Monday, January 31, 2011

Okay, found some content....

In my workplace today we've been getting email after email regarding the upcoming Blizzard-from-Hell/Snowmagedon event that is expected tomorrow and into Wednesday.  However, they are passing along weather advisories from the...  get this... Indiana Department of Homeland Security. 

So I'm confused.

Either there has been some serious mission creep or else terrorists have some serious weather machines on their side and have changed the course of the jet stream and have seeded the clouds to make the conditions right for a severe weather event.  Truly, I just don't get it.  Isn't that what we have the National Weather Service and stuff for?  And if they're not doing their jobs, can we cut them out of the federal budget?

Maybe the DHS now thinks they are the Superfriends??

I got nothing....

The muse just isn't whispering in my ear today so I'm going with the fallback cartoon-in-lieu-of-content.  At least with this one you have to have some knowledge of history to truly appreciate it (who knows what a '4F' meant in WWII?).  It's also one of the few where Bugs truly meets his match.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Seriously, does the Obama team do any fact-checking?

This particular factoid from the SOTU is quite ironic.  The Colorado school (grades 6-12) that Obama praised as a model school is one who was granted an exemption from union rules in 2007.  They had all teachers re-apply for their jobs and only six made the cut.  The school's first graduating class had a graduation rate of 97%.  You'd think that his fact-checkers should know that this school goes in direct opposition to Obama's connection with the teachers unions.  So, at least one path on the step to student success is the punting of teachers unions.  Interesting....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chris Christie tells it (again) like it is...

Okay, I admit to being a total fangirl when it comes to Christie.  But dang, the man has a way with words.  This time he's having to tell yet another public service employee (police officer) how it is.  I have the highest respect for police officers and firemen but their unions are proving to be as intractable as the auto-workers and the teachers and are doing as much damage to their constituencies.  They don't realize that fiscally, everyone is at the end of the line.  Christie tells this guy that a lot of people before him made promises that they didn't (and couldn't) keep when it came to salaries and pensions (and cashing out sick leave).  He also points out that one city had to actually take out bonds to pay four police officers over $900,000 at their retirements (each) for unused sick leave.  At the end, when the man is complaining about a net $4.00 in his paycheck after his increase in health insurance costs and his two percent raise, Christie tells him that at least he has a job and that he's going to have to make health care choices, just like everyone else to see what he can afford.

A politician actually telling the truth.  No wonder there's so much snow in the Northeast--hell has, indeed, frozen over.  (Via Coalition of the Swilling via Insty):  Let it snow!!

This guy makes all other badasses look like pikers

Via The Other McCain:  A retired Nepalese Gorkha (or Ghurka, depending on your spelling preference) killed three robbers, wounded another eight, and scattered a total of forty robbers on a train using only his skills and his khuruki.  In the process, he saved a young girl from being raped and saved a lot of sheeple (thank goodness there was a sheepdog aboard the train) from being robbed.  The robbers flashed guns but all of the fighting was old school--really, really old school--mainly swords and knives.  He was injured in the battle but has recovered.  Interestingly enough, the translation for Ghurka means "cow-protector".....

All badassness should now be compared to the actions of Bishnu Shrestha.

When is a Law, not a Law??

A law is not a law when it does not apply equally to all persons and entities.  I'm hearing that there are now over 700 exemptions to unions and business out there to Obamacare's annual limits requirement (doesn't count some states that have been exempted either).  These are being handed out like candy, but the party got started with the big supporters of Obama and the bill from hell.  It's one of the most interesting payoffs in recent history (kind of like the bribes and such that were included in order to garner passage of the bill in the first place).  If there is a need to issue waivers to a law, it should be declared null and void due to overreach.  No one should be above the law and no one should be exempt from a law by regulatory fiat.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dentist appointment

Had a dentist appointment yesterday.  Usually these are no-brainers because I've been blessed with bones and teeth of pure adamantium but since I hadn't been for three years, I was expecting something like:

or this:

Well, maybe not the second one since Himself assured me that the guy was really nice.  It turned out to be relatively painless and I had no cavities or other issues.  I let them do both types of x-rays since it's probably been a decade since I'd had any.  Love the new instant panoramic view--by the time we got back to the chair, my big ol' skull was prominently displayed on the screen.

