Monday, March 31, 2008

Quote of the Day

(From JR@NHL via Hector Connector)

(Bangs on desk)
This is not my day. I can't open my goldfish.

I'm assuming he means

and not

TBG out-

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Quote of the week.

Skype intercept - 4:05pm Mar27/08

Concerning a certain individual's CRS affliction:

MM says: "coming down" with it? - he's had that for a LONG time
MM says: he's famous for remembering things they way he wants to remember them

FTJ says: Yeah, well... it's starting to damage my calm... and I'm fucked up as a football bat already and I don't need this. I'll be digging out a 06 and looking for a clock tower shortly.

TBG, looking for my happy place.

Signs of the Apocalypse - March 27

From Spongemark Squarehands:
"I don't know what this means..."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Break Fun

Okay, Constant Readers, Pop Quiz time...


Which one is the Canadian?

TBG, out at poolside...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Quote out of context, March 24th

Hector: ".... I'll just pump him full of ice cream and he'll do anything I want."

Now, I'm not up on all of the new street terms, but all I can say is "Ewww."

TBG, grossed out-

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Greetings

I love a good peep show.

TBG out-

Friday, March 21, 2008

Comments are good. Efficient. Informative.

WTF is wrong with y'all...?
Don't get me wrong. I love getting feedback, but it's nicer if it comes as a comment to the blog entry rather than a private email.
(But if you're a shy and delicate flower, unused to public scrutiny of your works, by all means send me your private missives... I don't mind.)

Use those buttons at the bottom folks- that's what they are there for...


Recent comment via e-mail:

Gun control is a band-aid, feeling good approach to the nation's crime problem. It is easier for politicians to ban something than it is to condemn a murderer to death or a robber to life in prison. In essence, 'gun control' is the coward's way out.

- Anonymous New York Constant Reader

TBG out-

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Conversations in context

A friend who is a Law Enforcement Officer took a bit of offense to my notions that police in general are a bunch of pencil-pushing report writing doughnut-munching control freaks...

Too damn bad.
To paraphrase the words of the commie-pinko-bastard Dan Rather-
If it looks like a duck and walks like a's probably local cop.

Seriously, though... The cops are as divided on gun control as the rest of the us...
Some think it's good, some would rather the civilian population be unarmed.

The problem illustrated to me last night was in regard to the reports of a gun incident at the "riot" in Jax Beach on Tuesday...

Specific points from the article that we discussed were important to his point...

"“There were about 500 to 600 kids out here. The boardwalk was full, the pier lot was full. You couldn’t even get across the overwalk,” he said. “We responded when fights started breaking out.”"

"Jacksonville Beach resident David Smith, who lives near the pier, said he observed hundreds of students in the pier parking lot when trouble broke out.

“The lot was full. Most of the kids were sitting on or hanging out of their cars,” he said. “Apparently there was a dispute with some of the groups that were out there.”

At one point, Smith estimated that 30 students surrounded one officer during a particularly hostile moment."

and Third:

"“When a fight happens everyone runs in to watch. Then a few watchers become participants,” he said. When officers go in to break it up, you never know who is going to come up and hit you in the back of the head or pull a gun or a knife.”

Bingham said one gun call was reported on 1st Street North but when officers arrived there was no one in the area."

The endgame of the Jax Beach post-FCAT Riot?
"There were reports of fights, but no reports of injury were filed. In addition, there were three 18-year-olds arrested on misdemeanor charges of battery and breach of peace."

We got off relatively easy- considering 500-600 teenagers from several different high schools can be a volatile mix...

My friend made this point...
Suppose you have a concealed carry permit, and you have your weapon.
If you see this action starting up, the lone policeman surrounded by a group of 30 youths, in proximity to a much larger group with flashpoint potential, at what point do you pull out your piece and charge in to the rescue?

The obvious answer is that if you have Concealed Carry training and good sense, you know that you DON'T go in guns a-blazing... That is the job of the law enforcement officials.
There will be cases where a person with a Concealed Carry permit would be be justified in "coming to the rescue" - School shootings, Shopping mall rampages, etc. - but to pull your weapon and join in helping the police in a standoff situation? No way.

