Saturday, January 24, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (classic!)
Reilly's Luck by Louis L'Amour (very good)
Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff (excellent)
The Coming of Conan The Cimmerian by Robert E. Howard (good)
On DVD I watched:
Righteous Kill (excellent)
I'm listening to:
Absolution by Muse (very good)
Monday, January 12, 2009
Today's job was adding some lights to a new gazebo one of our more affluent customers recently had built. These are very good customers. They want what they want, and they're more than willing to pay for it. As such, we give it to them.
Well, in order to get a circuit to the lights to make them work we had to dig a trench/ditch from the gazebo to the house. This meant routing around shrubbery, water pipes, and gas lines (this house is pretty much maxed out with everything it could possibly have...we're talking chandeliers in the bathrooms!).
Anyway, guess who got to do a good deal of the digging?
If you guessed Bozo the Clown, go back to start. If you guessed me, then you're a winner!
So, the soil...not soil...it was rock, with a smattering of dirt thrown in just for shits and giggles. And of course, all the rock is glued together by that wonderful Alabama Red Clay. If you're not familiar with Alabama Red Clay let me give you a bit of advice...stay away from it...far away. You could build a tornado proof house with this stuff.
My length of the trench (which measured about six inches wide by twelve inches deep and twenty to twenty-five feet long...in a very roundabout way) took me a good six hours to dig. Yeah. Six. Fucking. Hours. I did a lot of the digging on me knees in order to be able to see the ground since I was digging amongst a bunch of huge freakin' shrubs. Freakin' Knights of Ni would love that place.
Anyway, did I mention that the 'shrubs' were taller than me and covered in leaves that had six sharp pointy ends? Oh, yes. My arms are covered in little tiny punctures and scratches.
So, after six hours of back breaking labor (I signed up to be an Electrician, not a ditch digger!! *shrug*) in my own personal hell I finally linked my trench to the other guy's.
I was elated. I felt an immense sense of relief.
That is, until, while cleaning the rubble from the ditch I hit a water pipe which burst and began filling my nice new trench with gallons of water. I sputtered a few profanities while looking around for a water main shut off valve and shouting for help from my boss and co-workers.
Luckily, the pipe was for the sprinkler system and the home owners' house man (that's the best title I have for him) turned it off.
Fortune found me again in that the boss wasn't really mad about it. And it's an easy fix which we'll perform tomorrow (rather than the home owner call a plumber and get raped for what is essentially a simple repair).
Regardless of my boss's lack of ire, I still feel a bit like an idiot. I was grumbling all day, and then I go screw up.
Well, I survived, and with the help of a good friend I even managed to smile after all was said and done.
And I feel I must look on the bright side. At least I didn't puncture the gas line. The consequence of that might have been rather...explosive.
Yeah, I know. Very cheesy. I couldn't help myself.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Lately I've been noticing a little change in me. I guess it really seemed to start with the New Year. New Years Eve I came to a couple of realizations, or at least made myself admit to some things that have been all too clear and that I've been ignoring for all to long. And then I just went with it.
And I'm...happy. Very happy. And I feel like there is a deep well of happiness within in me that I've barely begun to tap. It's a weird experience, but I'm enjoying it for what it is, and I want to share it with everyone else who is where I am. I'm taking advantage of all the positives I can, and I'm letting the negatives roll off as best I can.
I still have my dark, brooding moments. Those are just a part of me that aren't going anywhere. I feel it's necessary to recognize the negatives and acknowledge them for what they are, and I take the time to do that. But they're not dragging me down. They don't hover around me like some dark cloud of doom.
I feel like I'm doing something. Yes. Action. It's making me feel great. I don't know that it will last, but I know it's there, always has been, and I know I've just got to tap it to get back here. So, I'm taking the good and running with!
And when/if the bad comes, I'll fight it like I always do. And I'll either conquer it or I'll learn from my defeat and go on. What the hell else can I do?
It's not in me to become jaded about life. Maybe I've been lucky enough to avoid the worst that can happen. I don't know. I just know this is the correct state of being and to live any other way is not right. So when I'm here, I'll enjoy, and when I'm not I'll work to get back here. Yep.