Got a cleaning (which just feels great the next day) and a look-over and out the door with my bag o' dentist goodies.  No lectures about flossing or anything.  Life is good.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jumping the Shark, SOTU-style, a liveblog with commentary

Okay, during the SOTU, I now realize why I keep seeing (or repeating over and over) STFU.  It's not the State of the Union anymore, it's the 'here's my agenda and you all should agree with me'.  So there's agenda items such as amnesty for illegal students because they happen to make it to college (and be subsidized by taxpayers); high speed rail (what is the fascination of the left with high-speed rail??); and electric cars (ditto on the electric cars--why??). 

He's talking about reviewing regulations and cutting items that put extra burden on business (hello, the 1099 provision in Obamacare--great place to start, you moron).. Wait, did he actually reference that provision as something that needs to be changed?  Oh crap, now he's bringing in the so-and-so from somewhere sob story because he doesn't realize the basis of insurance and risk and that whole pre-existing thing that kind of goes against the idea of insurance. 

The thing that gets me too, is the whole thing about education.  Cutting the federal department of ed will do more for improving the educational system in the US than anything else they could do.

Hmmm... cutting medical costs through tort reforms.  Can't imagine where I heard that before.. *cough, cough*Tea Party*.... 

Still wanting to slam the 'wealthiest two percent'.  So let's go ahead and punish success although he says it's 'promoting America's success'.  Oy ve.  Simplifying the tax code would be good though.  Flat tax anyone??

I think Mr. B is right--investments was the word of the evening.  Should have done a drinking game.  I'd be more blitzed than the VodkaPundit by now.

I'm noticing that the mixed bag of seating at least is preventing everyone from jumping up and down.  But now he's against earmarks too.  If he'd been acting that way before he was essentially forced to, maybe the last two years wouldn't have been the clusterfuck that it's been.  The Tea Parties have to keep the push on though since political minds are small and memories are short-term.

Wait, did he just declare that the 'leadership of America has just been renewed'.  Nice conceit--just slid that in there.

Gee, now American Muslims are part of the American family.  Guess that puts the fun in dysfunction then with a side order of explosive family reunions because we now have the media blaming the conservatives for everything.  Guess the TSA will have to keep patting down little old ladies.

Iran and Korea is facing tougher sanctions than ever before.  Thanks Jimmy Carter Jr.  See how well that works.

In your face Harvard.  No excuse for keeping military recruiters off campus now with no 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.'

So other countries have the New York Times too in order to do the government's propaganda??

I'm still not hearing anything about the state of the union. 

But if he finishes up with 'Together We Thrive', I'm going to go throw up.

Oh, thank goodness, he didn't go there.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Attitude is everything....

Himself pointed this out via AMCGLTD (via Punchbaby).  This video is just fun to watch.  A whole song in sign.  Language warning, but at least I learned how to say f*** you in American sign.

Behold and despair.... the Cookie Variant

Behold and despair all ye who have tasted the infamous brownie cookies that were the first baking collaborative effort between Himself and me.  I have now added....  dare I say it...  shortbread.  My ultimate goal is a swirl cookie--right now they are still a bit blobby, but as with all things, they are a work in progress.  But they are wicked good..... especially with just a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lasers, lazers

Brigid has a frickin' cool post on lasers (or lazers) over at her place.  In the comments, someone mentioned the movie Real Genius and it prompted me to find the below on youtube:

I also provided this:

Freedom vs. Safety

Over at Roberta X's blog, she had a great post about the TJIC situation (here).  An Anonymous commenter in his/her last paragraph said:
" You can't have it both ways; you can't have a secure public AND respect their personal rights and freedoms."  
(As an aside, I'm noticing on just about everyone's postings about the TJIC situation is that when someone is defending the thug-tactics of the Arlington, MA police, they are commenting anonymously.  If you believe in your statement, you should at least be able to state it within the semi-anonymous working of the internet using your handle.)