You have to weigh your options in situation carefully...
It has long been said that a hero is nothing but a sandwich.
I have a better definition.
As Zoe, a character in the movie "Serenity" said:
"Do you know what the definition of a hero is? Someone who gets other people killed."

Everyone needs to exercise a little caution...

You're at the mall with your CC and your weapon... Gunfire breaks out.
Any cops around? No... Not even a security guard.
You see a man with a shotgun in The Gap- there is a wounded person on the ground and the armed man is yelling at a woman.
You take a position to cover the outside of the store, training your weapon on the man with the boomstick, intending to shoot if it looks like he is going to shoot the woman or someone else.

Imagine what the rent-a-cop or police officer sees upon arrival: You, pointing a weapon into a store.

Remember: Split-second decisions are the difference between life and death, and the cop has no idea of what is going on, other than reports of gunfire and seeing you with a gun pointed as to inflict violence. How does he know not to shoot you?

There is a reason that the Law Enforcement types wear those windbreakers with the lettering on them..."FBI" "POLICE" etc... It's so they can tell the good guys from the bad guys.

It seems like a new favorite way to commit suicide is to take a rifle into a crowded area and start firing until the SWAT team ends it. As it happens more and more, the chances that an armed Concealed Carry citizen will be involved becomes likely...
I hope that the right decisions are made.

Fortunately for the instance on Tuesday, there wasn't an incident... But there sure as hell could have been.

As for Gun Control advocates - They don't seem to get it... if you take all the guns off the street you still will have a crime problem, whereas if you take the criminals off the street you cannot have a gun problem.

Taking the criminals off the street is a much bigger problem... It involves education, parental guidance, law enforcement, prosecution, judgment of crime- not technicalities, incarceration and punishment.

TBG- off my soapbox

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Angry White Man

First- Many thanks to Jingalls who brought this to my attention.

This rant on the Angry White Man pretty much sums up the viewpoint from the Ivory Tower here at Listen To Uncle Jay...
It is originally from Gary Hubbell at the Aspen Times Weekly.
(It's a bit odd to find that this article was originally published in the local rag in Aspen, given that community's penchant for liberalism and tree-hugging...
I guess there is a bit of Hunter Thompson left on Ajax Mountain...)

In election 2008, don’t forget Angry White Man
- Aspen Times Weekly - Feb 9, 2008

There is a great amount of interest in this year’s presidential elections, as everybody seems to recognize that our next president has to be a lot better than George Bush. The Democrats are riding high with two groundbreaking candidates — a woman and an African-American — while the conservative Republicans are in a quandary about their party’s nod to a quasi-liberal maverick, John McCain.

Each candidate is carefully pandering to a smorgasbord of special-interest groups, ranging from gay, lesbian and transgender people to children of illegal immigrants to working mothers to evangelical Christians.

There is one group no one has recognized, and it is the group that will decide the election: the Angry White Man. The Angry White Man comes from all economic backgrounds, from dirt-poor to filthy rich. He represents all geographic areas in America, from urban sophisticate to rural redneck, deep South to mountain West, left Coast to Eastern Seaboard.

His common traits are that he isn’t looking for anything from anyone — just the promise to be able to make his own way on a level playing field. In many cases, he is an independent businessman and employs several people. He pays more than his share of taxes and works hard.

The victimhood syndrome buzzwords — “disenfranchised,” “marginalized” and “voiceless” — don’t resonate with him. “Press ‘one’ for English” is a curse-word to him. He’s used to picking up the tab, whether it’s the company Christmas party, three sets of braces, three college educations or a beautiful wedding.

He believes the Constitution is to be interpreted literally, not as a “living document” open to the whims and vagaries of a panel of judges who have never worked an honest day in their lives.

The Angry White Man owns firearms, and he’s willing to pick up a gun to defend his home and his country. He is willing to lay down his life to defend the freedom and safety of others, and the thought of killing someone who needs killing really doesn’t bother him.

