Monday, May 30, 2005

Thank a Vet

Kevin at The Smallest Minority has a good reminder for us all on this Memorial Day: thank a vet.

Memorial Day is a day to honor the fallen, but it should also be a day to honor those who are alive but have sacrificed a very important part of themselves that they will never get back -- peace of mind.

I don't know that soldiers who engage in combat ever really recover. My husband is about as tough as they come, but he has emotional/psychological wounds from his experiences in war that will never heal. He pushes them way, way down, and most of the time he is able to live with them. Sometimes not. He will never really have peace in this life, and to me, this is as much of a sacrifice as any person can make without giving his life completely.

Just writing about this makes me feel like a big, spoiled, sheltered brat and I'm going to go now and give hubby a big hug and kiss and let him know how much I appreciate him.

Quiz Mania!

Don't you just love self-discovery through online quizzes? Me, too!

First up: What's Your Personality Type?

Your #1 Match: INFP

The Idealist

You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.
Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.
It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.
But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.

You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.

Your #2 Match: INTP

The Thinker

You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can.
Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.
Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.
A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.

You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

Hey, not bad. I am an artist and I minored in math!

Next up: How Normal Are You?

You Are 35% Normal
(Occasionally Normal)

You sure do march to your own beat...
But you're so weird, people wonder if it's a beat at all
You think on a totally different wavelength
And it's often a chore to get people to understand you

Hubby would agree with the last one.

Lastly: What's Your Star Wars Pickup Line?

Your Star Wars Pickup Line

"If I said you had a mint first-edition, still-in-box action figure, would you hold it against me?"

No wonder I'm only 35% normal.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I'm an Eowyn Voter

Ooh! (This is a bit old, but it's just too good to pass up.) Finally, some female activism I can get behind, and it's Tolkien-y to boot! Check out Warrior Women from The Resplendent Mango:
You mess with me and the people I love -- I take offense to that. You stand aside and let other people mess with me and the people I love -- I take offense to that too. I'm not a fan of war, I have no great desire to be a warblogger, but it is because I long for peace, true peace, that I choose to fight the war that is upon us. I choose to fight by blogging, I choose to fight by voting, and if I ever find myself in a situation where I have to physically fight for my life or for those around me, I will choose that as well. Terrorists would do well to remember the old adage, "If captured, don't let them give you to the women." Because we will protect ourselves and our families, and it won't be pretty.
Damn straight. Count me in, Mango, I'm an Eowyn Voter, too!

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Star Wars Web Traffic

Welcome, Star Wars fans!

Seems my quickie review of Episode III is generating a little traffic via search engines. Among the search phrases that led you folks here...
Hayden Christensen with shirt off
only the sith bumpersticker
Ian McDiarmid gay
ian mcdiarmid voldemort
beautiful that's because I'm in love with you no
I hope whichever one of you it was who searched on that last phrase found the dialogue as barf-inducing as I did. Otherwise, you've got serious problems.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Carnaby - Beretta

Sold the Beretta... we hardly knew ye. It was my first real gun, but it just didn't carry. It was a cannon, you know.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Thoughts on Episode III

Went to the 12:01 AM showing of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith last night. Here are some random thoughts concerning the movie...

The good:

It is the best installment of the prequels.

Visual effects were stunning, although hubby and I agreed that we were far more moved by the simpler effects of the original trilogy (OT).

Performances of Ian McDiarmid (Palpatine/Sidious) and Ewan McGregor (Obiwan) were good. McDiarmid was a little over-the-top at times, but it was a welcome diversion from the other performances (see below).

The bad:

Lamest love-scene dialogue EVER. "You're so... beautiful." "That's because I'm in love with you." "No, it's because I love YOU!" (Got a big laugh from the audience.)

In fact, all the dialogue was bad. This is the first movie I have ever been to in my entire adult life in which I got impatient with any scene containing dialogue and wished they would hurry up to the next bit of action.

Agree with Rolling Stone review re: Hayden Christensen's wooden performance.

Natalie Portman's performance was downright soggy. Oh how I longed for Princess Leia's feistiness.

Yoda does his little green tornado act again. I liked it a whole lot better when his power was something to be imagined, not seen.

You know that little disclaimer at the end of movies, "All characters and events portrayed in this story are fictional. Any resemblance and similarity to persons living or dead is purely coincidental... blah blah blah"? Baloney. The exchange between Vader and Obiwan before the big showdown is obviously inspired by President Bush. "I have saved the Republic! I have brought peace, blah blah blah, I have brought security!" "You are either with me or you are my enemy!" "Only the Sith deal in absolutes!"

