Thursday, February 28, 2013

"And then depression set in..."

I've gotta tell you, I am starting to despair regarding the political process in Florida and in the US in general...

I am hammered every day by bloggers insisting that I call or write my elected officials regarding this or that topic. In the election cycle I am urged to get out and vote, and make sure all my loved ones and pets get out and vote too...

Know what?
I have come to the conclusion that the road to hell is paved with wasted effort.
Seems like I call and I write and I vote and it just doesn't make any difference.

Are we making a difference? It doesn't seem like it.

I would think that elected REPRESENTATIVES would REPRESENT us when we tell them what our opinion is. From some of the canned and generic responses I have received form these bottom-feeders I get the impression their mindset is "I know you this is what you THINK you want, but I know much better than you what you need, so I'll just go ahead and do what I think should be done, and to hell with you and your piss-ant opinions."

On a whim, I have contacted one of my State Senators and asked the question:
Do you keep statistics when people call or write in with their opinions on issues,
and if so, is it just basic 'tally-stroke' for or against, or are there additional demographics?

And finally - are these results available to the public, or will I need a FOIA request to get a look at the results?

I wonder if I will get a response...?


Monday, February 25, 2013

Newspaper Reporter IQ Reaching New Low

Some semi-literate keyboard monkey at the Washington Post was recapping the comments from the Connecticut Senator I recently wrote about...

Obviously the scribe was trying to equate the semi-auto=machine gun concept to the low-information voters, bet he did it in a accurate but head-scratching manner:
"...which was carried out by A___ L____* with a semiautomatic assault weapon that reloaded bullets in rapid succession from a single ammunition magazine."
Someone take this asshole's keyboard away until he...
No, just take it away. Train him to say "do you want fries with that?".

*sorry- I won't ever print the name of someone like this... No notoriety, no publicity. 

We Are Unable to Focus on the Problem, So We'll Do Something Else

From the happy assholes in that shithole at N40.75616, W-73.99017 New York Times:
Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, is haunted by many things that emerged from the investigation of the December mass shooting at a Newtown elementary school...
“We do know that historically in these instances, amateurs have trouble switching magazines,” Mr. Murphy said, referring to the high-capacity ammunition feeding device used by Mr. Lanza to shoot scores of bullets in seconds. “I believe, and many of the parents there believe, that if Lanza had to switch cartridges nine times versus two times there would likely still be little boys and girls alive in Newtown today.” 
So, it's ok for him to kill his mom, steal her guns, take them to the school and kill the kids as long as he did it with magazines limited to 5 rounds...

More ridiculous are the comments from, typical libtards I guess, which indicate that these idjits are as stupid as the misguided politician the article is quoting.

From the typical NYer:
I approve of the proposed ban of high capacity magazines, but realistically it will not have a major effect. In the case of mass killings, it will help reduce the numbers of deaths, to an extent. The shooters could easily just carry several guns, or practice reloading.

However, the vast majority of deaths due to guns in this country are not due to mass shootings. Those grab headlines and attention, but dozens of people are killed every single day by handguns, and a smaller amount by rifles and shotguns. The high capacity ban, and the assault rifle ban, would have zero effect on these deaths.
"Yes- it won't do any good, but hey, let's do something that limits another law-abiding citizen's ability to use a legal tool in a legal manner, because TEH CHILDRUNZ!"

From another person unable to equate the first and second amendment:
(In Hawaii, no less)
A strict constitutional constructionist, and a believer that the intent of the founders is paramount, and believing that the Constitution is NOT a living document (it's principles do not change with time), we have a right under the Second Amendment to flintlocks and muskets.
This what the Founders envisioned for each citizen.
The Constitution has NOT BEEN AMENDED to update or in anyway alter that ORIGINAL INTENT.
Muskets and flintlocks are the right of each citizen...
I guess your right to free speech is limited to technology available in 1787, right?

A commenter from Georgia starts to sound semi-sentient, then goes off the rails in a spectacular manner:
Why can elected officials say things like this with a straight face? “I believe, and many of the parents there believe, that if Lanza had to switch cartridges nine times versus two times there would likely still be little boys and girls alive in Newtown today.”

So, instead of shooting 26 people, maybe he would have killed 12? Is that supposed to be acceptable? He could have all the cartidges he wanted; if he didn't have the gun to shoot them with no one would have been shot.

