12/31/07

Poise! Gotta Love Poise!

The Recipe For Hapkido

3 parts Vigor
2 parts Defiance
1 part Impishness

Splash of Poise

Sip slowly on the beach

12/30/07

Annoying Trend 2

OK, this is one I'm sure all of us have encountered heading to the store:

That one jerk that's blocking the entire row because he/she is waiting to get that good parking spot. Of course, never mind that there's a space about 5 spots down & the person on whom they're waiting has 3 kids & hasn't unlocked their doors.

No, sparky can't save 2 minutes & walk 20 extra feet, which he/she probably needs for exercise anyway. Instead, that car of his will hold everyone up until the line is backed up & every one's so pissed they'd kick their own mother-in-law to get a space. Not that we're talking much of a stretch here but you get my point.

Annoying Trend 1

I've noticed more & more that people, particularly women, are doing something that completely annoys me. It's not really a rude thing so much as a haughty, entitled & i-am-oh-so-privileged act that makes me want to smack them. The transgression?

Drinking coffee while shopping at the supermarket.

It's pretentious & acting like you're some rich, privileged aristocrat only accentuates the irony that you're out there shopping when a rich person wouldn't actually have to do that.

Stop it people, please!

Maybe More Will Get Done

I guess the UN thinks people have finally figured out that the international organization, 1/5 funded by the US taxpayers, is disgustingly impotent in the face of everything except global warming.

Considering the group, which includes despots, thugs & communist nations, seems to be more of a source of extra income for higher-ranking members, I can only think they're calling on Spidey because they hope maybe those three movies were real. It's obvious how they shrink from any challenge (& call on the USA to bail them out) that they don't have that "presence" enemies will fear.

Since they need to revitalize their image, I suggest they try a different tack than comic book heroes:

Get a pair.



The excerpt, courtesy of FoxNews:
Comic Relief

The United Nations is joining forces with Marvel Comics — creators of "Spider-Man" and "The Incredible Hulk" — in an effort to revive the U.N.'s troubled image.

The joint effort is supposed to result in a comic book showing the international body working with superheroes to solve bloody conflicts and rid the world of disease.

The comic will be distributed free to 1 million U.S. schoolchildren and will be set in a war-torn fictional country. The U.N. then hopes to translate the comic into other languages and distribute it worldwide.

Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and staunch critic John Bolton tells FOX News: "I'd like to know who's paying for this comic episode."

12/29/07

Results vs. "isms"

I was re-reading an e-mail entitled "How To Be A Good Democrat" sent to me by a friend a while back. It was funny, seemed largely true along party lines & I got a good chuckle out of some of the 22 points.

As I went back through the list, one of them caught my eye:
14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are
more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Thomas
Edison, and A.G. Bell.

For those of you who don't know, Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control League & Gloria Steinem is a well-known feminist.

What really stopped me on this one is the "real" argument of the statement (as I see it). A.G Bell gave us inventions such as the telephone; Thomas Edison invented the phonograph & light bulb; Thomas Jefferson was, of course, president & the primary writer of the Declaration of Independence. These are very real & tangible things. Results, if you will.

The people listed above gave us ideas brought to fruition that improved our lives on different levels. One could easily argue that democracy is more valuable than the light bulb but I'm not talking magnitude here - just productive vs. non-productive efforts. We, as Americans, can see the great things these men have done for us every day we live.

Now, to the other side of the argument.

"Isms", such as those espoused by Gloria Steinem & the late Margaret Sanger do not produce results. This is not to say women don't deserve equal rights, nor is it to claim fighting for equality is a bad thing. It's simply to state that certain & prominent ideals in these ideologies stink because they have been hijacked & perverted by the standard-bearers. If "payback" is part of your agenda, your ideology is counter-productive.

Take socialism, for example. We have a system that says everyone shall enjoy equal conditions. Wow! Sign me up. That's a great thing, right? No matter how little effort I put in, I'm guaranteed to live at the same level as everyone else. Take that, free market!

Of course, we see how that's worked for Europe and the former Soviet Union: not so good. While a capitalist society will largely have the individual support themselves & a family - this is a motivating factor - the socialist society expects many individuals to prop up the whole as if they were a team. That would be great - if we were ants.

Or robots.

Which puts us at liberalism. The common mantra of the liberal is all about "good intentions". (Note to younger readers: "Bush lied" is a more recent catch phrase) I can't think of too many cases where liberalism has led to results. Oh sure, it gave us social security, but go over that "socialism" part up there to see where that goes.

Liberals apparently think that words, not deeds are all that is needed to enjoy success. It may be that way for them come election time but no one ever seems to win when all you have to show for a democrat congress is higher taxes, impotence and, of course, good intentions.

12/25/07

How Much Was The Tip?

It looks like those bureaucratic whackos in Boston finally completed the "Big Dig" to alleviate the traffic conditions in that busted-up burg.

The cost to us taxpayers? $14.8 Billion

Of course, I couldn't help but wonder how that money could have been better spent. You know, instead of lining Senator Kennedy's pockets. Obviously, such a large amount of money is not required for a traffic construction project, no matter how big.

Better Ways To Spend That $14.8B:
1) 3 Aircraft Carriers. Power projection galore!

2) Spend it on the troops! Libs claim to support them, right?

3) Replace all those mailboxes Roses took out during winter months.

4) Truman Show 2: Hillary In The Dome - Let her think she won the presidency & keep her out of our lives!

5) I'm sure Bill's on-board with that.

6) Start Luxury SUV company. Flagship? "The Guzzler", 2mpg, seal-skin interior with bald eagle down. Give away year's supply of gas to further thumb nose at Al Gore.

7) And yes, I'd offer a "monster tire" option.

8) Dump it into a volcano.

9) Junk food, candy & video games...

Leading to:

10) Liposuction, personal trainer & LASIK surgery.


Heck, everything above is better than wasting it on traffic - something that's always going to be a problem in Boston - and politicians feeding at the trough. Not that Senator Kennedy would ever do something questionable or illegal...

Unfortunate "Epiphany"

Did you ever just sit there and realize that you're just a tool for some people?

I'm by no means perfect, of course, but I do try to give help to people who need it. Unfortunately, I think those same people have become all to used to it.

Look, I'm a young, single person who has some time & a decent amount of money in the bank - I like to help people out instead of being all "me, me, me". Apparently, that's a siren-song for some "friends" that decide the goodness of my heart is exploitable.

And I suppose that's true.

I had friends that needed help moving. No problem, I took a day off of work going into a 3-day weekend & drove, 1000 miles, in a darn uncomfortable truck to help them out. They didn't owe me a thing but they did pay to fly me home - something that was very generous. I figure they're getting a good start & was glad to see them beginning their new life.

Of course, I couldn't tell you how their life has been because they've been incommunicado for the past, oh, 6 months or so. I've tried to call, text, e-mail, etc. Hell, maybe smoke signals or carrier pigeons would work. Funny how they disappear when you're irrelevant, huh?

I won't bore you with any-more trifles. Let's just say I realized tonight, after doing a favor for which I was criticized after following through, that I've been a complete tool for people longer than I care to remember.

I think I started it so people would appreciate/like me more. Of course, that probably didn't help much. People either like you or they don't - favors have very little to do with it. So here I find myself: 33; single; living a life in standby.

Dammit, this sucks.

12/24/07

How To Listen To Classical Music

Just plain awesome!


video

Interesting "Facts"

A friend sent this to me at work. Since some of the below is untrue, I decided to have a little fun with it.

My comments in italics


VERY INTERESTING STUFF

In the 1400s a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat
his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of
thumb"

Can't do much damage with that now, can we? Perhaps we shoulda called that
"rule of wrist"

-------------------------------------------

Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled
"Gentlemen Only...Ladies Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into
the English language.

Women re-write history as they declare "Get Out, Lazy F**ks"
-------------------------------------------

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and
Wilma Flintstone.

Fred Flintstone later sued NBC for invasion of privacy
-------------------------------------------

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S . Treasury.

And yet the value of the Monopoly dollar remains strong
-------------------------------------------
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.

