note to self

shooting a .45 is really fun. and really loud.


a damn good idea

which means it will probably never make it through. but i can dream, can't i?


wait a minute...

i'm only going to anal-ize the first page or so of the article [ed. note: there is actually only one page two it... i saw the 1 of 4 at the bottom and got confused], but i would recommend reading the whole thing (free registration required).

recently, colin powell spoke out on the whole "domestic spying" issue. and the nyt's take on it is leaving me slightly confused.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 - Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said on Sunday that it would not have been "that hard" for President Bush to obtain warrants for eavesdropping on domestic telephone and Internet activity, but that he saw "nothing wrong" with the decision not to do so.
"I see absolutely nothing wrong with the president authorizing these kinds of actions," he said.

Asked if such eavesdropping should continue, Mr. Powell said, "Yes, of course it should continue."

so it seems to me that, even if not whole-heartedly, mr. powell is still supporting bush on this issue. but then, further down the page, we see this:

Though Mr. Powell stopped short of criticizing Mr. Bush, his suggestion that there was "another way to handle it" was another example of his parting company on a critical issue with the president he served for four years.

wait, come again? this means that they're "parting company"? because to me, it looks more like two pitchers arguing whether its better to use a slider or a high fastball to strike a batter out. sure, they may go about it different ways, but their basic goal is the same: get the guy out.

and then, predictably, the "reporter" goes on to take some jabs at the situation in iraq, implying that the recent elections--which appear to have been very successful--were actually reinforcing the ethnic divisions in iraq and leading them one step closer to a civil war. because heaven forbid anything good should come out of iraq.

"word" of the day



quote of the day

"There are only two girls in my major who shave their legs." --Rachel (rough quote; and no, she's not a womyn's studies major, whatever the hell that is)

another new hero

niel bryant, a former state senator from oregon. when filling out a form, which "asks for information on gender and ethnicity to assist the state in meeting its affirmative action objectives," he came upon a question asking if he had any disabilities. his response? "White/male." he did not, unfortunately, remain my hero for very long, since he apologized for the incident. pansy.

h/t tongue tied


someone should make a song out of these...

the twelve days of christmas: gifts for your liberal friends. start here, and work your way back.


christmas music: more overrated than elvis?

discuss amongst yourselves.

quote of the week: you and what army? edition

"Mexico is not going to bear, it is not going to permit, and it will not allow a stupid thing like this wall." --Luis Ernesto Derbez, foreign secretary to Mexican president Vicente Fox.

and i just have to wonder to myself, what the hell is mexico planning on doing about it? turn to the ap for help, by the tone of the article. note that anyone who supports the wall is part of a "growing tide of anti-immigrant sentiment," which, when you get right down to it, is a baldfaced lie. i am strongly in favor a wall along the border, and have been for quite some time. but am i anti-immigrant? no, i am not. i am anti-illegal immigrant. i consider those who respect our laws and enter our country legally a good thing, in fact. we are, essentially, a country of immigrants; but we are also a country of law. it is good to remember the former, but we must never forget the latter. laws (most of the time, at least) are there for a good reason.

also note that one mexican worker who was interviewed said it would "unleash conflict" in the US, due to small businesses losing out on labor. to which i would reply: any business which relies on illegal activity for its success deserves to go down in flames.

and here's another fun quote: "If people in the U.S. and Canada had an accurate view of the success of democracy, political stability and economic prosperity in Mexico, it would improve their views on specific bilateral issues like immigration and border security." that from Rob Allyn, president of a PR company the mexican government hired to improve their image. he conveniently (or ignorantly [is that a word?]) forgets that if mexico were as successful as he seems to think it is, we wouldn't have such a problem with illegal immigrants. that, and according to the article, the only thing that brings in more money for mexico than people up here sending it there is oil. that's right... immigrants, both legal and illegal, bring in an income second only to oil.

read the whole article... it's pretty ridiculous.

h/t say anything

semi-related: the immigration game

question of the year

more and more this year, we've been hearing about the "attack on christmas." while i don't think the people/groups behind the "attack" are trying to convert us to atheism/polytheism, i just have to ask... why? you don't see anyone running around telling people they can't say happy hannukah, happy kwanzaa, have a great ramadan, happy holidays, etc. i certainly don't do that. so why can people tell me that it's not ok to say "merry christmas" because i might piss someone off? if you can't ignore my holidays as well as i ignore yours, you're admitting that:
a) you're scared of the mention of my holiday, for some reason
b) you're not a very tolerant person, even though what you're doing is supposedly in the name of "tolerance"
c) some other things that i can't think of right now, since i'm typing this up before breakfast

on that note, have a Merry Christmas everyone. if you don't feel like having one, that's fine... go away and leave me in peace to celebrate.


