April 30, 2007
Sex Boosting Diet Pill for Women
Pinch me. I'm dreaming. They need to start putting this in the water supply like flouride and chlorine.
Well, I tried to do something brilliant today. I tried to get my computer to go into the S3 Safe Mode. Somehow, I managed to get the computer to go into some ultra-super-secret mode where every time it booted into windows, it would automatically shut itself down. And, it won't boot up in safe mode. Not sure why, but it hasn't booted into the safe mode for some time. Eventually, I had to have a woman from Dell walk me through using the XP recovery console to restore to a previous point in time from the DOS prompt. How humiliating. But, she did get it to work. Thank god for that.
Power Outtage - Again
So, the power is out, yet again. I'm sitting here in the dark, with only my desktop still running. For some reason, I didn't have the internet modem plugged into the UPS, so my site was going down as soon as the power went out, even though the pc was still up and running. Now, pc is up and running, site is up and running, and I managed to shut off the alarm on the UPS. (Aggravating). However, the battery won't last much longer. Hopefully IREA can get their act together before the battery in the UPS fails.
April 29, 2007
Stockpiling Weapons is Illegal?
Stockpiling Weapons is Illegal? I must have missed the memo. Interesting. I was wondering when the BATF would get around to going after the "terrorists" at home. Didn't take much to see this coming:
COLLINSVILLE, Ala. — Federal and state agents have uncovered a small arsenal of home-made weapons that included a rocket launcher, 130 hand grenades and 70 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) similiar to the kind used by insurgents against American GIs in Iraq.
Agents also recovered enough live ammo to fill a U-Haul trailer, U.S. Attorney Alice Martin said Thursday. Agents earlier that day busted the caches of a group calling itself "The Free Militia."
Those in custody aren't being charged with any plot to use the grenades against anyone, however, but will be charged with weapons possession and stockpiling.[emphasis added]
Now, last time I checked, owning grenades and IED's was illegal. And fully automatic weapons are Class III weapons requiring a federal permit. But now they're claiming that "stockpiling" weapons is illegal? OK. I'll bite. What's the definition of a "stockpile"? More than one? Is this some new double-speak to fool people, like the "high powered rifle"? (Last time I checked, there was no such thing as a "medium-powered" or "low-powered" rifle.)
Now they're going to be busting people for "stockpiling" weapons. My guess is that the new charge of "Stockpiling weapons" will equate to posessing more than one firearm or more than seventeen bullets.
April 28, 2007
We Didn't Vote For Kerry
Here's a video of Jennifer clearing trees on her Honda FourTrax 70cc 4-wheeler. We had a a brutal spring snowstorm and lost power 3 times this week, for a total outtage of about 2-3 days. A boulder fell onto our little canyon road today, completely closing the road in both directions. It's really a mess up here. It looks like a tornado hit the back of the place. I don't know how many trees we lost. Probably 10-20. I told Bud today...I was like "There's so much to do, it seems like it's a joke to even start." and he said "Well, you better get going, cause it ain't gonna clean itself up." That was just the inspiration we needed, and Jen and I got out both of the four wheelers and started hauling limbs and sticks into great burn piles down behind the barn. I haven't even started to think about getting to the trees yet. So far, just hauling away all of the green limbs and the smaller trees that the ATV can pull. The bigger stuff we'll have to either saw in place, or pull out with the weasel. It's gonna take a lot of work to clear the land up though. It looks really bad. Almost unrecognizable.
Devil's Step at Tim's Ford
Last Saturday, I played around on TIm's Ford Reservoir and the Elk River. Then, on Sunday, I was on Lake Normandy and the Duck River. Here's Magnalox of my outing on the SeaDoo GTX on Tim's Ford. Also, here's a Google Earth kmz file of the same trip.
Poised To Strike
Jennifer, poised to strike an innocent dipped cone after school yesterday. Hard to believe that power was out at the house for three days this week, and then on Friday, she's eating ice cream in the sunshine.
Atlanta police broke into the home of a 92 year old woman, shot and killed her, then planted drugs on her and coerced people to lie and say she was a drug dealer. These are the people that we want to protect us when we turn in our guns. These are the people that we trust to prevent mass shootings like Virginia Tech. Keep that in mind.
April 27, 2007
Glenn Reynolds has a post on "How To Do Gun Control":
HOW TO DO GUN CONTROL: "Special squads of police. No notice searches. Fines. Imprisonment."
UPDATE: Eugene Volokh observes: "It does seem to me that a War on Guns, with unannounced random searches on streets and in homes, should be highly unappealing to anyone who has even some reservations about the War on Drugs, and questionable even to those who support the War on Drugs."
(For those who don't bother to read the rest of Glenn's blog post, this is not a proposal he supports.)
The gun-control lobby has often claimed that crime rates in other countries are "proof" that gun control laws reduce crime.
Countries like Great Britain don't have a Bill of Rights, so reasonable regulations which would be unconstitutional in the United States are permissible.
