Friday, June 29, 2007

Mitt Romney - off the list

I'll give the guy props for being calm and collected.
As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway.
Having the screaming memies during a crisis helps no one.

But putting the dog on a carrier on top of the car?  Ye Gods.  Romney is off the list.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ponder This

"The vision of Sprague's three destroyers . . . charging out of the smoke and the rain straight toward the main batteries of Kurita's battleships and cruisers, can endure as a picture of the way Americans fight when they don't have superiority. Our schoolchildren should know about that incident, and our enemies should ponder it.'"

Herman Wouk
War and Remembrance

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Action Park

TJIC points to a Wikipedia article on Action Park. It reads like a really good article from National Lampoon, or a director's cut of Caddy Shack.

A state investigation of improprieties in the leasing of state land to the resort led to a 110-count grand jury indictment against the nine related companies that ran the resort and their executives for operating an unauthorized insurance company.

... the director of the emergency room at a nearby hospital said they treated from five to ten victims of park accidents on some of the busiest days, and the park eventually bought the township of Vernon extra ambulances to keep up with the volume.

... after the park management briefly set up a microbrewery nearby, employees looking for after-hours fun would break into it, steal the beer, and then ride the cars on Route 94.

Employees at the park used to like eating at a nearby snack bar with a good view of the attraction, since it was almost guaranteed that they could see some serious injuries, lost bikini tops, or both.

Those who made it to the bottom found their progress arrested by water, which made a large splash, and then a small pool. The speed at which riders met the end resulted in many getting wedgies and enemas from the experience. Employees kept fishnets for scooping out the occasional nugget of excrement or tampon.

Some [staff] deserted their assigned posts to drink or smoke marijuana with coworkers for a while, then returned to work under the influence of those substances.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Don't trifle with The Man - he'll treat you with kid gloves

Sweet thorny-headed Jesus;
Six of the 13 teenagers arrested after a boozy party that trashed a Haddonfield home while its residents were away struck plea-bargain deals yesterday that allowed them a year's probation..
We're sorry. Really. Cross our hearts, we won't do that again.
The party house sustained about $18,000 in damage. Youths defecated on a Steinway grand piano, ejaculated onto stuffed animals, and sprayed a urine-filled Super Soaker water gun at upholstered furniture.

In yesterday's deal, four of the teens pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and two to trespassing.

All escaped detention, unless they get into other trouble with the law or with drugs or alcohol in the next year. If they stay out of trouble, the charges will be dismissed.

Despite the heavy damage, DiCamillo ordered the 10 youths who have pleaded guilty only to pay a combined total of $750, the amount that the victim's insurance did not cover.
Golly, Judge DiCamillo, that will teach 'em.
DiCamillo told the defendants not to bother the family and to tell their friends.

"Go tell everyone. Leave this family alone," DiCamillo said. "They've been harmed enough."
I am certain the little darlings are quaking in their boots and will certainly pass the Word that The Man is to be feared and obeyed. 'Cause you certainly showed them that The Laws are not to be trifled with.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

I Will Survive - Nerdly Edition

I Will Survive - Nerdly Edition by TJIC*

First I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without MBAs by my side
But I spent so many nights
thinking how they did me wrong
I grew strong
I learned how to carry on
and so you’re back
from CES
I just walked in to find you here
with that hiring look upon your face
I should have changed my email address
I should have changed my “contact me”
If I had known for just one second
you’d be back to bother me

Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
’cause you’re not welcome anymore
weren’t you the one who tried to give me common stock
you think I’d sign up
you think I’d code another crock
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as I know how to code
I know I will stay alive
I’ve got my career to live
I’ve got all my code to give
and I’ll survive
I will survive

It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to sell
the stock not worth a fart
and I spent oh so many nights
just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry
Now I hold my head up high
and you see me
working for myself
I’m not that chained up little coder
still employed by you
and so you felt like calling up
and just expect me to be free
now I’m saving all my coding
for my own firm that’s paying me

Monday, June 18, 2007

Halfway to anywhere in the solar system

Charlie Stross - a SF writer from the UK - set down his thoughts on The High Frontier and why the whole thing is unlikely to happen.

  • Space is big. Really, really big.
  • It's going to be really hard to do.
  • All of these arguments go out the window when we build a space elevator.
Space elevators, if we build them, will invalidate a lot of what I just said. Some analyses of the energy costs of space elevators suggest that a marginal cost of $350/kilogram to geosynchronous orbit should be achievable without waving any magic wands (other than the enormous practical materials and structural engineering problems of building the thing in the first place). So we probably can look forward to zero-gee vacations in orbit, at a price. And space elevators are attractive because they're a scalable technology; you can use one to haul into space the material to build more. So, long term, space elevators may give us not-unreasonably priced access to space, including jaunts to the lunar surface for a price equivalent to less than $100,000 in today's money. At which point, settlement would begin to look economically feasible, except ...

The except is this: It's really inhospitable out there.

All of which can be summed up - and was - by the pithy quote from Mr. Heinlein
Reach low orbit and you’re halfway to anywhere in the Solar System.

Cross posted to LiftPort Staff Blog.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Expanding on the idea

Fred Thompson is on board with John Edward's 'Marshall Corps' program, and expands on the idea
"Here's how I picture it - after joining, the courageous volunteers would shave their heads, spend a few months receiving combat & weapons training, then be deployed to unstable countries to reach out to those who are at risk of seduction by violent extremism. For maximum effectiveness, this reaching out should be done mostly with bullets, grenades, rockets, and other high-velocity/high-explosive projectiles."

"I would call this expanded version of Edwards' 'Marshall Corps' the 'Massively Armed Response to Islamic Nutjob Extremists' or 'MARINE' Corps."
I will allow that he really didn't say it but as with so many things posted at IMAO .. he should have.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.


