Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Just when you thought it was safe

to bring your nail clippers back onto a plane.... it is. Maybe. Depending on how they define "tool." Is your tool less than seven inches long? Well, if so, and if it's sharp, then COME ON DOWN!!

It wore an

itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow planet-forming... well, nevermind...

FRANCE UPDATE: "I'm not sure you can call them riots."

Rather, Villepin suggests, perhaps it's severe social unrest when they're burning hundreds of cars per night.

This is the supposedly first-world country where over ten thousand people can die in one month because it's hot outside.

I wonder what he'd call the Zombie Holocaust.

Multiple Choice Question for Prospective Roomies

Your roommate won't share his beer and spaghetti with you. Do you: A) Ask him again nicely? B) Go buy your own? Or C) Open fire on him with your AK-47?

Extra Credit: Explain how all five rounds fired at point-blank range missed both target and neighbors.


(Begin Orbital Mind-Control Laser Burst.)
You, or somebody else in South Korea, read this blog almost every day. Given that I have about five faithful readers, I doubt I've suddenly developed a following in the land of Bulgogi and Dul Sot Bi Bim Bap. (MMMM, Bulgogi.....)

We know almost nothing of what you are doing, except that you are apparently really into this whole home-made hooch thing.

You WILL insert a description of your daily life in the comments section of this entry. You WILL include the name of any women playing a significant role in that life. You WILL leave your friends with a clue as to the continuation of your existence and the state of your welfare.

If you DO NOT do this, your friends WILL retaliate by retelling and/or inventing embarrassing Blair stories. If you DO NOT do this, your sister will be especially recruited for the task.

(End Orbital Mind-Control Laser Burst.)

Eason's back from Iraq

"Yeah, like when we got shelled and didn't even notice. We were watching Hamburger Hill .... (pantomimes artillery noises, etc.), and heard "whump!".... and I thought, "wow, that's cool surround-sound!" Next morning I got asked about the mortar attack. What mortar attack? Oh."

He's well, and on his way to Hood for a couple weeks of outprocessing. Then we get to find out whether he decides to live down here or back up North....

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Wind is Coming

Winter has begun.

How do I know? Because yesterday's high was in the 70s, and tonight's low is going to be 37. And clear as a bell. Folks, that's what we call a "Blue Norther" here, and we usually don't see them until winter is well and truly in swing. Yesterday it started, with winds from the south, loud enough to scare the stray kitten... noon was calm... and by mid-afternoon, the wind was LOUD, 50 mph out of the northwest like a symphony for the damned, carrying tiny little mudballs all the way from the Panhandle to adorn all my car.

All summer long, Dallas aches for a touch of breeze. Unlike Kansas, battleground of the winds, where children get so used to it that they learn how to walk by leaning their upper bodies thirty degrees forward, North Texas truly knows wind for only three seasons per year. In the summertime, we sit in the very center of the high-pressure front that gives everybody else their summer thunderstorms... rainless, windless, and, if we're in the right part of the drought cycle, under a bronze sky.

Winter is something else, a fickle beast with claws that come all the way from the arctic with the single express purpose of tearing the life-heat out of you as you make your way shivering to the remote parking lot and try to get the key into your car door lock. The temperatures themselves would make your typical Yankee laugh. But the wind can get truly brutal if you're unprepared for it...

because the next day's high will be in the mid-60s....

Friday, November 25, 2005

Ancient Warrior Wisdom

"When a man is drunk enough that he can put an arrow into a shot glass from thirty meters on horseback, at a gallop, shooting backwards, don't buy him another drink, because it's sure he won't remember anyway."

Sonoma County, Eat Your Heart Out.

'nuff said.
(Wine nuts who haven't been kidnapped by the Franco-Sonoma Axis of Boring can identify the wine in the background.)

Why I'm Fat

Brought to you from Hungary, where eating is the national sport. Imagine, if you will, that Thanksgiving lasts for two weeks, and that women can get off with eating only seconds, but a man who eats less than thirds is making significant comments about the quality of the dish on offer....

Why I'm fat, Chapter One: Turoscsusza, the dish my wife values more than our marriage.

Why I'm fat, Chapter Two. Home-baked sweets.

Why I'm fat, Chapter Three: Cheese and Onion Appetizer Plate.

Why I'm fat, Chapter Four: Stuffed Cabbage, sausage, potatoes, and cream.