This is so tiring. "Politically toxic" my foot. As if the majority of voters are so attached to being able to have an automatic weapon. It's politicians who are so attached to their campaign donations.
Again- to this mouthbreather semi-automatic=machine gun. Pathetic.

Some other winners:
...As far as straw purchasers, there needs to be a special place in Hell for people like the person who allegedly bought the guns used by W____m Sp____r to murder those firemen.
And W____m Sp____r was released from prison?
Sorry- when you beat your 90-year old Grandmother to death with a hammer and you get to plead to manslaughter? Thanks NY Legal System... You get equal blame for the deaths of the First Responders on Christmas Eve 2012.

Another NYer
I've been following the gun control debate for a few decades, and have yet to read one sensible, rational argument for NOT limiting guns and ammunition from the pro-gun crowd.
It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun? This is the biggest whopper of them all.
Gun control really isn't about self-protection for most of these people. It's about manhood, or some weird psychological sense of well-being and power they get with their weapons.
TL;DR: "Shut up you small-penis rednecks. Grownups are talking."

And from the rain-soggy Pacific Pathetic Northwest Left Coast:
This is that classic Right-Wing tactic: Take a totally crazy position.
Compromise achieving acceptance of a less crazy position.
Ignore them and get it right for Heaven's sakes.
Let me fix this for you...
This is that classic Right-Wing  Liberal tactic.  Take a totally crazy position.
Compromise achieving acceptance of a less crazy position.
(Repeat until process each time a horrible tragedy that fits the agenda to erode personal freedoms and eliminate things YOU don't like.)
Ignore them and get it right for Heaven's sakes. me, please.
Some of them get it though...
One reader (from Texas forsooth!) opined:
While I disagree with the majority of you, I certainly recognize your unalienable right to speak your piece. (First Amendment anyone?)

Many of you may be willing to give up your right to defend yourselves in some misguided utopian hope that it may provide a safer human condition, but until all crime is eradicated and no person ever rises to power and wields that power to oppress others, I believe I shall defend mine.
And another:
(From NYC - oops Georgia, as indicated by typos)
The gun control in any form is NOT the problem. A deranged person who is intent on hurting or killing people, will do so, no matter what kind of gun they have, or how many bullets it can hold or fire. we limit clips down to a 5 or 10 round capacity... thing you know, the next lunitic bent on killing someone, will just say... to heck with using a gun, they'll just graduate up to a bomb of some sort, which will have the ability to harm more people than a 30 round bullet clip does.
Instead of pushing for gun control and gun banning for law-abiding citizens, the government should be incouraging people to exercise their right to "open carry" their own firearm, so that the law-abiding people will have the means to protect themselves (and others) when some deranged person decides to try to harm or kill innocent people.
The criminals (whom gun control has no effect upon) will ALWAYS be able to obtain any kind of gun or ammunition they want, on the "streets" or the "black market", no matter what gun control laws are passed. Only the LAW-ABIDING people are negatively affected by governmental gun control laws, through disarming law-abiding innocent people of the means by which to protect themselves.

Go read it yourself - cover your keyboard though... I don't want to be liable when you vomit all over it as you read the comments.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Adapt and Overcome


Red Meat

So, the Woman Who Knows Most Things and I were discussing the sad state of affairs when it comes to steaks in restaurants these days.

We lamented that back in the day (when we were dating and first married) Outback Steakhouse actually had pretty good steaks. Now, not so much.
As a rule, 99% of the steaks restaurants serve are poor to bad.
Even in "steakhouses"... I'm looking at you Longhorn and Texas Roadhouse.
Flavorless steaks- tough and poorly prepared, with uninspired service; Or worse, snotty service with overpriced dogmeat.

The exception in chain/franchises, of course, is Ruth's Chris and Morton's.

Been to RC twice and Morton's once... Both were pretty damn amazing.
Expensive, yes, but on a satisfaction-to-the-dollar scale, well, we're not going more than once or twice a year, so it is worth it.

There have been  a couple other places that really were top-notch...

One was in Indianapolis- St Elmo's down on South Illinois St.
Wow. The experience was amazing.
Ketel One Martinis, their signature shrimp cocktail (hard to impress me with shrimp- but they managed to do it - the secret is in the sauce) and an amazing hunk of red meat.
(Man... I wonder if I could get Tam and Bobbi to do a blogmeet there?)