The Angry White Man is not a metrosexual, a homosexual or a victim. Nobody like him drowned in Hurricane Katrina — he got his people together and got the hell out, then went back in to rescue those too helpless and stupid to help themselves, often as a police officer, a National Guard soldier or a volunteer firefighter.

His last name and religion don’t matter. His background might be Italian, English, Polish, German, Slavic, Irish, or Russian, and he might have Cherokee, Mexican, or Puerto Rican mixed in, but he considers himself a white American.

He’s a man’s man, the kind of guy who likes to play poker, watch football, hunt white-tailed deer, call turkeys, play golf, spend a few bucks at a strip club once in a blue moon, change his own oil and build things. He coaches baseball, soccer and football teams and doesn’t ask for a penny. He’s the kind of guy who can put an addition on his house with a couple of friends, drill an oil well, weld a new bumper for his truck, design a factory and publish books. He can fill a train with 100,000 tons of coal and get it to the power plant on time so that you keep the lights on and never know what it took to flip that light switch.

Women either love him or hate him, but they know he’s a man, not a dishrag. If they’re looking for someone to walk all over, they’ve got the wrong guy. He stands up straight, opens doors for women and says “Yes, sir” and “No, ma’am.”

He might be a Republican and he might be a Democrat; he might be a Libertarian or a Green. He knows that his wife is more emotional than rational, and he guides the family in a rational manner.

He’s not a racist, but he is annoyed and disappointed when people of certain backgrounds exhibit behavior that typifies the worst stereotypes of their race. He’s willing to give everybody a fair chance if they work hard, play by the rules and learn English.

Most important, the Angry White Man is pissed off. When his job site becomes flooded with illegal workers who don’t pay taxes and his wages drop like a stone, he gets righteously angry. When his job gets shipped overseas, and he has to speak to some incomprehensible idiot in India for tech support, he simmers. When Al Sharpton comes on TV, leading some rally for reparations for slavery or some such nonsense, he bites his tongue and he remembers. When a child gets charged with carrying a concealed weapon for mistakenly bringing a penknife to school, he takes note of who the local idiots are in education and law enforcement.

He also votes, and the Angry White Man loathes Hillary Clinton. Her voice reminds him of a shovel scraping a rock. He recoils at the mere sight of her on television. Her very image disgusts him, and he cannot fathom why anyone would want her as their leader. It’s not that she is a woman. It’s that she is who she is. It’s the liberal victim groups she panders to, the “poor me” attitude that she represents, her inability to give a straight answer to an honest question, his tax dollars that she wants to give to people who refuse to do anything for themselves.

There are many millions of Angry White Men. Four million Angry White Men are members of the National Rifle Association, and all of them will vote against Hillary Clinton, just as the great majority of them voted for George Bush.

He hopes that she will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, and he will make sure that she gets beaten like a drum.

Hear hear!

TBG out-

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gun Control

This is the logic of gun control.

"Because the state can no longer protect us from crime, it wants to take away from us the means of protecting ourselves."

Unfortunately, there is a large percentage of the populace that agrees that unarmed people=people safe from violent crime.



I had an ugly conversation with a rabid anti-gun idiot fool asshole pinhead halfwit meathead Democrat moron jackass Pollyanna imbecile simpleton this weekend...

You'd be proud of me... I didn't let his drivel provoke me to violence. I didn't need to. He's digging his own grave with his inability to grasp the truth.

It started with him chastising me for teaching the PC about responsible gun handling and for teaching her how to shoot pistols, rifles and shotguns.

It quickly digressed into a discussion on violence in society, social decline and the role of gun control in a safe and sane society.

I've been letting this fester all weekend and I need to vent...

First, I was able to get my esteemed anti-gun friend to agree to a few givens...

-That the police, by and large, are a bunch of donut-eating report writers. The average police officer thinks that the best way to keep the peace ("Protect and Serve") would to take all civilians and lock them in private cells.
Take away their car keys too. If they aren't on the road, they aren't speeding or carrying out acts of road rage.
If we manacle them to a wall in their own homes, they aren't out committing crimes.
If they are alone, they can't commit crimes of domestic violence.

