Monday, March 30, 2009

True

Everybody wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to go right now.


Kenny Chesney video.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Parents And Art Linkletter Are Not Surprised

From Nothing To See Here, Move Along:

Laughed my ass off at this one.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let Me Count The Ways

This oughta piss off everybody.

If you're anti-gun, then "OMG! IT'S A GUN!"
If you're conservative, then "That's shameful!"
If you're a collector, then "She'll ruin the finish on that fine piece."
If you're a gun owner, then "She shouldn't have her finger on the trigger."

Dammit, that's an animated gif. Blogger must not like those or something.

Interesting To Some, But Probably Not Very

Like a few in the comments though, I call BS. There's no way this is exhaustive.

The 10 Biggest Databases in the World.

Sample? Sure:

It is estimated that the text portion of the Library of Congress would comprise 20 terabytes of data. The LC expands at a rate of 10,000 items per day and takes up close to 530 miles of shelf space...

The Library of Congress is number 10 on their list.

Europa Film Treasures

An amazing resource. I've spent some time just exploring Europe's cinematic history, enjoying the online archives.

Thanks to Bayou Renaissance Man for pointing this one out.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quickie Review: Spider Baby

Recipe for a classic: Take a house full of odd and mentally deteriorating children, overseen by their devoted chauffeur (played by Lon Chaney Jr). Add distant relatives, including a money-grubbing bitch-queen with plans to take over the whole estate. Mix in plenty of offbeat humor and outstanding performances from all of the actors, and you have one helluva lot of creepy fun.

Spider Baby: Highly recommended.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quote of the Whenever I Feel Like It

Andrew Breitbart in the Washington Times:

We are a trust-fund nation (picture Tori Spelling in the Lifetime Channel role of her career) whose BMW has run out of gas in the middle of the Mojave Desert after a pointless 115-miles-per-hour joy ride. The credit cards are maxed out. We're out of cell phone range. And dad, who just got taken by Uncle Bernie Madoff, wouldn't take the call anyway.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Somebody Loves Me

Imagine my surprise yesterday when the mailman brought me an unexpected batch of goodies. And by goodies I mean free movies to review.

Thank you Wild Eye Cinema*. Reviews will be posted upon my unsuspecting visitors in due time. Muahahhahhahahahahaha.

I've reviewed Wild Eye Cinema releases before: Crawlspace and The Devil's Daughter. Worth revisiting.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Kelly Kettle

These are probably too heavy for backpacking, but would be good for canoe or car camping. I'm also considering getting one for the house for emergency use. Being able to boil water quickly and easily is a good thing when your water supply is suspect or the electricity is out.

The idea is simple: the kettle is a hollow cylinder that you put over an enclosed fire. All of the heat rises through the inside of the cylinder, quickly boiling water inside the cylinder.

How quickly? In this video, the lady goes from zero fire to boiling water in about three and a half minutes, and she starts the fire with a firesteel because a lighter or matches would be "cheating".



Very cool. Practical and useful too.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bahhh-Studs

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Better Than A Pocket Boy Scout

Eric, the human Swiss Army Knife.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Movie Review Time: Late Bloomer

Dang, I can hear the huzzahs and fist-bumping from here.

Late Bloomer (2007) Japanese with English subtitles.

Sumida is a moderately disabled man living in modern Japan. He can walk a little, but mostly gets around in a motorized wheelchair. He doesn't speak, instead he communicates with gestures and uses an electronic device that speaks when he punches in strings of sylables. He works at a center for the disabled, teaching others how to adapt their lives to their disabilities. He smiles a lot and is well liked. It's remarkable how well he's adjusted to life and how natural people act and react around him.

In many ways, Sumida's life is just like yours and mine. He goes out with friends, he drinks beer and sometimes gets drunk, he watches porn when the mood strikes. He has someone who looks after him and takes care of him. Instead of a girlfriend or wife, Sumida relies on professional caregivers who come and cook and clean for him. They're more like friends and companions than hired help.

So far, Late Bloomer sounds more like a documentary than a thriller. Then, with subtle hints and a quiet word or two, the idea is placed in your mind that despite his good nature, behind the ever present smile, nobody really knows what goes on in Sumida's mind. The idea grows and you start to suspect darker motivations, and formerly normal actions now appear sinister.

This uncertainty colors the movie right to the ending credits. It's uncomfortable because you never really learn the why behind the events. Has Sumida always been capable of murder, or is it that you now know him well enough to read the tiny signs that have always been there?

Late Bloomer is filmed in black and white, making extensive use of a hand held camera. Everything about this movie - editing, special effects, musical score, shot selection and angle - is designed to keep you off balance and uncertain. The movie is closer to avant garde than classic cinema.

This flick is not for everybody. I can't even say that I enjoyed it, but my mind keeps returning to it, gnawing over scenes and details. For movie buffs and fans of the road less travelled, I recommend it. You might not like it, but you'll remember it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Like An Old Joke

What do you do if you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

From Jawa Report.

Wind-power has demonstrated some unexpected and serious drawbacks. Micro-climate changes directly downwind cause localized drought conditions, and everyone knows about the birds that die when they get whacked by a turbine blade.

Now there's a new unintended victim:

Bats, like other mammals, have delicate alveoli in their lungs. The thin membranes can't withstand extreme pressure changes, and suffer from "barotrauma," like scuba divers' ears and lungs when they go deep under water without equalizing properly.

Ninety percent of the bats that researchers at the University of Calgary found under turbines had died of internal hemorrhaging, not from collision with the blades. In fact, only fifty percent of the bats showed signs of impact.