To learn how such an intrusive and draconian scheme envisioned by gun-control lobby would work, read the extended entry below on how a British licensing regime -- with its random searches and intrusive scanning -- currently operates.
Smuggling Quail Eggs
I smuggled 20 quail eggs back from TN to CO today. Put them in the incubator, but they had it set wrong (again). So, it got up to 132 degrees F by the time I checked it after school. (Ideal temp is 99.5. Max temp allowable is 102.). So, the quail eggs are dead now. Good job to everyone involved. I told Jen that if she can figure out how to use the incubator, I'll get her more quail eggs, but not until then. This is the second time she's screwed it up. It isn't like it's that hard. When its at my house, I have no problem with it, but when it's at her mom's house, they can't seem to control the temperature for whatever reason.
Global Warming Causes Record Damage
Just took a quick spin around the place on the 4 wheeler. Global warming hit us hard this week. A late spring heavy snowstorm knocked out power to the compound for days. I lost a lot of trees. Not sure how many. Looks like 10-20 full grown ponderosa pine trees and more limbs than you could count. It's a real mess up here. Save us, Al. Save us from this menace of global warming.
PW is back online (2nd time)
Well, we lost power again yesterday. So, the server was out again. Power is back on. Server is back up. Looks like it was a nasty storm though. I lost a lot of trees. I'll post photos when I get a chance. Jeanelle and Patrick are still without power, and they're estimating Monday before they come back online.
April 26, 2007
Over the weekend, Bill Llewellin conducted another "Bike-N-Shoot" event, which involves mountain bike riding and pistol shooting. Competitors race around a 2 1/2 mile loop, and then shoot five shots at five targets. For each target they miss, they must ride a penalty lap of about 150 yards. They do this 3 times, for a total of about 7 1/2 miles of bike riding and 15 shots.
Photos from previous events can be found at www.xrl.us/BikeNShootPhotos
If you are interested in participating in the next one, download a printable flier here (150 KB .pdf file), or read the extended entry below.
Posted by Robert Racansky on April 26, 2007 at 3:40 PM | Permalink
PW is back online
Well, apparently they had a pretty bad snow/ice storm at my house this week. My house lost power for about 40 hours. Power came on at midnight last night and I had a neighbor jump start my server today. Thanks, Vaunne. :)
April 24, 2007
Instapundit, Wikiquote, and Nineteen Eighty-Four
Apparently, Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit is having some problems with WikiQuote. Namely that, when he linked to a quote attributed to Sigmund Freud, it promptly disappeared, or, more accurately, moved down to the "misattributed" section of WikiQuote. This is the blessing and the curse of Wiki. Because anyone can edit it, at any point in time, you can't link to a WikiQuote with any degree of certainty that other people will see what you linked to.
Somewhat flummoxed by the ephemeral nature of the web in general, and of Wikiquote in particular, Glenn disabused himself of the notion that the internet could be trusted as a final arbiter of the validity of the quote, and went to the library to check out the quote in print.
"MORE STILL: I went to the library to look the Freud reference up myself. The quote above doesn't appear on p. 33 as cited. Instead, there is what's seen below, which appears right after an account of a dream in which a woman tries to unsheathe a dagger to kill herself, only to awaken and find she's tugging on her husband's penis:"
And, it struck me how utterly the internet has failed us in some ways. Namely, in the failure of the persistence of memory. When push came to shove, Glenn walked into a library and put his hands on a book to see what the book really said, because, presumably, he'd lost confidence in the teleprompter altogether. Of course, this got me to thinking about Winston's job at the Ministry of Truth.
"[snip]Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, it's in a few solid objects with no words attached to them, like that lump of glass there. Already we know almost literally nothing about the Revolution and the years before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right. I know, of course, that the past is falsified, but it would never be possible for me to prove it, even when I did the falsification myself. After the thing is done, no evidence ever remains. The only evidence is inside my own mind, and I don't know with any certainty that any other human being shares my memories.[snip]" - George Orwell : Nineteen Eighty-Four, Part 2, Chapter 5
April 23, 2007
Reasonable Speech Control
In the wake of the massacre at Virginia Tech, the universities are racing to enact common sense "thought control" and "speech control". The framers of the constitution and the bill of rights could have in no way imagined what we might say today. Today, we have words that didn't even exist back then. Fortunately, our universities are forever peeling back the foreskin of political correctness. For example, the Boston professor fired for pointing a marker at students and saying "pow", while discussing the shootings at Virginia Tech.
Ted Nugent on Gun-Free Zones
Ted Nugents speaks out on the absurdity of Gun-Free Zones:
Anybody see what the evil Brady Campaign and other anti-gun cults have created? I personally have zero tolerance for evil and denial. And America had best wake up real fast that the brain-dead celebration of unarmed helplessness will get you killed every time, and I've about had enough of it.
