Saturday, January 08, 2005

Evil Loophole Gun Show today

No big purchases today. Picked up a new laser pointer for the cat, but that's it. Friend wants to get together and go tomorrow, so I'll probably pick up some ammo and some new earplugs if I can find some.

One of the things I like about shows is that sometimes you find the damndest things. Oddball firearms, old & new. Knives, ammo, books, parts, tools, there may be nothing interesting or it may be full of stuff. No, not that stuff, good stuff.

The biggest show in the area happens in Tulsa in spring and fall, and it's huge. I usually can't make the spring show, but I've been able to hit the fall show the past several years.

The problem with the local shows is that there are two groups that put them on, and they do so often; so often that in many cases there's not many people there. I'd rather have them farther apart with more to see.

Let's see, my social life is going to work, taking care of stuff around the house, and going to flea markets and gun shows. I think I need to spread out a bit.

Friday, January 07, 2005

The 'High Priest Vulture Elite' in the 'Turd World'

This comes from the latest post at The Diplomad. He's a bit on the edgy side after the last few days, and all things considered I don't blame him. If you were worn out and busy trying to accomplish something, and being forced to waste time listening to some jerks who talk, talk, talk instead of actually getting their hands dirty, you'd be a bit ticked off, too.

Ref the 'Turd World',
"Many years ago, as we prepared our return to a tough posting in the Far Abroad after leave in the States, our son asked, "Do we have to go back to the 'turd' world?" "
He explains why that mispronunciation fits. And this leads to some nasty words in the comments section, mostly about the 'bigotry', etc., of the Diplomad. Hey bozo? Pointing out unpleasant facts does not make one a bigot. It does make one a realist.

One thing that has struck me in the past was that so many descriptions of arriving in third-world countries read the same in the first impressions, especially the smells. And those smells always mean poverty, and usually corruption that lies behind much of the poverty. Apparently recognizing this makes you a bigot, according to some. Oh, yes, so much better to ignore it than to be so nasty as to actually mention it.

And so much better to praise the U.N. than to be so common as to actually get dirty doing something.

At this point I think the U.N., in some cases at least, actually waits for someone- lately us, the Aussies or British- to get things going, so they can step in and try to take over and claim they have fixed everything. Well, right now India and Singapore have also been actually doing something, along with some other countries, and they and the nations hit by the waves are getting a first-class education as to how friggin' useless the U.N. actually is. I think they'll remember.

As a favor to Dean...

I am posting this. Read (all three of you) and see if you can help.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Weight and what people make of it

Ann Althouse(who told me I ought to start this) had some posts a while back about women and weight and body image. It's been a big subject for a long time and hit from various points of view.

Some blame the fashion industry, some blame men, some blame (fill in here). You can make a case for all of it, but I've got a gripe with blaming men.

I've met a couple of ladies who modeled, and one thing struck me: they were skinny. Not slim, skinny. Now, I realize that there are all kinds of tastes, but I don't like skinny from dieting and heavy exercise. Knew a couple of girls in college who would qualify as skinny, but it was simply their natural build, and they looked good. There's a difference between slim, or lean, and skinny: to me, ribs showing and bony limbs is not sexy, and I don't know anyone who thinks so. Maybe it's true that a camera adds ten pounds; if so, many models who look skinny on camera must be approaching skeletal in person and without all the makeup.
(I can't remember who said that the reason for skinny models and weird clothes is that most fashion designers are gays who want their models to look like 14-year-old boys, but it would explain some things)

I mentioned once before a friend who messed herself up on dieting. She was very pretty, and very nicely built. But she was always on a diet. She'd see some model or actress with skinny body and big boobs and tell me she hated them for being so skinny. Never mind the boobs were implants to compensate for skinny. And she'd complain that she needed to lose that last ten pounds; always, that last ten pounds. Nothing could convince her that she looked good, nothing convinced her that that she did not need to lose "ten more pounds". She had decided that that was needed before she'd look good, and that was that.

If you've ever tried to convince a woman that a: she didn't need to lose any, or b: just get some exercise to tone up and you're fine, you know what happened. She would not believe me(or anyone else I know of) and started taking diet pills. Lots of diet pills. That messed with her body and health, and combining some drinking with that damn near killed her, health problems and an accident.

Aftermath meant, among other things, gaining a lot of weight, I suspect partly because of a messed-up metabolism from the pills. And she's practically given up now, so she won't exercise. At least she's not taking those damn pills anymore.

Heavy or slim, large boobs or small, looking good can include any of them. Good health and attitude makes up a big part of it. And for the most part, the individual has to decide for themselves. You cannot 'save' someone or 'convince' someone without them wanting to be saved or convinced. A lady who's large or small and happy with the way they are, that's an attraction. Helps make for something special.

Oh, ladies? Just because you've starved yourself into skinny doesn't mean you look good in a miniskirt or low-rise jeans and a halter; you may just look undernourished.

