Monday, December 31, 2012

Raid on Entebbe

In 'Raid on Entebbe' the soldiers, en-route to Entebbe, are studying the faces of the terrorists in a folder (the better to shoot them all dead, my dear):

Lt. Col. Yonatan 'Yoni' Netanyahu: What if he came through that door?

Capt. Sammy Berg: I'd shoot him.

Netanyahu: What if he was surrounded by fifty women and children?

Berg: (thoughtful pause) I wouldn't miss.

A great film, but like a lot of films made in ye olde days, the pacing is slower than we're used to with newer films.   But once you get used to that, you're watching a great film, showing the terrorists, hostages, politicians, soldiers, all doing their thing.  Plus Yaphet Kotto as Idi Amin.

I have no idea how faithful the movie is to the actual events.  Wiki claims the soldiers destroyed the Ugandan fighter planes on the ground.  Knowing that, I was expecting some guys to run around with C4, some hammers.  The movie soldiers used a jeep-mounted recoilless rifle and there were lots of kabooms and explosions which delighted my inner-child. 

Me, I'd use explosives and the hammers to wreck the fighters - planes are fragile.   Save the recoilless ammunition to repel any soldiers that show up.  You can always shoot it off as you're leaving.  But .. explosions!  The heck with historical accuracy, am-I-rite?

Also: Charles Bronson as the ground commander spent all of his time on the ground yammering into the radio.  Which made my the war movie critic in my head happy; that's how it's really done.

The ending is .. I shed a manly tear.  They did that sucker right.

Joe Bob says check it out.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Home Repair

It is pleasing that I can utilize a modest amount of God-granted smarts, gumption, and the repair manual, to fix my washing machine.

Smart membrane button no clicky - well take that sucker apart and glue it back together.  Look, I fixed it!  Golly.

It is annoying that this is the second time around that track, and that I neglected to remember that I cannot treat my washing machine as if it were a machine. 


I must caress 'START' with care, kindness, and a feather touch.

This is the way of home machinery in the 21st century and I must adapt.

Hollywood Firearms Inc

The Rev Jesse Jackson talked assault weapons ban on the WGN Morning News .

“These military style weapons can bring down airplanes, they can bring down buildings, they can shoot people in mass with the pull of a trigger,” he said. “We must get these weapons off the street and out of our houses.”

Do what?

Where can one obtain one of these rifles-of-awesome-destruction that bring down buildings and why do I not have one?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail

Come, my friends.
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,--
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Alfred,Lord Tennyson : Ulysses

Friday, December 21, 2012

They seemed to float above the glittering moonlit surface of the Pacific

Gwendolyn read Fiona stories in bed for an hour while John perused the evening edition of the Times, then spread out some papers on the room's tiny desk. Later, they both changed into their evening clothes, primping quietly in twilight so as not to wake Fiona. At nine o'clock they stepped into the passageway, locked the door, and followed the sound of the big band to Æther's grand ballroom, where the dancing was just getting underway. The floor of the ballroom was a slab of translucent diamond. The lights were low. They seemed to float above the glittering moonlit surface of the Pacific as they did the waltz, minuet, Lindy, and electric slide into the night.

Reading this passage from 'The Diamond Age' always cheers me right up. 

May you find yourself with your own beloved, dancing the night away above the Pacific.

Speaking of which, headlights are dancing across the snow, my own beloved is home.  Good night.

That would create serious 2nd Amendment, 8th Amendment and logistical problems

Happens without fail.

Every time I start to think 'Well, yes, the Republicans might now be the party of small government, fiscal restraint, and respect for the constitution' like it says on the wrapper a conservative, Republican 'not a fan of the regulatory state' guys pops out of the woodwork to remind me 'don't be fooled again'

Bring back the assault weapons ban, and bring it back with some teeth this time. Ban the manufacture, importation, sale, transfer and possession of both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Don't let people who already have them keep them. Don't let ones that have already been manufactured stay on the market. I don't care whether it's called gun control or a gun ban. I'm for it.

'logistical problems'  Cheese and crackers: It's not the banality of evil, it's the banality of a wee little mind wrapping the Bill of Rights in a week-old newspaper and throwing it out the door for convenience sake.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Re: 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person

Everyone is linking to this.

Not to be cool and hip but because it's the Truth shining forth like the Word from a Pentecostal come to Jesus meeting in August.

Also: Glengarry Glen Ross.  How have I not seen this before?

#6. The World Only Cares About What It Can Get from You

#5. The Hippies Were Wrong

#4. What You Produce Does Not Have to Make Money, But It Does Have to Benefit People

#3. You Hate Yourself Because You Don't Do Anything

#2. What You Are Inside Only Matters Because of What It Makes You Do

#1. Everything Inside You Will Fight Improvement

If you'll excuse me; there is a computer in the next room with Squid installed.  Got an idea for a URL forwarding doo-hickey I want to fool around with.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Importance of Story by: John M. Del Vecchio

The Importance of Story
Individual and Cultural Effects of Skewing the Realities of American Involvement in Southeast Asia for Social, Political and/or Economic Ends.
by: John M. Del Vecchio

In this paper, (pdf) I would like to establish a framework for the Importance of Story; then briefly examine how, and in what forms, Viet Nam has entered the American consciousness; where that story is skewed from verifiable reality; and why; and finally look at the ramifications of the distortions, gaps and omissions in ambient cultural story.