Spoiler warning (although it ain't much of a spoiler)...

What the heck was Lucas thinking with that Frankenstein scene at the end?!? After the big showdown with Obiwan, Vader is being pieced together on a metal table a la Frankenstein's laboratory. The table slowly inclines while passionate music swells in the background, and slowly we see the black-masked visage of the Darth Vader we all know and love from the OT. He is cuffed to the table, but breaks his bonds one at a time and then takes a few staggering Frankenstein's-monster steps, at which point he is given some bad news about Padme and utters a resounding "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... " with arms outstretched. Painfully corny. Just awful. (Did no one working on this movie tell Lucas that this scene was lame in the extreme?)

The confession:

I was oh-so-mildly aroused by Hayden Christensen with his shirt off. I feel so ashamed.

That's all for now. I'm gonna have to watch the OT this weekend to make up for this.

Monday, May 16, 2005

More Evidence That George Lucas Has Lost His Mind

Here is the first bit of evidence.

Here is the second.

And now here is the third. Lucas thinks "Star Wars is a wakeup call to Americans about the erosion of democratic freedoms under George W. Bush."

After first being utterly disappointed by The Phantom Menace, and now being alerted to the fact that I apparently voted for the Empire in the last election, the only thing that redeems Lucas at this point is his creation of the magnificent original trilogy. And even that work is sullied by this incredibly selective view of recent history
Lucas, at a Cannes film festival press conference yesterday, said he first wrote the framework of Star Wars in 1971 when reacting to then-U.S. president Richard Nixon and the events of the Vietnam War. But the story still has relevance today, he said, and is part of a pattern he has noticed in history.
Astute reader Bruce at The Southern Beat has the best response
Did Lucas forget that Vietnam was started by President Kennedy and perpetuated by President Johnson - BOTH DEMOCRATS. President Nixon (a Republican) was my hero because he got us out of Vietnam and ended the draft.
I was similarly disappointed when Alfonso Cuarón, who directed the last Harry Potter film, compared the evil Voldemort to both Bush and Saddam, and I lost interest in the Harry Potter books because of it. To be fair, I wouldn't even want to know that some director's idea of a truly horrible character was inspired by Hillary Clinton, because it comes down to this: the last thing I want is to have the banality of real life impinge on a really good fantasy. Which leads me to my Open Request to Entertainment People: PLEASE stick to what you know and trust your audience to find its own meaning in your work.

[Hat tip: Michelle Malkin and The Southern Beat.]

Friday, May 13, 2005

Did Jefferson Really Say That?

How many of you have seen this bumpersticker?
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.
-- Thomas Jefferson
I saw it this morning on the way to work, and it struck me as, I dunno ... stupid. It sounds trite and generic, not something you would expect from the man who also had this to say about dissent

Difference of opinion leads to enquiry, and enquiry to truth; and that, I am sure, is the ultimate and sincere object of us both. We both value too much the freedom of opinion sanctioned by our Constitution, not to cherish its exercise even where in opposition to ourselves.

A little bit of Googling turned this up. Seems the quote belongs to a historian by the name of Howard Zinn, who said those words a couple of years ago "to justify" -- you guessed it -- "his opposition to the War on Terror." Now the quote is attributed to Jefferson in spite of the fact that no one has been able to cite the speech or document from which it comes.

There is poetic justice in the fact that the kind of self-righteous moron who tries to conceal his liberalness by invoking Jefferson is actually identifying himself as the liberal moron he is -- someone who is too ignorant and lazy to realize that the bumpersticker he plastered on his car to smugly defend his hatred for America is nothing more than a lousy misquote.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Carnaby Conquers Canada

I took the family to Canada last weekend, Grand Forks B.C. to be exact. We went to visit my wife's mom and step-dad. Pretty fun trip, except I had to leave the guns at home. Almost hit a deer just before the border -- it would have been fun putting an injured deer out of its misery without a firearm. The neighbor was a veteran RCMP officer who carried a S&W 9mm and black talons, whoppy doo.

