Monday, August 04, 2008


One other quick item...
If Obama is so f'ing wonderful and the media has basically declared that he's won and should be crowned God-Emperor, then why exactly has his lead completely disappeared and why is McCain now leading? Hmm...

All In...

When I get involved with leisure activities, I tend to pick one thing and get waaay into it.

In high school, I finally was able to find a martial arts school and go there. I really enjoyed that activity and wound up going 4-5 times per week, usually for 2-3hrs per time. I went to a few tournaments along the way and did win Forms Grand Champion at the tournament hosted by our school. In my senior year, I made it up to Brown Belt 3, the last belt before Black Belt. My instructor had a stoke during the spring and had an extended recovery. I then went off to college and have been looking for a martial arts school ever since. Turns out that have a job and family makes attending martial arts a bit of a trick.

In the first few years after college, I discovered the wonderful world of Everquest, the first major MMORPG, Massively Multiplayer Online RolePlaying Game. Untold hours were spent on this, both playing, and researching. I've had a subscription to one MMO or another just about non-stop ever since.

In past few years, my co-workers and I played first person shooters like Counter-Strike and Battlefield 2 for nearly 2yrs solid. We made a gaming 'clan' (NCK - No Crying in Kickball), had our own server, etc. Three of us working in the same group and the first 1-2hrs of the morning would involve debriefing the games of the night before.

When I was in Muscat, the husband of the IT manager we were working with kept asking us to come over and take a look at his toy soldiers. We didn't really know what to make of that request and typically changed the subject as soon as possible. On one of the last nights, we went over to their place for dinner and drinks. Naturally, as soon as the food was done, out come the 'toy soldiers.' Turns out, my man was a table top war gamer...stuff like re-playing Waterloo or Gettysburg. One group of soldiers he had was from Warhammer 40k, a sci-fi war game some of my friends in junior high messed around with. This guys models (toy soldiers) were very detailed and painted to an impressive standard. I thought, wow, that's pretty neat. When I got back to the world, I was kinda of between activities. I had been playing EVE Online (a spaceship MMO), but had grown tired of it. I decided to give Warhammer 40k a try. I've assembled two armies (Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Demons) painted 85/95% of them, respectively. Turns out I'm pretty good at that game, too. I finished in the top third in my first two tournaments, finished #5 out of 32 in a recent 3 month league, and am currently ~ #6 out of 37 in the current Summer League. So, I do my usual bit and read up on the subject, cruise the relevant forums, and read the associated fiction books. Incidentally, the 40k novels are generally excellent and a really enjoying aspect of the hobby.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Politics....nature or nuture?

So Melanie made the observation about how all three children from a politically moderate mother currently range across the entire political spectrum. That made me think....what exactly causes that? Hard-wired into our brain? Environment? Both?

Here is a partial family listing (tree structure is not cooperating) with political affifiations (as best as I know). If you can provide corrected information, email me and I'll make a more complete picture.

Larry & Wendy
Republican Republican?

CJ, Linda, & Edie
Cult Leader, Moderate Republican & Republican?

Melanie & Paul
Libertarian & "Centrist"

Stephanie & Steve
Democrat & Democrat

Chris & Michelle
Republican & Republican

Adam & Katie
Democrat? & unknown

So, the nature option obviously does not hold much weight. But, the nuture one has issues as well since our upbringing was generally non-political, so how did that spectrum arrive? I lean to a combination....ex: I've always been fairly hard-core Republican, but I'm also very Pro-Choice (I saw first hand the effects of many unwanted teenage pregnancies in south Mississippi).


Monday, June 19, 2006

Natalie, meet Cindy and Jane

So, the We're pop, not Country Dixie Chicks have a new tour. And the weird thing is how few ticket sales they are getting in the US. As a result, they have cancelled a number of shows in the US, but they have expanded their tour in Canada. Hmm....