WHAT?
-------------------------------------------

Coca-Cola was originally green.

Yeah, and after you drank some of the original, you'd see lots of pretty colors
-------------------------------------------

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

In Hapkido, we can make that possible for others. Plus, the guy who could do that naturally, would get ALL the women!
-------------------------------------------

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work:
Alaska

The State with the highest percentage of people who HAVE to walk to work:
Alabama - bad edumucation
-------------------------------------------

The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28%

Yeah, but the other 72% is desert
-------------------------------------------

The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%

The rest is actually habitable
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $16,400

It's still cheaper than raising a kid for one year!
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The average number of people airborne over the US in any given hour:
61,000

And I'll bet you Al Gore is one of them...headed to a global warming benefit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

That explains the nice, metallic sheen I have!
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

First novel written in stone: Ten Commandments
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

I think you're forgetting about the Clinton National Sperm Bank
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:

Spades - King David - Dead
Hearts - Charlemagne - Also, dead
Clubs -Alexander, the Great - Was kind of messed up. Drank himself to death or poisoned
Diamonds - Julius Caesar - Ouch. Stabby, stabby!
------------------------------------------------------------------------
111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

1 + 1 = 2
------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the
air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air
the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has
all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Total BS. Nice try, though
----------------------------------------------------------------- -------
Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John
Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the
last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

I'll bet that last, indecisive guy was a liberal...
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?

A. Their birthplace

Count me out of that group. Losers.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name
requested?

A. Obsession

A close 2nd was "Big Daddy Longstroke"
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you
would find the letter "A"?

A. One thousand

Or you could just say "a dozen" instead of 12
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser
printers all have in common?

A. All were invented by women.

Yep, and you'll need one of them if a woman is angry, on-fire, crying on your car or wants to divorce your sorry butt.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?

A. Honey

I think Spam is the same way...
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?

A. Father's Day

Ironically, most of these are to ask for money
------------------------------------------------------------

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes.
When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer
to sleep on. Hence the phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."

Also used mockingly to torture victims in the Spanish Inquisition
------------------------------------------------------------------------
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month
after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all
the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar
was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know
today as the honeymoon.

Yeah, cuz the guy needed to drink to cope with his mistake! When he sobered up, the "honeymoon was over"! :-P

------------------------------------------------------------------------
In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England ,
when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your
pints and quarts, and settle down."
It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

Funny, I thought that was related to drinking too much beer & messing
yourself on a pool table.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many years ago in England , pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the
rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used
the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired
by this practice.

A lot of communicable diseases were, too.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!

Again, see Hapkido...

------------------------------------------------------------------------

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The
phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde
Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the
olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit
pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a
porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by
istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?


Yep, we're all retards.

12/23/07

Universal Christmas Greeting

To My Democrat Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for
an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress,
non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday,
practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion
of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the
religious /secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice
not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a
fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated
recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but
not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose
contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that
America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America
in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the
race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual
preference of the wish.


To My Republican Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

12/16/07

Prayers, Please

I have a good friend in the blogging community who is having a rough Christmas season. I won't be mentioning names - that's not what this is about.

I just ask that everyone say a quick prayer for this friend: that the problems now will be solved in good time and to remember that friends and family will always be near to help.

Shopping Almost Done

It's been an adventure trying to get every gift together this year, but I'm almost there! The last of the ones shipping goes tomorrow & I only have to get one more (this Wednesday) for up here.

So far I've bought:

A ******* **** for Mom & Dad
2 **** *** ***** for my brother, Matt
A nice ******** **** ******* for my sister, Shannon
A year's worth of **** ******** **** for my friend, Scott
America's Army on XBox 360 for my friend, JP (already gave it to him)

All that remains is my brother, Michael's, present. I'm still really confounded on what to get him. I'll probably throw price to the wind & get him that ******* *** ****** I think he'd really like.

Blanks will be revealed after Christmas! MWAHAHAHA!!!

12/14/07

Are You Taliban?

YOU MIGHT BE A TALIBAN IF...

You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.

You own a $300 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.

You have more wives than teeth.

You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.

You've opened a can of falafel with a mortar round.

You've had your camel repossessed.

You can't think of anyone you HAVEN'T declared Jihad against.

You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry ammunition in your robe.

You've never been asked, "Does this burka make my butt look big?"

You've felt the urge to "rub her out" after seeing a woman's exposed ankle.

You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.

You've never uttered the phrase, "I love what you've done with your cave."

You wipe your butt with your bare left hand, but consider bacon "unclean".

Holiday Gift Ideas

Timeless gifts that may be hard-to-find but are oh so worth it!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

12/12/07

Go Greyhound

A supervisor tried to throw me under the bus this week.

Over something that I never knew about. He claimed I was notified of an
issue & put it in writing to my boss.

More specifically, he lied about me being involved in the issue being
discussed. Even better, I was able to prove he was not being truthful. Of
course, I'd better enjoy that fact because we all know he's not getting
called on the carpet for this BS like I would.

Still, it darn sure felt good to push back & know I was the good guy.

12/11/07

Stupid Weather

TKD & HKD were canceled tonight because of ANOTHER bleeping ice storm! OK, I've had my fill of winter & it's not even winter yet!

If I could just land a job in SC - where it was 78 today, BTW - I would rarely have to deal with this freezing-my-hiney-off weather & almost never see snow. Even then, when it snows in SC there's a certain appreciation for the white stuff. Up here it's like an unwelcome acquaintance ("Oh, it's YOU again").

Anyone else sick of this crap already?

Nicely Summarized

I came across this article while browsing Rush Limbaugh's site.

It explores the common thread between terrorism, liberalism & socialism with a bit of Marquis de Sade thrown in for good measure. I've always felt liberals are too capitulatory when it comes to jihadists & this article provides a good explanation for that:

They are both perversions of humanity.

While liberalism seeks to explain perversion away - I don't even think the word "perversion" would be used by a liberal-minded thinker - terrorism exploits it & liberalism for its own gains. The article provides a far better read than you'll get from my opinion, so check it out.

12/7/07

Air Fall

Well, it's been months but at long last here's the video of my air fall. While I'll admit it's not my best (height-wise, that is - I've gone much higher) I've improved dramatically since this video was recorded months ago.

Confidence works wonders!

video

12/5/07

For The Troops

In honor of our brave men & women, fighting for us all of the year and particularly this Holiday season, I'd like to post the following. This was sent to me by my friend, Ron, and read to drivers of a local trucking company by my friend, James, on a CD that was sent to all of them last year.

I can't tell you who wrote it and I suppose that's not really the point. The fact is, whether you support the War on Terror or not, all Americans owe our military a bottomless debt of gratitude for the rights they provide through their daily sacrifices. No protester can claim such a thing. No mere politician could be labeled as a champion for the cause of Freedom. Only the Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine are worthy of such an honor.


The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Soldier, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."

My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..

Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."

"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

12/4/07

Joke Theme, Continued

This one's in honor of hunting season:

Three men are duck hunting when the discussion turns to their dogs - all
black Labrador Retrievers with excellent pedigrees. Each man is bragging
about how great his dog is & they decide to put money on it.

When the hunters down their first ducks, the first man sends his dog out.
It takes him two trips but he gets both ducks.

The second group of ducks comes in & this time the hunters get four ducks.
The second hunter's dog swims out, gets all the ducks in one try & brings
them back.

Finally, the last dog is sent after the next round of ducks. There's only
two but the dog hops out, runs ON THE WATER & retrieves the ducks in record
time. The third hunter, smug in the knowledge he had won, turned to the
others & asked, "What do you guys think about that?"

The first hunter shot back, "Wow, you must be so embarrassed!"

"How do you figure that?", the third hunter replied.

The first continued, "You spent all that money on a dog that can't even
swim?"

CJenny's Back!!!

Oh, today was a good, GOOD day! Blogfriend ChlorineJenny of IDPWWO is back after an apparently busy hiatus from blogging.