So... Since police can no longer protect us from crime, it is left to the law abiding citizen to provide for his own protection.
(Unless you live in NYC, Chicago, Washington DC, Most of California, on any place with high crime rates and draconian gun control laws... In which case you're screwed.)

How should we do this?

Anti-Gun Friend:Everyone would be safer if no one but police had any guns.

Yours Truly: Alas, the genie is out of the bottle. Restate your argument.

A-GF:Well... How about this: If you don't have a gun in your house, there is no chance of an accidental shooting.

YT: Actually, there is no chance of an accidental shooting right now, even though there are several guns there.

A-GF: Oh, but there is... your daughter could accidentally shoot one of her friends or one of your family BECAUSE there are guns there.

YT: No... Statistically, kids who are taught responsible gun handling have virtually a null chance of accidentally shooting themselves or others. Don't get me wrong- it CAN happen, but education is the key.
If a 15 year old who has watched his parents drive their car his whole life and seen it on TV thousands of times, would you expect him to step behind the wheel the first time and be able to hold his own on the highway? No- you TEACH them how to drive, and how to drive safely.
If you take a child shooting, train them how to use the gun, explain proper gun handling concepts - especially safety- this will bring the chances of an accidental shooting to a minimum.

A-GF: Well.. Maybe. But still... Having a gun... Don't you think that violence begets violence?

YT: Absolutely- It is one of my missions in life. I would like very much to ensure — and in some cases I have — that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy. And not just violent crime deserves a vigorous response... I'm not saying that the 12 year old you see shoplifting should be killed to keep him from becoming the next Ted Bundy. He should be disciplined by his parents to prevent that. But the guy in your living room at 2:38 a.m. isn't trying to sign you up for the local glee club & probably isn't interested in reforming his ways...

A-GF: But that is a matter for the police and the prosecutors...

YT: Again, you're counting on the police preventing the burglar/rapist from entering your house. Exactly how is that done?

A-GF:I protect my home. I lock my doors and windows... I don't need the police to keep people out.

YT:So, you're saying no one could break into your home.

A-GF: Well... No. I guess if someone really wanted to, they could get in- but I'd hear them and call 911.

YT: Snip! Telephone line is cut before the break-in. (Guess how often that happens on a home invasion robbery.)

A-GF: I have a cell phone.

YT: You sleep with it? I'd have to go the kitchen to get mine, where I keep in on the charger. Where is yours at night.

A-GF: Seriously- is your stuff worth killing someone for?

YT:That's the question that the burglar/rapist/criminal should ask -
"Is the stuff in this house worth dying for?"
Personally, I'd say 'No'. But that doesn't mean I won't shoot him if he tries to take it.
For him, the value of my 'stuff' is low - just the few dollars he'd be able to pawn it for, or the cheap thrill he gets from taking it.
But to me many of those items are precious beyond words, treasured mementos of people, places, and times. That cheap little thing you may take just to laugh at and destroy may be the one and only thing I have left from someone deeply beloved and long gone. That link is worth protecting.
And as to the rest of my 'stuff' you should keep in mind that those are pieces of my life that you're taking. I worked to get those things and no insurance company will ever be able to give me the portion of my life I expended to get something back.
All of that ignores the other, more practical reasons why he's risking his life stealing from me.
I cannot know what his intentions are. He says (now) that he was only going to steal and would never hurt anyone. But the problem is that many other thieves are willing to harm my loved ones and I so I have to treat all thieves as dangerous. (Obviously this is a valid assumption. It's the same one that DHS uses to invade my privacy when I have to go through the security screening at an airport.)
Besides, no matter what he intends now, how can I be sure (sure enough to bet my life) that he won't change his mind when confronted?
All in all, the most reasonable thing for me when he tries to rob me is to presume that if he's willing to steal, he's willing to do additional harm as well and do what I can to protect myself and my loved ones.