My reply to the Anonymous commenter on Roberta's blog is:

Anonymous--There is absolutely no way to have a completely secure public. Life is risk. I'm not sure who said it originally, but there is no safety this side of the grave.

Personal rights and freedoms should always trump an unreachable goal. Otherwise we end up with the TSA and the confiscation of personal property without due cause.

The 1st Amendment came first because it was considered by the Founding Fathers to be the most important. To punish speech through the violation of the 2nd and 4th Amendment rights is abhorrent in a free society.
 I know that it's considered to be tacky in the blogworld to quote yourself, but I really want to expand on what I wrote above in stronger terms than I'd use on someone else's blog out of respect for their space.

It is completely incomprehensible to me that anyone could possibly excuse the actions of the Arlington, MA police and their actions, which anywhere else would have been the theft of private property, just as anyone would excuse the actions of the TSA and their intrusion into the free passage of the citizens of the United States through intrusive technologies and 'enhanced pat downs' that in any other situation in our society would be considered to be pornography, sexual harassment, and child molestation.

If anywhere in this country, a person can have their personal property confiscated because of a posting on the Internet (such as this one) that leads a bureaucratic hack to investigate their 'suitability' to be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights, then people need to, as Borepatch said, "Shine the bright sunlight of attention on them.", on their shady tactics.

The American public has slowly been leached of their sense of personal responsibility and and self-reliance, which has led to the government, on all levels, feeling that they are now above the citizenry that put them into place and that they can then trample the rights of those citizens at will "for the security of the people".

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.--Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Maybe they did it on purpose....

But I doubt it.  I saw the "quintessentially American" menu for the state dinner with Hu, the Chinese president tonight.  It included twice-baked potatoes, creamed spinach, ice cream, and pears with goat cheese.  Now, considering that 95% of Chinese folks are lactose intolerant, was this menu a deliberate setup for intestinal distress for the visitors or were the pikers in the White House just dumb again (and they think of Middle America as provincial)?  I'm voting the latter.

I am also TJIC

Via Borepatch, MArooned, Middle of the Right, Neanderpundit, all of our mothers' fears have come true and a blogger has had his Second Amendment rights voided due to his exercise of his First Amendment rights.

I too stand with Travis Corcoran:  I AM TJIC!

The Vagina Dance or "This is our public education system"

So apparently in Crystal Spring's (Illinois) Prairie Ridge High School, part of their sex education course consists of what is referred to as "The Vagina Dance" where all students have to get up and do a Hokey Pokey like dance while talking about the inner workings of the female form (via Big Journalism and The Gormogons). 

Aside from the fact that this seems to be on the face of it, discriminatory, because we're not hearing about the corresponding "Penis Dance", it seems that the local paper is complicit with the school district in denigrating and selectively editing information provided by one concerned parent.  To put it in the immortal terms of Kim Du Toit, it is literally the Pussification of the American Male (fortunately saved for posterity at the link given).

Seriously, this is what the K-12 educational system has come to.  And the Elitist Media wonders why the billions of dollars thrown at education in the last 30 years has equaled a decline in student knowledge.  As the parent in question rightly points out, Grey's Anatomy and models and the like work for medical students, why must high school students to a Performance Art dance in celebration of the vagina (and I'm still wondering where the Penis Dance is).

Sorry y'all, couldn't find a video of the dance but you wouldn't believe what google comes up with in a keyword search....

To keep him from bowing

So, do you think they stuck a metal rod up Pres. Bow-a-Lot's tee-shirt and underroos to keep him upright during the visit of the leader of China??  (picture via Big Government).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Whoo hoo! Gun show and blogmeet!!