Why I'm fat, Chapter Five: Fried Suckling Pig with Purple Cabbage and Stuffing.

Why I'm Fat, Chapter Six: "Pancakes," Hungarian-style. (A dozen and a half crepes thick with eggs and butter, with layers of jam in between each layer.)

Why I'm Fat, Chapter Seven: "Bird's Milk" (behind the pancakes)... heavy cream/pudding dessert, with the eggwhites cooked into happy puffs to go on top (far background).

Why I'm Fat, Chapter Eight: Baked Goose Legs.

Why I'm Fat, Chapter Nine: Bacon-wrapped goose livers, baked with garlic.

Why I'm Fat, Chapter Ten: Dessert Pastries.

The more astute of my three regular readers will realize that several of these are courses within the same meal....

Back from Budapest...

Food: awesome, see next post.
Exercise: lots of walking
Christmas presents: 98% done
Politics: miserable. When the Socialists are PC, brussels-inspired country-club Republicans, and the other side is an idea-vacant demagogue... well, let's not go there.
Research: good stuff. Geekitude posts to follow once my sinus headache's gone.

And... see next post.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Overtime over, getting ready for Budapest...

Got off work at 8:30 tonight, so getting to go kick people (since I'd show up fifteen minutes before class ended.... in my ropers....).

Veterans' Day is tomorrow. I'm very happy about that. And in other news, we have already breached the 19-kilowatt laser with good beam quality... go us!

At this rate, my great-grandkids ought to be able to drop Venus' temperature with a battery of a thousand giant refrigerating lasers.....

"Thank You"

You might want to visit this page and play it for your anti-war friends. The message is true, simple, and clear enough for any kid in school to understand.

I'm kinda moved. In fact, I'm sitting here with my throat as tight as a bodybuilder's bicep and the water straining at my eyes, thinking my God, my God, for once we didn't completely fuck up... the usual response to us helping people out being for them to turn around and kick us in the teeth as soon as it's convenient.

These guys don't yet have a lot of money. And they're going to buy US Television Time, just to say "thank you."

Show it around. Let's not fuck up some more.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Let's talk chemical warfare. Home-style.

yeah, yeah, it was supposed to be light blogging... but I'm doing something relentlessly dull, and so my mind's spinning at way too many rpms.

Water Bugs.
Aka, the cleaner variety of roaches.

They're big. And fairly smart. With no fear, they show up somewhere in plain view, as if to say "Hi There! How ya doin'?" And they come in up your pipe drains when it's dry (which has been, homina homina, the past seven months straight here) to get something to drink. While they're hanging around, they look for something to munch on. If their toilet habits weren't so abominable, they might actually be trainable as a beneficial insect.

But, they're not, really. Instead they're just something you put up with, and punch to death when you hear your bunnywife(tm) screech.

Or, you can stock some OrangeGuard(tm) or other citrus-oil cleaner, and instead of chasing after one of nature's dumb-but-nigh-invulnerable masterpieces, you can go SPRAY, and it'll be completely dead inside thirty seconds. No muss, no fuss, wish I'd had this stuff when I had to clean out a few college-student apartments...

Convenient, dead, easy-to-clean-up, nice-smelling bugs. I recommend it.

In other news, San Francisco has lost its mind again. Film at 11.

This time, it's mandatory handgun confiscation, and the complete ban of military recruiters from high schools. Went through like gangbusters, too -- the votes weren't even close.

The recruiter bit is pathetic, but expected: the city's full of adolescent hypocrites who will hopefully never learn from their mistakes, since the only thing that might get it through it to them would be a North Korean or Chi-Com nuke. Not that they actually had the balls to really ban them... according to the article cited, it's a nonbinding resolution intended to "send a message." Typical.

The handgun bit is much the same, though one might have thought that with more armed liberals speaking up out there, it could be avoided. And we all know that the residents of Thuglet Central Daly City are perfect neighbors, and that nobody *ever* steals or acts like a social predator in The City....

So, let me get this straight. The citizens of San Francisco have officially voted to make everything in-between the 80/280 interchange and the Golden Gate Bridge a City-Mandated Victim Zone?

Light blogging from now to Thanksgiving

I'm being ridden hard and hung up wet at work, and it's about to go into really high gear prior to The Bunny and I taking vacation to see her family in Budapest next week. (Where, after years, I may actually get some armory access. And where The Bunny's Dad will do his damndest to make me gain ten pounds. Man that guy can cook, and all of it would kill a PETA member on contact...)