CBS falls in hole, starts digging

This is absolutely pathetic. With a report supposedly about to be released about their use of fake documents, with all the other things that have come out, CBS does this:

"Our Cruise Director Hans Tibboel described one specific divesite in Surin Island with the words: "it looked like a giant sandblaster was used". Again, Hans was describing only one divesite and made positive remarks about the actual lack of damage at other places. Of course, the CBS editor used the "sandblast" soundbite and hardly anything else.
Footage was also arranged in a "before & after" method that is not consistent with the real situation. All the beautiful "before" footage shown by CBS was actually filmed AFTER the tsunami. "

I had actually hoped that CBS might try to salvage their reputation as a news agency, but that's down the toilet. They keep playing games with the news, and in talking about this disaster they can't help themselves; they just have to keep manipulating the information they hand out.

Someone asked the question a while back that, knowing what they've been caught at since the blogosphere started fact-checking them, what kind of crap were they doing before they really worried about getting caught?

I gave up on CBS a long time ago for a variety of reasons, Dan Blather being one of them. When I saw him on the show last night I changed channels; while I thought he might straighten up to try to salvage his reputation, I doubted it. I didn't think his arrogance would allow it. Looks like I was right.

Read the whole article at Dive Newswire. Found it at Little Green Footballs.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I want a 20 or 25mm cannon

I'm going to mount it in a turret on the roof of my truck. And the next time some idiot trying to get up an icy hill starts slowing down as he reaches the start of the hill, I'm going to blow him out of the way.

Apparently, the idea of maintaining a bit of, what's it called?, momentum as you start up just does not occur to them. And when they get stuck halfway up they start gunning it, and then they slip sideways and really block things up.

It was 20 degrees when I left work. The freezing rain and sleet had stopped but the roads had nicely glazed over. And 1/3 of the people out there driving thought slowing down on a slope was a Good Thing. Until they got stuck.

I had to go around one to get into my driveway, the only good thing being that there was no way they could hit me at that point. Having parked, I took pity on some people and got out the big bottle of kitty litter I keep for oil spills and walked around throwing it until tires. That got four of them off my street, counting the one who had run over a curb and I helped push off, not counting the one who would get started, and instead of gently feeding a little gas hit it hard and got stuck again. Three times. That one I gave up on.

I like Outback. I had seriously thought of getting one of their Caesar salads for dinner until I got home. After which I fed critters, made dinner, and avoided any thought of going ANYWHERE tonight. A phone call from a pretty redhead might have changed my mind, but anything else other than life or death cause, I ain't going.

If Steve starts bitching again about how cold 55 is, I hope Marv and Maynard both bite him on the ass.

(Ok, I lied. Call from a pretty redhead WOULD have made me change my mind.)

Oh, that's priceless!

"But it sounds like someone is garrotting a chicken in there".

Wonderful. Check it out

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I hate exercise.....except when I don't

Yeah, I know. Spending a lot of time on a treadmill or trail running, lifting weights and doing belly work is a pain. Sometimes literally. But.

I feel better and sleep better when I get regular physical workouts. Doesn't have to be in a gym: cutting wood, smithing, working through woods, pretty much anything that wears me out does it. But there's often not a way to do the fun stuff, so it's off to the gym.

So, I run or ski and lift and situp and so forth.

One of the 'better off than we used to be' things is glucosimine. Some friends recommended it to me a few years ago when I mentioned that my knees were killing me. Whether it's normal wear of some of the stuff I've done over the years, they were increasingly troubling. I used to go to a local folk dance group pretty regularly. First hour was warmup and beginner stuff, then teaching and requests for the next two. It had gotten bad enough that I'd have to quit after the first hour. Also, they told me- in no uncertain terms- when the next cold or warm front was moving in. After several of the people there told me about it, I started taking it. It took about 2 1/2 to 3 months to notice the difference, but it was a BIG difference. So I'm taking it still. And without it, I wouldn't be able to do much workout with my legs, and suspect other joints might be worse than they are.

About six months ago a mix of things came together. Cost of gas, time, and a troublesome tendon in my elbow combined to make me say to hell with it for a while. Then, about two months ago I decided, all things considered, to get back into it. It's a pain, as I said, but I can feel a difference.

As far as running, I prefer outdoors to a treadmill, but when it's cold and wet/icy outside, I ain't going. And I cannot run on pavement; glucosimine or not, it beats my legs up. So I have to find a trail to do that part on.

And now I have to go stretch for a while before I go to bed.

(good side effect of stretching? it amuses the cat)

It's after Christmas, and it ain't white

It's wet and gloomy here, and expected to get icy tonight. Right now, in the northwest and panhandle counties, they're reporting up to 1/2" of ice accumulation, with more to come.

Several years ago we had one of our periodic nasty-level ice storms, and it was a bitch. Up to several inches of ice in some areas, it not only took down power & phone lines, it took down the poles. A friend of mine lives about ten miles northwest of Oklahoma City, and she was without power for six weeks. When you consider that a lot of people in rural and farm areas get their water from a well, it gets worse: no power, no pump, no water.

