedly, the Brits held the port of Balaclava, but their forces were meager, and they were in no state to fight.

Placed in charge of the port's security was the 93rd Highland Regiment, with some help from the Royal Marines. They were In Grave Trouble. The Russian forces were coming hard and fast, and vastly outnumbered the British defense force. The Brits had already pulled back, spiking their guns before the oncoming Cossacks, and now found themselves with nothing behind them but Balaclava and the cold Black Sea, as a force of 2500 Russian cavalry advanced hard upon them.

Sir Colin Campbell, a man who thought of his men like family, spread his forces in a line two deep, between the oncoming Russian mounted force and the port that they were charged with defending. He told them that there was no retreat. He told them that they would die where they stood, if need be. The message was clear: hold the line.

Now, standard doctrine would be to place the men four deep, so that there was some redundancy. But Campbell didn't haven many men (a bare few hundred), and if he were to put up a proper defensive line without being flanked immediately, he had to spread them thinner. If any man fell, or ran away, he left a hole in the line that would allow the oncoming cavalry to penetrate the line and overwhelm his comrades. They depended on each other to each do his own part, to prevent the enemy from overrunning the port.

The men held. They fired three volleys at the fast-moving Russian cavalry. British Journalist William H. Russell, watching from a nearby high point, later wrote that the only thing between Balaclava and the rapidly-approaching Russian cavalry was "a thin red streak tipped with a line of steel," meaning the 93rd Regiment (wearing the red uniform jackets of the era).

The Russians checked their charge, and turned back. Some have said that they thought that it must be a trap, because their apparent opposition was so thin. Others have claimed that the fierce fighting of the 93rd stopped them. The truth probably falls somewhere in between, but it is clear that without the courage of the men to stand their ground and fight, maintaining their Thin Red Line, they would not have carried the day.

The term "Thin Red Line" took on the meaning of that vastly-important role that sheer grit and determination, even when unsupported by much tangible substance, plays in preventing civility from being overrun by the barbarians at the gate.

The term was, at some time in the late 20th century, applied to the force of police officers who serve to prevent crime and anarchy in our society. As the police traditionally wear blue, this application of the term became known as "The Thin Blue Line."

All well and good. I like the concept. Often our job, as police officers serving our society, is simply to patrol, and be seen, and stand by, being ready, should it come to it, to intervene. It is appropriate that in a free society the line of police be thin, as this is not a police state. The important thing is not to let your society down, by letting the "fight" against crime and anarchy go unserved. Skip patrols, fail to perform investigations and make important arrests, and the line is broken; the criminals break through, and society can become overrun. We are there to protect our society.

But it's true that among society are an officer's fellow police officers. If police fail to take action against dangerous criminals, then it is certainly true that they put their fellow officers at greater risk. To that extent, the concept of the Thin Blue Line also means protecting your fellow police.

THE "THIN BLUE LINE" DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE COVER UP FOR EACH OTHER.

There seems to be a fairly common public perception that "The Thin Blue Line" is a code of protection at all costs, by the police and for the police. This perception often seems to include the belief that most if not all officers are wrapped up in a cult-like fraternity that demands allegiance to the badge at all costs, which includes lying for a "brother officer," or tampering with evidence, to prevent other officers getting in trouble.

That's not the case.

An officer who knowingly breaks the law is not a police officer; he's a criminal who happens to have a badge. He's not my "brother," he's someone that we need to get shed of our professional association. The Thin Blue Line concept doesn't mean that I should protect a criminal officer; it means that I should take firm action against him.

If you're a cop, and you've been putting "Thin Blue Line" decals on your car, or images up on your website, or tattoos on your arm, or pins on your lapel, or whatever, consider what the meaning is for you, and what meaning the public at large thinks you're portraying.

While I do very much enjoy the camaraderie of my friends (and family) among the the law enforcement community, I'm not willing to let myself be thought of as a intimidating others with my status, or as someone who's trying to be excused from a personal responsibility to abide by the law.

If you're using the term "Thin Blue Line" to mean a code of covert mutual protection among the law enforcement community, I submit that "You keep using that term. I do not think it means what you think it means."

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Sunday, November 07, 2010

Butter Bar

Unless I'm mistaken, I now have the honor of announcing that my friend, SPC John R. Shirley USAR, has faded away. He has been replaced by Second Lieutenant John R. Shirley, USAR.

Our nation's service is thus enhanced.

Thanks, John.

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Things to come: Building To Existing Structure Is Hard.

When I was a ranch hand for my 17th summer, a large portion of my job was helping an alcoholic carpenter (and by "help," we mean, keep him sober and working) to build out an existing small 700 square foot hunting shack into a rambling 2500 square foot house with an upstairs and a patio. We kept it in the original theme of cedar, with corrugated steel roofing.

A problem was, that a shack that's been standing for 50+ years will pretty much never be square to anything. Wood warps. Ground shifts. Carpenters who thought that they were just building for a humble one-room building had no idea that this would become the great room (central living room) off of which the rest of a rather nice rustic show-home would be built. And did you catch that it stood in the middle, so that we had to build out away from it, in multiple directions?

In the end, it would have been a LOT easier just to have demolished the original structure, and started over. But we didn't. We radiused out our squares to obtuse and acute angles. We checked every abutment with a plumb bob and a protractor before cutting.

That's what I'm doing now, to fit a story of my own, built out of several experiences, to a story of Ambulance Driver's, again.

Stay tuned.

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And I approve of this message.

LabRat conveys my feelings to the two major political parties, after the Republicans have largely defeated their adversaries in the mid-term elections.

Go read her open letters: Trust me, you won't get bogged down in the least.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

You might be an idiot if...

You just might be everyone's favorite kind of idiot to hate, if you're the type who tips over cars and sets things on fire.... to celebrate your regional sports franchise winning this year's Sooper Series Bowl.

Idiots.

We're breeding our own sports hooligans.

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