Saturday, April 30, 2011

Marathon

My sister just finished her first marathon.  She'd only really trained to 10 miles but finished at a very respectable time, which put her in the top forty percent of all females in the race.  What was really nice is I was getting text updates at various points during the race so I could keep track of her pacing and such.  I'm very proud of her for going out there and doing it!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In lieu of content

A VERY young Terri Hatcher on Night Court.  Gotta say that John Laroquette was great!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Overheard at the office

An adjunct instructor trying to 'connect' with a female international student:

Sleezebag faculty:  "So, in your country, what is the main religious practice?"

Student:  "Mainly Buddhist."

Sleezebag faculty:  "Oh, I've read about Buddhism.  It seems to be a lot like Christianity, except for you all have Siddhartha instead of Jesus."

Me:  *headdesk*

Sleezebag faculty:  "So, are you going to be staying here during the summer?  Maybe we can go for coffee or something if you're not going home."

Me:  *gagging*

I'm really beginning to hate professors.

ETA:  Funny enough, this is posting number 666.  Not surprised in any way.....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Capes for the jobless

Well, it could be a good PR campaign (if you're sitting in a dark room with a bong in your hand)....  In central Florida, they are putting into place a $73,000 campaign that includes passing out 6,000 Superman-type capes to the jobless as part of their "fight Dr. Evil Unemployment".  Truly I can think of some folks on the Workforce Central Florida who should be handed their cape on the way out the door to the unemployment line. 

Of course these are our tax dollars at work (to the tune of $24 million) since Workforce Central Florida is a federally funded "labor development agency".  Of course they claim to have placed 58,500 people in jobs during the last fiscal year (2009-2010) so that Obama could artificially inflate his figures.  And, by the by, they have not-for-profit status too so they don't pay any taxes.

This is right up there with the grants for studying the genital cleanliness of Africans as far as money being thrown down the drain.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Whoo hoo!

As the commenter in the last post about my friend noted, Patch is safe at home.  Looks like he took a little magic carpet ride on an F-3 and he's a little wobbly and he's got a vet appointment this afternoon, but he's okay.  The missing cat also showed up yesterday morning as well as the stray cat they'd been feeding.  So all furry people are accounted for and are safe.

As for the house and such, they're getting the roof plywooded and tarped this afternoon and are still waiting for the insurance guy before they do too much.  They do have a tree that came through the window but they won't know the extent of that damage (may be some structural damage) until they move it.  And their porch was essentially sheared off the house.  All of the cellulose insulation was sucked from the attic into the entire upstairs of the house and was then pounded into the carpet by the rain.  It's amazing how in less that 30 seconds the whole landscape can change.

My friend said she found a plastic Santa in the middle of the woods (not theirs) when she was searching for the dog yesterday and saw a swimming pool wrapped around several trees.  They lost a bunch of tree with 5' diameter trunks so nothing looks the same or familiar.

As I told her, my prayers were for Patch and the kitty since we can help put back the rest of the stuff.  So we're off to a good start even though there is a LOT of work ahead.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Your world can change in an instant....

My college roommate (one of those rare friends with whom you can pick up a conversation you started a year ago) and her husband had their house struck by a tornado last night.  They have a dog and a cat missing, their outbuildings are rubble, no power, and what looks like trees where walls used to be in their house (which has chunks of roof missing also).  As soon as I heard, I wanted to spring into action, but was counseled to stay cool until I heard directly from my friend by Himself (as he put it:  "you don't want to be FEMA and go in and make things worse.").

They've now got a generator and are waiting for the insurance guy but in just a few minutes, their whole world turned upside down.  I can't imagine what she's feeling right now.  We are on hot standby with chain saws and other equipment should she need them this weekend.  She's boarding her menagerie, so we're on standby to help with that as well, should insurance not cover it.  I don't like the helpless feeling just waiting, but for her it's got to be a million times worse because she's living it.

IF you pray, please do so that she finds her missing family members safe and unharmed.  Things can be replaced, but our furry companions can't be.

Swarms of Biebers...

Continuing a new meme begun by Borepatch...  I can't believe I could only take 22 of the little snuggers.  Of course the questions only include hand-to-Bieber skills--no weapons.

How many Justin Biebers could you take in a fight?
Created by Oatmeal

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday to my love, my partner, my friend.  Thank you for your thoughts, your teachings, your many gifts.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A world without misconduct...