April 22, 2007
I went out to to Lake Normandy today. It's kind of a crazy lake in that, when they built it, they flooded the woods. So, you'll be driving down the lake, and then there's like a tree stickup up ten feet out of the lake. Or six inches. LIke...you really have to know your way around the lake or you can get in a lot of trouble in a hurry. So, I was out blowing around at 50 mph all day. Eventually, I realized that the bridge was a "No Wake" zone. Go figure. Ooops. So, then later, I was going by this pontoon boat, and they were waving at me to beat the band and I was thinking...man...I wonder if this is a No-Wake Zone also. So, I pull up to them to see what the deal is and they're like "we're broke down" and I'm like "what do you want me to do about it?" I mean....this boat is 25 feet long. Basically a house boat. But, they needed a tow, so I hooked up and pulled them back to the boat ramp. They offered me cash, but I was like "Nah...I'm working on improving my karma."
Gun-Free Zones and Reality
An article in the Chicago Sun-Times hits the nail on the head about the absurdity of "Gun-Free Zones":
"...at Virginia Tech... the administration has created a "Gun-Free School Zone." Or, to be more accurate, they've created a sign that says "Gun-Free School Zone." And, like a loopy medieval sultan, they thought that simply declaring it to be so would make it so. The "gun-free zone" turned out to be a fraud -- not just because there were at least two guns on the campus last Monday, but in the more important sense that the college was promoting to its students a profoundly deluded view of the world."
Tennessee River 600
Every year, a group of people ride Sea Doos down the Tennessee River from Knoxville to Paris. Paris, Tennessee that is. It's a 600 mile trip that they do over seven days. The Tennessee River 600 is not a race though. It's more like a benefit ride and you're supposed to get sponsors.
A magician worked on a cruise ship. The audience was different each week so the magician did the same tricks over and over again. There was only one problem: The captain's parrot saw the shows each week and began to understand how the magician did every trick.
Once he understood, he started shouting in the middle of the show, "Look, it's not the same hat!" or, "Look, he's hiding the flowers under the table!" or "Hey, why are all the cards the ace of spades?"
The magician was furious but couldn't do anything. It was, after all, the Captain's parrot.
Then one stormy night on the Pacific, the ship unfortunately sank, drowning almost all who were on board. The magician luckily found himself on a piece of wood floating in the middle of the sea, as fate would have it... with the parrot.
They stared at each other with hatred, but did not utter a word.
This went on for a day... and then 2 days ... and then 3 days.
Finally on the 4th day, the parrot could not hold back any longer and said...
"OK, I give up. Where's the fuckin ship ???"
Put Your PC to Sleep
This is a cool article that expalins how to put your computer to sleep in S3 mode. Even though your computer is in a deep sleep, you can still access all of your computer files remotely. If you leave your computer on all the time, as I do, this mode uses much less electricity.
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
I first came across this quote attributed to Sigmund Freud over 10 years ago, and was reminded of it this morning when Glenn Reynolds mentioned it :
April 21, 2007
HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED: A look at the 1957 Far Rockaway High School Rifle Team. It's certainly a sign of how New York has changed, and not for the better.
Meanwhile, in 2007 Yale is banning fake weapons on stage. And to think that universities hold themselves out as bastions of critical thinking where people can make fine distinctions . . . .
As Sigmund Freud said: "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
Or intellectual maturity, anyway. It's certainly evidence for Robert Epstein's thesis.
UPDATE: Perhaps the Yale cast should show up in this apparel.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Eugene Volokh: "Do Yale students have a hard time telling theater from reality? Are they so emotionally fragile that they would be traumatized by seeing a realistic sword on stage?"
I think that's the Yale administrators. It's all about the unwillingness to face reality and its consequences.
MORE: Reader Ryan Robinson notes something fishy at Wikiquote:
Just wanted to point this out…
At some point since you posted the Sigmund Freud quote “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity”, somebody went on to wikiquote.org and edited the page. They have that quote now marked as “Misattributed”. Whoever edited the page says that they searched Google Print, but apparently they neglected to note that the version they searched is NOT the complete text of Freud’s work. Perhaps someone with access to a library can confirm or deny that quote.
Interesting how quickly the wikiquote page was modified… Also interesting that they *speculatively* attribute the quote to an opponent of gun control.
This is why wikis suck. That quote has been there for years -- then I link it and it vanishes. I think the quote's real -- at least I've seen it elsewhere before. But either the quote was bogus when I linked it -- which means that wikiquote sucks -- or the quote was real and has been deleted/marked as misattributed for political reasons -- which means that wikiquote sucks. And there's no obvious indication that it's changed since I cited it. Which means that wikiquote sucks.
If that quote is false, then the problem just isn't with wikiquote, but people believing what they want to believe.
Posted by Robert Racansky on April 22, 2007 at 1:37 PM | Permalink
Google Earth Day
Google is observing Earth Day today with a melting iceberg logo.