Not truly a "steak" place - Lawry's was a very memorable experience too...
From the Caesar Salad prepared at the table to some of the best prime rib I've ever had.
It has a place in my top ten.

Another place that used to be a must-experience when visiting Orlando-
Charley's Steakhouse (although word has it that it has gone downhill since being acquired by once of the super-restaurant chains.)

There have been a few others... I wasn't overly impressed with Smith & Wollensky's, but there was a local place that was really good 20 years ago- The Tree Steakhouse... They tried to expand and screwed up their business model... Shame.
(Of course- this discussion is about regular steakhouses- not Brazilian Steakhouses... Different kettle of meat, as it were.)

Why did we get on this topic?
Because there was a commercial on the tube for Applebees touting their steak entrees...
I don't know about your experience, but I've found that the food usually looks better on the commercials, and this looked awful- I remarked that if it looked that bad on the 'tube, the real thing was probably horrific.


Today I Learned...


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stress Test

A promotional stunt in Germany-
Rather well  choreographed...

I'd like to think that the moment I saw my face in the paper or on the TV I'd be outta there so fast all you'd hear would be the 'pop' of displaced air.

My reaction wouldn't make the broadcast because I wouldn't come up for air until I was on the beach on the Bahia de Omoa or living on dust and algae on the marge of Lake Laberge (on a boat called the Olive May).


Happy Black History Month

Some helpful tips for you:


PINs and Predictability - The Infographic

Are you guilty of being predictable?


Thursday, February 14, 2013

FTMF Award - 2/14/2013

Today's FTMF Award goes to:
Emeryville California Police Chief Ken James.

"One issue that always boggles my mind is that the idea that a gun is a defensive weapon,” James said. “That is a myth. A gun is not a defensive weapon."

Fuck you, you smug, hypocritical motherfucker.


And for Valentines Day - some 'Awwww' for you:

How about a box of chocolates?


Some Vehicles Are More Equal Than Others

a/k/a/ "2 wheels good, 4 wheels bad."

Although the FJR is still my go-to for basic transportation, there is a new hunk of metal in the driveway at the Estrogen Palace...

1987 Ford F150 XLT Lariat

Man, it's going to be nice to be able to take rifles to the range again without getting pulled over for "safety inspections".
That and getting to work dry when it's raining...
Yeah. That will be nice too.


Letters To People Unlikely To Respond: GunStore Sales Dweeb

You, Sir, are a Dumbass...

In my day I have known many, many active and veteran armed forces personnel...
Lots of squids, grunts, jarheads, airdales, dogfaces and zoomies- and I have a rather special reverence for most Special Forces members. (It's an interesting story... Remind me to tell you about it, uh, NEVER.)

Having a personal connection with several SF-types I have learned a few things...
99.65% of Special Forces members are gifted with self-confidence, capability, and enough overall intelligence to keep a low profile. Always. (Especially in bars. At least among the general populace anyway- get a group of them together, especially different services, at a watering hole and it's a different story. If you hear a guy talking up his SF experience in a local meat market, chances are he's a wanna-be or a never-was.)

That being said:
You can bluster all you want about your experience "over in the sandbox" and pretend that you are an expert on all things shooty...
Real SEAL team members rarely mention that they are/were SEAL team members, let alone use it as anecdotal evidence while trying to sell rifle optics to the local Good Ol' Boys...

And it's pronounced "Loo-pold" not "Lee-o-pold", Dumbass.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Too Damn Funny

I have to imagine that if I had to deal with the General Public in a retail environment I'd probably need heavy doses of C2H5OH nightly to survive the experience...
Doubly so if my position was Barist/Hipster-in-Residence at a Fourbux Cafe...

This poor bastard , the Bitter Barista (who I hear has been fired for his random scribbling) articulates his feelings nicely... Satire or not, bloggers have to be careful.
Not sure my reaction to dealing with the half-caff-half-soy-latte-double-shot-with-hazelnut crowd would be any different, though...
His stuff is sure fun to read- especially if you are self-aware enough to empathize.

To wit:

No. 19
Sir, you seem to have a little piece of douchebag on the side of your face…Wait, no, that’s just a bluetooth.

No. 24
So, a guy grumpily walks up to the counter and says “Soy mocha.”
I reply, “Hi, mocha. Soy Matt. What would you like to order?”