In a followup to my blogpost about Yale womens' puling timidity in the face of crassness, the administration has stepped in with this statement from Yale President Richard Levin (via Instapundit):
"It is imperative that the climate at Yale be free of sexual harassment and misconduct of any kind. The well being of our students and the entire community requires this. Should transgressions occur, they must be addressed expeditiously and appropriately.
We will cooperate fully with the Office of Civil Rights in their investigation, but the Officers, the Dean of Yale College, and I believe that we should not await the investigation before asking ourselves how we might improve the policies, practices, and procedures intended to protect members of our community. I write to describe some of the measures we are taking immediately."
The only saving grace to their statement is that a university's idea of action is to form a committee (so actual results could be decades away), since they can't possibly wait for actual data from an internal investigation, but otherwise it is really very chilling.  Levin wants a Yale world to be 'free of sexual harassment and misconduct of any kind.'   Really.  They might as well put G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate into the Yale air supply but then we'd end up with a bunch of well-dressed special-snowflake Reavers (for those who don't get the reference, check out the movie Serenity).  It seems that Yale's policies are a Pax substitute since they are already well on the way to creating a generation of students who cannot stand up for themselves and, when faced with genuine sexual harassment or other 'misconduct' in the real world, will either lay down and die or will go running for the skirts of whatever governmental body will pat them on the shoulders and hand them lollipops.

And these are the 'anointed' future leaders of the United States.  I was talking with a guy at work the other day about possible Republican candidates for President and my only comment was "We can't afford another Ivy Leaguer in the highest office."  The reaction(s) to this situation are why it would be disastrous.  If a person can't deal with some misconduct in college, how on Earth are they going to deal with a global crisis when there's no-one else to hide behind?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Odd associations....

So there's a car in today's NASCAR Talladega race, the #09 car who is sponsored by 'Thank a Teacher/Security Benefits'.  It took a little checking, but Security Benefits is the supplier of the National Education Association's Valuebuilder retirement savings program.  Sponsoring a NASCAR team costs between $350,000 - $500,000 a RACE.  Wonder if the scratch for that sponsorship came from Security Benefits or if it was put up by the NEA??  But it's for the children, right??

The Honor Flight

A very close friend of mine was selected to be a guardian on an Honor Flight to Washington DC.  The guardians are the companions-of-the-day for WWII and terminally ill veterans as they travel to DC to see the memorials and other DC sights.  She said that it was one of the most profound experiences that's she's had (and she's had a lot of them).  When they got back to their home airport, she said that there were between 3000-4000 people waiting for them.  The crowd included boy and girl scout troops, parents with their children, family members and others who choose this way to honor our veterans.

She said it was managed perfectly and the veterans received a 'mail call' on the flight home that contained letters from friends and family.  She said that the veterans as well as the other guardians were all phenomenal with as much laughter as tears throughout the day.

The words just were pouring out of her so fast as she tried to convey to me the essence of something that just has to be experienced.  She flew out of Wisconsin but says that there are over 30 states with their own Honor Flights.  I'm going to look into it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

What is it about academia and groupthink??

It's been pointed out many times that, despite claims to the contrary, academia is about as insular a group in their common value and thought as any enclave.  And they're very quick to jump on any bandwagon that fits their meme and to 'la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you' if facts prove to the contrary.  Take the case of Crystal Magnum, the stripper who accused the Duke lacrosse team of rape (ht to Himself/Mr. B at the Middle of the Right for mentioning her this morning regarding the fact that the boyfriend she stabbed died, which has her up on murder charges).  Duke University and the so-called 'Group of 88' jumped on the case without proof (none of that silly innocent before proven guilty stuff needed--we're educated) and crucified those young men without any evidence whatsoever.   When it was proven that Crystal's story was a fabrication, there was no apology--the Group of 88 just slunk off into the libraries and offices of Duke University.  If you want to see hubris--check out KC Johnson's Durham-in-Wonderland, which chronicles the lacrosse case and the follow-ups as well as the further actions of the Group of 88.  It's enough to make you lose your faith in higher education.  He also has information about Duke's Sexual Misconduct Policy which takes the guilty-unless-proven innocent meme put forth during the initial lacrosse case to an institutionalized and codified level at Duke, plus a whole lot more.