Which means I will shoot him.
(You don't want to get shot. It's quite painful and, of course, there's a significant risk that you will die.)
And I don't think anything I own is worth you risking your life to steal, so please don't put yourself in a position to be killed over something so trivial as my 'stuff'. But don't kid yourself... If you don't belong here, you will be shot.
(Something my daughter will need to come to grips with later in life if there was to be a surprise late-night visit from a overzealous boyfriend)

A-GF: I still don't agree that a house with a gun in it is safer than a house with without a gun in it.

YT:So can I plant a sign in your front yard with a list of your personal belongings and the words "There are no guns in this house."?

A-GF: No...I don't think that's a good idea...

YT: But you still think that the only ones that should have the means to fight crime are the police?

A-GF: Yes...I think they are the ones who need guns. Not the homeowners.

YT: Want to give a guess about how often the cops show up when the burglar or rapist is still in your house? About 1 in 20. We agreed earlier that the police are report writers, taking notes and gathering evidence for the prosecutors... And I'll tell you now, there's no CSI:Jacksonville tracing evidence for every crime committed on the streets.
Why do you think Jacksonville was #1 in the state for murder in 2006?
Why do you think there are so many community initiatives like Citizen Academy, Citizen Volunteer Community Posse, Police Reserve/Police Explorers, and Sheriff's Advisory Councils?
The reason is that they are understaffed... Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said in Dec 2007 that he needs 245 new cops just to keep afloat...New cops, not just applicants to cover attrition.
But if you think police patrols keep crime down- go on a ride-along sometime- you'll find that they patrol the high-crime areas, and tend to drive their beat on major highways. They aren't patrolling neighborhoods.

A-GF: Back to YOUR guns in YOUR house... I'm not casting aspersion on your capabilities of self defense, but isn't there a possibility of a criminal getting possession of one of your guns and killing you with it?

YT: Sure he could kill me with one of my guns, but he'll have to beat me to death with it, because it will be empty.

I didn't change his mind, and he didn't change mine...
I doubt he'll ever change his tune, until he is a victim of crime...that's usually when the change of opinion happens.

TBG, armed and very dangerous.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Politics 2008

In regards to the political season of 2008...

Something to think about as you listen to all the debates and speeches:

"When two opposing sides of an argument are presented, one by an honest man and the other by a liar, the liar usually wins, simply because he is not inhibited by the truth."

- Col. Jeff Cooper - Cooper's Commentaries 1993

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Signs of the Apocalypse - March 6

I don't know which is more disturbing...
The actual event that occasioned the need to close the pool, or the fact that it happens so often that they have a ready-made sign to put up when it happens.


TBG - Not swimming.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


(Caution - Geek Content)


Sad news.

Gary Gygax, co-creator (with Dave Arneson) of Dungeons & Dragons passed away on Tuesday at the age of 69.

The acclaimed "Father of RolePlaying" had a huge impact on the nerds of the late 70's and 80's and arguably the entire gaming industry- pencil-and-paper to current PC and console videogames.

I spent a majority of my wasted youth playing RPGs with my friends down in the Keys... After all, we didn't always have money for gas for the boat to hit the reef or go skiing, and in the end it was easier to hang out at the Hobby Shop and learn strategy and combat tactics during all-day-all-night all-weekend-long D&D sessions than it was to do something more constructive with my time...

Then I turned 16, got a girlfriend, got a job, and put some of the nerdiness behind me... We only played once a week, and only if I wasn't hanging out with my friends and co-workers from the radio station where I worked.
After I got a job at the Marathon airport I rarely got a chance to play...I still went to GenCon a few times, and one game company I did a little writing for (Gamelords LTD out of Gaithersburg MD) based one of their non-player characters on me...a very odd tribute. Had something to do with the fact I scaled the outside of the hotel to the 7th floor to make a dramatic entrance from the balcony.
We did a lot of gaming...not just D&D, but other wargames- everything from the old S&T maps and cardboard unit counters, to boardgames like Risk and Diplomacy by Avalon Hill... We played many others, obscure ones like Microgames' Ogre, Rivets & Melee, TSR's Gamma World, TimeLine's Morrow Project, and TSR's Revenge of the Snitz.
Geez- I was still am a nerd.