However, as Jonah Golberg wrote last year:
Monday, May 29, 2006
It's kind of sad. They change their homepage logo for all sorts of holidays and occasions. Just last week they paid tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday. But Memorial Day doesn't seem to rate anything at all.
Update: A reader sends this along:
It's worse than you think. Google doesn't always do logos for the same days every year, but they've never changed their logo for Memorial Day.
Nick Gillespie of Reason calls Earth Day is "the Festivus of the environmental movement."
Dyslexia or Ignorance?
Alex Massie, writing in the Scotsman, made a reference to "Second World War B52 bombers."
The B-52 Stratofortress was first deployed in 1955, ten years after World War II ended.
Perhaps it's simply a typographical error, and he meant B-25 (or some other World War II bomber). Or the author really is clueless.
Anyone who writes or speaks publicly a lot is bound to make some stupid mistakes. In the grand scheme of things, referring to a "Second World War B52 bomber" is not that big of a deal, especially since it's not a mistake that is being used to promote some agenda. But is is another piece of evidence that the main stream media is not infallible -- something to keep in mind when their errors do tend to favor one side of a debate.
On a related note, even though I used to be much more active in the gun-rights movement, I haven't felt the need to blog much about the recent shooting at Virginia Tech. There's very little new to say that hasn't been said previously, by myself and others. And one thing I learned while working with some gun-groups is that people I agree with tend to piss me off more than those I disagree with. And dealing with organized anything gets frustrating after a while.
If you are interested in some more-thoughtful-than-most commentary about the Virginia Tech shootings, read what the folks at The Volokh Conspiracy have posted at volokh.com/posts/chain_1176746946.shtml
PPS - According to the Miss America organization, "In her honor her picture was adorned on a B-17 fighter plane, which made 68 sorties over war-torn Germany and never lost a man. The story made the Associated Press." So the reference to "B52" was not a transposition of "B25," but ignorance on the part of both the author and his editor.
And whoever wrote her bio for the Miss America organization is obviously unaware that the B-17 is a bomber, not a "fighter plane."
Yesterday, I tried my hand at shooting prom pictures. Mixed results. But, you have to start somewhere, right? Someone thought that, because I can shoot a train moving at 50 mph, I should be able to take group portraits. I'd argue the two are fairly different endeavors, but, It's hard to argue when you're holding a camera that costs more than your car.
Fred Thompson on Gun Free Zones
Finally, someone capable of rational thought. God I hope this man wins.
Whenever I've seen one of those "Gun-free Zone" signs, especially outside of a school filled with our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, I've always wondered exactly who these signs are directed at. Obviously, they don't mean much to the sort of man who murdered 32 people just a few days ago.
Nappy Headed Ho's Diss Hillary
Hillary Rodham finally got around to paying a visit to the "Nappy Headed Ho's", but she took so long, that they dissed her and didn't even show up to meet with her. She needs to get her schedule updated. Now is the time to be pushing the gun-control agenda with grieving parents. Didn't she get the memo?
April 21, 2007
That's my boy!
April 20, 2007
A Day Without Sunshine
The trees explode like Roman Candles in the Spring. An orchestrated symphony of color painted onto the hills of Southern Middle Tennessee. The payoff for the winter. Bradford Pears and Red Maples. Then the Red Buds and finally the Dogwoods bloom. These diligently manicured hardwood forests waking up from the winter. Over-saturated with blooming fruit trees. Weeping Cherries and Tulip Poplars.
Behind the blooms, immature leaves emerge in the lightest shades of green. The seeds of the Red Maples helicopter down to earth. All seems to be progressing according to a grand design. Controlled by the benevolent hand of some unseen force. The most beautiful Spring I’ve ever witnessed.
But now, unexpectedly, the winter returns as I’m walking into work and there are the dogwoods. Just there. Blooming a brilliant white and pink on this frozen day. Surreal flowers suspended on the frozen sunshine.
“It’s a dogwood winter” they whisper over coffee at work. The newspapers make it official. We’re in the maw of a Dogwood Winter.
Winter drives the sap back into the roots and erases the beauty from the land. Now, the winter fades. Retreats. Leaving in its wake a ruined land, like Sherman’s march on Chattanooga.
The blooms wilt and die and now the leaves turn brown and collapse into the earth. Death and dying. And what of the trees, I wonder. Will they grow new leaves? Will they bloom again?
The Dogwood Winter has killed the spring. Gradually I realize that the trees will not bloom again. Not this year. The flowers and the beauty of Spring are gone. The bloom is off the rose. Nothing is left. Nothing but death and dying and the decay of Fall.
And I think about this. I think about how one day, we’re standing in the sunshine eating fried pies and thinking how grand to be alive before the painted hardwood forests of Southern Middle Tennessee in April. And then, the next, we’re sifting through the ruins of Spring. Blowing the helicopter seeds aloft as the freezer-burned trees struggle to survive.