It seems that Durham is a hotbed of stupidity because a gay student said that they'd been attacked and badly burnt on the wrist by a stranger at 3:00 am.  This has also been proven to be false, but the student paper censored all comments that questioned the story and the campus is ramping up a 'Bandage from Branding' night,even though the story has been dismissed and the student making the claim might come up on charges for filing a false report.  Jon Sanders at the John Locke Foundation's Right Angle blog has an interesting and thought-provoking quote: 
“Specifically because of [their] hysterical overreactions … universities are particularly susceptible to the faked hate crimes to jumpstart “campus dialogue” (i.e., create new speech codes and foist compulsory diversity classes on people).”
 Unfortunately this type of behavior is not limited to the triangle area of Raleigh-Durham.  In Delaware, students were being indoctrinated into 'thinking correctly' about race, gender, sexuality, etc.

Fortunately there are groups, such as FIRE and folks like KC Johnson, who bring all of these abuses of freedoms into the light of day, rather than letting them work in the darkness behind the walls of academe, but it seems that this type of knee-jerk, reactionary, groupthink is like the hydra.  Cut it off at one place and it appears somewhere else.  Maybe this type of indoctrination is why groups like the Lumina Foundation want to have everyone go to college......

More denial of personal responsibility from the Ivy League

So an Ivy League graduate living in California went on a second date with a guy she met on match.com and he followed her home and assaulted her so she wants the site stop adding new members until they start including some kind of screening for sexual predators.  She says in the article that she considered herself to be 'savvy' but apparently wasn't aware enough of her surroundings to notice that she was being followed.  Only after being attacked did she go online and find out this guy had been arrested for several sexual assaults--something she could have just as easily found BEFORE going out.  But he was charming and she was 'savvy' so she didn't do what she needed to ensure her own safety.  I'd think that some initial due diligence would be her responsibility and before meeting him anywhere she would have done a check. 

But it wasn't her fault, it was match.com's fault. even though match does recommend checking someone out and has other safety tips on their site.   Again, she read the rules, she neglected to take steps to secure her own safety, and it's someone else's fault.  Maybe match should screen for stupidity instead.

(via AdviceGoddess)

ETA:  in talking with my sister about this (she is most wise) it sounds like I'm totally blaming the victim here and that's not the case.  My actual issue is that the victim is trying to blame a third party.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One of my favorite comedians from back in the day

Don't know whatever happened to Tommy Sledge, but here he is.  Since this clip is from 1989, some folks might not get some of the jokes but I think he was very funny.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Well this is going to confuse them

Via Instapundit:  A Koran burning in Iran.  If an Iranian and an Afghani burn a Koran on a rock and put it on youtube, which unrelated people will get beheaded?  The UN folks aren't even remotely related.  No Americans were involved (but I'm sure they will try to relate it to American influence or something).  I have a feeling this will cause a bit of a conundrum.for the folks looking for an excuse to riot and behead someone.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Scottish Play

We went to see Macbeth on Saturday night.  It was a minimalist, updated version--meaning that there were few props and the actors wore all black suits, black evening dresses, or black jeans and black button downs.  There were knives and revolvers as the weapons of choice and it was a children's theater (meaning the actors were all high-school age).  It was the last children's theater play for a  talented young man I remember seeing in the hospital when he was born.  He did a great job and, all in all, it was not a bad version. 

The minimalist style might have worked better if the floor hadn't also been black along with the blocks used as beds, chairs, etc. as well as the clothing, although it really popped when Lady Macbeth came out in a blood red nightgown for the 'out damned spot speech'.

The lines were spoken very quickly.  One speech between two of the characters played by girls sounded like the twittering of birds--high pitched voices and really fast Shakespearean dialogue make the words pretty hard to follow.

The only thing that truly, truly bothered me was a scene where Macbeth was holding a revolver and he had his finger on the trigger the whole frickin' time.  This was a fake gun, but in the movies and on television, 'prop' guns are real, shootable, firearms.  I think that the director should have taken the time to explain firearm safety, no matter what--like Tom Selleck taking an extra to task for mishandling a firearm on set last week.  Other than that, not a bad way to spend an evening.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Passing this along: The Patrick Leister Fund

Brigid emailed and asked that I place this up on my blog too.  The link is to Bullets and Biscuits' blogpost about a friend who passed away suddenly at only 31 years of age and without any known cause leaving three children, ages 2, 4, and 6 behind.  There is a fund being set up for the kids called the Leister Fund.  Check it out and if you've got some spare cash, kick it in.

Then go give someone you love a hug because life is sometimes short and it's bad to take anything or anyone for granted.