No. 29
You can say “2% milk” all damn day. You’re getting whole milk.

No. 68
“Thank you, have a nice day” is retail-speak for, “I hate you, I hope you die in a fire”.

No. 71
If your coffee order takes more than 20 seconds to say, you’ve forfeited your right to complain about the price.

Go, read, and keep his thoughts and observations in mind when you step up to the counter at Fourbux.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Too True

From my man Mr. No...


1) Only in America could the rich people -
who pay 86% of all income taxes - be
accused of not paying their "fair
share" by people who don't pay any
income taxes at all.

2) Only in America could people
claim that the government still
discriminates against black
Americans when they have a black
President, a black Attorney General,
and roughly 18% of the federal
workforce is black while only 12% of
the population is black

3) Only in America could they have
had the two people most responsible
for our tax code, Timothy Geithner,
the head of the Treasury Department
and Charles Rangel who once ran the
Ways and Means Committee, BOTH turn
out to be tax cheats who are in
favor of higher taxes.

4) Only in America can they have
terrorists kill people in the name
of Allah and have the media
primarily react by fretting that
Muslims might be harmed by the

5) Only in America would they make
people who want to legally become
American citizens wait for years in
their home countries and pay tens of
thousands of dollars for the
privilege while we discuss letting
anyone who sneaks into the country
illegally just 'magically' become
American citizens.

6) Only in America could the people
who believe in balancing the budget
and sticking by the country's
Constitution be thought of as

7) Only in America could you need to
present a driver's license to cash a
check or buy alcohol, but not to

8) Only in America could people
demand the government investigate
whether oil companies are gouging
the public because the price of gas
went up when the return on equity
invested in a major U.S. oil company
(Marathon Oil) is less than half of
a company making tennis shoes

9) Only in America could the
government collect more tax dollars
from the people than any nation in
recorded history, still spend a
Trillion dollars more than it has
per year - for total spending of
$7-Million PER MINUTE, and complain
that it doesn't have nearly enough

10) Only in America could
politicians talk about the greed of
the rich at a $35,000.00 a plate
campaign fund-raising event.

11) Only in America can a man
with no background, no qualifications
and no experience ...and a complete
failure at his job ... be reelected.


Monday, February 04, 2013



Sunday, February 03, 2013

Superbowl Notes

Boy - they hyped the crap out of the halftime show.
(Didn't do any good. I didn't watch it.)

The Ravens should have been back up dancers on the show- looked like they were all wearing yoga pants out on the field.

Hell of a heads-up play by Jacoby Jones at 1:45 in the 2nd... That second effort touchdown- wow.
Great play.

Biggest Fan of the Game:
The Niners fan that works for New Orleans Power & Light, for pulling the Big Red Switch as things started to unravel in the second half.

Best commercials of the night:
Audi - Prom/Black Eye
Budweiser - Reunion - (TWWKMT was tearing up after that one...) - Drama & the mama wolf
Dodge Ram - Paul Harvey's Farmer Tribute (I just have to link to this one...)

The "Pretty Good" ones:
Oreo - (Quiet) Riot in the Library - Cookie vs Cream
Toyota Rav4 - Kaley Cuoco & the Infinite Witches
Kia Sorrento - Where do babies come from?
Taco Bell - Old Folks sneaking out. Goldblatt's Tattoo. Yikes.
Doritos - Playing Princess
Hyundai - Turbo - Better to be in front
Sketchers - Gazelle & Cheetah
Jeep - USO - National Heroes
Bud Light - Stevie Wonder and the Lucky Chair
Kia - Ass-kicking Robot - Respect the Tech
Tide - Joe Montana Stain
Speed Stick - Fold your panties for you...
Mercedes - Deal with the Devil - but only because it was Willem Dafoe...
Gildan T-Shirt - Cute take on the coyote-in-a-trap joke.

