Better And Better

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

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sorry, guys.

Today I had 127 spambot posts that I had to delete. Strangely, 67 of them focused on a haiku post #7 that I had made. I just now took that post down, but still, there's 60 other spambot posts that I didn't want to wade through in my email. That's a step up fromt he thousand or so that I've gotten since taking down the "I am not a spambot" word verification test.

This feels too much like work. I'm putting the Turing test / Captcha back up. Sorry.

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Gimme a hand, here:

I'm trying to find a blog. One of the writers in the blogosphere wrote a couple of years ago a story about his past that beautifully illustrated the illusion of doing good with other people's money. He wrote about how, as a teenaged churchgoer, he had joined the church early, and took part in his church's decision-making process. When they had all but decided not to fund a foreign mission, he related, he gave a spirited speech that shamed those who voted against funding the mission, and moved the congregation to vote to spend the money, not yet budgeted. He had been quite proud of himself. Afterwards, one of the church elders took him to lunch, and asked him how much extra he himself planned to contribute to the missionary fund. He, a broke teenager, mumbled that he was kind of short for cash just then. That's when the Dutch uncle of an elder pointed out that it was one thing to have good intentions with other people's money, but that it wasn't genuine charity, and at some point you had to put up or shut up.

I know he's just a degree of separation away.

Help me, friends, to find this blog. I want to print it and present it to a couple of people in my graduate Public Administration class, quite badly. :)

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday is also Tuesday is sometimes Tuesday.

  • I'm ready for the Genom corporation to finish the Showham Project, so that we can get some clean power. We don't even have the Genom Tower built, yet, more less the Umbrella or the Dragon Line. Sigh. 
  • The Westboro Baptist Bunch did their stuff at a Baylor football game recently, and got infiltrated. I would have to know whether they were playing the Aggies to know whether the guy in the middle was one of them, or one of the guys doing a schtick on them. This is a perfect example of Poe's Law: 

  • At the tender age of 41 and with a 14.5 year marriage, the thought of separate beds doesn't sound that unappealing. The thought of separate bedrooms sounds Awesome. Anyone you know do this? Results? 
  • Mixed feelings about Elmo dying because his puppeteer resigned. I'll admit that I've always hated the character he made on Sesame Street. (Whose idea was it, to have a popular character speak with subject-verb agreement issues, refer to himself in third person, and then give him his own segment on a children's educational show?). No, I'm not happy for the reason that he left. Maybe they can have him die in a fire, or something, and do another program dealing with death, like they did when Mr. Hooper passed on to that corner store in the sky.
  • Friend of mine on a VERY fixed income just had her oven die. Due to dietary restrictions in her family, she has to come up with a Thanksgiving dinner menu that is gluten-free, lactose-free, and beef-free, without an oven-baked turkey. My first thought would be strychnine, but I suggested cocktails all day long. 
  • It's very popular among the hipsters to remind us that Israel is disproportionately responding to Hamas rocket attacks out of Gaza. Hey, has everyone forgotten that Hamas is the ruling Palestinian party, and its platform includes the downfall of the nation of Israel? When a nation stands on such a platform, and pitches wobbly rockets into your cities, you kind of have license to go off on them. Hamas is currently demanding that Israel quit making surgical strike attacks on their military leaders. The reason that Hamas isn't throwing more bombs and rockets at Israel isn't because of restraint. It's because they don't have more to throw. 
  • Two things from work keep springing up, again and again lately: 1. If your intimate relationship has devolved until you are literally physically hurting each other, get away. End it. 2. When in crisis, seek the advice of the persons you respect most, and then take it.
  • Heath has a really beaut Savage Model 24 D.L .22 mag/20 gauge combo rifle added to the raffle to help out Tam with her nose. At $25 a ticket, it's a steal. Get in on it. I'm about to. Hit Tam's PayPal button,
    and forward the confirmation email to Jennifer ( jennifer@injennifershead.com ). Do it before Thanksgiving, QUICK!!!!!
  • Jay has the rest of the stuff up for raffle here. Last chance! 
  • The awesomeness of the prizes and the very real likelihood that you will win (there's not THAT many [not nearly enough!] people donating and putting in chances) can distract from the fact that you are doing my friend a solid. This is your chance, at Thanksgiving, to help out a member of your community. 
  • I don't know what it's like for the rest of you this Thanksgiving, but we're getting a high of 76, and may well eat out on Mom's deck. Wearing T-shirt and shorts. But we don't eat until after I get off my 12 hour shift. 
  • A very close friend of mine is going through a large police academy (evn though he's a veteran cop) at his new job. They just hit him with Sabre Green spray. Different from [now] traditional Oleoresin Capsicum (O.C.) spray, which is made from peppers, this stuff is made from wasabi, and my buddy says that the difference is amazing. He and I have both been hit with pepper spray, and the thing about it is, even though it's painful and lasts a long time, it takes a few seconds to take effect. He said that this Sabre Green is IMMEDIATE, and that it hits you hard. Think about the times that you've bitten into a pepper and said "Oh, this isn't so hot. Well, actually, I'm beginning to notice OH MY GAWD!!!"  That little wait seems to be avoided with the wasabi spray. It goes straight to effect. As a big plus, he noted that it was very quick to decontaminate from, too, which is a big issue from pepper spray. Understand: if you use pepper spray on someone, you are extremely likely to receive a secondary hit from it, too. I told him that they should have waited for December, and sprayed them with both Sabre Green and Sabre Red, and called it "Christmas Seasoning." 