I have been remiss about reporting on last Sunday's gun show and blogmeet.   When I keep waking up with visions of demented oompa loompas in my head, it makes it difficult to write.  Sunday morning we (Himself/Mr. B and I) met the mighty and indomitable Og and the Atomic Fungus to make our way to Indianapolis for the Indy 1500.  Aside from some ammo for my Sig, I was just wanting to look at sharp pointy objects to see if anything caught my fancy.

Car trips with the mighty Og are both surreal and illuminating, with conversations ranging between the absurd (see the above, although oompa loompas were not mentioned until later) to the sublime (best described as advanced engineering conversations between Og and Himself).  When we got to the show, it was crowded but you could still walk through the aisles.  Several vendors told us that the previous day, although it was very crowded, business was not as good as it could have been because no one could stand in the aisle long enough to do business--they got nudged away by the moving entity that the crowd had become.

Himself was a bit disappointed when an item that he had ordered and had been waiting to collect at the show was sold by accident and the person didn't bother to let us know (and I also ended up with only one box of ammo instead of two).  But aside from that unhappy episode, it's always fun, albeit overwhelming, to try to get through everything.  We got done early enough that we were able to collect Og and A.F. from their musings about women in sprayed on pants buying corndogs to go see Brigid at an Undisclosed Location since she's still under the weather and wasn't going to make the Blogmeet.

Since Brigid is in recuperation mode, we brought gifts:  cookies and books from Himself and me and models with paint and brushes from Og.  We went for lunch and pie at a nearby restaurant where my earlier luck (only one box instead of two) seemed to be holding (or else the little man behind the counter just felt the need to mess with me).  I first order the quiche lorraine (I'm sorry, we're out of the quiche lorraine, would you like the spinach and mushroom?)  Yes, I'd like the spinach and mushroom quiche (I'm sorry, we're out of the spinach and mushroom quiche.)  How about the french dip, I ask.  (Yes, we have the french dip.  Would you like pretzels, chips, potato salad, or fruit with that?)  I'd like the pretzels, please.  (We're out of pretzels.)  At this point, Himself looks at the guy and says "Why don't you tell us what you DO have so we can just pick?"  But my adventures in ordering really just added to the general hilarity of the lunch and I think we all proved that laughter is indeed the best medicine.

After a lovely and too-short time with Brigid, it was off to the Brewpub for the Blogmeet where there was much good conversation and I'm firmly convinced that, had Brigid also been sitting at the table, 99.9% of the world's knowledge would be accessible, or if not right there, someone would know how to find it.  Got to meet some new folks like The Jack (don't have links for everyone because I'm a dork and don't write stuff down but will add them as I find them--email me or comment me if you see this y'all) and got to talk with the regular folks for a bit (Tam, Roberta, JoAnna).  ETA:  D.W. from Connect the Dots, who drove a ways to get there....

All in all, a LOVELY day with good laughter and good people.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Well, I think I've successfully identified one of the problems with the Republican party

I think I've successfully identified one of the problems with the Republican party.  And that is, lack of communication with the state and county committees.  I know someone who has been  very active with the Republican party on the local level for years.  I talked to this person about the upcoming elections for the Republican National Committee leadership to see if we could do a bit of lobbying for Ann Wagner, who seemed to be the only true conservative of the bunch.  This person made phone calls and sent emails and talked to the Committee chair in the area and no-one had any idea that:  1) the elections were taking place and 2) who to talk to in order to pass the word up the line.  It was a complete black hole.

So, with 107 staffers (down from 170) and being MILLIONS of dollars in debt, they have really no lines of communication open with the county-level committees to the point where on the local level, they weren't even AWARE that the elections were taking place.

No wonder they keep going in the direction they are--they have no idea what the people want and so will render themselves irrelevant.

William Shatner

On the Urban Dictionary, there is a new comma, the, Shatner, Comma (via Insty).  It is defined as:

Oddly placed commas that don't seem to serve any actual purpose in punctuation, but make it look like you should take odd pauses, as William Shatner does when delivering lines.
This is what Shatner commas look like:

When, we get to, the restaurant, we should, order some, tasty, beverages.
A video from 1978 at the Science Fiction Film awards to aptly illustrate the, Shatner, comma.  Plus, singing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Okay, seriously amok rules and regulations....