Playing RPGs helped to refine my creativity and communication skills, and I learned a lot about strategy, social diplomacy, logic and a good bit of mathematical probability during my gaming days, since there was a lot of dice rolling and the uncertainty factor really did figure quite heavily, and it taught those lessons in a way that few other tools or experiences (including school) were able to accomplish.
Playing the RPGs helped inspire an understanding of how to engineer logical environments, social interactions and most of all communicate in conventional and unconventional fashions. All of these tools have certainly helped in my personal and academic lives.

And it forced us to use our imaginations and to read- pretty good skills to have, even these days.

Gary is gone- obviously didn't make that 2d20 saving roll... Someone go get a 10th level cleric...

TBG - Still a nerd at heart.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Current Events - March 2008

Since I have been relatively stationary for the last few days (not counting the trips to Lauderdale and the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens) I’ve been spending more Quality Time with the Perfect Child...

I’ve even gotten her to sit still for a portrait or two.

I posted the shots of her and her beau, Beau, at the trap range a couple weeks ago.
We’ve also hit the indoor pistol range...

She’s tired of her .22 Walther. Decided she likes the .40 better.
It makes bigger holes in stuff.
I’m hesitant to load the 12 gauge with slugs or sabots... She could really do some damage with them.

We’ve been trading off DVDs recently too...

She recently sat me down to watch her current favorite movie, Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe...A musical set in the 60's to the music of the Beatles; Some 30 cover tunes of favorites like Come Together, I Am The Walrus, Hey Jude, and Strawberry Fields Forever...
The stars of the movie Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess and Dana Fuchs personalize their performance of the songs and do an excellent job, while some of the cameo performers like Bono and Joe Cocker are amazing. One of my particular favorites is Eddie Izzard’s cover of Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite; a truly inspired rendition.

“In this way Mr. K. will challenge the world! With the blue people! Don’t be late.”

And don’t miss Salma Hayek in "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"

Oh My.

In return, I have been forcing her to watch Doctor Who with me...
I recently picked up the new seasons of the BBC classic series and have been enjoyed seeing the flavor flavour that Christopher Eccleston brought to the role as the ninth Doctor… They identify the chronology of the series as to which Doctor is in the role since the start of the series back 1963...

The BBC revived the series in 2005 with Eccleston as The Doctor and Billie Piper as his companion...
I used to watch Doctor Who back in the 70’s when Tom Baker (the fourth Doctor) had the title role and Elisabeth Sladen was his companion as Sarah Jane Smith along with the K9, the Tin Dog.

Eccleston only signed on to do the series for one season, and at the end of his stint during yet another showdown with the Daleks he was forced to regenerate and morphed into the tenth Doctor- played now by David Tennant. Billie Piper continued for one more season as The Doctor’s companion, but was replaced by Freema Aygeman for 2007 and 2008.

David Tennant and Billie Piper

Freema Aygeman and Tennant
I have the 2005 and 2006 series and next time I have 100 bucks lying around with nothing to do, I’ll be picking up 2007...

Meanwhile- back when I was in Atlanta I saw one of the Doctor Who spin-offs on the rack at Fry’s Electronics. It’s called Torchwood, aired starting in 2006 on BBC3...
Obviously I picked it up... It’s a little darker, definitely more adult-themed.

Torchwood is a institution started by Queen Victoria (see Doctor Who 2006 episode 3, Tooth and Claw) dealing with alien technology on Earth. This branch, Torchwood 3 is the Cardiff office of the Torchwood Institute (many jokes about it being CSI:Cardiff), headed by Captain Jack Harkness, played by the obscenely handsome John Barrowman; They operate separate from the government, outside the police, and beyond the United Nations... Nice work if you can get it.

A little bit Han Solo, a little bit Jack Sparrow, with a touch of Tom Cruise. Disgusting.

Harkness was also a character introduced in the 2005 Doctor Who series as a time-traveling con man that has since found employment saving the world from destruction.
It’s not for everyone, but I get a kick out of it…
If you’re homophobic, better skip this series, but I found this series to be very entertaining. I’m watching for the 2007 series to hit the racks. Good stuff.

Onward, through the fog.

TBG out-