Friday, January 9, 2009
A Post Office worker was shot dead today and his father seriously
injured during an armed robbery at their village shop by three balaclava-clad
Craig Hodson-Walker was shot during the robbery at the family run
Fairfield Stores in Fairfield, near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, at 8.20am. He
was prounounced dead 40 minutes later.
His father Ken was shot in the leg by the men, who were armed with a
handgun and a
sledgehammer, and is being treated in hospital.
Now, I will be fair. It was a post office. Even though I can legally carry a firearm concealed just about anywhere, the post office is one place that is off limits. But thats not the point of my posting this. The point is to show that even though the entire UK has strict gun control it still has criminals who are willing and able to use guns to commit crimes. Criminals. Don't. Obey. The. Law.
This arguement has been made about states in the US with strict gun control laws. They generally defend those laws by saying, "Well, criminals buy their guns in other states without our strict controls." The UK is comprised of islands, and they have strictor border control than the US. Yet criminals still find and use guns for crime. And when they don't have guns, they use other things just as capable of injurying and causing death. One man in this story was using a sledge hammer. I guess the UK should impliment strick sledge hammer control laws next.
(Full article here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5482327.ece)
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Women can stop worrying about pear-shaped figures — fat bottoms have
been scientifically proven to be a sign of good health.
New research, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, suggests the fat responsible for
producing the pear shape flaunted by celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and
Beyonce may be active in protecting women from diseases by releasing certain
Buttock and hip fat may protect women against type 2 diabetes,
researchers from Harvard Medical School found.
When buttocks and hip fat from mice was injected into other mice, their
bodies easily used the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin and lost
(Full article here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,477434,00.html)
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
1. Banning guns works, which is why New York, DC, & Chicago cops need guns.
2. Washington DC's low murder rate of 69 per 100,000 is due to strict guncontrol, and Indianapolis' high murder rate of 9 per 100,000 is due to thelack of gun control.
3. Statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control but statisticsshowing increasing murder rates after gun control are "just statistics."
4. The Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban, both of which went intoeffect in 1994 are responsible for the decrease in violent crime rates,which have been declining since 1991.
5. We must get rid of guns because a deranged lunatic may go on a shootingspree at any time and anyone who would own a gun out of fear of such alunatic is paranoid.
6. The more helpless you are the safer you are from criminals.
7. An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shotwith a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.
8. A woman raped and strangled is morally superior to a woman with a smokinggun and a dead rapist at her feet.
9. When confronted by violent criminals, you should "put up no defense -give them what they want, or run" (Handgun Control Inc. Chairman PeteShields, Guns Don't Die - People Do, 1981, p. 125).
10. The New England Journal of Medicine is filled with expert advice aboutguns; just like Guns & Ammo has some excellent treatises on heart surgery.
11. One should consult an automotive engineer for safer seat belts, a civilengineer for a better bridge, a surgeon for internal medicine, a computerprogrammer for hard drive problems, and Sarah Brady for firearms expertise.
12. The 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1787, refers to the National Guard, whichwas created 130 years later, in 1917.
13. The National Guard, federally funded, with bases on federal land, usingfederally-owned weapons, vehicles, buildings and uniforms, punishingtrespassers under federal law, is a "state" militia.
14. These phrases: "right of the people peaceably to assemble," "right ofthe people to be secure in their homes," "enumerations herein of certainrights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people,"and "The powers not delegated herein are reserved to the statesrespectively, and to the people" all refer to individuals, but "the right ofthe people to keep and bear arms" refers to the state.
15. "The Constitution is strong and will never change." But we should banand seize all guns thereby violating the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments tothat Constitution.
16. Rifles and handguns aren't necessary to national defense! Of course, thearmy has hundreds of thousands of them.
17. Private citizens shouldn't have handguns, because they aren't "militaryweapons'', but private citizens shouldn't have "assault rifles'', becausethey are military weapons.
18. In spite of waiting periods, background checks, fingerprinting,government forms, etc., guns today are too readily available, which isresponsible for recent school shootings. In the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's,anyone could buy guns at hardware stores, army surplus stores, gas stations,variety stores, Sears mail order, no waiting, no background check, nofingerprints, no government forms and there were no school shootings.