It seems that every time I think I can't be baffled by the bullshit put out by the federal government under the guise of rules and regs that something else comes along.  Via Advice Goddess, a Canadian woman had a candy egg confiscated from her car because it contained small toys that could cause choking.  SERIOUSLY!  And then later she gets a seven page letter from the US government asking her to authorize the destruction of the candy in question.  If she doesn't want it destroyed, she has to pay $250 to store it.

Really, I read something like that and my first thought is, if they are so busy worrying about contraband candies with a possible choking hazard, are they really able to concentrate on the really bad stuff?? 

But here it is:  The FDA banned Kinder Eggs under the Bio-Terrism Act of 2002 as of December, 2003.   As near as I can tell, they refused the candy in question entrance into the United States pursuant to CFR Title 21, Section 1.283, subpart a (1) which states that in the case of inadequate prior notice given to the FDA, pre-prepared foods can be confiscated by border agents and held if it's not designated for personal use (like a gift for someone).  Somehow I don't think that a possible choking hazard from a piece of candy should come under this particular CFR.  And, as an aside, when I have to go to Title 21, Section 1.283, subpart 1(1) to find the frickin' reg, there are too many regs.

Just another regulatory overstep.  This is the crap that needs to be reined in and quickly!

Johnny Cash

In 1968, Johnny Cash performed at Folsom Prison.  The first youtube is a recording from the live album taped at Folsom Prison in 1968.  The second is a live performance of the Man in Black also singing Folsom Prison Blues in 1974.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is anyone surprised taht Sheriff Dupnik is ducking and covering....

Enforcing laws does not seem to be Sheriff Dupnik's modus operandi so is it any wonder that he made of mess of handling Jared Loughner?  He refused(s) to enforce the new Arizona immigration law.  He was quoted here as saying:

"This law, it's just irresponsible," he said. "It makes them [legislators] look like racists."

Dupnik's office had several contacts with Jared Loughner and seemed to try to sweep everything under the rug, despite the fact that he was removed from the Pima Community College campus FIVE times and was refused re-entrance into the college until he had proof that he'd received professional help.  It has not been proven, but there are accusations that personnel in Dupnik's office talked people out of pressing charges on Loughner for death threats.

Now his office's spokesperson is ducking and covering with:

"the details of the calls were being reviewed by legal counsel and would be released as soon as the review was complete. He said he did not know what the calls were about — they could possibly have been minor, even trivial matters — or whether they involved Jared Loughner or another member of the household"

I think that anything that comes out of that office should be taken with a pound of salt.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

File this under good deed follies.....

Okay, so I take Himself's car last night to my yoga class in order to fill it up with gas before the expected snowstorm.  As I'm heading up the highway, I spot a dead deer on the road, too late to swerve.  So I take the car right over the top.  It didn't seem like I hurt it since the alignment was still spot-on, aside from the bits of bambi spattered around and the smell of cooking venison coming from the engine compartment.

Himself noticed a weird thump when he drove it to work this morning so he took it to the shop to put it up on the lift since there's no way to shinny under it unless you're an anorexic two-year old.  And he found the below lodged under the car.  Aside from a bunch of scratches, the only thing that seemed to be damaged was one of the muffler brackets so I really lucked out.

The deer was not so lucky.....

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's the Dungeons and Dragons argument set on a Political Bluescreen

I was going to post about the similarities between the MSM/Democrat meme of violent images (only those images coming from the Right of course) being the cause of the Arizona shooting and the 1980's meme of Dungeons and Dragons causing people to go batshit insane and haunt the steam tunnels and sewers of cities in search of orcs.