Saturday, June 16, 2007


I was married on June 13, 1997. My wife is the bestest, sweetest, kindest and most loving person I know and I'm privileged that she's chosen to share her life with me.

A long time ago in another life when things got difficult or strange we used to say in a mock-ironic way "every day a holiday, every meal a feast". The past ten years there have been hard times and difficult times and I've learned that what we used to say in jest can be true.

Every day a holiday, every meal a feast. I love you, Pasty.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.


I've been listening to John Kennedy's Inaugural Address via these guys. It might be the lateness of the hour or my own latent romantic streak but

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
I've got chills running up and down my spine. I know that the man had his issues and Camelot is just an after-the-fact deal but . . . I'm jealous.

I want a President like that.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Monkey Knife Fight

Monkey Knife Fight

So many many things wrong with this on so many levels.


Monday, June 11, 2007


We've all had those days. Driving along, you have an 'oops' and then you're stuck in the mud or on the side of the road in a ditch.


It is just all so much more fun when you do this with your first sergeant watching. Not that I would know from personal experience or anything ...

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Gulag Archipelego as Penal Reform

Kate Brown writes that the Gulag wasn't really intended to be a series of death camps
What were the Gulag planners thinking? Who would send hungry, unshod people to the Siberian Taiga without supplies, shelter and tools in the midst of a famine in order to build a brave new world? If this wasn’t sheer sadism, but really a utopian project, as Werth, I think rightly, asserts, who could imagine success?
But really, penal reform. A society struggling to find a place for it's malcontents and others uprooted during the drive to collectivization. To save money on guards and prison staff - it was economics, yo. It just went off the rails, a bit. Stalin meant well, you see.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Not just cow farmers, progressive cow farmers

Buckethead has worked his way around to my home place in his 'alternative state motto ' series.
  • We gave D&D to the world, please don’t hate us
  • We had a thin guy who lived here, but he was eaten
  • The Seasonal Affective Disorder State
  • Pinko commie, but in a nice Swedish way, not a bloodthirsty Russian way
  • Out drinking your state since 1848
  • Fargo’s in North Dakota, jackass
  • Gateway to Michigan’s Fantabulous Upper Peninsula
  • Stay Just a Little Bit Longer! Does that sound needy? Be honest.

More Perfidy goodness here.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

John Edwards - off the list

John Edwards is right off the list

The single biggest thing to be done is the president of the United States needs to put one person, a very high-level competent person in the White House, in charge of New Orleans. And that person -- the president should say to that person, "I want you in my office every morning telling me what you did in New Orleans yesterday." And the next day say, "I want you in my office telling me what you did yesterday. I'm not interested in what you're going to do six months from now; I want to know what you did yesterday. And I want to know what's happening on the ground," the president, "what's happening on the ground every single day."
That sounds like a great way to get a whole lotta short term gains that will look great on the daily PowerPoint slides. Probably not-so-great for a long-term project.

I don't want as President a guy who micromanages - I want as President an executive who knows how to delegate. It's called Leadership.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Weapons of Mass Creation

This seemed very appropriate given the krep that is happening with LiftPort. Funny how things like this just trip into your life when you need them. From Kelly Tsai's June update ..

Weapons of Mass Creation
by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai

what if we had
of mass creation?

in underground

dug out in nooks
and crannies

secretly across
the globe

we could get
some of those
MIT scientists

to tinker away at

building us some
nuclear reactors

on the sly

designed to indiscriminately
birth, capacitate, and heal



with just one click
of a red button:

juicy slugs sliding down
stop signs

green velvety grass
creeping from between
crumbled sidewalks

loaves of braided bread
materializing in mailboxes

a song bubbling in every throat
an absence filled in every hand

clothes ballooning
buttons popping

a woman swinging
her round beautiful hips

smiling unafraid as the sweat
rolls off her nose

weapons of mass creation

to explode babies onto
every street corner

huge blinking eyes
curious chubby fingers

crawling over car hoods and
through cracked windows

crying, cooing, gurgling

weapons of mass creation

to dissolve on contact the welling
ache within each human heart

to lift lightly the burden carried
with both hands over head

to erase all shadows
ever burned into the ground

weapons of mass creation

plant daisies in every gun

make each bullet birdseed

let the flocks carry away
our knives within their claws

let them trap our screaming
between their beaks

and as they fly

usher us into a new age of
joy and laughter

hair, nails, teeth, skin,
bones growing at a
luscious, rapid pace

as we wiggle our
toes deeper and deeper
into moist, crystal-black
fertile ground

Cross posted to Space For Commerce.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007



That is an odd noise for the cat to make his late at night.

Mrr-eow mrrr mrrr ow

Ah. He's got a mouse. And it's .... not dead. As it clearly demonstrated when it was dropped next to my bed and scampered under the dresser.

Time for remedial instruction for the cat. First kill, then bring upstairs to show it off.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


There is a scene in 'Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End' where Elizabeth delivers an epic speech;
"You all listen to me! LISTEN! The other ships will still be looking to us, the Black Pearl to lead, and what will they see? Frightened bilgerats aboard a derelict ship? No, they will see free men and freedom! And the enemy will see the flash of our canons and they will hear the ringing of our swords and they will know what we can do! With the sweat of our brow and the strength of our backs and the courage in our hearts! Gentlemen, Hoist the Colours"
Note to movie makers - women can deliver epic speech, and do a good job at it. But they cannot do it bellowing like drill instructors; it comes out sounding shrill. Shrill is non-epic. This is effective epic speech and how it should be delivered;
My loving people,

We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear, I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, for your forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and We do assure you in the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean time, my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.
The movie? Not so bad. It is a long movie and it's not epic cinema but it's worth the money.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.