Let's recap - right before Operation Iraqi Freedom, little miss Natalie Maines told a concert audience that she was ashamed that President Bush was from her home state of Texas. <motto: Don't Mess With Texas> You would think that she would have thought about her state motto before saying that she is ashamed the President who kicked the living shit out of the Taliban is from Texas. Now, fans of country music can be, well, they can be a little bit country. And there is nothing at all wrong with that. In fact, they tend to be solid patriots, proud of their work and their country. So, Natalie bashs on President Bush and all sorts of country radio stations stopped playing Dixie Chick cd's (indeed, some thew out and destroyed their cd's to much fanare).

"It was the bullying and the scare factor," shudders banjo and guitar player Robison. "It was like the McCarthy days, and it was almost like the country was unrecognisable."
Um, no, you fucking idiot. The McCarthy days were about poeple being investigated by the government for allenged Communist Party ties. Sorry, but you can't blame the government if you act stupid and people stop playing your music and stop buying your cd's.

A few other nice bits from that article:
The level of debate can be gauged from the way Maines was compared to "Hanoi Jane" Fonda, who was photographed manning a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun at the height of the Vietnam war.

"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism," Maines resumes, through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."

All I can say is that if that fucking traitorious bitch wants to spew shit like that, she can get the fuck out of my country and hang out in France. (Side note: she was in the UK during that interview).

And another shining example of disrespecting your country while abroad..Sheehan Supports U.S. Deserters in Canada
Couple of quick things here:
- If you volunteer for the military (which every single soldier since the 70's has done), you cannot claim you are doing your duty to your country while badmouthing in it Canada with Cindy (that evil woman who continually disrespects the honor of her son's service to his country).
- Canada has not, repeat, has not granted political aslyum to the deserting soldiers, correctly realizing that the soldiers were not drafted against their will like the last time a bunch of bleeding heart liberals deserted and started heading North.

So, since the 'Dixie' Chick's are getting more non-country, agreeable fans in Canada, I'm all for them staying there. Maybe they can get together with Jane Fonda and Cindy and make a new band called The Treacherous Five. I'm sure they'll be a big hit in Canada, France, Vietnam, and China.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I'm a boxing expert

A few news items today:
  • 'GLOBAL WARMING' PROTESTERS CALL FOR RESIGNATION OF HURRICANE CENTER DIRECTOR - Hundreds of concerned citizens and leaders from across the nation will join Hurricane Katrina survivors Wednesday to call for the resignation of the heads of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the NOAA Headquarters just outside of Washington, D.C. During an 11 a.m. demonstration, advocates will demand that NOAA stop covering up the growing scientific link between severe hurricanes and global warming while insisting on real solutions to the problem of global warming.
    Nice, 30 people. Wonder how many of them were members of the press. Also, they were demanding the resignation of the director of a group that predicts hurricane paths to protest global warming? Are you kidding? That's it, I demand Mr. Smith, my 9th grade Sunday School teacher resign immediately, since he advocated the thoery of creation vs the theory of evolution.
  • Senator Reid (D-Nevada) was photographed at frontrow seats at various boxing matches with John McCain (R-Arizona). At the time, a bill was being debated regarding federation regulations of boxing. A Nevada gaming group gave Senator Reid the tickets and he felt obligidged to attend, in the front row, to make sure boxing was being carried out properly. Turns out that excuse didn't fly well and now he is backpedaling.
    "Several ethics experts disagreed, criticizing Reid's rationale that he felt obligated to take the tickets to ensure boxing was being conducted properly in his home state.
    "He is no more obligated to go to boxing matches than he is to a Celine Dion concert in Vegas," said Melanie Sloan, a former Justice Department prosecutor and head of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington." - source:
    Can you smell the bullshit in the air on that one? "Yeah, I had to accept ring side tickets to three major boxing events to 'make sure they were boxing correctly.' Especially since I'm such a boxing expert or something. And I'll also be an expert on any other event or sport where I can score some free tickets.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Pots, Churches, and Kettles