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NEVER read the comments.

Matt Inman at The Oatmeal writes about the troublesome nature of comments for a content-provider.

While I can't really comment much on how all these comments would affect my production, I can tell you that they really affect my pleasure in consuming online content. Inman nailed it here:
Screen capture used without permission. Taken from http://theoatmeal.com/comics/making_things  on 11/14/2012.

You know why newspapers and YouTube and other content hosting sites enable contents? Because it increases hits. MaryBeth471 writes about an Enya video: "It's so peaceful." Then Sk8terH8R comes on after her and responds to her comment: "Enya sux like a Dyson with a collapsed star inside! Slayer 4evR!!1!"  Then when ol' MaryBeth checks in again, she gets a little note that she has a response to her comment. She checks back in, and discovers to her dismay that her favorite soporific Irish Ambian Popstar has been maligned, and by someone who loves devil music, no less! This issue MUST be rectified! And she defends Enya. And comes back later to see if Sk8terH8R responded. And, because she did, our troll will come back. This is a big source of hits on YouTube and your favorite online news sites. Remember-- they don't care if it's a chimpanzee checking in daily; all they care about is making that hit meter roll over again and again.

This does nothing for your pure enjoyment of the thing. It will NOT show up your online opponent. He's a troll, delighted to get a rise out of anyone.

The most likely outcome for you is distress. Say NO to irritainment.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Keep it going, because the chances to win are rife.

If you donate money to Tam's tip jar to help her with her cancer surgery, the chance of you winning something amazing is surprisingly good.

No, REALLY.

Now, you may say, "If they're willing to donate that stuff, why not just sell it, and donate those profits?" Answer: because the chances of leveraging this into more money for the good cause is greater, and really, this is all about raising the most money for our friend. By buying a chance, you are getting a 100% chance of your money going to help someone who needs it.*

Also, this way, the swag stays in the family-- people who helped our Tam.

And, if you really want to, you could sell off your winnings and donate the proceeds back to the pot.

But you don't have to. :)

This Friday is payday for a lot of you.  Clink the tip jar, after clicking on the image below:


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*I swear on my badge that I know for a fact that this need is legit. This is not speculation. This is not hearsay.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Observed.

I was out of town and away from a computer until late last night, but Veteran's Day still happened.

People still wore uniforms in my nation's service, and others still dealt with life with disabilities that they got wearing those uniforms, and others carried the less-visible marks of their service to my country.

11/11 came on a Sunday this year, so we close the banks on a Monday, and what that means to a veteran, I don't know. But what it means to me is that it might make a citizen who might not otherwise think about such things remember that there is a whole class of people who signed up to do such things, and that our people have set up a national holiday to remind them of that fact.

I almost forgot. But I remembered. Please join me in thanking a veteran or three or four this week, for their service.

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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Tam's nose.

I'll tell you something about Tam: we need her more than she needs us*.

So here's the thing: Tamara has got a touch of basal cell carcinoma in her nose. And as much as that sucks, it sucks way worse when you don't have health insurance. Which she does not.

I don't know what the Moh's procedure costs to remove a chunk of your body and stitch it back up into a recognizable feature again, but it seems like you can't ask for a tissue at a hospital without it taking a severe hit on your yearly budget. Genuine surgery is dammit expensive to be paying out of pocket.

Here's the bleg: Tamara has a tip jar on her blog. It's easy to use. I've used it before. If you click on it, you can donate directly to Tamara, with no middle man. Think of it this way: if she were in town, wouldn't you take her out for dinner and perhaps a beverage? What's dinner run, these days, at a place where you don't bus your own tables? $25? $30?

On the upper right side of Tam's page.

 Please just put it into the tip jar instead, this time.