Anyway, not to be completely thwarted by Canada's crappy gun laws (and just so you know, my Beretta is a "restricted" weapon in Canuckistan, meaning you can own one but you have to jump through lots of extra hoops and you MAY NOT carry it for self defense. My Kimber on the other hand is a "prohibited" weapon and may not be posessed by any civilians, on account of it has a barrel shorter than 4.1") um, continuing from the first sentence... not to be thwarted, I did manage to get the boy out for some BB-gun shooting with his great-grandpa's Red Ryder ("you'll shoot your eye out!")

and I finally managed to get the new (used) Explorer out in the dirt. That hill is a lot steeper than it looks.

Then upon returning home, I promptly armed myself, Kimber Ultra Carry II, 7+1 .45acp, extra mag, and zoomed to the Kenmore Gun Club for some range time with the Winchester 1894.

See there, I listened to the old guy giving free advice last time I was at the range (and out of ammo) and put his instruction to good use. My first target of the day (not shown) has holes all over the place. But I dialed the Winchester and myself in and put 7 of 8 on the black at 100 yards. I'm pretty happy with that. Come October, Washington State deer had better look out! *Ahhhh* it's good to be back in America.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Finnish Government to Finns: Please Work!

When your government has to try to sell you on the idea that the working lifestyle isn't all that bad, things are very, very bad. Take a look at this from a Finnish government website and ponder the fact that this tiny little nation that once beat the living daylights out of the entire Red Army now has to spend untold amounts of money to get Finns off their duffs and back to work.

Yes, folks, it's the Finnish national Veto Programme, designed to "maintain and promote the attractiveness of work and working life. It is a programme for well-being at work and extending working life." (Note: "Veto" in Finnish means "to pull." This is, therefore, a programme to pull people back to work.)

There was a time only a few decades ago when no Finn would be caught dead receiving government assistance. Now it's a bonafide lifestyle for the younger generation, not to mention the vast majority of immigrants. The welfare lifestyle is very attractive to those no longer concerned about the stigma of receiving money for nothing. For instance, it has become customary for many young Finns to "take time off" after school, sign up for welfare, and travel around Europe. And with a 70%+ unemployment rate among immigrants, it would appear they aren't rushing over to Finland in order to find jobs. But, in a way, you can't blame these people. When an authority gives human beings incentive to do absolutely nothing, a lot of them will take it.

However, you'd think Finland's authoritative ninnies would look at, say, New Zealand, which got to the point where for every person working there was someone on the dole -- whereby the whole damned thing collapsed -- and realize that welfarism just doesn't work. But for these dopes, every government-created problem has an even worse government-created solution, which, by definition, must involve as many tax euros as possible. As Carnaby pointed out, look at how many agencies have their finger in the pot...
The main responsibility for the programme will be carried by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Other participants in the programme are the labour market organisations, entrepreneurs' organisations, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Institute for Occupational Health.
Americans, please take note: this is the road to hell.

Note to Finnish government: Would you like to know my guaranteed method to make the working lifestyle look attractive? Here it is: Make the alternatives worse, not better. Now, gimme my consulting fee.

[Oh, this reminds me. I haven't written anything in a long time about what's happening with hubby's sister in Finland. The reason is, we have heard absolutely nothing. It's not looking hopeful.]

Political Typology

Oh, joy! Quiz time!

In an effort to get beyond the bifurcated identification of American politics (you know, Republican/Democrat), the Pew Research Center has a quiz to help you identify your typology group. [Hat tip: Michelle Malkin.]

My results indicate that I am likely an educated, married, well-off, gun-toting, over-thirty, white male who voted for Bush. Accurate on all counts but one (only my three loyal readers and my husband know which one).

My typology group is...


Based on your answers to the questionnaire, you most closely resemble survey respondents within the Enterpriser typology group. This does not mean that you necessarily fit every group characteristic or agree with the group on all issues.

Enterprisers represent 9 percent of the American public, and 10 percent of registered voters.

Basic Description
As in previous studies conducted in 1987, 1994 and 1999, this extremely partisan Republican group’s politics are driven by a belief in the free enterprise system and social values that reflect a conservative agenda. Enterprisers are also the strongest backers of an assertive foreign policy, which includes nearly unanimous support for the war in Iraq and strong support for such anti-terrorism efforts as the Patriot Act.

Defining Values
Assertive on foreign policy and patriotic; anti-regulation and pro-business; very little support for government help to the poor; strong belief that individuals are responsible for their own well being. Conservative on social issues such as gay marriage, but not much more religious than the nation as a whole. Very satisfied with personal financial situation.