Culture of victimhood

It seems that the fine young women of Yale have been turned into fainting flowers (via Advice Goddess).  When faced with signs like "We Love Yale Sluts" or chants of "No means no and yes means anal" instead of giving back as good as they're being given, they run and hide behind the skirts of the administration and cry sexual harassment instead of going all Lysistrata on them and taking a proactive approach.

Seriously though, when did feminism start to equal puling fainters who quail at words they don't like?  No wonder strong women who are secure in themselves totally freak these people out.  Back in the day, a better response to 'No mean no and yes means anal.' would be signs carried by the women that said 'To Yale Boys, No means No and Yes mean Anal--with each other' or signs quoting Will Smith/Men in Black 'Don't want none, don't bring none.'

Problem being it's not just the students, they are being taught this crap by example.  I remember the response to Larry Summers' speech about the lack of women in the hard sciences.  One of the females in the audience said that she "felt physically ill" at listening to him and had to leave.  Seriously.  An MIT biologist got the vapors because someone said something she didn't like.

On the flip side, how can men be expected to have any respect whatsoever for creatures like that?  No wonder the Yale boys chant and hold up signs--they are trying to weed out the fainting Nellies from the real women.

But a larger issue, pointed out in the article at the first link (relinked here) is the fact that these women are mounting a further attack on free speech and are being supported at the top levels not only of Yale, but the federal government. 

ETA:  If things keep going as-is, it's going to lead to things like this (ht:  Old Grouch).

Friday, April 8, 2011

Regular people talk

Every time I hear Obama trying to talk like a 'regular person' with his "I remember" speeches and comments that are designed to show that he is connected to we Bible-clinging gun lovers, I cannot help but think of Esteban in Zorro the Gay Blade (a movie before it's time and never fails to make me laugh).  Start at 10:40 and until 12:40 to see what I mean.

Hmmm.... guess there's no such thing as too big to fail...

If you're talking about the state of Illinois (or at least the Illinois Department of Public Health), it seems that even Bank of America is no longer offering them credit.  As of April 22, all corporate cards used by Public Health employees will be cancelled due to nonpayment by the state.  They will now have to put things on personal cards and wait to get reimbursed (like that will happen).  Per the article on Big Government (ht Himself at Middle of the Right), it is unclear if all state credit cards are affected or if Public Health employees just got the word first.

This news comes at the same time that Pat Quinn, the Governor of Illinois, has announced that he wants the state to borrow $110 million for a new airport in  Peotone,Illinois.

Do they learn over there??

Places visited...

Via Borepatch, an interactive map of places you've visited.  I've bagged about half of the US and only included places 3+ days of visiting since I've been through a lot more places.  Looks like I need to hit the Northwest a bit more and fill in a couple of other places.


visited 24 states (48%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Well this is a good thing....

I have a bunch of relatives who live in Illinois and there have been a few times where I've gone over the border to an *oh crap* moment when I realized I hadn't taken my firearm out of my car leading to a quick stop, unloading, disassembling, and stashing the parts in different places in my vehicle.  Today, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a person licensed to carry in another state may transport guns in Illinois without having to have a Illinois FOID card (full decision here).  Further, it had ruled previously that a closed and latched center console met the definition of a case.  So as long as I unload it, I can now keep my gun in my car as long as the console is closed and latched when I head over the border.  This is a good thing since part of the reason I don't go very often is because of the disarming process.  So yay!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Breda speaks wisdom

Over at the Breda Fallacy, she links to a video created by some 'conscious men' who basically apologize to women for being men much the same way Obama apologized to the world for America being the biggest and best kid on the block.  I started to watch the video but, like Breda, it just made me feel icky (YMMV).  Actually, it made me want to kick each of them in the junk (especially those first two) except I think they might have had said junk removed (again YMMV but I doubt it).

But Breda in her commentary makes a very good point and one that many liberals just do not get:  She says:
"My power does not depend on any man relinquishing his own. My strength never required anyone's permission."
Her words can be expanded to the culture alive in the US today.   It totally drives liberals into frothing-mouth insanity when someone dares to take action on their own without government sanction.  They cannot understand it when people refuse to be victims or to buy into the culture of victimhood.  That's why black conservatives like Herman Cain are derided by the left or why Sarah Palin sends them into apoplectic fits.  They are sufficient unto themselves and do not allow themselves to be placed in ideological boxes created by an outside agency.  That's why the Tea Partiers frighten 'progressives' so much--it is the progressives that find freedom from government control so horrifying and they can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to be told what to do or why they shouldn't want to ask permission to exercise what should be basic rights without governmental intervention.