If you haven't visited her site & subjected yourself to her oh-so-subtle brand of humor, you need to do so immediately. If you think I'm just building her up, know that I checked her site frequently while she was gone, just hoping that she'd post something new.

Today, I just decided to check again & BAM, she was right back at posting!

Welcome back, CJenny, good to see you in the blogosphere again! :-)

My New Form

It's been about 3 months (I think) since I was promoted to 2nd Degree in TKD. Considering we had a regular testing right after that & my somewhat recent promotion, my opportunities have been limited to actually learn my new forms.

This one's called Eui-Am ("WE AM") & it has 45 movements. This is the longest form I've had to learn so far (OK, by one move - Ge Baek was 44) but the next, Choong Jang, has 52. Fortunately, I allow myself 6 to 8 months to learn one of these things, so there's not a rush on any one form (that would kind of defeat the purpose).

I managed to find the video of it with pretty decent quality. Watch if you like, but keep in mind videos are like diagrams - they're really only useful if you basically already know what you're doing. In other words: don't try this at home.

12/3/07

Good Joke

This one just popped into my head for no good reason. But first, some back story...

We had a priest in South Carolina, Father Jerry, who, for his homily, always lead off with some sort of related joke. Now, as you can imagine, they weren't racy but still funny.

A priest decided to skip church on Sunday to play golf. He called for a replacement, saying he was sick & hit the links.

As the priest played through, St. Peter noticed the wayward pastor was having the game of his life: 6 under par after 9 holes. The gately saint shook his head in dismay & went to God, asking that He intervene.

God simply looked at St. Peter & said, "All will be taken care of, my son".

With that, St. Peter continued to watch the priest & was shocked to see he was doing even better after 17 holes. He was 15 under par! Completely flabbergasted at this, the saint ran to God & asked how this was possible to reward a priest for skipping mass.

God quietly replied, "Watch, my son".

As the priest got to the 18th hole, a par five, he hit the ball. The wind carried it aloft the full distance to the green where it rolled gently to the cup & went in for a hole in one!

St. Peter was incensed! He turned to the Creator, asking how He could do such a thing - rewarding this priest with a once-in-a-lifetime achievement for committing a blatant sin like skipping mass.

God smiled & said, "Who's he going to tell?"

The Real Debate

I noticed this article by Neil Cavuto while perusing the Fox News website. In it he asks a question that is relevant to almost every American & could mean the difference between happiness or misery in our future.

Gift certificates: Yes or No?

Personally, I'm against them. Not only do they show no thought - the complete opposite of a home-made gift (all thought but you come off as cheap if you're not a master craftsman or a kid) - but you can also screw up where the certificate is from. Friend on a diet? Smooth move getting them that Wendys gift card. Does he or she rent an apartment? Hey, good call on that Lowes certificate, buddy!

Is there a case where I'll buy one? Absolutely. You know those friends/family who, when you ask what they want for Christmas, solemnly reply, "nothing", or something like that? Well, those little impersonators of fence-riding moderates can learn to like a Target gift card! If you're not willing to at least drop me a hint, I'm not going to exhaust myself on something special for you.

***Note: Unless you've made it painfully obvious you can use something.

I know far too many people who go right to the gift card & that shows, IMO, they're either too lazy or don't know anything about the gifted. Of course, guys get a special exception in this whole gift buying thing: women are darn near impossible to shop for.

Which leads me to the big problem with gifting: Women. (That's right, I said it!)

Women, you seem to think dropping a subtle hint in February on how badly you want that 12-in-1 bath set with the lavender bubble bath, scented candles & Godiva chocolates by saying, "I just want to relax", tells the entire world what you want 10 months from now. Well, if you haven't been privy to this little secret by now, let me tell you: MEN. DON'T. TAKE. HINTS!!!

Now, this is not to say we men don't cause our own set of problems. We just don't make people suffer for getting us the wrong thing. Sure, we all have a relative - in my case, my Father - who says, "you don't have to get me anything". Which inevitably leads us to buy them a sweater we found on-sale at JC Penney. Nope, that thing will never see the light of day.

Considering all the crap gift buying forces us to endure, I'm left with only the thought that a gift card at least means the person can get exactly what they want.

And you can't look that gift horse in the mouth.

12/1/07

Some "Religion of Peace"

According to this article in The Sun, protesters want the teacher who allowed her students to name a teddy bear "Mohammed" put to death.

But this is the "religion of peace", right?

Honestly, you can't convince me since the bombing of the barracks in Beirut (1983), the USS Cole attack (1990), the first attack on the WTC (1993) and the attack on 9/11/2001 that the extremists who have taken this religion as their own care one darn bit about peace.

Considering the teddy bear is supposedly named for Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Rider and president, I can only wonder how he'd respond to such insanity over a namesake bear's name:

Ways Theodore Roosevelt Would Respond to Stupid Protests:
1) Big stick

2) Great White Fleet 2. CVN 71 leads the way.

3) Ride in, guns blazing, showing them how real men settle disputes.

4) "Square Deal" applied to terrorists like corrupt business.

Yeah, Because Prohibition Worked

This, courtesy of the Drudge Report:

Feds consider national ban on selling all candy, soda, fatty food in school vending machines and cafeteria lines... Developing...

I say it's high time! After all, Prohibition worked 100%, which, I'm assuming, is why it was repealed so quickly. People cannot be trusted to control their own bodies & parents definitely have no responsibility to say how their kids are reared. It's government, specifically big government bureaucracy, that can show us all the way to better health & how to follow a shining example of responsibility.

For example, never in the history of government has an elected representative of the people been charged with accepting bribes. No, William Jefferson of Louisiana doesn't count! He's a democrat. Nor has a president ever been charged with impropriety or making false statements.

No, unlike us petty, unwashed masses who are subject to all manner of temptation, the government is steadfast in its morals, unwavering in its dedication to responsible behavior. That's why we should trust them to tell us how to run out lives! I can't imagine a world where I was allowed to think for myself. The thought is too daunting for a feeble-brained person such as myself.

Now, i know it's been a couple generations (eons, in political terms) since Prohibition was enacted/repealed but has our Congress - which has the lowest approval rating in my lifetime - really considered this as a good move?

I'm not the biggest consumer of "junk food" but if you tell me it's illegal to eat a Snickers Dark, someones going to get hurt! Sure, it's just schools...for now. You know how those wacky libs think, though. Soon it'll be all major cities (trans-fat, anyone?) & move on to the smaller ones.

Regulating this kind of crap is 1) exactly what liberals love to do; and 2) exactly what will make people want to do it more. Taking something that's legal & banning is like putting a big red button in someones face & telling them not to push it. You'll be safe in the knowledge they won't - for all of five seconds.

11/29/07

How To Be A Good Democrat

1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion on
demand.

2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments
create prosperity.

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are
more of a threat than U.S. Nuclear weapons technology in the hands of
Chinese and North Korean communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by
cyclical documented changes in the earth's climate and more affected by
soccer moms driving SUV's.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being
homosexual is natural.

7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal
funding.

8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach fourth graders
how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but loony
activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually
doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money
to make The Passion of the Christ for financial gain only.

12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of
the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports
certain parts of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more
important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Thomas
Edison, and A.G. Bell.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial
quotas and set-asides are not.

16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice
person.

17 You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked
anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in
charge.

18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but
a liar and a sex offender belonged in the White House.

19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag,
transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected,
and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the
Chinese Government is somehow in the best interest to the United
States.

21. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right wing
conspiracy.

22. You have to believe that it's okay to give Federal workers off on
Christmas Day but it's not okay to say "Merry Christmas."


Ready to vote???

Songs That Stink

There's always a few of these on the radio - even more so when your work
plays a Top 40 station on the overhead speakers. Since I have to listen to
it & suffer through the day, I figure I should share my thoughts (if you
can't suffer with me...)

Sucky Songs Heard At Work
1) "Hey There Delilah" - Yeah, I'm sure this is supposed to be moving but
those stupid moaning sounds that singer makes with that lazy, almost
monotone voice make me want to find him & offer up a knuckle sandwich.
Seriously, this song stinks.