I had imagined that a Dogwood Winter would be romantic. But a Dogwood Winter is debilitation. Down-right evil. A Dogwood Winter defiles the beauty of the Spring. Destroys that which we find most inspiring. As a child kills a songbird with an air rifle.
I walk very slowly into work now, on this cloudy day. And I think about this. I think about how I am like the Dogwood Winter. How I have deliberately maligned and damaged those that cared the most about me. How I’ve burned those that imagined I might be a decent person, as the frost burned the trees.
I think about how I’ve disappointed those closest to me. How I’ve drawn from the beauty of this land, as one draws water from a well. I think about this. And I hate that part of me. I hate that part of me that wants to destroy the beauty in those that care the most for me. I hate that part.
I think about the karmic maelstrom that must be out there, looming just beyond the horizon. I think about Sunshine and Traci and my stalkers back in the hills and I wonder if I can change. I wonder if it’s too late. For them. For me. I hate that part of me that wants to hurt other people. I hope that I can change that part. I hope that it isn’t too late.
I’ve caused a lot of pain. No doubt that I’ve hurt Sunshine the most. And for that I am sorry. Truly sorry.
April 19, 2007
Rudy at the Pulpit
If you ever had any doubt where Giuliani stood on guns, this image should clear things up a bit. The photo shows Giuliani, Chuck Schumer, and James Brady at the Handgun Control Inc pulpit. The photo and the following message come to us courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and the National Association for Gun Rights:
Yesterday, Republican Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani held a fundraiser in Denver.
Hosted at the mansion/home of former Denver Nuggets star Kiki Van DeWeghe, the event was meant as a strict money gatherer for Giuliani's frontrunner campaign.
Only one problem: Giuliani is adamantly anti-gun, with a record to prove it.
April 18, 2007
Causation and Correlation
According to the Brady Campaign (formerly Handgun Control Inc.) Virginia is the second easiest state to get a gun in.
Nothing to confirm that, but this is a state that is pretty easy to get a handgun, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. You'll remember Jim Brady, who was shot in the head by John Hinckley at that failed assassination attempt in the early '80s. They say this is an easy state to get a gun in, only second only to the state of Georgia.
-Greg Hunter. CNN. April 17, 2007
I don't know how they decide something as subjective as "easy to get a gun." However, every year, the Brady Campaign publishes a "report card," grading states on a scale from A to F. An A means the state has enacted gun control laws favored by Brady. Osama bin Laden can legally purchase a machine gun without any paperwork -- or something like that -- in a state with a Brady F grade .
Brady's grades can bee seen at the web site StateGunLaws.org .
Thirty-two states received a "D" or an "F" grade measuring their state's gun laws, according to nationwide ratings released by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in partnership with state-based gun violence prevention organizations across the nation.
Virginia, which rations handgun purchases to one a month, earned only a C-.
Washington DC, which has banned private ownership of handguns since 1976, received only a B.
April 17, 2007
Tax Giving Day
April 16, 2007
Where Are The Heroes?
In much of the cell-phone footage captured, you can clearly hear shots being fired...32 students are assasinated over a period of several hours at point blank range while the police all cower behind buildings, trees, cars...each other. In the end, the gunman commits suicide, wrapping up a day of carnage that will go down as the worst domestic mass murder-suicide rampage in the history of the United States.
Not a single police man is shot, or even injured in the confrontation. How can this be? How can it be that a gunman massacres 32 people in a "gun-free zone", and the police never fire a shot, and never draw any fire?
Remarkably, of all the major school shootings in the U.S. over the last 10 years, I am not aware of a single on-duty law enforcement officer being shot. If someone knows of a case where this occured, please advise me and I will note it.
Anticipation and Resiliency
If you have time, read the whole thing at http://www.davidbrin.com/libertarianarticle1.html .
His comments about "anticipation and resiliency" (below) are just as relevant regarding today's shooting at Virginia Tech -- or almost any natural or man-made disaster -- as they were about the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Here's a question you may be asking of our Benevolent Protectors in light of the massacre on Virginia Tech's campus today:
How many police heroically gave their lives attempting to take out the gunman during the multiple shootings that occurred over several hours at Virginia Tech? At Colombine? At the Pearl, Mississippi school shooting? At all of the major U.S. school shootings in the last 10 years?
Raise your hand if you said 11. Now raise your hand if you said 5. If you guessed 3, let's see a show of hands. Now, if you guess zero, go to the front of the class. Police hide behind trees, police car doors, anything they can while the massacres occur. Watch the footage if you don't believe me. No one stormed any buildings today. They cowered like cowards while the students were massacred. In Colombine, a teacher bled to death while the police cowered in their squad cars in the parking lot.
