“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Union problems are everywhere

Source unknown:

Press Release: Union Negotiations

Muslim suicide bombers in Britain are set to begin a three-day strike on Monday in a dispute over the number of virgins they are entitled to in the afterlife. Emergency talks with Al Qaeda management have so far failed to produce an agreement.

The unrest began last Tuesday when Al Qaeda announced that the number of virgins a suicide bomber would receive after his death will be cut by 25% next January from 72 to only 60. The rationale for the cut was the increase in recent years of the number of suicide bombings and a subsequent shortage of virgins in the afterlife.

The suicide bombers' union, the British Organization of Occupational Martyrs (or B.O.O.M.) responded with a statement that this was unacceptable to its members and immediately balloted for strike action. General Secretary Abdullah Amir told the press, "Our members are literally working themselves to death in the cause of Jihad. We don't ask for much in return but to be treated like this by management is a kick in the teeth."
Mr. Amir accepted the limited availability of virgins but pointed out that the cutbacks were expected to be borne entirely by the workforce and not by management. "Last Christmas Abu Hamza alone was awarded an annual bonus of 250,000 virgins," complains Amir. "And you can be sure they'll all be pretty ones too. How can Al Qaeda afford that for members of the management but not 72 for the people who do the real work?"
Speaking from the shed in the West Midlands in which he currently resides, Al Qaeda chief executive Osama bin Laden explained, "We sympathize with our workers' concerns but Al Qaeda is simply not in a position to meet their demands. They are simply not accepting the realities of modern-day jihad, in a competitive marketplace. Thanks to Western depravity, there is now a chronic shortage of virgins in the afterlife. It's a straight choice between reducing expenditure and laying people off. I don't like cutting wages but I'd hate to have to tell 3,000 of my staff that they won't be able to blow themselves up." He defended management bonuses by claiming these were necessary to attract good, fanatical clerics. "How am I supposed to attract the best people if I can't compete with the private sector?" asked Mr. Bin-Laden.

Talks broke down this morning after management's last-ditch proposal of a virgin-sharing scheme was rejected outright after a failure to agree on orifice allocation quotas. One virgin, who refused to be named, was quoted as saying "I'll be buggered if I'm agreeing to anything like that........it's too much to swallow".

Unless some sort of agreement is reached over the weekend, suicide bombers will down explosives at midday on Monday. Most branches are supporting the strike. Only the North London branch, which has a different union, is likely to continue working. However, some members of that branch will only be using waist-down explosives in order to express solidarity with their striking brethren.

Spokespersons in the North East of England, Swindon, North Kent and the entire Australian continent stated that this would not affect their operations as "There are no virgins in their areas anyway".

Friday, January 29, 2010

Since everyone else is jumping off the cliff...

I will too:

The Zombie Bite Calculator

Created by Oatmeal


Yes, I needed a steak grilled over an open fire. No, I don't care the temperatures were sub-freezing this evening on our way to "the great storm of 2010 buy your bread and milk now."

It's been one of those weeks - I needed red meat.

And it was good too :D
In today's lesson the speed governor on a Ford F350 kicks in way earlier than on a police Crown Victoria. That is all.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A note for some coworkers...

Your failure to prepare for, or be on time for your block of instruction is neither my fault nor my crisis.

Getting pissy with me when I have to cover for you, and you don't like how I teach isn't likely to help things much.

Monday, January 25, 2010

More fun with drunks

I'm apparently operating under some kind of curse lately - it seems that I can go all night looking and not find anything even worth stopping, then right when it's time to start winding my evening down I get my drunk. Last weekend was no different. Heck, it got to the point I thought about stopping a cop car just to see if my blue lights still worked...

Anyway, I did manage to get one at the end of the evening. Young kid who managed to wreck his car on the way home - fortunately no one got hurt.

I couldn't decide if the sadder part was the fact his B.A.C. was well over his age; or the fact that it was obvious from his behavior this was far from his first drunk...

Short rant

Since I haven't pissed anyone off in a couple of days, here's one...

Apparently a number of folks out there have themselves in a bit of a kerfluffle because the new-ish Afghan constitution has an article in there about Islam being the state religion etc... Asking what we're doing sending folks to die for this, how we can support such a thing and all manner of religious hissy-fitting. What I really find ironic is a lot of these folks are the same ones who got spun up when various rulings said you couldn't post the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments in our courts and public buildings...

Well, here's my opinion in a few notes.

#1 - last I recall, being a bit involved in things at the time, we didn't send troops over to Afghanistan to magically impose a duplicate of the United States, Constitution, Republic and all. We did it because Al Qaeda and their Taliban allies/protectors had attacked this country and had refused to discontinue their terrorist acts. As a side effect of this we toppled the Taliban government, and ever since have been working to help the Afghan people become a stable society with a self-supporting, non-hostile government. Nowhere in the mission plan was "Clone the U.S. System" listed.