2) "Big Girls Don't Cry" - But big boys do when they hear this trite piece
of junk. Sure, Fergie's the epitome of class, reserve & decency (sarcasm
here) but if you want a breakup song, play "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" or
"I Hate Everything About You" if you want something more blunt. Either way,
hearing this song makes we want to break up with someone out of spite!

3) U2 - For Heaven's sake, please go away!

4) "Too Late To Apologize" - I'm not sure if this is the actual title of the
song, but you got that right, buddy.

5) "Suicidal" - I would rather listen to anything else on this list so long
as I never had to hear this piece of junk again. Lousy voice. lousy lyrics,
etc. If a woman has you suicidal - for any reason - get away from her!
There are plenty of good apples out there! (H/T: Roses)

OK, it's not that long a list but when you hear it every hour, insanity
starts to set in.

11/28/07

For Al Gore

A blog started in support of former-Vice President Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" was hacked by cyber-scammers & had advertisements in place of the normal content. Since Mr. Gore invented the Internet, I figure this is the cruelest of ironies to visit upon him & certainly no way to say thanks to the man who brought us Global Warming (science's Spanish Inquisition) & access to all sorts of useless content (probably includes this site).

With that in mind, I've been inspired to write a brief poem in homage to Mr. Gore:

There once was a veep named Gore
Internet ads he did abhor
"I invented it!", he said
"My site somehow's gone dead"
Fibber, fate's settled the score!

Sometimes

You just know you can't compete...dang it!

11/22/07

Officially Old

Yep, I've joined the club.

I have a co-worker who happens to be a woman.

A married woman.

With the last name Garrett.

When the obligatory "Facts of Life" joke came up, she didn't get it.

Ouch!

11/20/07

Peter Pan

I picked up little sis, Sarah, at Iowa State on Sunday. She asked me to since her parents were busy that day & she was late getting in Saturday night from the ISU football game in Kansas (she's in the band). I thought it was a nice chance to see how college has been for her, how her
boyfriend, Bob, was doing & how life in general was going for her.

We left Ames about 10AM & stopped at a Perkins for breakfast in some po-dunk town. She's doing well in college & having fun. I think it helps she's staying with her older sister. Besides, that keeps me from worrying about her too much (I swear, I'm more like another parent than a sibling sometimes!). Smart kid & has a good head on her shoulders but there are some jerks out there, unfortunately. She's got a lot of the "normal" concerns a college student has in life: boys, social life & such.

Anyway, I suppose I should get to the subject of this post. Her parents are season-ticket holders at the Paramount Theater & she asked me to see a production of Peter Pan with her. As we all know, anyone who doesn't like Peter Pan is un-American, so of course I went to see it. I must say it was a very good show. The lady who played Peter was, um, V-E-R-Y into her role.
She put so much energy into it, you know she loved the part...and probably needed a nap afterwards.

As I've noticed in these shows, the villains have the best personalities. Captain Hook was just pure entertainment. He took a role that's fun & added his own little twists (hook poking his good hand - great timing). Tiger Lily was played by a young lady who had some of the best facial expressions I've ever seen. She seemed "devious" in an endearing way - Kind of like she'd catch your eye but poke it out at the same time.

Smee, one of the best characters in Peter Pan, was just great. Funny, a little goofy & you just couldn't fault the guy for being a little mean-spirited. Something about that part just makes you like it more than any character in the story.

I had a great time seeing my imoto (Sarah told me that's Japanese for "little sister") again after a few months of her being at college. Being able to see her grow from a quiet, shy little girl into a social, confident young lady has been a great experience. Of course, just because she's growing up doesn't mean I won't look out for her. She's got a great start going in college & I'll help her keep that going in any way I can.

11/17/07

Political?

I was watching the O'Reilly Factor last night (Guest-hosted by Laura Ingraham - rowrrr!) & the subject of Boy Scouts in Massachusetts giving care packages to the military came up. Apparently, this was stopped by the state as the government considers it "political" expression. I don't recall the full details but there was a law cited that prohibits political activity within a certain area of a polling station (or something along those lines).

That's right, patriotism is apparently political. Furthermore, as Laura Ingraham said, how can the left argue they can be patriots by supporting the troops but not the mission, then turn around & claim any support of the troops is purely political?

Since when is supporting the military & loving one's country a political act? Should we tell people to tone it down when talking about how much the love their kids? Sally may have earned a place on the honor roll & spent hours volunteering in the community but you'd better not toot your horn about how proud you are. Loving your children is political speech!

(Note: As opposed to what? Neglecting & abusing them? Stupid liberal "reasoning")

You can tell me the fact I love my country is political expression. You can tell me you don't like it. You can even tell me to shut up about it. However, all of those empty words will bounce right off. I've served my country, I've been to plenty of other countries & I've seen what the world has to offer. In all those experiences I've seen some good in those places. I've seen some horrible things as well.

To tell me loving the USA is bad is like a 9/11 conspiracy theorist trying to debate Einstein on particle physics: you're out of your league on this one. Think of it like a marriage of 30+ years: Can someone really tell you something about your partner that you don't already really know?

Nope.

11/13/07

My Family (Part 1 of ?)

I really am not sure how to get this ball rolling. I suppose I'll start from the beginning (at least from my perspective).

We've always known our family - that is, my father's paternal family - had the wrong last name. Now, like many immigrants' descendants, we ascribed this misnomer to Ellis Island. After all, there were thousands of immigrants pouring into America & not everyone can get their name printed correctly. However, I recently had a revelation by way of my father's research.

Our name IS incorrect. The revelation is we now know the original name AND how it was changed:

My Dad's paternal grandfather changed it because he thought it would be easier to pronounce.

OK, that's fair enough. The original name, Murolo, doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. I'll bet it's infinitely tougher if you're drunk. My issue is how you essentially abandon a name for the purpose of pronunciation. Why do that? It's not like our name is "Smith" or "Jones". There aren't a million Murolo's running around this planet. Unfortunately, we'll never know. The last actual knowledge of our family coming over passed with my paternal grandfather.

That's not where the story ends, though! Dad actually discovered where our ancestors originated in Italy and I plan on sharing more about those places in upcoming posts. This has me pretty excited because you can put a place on the map & say, "Here! That's where I came from". Fortunately, it's not the dung heap of Italy.

Sorry, Bill

So, HKD tonight was going well. Usual stuff, about the normal intensity.

Bill (Mr. Reif to all of you) did a takedown which lead into the near-obligatory groundfight. After rolling for about 30 seconds, Bill stopped, looked at his hand & mentioned he had a slight injury.

Oh, this IS a new one!

He was unable to move his pinky. It was "locked up" at the middle joint and, while there was no pain, it still creeped me out. So, Bill goes to emergency room, class goes on & I'm here feeling bad about hurting one of my sparring buddies.

Sorry about that, Bill. I hope it's OK!

11/11/07

Veterans' Day

To all of you who served,
Thank You for giving me the opportunity to write this. Every day is a blessing of freedom thanks to your sacrifice.

To all of you who are serving now,
Thank You and your Families for your commitment to freedom, your willingness to stand up as a force for good in this world & the continued battle you wage that allows all of us to live in America. Please keep safe.

The men and women of the armed forces who have served and even now are in harm's way defending us deserve nothing less than our total commitment. They've earned that small, yet valuable, allegiance for what they give every day they wear - or have worn - the uniform.

Thank you all and God Bless.

11/7/07

Why All The "Gates"?

OK, people. Why on earth is every so-called conspiracy, scandal or blunder that's picked up by the news tagged with a "gate" suffix?

Yes, yes, I know about the whole Watergate thing back in the 70s.

But here's the thing: That was actually the Watergate Hotel! There was a "gate" on the end of it because that was actually part of the name. Every bleeping scandal the media reports (Rather-gate, Memo-gate, Monica-gate, etc) has that silly suffix on the end of it so as to remind the media they actually accomplished something once.

Since they've fallen into obscurity with their liberal agenda & obviously biased reporting, I suppose this is their only way to hold onto a bygone era in a new age of journalistic impotence. With that in mind, I'd like to give them their next few "gates" so as to spare them all the effort.