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Despite claims that wind-power is *free* and has limited impact on the environment, it just isn't so. Once again, mankind will have to make the decision about what kind of changes they're willing to accept as the price of adopting new technology.

The more things change...

I Love The Smell Of APCP In The Morning

The subject line of the email says it all: VICTORY.

Several years ago, the two main rocketry organizations in the US sued the BATFE (Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) over their decision to classify APCP-based rocket motors as explosives.

From the email:

The BATFE regulation of APCP was found by Judge Walton to be ".. arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law." and has been ordered by the Court to be "vacated" or canceled.

I'm doing the happy dance. Now we'll see what kind of underhanded bullshit the BATFE will try now that they've been properly slapped down.

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Angered" Is A Word You Use When You're Too Diplomatic To Say "Cocksucker"

From Hot Air.

The American Legion is the largest veteran's organization in the US. Today the National Commander of the Legion met with President Obama.

“It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan,” said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. “He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.”

This administration is talking about saving money by forcing soldiers to get third party insurance that will pay for medical care if wounded while serving their country.

Billions to bail out irresponsible borrowers, bankers and manufacturers, but dang it, those mercenaries are making unreasonable demands on money better used to build our socialist utopia.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Shinseki" must be Japanese for "Cocksucker"

Realistically, this one has zero chance of actually happening.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance.


But for even considering it, Shinseki earns a title that I seldom use.

My blood pressure says "thanks, heaps" to Hot Air for pointing this one out.

WWII History - Up Close and Personal

Over at Bayou Reniasscence Man, there's a wonderful series called Weekend Wings. The latest installment revisits an old post he did about the allied bombing raids against the Japanese refineries in Balikpapan (then Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia). Besides being an amazing story in and of itself, he's now gotten permission to post a personal journal entry written by one of the pilots who flew the raid!

Well worth following these links.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Saying Thanks

To baseball pitcher Barry Zito, to the fans at the Glendale stadium, but mostly to the members of our military.

Read the story. It's a good one.

Hit 'Em (Back) Right In The Wallet

Over at Q&O they've floated an idea that seems to be catching on.

The idea is simple. On April 15th, up your W-4 deductions so that only about 90% of your expected tax bill for next year is withheld. Take the extra money in your paycheck and put it into savings or invest it. Next year, pay what you owe on April 14th.

What does this accomplish? Well, it means Uncle Sam doesn't get your extra money to play with for free for the year, and won't get it until the last minute next year. Individually, the amount may be small, but if enough people do it, it'll be noticed.

I don't need the government to tell me how best to use my money.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hypothetical

I don't blog much about work, and this isn't about work today. Really.

If you're going to chew me out for something that happened years ago and claim it's my fault for not noticing a problem that nobody ever complained about,

and,

if you're going to chew me out again (in an unrelated matter) because I didn't account for something I knew nothing about and nobody bothered to tell me (and I checked my job description, "ESP" isn't mentioned at all),

then,

don't act surprised when I jump right back at you and defend myself. Twice. Hypothetically.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

New Experience

I poured two homemade votive candles this morning. Sweet Pea scented. Liz loves candles and we burn them quite often, both for the scent and for the ambiance. Store-bought candles are expensive though, and lately the ones in the discounted and clearance sections (translation: affordable) have been remarkably bad when it comes to smell. Some of the new designer scents should be collectively named "gym sock".

We researched the idea of making our own, and it turns out to be cost-effective and simple. Assuming, of course, that you don't want to get too fancy with them, and we don't. Simple votives and small pillar candles, maybe some container versions in the future after we get our feet waxed (to mangle a metaphore).

To get started, we bought 10lbs of wax, a scent sampler (10 of our choice, plus a bonus they threw in), a wick sampler, a few bottles of wax dye, a pour pitcher, three votive molds and two pillar molds. Less than a hundred dollars, and a big percentage of that was shipping. Based on what I used this morning on two simple votives, I should be able to make some 100 small ones or 30 larger candles from our starter supplies. The only thing we'll need to replenish then is wicks, more colors if we want, wax (about a buck a pound) and more molds if we want more variety. The big advantage I see is that these aren't something you go through quickly, so it's not like we're going to be making candles constantly to replace what's already gone.

I think I'm going to enjoy this.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Correlation

Over at Western Rifle Shooters, they've linked to an eerily-familiar list of the goals of the American Communist Party, which closely matches up with the stimulus package and other initiatives of the new regime. Frightening.

Related: Stephen over at Hold the Mayo has been on fire lately. Head over there and check out his site. If you're a capitalist (or just want to piss off a socialist), pick up one of his great Bill of Rights t-shirts, and the new "Socialism Sucks" shirt is a winner too.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Investment Spam

Not quite what you think.


That blue line at the bottom represents consumer confidence. The details are here: Gold, Guns & Spam. Highly recommended.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Cheer Up

A song that always lifts my spirits.



It's hard to be an optimist sometimes, but when it's hard, that's when it's most needed.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Something To Look Forward To

The cinema fairy has been very very good to me lately. Besides the two-disk special editions of Death Proof (yay Kurt Russell!) and Planet Terror (the original two parts to the 2007 Tarantino/Rodriguez release Grindhouse), I've also picked up a Joe Sarno double feature (courtesy of the always appropriately named Something Weird Video), a like-new copy of the somewhat hard-to-find Lust For A Vampire (second part of Hammer's Carmilla trilogy), Creature from the Hillbilly Lagoon (do I really need to explain?) and one to be reviewed for sure: Late Bloomer - Japanese horror. Thought you were gonna get another parenthetical clause there, dint'ja?

 
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