#2 - The American system of no state-sponsored church, and relative freedom of religion is a relatively new thing as far as societies go. For a great majority of the world their generally has been, and tends to continue to be, a form of worship which is if not directly sponsored by the government at least on the "most approved list." Most places make it work just fine too - sure, some have varying degrees of freedom of religion, but overall I think most Americans would be surprised at how well this is managed in a lot of places. Note - I am not advocating this system, and I am a big fan of the separation of church and state - but other places have chosen differently.

Which brings me to point #3, the big one. Folks - it's THEIR choice. If the overwhelming majority of the populace of Afghanistan tomorrow chose to live under Islam, or Vishnu, a monarchy run by the first guy they choose from the marketplace, or government by last week's winning lotto numbers, it's not our position to dictate otherwise. Provided that said government chooses to play nice by the accepted rules of big boy society, doesn't play "hide-the-bad-guy" too blatantly, and doesn't practice nasty habits like genocide of their own folks it's not really our choice to push otherwise.

Now trust me - the last thing I'm a fan of is militant Islam and jihadists. But that doesn't mean I condemn all Muslims out of hand. I'm not a fan of the KKK either, but I don't hate every white guy I meet; and the Inquisition did some nasty stuff throughout the years but I don't blame all Catholics. Seemingly though far too many people these days feel like singling out one religion as the bad guy in the world, and are mortified that any group of people may choose to find their solace therein, or feel it's appropriate to live under those rules.

Right now the U.S. is the big boy on the block; and with that we as a world and a society have come to expect us to play a certain role in helping guide and shape the world around us. It is a difficult role to be in, sometimes thankless, and I sincerely hope that we are able to help make the world a better place through some of our choices. But we are not Rome; we are not the British Empire of 250 years ago "Making the World England" - and in our efforts to help others we need to remember that this help does not necessarily mean turning them into ourselves.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Trying to think of a suitable punishment

For this fraud case.

Summary - guy "invents" device to help detect bombs at a distance, which turns out to be nothing more than a completely non-functional bit of parts. Sells millions of dollars worth to the Iraqi government, amongst others - and is almost certain to thus have contributed to numerous deaths of people who relied on this trash thinking it would help keep them alive.

I'm thinking being dropped off in the middle of a minefield, with only one of his own fake tools to get him to safety...

Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence...

But three times...

or more.

Numerous spots starting to break a curious story about near-identical letters to the editor appearing nationwide, all with "local" addresses for a woman named Ellie Light, all in support of the current administration & published at about the same time.

One good summation here, but feel free to search for more.

Curiouser and curiouser...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Blog cleanup

Just tried to cleanup my blogroll a bit - added a few, and deleted some no-longer posting; along with just some general neatening of things I hope.

If I deleted anyone accidentally, or if you aren't linked and would like to be, just shoot me a message!

Some gear comments

Not sure where I had gotten the tip from lately, but someone had mentioned Vertx pants as a newer "semi-tactical" pant, which had a lot of good features without being quite as blatantly obvious as some of the 5.11/Blackhawk/EOTAC offerings out there. Being that we are currently testing out some new pants for work, and that I needed some new pants anyway, I picked up a pair to try the other day.

Eh. .

Comfort-wise they aren't bad - nicely made as they describe, seem durable enough (though not as sturdy as say the offerings from Mountain Khakis,) and yes they are a "medium profile" cargo-style pant. The lack of velcro & buttons on the major pockets is a good thing for certain situations. They certainly won't look out of place as casual pants wandering about or even in some work environments. 98% cotton/2% spandex, which has good and bad points depending on your needs.

But the front pockets are a fail in my book. The way the curve is cut and how they meet up at the seam ruins it. Why? Because I can't subtly, reliably carry my pocket knife.

For those not "on the job," or shooters, or military or whatever, let me explain. Since pretty much the late 80's/early 90's, when a combination of Spyderco & Ernest Emerson swept to popularity amongst the "high speed" tactical crowd, pocket clips holding knives in an accessible position have become just about dominant throughout the communities. (Yes, I know, others have done them and helped the spread - but those two were the biggest names in it hitting mass appeal.) I can pretty much guarantee you that you go to any police department, any operational military unit (I'll leave the admin monkeys out,) any shooting event and a good chunk of the regular public - and the majority of them are carrying knives clipped in a pocket. It's a good, secure way to hold it & be able to access the tool when needed, which is part of why it has spread so successfully. Sure, there are some debates on carrying front vs. back pocket, strong side vs. weak side - but the overall consensus is it is a good place for a folding knife.

And these pants just can't do it well. Not even talking big knives here - just regular, medium-sized street-legal folding knives. Tried it with several of mine today & they all stuck at least partway out, and were at an odd angle.

The company did well - and I certainly hope they fix this on round 2. Of course, YMMV as may your opinions. But unfortunately I won't be looking at any more of their pants until they do.