Top 10 New "Media-gates"
1) Fence-gate: After years of stupidity, the obvious finally dawns on them.

2) Pop-gate: Lindsay, Britney & Paris finally go hog-wild on a coke/alcohol bender.

3) Insti-gate: The Democrats sign yet another resolution condemning an US ally. The problem? John Howard doesn't take this crap lying down!

4) Con-gate: Remember that check writing scandal in the 80s? Well, this time Congress goes for broke & rivals the NBA in convictions.

5) Rush-gate: Frustrated by his constantly rising ratings & growing influence, the media tries, with increasing desperation, to have his name taken off the airwaves. The angle? Liberal mothers are concerned that the mere mention of his name encourages speeding.

6) Ahmadinejad-gate: Nah, it'll never happen.

7) Homo-gate: Designed to sound dirty but it's really just about scientists wasting funds on homo-sapien genome research.

8) Gates-gate: Yep, they just can't help it. Success being an anathema to anything the media supports, they go after Bill Gates & his "monopoly" on computers.

9) Investi-gate: After all those inquiries by the democrats in Congress, with no results, the media decides to use the "where there's smoke, there's fire" approach.

10) No-gate: On a slow news week, the media decides the scandal is that there's no scandal. Ratings continue their abysmal decline.

11/5/07

Why Men Don't Write Advice Columns

Dear Walter:

I hope you can help me here. The other day I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn't gone more than a mile down the road when my engine conked out and the car shuddered to a halt.

I walked back home to get my husband's help. When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was in the bedroom with a neighbor lady making mad passionate love to her.

I am 32, my husband is 34 and we have been married for twelve years.

When I confronted him, he tried to make out that he went into the back yard and heard a lady scream, had come to her rescue but found her unconscious. He'd carried the woman back to our house, laid her in bed, and began CPR. When she awoke she immediately began thanking him and kissing him and he was attempting to break free when I came back. But when I asked him why neither of them had any clothes on, he broke down and admitted that he'd been having an affair for the past six months.

I told him to stop or I would leave him. He was let go from his job six months ago and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. I don't feel I can get through to him anymore.

Can you please help?

Sincerely,
Mrs. Sheila Usk


Dear Sheila:

A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the jubilee clips holding the vacuum pipes onto the inlet manifold. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the carburetor float chamber.

I hope this helps.

Walter

11/4/07

Poached Salmon

I've done this a few times. I normally take a bit of seasoning, put the salmon in a pie pan & fry some greens in EVOO as a bed for the fish.

This time, however, I tried a new twist! I sliced some lemons razor thin & set them in the bottom of a casserole dish. I topped them with the fish, garnished with fresh dill sprigs & more lemon.

Brace yourselves, here's the exciting part:

The oil went right into the dish! Oh baby, that's good stuff. About 25 minutes on 350 was all it took. Delicious, juicy & the dill/lemon combination really came out in the oil. Water seems to take something out of it all.

If you've never worked with olive oil in the oven, PLEASE make sure you don't go over 350. Olive oil smokes terribly around 400 & you won't want to make your kitchen look like a commercial for that new Stephen King flick, "The Mist".

They Weren't On Strike?

I really thought the Writers Guild already was on strike, for the past 15 years or so. I mean, how could they not be with all the crap they've been churning out in that time?



Is this really a loss if they do quit? Heck, I've written short stories better than the drivel they're pushing on us every year & I wouldn't have the audacity to charge you $9 to listen to the prodigy of my imagination.



Which gives me an idea: I should be a writer if these clowns go on strike! No more "blame America" movies, actors would be subject to slaps upside the head - just because, they wouldn't have to do anything other than be themselves - & you'd actually be entertained!



I'd argue that's a win-win. Anybody with me?

I Made The News!

And it wasn't for something bad!

My instructor set up a self-defense seminar at a local community college in light of recent attacks on state campuses (campi?) and I was one of the assistants. We spent about 1.5 hours with a group of 20 and accomplished quite a bit. Some had a bit of ability. Others, well, um, they really didn't.

Here's a video clip. Yes, I'm the fella being taken down by the blonde kid. That was the only technique she did well the entire night - I don't think her head was in it - but her friend was pretty decent in handling herself.

This brings me to a big peeve of mine with self-defense: Taking it seriously. Now, people shouldn't be glancing over their shoulders all the time - that's no way to live. However, with all the well-documented examples of women, heck people, getting attacked, you would think people who take time to attend one of these seminars would be serious about this stuff. You would, in fact, be mistaken.

What I saw were about four or five people who took it very seriously & about 15 who were there to try something fun, socialize or show what they could do. I'll address each of these in turn.

1) Fun people: That's not a bad reason to be there. I hope everyone did have a good time learning something new. L-I-S-T-E-N, though! If it's going to be of any use, you need to know how & why, not just go through the motions. Trained people don't & attackers won't give you a second chance.

2) Socializers: I see one more gaggle of gabbers at one of these things & the guy in the group is going to get a free, one-on-one, self-defense lesson & the others will benefit from his example. I've been doing this for over four years. That's not a long time by martial arts standards but trust me, you'll learn to pay attention.

3) Show-offs: See above. We're here to help you avoid bad situations & get out of them if you can't. Showing us some random thing you learned in grade school, the thing you haven't practiced since you saw it, once, is not going to wow us. I know guys who can take me apart in under one minute. They impress me. And no, they don't show it off, either.

Oh So True

"A nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors, will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools." -Leonidas, King of Sparta

10/21/07

Maybe They Can Sense Evil

My guess is cats are smarter than I give them credit for. Don't tell me they can't sense evil.

2 weeks!

Seriously, it's been 2 weeks since I last posted? Holy crap!

Let's see what's been going on:

1) Bought the new Vanessa Carlton album Heroes & Thieves. It's good, though it continues in the melodramatic vein of the previous two. Not as dark as Harmonium, at least. Love the song "Hands on Me"! If you listen to it & think martial arts, well, you're as sick an individual as I am. :-)

2) Continuing the job-search for South Carolina - which included updating the resume. It's like starting all over again, since I took this promotion. Crap.

3) Still haven't beat Halo 3. Note to self: "Checkpoint" does not equal "Save".

4) Stupid apartment place decided painting the walls this weekend was a great idea. Yeah, the weekend I'm off. BTW, painting a dark, wood door white is dumb.

5) I have the greatest microwave, ever! It microwaves (duh!), grills and uses convection. I now can cook a steak medium without worry about it.

6) Transformers - The Movie: Meh (One word! Take that, two-word Roses!). It was decent, the lady was unbelievably beautiful & the original voice actors were a nice touch. Nothing wonderful but worth a watch.

7) Friends: Largely upsetting me lately. Specifically, the ones who wanted me to move to days so we could hang out more. Yeah, where are you now, jerks?

8) Harry Reid: Nice move, numbnuts! First, you & 40 cohorts slam a private citizen, then you try & take the credit for $4.2M being donated to the Marine Corps - Law Enforcement Foundation as a result of the slam letter being auctioned off. Apologize. Idiot.

9) Harvey, of Bad Example: Why? ha ha

10) VP Cheney: We won't let Iran go nuclear. Omitted qualifier: ...at least not in the way they think. Mwahahahahaha!!!

11) Fred Thompson: Give a five-minute speech. That's all the time he needs, people!

10/7/07

Mutually Exclusive

I was headed to lunch yesterday when I saw a car on the highway.

It had two bumper stickers that were political in nature.

The first, on the bottom left of the rear window, read, "Stop Abortion Now".

The second, on the top right of the trunk, read, "Hillary for President".

Um, hello! How on earth could you want something stopped that your candidate of choice most definitely wants?

Chained Up!

Not exactly what you may have on your mind. I had a (rather brilliant) set of ideas to make things flow more smoothly at my job during the months when chains are required in WA and OR: October 15 to April 15.