In today's fiasco, legions of cowardly police surrounded and "locked down" a school building while the shooter was inside murdering students in cold blood. Same thing they always do. See, the police want to go home at night, same as the rest of us. And, there's no real incentive to go charging into a room where someone's shooting. No sir. Best to don a bullet proof jacket, get big rifle out, and some ammo, and go hide behind a tree and assess the situation reaaaaalll goooood. 'Fore you go doing anything that might be misconstrued as brave or foolish.
You may be surprised to learn that not only are the police incapable of protecting us, the police are under no obligation to protect us.
"Just before dawn on March 16, 1975, two men broke down the back door of a three-story home in Washington, D.C. ... The attackers kidnapped, robbed, raped, and beat all three women over 14 hours. When these women later sued the city and its police for negligently failing to protect them or even to answer their second  call, the court held that government had no duty to respond to their call or to protect them. Case dismissed. "
Pray that your life never depends on the police. Pray that day never comes.
Note: All major U.S. school shootings in the last 10 years are detailed in the extended entry. Notice that the word "police" is conspicuously absent from the entire list.
Massacre in a Gun-Free Zone
Tragically, many people were slaughtered today on the Virginia Tech campus. It won't be long before the anti-gun nuts come out with their agenda on this one. More waiting periods and background checks and trigger locks. Just their normal parade of hogwash feel-good idiocy.
Unfortunately, there is no way to stop an armed lunatic on a rampage, except with brute force. Because police can not be everywhere at once, the only way to stop this violence is to allow people to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms and defend themselves. Mass shootings only occur where the population is known to be disarmed. These assailants are crazy, but they're not dumb. They go for soft targets. If they thought that one in ten people might be carrying a concealed weapon, they'd think twice before pulling out a weapon.
"Last spring a Virginia Tech student was disciplined for bringing a handgun to class, despite having a concealed handgun permit. Some gun owners questioned the university's authority, while the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police came out against the presence of guns on campus."
There's a pretty good photoshop contest for the 2008 election on Fark.com. I didn't make this image, but I do like it.
April 15, 2007
You Were Never This Cool
Here's a video of Jen on her ATV today. She's a lot more careful on it since she cartwheeled it down the continental divide last summer.
House Appraisal Meets Google Maps
Zillow provides home real estimates/appraisals for your house or your neighbor's house. It shows you the values for all the houses in all the neighborhoods. Check it out.
Dress Warm for Global Warming Rallies
The idiots brainwashed by the Global Warming cult have had some remarkably cold weather at their rallies. Of course, they claim that the fact that it's cold or snowing doesn't change the fact that man is causing the globe to warm up. Predictably, on warm day rallies though, they say "see - it's getting warmer." So, they believe what they believe, regardless what the facts say. They ignore the cold days and emphasize the warm days. Brilliant. These dolts are impervious to logic. Rigorous scientific analysis rolls across them like water off a duck's back.
Images of a Lost Community
This is a compelling story. When they demolished a house in Poland, the builders discovered a collection of pre-WWII photographs hidden in a chimney wall before the Nazi's and the Soviet Union bisected Poland following the same line they had used to divide that country in WWI (old habits die hard). These images surfaced a month ago when they were turned over to family members.
The pictures are another heartbreaking example of a thriving, vibrant Jewish community, later erased by the Nazis. One can peek into an entire world of young, normal Jewish life: bike rides, parties, romance and fun, strolls in the woods, ice skating and even fund raising for the Keren Kayemet Leisrael (Jewish National Fund). It is all there.
They're asking for help in identifying the people in the photographs.
Penn & Teller on Gun Control
Here's a video of Penn & Teller's thoughts on gun control.
April 14, 2007
Fred Thompson on Income Tax
Fred Thompson lays out the case for tax cuts.
The results of the experiment that began when Congress passed a series of tax-rate cuts in 2001 and 2003 are in. Supporters of those cuts said they would stimulate the economy. Opponents predicted ever-increasing budget deficits and national bankruptcy unless tax rates were increased, especially on the wealthy.
In fact, Treasury statistics show that tax revenues have soared and the budget deficit has been shrinking faster than even the optimists projected. Since the first tax cuts were passed, when I was in the Senate, the budget deficit has been cut in half.
Run, Fred, Run!
