Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Good News: Poverty Declines

Poverty rate declines significantly

This story doesn't require a whole lot of economic elaboration. I just like posting good news. It tends to ruin good days for liberals when they are out of power.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

I See You...You Cannot Escape

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sage Advice for Armed Citizens

1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough nor using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. [Lateral and diagonal movement are preferred.]

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. Ten years from now, no one will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running.

9. Accuracy is relative.

10. Use a weapon that works every time.

11. Someday someone may kill you with your own weapon, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

12. Always cheat; always win. If you walk away, it was a fair fight. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

13. Always have a plan.
13.1 Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work.

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible. The visible target should be in FRONT of your gun.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill.

19. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

22. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.

23. Your best option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.


$aving the Earth - Dollar$ and $ense

Study estimates global warming costs
Making big cuts in emissions linked to global warming could come at considerable cost to the U.S. economy: between $400 billion and $1.8 trillion in reduced growth over the next four decades, a new study says.

The study published Monday by a nonprofit research group partially funded by the power industry concludes that reducing emissions of carbon dioxide -- the main greenhouse gas linked to global warming -- will require "fundamental" changes in energy production and consumption.

The Electric Power Research Institute said the most cost-effective way to reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to make many changes at once, including expanding nuclear power, developing renewable technologies and building systems to capture and store carbon dioxide emitted from coal plants. Reducing demand for fossil-fuel power is also key, the institute said.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Aslan's Resurrection - Rescored

I put this video together to show how a better score may have made a better impact with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It's not flawless, but it gives you an idea. I did it in about two hours.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Messy Marriage?

"Many many years ago
when I was twenty three,

I got married to a widow
who was pretty as could be.

This widow had a grown-up daughter
who had hair of red

My father fell in love with her,
and soon the two were wed.

This made my dad my son-in-law
And changed my very life.

My daughter was my mother,
For she was my father’s wife.

To complicate the matters worse,
Although it brought me joy,

I soon became the father
Of a bouncing baby boy.

My little baby then became
A brother-in-law to dad.

And so became my uncle,
Though it made me very sad.

For if he was my uncle,
Then that also made him brother

To the widow’s grown-up daughter
Who, of course, was my step-mother.

Father’s wife then had a son,
Who kept them on the run.

And he became my grandson,
For he was my daughter’s son.

My wife is now my mother’s mother
And it makes me blue.

Because, although she is my wife,
She is my grandma too.

If my wife is my grandmother,
Then I am her grandchild.

And every time I think of it,
It simply drives me wild.

For now I have become
The strangest case you ever saw.

As the husband of my grandmother,
I am my own grandpa!"


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Prince Caspian Teaser

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fun With Fundies?

Far be it from me to be sacreligious, but I'm one for self-deprecating humor, and let's face it, within the borders of religious figures (not necessarily true believers), there is a lot of hilarity. I'm not opposed to laughing when certain televangelists take someone's money before zapping them with a hidden cattle prod -- I'm sorry, I mean, a holy spirit machine gun -- and knocking them backwards. I don't worry about sneering when other televangelists extend their hands towards the television camera and shout "Monaaay, come-uh to ME! NOW!" (It happened, I swear.)

And I'm not opposed to shaking my head as individuals with crazy hair bawl their eyes out over the silliest things.

In some cases, this stuff is too serious to laugh at. But it's comical how serious some figures take themselves when they try to imitate the world.

I don't mind having some of my own fun with some of them. Recently, a major Christian rock music festival was held near my house. The site is more than a mile away as the hawk flies, but we can still hear their music. Inside our home. With the television on.

The concert attracts all kinds of "big" names in the CCM (contemporary Christian music) world, such as Rebecca St. James, Michael W. Smith, Switchfoot, Newsboyz, Jars of Clay, and so forth.

The concert(s) used to be held earlier in the year, but somehow, that darn weather kept doing strange things for that weekend. Once, it stormed heavily, and the grounds had to be evacuated. Several times, it rained heavily, and people got their trailers and RVs stuck in the mud. Another time, as if to cap off the absurdity, it snowed.

The mischief comes into play because local two-way radio channels in our area start hopping like crazy. We sometimes use two-way radios for communication, so we charge them up and listen in on the conversations. Sometimes, we meddle in them for fun.

One year, I jumped on a channel and said "Can you see me?" "Where?" inquired the person on the other end. "I'm up here on the water tower!" I cheerfully replied. "See me waving?"

This year, I played the backwoods hick. "Have you tried the coon tails?" I said in a toothy redneck voice, referring to the nearby market. "Go up thar and ask to try some," I grunted. On several occasions, I popped on and just said "Where're ya'll at?" intentionally using "where" and "at" in the same sentence. (Fitting in with the other bad grammar.)

Once, I asked when Toby Keith was playing. "You mean Toby Mac?" someone quizzed. "Naw, man, I heard Toby Keith was gonna make an appearance here or somethin'." Someone responded that they thought I had the wrong concert, but I may have had a rumor started.

Another time, I said I was signing autographs by the porta-johns, and invited attendees to come on out. "Who are you?" asked someone. I told them they would have to come to find out.

The funniest part is, I related this anecdote to someone working at the local market, her eyes widened for a second and she asked who I was. "Nobody!" I replied, grinning. "That's what makes it so funny."