Foot Fungus, in space...

Well, sort of.

Frankly, this is exciting, and opens up all kinds of possibilities for terraforming/areoforming, due to its potential for binding the Martian soil.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Steel Curtain has fallen....

Bill Roggio over at Fourth Rail reports that Operation Steel Curtain is stacking them up at Husaybah and the Syrian border.

Intifada vs. Disenfranceizement

So, what are we looking at, here? What's going on in France, and in what's spread elsewhere?

In Germany, so far night-time torchings are fairly sporadic.
In small-town France, the attacks are creating immense damage.
Belgium may go "game on."

Is it the rioting of the hopelessly disenfranchised, or the beginning of formally rebellion against French civil authority? Imho, it's both, though more of the latter. Every uprising of this sort has always employed "grievance air cover," and I think that those who are involved out of legitimate grievance are being used as patsies by the sorts of folks who were skirmishing with the cops using shotguns and running the petrol-bomb factory that was discovered yesterday.

The blogosphere is divided:

  • Mark Steyn (the "Eurabian" Civil War thesis)
  • No Pasaran!, (uprisings are actually an islamist pogrom)
  • Clive Davis, (openly skeptical regarding the Intifada Thesis, but keeping an open mind)
  • Brussels Journal (Intifada) is taking heavy fire on the blogosphere from the disenfranchisement crowd, but contains credible links.

--good set of links to chew on here at Mr. Davis' site, especially since he's good enough to link up the opposing point of view (which, imho, blows his own thesis right out of the water, but I could be biased).

  • WSJ editorial page, which is addressing the issue from the perspective of finally getting to say "I told you so" to the general French condescension towards how Americans run things.
  • The Belmont Club's graphic depiction of the "Car-B-Q" (credit given in article) smashes MSM credibility about the riots calming down.
  • Yahoo News pulls off the wires to report emergency curfews going into effect tonight.

So... what's actually going on?

UPDATE: Oxblog (which is actually on the ground in Paris now) suggests that, no matter precisely what's occurring, it's clear that the rioters do not enjoy overwhelming support in the cites.

UPDATE2: A letter forwarded via The Anchoress refers to the great number of churches burned, and suggests that a serious backlash may slowly be buildling amongst the seething "regular Joes."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Well, gee, ain't I been political lately.

New link at right: Parkour Worldwide Free-Running.

Or, how to have a security guard go to bust you and your Delaware friend while you're running up and down stairs, because he thinks you're skateboarding...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Paris is burning.

Just in case any of y'all have been taking a news vacation, here's the latest. (In french)

Hundreds of vehicles burned.
Scores of buses.
Numerous stores and buildings.
Policemen and firefighters shot at.
Similar riots touching off in the Netherlands and Denmark (perhaps Belgium, reports are spotty). Frustrated, wildly outmanned French cops call it "civil war":

"There's a civil war underway in Clichy-Sous-Bois at the moment," Michel Thooris, an official of police trade union Action Police CFTC, said .
"We can no longer withstand this situation on our own. My colleagues neither have the equipment nor the practical or theoretical training for street fighting," he said.

It's like New Orleans, but for real this time. And of course, the mainstream press isn't reporting a third of it, and European presses are saying "riots? What riots?" If this spreads to Germany the way it has to the Netherlands and Denmark, the Official Eurabian Intifada will be Game On.
Excuse the schadenfreude, but isn't this what Paris was doing four hours before the Nazis rolled into the Champs Elysee? Let's say it again, for everybody who's history-challenged: appeasement and "understanding the bad guys' griefs" isn't a sign of a superior moral development. It's cowardice. It's talking nice to the mean doggie in the hopes that said uncouth mangey pooch will bite somebody else.

Well, guess what? A rabid dog can smell fear. You don't give it extra space or excuses, because all it does is keep eating you while you're talking. You Put.It.Down. Hard. So hard the sound of its bones bouncing scares the other rabid dogs into sitting quietly in the corner thinking. "Sit. Fetch. Stay. Biscuit."

Sarkozy wants to Put.This.Down.
Chirac and Villepen (hack, spit) are in full "bend over while waving the white flag" mode.
And Le Pen got almost a fifth of the vote last round of elections. Maybe the French *need* a few years being ruled by fascists in order to get that pendulum swinging in a direction that's not permanently pointed at "madness?"