The idea is simple enough: Use the resources we have to improve our process for getting chains from one team of drivers to another. While this may seem like a simple enough process, the fact is there are almost 2000 trucks in our company & trying to find one of the roughly 300 that have chains to give is tough. Add to that we need them to be on the same route as a team that requires chains & you have a nightmare in the making.

My idea was simply to use the mapping software we have & other recent improvements to generate a "fleet" of all trucks with chains. We filter out the ones that need to keep theirs & BAM! we have a system that reduces 80% of the time required to find a swap.

I tried, in vain, to get this "excellent" & "brilliant" (according to a couple managers) idea set up for four years. It took my recent promotion & my new boss with an interest in listening to get this pushed through. My old department gave me the lip service for four years & my new one let me push an idea through within a month of pitching it. Gee, where will I be happier?

Halo 3

I had a short online gaming time with a buddy tonight on this new game & it was a blast.

I only have one headset & he's the better trash-talker, so he was on the mike. Needless to say, our first few outings were about as trashy as the talk...terrible. Yeah, we got better but there are some people out there who help me realize having a full time job does not a good gamer make!

I'm probably going to lose more than a few precious hours of my life on this game (One of the benefits of being perpetually single). Since I can only make class on certain nights because of my schedule, I may as well get virtual exercise! ha ha

10/3/07

Am I In Trouble?

I forgot my own Blogiversary!

Harvey of Bad Example had to remind me that one year ago today I officially became a blogger. That's fitting since he inspired me to get started with blogging. I'd like to think he inspired more than a few of my posts, particularly one of my best.

Thanks for getting me started, Harvey! I hope for many more years of blogging enjoyment.

10/2/07

Oh, That's Rich

Senator Harry Reid is attacking Rush Limbaugh for his statement about "phony troops" - in reference to Jesse Macbeth, a man who falsely claimed to be a Ranger. This is rich. From the man who claimed the war in Iraq is "lost" & that the Surge has "failed", we get a claim that someone else is attacking the troops.

Here's the Reid quote:

Here is what we wrote: "Dear Mr. Mays." Here's the letter, Mr. President. "At the time we signed this letter, 3,801 hundred American soldiers had been killed in Iraq. Another 27,936 have been wounded. One hundred and sixty others awoke this morning on foreign sand far from home to face the danger and uncertainty of another day at war. Although Americans of goodwill debate the merits of this war, we can all agree that those who serve with such great courage deserve our deepest respect and gratitude.

That's why Rush Limbaugh's recent characterization of troops who oppose the war as "phony soldiers" is an outrage. Our troops are fighting and dying to bring to others the freedoms that many take for granted. It is unconscionable that Mr. Limbaugh would criticize them for exercising the fundamental American right to free speech. We call on you to publicly repudiate these comments that call into question their service and sacrifice and ask Mr. Limbaugh to apologize for his comments.

Obviously, the Senator from Nevada is concerned someone is going to hate the troops more than he does - something for which Senator Reid cannot stand! A man who has opposed the military at many turns has the nerve to accuse one of the most openly declared supporters of our troops - a man who has backed it up by his visits to Afghanistan & military hospitals - of calling ALL soldiers who oppose the war "phony troops".

Now, Mr. Limbaugh can stand up for himself, so I won't go any farther into defending his discussion.

As for the Senator, how dare he declare a war lost? Attempting to demoralize our troops is the same as providing aid and comfort to the enemy. For those of you who may have forgotten what Senator Reid said on this subject:

I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and — you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows — (know) this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday. Senator Harry Reid - April,20 2007


Oh and you know how, Senator? I forgot you're the preeminent military strategist. Fact is, anyone who thinks the Democrats as a party have ever supported our troops in the modern era is misled. I served in the military under President Clinton & his lack of concern for our military was evident on everything from downsizing to early-retirement programs. There was even talk of reducing paid leave from 30 to 18 days (that's just hearsay, though). I honestly can't believe there's any support from the Democrats towards our men & women in uniform.

We have a Senator who takes the same oath as other officials to "support and defend" the Constitution. Obviously, the Distinguished Gentleman from Nevada takes exception to that when he disagrees with the action being taken. Denouncing the military and their mission is nothing more than a political football to him and his party.

Shame on you, Senator. Our military deserves better representatives in government than you.

9/28/07

Black Belt, Black Eye

We have a saying the martial arts: You have more to fear in class from a junior belt than you ever will from a black belt. I first heard this as a white belt in HKD & I have never forgotten how true it is.

Well, apparently, I needed a huge dose of reality in the form of a clumsy, 250 lb, police officer yellow belt. Moreover, someone decided my smile (33 years, ZERO cavities!) was a bit too pretty.

This yellow belt was being way too intense the whole night (all 15 minutes of it, anyway) & I know I should have called him on it. He nearly injured a couple others & torqued on my wrist quite a bit. I figured no harm since it's flexible after four years of this treatment. Needless to say, I paid the price for my complacency: Black belts are expected to lead, not just observe & think to themselves.

Anyway, this lumbering junior belt did a breakaway from a single wrist grab that involves "pushing" your elbow into the solar plexus & driving it straight upwards into the person's chin...BUT, that's not where he got me. He didn't even drive into my solar plexus. No hit, no problem.

The problem started when he was coming down. I actually stepped back for this part knowing there's a risk you can get popped in the face when the elbow drops. Well, Skippy apparently decided to over-compensate for my compensation & drove his elbow into the bottom edge of my eye socket. This particular motion drove my head downwards (no, really!) & slammed my mostly closed jaw shut. The resulting crack made me think I lost 1/2 my teeth in that shot!

I dropped to the ground in the interest of: 1) getting away from this guy; and 2) to appraise the extent of my injuries. No blood, eye still seeing 20/20, so far so good. That's when I felt a chunk of tooth in my mouth.

Now, for anyone who's never chipped a tooth by way of having a 250lb guy driving an elbow into your skull, let me tell you that chunk gives you a baaad feeling. Add to that I have basically perfect teeth & you'll understand why I was nervous.

I went to the restroom & got the piece of tooth out. Fortunately, not that big. It was a small, angled chip off my lower incisor (#25, I think). I went home & used some fluoride mouthwash on it & went to the dentist this morning. Apparently, it's fixable with "no problems" according to the dentist (BTW, Gentle Dental rules! They are so great!)

As for the rest, the elbow impact (just below my left eye) was iced immediately & that kept the swelling to a minimum. I've still got a bit of a shiner & it's tender but I was very lucky.

The lesson learned? First, I will ALWAYS use my mouthguard - even during warm-ups. The other guys call me paranoid but that's too close a call to look like a hockey player permanently. Second, if there's a student acting a bit too rough for his/her level I will tell the person about it & slow them down. Addendum: Unless it's a very attractive "she" & then we'll see where it goes. heh heh

Seriously, take a cue from Roses & learn from another person's mistake: If it's not looking quite right or seems out of place - it probably is. Do something about it when you see it, not when it's too late.

9/25/07

Hilarious

That's the only way to describe this brilliant little clip from Family Guy:

9/21/07

HateAmerica.edu

Columbia University, despite various protests, will not cancel a speech by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the university's "World Leaders Program".

And why would they? For a school that has no love for the military - they kicked the ROTC out - and apparently the rights these service members provide these collegiate chickens we shouldn't be surprised that they want a declared enemy of the USA to speak. In this case, it's fair to assume Columbia is rallying for him to speak because they support his anti-American views.

Well, if you think, like Ahmadinejad, that the holocaust is fake & Israel should be destroyed, then you probably still believe in the Tooth Fairy & think universal heath care is a good idea. In other words: you're really a loony leftist.

If a declared enemy wanted to step on the shores of this great land in the past, he'd receive a 21-gun salute...in the form of 21 Marines popping holes in his brain case! Not only do I think this shameful display by Columbia University is un-American, it's demonstrative of how institutions of higher "learning" have become indoctrination centers for socialist leanings.

***Update***

Here's a petition in protest of Ahmadinejad speaking at Columbia University. I definitely took the time to sign it. I hope you will, too.