But as I started looking at this a bit closer, it occurs to me that the MSM is putting its meme in the wrong basket.  There are more similarities between Loughner and Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter than anything else.  The only difference between the two is that Loughner took his psychosis to a political rally and Cho took his to the classroom.  The way that it's looking is that Loughner had an obsession with Gabby Giffords dating back to 2007 (he felt she had treated him badly).  Cho was obsessed with a female student who he felt treated him badly. 

Cho was directed by Virginia Tech to seek help after several documented cases of aberrant behavior, including stalking two female students.  Loughner was finally removed from Pima Community College due to disruptive behavior (including 5 times where the police were called to remove him from campus due to his behavior).  In fact, the college made his re-entry into Pima conditional upon his receiving counseling and treatment.

As far as what the news is saying today, he was never diagnosed for treatment and he was never charged with crime (either of which would have red-flagged him for legally purchasing a firearm).  Cho was never formally charged with a crime (including the stalking, which was handled in-house at Virginia Tech) and his juvenile records showing his behavior were sealed PLUS he did not seek counseling either so he was not red-flagged either.

What I'm seeing is the failure of educational institutions to follow-through with students who are clearly deranged.  They choose to handle issues, such as stalking, disruptive behavior, and the like in-house rather than contact outside authorities when this outside contact would flag the student as a possible danger to others.  This abrogation of responsibility on the part of higher education is probably due to two main causes:  the tying of hands via federal privacy laws and the absolute dedication to the avoidance of any possible negative publicity that could be associated with the institution in question.  From what I've seen in my experience, there is also a culture of 'not rocking the boat', not harming the self-esteem of the student, and an illusory sense that 'it can't happen here.'.

So if the press needs a meme, let them start with the failure of educational institutions to follow through when problems arise.  Just as they will pass a student just to make them go away, they will ignore or sweep under the rug clear issues and signs of danger in hopes that it too will go away.  That is how people like Cho and Loughner stay outside a system of safeguards that could otherwise prevent them (or make it much harder for them) to perpetuate the violence that is a similarity between both of them.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Well that was interesting......

For the last two days the cats have insisted that there was a mouse in the bedroom (all but Bob, who I think has had his share of mice and doesn't want to partake if he's not starving).  But they seemed to forget about it, going about their business yesterday instead of trying to cram themselves beneath a dresser.  So, as we're getting ready for bed last night, I hear Himself head into his bathroom and then "Holy Shit!!"  I come dashing out with a "What's wrong?" only to see a look on Himself's face that is almost indescribable:  confusion, shock, amusement, a touch of dismay.  Again I ask "What's wrong?".  His answer:  "I can't tell you, you just have to see it." 

So he leads me to his bathroom where Mr. Mouse is doing the dogpaddle in circles in the toilet.  Not a sight you see every day and indeed, not something you could accurately describe.  Don't know how long he'd been in there but he wasn't wet all over.  So Himself fished Mr. Mouse out, toweled him off, and let him go in the garage (wrapped in a towel)--just couldn't throw him out in the cold and we don't have a terrarium to use as a home for wayward mice.  Haven't checked to see if he made it through--I imagine the cats had a field day before dropping him in the drink so chances are we just delayed the inevitable.  Although I think that if the cats could figure it out, they probably would have flushed him down.


ETA:  Alas, he didn't make it, but not for lack of trying on our part.  RIP, Swimming Mouse.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rewriting Twain

So, most everyone has probably heard about the rewriting of Huck Finn to make it 'more accessible' to modern readers (and to try to keep it off of the book most likely to be banned list probably).  In reality, it was to make one English professor more comfortable in reading and teaching the book (see the article linked earlier in this paragraph).  In reading several comments on a bunch of blogs, one comment comes to mind and I wish I could remember  who wrote it.  So my apologies in advance. 

In any case a commenter wrote that this rewrite is more insidious than outright censorship or banning because in time, the rewritten version will supersede the original and no one will remember Twain's words as originally written and published. 

If they can do this to Twain, what is next?  How many books will be sanitized to avoid controversy or thought or discussion?  And if they cannot be sanitized, then can Bradbury's vision in Fahrenheit 451--'book burning for the sake of society' be far behind?

"Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme." 

Source:  Ray Bradbury:  Coda to 1987 version (and 1979 version) of Fahrenheit 451, page 177.

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's official... any sympathy I might have had is gone....

In Illinois, former Gov. Jim Thompson, the lawyer of former Gov. George Ryan has been lobbying to get Ryan a furlough so he can go see his dying wife.  Now I'm sorry that Ryan's wife is dying but he did the crime, has to do the time.  There are plenty of other prisoners who go through the same thing--it's part of the price. 

But now we find out that Ryan HAS seen his wife--he was escorted by US Prison officials to her bedside on Wednesday to say his goodbyes. The fact that this didn't come out until prosecutors released this information is a frickin' joke. 

He got his time to say his goodbyes which is more than a lot of folks get.  Anything more would be special treatment and inequality under the law (and I'm not so sure that his escort by the US Prison system wasn't a special treatment either since it's at the discretion of the warden).  Again, I'm sorry she's dying, but that's not an excuse to furlough him for what could be weeks.

Okay, now this is interesting. Unions taking wanna-be-former members to court

Via Big Government, the Michigan Education Association is taking some of its members, who don't want to be members, to court.  In Grand Rapids, the school board voted to no longer deduct union dues from teachers' paychecks--instead the teachers have to write a check directly to the union.  Apparently, approximately 90 folks refused to do so to protest the union's behavior during the last round of contract negotiations.  So the union is taking them to court--filed against 5 of the 90 (to get as many to fall into line as possible).  The judge ruled that because Michigan is not a right-to-work state, then Teacher #1 on the union pyre has to pay up, even though she says that the union in not representing her interests.

So really, what are the Teachers Unions except for thugs?  And what is the state of Michigan to force someone into paying for a 'service' that they don't want and, in fact, a person feels is detrimental to their interests??  Aside from the fact that this sounds like Obamacare writ on education, I'd be livid.  The school board did the right thing in making it an individual's responsibility to pay union dues rather than the dues being automatically deducted from paychecks and gave some folks an avenue to complain about the union's activities.  But then the state is acting as an enforcer for the union.  I know they need good teachers in other states.  If I was one of the 90, I'd be checking out other opportunities.

I've posted this before but....

I was talking with a friend of mine, who is a naturalized American citizen (got here when she was 16).  Although we're of an age and she, in most ways, looks and sounds like your basic American, she's missing quite a few of the cultural movie touchstones of our generation.  So I bought her The Breakfast Club, The Blues Brothers, Airplane, and a few other movies last year.  But as we were talking, she mentioned that Chuck Norris is considered to be a god in the Czech Republic. 

So I go into my "Way (Return) of the Dragon" routine (where Bruce Lee rips out a chunk of Norris' chest hair and then blows it off his fingers--classic) and state that one of the best, most macho scenes EVER in any movie, is the scene where Chuck as Lone Wolf McQuade is buried alive in his truck by David Carradine, the sleazy badguy (after having his badge ripped off his chest by the despicable David).  She hadn't seen it so I pulled it up on youtube.  You'll have to follow the link here since the embedding has been disabled on this video.  (But it's SO worth it!). 

Below is the fight scene from Return of the Dragon (long but also worth it).  I have to admit I'd forgotten about the stripping/warmup before the fight as well as the kitten audience to the fight.  You'd think I'd remember something like that....  And someone should have gotten Chuck some Nair, especially for his back....  Don't think I need to warn my regular readers but the finale is kind of graphic with broken limbs and such.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Just a smallish rant

So when, EVER, is "It's never been done that way before." an excuse??  Is it a cover-up for laziness?  Does it show that a person is scared of change, afraid they aren't up to the challenge or are just so hidebound that they can't imagine doing something differently?  Especially when that change is to the benefit of a particular constituency or client......    And when this excuse is coming from someone I don't like anyway, I'm hard pressed not to just smack them with the closest heavy object.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


In the Chicago Tribune today there is a story about a Winnetka woman who apparently has nothing better to do than panic at the drop of a.... butt.  Her husband accidentally butt-dialed her (as he was driving home) and when all she heard was muffled sounds and hip hop music, she immediately jumped to the conclusion that he was being held hostage....  ???  Seriously.