If you still need convincing that there are some things in Christendom too funny to take seriously, take a look at these very serious "Christian" items.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

In Which Dave Waxes Poetic About the Passage of Time

Having just completed another round of finals, I was brought back again to the feeling of achievement and completion. I felt the same way shortly after completing the spring semester of classes, which included several more difficult courses such as calculus, accounting and statistics.

I noticed that I was so mired in the stress and worry of getting projects done on time, being well-studied for the tests, and performing well on homework, quizzes and other assignments, that when I actually came to the end, it was almost an unexpected pleasure. When your head is bowed under the strain and stress of work, concentrating only on taking the next step, you lose track of your progress, and if your eye isn't on the finish line, you can almost forget that there IS one until you cross it.

I think this can be a good thing. It's like getting so caught up in your work that you are surprised to learn it is 5:00 and the work day is over.

It occurred to me that there will probably be a similar feeling, magnified a thousandfold, when we arrive at Heaven's gate.

Think about it. Our life and struggles on this earth are all we've ever known. Heaven has remained a relatively dim hope, even for believers. Christians have a working knowledge that the Lord has rewards in store for those who serve Him, but that is far distant, so most of us maintain a focus of getting through our daily struggles.

When each of us finally meets our end and passes from the earth, I feel sure that those of us who are secure in a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ will suddenly have a weight lifted from our shoulders, a weight we had almost grown accustomed to, and we will be pleasantly surprised at how light we become.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Toilets - The Downfall of the West

Study: Toilets Need Radical Redesign
The Western World's dependence on flush toilets could be its environmental downfall.

Toilets that use less water, such as the "squat toilet" in which one squats over a hole in the ground, are prevalent in parts of Asia, Europe and Africa, but a new historical study suggests that after decades of flushing, it will take radical innovations for the mainstream West to adopt any new system.

Of all the things I thought were dooming the West (materialism, hedonism, capitalism, imperialism and, of course, global warming...ism), I never would have guessed it would be our toilets!

The article suggests that the West is "addicted" to flushing toilets, and hearkens back to those glory days of the outhouse. So much more natural! Especially the odor.
"Perhaps sometime in the future," said Quitzau, "people in Western cities could accept the idea of using human urine and feces as resources instead of as wastes."

If you'll excuse the expression, it smells like a trap. A trap to guilt those crazy sanitary Yanks into having excrement running in our streets again, or at least the stench. Good way to cure obesity! No one will want to eat after that.

Before long, the hoards of flies will set in, and charities will film commercials of little children with flies on their eyeballs. Then the environmentalists, at first overjoyed that we were living with the land, will accuse us of polluting the atmosphere, since decaying feces emit methane gas, and can actually become flammable.

The idea of a "vacuum toilet" is also proposed. Our astronauts use this very technology on space missions, and from all accounts, they suck.

And by the way, many years ago, they passed a law that put limits on the water usage of toilets. The 5-gallon flushers (what we used to refer to as "effective") were banned, and 3.5 or even 1-gallon flushers were issued in. For the record, our 3.5-gallon commode practically clogs up no matter what you put in it.

Personally, I think they're just jealous.

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Feminist Lesbian Loves the White Witch!

Narnia lives, at least until "The Last Battle"

I found this on a routine sweep of news relating to Narnia. Although why a blogger on the lesbian website AfterEllen should have their material published on news searches is beyond me.
"Jadis is my absolute favorite Narnian. I can't explain it. She's arrogant and inhumanly cruel and a temptress who preys on human weakness."

Ah yes, who couldn't look upon all the charm and grace of the cinematic embodiment of evil and wickedness in Narnia and be attracted!

The author is notably dedicated to seeing the films be accurate by having Tilda Swinton return for the story of Narnia's creation, The Magician's Nephew, but I find it ironic that the allegorical equivalent of Satan himself is attractive to lesbian bloggers.

Labels: ,

Why Calling 911 Won't Always Work

Homeowner surprises would-be intruder
In the early morning hours of July 19 a Belleair homeowner heard a sound outside his home on Winston Drive. As he got up to investigate, it sounded to him like someone trying to open the rear door.

When he inadvertently switched on an interior light, the startled burglar fled; possibly believing he had tripped a motion sensor. The homeowner reported he saw someone running away from the house.

Thinking it was all over, the homeowner set the alarm and returned to bed. A few moments later the alarm went off. He tried to call 911, but the phone line was dead.

It was later discovered that the telephone box outside had been pulled from the wall. A quick inspection found that the wires connecting the alarm to a call center also had been pulled.

The homeowner used his cell phone to call 911. Belleair police Chief Tom Edwards said that within two minutes police arrived on the scene.

This has happened in many other home invasions as well. The argument that you can just dial 911, and that you don't need to be armed, doesn't work. Luckily, the homeowner got to his cell phone in time ("in time" in this case being defined as 120 seconds, which is ample time for any criminal to murder a victim and get away) but unless your cell phone is GPS-enabled, the 911 operator won't be able to give police your location in the event that you can't. (On your home phone, the dispatchs immediately knows where you live.) And your cell phone won't always be within easy reach.

It doesn't sound like the would-be invader was terribly intent on getting inside anyway - although he came back, he took off again at the first sign of confrontation. Not all perpetrators will do that.

I find this puzzling:
Edwards said he would not term this an attempted “home invasion” because the suspect may have believed the home was empty. The homeowner had been out of town for a few days prior to the event.

How can authorities determine the mindset of someone they can't even find?

Labels: ,