It is a basic fallacy that in order to have power, you must exercise power over something but this philosophy (spoken or not) creates a void that can never be filled.  This is something that the liberals do not and cannot understand, hence their need for more control over our lives.  Anything outside of that control is 'other' and must then be destroyed.  But we are citizens and not serfs and more and more people are starting to remove themselves from the ideological boxes developed over the last 30 years. 

To paraphrase Breda:  our strengths--those strengths that made our country great--never required the government's permission.

And that's bad because....

Today, in response to House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan's proposed 2012 budget, John Larson (D, Connecticut) said:  Ryan’s goal (or the Republican's perfect budget, depending on the source) is one that creates is “government so small you can drown it in a bathtub.”  My first thought was "Like that's a bad thing??"

Monday, April 4, 2011

Something interesting (to me anyway)

There's a survey on Facebook where you have to note every state that you've been in (feet on the ground--flyover and drive-throughs don't count).  A friend of mine, the high-speed rail proponent, has been feet on the ground in three states--New York, Massachusetts, and Florida.  I'm betting he wasn't even in upstate New York either, but in The City.  So if that's all you've seen of the United States, I'm thinking that would limit your perspective somewhat as to the needs and attitudes of other parts of the country. 

I've LIVED in four times as many states as he's visited and have visited twice again as many as that.  So I feel I've seen a fair chunk of America (there are still places I want to go or places I want to see again, though).  I like to think (maybe it's hubris on my part though) that it's given me some perspective.  I've often wondered, especially when I was living in Pennsylvania, how the hell a federal system could work since each state (as well as portions of a state) have such differing attitudes, customs, and even terminology for common items.

My experience leads me to think that an overweening system is doomed to fail--you can't control everything and everyone.  What will fly in one state will be soundly rejected in another.  In some states there is more of a libertarian frame of mind, in others, people want to be taken care of by the government (federal, state, local, they don't care).  Most federal politicians don't see or haven't really been to anyplace other than their home state and Washington DC.  When they travel, it tends to be outside of the US, so they never see parts of the country that the rest of us do.  Then as they start to make DC their home, they lose touch with the ideals of their place of origin and are brought into the hive mind that is the United States capital and they lose any other perspective they might have once had.

I'd like to see some of the major politicians fill out the little survey, just for kicks, and just to see if I'm right.

So when is someone really at fault

Lindsey Graham is a pansy-ass.  Anytime a Senator comes out and says "Freedom of speech is a good idea but..." and then tries to compare WWII era secrecy to modern day speech, he is making an erroneous and dangerous analogy.  Wanting to curtail free speech because it might cause rioting halfway around the world is kowtowing to the threat of violence and is a far cry from prohibitions about giving out the locations of military bases and troop movements (and even then the Office of the Censor was highly controversial).

Do I think that the guy burning a Koran should be shunned by his community?  Hell, yeah--stores and such can choose not to serve him and he could suffer from the consequences of his actions at home.  It was a dumb move.  Do I think that there should be a bunch of laws condemning his actions?  No I do not.  Do I think that there should be curtails put on free speech because of it?  Definitely not.

Putting the blame on the Florida pastor (who, by my reading didn't have the balls to do the deed himself, but had some drone do it at his request) for a bunch of barbarians killing people completely unrelated to the situation totally ludicrous. If some moron cuts a guy off in traffic and then the guy goes home and beats his wife because he got cut off, is it the moron's fault that the wife got beaten?  No it is not.  If it wasn't the moron cutting him off, he would come up with some other reason to beat his wife.  Same with the barbarians.  If it wasn't this (which I didn't even hear about until riots started overseas), they would have found some other reason to do violence.  Even the winning of a basketball title is found to be riot-worthy in some parts of the United States.  Do we then ban the playing of sports?

The point is that they are putting the blame on the wrong place.  Freedom of speech is not to blame for riots and killing.  The pastor (and his drones) exercising that freedom are not to blame for riots and killing.  The blame should be placed at the door of those who use any excuse to riot and kill.  Anyone whose first reaction to something they don't like (or something they do) is destruction and killing cannot be considered to be civilized and any appeasement will just make it worse.

Mob mentality should not drive public policy anymore than the threat of a tantrum from a small child should drive a parent to buy that child a cookie.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Holes on a Plane or Snakes on a Plane?

So, in the way my mind works first thing in the morning while watching the news....  would you prefer a hole on a plane or snakes on a plane??  I'm thinking the former but have to include a clip from the latter

(language warning).