So the SWAT team ends up at his workplace.  It takes them three hours to get to 'all clear'.  In the meantime, the guy is at his house since he had butt-dialed her ON HIS WAY HOME.  What the article doesn't say is if a followup call was made to the cops to let them know that the guy was okay.  I'm assuming not.  And they are not going to charge the stupid bint for being stupid--not for just calling the cops due to muffled rap music, but for not calling them back when he got home.  The article says that the 'man is embarrassed.' .  Duh.  I'd be embarrassed to for having such an abominably stupid spousal unit.

Okay, I love Himself very much.  But if he called and all I heard was muffled noises and hip hop music, I don't think my first thought would be that he's being held hostage (but I might question his musical taste).  My first thought would be that he butt-dialed me.  Maybe I'm not paranoid enough....  I know how long (approximately) it takes him to get from Point A to Point B so if I was unable to reach him within a reasonable amount of time, or if he didn't show up at the door in a reasonable amount of time, I'd take steps at that point. 

But if I felt the need to call out the troops, you can bet it's because I'd exhausted all other avenues and if he showed up during his own man hunt, I'd let everyone know he was safe.  I guess that's the part that gets me.  Okay, calling the cops because you're worried (and not bright)--that I can ALMOST see.  But not calling them back--I really hope they don't have kids--that kind of stupid doesn't need to enter the gene-pool.  GAH!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Got a new application for the droid called blogaway and am checking it out.  I don't know if it will be good for long posts, but maybe it'll work for quick updates.

Monday, January 3, 2011

How the mind plays tricks....

Why do I keep reading SOTU (State of the Union address), as STFU??

Why in many cases, uniformity is not the better option....

I was reading a Washington Post article on the supposed merits of the TSA vs using private security contractors at airports around the country.  One union, the American Federation of Government Employees, not surprisingly bemoans the idea of a "patchwork quilt" of security measures at different airports. 

But think about it a bit more logically.  What is better to stymie terrorists, using the same measures and regulations at all airports, or switching it up?  Additionally, different airports would have different priorities depending upon location, traveler types, layout, etc.  Using the same methods at all airports gives terrorists a better chance to scope and break the system.  Sure there would have to be some base rules for travelers, after that, leave it to the airports and their security folks.  The airports and airlines have a dog in the hunt about not allowing terrorists to blow up anyone so let them take some responsibility.  Let them look at their systems, above and below the deck and close any holes they find without outside interference (this would include hiring practices too).  Who knows their particular needs better--the folks that work there daily or some bureaucrat like Napolitano sitting on her duff in DC?

This is a big country and everyplace is different.  Each state (and sometimes each county and town) have their own personalities, social mores, etc.  Trying to put  'one size fits all' regulations into place is doomed to fail.  What works in MA might not (probably won't) work in TX.  The TSA and airport security are just one part--the federal Department of Education and several others are suffering from overreach.  You absolutely cannot bring this country into a homogenized whole and trying to fit all of those square pegs into a federally mandated round hole just exacerbates problems rather than solving them.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Some pictures of Bob

Here's some new pictures of Bob.  It seems that he's read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy since his favorite plaything is a towel.  Douglas Adams would be proud.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year Y'all!

Best wishes to everyone in this New Year.  May Common Sense become more common in this year and the years to come since our civil liberties are being eroded daily with no end in sight, unless We the People take  a stand.

My New Year's resolution is to do more food blogging since I've got the exercise thing under control for now.  I enjoy Himself's cooking and I do take pictures of certain dishes but they somehow never seem to make it to the blog.  So, to start out the year on the proper note:

New Year's Day breakfast:  Chocolate Chip pancakes and sausage.