In some other random gear notes, again which may bore some of you:

Seems that more and more folks are reporting problems with the Blackhawk SERPA style holsters - despite the fact they recently picked up a SOCCOM contract for issue... I was a fan of the holster for a while, but given the continuing issues I am retiring mine as well. Just because I haven't had a problem yet, doesn't mean I want the first time to be sometime I really need that pistol. A shame - and hopefully something that can also be fixed.

On a good note for the Blackhawk stuff - been using a pair of the Warrior Wear desert boots for about 8 months now as just outside/range/casual boots. Comfortable from day one, seems plenty sturdy, and I've had zero problems with wear or tear on them. Plus, the soles hold well when wet and don't squeak like so many do. Definitely recommended.

Been using a Kifaru X-Ray pack for about six months now as an everyday carry kind of thing. Founded by the guy who started Mountainsmith packs, the company primarily builds for military & the hunting/guiding side of things now - very police and military friendly, some great designs and some improvements on old technology. Downsides are that, while pretty much bombproof stuff, it does come with the associated weight of all that; and that it is rather pricey if you aren't lucky enough to be getting work to pay for it somehow. But, my experience with it has been great, and I will definitely keep them in mind for other gear as well. Also - if you have special needs/requests, from what I understand they will bend over backwards to meet them.

Had a few others to mention, but now they have slipped my mind so I will leave my comments at those three.

And, for full disclosure, I have received no compensation or consideration by any company for any of their products - these are just my opinions based on my experiences. Thank you FTC for making sure I'm not deceiving anyone...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A literary loss

Word today that Robert B. Parker has died peacefully in his home at 77.

Almost 30 years ago, whilst working in my first job at a used bookstore I recall a family friend with whom we regularly traded reading suggestions handing me a copy of "The Godwulf Manuscript" to read, suggesting I might like it. I loved it, and eagerly devoured many others through the years - coming to know and love the characters which Mr. Parker chose to share with us. Action, humor, character growth, and an examination of the changing world made each story a treat.

And to learn from them. For a young man who devoured books, raised by a hard-working single mom and who didn't have many reliable male role models around to learn from, Spenser was a great reminder of what an honorable man should be. It is my belief that every young male should read "Early Autumn" - and their fathers as well - the lessons are worth it. Mr. Parker wasn't biased either - his stories spoke equally of strong women being empowered to make their own choices in life.

Thank you for sharing your gift of words with us Mr. Parker. You will be missed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

For the Chinese spammers who dropped by earlier...

Please let me share the full depth of my appreciation for the government and efforts of the PRC:

gen1 hou2zi5 bi3 diu1shi3

I weep for the future

The highlight of yesterday's off-duty job was saving an otherwise normal 16 year old from the public bathroom, because he was completely overwhelmed by the concept of an entrance and an exit door located 5 feet apart.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Having just found out that a week's assignments for one class I thought were due tomorrow (like every other class in the school) were due three hours ago...

My own fault for not reading that part earlier, but crap that hurts...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Still alive

Been a twelve-pack of busy, and sick wife and too much work. Plus, school has started, and my muse apparently is cavorting someplace warm with a bunch of heathens...

Normal blogging hopefully to resume soon.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Hang on travelers"

A few weeks back the old sound system for the TV finally bit the dust - we'd been having issues with it since the new TV came home anyway... so I went ahead and sprang for a new one as a family present to ourselves.

Wow! The difference, especially with the Blu-ray disks is stunning. We hadn't realized what we had been missing.

So, tonight I'm comfy in a warm home with my lovely wife. She chose Firefly as tonight's entertainment, and we are enjoying the first episode in a new way as we have a quiet night together.

Definitely a good ending for the day!

Cold & windy

Just the day you don't want to be freezing outside on a call-out...

thankfully it was over quickly, but still not a fun way to spend my day off.

Congressional Reform

From OldNFO - well said sir, and I agree 100%:

Congressional Reform Act of 2010...
The proposal is to promote a "Congressional Reform Act of 2010." It would contain eight provisions, all of which would probably be strongly endorsed by those who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (but not the incumbants).

I know many of you will say, "this is impossible." Let me remind you, Congress has the lowest approval of any entity in Government, now is the time when Americans will join together to reform Congress - the entity that represents us.

We need to get a Senator to introduce this bill in the US Senate and a Representative to introduce a similar bill in the US House. These people will become American heroes.. Please add any ideas on how to get this done.

Congressional Reform Act of 2010

1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below.

A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

2. No Tenure / No Pension:
A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund moves to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, Congress participates with the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, server your term(s), then go home and back to work.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans..

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people..

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.

The American people did not make this contract with congressmen, congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

It is time WE the people took back our system of governence... Spread the message, and vote ALL of them out in 2010 and 2012 and we can start over...

Star Wars Funnies

Happy New Year

Didn't have much to blog about this week - which was a good thing. Normal work stuff and good time with the family, and now relaxing for the weekend before it's back for another round. We don't do the New Year's Eve thing really anymore, like many with young ones, so I ended up working some overtime instead. Didn't find any DUI's but still got a few good stops in, and the extra money is always nice.

I hope that your New Year is good and that 2010 is a good year for you.