Wow, where exactly do I start with this hot potatoe?
  • The Book - I read it about two weeks ago. At the very least, it's an excellant thriller. Going beyond the basic plot, I really like the historical information in the book. Lots of word origin stuff, background on various religions, etc.
  • The Movie - it was screened today at Cannes. Looks like it's getting about 85% bad/indifferent, 15% good reviews. Word is that Cannes is the proverbial 'tough crowd.' Average people will have to wait till Friday. I can generally trust that if the reviewers like it, I'm going to freaking hate it (ex: The Piano). Conversely, when the reviewers hate it (ex: all Adam Sandler movies) there are pretty durn good odds that I'll love it and be tracking the DVD release date.
  • The Buzz - A Cardinal in the Vatican says that Catholics should boycott the movie. Multiple Far East Catholic groups are throwing the inevitable fits and demanding the movie be banned from those countries. Ugh.
  • Kettle, Pot're black. So, it's cool when the movie supports your particular groups views (ex: The Passion of the Christ). But, boy, if that movie does not directly support your views, then it seems like you are obligated to demand the movie (or book, or TV show, or whatever) be banned immediately. And, if we are to take a cue from our Muslim friends, then immediately break all commerical ties with whatever country created the 'offensive material', demand the creators be killed via Jihad, and generally completely disrespect the laws of that country (i.e. Freedom of Speech).
  • And finally, a bit of Common Sense - Sir Ian (of LOTR fame) stars in The Da Vinci Code. Making light of the current controversy about the movie/book, he said something to the effect of "Do you know anybody that can walk on water? No? Well, then the Bible should have a disclaimer stating that it is a work of fiction." And the best one yet....when Ron Howard was asked about the controversy of the movie, he responded "if you think you will be offended by this movie, don't go see it." Wow, good for you Ron. I can't wait to see what the "I'm born to be offended" crowd has to say about that. Probably that Ron Howard is trying to violate their Freedom of Watching Movies That I Already Hate Before I See And Am Guaranteed To Complain About.

What I find especially interesting about this whole deal with the Da Vinci Code is the Church's reaction to it. These guys are screaming bloody murder...why, exactly? What is it that they are so afraid of? Their parishioners might do some thinking about the origins of their faith? Holy Crap, not that!!! That those poor, malleable minds might have some tough questions for the local priest? Wifey and I talked about this book with some co-workers this afternoon after work. For an hour. We had a wide-ranging, thought provoking discussion. No hurt feelings. No lawsuits. Nobody changed their religion. Just a nice discussion. For an hour, four adults had a enlightening civil religious conversation. All because of a fictional book. How dare Dan Brown.

Immigration fun

So, there is quite the fuss over the past several days about immigration. There are about 80,000 people protesting in the Capitol right now for 'immigrant rights.' That's fine with me, as long as they are protesting for the protection of LEGAL IMMIGRANT rights. Also, seems like a great opportunity for INS to deport about 75,000 illegals.

"Senators voted 83-16 to add fencing and 500 miles of vehicle barriers along the southern border....
Construction of the barrier would send "a signal that open-border days are over. ... Good fences make good neighbors, fences don't make bad neighbors," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. He said border areas where barriers already exist have experienced economic improvement and reduced crime. "
Source: Breitbart

I say 'Hell Yeah!' There is nothing wrong with a country protecting their own border. Mexican President Fox is threatening legal action, in U.S. Courts, about posting National Guard in admin roles on the border to allow more Border Patrol agents to actually Patrol. Hey, Fox, how about looking after your own country and economic development before going to court to help your citizens gain illegal entry into another county.

Mandatory Fun, $5 please

Wow, don't you get a real warm and fuzzy feeling when you are required to come to a project luncheon, and also required to pay $5 for the pleasure of eating from a paper plate while standing up? I'm about to go have fun like that right now. I'm always a bit leary when companies feed you (EDS likes to do a feed/fire combo). But, in this case, since we are paying for the food ourselves, I suppose we'll all still have a job after the Costco burgers.