Monday, July 28, 2008

The most annoyingly overused word in the english language


As in, I have an issue with that. She has emotional issues. There was a legal issue. Those people have parenting issues...


I listen to a lot of talk radio during the day, and the overuse of this word is like an obsession. It's getting to be more annoying than "like." (But at least most people don't pronounce it "iss-yew.")

Almost as bad: "challenge," but only because it's not used as often.

Recommended synonyms: problem, hang-up, complication, difficulty, snag, obstacle, trouble.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Quote of the day

"Dirty Harry" commenting on the enviro-politics of Wall*E critics

It will never make sense to me how these enviro-kooks think we mere humans can do more damage to the planet than earthquakes, floods, and fires. Good heavens, a meteor hit and did enough damage to wipe out the dinosaurs and Mother Earth survived — but I have to separate my garbage?
The contributors and readers at Dirty Harry's Place have been arguing over whether Wall*E is a liberal or conservative movie since it came out. Most of them are leaning toward conservative.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


"Though shalt not make unto thee any graven image ... "

An Obama presidency would be an unmitigated disaster. That much I know. What I don’t know is what the fallout would be from legions of disillusioned worshippers who don’t understand why the Obamatopia failed to manifest. No human being could possibly live up to the fantastical expectations of these people, who are hanging every hope in the universe on Obama as President. So, given that the election goes a certain way, and at the end of four years we have hordes of disappointed Obama-cultists, what I want to know is whether we can expect a subsequent collective shift back to reality or an epidemic of psychosis. I'd like to see someone with knowledge of cults and mass movements/hysteria weigh in on this.

[h/t Rufus at Dirty Harry for the cartoon]

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pathfinder review

Well, I'm watching Pathfinder. I have low expectations. Review forthcoming...

Update: Worst movie ever.


More good news coming out of Iraq, with reports of violence significantly down

Instead of facing gunfire and roadside bombs, the soldiers’ armored Humvees are chased by waving children as they weave through streets crowded with pedestrians out to shop or just to stroll.
The first thing I thought (after hooray!) was how the hate-Bush/hate-America types were going to put a negative spin on this. Turns out not to be that difficult. Later in the article
To while away the time, the young soldier from Omaha, Nebraska, talks of his brother, who is fighting the Taliban in the mountains outside Kandahar city in southern Afghanistan. “He spends 20 days at a time camped out in the mountains, and the Taliban come engage them in serious firefights,” said Gebhart. “At least it sounds exciting.”
Just access that hate-nodule in your heart, suspend all reason, and come up with

Bloodthirsty U.S. Soldiers Frustrated by Peace, Crave More Violence

Monday, July 14, 2008

Blogosphere help?

This is a film that needs to get distributed, but is having a difficult time finding a distributor (I wonder why).

Please post this at your blog and help get the word out. Our troops are good guys, much as Hollywood likes to think otherwise.

Questions about evolution and origins of life

Here are a couple questions I have for scientists who study evolution. Let me preface this with a couple things: 1. I have no horse in this race; 2. It matters to me what the truth is, but I don't care what turns out to be the truth. With that, here are my two questions:

1. Given that some scientists are now claiming that life might have started as some form of RNA-based organism, why are there no longer any RNA-based organisms, especially if that's how life started? Even if they had died out, shouldn't they be able to start up again, if that's how life got its start? Wouldn't that be a prediction of the conjecture?

2. If evolution occurs through "transitionals" -- for example, the flounder transitionals have been found

should we not be able to find examples of organisms that are obvious living transitionals? Like the Picasso-fish above, you can see in advance what it's going for. Then scientists could make educated guesses about where a particular type of organism is headed and why. Sure it takes thousands of years for the changes to happen, but they might learn something by looking for a transition in progress.

Regarding transitionals, it seems strange to me that most animals in existence appear to be not in a state of transition. They seem to be fully developed and living statically in whatever is their native environment. Shouldn't evolution "speed up" in some sense over time as more and more organisms compete for resources?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fire and Ice / 300

Fire and Ice is a classic Ralph Bakshi animated feature with the added artistic machismo of Frank Frazetta, and it's got some of the best rotoscoping ever done. Someone coupled this with the soundtrack for one of the 300 trailers, and the result is too cool

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The gift that keeps on giving

So Jesse Jackson has set himself up to be the gift that keeps on giving for the rightwing blogosphere. Oh, happy day. Couldn't have happened to a nicer person. I say we work him over and go fuel-optimal on the guy to get the most mileage possible out of this one. Talk about those living by the sword dying by the sword. When the chickens come home to roost, it's a good day. Bwa ha ha ha!