Worth the read.  I wonder what Story is at work on the American consciousness now?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Orwell wrote in vain or vein or whatever do not judge me maaaan

Chandra, a "recovering grammar snob" who works as an English teacher, has a smashing trio of essays on Literacy Privilege -- the invisible privilege that accrues to people who have the facility to write well and clearly, and who have absorbed the "correct" conventions of English. I know I've been guilty of dismissing people because of their grammar/spelling errors

Back that truck right the f*ck on up there, Cry Dctrw. Being able to run spell check is a privilege?  Writing in a clear and concise manner is so hard you can't expect just anyone to pick it up?

This privilege shit has gone too far: bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

Spelling counts.  Concise expression beats a stew of muddled krep any day.

Favor baffling bullshit over clarity?  The hell I will.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

You can't kill me - I'm having a dinner party

The Perfect Host with David Hyde Pierce: a little slice of awesome movie.  Joe Bob sez 'Check it out'.

Joe Bob also sez 'don't watch the trailer' and 'don't look up spoilers'.  The trailer sucks.  You only need to know this;

It is part dark comedy, part thriller, part head drama.  There is a bad guy.  There is a fussy little man giving a dinner party.

There are twists, turns, 'what the' moments.  They caught my wife by surprise, which these kinds of things do not usually do.  Judging by that, these were executed very deftly.

You remember David Hyde Pierce from 'Frasier' as Niles Crane, where for a decade he played a dandy in a sitcom.  A fop.  You can't get away from Pierce as a fussy little man - he looks like a fussy little man.  But he is not Niles in the movie.  And it is very, very, good.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

He kept us out of war

(AP) President Barack Obama says the U.S. now recognizes Syria's main opposition group as the "legitimate representative" of the country's people. The move paves the way for greater U.S. support as the group seeks the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Well keep your powder dry and break out the F-18s! We gonna have us a war!

Been awhile since we had one of those.  It's like what, a year, since we blew up Libya with our air force? 

Well parder: that is too long.

Tab Clearing

I am a soldier. I am dirt.  Read the whole thing.

Rachel Was Wrong: Agrochemicals' Benefit to Human Health and the Environment

Lest Darkness Triumph by L. Neil Smith

Abuse of Power in the Executive Branch

NixOS. A linux for system administrators and other people who just want to get things done.

The Privatization of Roads and Highways (PDF)

UC Berkeley Librarian To Daily Cal Sex Columnist: 'Please Don't F*ck In The Library'  Sow what you reap, lady.

Licking The Envelope (An easy guide on how to use PGP ENCRYPTED E-MAIL)

The ends of humanity: Socialism is dead, and the transhuman future looms. Is there any way to recover a sense of global purpose?

There is an Ender's Game movie in the works. I cannot imagine how it could be faithful, or even good when scenes as described below are integral to the plot.  A pre-teen brutally maiming his opponent, without heat, and with a great deal of careful consideration, should be too raw for the cinema, nu?.

Despite his desperate circumstances, Ender coolly reads Bonzo’s character and manipulates him into fighting one-on-one. Once the fight begins, Ender easily beats Bonzo to a pulp, without himself even getting scratched: when it comes to the test, Bonzo the formidable adversary is stupid and incompetent, or his rage makes him stupid and incompetent. Up until now Ender has shown himself to be vastly superior to Bonzo in mental combat; now he shows himself to be equally superior in physical combat. Yet even when it is clear that Ender has already won the fight, Ender persists in maiming Bonzo in order to insure there are no future attacks.

Thursday, December 06, 2012


My grandson, at nearly two-years old ... the subtle relationship dance of Foghorn Leghorn and the Dog are beyond him.

But not the antic slapstick of Coyote's eternal search for dinner.

"Dog! Meep-meep!"

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

And then, we make dumplings

I have mentioned here before that my wife is free-spirited. A poet. A talented musician. A lady who disdains directions and measurements.

She was sick yesterday. This is her recipe for chicken and dumplings, as transcribed from the sick bed.

The chicken I defrosted
A bay leaf
That thing you said

Put everything in water. When the meat is falling off de-bone the bird.

And then, we make dumplings.

Tasted pretty good, even with the guessing at measurements, and so forth and so on.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Thanks for ...

Stopping to be thankful even when it's not Thanksgiving;

AWS has a free tier.  Here, Amazon is saying, the bits are so cheap and stupid easy to setup we can afford to give you some of them.

We're having unseasonably warm weather.

I thought I knew Linux.  I did!  But it was a casual, superficial kind of thing - run a workstation, setup a server: big deal.  I'm laying the groundwork for deploying hundreds of the things.  Today I got into (duh duh duh) software repositories: reposync, createrepo, those mysterious .repo files.

I live two miles from work.  I get to come home for lunch every day.