Morning promises to be just a wonderful adventure. Bah, humbug.

What makes it worse is that if it drops to 55F, Steve will be bitching about the cold and wearing birds for warmth.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Man does not live by bread alone...

but it sure helps.

Some friends introduced me to this on a trip. Take fresh focaccia bread. Take a saucer. Pour in a little balsamic vinegar, then some spiced olive oil. Cut the bread into suitable strips, swirl in mix, eat.

Oh, man. The flavor and texture of the bread, the bite of the vinegar smoothed by the oil... It's got to be one of the reasons for living.

This batch of focaccia didn't turn out as well as the last, the texture is not as coarse; I think I let the machine knead it too long. I'll do the next batch same as the first. Less kneading, add in some finely-chopped red onion... or maybe some chopped green onion, that worked well before. Brush a little olive oil and garlic on top before the last rise and bake...

I think I better go to bed, or I'll be in the kitchen starting another batch. And I do have to work in the morning.

The cat may never enter the carrier again

Voluntarily, that is. Today was the day she went to the vet to be fixed and get her rabies shot. The first time she rode in the carrier was bringing her here; today, was to the vet and back.

When I got her home I figured she'd still be a bit woozy, so I set out fresh food and water, and an old blanket for a warm place to sleep that wouldn't require climbing, and opened the door. There was a grey streak as she ran into the bedroom and stopped to glare at me. I finally got her to come back, and she ate & drank a bit. Right now the dog's in for a visit, and she came out of hiding to sit & watch her.

It remains to be seen whether she'll forgive me, or sit on my head at 3a.m.

And she goes back in ten days to have the stitches out. Oh joy.

Unfortunately, I was wrong

The death toll now stands officially at 155,000, with many thousands still missing.


I'd thought it might well hit 150,000, but figured that would probably be it. Instead, it's over that and climbing.

If I personally meet one of those people saying "Isn't this COOL? Isn't nature culling the herd WONDERFUL?" I may shoot them.

More on AIDS and drugs

again found at Dean Esmay's place. It's an article about just how toxic some of the drugs being used to treat HIV and AIDS are. And it's bloody awful.

This is something I have never understood, and never will. How do people- all with good intentions, of course- get so tied up in promoting something that they cannot see, or admit to, shortcomings? Here's a drug that was so nasty that "the drug's manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim, withdrew its application to have the FDA approve the drug for use in pregnant women in all Western nations, including the U.S.", and yet people kept- keep- pushing it on people. Not only ignoring the effects of the drug itself, but that there's little to no proof that it actually helps the problem!

I had a friend a few years ago who was so worried about her weight that she started taking diet pills (whole 'nother story there). She knew about the possible problems of the stuff, yet even though she didn't actually lose weight, she kept taking the damn things. Because it was 'doing something' about her problem. It finally caught up to her, and in the end she damn near died. It seems like there's a certain parellel; these people keep pushing drugs that are themselves very dangerous and have no real record of helping cure the disease and actually kill people; why? Do they get stuck in the attitude that 'at least we're doing something"?

Some ways we are a truly messed up species.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Once again, the U.N. is a bunch of !@#(#@_ freeloaders

The Belmont Club notes that while the U.N. is setting up conferences to decide what to do, and setting up facilities for 'their' relief crews, they're trying to claim control over and direction of relief work being done by countries that are actually accomplishing something.

This, to me, further gives the lie to the words of Clare Short that “Only really the UN can do that job,” she told BBC Radio Four’s PM programme. “It is the only body that has the moral authority.” Aside from the 'moral authority' bullshit, the U.N. can't accomplish crap without someone else doing the hard part. They have lots of donations, so now they have to ask us, primarily, to get the stuff where it's needed. Of course, we've already got multi-tons of everything there and on the way, but what's really important is that the 'proper' people (U.N.) gets credit for all of it.

The only way the comments of Ms. Short make sense is through the idea that nothing is really legitimate unless done by the U.N., and that anything that gets in the way of that- including unauthorized feeding of starving people- must stop.

The transnational progressivisists would see us all dead rather than have someone do something without the 'proper' approval. Screw them and the U.N. both.

Update: found this at The Diplomad through Tim Blair:
I provided this to some USAID colleagues working in Indonesia and their heads nearly exploded. The first paragraph is quite simply a lie. The UN is taking credit for things that hard-working, street savvy USAID folks have done. It was USAID working with their amazing network of local contacts who scrounged up trucks, drivers, and fuel; organized the convoy and sent it off to deliver critical supplies. A UN "air-freight handling centre"? In Aceh? Bull! It's the Aussies and the Yanks who are running the air ops into Aceh. We have people working and sleeping on the tarmac in Aceh, surrounded by bugs, mud, stench and death, who every day bring in the US and Aussie C-130s and the US choppers; unload, load, send them off. We have no fancy aid workers' retreat -- notice the priorities of the UN? People are dying and what's the first thing the UN wants to do? Set up "a camp for relief workers" one that would be "fully self-contained, with kitchen, food, lodging, everything."