my new hero

is morgan freeman, who says what i've been saying for quite some time now. only he had a bigger audience for it.


not a bad day at all

picked up a copy of civ 4, which is installing right now, and got a free copy of office 2003 from a friend. and pat, i'll respond to your comments later, possibly tomorrow.


a few tips for writing a better book

while i am not an author myself, i am an avid reader. not to name any names, but in my opinion, some otherwise "professional" authors have a decent amount of room for improvement. so here's a few things i think would make books better.

1) don't make up your own swear words/terms. especially if you're not going to bother explaining to us why said words/terms are considered swearing. either stick to previously established swear words, or don't use any... for example, "character X swore profusely."

2) you don't need to redescribe the main characters in every single book. by the time a reader has reached, say, book nine of a series, they should have a pretty good idea of what the main characters look like. we already know how wide character A's shoulders are, and how expansive character B's bosom is... move on to something important.

3) implied sex is your friend.

4) enough with all the chicks running around naked already. any women reading the story aren't going to be interested (hopefully...), and if a man wants to see a naked chick, there are much easier places to find them than in books.

5) limit yourself to a single cohesive storyline, or at most two or three. more is just showing off (if you can even pull it off), and while it will extend your series nicely, it detracts from the overall trend of the story.

that's about it for now, but this post will probably be expanded later as i think of more.


two bits of fun

first off, why do the wealthy get more back from tax cuts? because they pay more. quite a bit more, in fact. h/t say anything

second, a great quote:
"...[I] think that it would be better to educate Muslims to respect the culture of the majority in Denmark, if they want the majority to respect their culture." --Bent Lexner, Denmark's chief rabbi

that was found in an article about cookies, of all things. but i have to agree with him. you could replace "Denmark" with the name of quite a few countries around the world, and it would still hold true.
h/t tongue tied


looks like some people have a clue

john mccain, unsurprisingly, is not one of them. oh well.

life is good

i probably just jinxed it, but oh well.

*yesterday, i got a $200 christmas bonus.
*today, i got a new/old monitor from work. not great, but not bad, and free. 17" flat panel dell. so i'll be hooking that up to my old compy.
*tomorrow, dad is bringing me liquor.
*at some point in the last day or so, a friend's dad just got home from iraq.
*in a few weeks, i'll have friends coming home from college.

i love life.


a simple prayer

that will soon be replacing "the prayer of jabez" at bookstores near you.

"Dear Lord: keep me safe, keep me sane. Amen."


i am a consumer whore

and how! last night, i decided it was time to expand my dvd collection. so i hopped on over to amazon, and did just that.

1) The Audrey Hepburn Collection
--Breakfast at Tiffany's
--Roman Holiday
2) The Steve McQueen Collection
--The Great Escape
--Junior Bonner (i've never heard of it either)
--The Magnificent Seven
--The Thomas Crown Affair
3) The Jack Ryan Collection
--Clear and Present Danger
--The Hunt for Red October
--Patriot Games

total cost, after shipping and tax: $53.90
total cost per dvd: $5.39. not too shabby.

more perspective

here's an interesting tidbit: in california in 2004, there were nearly 2400 reported homicides. during the same period in iraq, there were just over 900 coalition deaths. you do the math.

via say anything

well, that sheds a whole new light on things

in a logical arugment, there are several different types of fallacies/fallacious arguments, one of which is the argument ad baculum, roughly meaning an appeal to force: i.e., agree with me or i'll shoot you in the face.

while reading today (nothing dirty, believe it or not... "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed," by Jared Diamond), i learned that the penis bone of a walrus is called a baculum.

going back to logic, i'll leave this as a third-order enthymeme, and let you draw your own conclusions.

it's about freaking time

winter is finally here. it was 18 degrees outside when i got home from work, and we're up to about a foot of snow on the ground now. let the good times begin.

--update: holy balls--
as of about 19:00 pst, the temperature is down to 9 degrees.