Who They Are
Predominantly white (91%), male (76%) and financially well-off (62% have household incomes of at least $50,000, compared with 40% nationwide). Nearly half (46%) have a college degree, and 77% are married. Nearly a quarter (23%) are themselves military veterans. Only 10% are under age 30.

Lifestyle Notes
59% report having a gun in their homes; 53% trade stocks and bonds in the stock market, and 30% are small business owners – all of which are the highest percentages among typology groups. 48% attend church weekly; 36% attend bible study or prayer group meetings.

2004 Election
Bush 92%, Kerry 1%. Bush’s most reliable supporters (just 4% of Enterprisers did not vote)

Party ID
81% Republican, 18% Independent/No Preference, 1% Democrat (98% Rep/LeanRep)

Media Use
Enterprisers follow news about government and politics more closely than any other group, and exhibit the most knowledge about world affairs. The Fox News Channel is their primary source of news (46% cite it as a main source) followed by newspapers (42%) radio (31%) and the internet (26%).

Note: All descriptions and percentages are based on the national sample of adults surveyed by telephone in December. Based on your answers to the survey questions, you most closely resemble survey respondents within this group, even though you may differ significantly on one or more issues or traits.

In the overall typology there is a ninth group called “Bystanders” who are defined as adults who are not registered, who do not follow news about government and public affairs, and who say they rarely or never vote.

Carnaby's Note: Hard to believe, but true, I am also an Enterpriser.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Lack of anything insightful on which to post...

... so you get to see what hubby and I would look like if we were South Park characters [Hat tip: Jed at Freedom Sight].

Here's me:

I really do have a hat just like that. And I really do look that grumpy a lot of the time. Ask Carnaby.

Here's hubby:

This is what he looked like back in his SF days. Although I don't think the army issued shirts with skulls on them, but, you know, it looks menacing. Hubby does have some mean scars on his face, but he claims they are mostly from bar fights.

Well, there you have it. Let's see if Carnaby will post his own South Park likeness.

Update: Carnaby Posts:

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

More CCW Goodness

Here's me with my swell Kimber Ultra Carry in a Galco NSAII IWB. It's pretty good, but I wish I would have waited the 6 weeks or so it takes to get an Andrew's Macdaniel II. Oh well, down the road...

Anyway, here I am and there it is, or isn't.

Monday, May 02, 2005


This thread on THR cracks me up, on account of I can relate. I'm kinda new to concealed carry and suffer from some pretty solid printophobia. Here's some of my favorite quotes, that remind me of me...
I think it's only a bit natural for newly minted CCW permit holders to be a bit nervous about that new part of them. The truth is that the public at large is oblivious and has zero situational awareness beyond the conversation blaring through their cell phone pasted to their ear.
Newly minted, heh, that's me.
Anyway, It has always been a mental thing with me, as If there is a large, blinking neon sign affixed to my person that advertises: "Hey world, look at me, I'm carrying a loaded handgun!" What, to my mental state, feels like a brick or cobblestone in my pocket, the rest of the world blithely goes about their own way, totally oblivious to me and the small package in my pocket!
Yup, I got that large sign on forhead problem too...
Ah yes, printophobia, the scourge of those who CCW. I'm 68 years young and have been carrying concealed for over 20 years. Here in Florida, shorts and "T" shirts are uniform of the day almost year round. I CCW a Glock G26 in the right front pocket of my cargo style shorts. To this day, the only person who has ever noticed was my 9 year old Grandson, "Got your gun in your pocket Pops?"
And a scourge it is.
Way back in the day I had printophobia. I'm pretty casual about it now. If I'm out alone I take more care to do the things that Tuner described. If I'm out with the wife-family I care less b/c having clean cuttish people with you offers even more for people to look at than just me and we're easily profiled as a family out n about which is a type of camofflauge of its own.

When I was first learning to do the 'girlie stoop' I had more concern of if people thought I was gay than if they seem my gun! Then I realized that with the more & more acceptance of gays in general that effemminate body language like that may even profile me as a non threat in a way also. Not necessarily true but generally. No offense to anyone.
Girlie stoop, check.
About ten years ago, I pretty much came to the same conclusion you did ... to test it, I carried a Beretta 92 in an old Galco pancake strongside -- this was in the summer -- for a whole weekend under untucked lightweight shirts, everywhere I went in public, downtown ... Didn't get a hint anyone even looked twice, although to me, it felt like I had an bowling ball strapped to my side. Now, when I carry a "little" gun like a Commander-size 1911 in an IWB, I sometimes panic and check to see if I've still got it on ...
Yes, when you can't see it it turns into a pumpkin, or a bowling ball.