19. The NRA's attempt to run a "don't touch" campaign about kids handlingguns is propaganda, but the anti-gun lobby's attempt to run a "don't touch"campaign is responsible social activity.
20. Guns are so complex that special training is necessary to use themproperly, and so simple to use that they make murder easy.
21. A handgun, with up to 4 controls, is far too complex for the typicaladult to learn to use, as opposed to an automobile that only has 20.
22. Women are just as intelligent and capable as men but a woman with a gunis "an accident waiting to happen" and gun makers' advertisements aimed atwomen are "preying on their fears."
23. Ordinary people in the presence of guns turn into slaughtering butchersbut revert to normal when the weapon is removed.
24. Guns cause violence, which is why there are so many mass killings at gunshows.
25. A majority of the population supports gun control, just like a majorityof the population supported owning slaves.
26. Any self-loading small arm can legitimately be considered to be a"weapon of mass destruction" or an "assault weapon."
27. Most people can't be trusted, so we should have laws against guns, whichmost people will abide by because they can be trusted.
28. The right of Internet pornographers to exist cannot be questionedbecause it is constitutionally protected by the Bill of Rights, but the useof handguns for self defense is not really protected by the Bill of Rights.
29. Free speech entitles one to own newspapers, transmitters, computers, andtypewriters, but self- defense only justifies bare hands.
30. The ACLU is good because it uncompromisingly defends certain parts ofthe Constitution, and the NRA is bad, because it defends other parts of theConstitution.
31. Charlton Heston, a movie actor as president of the NRA is a cheaplunatic who should be ignored, but Michael Douglas, a movie actor as arepresentative of Handgun Control, Inc. is an ambassador for peace who isentitled to an audience at the UN arms control summit.
32. Police operate with backup within groups, which is why they need largercapacity pistol magazines than do "civilians" who must face criminals aloneand therefore need less ammunition.
33. We should ban "Saturday Night Specials" and other inexpensive gunsbecause it's not fair that poor people have access to guns too.
34. Police officers have some special Jedi-like mastery over handguns thatprivate citizens can never hope to obtain.
35. Private citizens don't need a gun for self- protection because thepolice are there to protect them even though the Supreme Court says thepolice are not responsible for their protection.
36. Citizens don't need to carry a gun for personal protection but policechiefs, who are desk-bound administrators who work in a building filled withcops, need a gun.
37. "Assault weapons" have no purpose other than to kill large numbers ofpeople. The police need assault weapons. You do not.
38. When Microsoft pressures its distributors to give Microsoft preferentialpromotion, that's bad; but when the Federal government pressures cities tobuy guns only from Smith & Wesson, that's good.
39. Trigger locks do not interfere with the ability to use a gun fordefensive purposes, which is why you see police officers with one on their duty weapon.
40. Handgun Control, Inc., says they want to "keep guns out of the wronghands." Guess what? You have the wrong hands.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
When is a school not a school? When it is “a place for learning”.
Watercliffe Meadow Primary in Sheffield has adopted the new phraseology
because it thinks that the word school may have negative connotations for pupils
Linda Kingdon, the head teacher, said that the change would bring the
school (or place of learning) closer to real life. But critics condemned it as
laughable political correctness.
Really? I mean, really?! You've got to be kidding me. But no.
“This is Watercliffe Meadow, a place for learning. One reason was many of
the parents of the children here had very negative connotations of school.
Instead, we want this to a be a place for family learning, where anyone can
come. We were able to start from scratch and create a new type of learning
experience. There are no whistles or bells or locked doors. We wanted to
deinstitutionalise the place and bring the school closer to real life,” she said.
Let me guess...next it will be 'teacher' that is found to have a negative connotation and Ms. Kingdon will be refering to herself as a 'Person Who Instructs Those Who Happen to Be In A Place For Learning.'
Every time I think I've seen the stupidest thing in the world something new comes along to prove me wrong.
(You can find the full article here:http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article5435175.ece)