Incubating Quail Eggs
Jennifer and I are trying to hatch some Coturnix quail eggs. We ordered 50, but 4 were cracked, so she put 46 into the Little Giant incubator. Now, the incubator is not a shabby one. It automagically turns the eggs, it has a thermostat, a heater, and circulating fan. But even still, it isn't exactly plug-and-play. It came with this dinky little thermometer that was about 10 degrees off. The fine print on the thermometer tells you that it needs to be calibrated, but it was a week before I sat down and really played with it. When I got my hands on things, the fan wasn't working, and the temperature in the incubator was 108. Ideal temperature is 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, but they say that from 98 to 102 is acceptable. That would mean that 108 is not acceptable. Also, the humidity at my house is close to zero. So, I finally put it in a small room with a large humidifier and set the humidifier to "stun". Right now, the humidity is at 43%. 60% is the target though. So, I'm not really sure how this experiment will turn out. Now, don't get me wrong. We don't need 44 baby quail. We don't really even need 1. But, it would be cool to hatch some. If it doesn't work out this go-round, then we'll order another 50 and try again. Next time we'll be ready. :)
The Elk's Last Winter
This elk didn't make it through his first winter. He died a few weeks back in my back yard. All the neighbors were suspicious cuz he died on my land, but I didn't shoot him. The elk was born last spring, and didn't even make it one year. Not sure why he died, but there was a ton of snow this winter, so the herds were under a lot of pressure. This little guy didn't make it, and died, presumably of natural causes. By day, the crows picked at him, and by night, the coyotes and foxes moved in. Possibly some lions as well. After two weeks, they'd picked him clean and dismembered him. I found his remains down in the woods on the back of my property yesterday. I wanted to get a shot of the red fox picking at him at dusk yesternite, but by the time I got all forty seven settings on my camera dialed in, he had disappeared into the woods.
April 13, 2007
I've discovered a lot of neat things in Southern Middle Tennessee. The lexicon includes such terms as "eleven twenty nine" and Dogwood Winters and Blackberry Winters. I now know a "holler" when I see one.
I've tried a lot of different foods that I've never heard of before since I've been in Tennessee also. Like Green Tomato Pickles and Pecan Cobbler and fried pies. But, Lord God. If you've never had fried pies, you need to try them. Those things were good. Thanks Marty.
Nashville at six this morning
April 11, 2007
Fred Thompson Announces He Has Cancer
Fred Thompson recently accounced that he has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. However, it is in remission and shouldn't affect his life expectancy. I'm not clear why he came out and announced this, unless he was still seriously considering a bid for presidency. Run, Fred, Run!
April 10, 2007
Here's a slideshow of everything that retarded Diapernaut had in her posession.
Meanwhile back at the farm
Here's a summary of the texts I've received today:
"Meanwhile back at the farm ya know I was going 2 just ignore u bcause I cudnt think of a nice way 2 say it but sumone shud tell [u] what a self consumed ill mannered ass u r"
"...there are other people on the planet everything is not about u..."
"think u shud no better than 2 act like a spoiled baby moron..."
I think I'll turn off my cell phone for a bit. All the negativity is bringing me down.
April 9, 2007
Don't Let The Bedbugs Bite
Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite. That's what my dad used to always say when he put me to bed. I had no clue what he was talking about, but apparently they're real, and they're back. Nearly eliminated in this county after WWII by spraying with DDT, bedbugs are back now with a vengance.
April 8, 2007
Planet Earth comes on the Discovery Channel tonight. Check your local listings for the time. It's sort of a mini-series I guess. We've recorded 2 or 3 episodes so far. It's a really stunning view of the planet, from pole to pole. If haven't see it yet, you should check it out tonight.
Virgins in Heaven
Last night, Jennifer was up making lists for the Easter Bunny of what she wanted in her basket. She was asking for presents for Slinky and Trixie. She cleaned the house so he could hide his eggs without hurting his feet (paws?)
Then, she set out a plate of cookies for the Easter Bunny and a bottled water cause the milk had gone bad, and you wouldn't want poisoning the Easter Bunny weighing on your conscience, would you?
Then, she asked me if he how he got in the house...if he came down the chimney like Santa and I'm like...I think you're getting the Easter Bunny and Santa confused here.
And then, in the morning, when she's hunting eggs she notes that the Easter Bunny must be really tall cause some of the eggs are really high up.
"How does the Easter Bunny get in the house, daddy?"
"I duno. Better call your aunt Molly and ask her."
How to break DRM
How to break DRM (iTunes, DVD, etc) for lawful purposes
(copying for back-up, transcoding into different devices)
With simple straightforward steps any grandmother could follow, I aim to empower the "average user" to legally break DRM, to practice their right to transcode media into different formats so that this media can be enjoyed on any device, and to make back-ups. If you have always wanted to rip, copy, and mix video the same way you can with audio, and make DVDs (or video CDs that you can watch on TV by playing on your DVD player) as easily as you make mixed CDs (using videos from your DVDs, from YouTube, from your digital camera, etc), then this page is for you.
April 7, 2007
The Sordid Sea-Doo Excursion
Here's an acutal graph of my trip down the Tennessee River on the Sea-Doo GTi last Saturday. I created this using a Garmin Etrex Summit hand-held GPS receiver, ExpertGPS software, and Magnalox.
Here's a log trip from when we test drove the 19' VIP Vision ski boat in Tims Ford Reservoir back in March.