9/18/07

Communism At Its Finest

Hillary Clinton is showing more of her true colors ("puke" is a color, right?) by stating to the AP that she "could envision a day" when applicants would have to show proof of medical insurance as a pre-requisite for a job interview.

Oh, well gee, why don't we get the Klinton/Edwards ticket started right now? If we're all going to have to pay through the nose for health care - those of us with jobs, anyway - we might as well be required to have that insurance so we can prove we're not deadbeats...except for actual deadbeats, who will DEFINITELY have the insurance all us working-class folks provide.

What a load of crap. Seriously, I pay a significant portion of my income just to ensure people who aren't working still aren't working. The last thing I, or any other working Americans, need is tax & spend liberals telling us heath care is mandatory. That's just one more "burden" they're taking off of us, the little people.

Hey, while you're at it, can you take away my choice of route to drive? Ooh, how about my vacation destinations? Can Hillary tell me what to eat? I'm sooo confused on all of this!

Earned My Title

Last week I tested for & passed my 1st Degree test in Hapkido.


Before I get into details, apologies to ChlorineJenny of IDPWWO for not having the air fall video - yet. I will post the clip as soon as I have it.


My techniques went pretty well. I didn't miss any - which is good considering there's 171 of them. I do think my throws could have been better. I'm normally solid with them & while they weren't bad I expected them to be faster.


Being in the circle went well. I didn't get too fancy - that would be bad against three black belts. - & put my focus on keeping them off me. I did have to use a sort of blind fold (it had small holes that allowed no peripheral vision & screwed up depth-of-field) when doing self-defense & I took a light shot to the jaw.


Groundfighting. Ah, how to describe this unbelievable event! I had to spar one of my best friends - a guy known for his natural ability & speed on the ground - & I started off by getting him in a rear mount! Now, many of you, particularly Harvey, may be wondering why this is so great. Well, in groundfighting, there are four basic positions. In ascending order of dominance, they are:

4) Side Control (Attacker on back, chest to chest)
3) Guard (Attacker inside your legs)
2) Mount (Attacker on bottom)
1) Rear Mount (Attacker in front, back to you)

In other words a rear mount is about as good as it's going to get in a groundfight. Yes, there are ways out of it but they're all very tough. I tapped out a 2nd degree with years of experience by using this position.


So, I have Adam in a rear mount & everyone was just amazed at this. I'm pulling him up to seat the choke, I have my hooks into his legs (so he can't turn his body out of the choke) & I start to squeeze my elbows to choke him out...


That's when it happened.


I don't know how many of you ever experienced a cramp in your calf muscle but let me tell you it HURTS! Even more so when your friend is grabbing it to free himself. Adam was digging in & pushing my leg off so he could turn his body. There wasn't much I could do because that cramp was killing me.


Still, I kept in the fight. I tried to force him out with the choke but it was nothing happening. He had turned out of it & dropped his forearm on my unprotected throat. I've been in this position countless times & I've never panicked. I placed my arm on his elbow & started to push while turning my hips. That's when I realized he had wrapped his other arm behind my neck to support the choke.


There wasn't much I could do. As I went to force his hand off the back of my neck, he dropped his weight on me. Discretion being the better part of valor, I tapped when I started seeing stars & blacking out. It was a heartbreaker but there's no shame in losing to a superior opponent.


All I can remember thinking is, "Man, I HAD him"!


The groundfight against Kyle (the 2nd Degree) was good. No submissions & it went to a draw. He was in a better position (mount) at the end but I was doing OK all things considered.


Well, that's the test. It was good, no one got hurt & I was more sore than I've ever been. I'll have that video up as soon as I get it.

9/9/07

Finding God

Baptist Cowboy

A cowboy, who is visiting Wyoming from Texas, walks into a bar and orders three mugs of Bud. He sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.

The bartender approaches and tells the cowboy, "You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time."

The cowboy replies, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Arizona, the other is in Colorado. When we all left our home in Texas, we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I'm drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself."

The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there.

The cowboy becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way. He orders three mugs and drinks them in turn.

One day, he comes in and only orders two mugs. All the regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss."

The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns in his eyes and he laughs.

"Oh, no, everybody's just fine," he explains, "It's just that my wife and I joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking."

"Hasn't affected my brothers though."

9/6/07

Or Just Tune Into A Debate

Scientists have developed a LED flashlight that emits a series of bright flashes that may cause the "target" to throw up.

Fortunately, unlike the crappy debates we've been subject to (hello, talking to you, YouTube), I do NOT have access to a video of this one in action! :-)

9/4/07

Prince Charming

I had to work on Labor Day. Yeah, it was about as fun as you can imagine.

At one point I stood up to go to the copier. At the same time one of my co-workers asked, "Who has Charm today?" Charm is the name of a dispatcher at my company.

Not missing a beat I replied, "I've got TONS of it!" :-P

9/2/07

Gotta Protect Government Property

According to this AP story, John Edwards wants to mandate doctor visits ("preventative medicine") under his universal health care plan.

"Brilliant" is only one of the words I can't apply to this hare-brained scheme. Honestly, why don't we bar-code people or add tracking chips under the skin (Hey, Edwards, great idea for phase 2)? Not only are we going to have available health care for people, we're going to force health care on people - whether they like it or not!

So, what's the next step for a program like this? I ask because once a government program is initiated it pretty much becomes like the Russian guy in Highlander: immortal, unstoppable & a force that will hound you for the rest of your years.

It seems Mr. Edwards is becoming increasingly kooky with time. First, it's no more SUVs (which he owns). Second, we have forced universal health care. What's the next step? How about mandatory grooming standards? Surely if we all can't tell when we need to go to the doctor, we can't be trusted how to dress ourselves! This could become the next great Democrat platform.

8/29/07

The Greater Good

Presidential candidate John Edwards says Americans should give up their SUVs in the name of greater fuel efficiency.

Obviously, it's for the greater good & not our choice anymore, comrades! Heck, individualism is an anathema to promoting the common good & everyone should be willing to sacrifice their hard-earned dollars to higher taxes the betterment of society instead of spending it on themselves.

Here's some other ways we can sacrifice in the name of John "Breck Girl" Edwards:

* Hairspray: Hand them over. Not for CFCs but so Edwards' hair always has that smooth sheen to it.

* Manhood: If elected POTUS by law no one can be more manly than him. Ronald Reagan set this precedent - which was a great idea at the time of a bad mofo Commander In Chief. With an Edwards presidency we can expect Lifetime to replace Spike as TV for men. Kleenex will then be for crying only...

* Inter-dimensional Travel: Edwards constantly talks about "Two Americas" - both in this campaign & the last. This has convinced me that he has declared war on this America & seeks for the other "America" to win. If you need proof, see the SUV article. While Edwards has not explicitly called this a dimensional rift, I'm willing to bet these evil duplicates of us real Americans all have goatees.

* Reputation: America is known as the premier nation throughout the world. Our military is feared, our people free & no matter what anyone says about us, when the USS George Washington (plug for my old ship) rolls into town, it's like E.F. Hutton, whoop-a$$ style. With an Edwards presidency, kiss that goodbye. As a matter of fact, we'll be reduced to kissing, rather than kicking, our enemies butts. We'll be the butt of every joke because no country will be afraid of a POTUS who has all the clout of the Snuggle bear.

* Choices: First, it's your SUV, then it's cigarettes. Soon, we'll all be a bunch of no salt-having pansies like Rob Schneider in Demolition Man. If that's the kind of future you want, then you're on your own. Better yet, let me in on that & I'll be running that utopia in five minutes after I single-handedly disarm your "troops" with a few choice words about their mothers. I say leave choices out there for everyone, let them pay for their own medical care if they smoke, eat fast food for every meal or ride a motorcycle without a helmet. Leave the choice up to them & you'll notice the gene pool gets a lot cleaner. Fast.

Addendum

On my last note to self:

While demonstrating an air fall is a good way to scare adults away, kids will treat it like a carnival ride & keep asking you to do it again.

On the plus side, I set a new personal record for height. Estimate was almost 5'!