UPDATE: While I was sleeping, it also apparently has spread to Marseilles and Dijon.
Brussels Journal picks up quotes suggesting that this is becoming a Europe-wide phenomena whenever the number of muslims breaks past a certain density.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The most realistic piece of bullshit propaganda...

If you weren't just ready to puke at the pap being broadcast in this lovely Biblical tale of a young man who discovers his identity and decides to go to war to conquer his peoples' enemies in the Holy Land.... oops, wait a minute, this isn't the story of David after all, but some Palestinian kid who finds god while his voiceless mother does whatever voiceless women do in Islamic Arabia, not that I'd know: being kaffir*, they mostly don't talk to lil' ol' me**....

Oh yeah. After all this setup getting himself into the Intifada after the strangely Nazi-like Israeli troops kill his parents and brother for no apparent reason, half a dozen guys with automatic weapons and grenades go on "a very difficult and dangerous mission," and, from a nearly perfect ambush position, get their asses killed taking down two deuce-and-a-half trucks and a Korean-war-era Jeep. Except of course, for the great-hero recruiter, who is nowhere to be seen amongst the bodies, and will reappear in next week's turgid episode, recruiting some other poor gullible kid to get killed supporting him in his quest to destroy the Israelis by doing something unspeakable to a goat. And the only reason they manage to take out the bad guy is because his driver somehow manages to violate the laws of physics and hurl his jeep backwards in time and space so that it lands upside down. My old paintball team could do better equipped with nothing but deer rifles.

At which point the next stupid kid picks up the bloody rag and walks off with it into a bleak sunsetted future (oddly appropriate). It's priceless, all the way through: aggrievement, the setup, the recruitment, the complete failure to achieve anything meaningful except to die, and the glorification of futile death by those who would serve as witnesses.

It's like Hamas' version of a Bud Lite commercial, with two camps of forebrain-enabled fans yelling: Fucking stupid! Hopelessly incompetent! Fucking stupid! Hopelessly incompetent!

And yes, these are the same people who invited Al Quaeda to finance their little RPG-armageddon disco-dance number in the Gaza Strip, and are now getting scared because the dipshits among them are abandoning Hamas entirely for being "too soft." Yeah, Hamas, that'll help you win against the PA in the upcoming bloodbath civil war.

(Hat Tip: Winds of Change, Thursday Winds of War.)

* Actually, Ayatollah Al-Sistani is on the record as saying that he's unsure whether or not Christians are kaffir, but that it's probably best to avoid them anyway.
** I have had some truly wonderful conversations with highly devout Iranian, Turkish, Central Asian and South Asian women. Not once have I been able to so much as get directions to an ATM while literally soaked to the skin in the freezing rain out of an obviously devout Arab lady. WTF?? Are Arab women really so weak that they can't tolerate *syllables* from males outside of their family?

The Superiority of our Civilization

Not in squishy moral terms for debating among the moonbats. No, I mean true, raw power... radical Islam chooses to attempt the Caliphate with the weapons of its enemies (since they are not capable of developing any technology more recent than WWI without foreign assistance)... and the West's response?

Develop the technology that forces them to either play on a level playing field (thus getting their asses kicked), or else quit the game.

It's official (sort of): Video Games make you smarter.

At least, for some definitions of smarter:

'Players can process visual information more quickly and can track 30% more objects than nonplayers," says Daphne Bavelier, associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences, and member of the Center for Visual Science 'Several game players even achieved perfect scores on tests barely doable for non-game players.'

I don't know about you, but that sounds perfectly reasonable to me... I also know a certain martial artist who has a hell of a time trying to process the visual data she would need to actually defend herself... maybe I should sit her down in front of Medieval Total War and see if she can win the battle of Stirling Bridge...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The space race is back on.

(Via SpaceDaily), the Russians and Chinese are going to cooperate for both Mars and Moon-shots.

This means it's hot again, folks, since the Chinese have a known desire to weaponize space and try to take away the US' high ground.

Now, if only we can get an elevator or five going....

Hungarians jump ahead in bird-flu vaccine

Lateline has an interview. (Hat tip, GatewayPundit)

Apparently good enough that they inoculated themselves in the process...

If you weren't convinced that American Politics is messed up...

How's this piece, lauding Hagel's chances for '08 on the grounds that he's a centrist?

That's right. A centrist. That's how far left the Democratic Party has actually moved.