Now my wife is getting aggravated every time I walk in front of her and do my "gathering products from the top shelf" or "wistfully striding" acts while asking "am I printing?" She's going to beat me with a frying pan if I ask her again.

I was carrying my new Kimber at the lake with my son while we were fishing this weekend. Lots of people walking the trail, and every time I was out of sight... pat, adjust, pat, tug, shift... argh! It's mostly the 4:00 IWB that's giving me the printophobia. When I can't tolerate the printophobia, I carry in my modified cheap-o Uncle Mike's inside-the-pants holster at about 1:00. No printing or phobia there, but not so comfortable for long durations, nor good for quick draw. That, and if you're not IWB strongside you just aren't cool, don't kid yourself.

Nevertheless, I do think mostly that the posters on THR are correct: nobody notices, so CCW with pride, man!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Back From My Trip and a Meme

I just got back from a very nice visit with the family back home. Carnaby and I are originally from a rustic, rural part of Oregon, and it's nice to get back there once in a while. The coastal part of the state is namby-pamby, bed-wetting liberal, but the eastern part is definitely Jesusland with lots of high-powered rifles in pickup gunracks and "W" stickers everywhere. A refreshing change of pace from where we each live at the moment.

Anyway, Kevin at The Smallest Minority has requested my participation in this blogmeme, and I'm happy to oblige.

Here's how it works.

Following there is a list of different occupations. You must select at least five of them. You may add more if you like to your list before you pass it on (after you select five of the items as it was passed to you).

Of the five you selected, you are to finish each phrase with what you would do as a member of that profession. Then pass it on to three other suckers bloggers.

Here’s the list:

If I could be a scientist…
If I could be a farmer…
If I could be a musician…
If I could be a doctor…
If I could be a painter…
If I could be a gardener…
If I could be a missionary…
If I could be a chef…
If I could be an architect…
If I could be a linguist…
If I could be a psychologist…
If I could be a librarian…
If I could be an athlete…
If I could be a lawyer…
If I could be an innkeeper…
If I could be a professor…
If I could be a writer…
If I could be a backup dancer…
If I could be a llama-rider…
If I could be a bonnie pirate…
If I could be a midget stripper…
If I could be a proctologist…
If I could be a TV-Chat show host…
If I could be an actor…
If I could be a judge…

My response:

If I could be a musician I would be a Hardanger violinist. I am absolutely awestruck by the stylings of Annbjørg Lien (listen to an authorized mp3 of "Loki" here). My parents "forced" me to take violin lessons when I was young, but I hated it and quit and now I totally regret it.

If I could be an architect I would borrow some inspiration from Howard Roark and design anything from homes to skyscrapers with my unique and futuristic style. When I was a kid I was so obsessed with drawing blueprints and building forts out of couch cushions and gym mats that my parents were sure I would become an architect. (I didn't.) My style would borrow heavily from the sci-fi artistry of Ralph McQuarrie.

If I could be a linguist I would figure out who in the hell came up with the single most absurd language on the face of the earth, Finnish. My husband is a Finn, and at my request is helping me learn the language so I can speak with his parents. It's a psychotic language designed to discourage foreigners with its complexity. It has nineteen stupid cases -- that's nineteen different ways of modifying nouns!! -- and none of the vocabulary sounds even remotely like anything in the Germanic or Romantic languages. Ai, perse!

If I could be a psychologist I would help people manage their psychoses without pharmaceuticals or new-age touchy-feely baloney. My sole resource would be the insights of one D.G. Garan in his book, The Key to the Sciences of Man. People in my family are prone to depression and anxiety, but we manage it quite easily using only what we know from this book.

If I could be an innkeeper I would have an old-time inn styled after the Prancing Pony in The Lord of the Rings. Rough hewn architecture and furnishings, huge fireplaces, and hearty food and drink. If I wasn't already training to be a scientist, this would be my passion. I already brew my own beer and mead, thoroughly enjoy cooking and keeping house, and love having guests.

As for who I would like to participate in this meme, I pick Rusticus at Solarvoid, Ben at Carnaby Fudge, and, lessee, Michelle Malkin. (Do you think she'll respond? Hee hee.)