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*I've been knowing Tamara Keel for about 13 years online, and about 9 years in meatspace. I am proud to call her my friend. Tamara refers to herself as a "self-unemployed" online writer. I get a lot of pleasant time reading her excellent writing at her View From The Porch, and the superb museum blog that is Cosmoline And Rust, but also her side projeccts, which also include being an online network presence for S.W.A.T. magazine. Tam comments sharply on the state of our republic, on firearms trends and lore, and on life from the viewpoint of a curmdgeonly woman from the south who has transplanted herself to the heart of Indianapolis. She is a valued part of the blogosphere, and of the firearms community. She is as critical of thoughtless conservatives as she is of thoughtless liberals. She frequently will give my profession a kick in the pants, and that's a fact.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Whew!

That was a close one!

I mean, I've got friends who are Democrats, and what with winter coming on, there for a minute I was afraid that they'd have to get back out there and protest the war again.

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Monday, November 05, 2012

Monday Morning Coming Down.

--I got home last night to find that my younger daughter had picked enough pecans off the trampoline (fallen from the neighbor's pecan tree) to shell over a cup and a half of pure pecan halves for me. Then she toasted them for me and had them waiting in a bag. That girl. She will go FAR.

--My Public Administration class is not going well. It's like they expect you to do all the readings, or something.

--I'm waiting to see the enhanced footage of Felix Baumgartner going supersonic. I'm still skeptical. There should be something interesting to see/hear, there. Consider this footage of aircraft going supersonic (the Atlas rocket launch at the end is the most impressive.).

--We got a couple of big tubs of mascarpone cheese from the grocery salvage store a month ago, and made some stuff with it. This stuff is incredible. I'll never use ricotta for lasagna again, if I can get this stuff. Spreads like soft cream cheese, but has more texture. Very rich flavored. It goes great with fruit, too. The reason I feel like I'm being held out on is because you people are holding out on me.

--I am rocking the copstache in ways I never have before. I grew it out somewhat at Blogorado, and just never really shaved my upper lip. I've trimmed it twice already. I'm strongly considering shaving my head, too. Just because. My wife isn't really happy about this, but she doesn't permit me to give any input on her hair styles. And this isn't permanent. I don't think that the moustache will cause me to go insane. This will, though.

--My daughter wants to get into skeet. I can train her on safe shotgun loading and use, but I'm a terrible wingshot, so I'm going to pay professional trainers to teach her, with a family 20 gauge Remington 1100.

--Given that I've yet to hear any justification for the DPS helicopter shooting of two unarmed Guatemalan aliens in the bed of a fleeing pickup down on the border, it doesn't look real good for the shooter. While I'm proud of our Texas Rangers as an investigative unit, I don't actually think that it's entirely appropriate for them to investigate this one. Time to invite some outside help, guys. If the shoot was good (which would involve new evidence that I've not yet heard, but is certainly possible), then you want it untainted by suspicion. If the shoot was bad, then it doesn't matter; just take out the problem and deal with it accordingly.

--I don't know what your weather looks like, but I doubt it's as good as mine:


-- Heard from prisoner whom I had just arrested, talking on the cell phone to his girlfriend: "Yeah, be sure and get my truck and trailer out from impound right away, or the wrecker company will charge extra days. And hon? Put on some makeup and dress real pretty, and try to get 'em to drop the price some on getting our stuff out. Have mom drive you there, and tell her to put her leg on."

--The lemons on my Meyers lemon tree are finally ripening:

--It's getting hard lately to find the great Buffalo Bore Heavy .38 loads. Anyone got a line on them? Especially non-+P?

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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Shooting with the kiddo.

I love it when my 14 year old daughter asks to do ANYTHING with me. So when she asked to go shoot pistol, I was especially happy. After she finished her honors geometry homework, we loaded up some guns, and ran to the range in the waning sunlight.

First I had her shoot her pink Cricket single shot rifle at an old mealy apple from about 10 yards. It went 'splodey. It was fun to watch. And I thought, "Hey, it's been four and a half years since I posted my daughter shooting. Let's post another."

Then we discussed her shooting with the Browning Buckmark. Her first magazine at 5 yards was somewhat unsatisfactory. It was on the second magazine that things made an almost audible click sound, and bullets went into the target. We moved to 7 or 8 yards*.

video
What you can't see, sadly, is that 5 shots went well under 2" in that 5 shot string. 

Then I had her shoot another mealy apple atop a post:

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Then she shot the Kimber 1911 (series 1) .45 (which she really wanted to shoot):
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After a cylinder with the S&W M36, she shot the S&W M637:
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(I note that her form suffered here, but she was probably trying to get far away from that blast. Those were Plus-P's, out of an Airweight.)

We had a GREAT time. She did well. We will do this more next week.

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*I originally though 7 yards, but I take at least 8 steps to the target, so maybe more; my legs are long.


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