If you're thinking 5' doesn't sound like much jump in the air, go horizontal & land on your side. Let me know how it feels...when you get out of the hospital. ;-)

8/28/07

It's Called Authoritarianism

Hillary Clinton supports a national ban on smoking according to the New York Post. Now, I'm not a smoker - I've never smoked a cigarette in my life - but I have tried the occasional cigar. As it stands, one can't smoke a cigar in a majority of places (at least in Iowa). However, this is a result of restaurant owners/managers choosing to refuse guests that privilege.

That choice is key to our society. Business owners should be allowed to decide if they want their establishment to look like a shady pool hall or a pristine garden. That's the whole concept of "owning" something: the ability to determine what you want to do with it. If you want to drive your car off a cliff, I'll think you're a moron but can't really argue with it unless it involves landing on a bus of orphans.

This whole socialist concept embraced by many democrats is against the fundamental freedoms America promises. Large government - bureaucracy, pork, high taxation & regulation - does nothing for the individual and, as society is comprised of said individuals, thus we can determine that large government does nothing for the people as a whole.

What's causing such a large amount of government involvement? I blame people's laziness. Lots of people have become convinced that society should take care of them, that they are entitled to a break, etc. Never, it seems, do they stop & consider they ARE part of society & if they are fortunate enough to be able to fend for themselves, they should do so. Sure, there's a small percentage (probably less than 5%) who are not in this group & there's nothing wrong with supporting the infirm, elderly or sick. Anyone who can DO but neglects that ability should really denied public support. It's not like we're experiencing a shortage of jobs here!

I came across this political test about a year ago & found it very entertaining. I found it's an accurate means of showing someones socio-economic viewpoint. If you take it, post your scores here & we'll see how everyone measures up! Bonus points for anyone who gets lower right quadrant!

Did She Keep Count?

A woman celebrated her 100th birthday by smoking her 170,000th cigarette. Which begs the question:

Do you smokers keep count of this stuff?

8/27/07

Politicians

OK, I'm throwing the BS flag way high!

I'm talking to every politician out there, particularly the ones running for POTUS: Listen, dimwits, nearly every time I see an article quoting one of you doofuses you're out there claiming that such & such is doing [whatever] for political gain.

Oh, and you aren't? Please.

You. Are. Politicians. Every bleeping thing you do is for political or personal gain. Barack Obama accused AG Gonzales of "subverting justice to promote a political agenda". Yeah, and Senator Obama sure isn't concerned about politics. A POTUS candidate would never do that.

::Rolls eyes::

I call for all politicians to drop the political posturing of accusing others of political posturing. Heck, if you think that last sentence looks weird, how do you think it feels watching candidates throwing their hats in the ring almost two years before the general election? Surely, we can do better than a bunch of left/right/middle attack mongers who really only care about one issue:

Themselves.

August 24th

It's a couple (OK, three) days late but in honor of my Mom's birthday - my actual Mom, not a blog-mom (which I don't have *sniff* *sniff*) - here's On This Day In History for August 24th:

* 2006: Pluto demoted to "dwarf" planet. Suddenly more popular at wild parties.

* 1997: Greg Norman wins World Series of Golf. Shoots 273.

* 1997: Mark Calcavecchia wins Greater Vancouver Golf Open. Shoots 265.

* 2007: STILL no charges filed against either?!?

* 1995: Windows 95 debuts. Blue Screen of Death introduced to pop culture.

* 1991: Gorbachev resigns as head of communist party.

* 1991: Ukraine declares independence from USSR.

* 1991: Reagan's victory over commies complete. Ukraine provides the salt.

* 1968: France becomes world's 5th nuclear power. Can surrender with aplomb!

* 1960: -127 degrees in Vostok, Antarctica. Hillary Clinton claims she was in Maine at the time.

* 1876: Riots abolish fairs in Amsterdam. Officials wonder if there's a way to mellow the populace...

* 1215: Pope Innocent III declares Magna Carta invalid. Take that, ya limey SOBs!

8/20/07

August 20th

In honor of my friend, Scott's, 40th birthday I decided to send him a list of events on this day in history. Actually, it was really fun & I'll probably continue to do this...

Most of it's true, some of it's crap, but I think a lot of it's funny.


On This Day In:
* 1991: Dolphin Dan Marino surpasses Joe Montana as the highest paid NFL
player with a 5-year extension for $25 million.

* 2005: Dolphin Dan Marino finds out you can buy a LOT of twinkies with $25 million. Joins Nutri-system.

* 1990: Steinbrenner steps down as New York Yankees owner.

* 1990: Yankee Kevin Mass becomes fastest to reach 15 home runs (132 at bats).

* 2007: Steinbrenner owns Yankees again. Kevin Mass...uh, who?

* 1982: US Marines land in Beirut, Lebanon.

* 1982: Gives new meaning to the phrase, "DON'T make me come over there!"

* 1980: Mt. Everest climbed by Italian Reinhold Messner, alone.

* 1981: Reinhold Messner tried for violating the Italian surname law & Casanova Act of 1864.

* 1975: Viking 1 launched to orbit around Mars.

* 1976: Viking 1 thrown off course by impacting Alice Kramden in lunar orbit.

* 1978: Tatyana Providokhina runs female record 1K (2:30.6).

* 2007: Coincidentally, this is also how long it takes to write her name...

* 1942: Dim-out regulations implemented in San Francisco.

* 2007: Regulations still not lifted. Dimmest kooks in the country still live there.

* 1957: "Simply Heavenly" opens at Playhouse Theater New York City for 62 performances.

* 2007: And Scott made me think he was being original when he described being married to Vicki for 18 years. Copycat!

* 1994: Archbishop Quarracino wants all homosexuals to leave Argentina. Thus begins San Francisco's original "sanctuary policy".

* 1978: Mark Vinchesi of Amherst,MA keeps a frisbee aloft 15.2 seconds.

* 1978: Mr. Vinchesi comes outside & yells at young Mark to "quit screwing with that *%^# leaf-blower"!

* 1922: 1st world championship athletics for women, held in Paris.

* 2007: Still not over. Women mysteriously drawn to all the fashion shops. Husbands call off search. Cancel credit cards.

* 2007: Happy 40th, Scott!

Madness?

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8/19/07

Wedding

No, I didn't make some crazy decision from the last post...

My little sis, Liz & her fiance, Mickey, were married yesterday at Saint Patrick's in Cedar Rapids,IA at 1pm! Beautiful (thankfully, the short) catholic ceremony during which I, being the only catholic in my row, managed to drop the kneeling rest on the foot of the lady next to me (I am so, so sorry!). Fortunately, she did not make a sound at the obvious pain & forgave me immediately. It sure made that sign of peace much less apprehensive... :-)

Liz looked absolutely beautiful in her dress: It was a traditional deal without any overkill. Let's face it, I've seen women go bonkers with the train that literally stops traffic, frills that would turn Liberace jealous & pretentious crowns that should be slapped off their heads. She was a sensible bride & picked a dress that she would enjoy, could breathe in & that wouldn't make the mass gasp in shock.

Mickey, of course, was dressed impeccably & had a rather nice tux going for him. I'm not a tails kind of guy, but it works for him. In addition to being ready-to-go in the grooming department, he was calm & cool the whole ceremony. Heck, you couldn't tell he was nervous (which, of course, he was) & he calmed an obviously emotional (in a good way!) Liz in a matter of seconds.

The reception was done on the other side of town & not until 6pm, so I took my friends Loren, Scott & Vicki to lunch at Granite City. Nice place. They don't rush you out of there & the food was well prepared.

At the reception, it was straight to the martinis for me! Grey Goose, dry, straight-up, with three olives. Yeah, I know how I like 'em! I had three over the course of three hours or so (I stopped there because I'd have to drive later on). I talked for a few minutes with Jackie, a friend in the wedding party, met a few new people who were incredibly nice & gabbed with a buddy who moved away from the area a couple years ago. I wished the bride & groom well - DUH! - & a good time was had by all.

Congratulations, sis & Mickey! You're a beautiful couple. I wish only the best blessings for you, your family & your future family! *wink* *wink* :-)

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