But really, getting mad at Obama for saying something that is true yet detrimental to your race-baiting victimization wagon? Tough bananas for you, buddy.


Husband and I just got back from a road trip to Santa Fe, NM, which was our first vacation together in four years. We drove up through Roswell, mostly because I wanted to go to the International UFO Museum, which we did. The museum is in a shabby little building filled with lots of posterboard-and-xerox displays about UFOs, particularly the Area 51 stuff. A German TV crew was following someone around as she interviewed people and perused the displays. Apparently this was the kick-off day for a UFO festival. At one point, and much to my surprise, we ended up face-to-face with Keir Dullea in the back of the museum, signing autographs. I had a crush on "Dave" when I first saw 2001, and I have to say he's aged well. He was very congenial, put his arm around me for a nice photo (which I will not post, because I look terrible in it), autographed a lobby poster for 2001, and then talked to my husband for a full 15 minutes about Scandinavian languages. He's a very charming, intelligent person, and it absolutely made my day to meet him.

Next day we drove to Santa Fe, and spent a lovely week visiting the plaza, enjoying the fine food and drink, and swimming in the resort's pool. We both got sun-burned, which has never happened in the seven years we've lived in Texas. Texas is just too darn hot to spend much time outdoors, so we never get burned. But Santa Fe has the loveliest climate -- dry and mid-80s at the hottest -- so we spent a lot of time outdoors, and with the thinner air we got burns even with a generous coat of SPF 30 spray. My favorite part of the trip was the drive to Taos on the last day. We went all the way up to the Taos ski resort (9,200 feet), which I loved, but the altitude difference produced some unpleasant effects and we didn't stay long. (By way of comparison, McDonald Observatory is at an altitude of 6,800 feet, and even there I tended to feel winded and a bit dopey.)

Last night we did the long drive back home (13 hours), which my husband heroically did all on his own with only a couple of stops to gas up. A husband and wife can really get to know each other enclosed together for that long -- in this case, it was all good. And thank goodness we have a few days to recover from our vacation before going back to work.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pardon me, but...

Michelle Malkin writes:
The Obamas also invited 60 Minutes to come film the family making tuna fish sandwiches earlier this year–you know, to show what a regular guy he is. Question: Who the hell puts Grey Poupon and gherkins (don’t ask me what those are, I have no idea) in tuna sandwiches for kids?
I do. My kids are 7 and 4, and I always put in a good blob of the Grey Poupon with the mayo. I'm no Obama supporter when it comes to politics, but I'm with him on tuna sandwiches.

And a gherkin is a small cucumber, the same exact ones that are used to make pickles. I prefer pickles in my tuna sandwiches, though.

Sorry, Michelle.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mathews Genesis Pro

You may recall this video from a year or so ago of my son shooting his little 9 pound draw compound bow:

Well the little archer is growing up to the ripe age of seven. His new bow is a Mathews Genesis Pro that has an adjustable draw weight that ranges from 15-25 pounds. It also has an easily adjustable draw length, and at full draw it fits me, at 6 feet tall. Pretty neat, and it's good fun when you don't have time to go to the woods to shoot the rifles.

At under $200, it's quite a neat little bow. And it will last him at least 5 years. I'm very glad we went with the pro over the standard Genesis bow, as the extra 5 pounds max draw weight will give him an extra year or so of use. It also has tapped and drilled holes for sites, rests, and other accessories.


Late last night I was driving a long, lonely stretch of highway to go pick up a friend, no one on the road for miles around, very dark, etc. At one point I see a set of headlights creep up from behind, and I start to get a bad feeling. They stop at an uncomfortable distance from my bumper and hang there for a while. Getting creeped out now. Then the car moves into the passing lane and slowly catches up to me and, matching my speed, just hangs there next to me. I can't see anything going on in the car -- which is a late-model silver Mustang with darkened windows -- and I'm seriously creeped out. No one else on the road but the two of us. I step on it to put some distance between us, but he catches up to me. By now I'm on the phone with my husband -- maybe the driver sees this and figures I'm calling the police, because he quickly passes me and gets off at the next exit.

I'm curious what y'all think of this. Was it just some idiot having a laugh trying to scare someone? Was I being cased for something? Any chance it was an unmarked police car? By the way, I did not have a weapon with me, which will never happen again. And husband says I'm not going out late by myself anymore.

P.S. Thanks to you, Mr. Creepy Driver, I'm signing up for a CHL class today.