Ewww Gross moment:
Go Bar Rafaeli & The Nerd
(Really - I could have done without seeing that...)
Calvin Klein  -  Men in drawers. (Ditto)

The Why Bother? collection:
M&Ms - anything for love
Bud - black crown
Pepsi Next - meh
Best Buy - meh
Subway Febuany & Congrats Jared - Who cares?
Pistachios - PSY - FTMF.
NFL: Leon Sandcastle
Lincoln MKZ & Road Stories
Toyota Camry
Axe - Shark Attack/Astronaut
Disney - Oz
Fast & Furious 6
Beck - Sapphire
Coke - Security Cameras 

The WTF Files:
Doritos- Goat For Sale - I don't get it.
Volkswagen - Reggae Monday - Huh?
Century 21?
Mio - Tracy Morgan - Change

(Updated to add Calvin Klein - Thanks Anon for reminder)

Saturday, February 02, 2013

I Guess I Was Mistaken...

Well. I guess President Obama is all for gun rights.
There is no way that he might try to limit our 2nd Amendment rights,
since he obviously does skeet shooting all the time.

This picture puts all my concerns to rest...


Friday, February 01, 2013

Small Victories

JayG was tooting his horn regarding some household repairs he accomplished with a minimum of bloodshed or financial hardship... It always nice when you can make semi-technical repairs without burning your house down or otherwise putting your life at risk.
Good on ya, mate...

I had a couple similar experiences in the last couple weeks- Both involved repairs to my Prime Transportation Unit- the FJR1300...

Upon return from Australia, on my first ride I discovered one of my headlights was out...

This is not A Good Thing
You know all that nice plastic they hang all over the bike to give it a nice aerogoddamic design?
Well, they also do that so they don't have to be real concerned about the aesthetics of the crap underneath the fairings. So, it's pretty much a mess under there, and working on stuff under the fairing, unless you have delicate & petite girl-like hands, is a cast-iron bitch. This is doubly true if you have Clydesdale-like hooves as I do.

(Just like mine, but much, much cleaner...)

And if you have ever worked on a bike that has nice form-fitting fairings, you'll know what a pain in the ass it is to get them off, and more importantly - back on.

Needless to say, I was apprehensive about replacing the burnt-out bulb.

Since the FJR has 2 headlights, I was not in danger of getting cited for a moving violation- but I knew I needed to get it taken care of fairly quickly.

I briefly toyed with the idea of taking it to the bike shop for professional grade (and professional cost) repair. Reflecting on past experience- the local Yamaha dealer had some weird temporal distortions - a 10 minute job always takes 90 minutes to perform at shop rates of $75 an hour.
And it always takes at least 3 days to get accomplished.
Sorry- the FJR is all I have to push my rotund ass around, so that is not an option.

I went to Cycle Gear and picked up a new bulb- then got to thinkin' - always a dangerous pastime - the bulbs will almost certainly be of different light quality. Best get two and change them both.

Next- get on the Interwebs and see what the FJR on-line community says about changing the bulbs-
Lo & behold!- You don't have to remove the fairings- they can be changed by accessing the back of the headlights from inside the fork plenum, if you are reasonable dexterous.
Well- it took 25 minutes start-to-finish to replace both bulbs, and it was a bit difficult, but it wasn't anything like doing brain surgery by braille that a couple FJR people made it out to be...

Next- I was hearing the tell-tale sound of my rear brake pads getting thin...
Let's check the Interweb first-

Several Youtube videos and FJR tech instruction videos and half my lunch hour later I had a new set of rear brake pads installed on my machine...

I was a little more apprehensive about brakes- if you botch the headlight repair you can recover fairly easily. Screw up your brakes and you can die, spectacularly, or worse- kill someone else.

So, I took the FJR for a very sedate trip around the parking lot, testing my handiwork- seems to work ok. No loss of pressure, no unintentional binding... Check the torque on the bolts after a short ride...
All good there.
Next.. Take a quick ride with lots of uniform braking to bed the pads...
Wow... Nice.
So... $35 bucks for pads and half my lunch hour.
As opposed to $200 at The Shop.

JayG is right- some folks that are more mechanically minded than Yours Truly would wade right into this without hesitation and would have much more confidence it their work-
I'm a systems and network hardware tech- I NEVER expect things to work correctly the first time... If they did, I'd be out of a job.
But I also agree with JayG's closing paragraph-
We are responsible for our own equipment, and our own safety. We can
delegate care for our equipment to others - like I could have called a
repair center and had them send someone to fix the oven - but that costs
a lot and takes extra time. We can delegate our own safety, as well;
however that either costs a bit for private security, or takes time - as
the expression goes, when seconds count the police are only minutes
away. Everything comes with a price, be it money, time, or a little bit
of both.
Lots of truth there...