New Camera Equipment
Well, I finally broke down and ordered some new equipment for my camera. I'd like to get a nice frame, but I really can't cost justify it at this point. The next frame I get will be a full-frame CMOS sensor with anti-static coating and vibration technology to remove dust from the sensor, plus it will have to shoot at least 5 fps for 7 seconds, have a true spot meter, a rule-of-thirds optical grid, view-and-shoot-thru LCD sensor, plus a lot of other things too long to go into here. So, since I'm not going to be getting a new frame this year, I figured I'd break down and get a decent flash, a larger grip, and a bracket to mount the flash on. I ended up going with the following:
- Canon Speedlite 580EX Flash
- Stroboframe PRO-T flash bracket
- Stroboframe Camera Anti-Twist Plate
- Canon BG-E2 Battery Grip
- Canon BP-511A Lithium-ion Batteries
- Custom Canon Eyecup from TheCameraHunter.com
Apparently there's some modifications required to get the flash brack, anti-twist plate, and the BG-E2 grip all working properly, but I figure it will be worth improvement.
April 6, 2007
Photos from March
This slideshow is composed of original images I shot in March of 2007 in Colorado, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. All photos were captured using a Canon EOS 20D and either a Canon EF 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens or a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens with a circular polarizing filter.
This slideshow (3:12) is a 15 Meg self-playing executable named strangers.exe created using Imagematics StillMotion PE+. The soundtrack is We Might As Well Be Strangers by Keane, off of the Hopes and Fears album.
Click here to download the presentation. If you have an Apple, or you're running Unix, or if you're nervous about running a .exe file from my site, then click here to download the Macromedia Flash version. The resolution is not quite as good on the Macromedia Flash version, and you can't pause and go backward and forward, but it loads faster, and it's a fairly decent presention. Click here if you need help.
To see all of the slideshows, click here.
Lyrics in the exended entry.
Nashville Apartment Complex Burns
I watched an apartment complex burn to the ground today near the Nashville airport. I was so close that I was afraid it would melt my camera. I saw them giving one woman oxygen, and one lady was treated for smoke inhalation, but fortunately, no one was killed. It was a major fire. They had 100 firefighters fighting it, if you can believe it. Hard to describe.
Just so you know, firemen are not there to put out your house. They prevent the fire from spreading to other houses. That is all. Think about it. If they really wanted to prevent houses from burning, then why wouldn't houses have to have sprinkler systems like commercial buildings? Or why wouldn't each house have to have a fire hydrant installed in the front yard? You never thought about it, did you? The firemen bring the marshmallows and the police mop up the blood. Now go back to watching Amerikan Idol.
April 4, 2007
A Tale of Two Houses
LOOK OVER THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE FOLLOWING TWO HOUSES AND SEE IF YOU CAN TELL WHICH BELONGS TO AN ENVIRONMENTALIST.
HOUSE # 1: A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2,400.00 per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern “snow belt,” either. It’s in the South.
HOUSE # 2: Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every “green” feature current home construction can provide. The house contains 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on an arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property into the surrounding rural landscape.
HOUSE # 1 (20 room energy guzzling mansion) is outside of Nashville, Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and filmmaker) Al Gore.
HOUSE # 2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas. Also known as “the Texas White House,” it is the private residence of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.
So whose house is gentler on the environment? Yet another story you WON’T hear on CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC or read about in the New York Times or the Washington Post. Indeed, for Mr. Gore, it’s truly “an inconvenient truth.”
And, yes, this is true. If you don't believe it, maybe you'll believe Snopes.com.
April 3, 2007
How To Play QCP Files
I copied some audio files from my Motorola/Verizon RAZR to my Sony VAIO laptop today that were stored in a .qcp file format. Well, of course. Why not? As it turns out, there's a free application you can download named PureVoice that will allow to to play and record .qcp files.
April 2, 2007
Bread is dangerous !!!
Research on bread indicates that:
1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.
3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.
4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.
5. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month!
April 1, 2007
I saw some interesting quotes cast in concrete in Chattanooga today. This is the area of the country they drove the Cherokee from in the inafmous Trail of Tears of 1824. I don't know much about the story, but I have learned that the trail they followed passed along the old "goat track" near Cowan, TN. In any event, I thought these quotes might be worth sharing:
"You have bought a fair land, but you will find its settlement dark and bloody." - Dragging Canoe - 1775
"The white men have almost surrounded us, leaving us only a little spot of ground to stand upon, and it seems to be their intention to destroy us, as a nation." - Dragging Canoe - 1776
"You tell us to speak freely and make our choice. Our choice is to remain on our lands[..]" - Cherokee National Council - 1817
"We consider ourselves as a free and distinct nation... " - Cherokee Council - 1818
"...all white people who have intruded, or may hereafter intrude, on the lands reserved for the Cherokees, shall be removed by the United States..." - Treaty of 1819
"It is high time to do away with the farce of treating with Indian tribes as sovereign nations." - President Andrew Jackson - 1820
"Our title has emanated from a supreme source, which cannot be impaired by [...] conquest or treaty" - Cherokee Negotiations - 1823
"...the Cherokees are not foreigners, but original inhabitants of America..." - John Ross - 1824