If you're even a nominal Christian, Christmas is A Big Thing. And even if you're not as Christian as that, in the USA it's hard to avoid Christmas no matter how hard the ACLU and related curmedgeons (in December, we should replace the word "curmudgeons" with the word "Scrooges") try to make it Not Politically Correct.
I'm not PC, except where Racist jokes apply, but Christmas has always been a difficult season for me. I like to give things to people. It makes me happy, sometimes it makes them happy too. But I have a hard time buying gifts for people at Christmas. The reason is that I feel OBLIGATED to give gifts, and that takes all the fun out of it.
Besides, I don't know what to give to some one when I'm just buying to fulfill a societal obligation. If I find something that someone I know would like, I can get it for them and I'm tickled if they appreciate it.
Fortunately, I have four Grandchildren, and they're very easy to shop for. I just go to the toy department and find stuff that I think is fun, and I buy it for them. I ran into some problems here, though. I found a 'toy' that I would like to have myself: The "Darth Vader Voice Changer" (Vince Pinto, where are you when we really need you?)
Push a button, it recites some of the best lines from the Star Wars movies.
- The Force is with you!
- Your Powers Are Weak
- Don't make me destroy you
- There is NO ESCAPE
- The Force is with you
- You don't know the power of The Dark Side!
When you put the helmet on and press another button, it transforms your personal voice into the best mechanized James Earl Jones impression that modern technology and $28.95 can buy.
SWMBO informs me that this has just gone on sale at a local store for 50% off. I bought it yesterday. I wonder if I could take mine back and get two of them. Nobody would know if I kept one for myself . . . .
.... but no, that would be Just Wrong.
Naked prowler shot in genitals with Taser by deputies near Fort Myers Beach
It had to come to this eventually. Leave it to our French friends to be first on-board with this.
Next: San Francisco!
Study: Security flaw allows wiretap evasion
FBI tapping your phones? ZDNet reveals that it is technically possible to turn it OFF!
Rent-a-Toy-Hauler for a Home
Lost your home to a hurricane lately?
This manufacturer of mobile homes (fifth-wheelers especially) specializes in building them with a garage for your ATV. For only $26,000 to $53,000, he will build you one. But as a public service, he will RENT you one.
This too-kewl websites even offers floorplans, pricing algorithms, and virtual tours of the toy-haulers.
Attention Hurricane Katrina Victims:
We have low-cost RV's available with immediate delivery. Please contact us regarding the Hurrican Katrina Victims special discounted pricing.
LEASE OPTION AVAILABLE FOR BUSINESS & GOVERNMENT AGENCIES!
Many other models & floorplans available for delivery to Louisiana/Mississippi area available!CALL NOW FOR MORE INFORMATION (888) 950-5070.
Okay, so I don't have a Dodge Viper, but maybe FEMA will buy me one. It's got to be cheaper than leasing a Carnival Cruise Line ship for the next six months.
IPSC Photos: 2005 Croc Match
I've managed to find the time to edit, re-size, and publish most of the 500+ photos that SWMBO took at the September 3-4, 2005, Croc Match at Dundee Oregon. This includes photos of match (division, category, etc.) winners at the Awards Ceremony.
If you were at this match, you know it is the world's premiere Hi-Round-Count IPSC-type match. If you weren't there this year, you want to be there next year.
The photos loaded are all of the 'still' photos. I still have to load still photos from two other people who were there. One of these guys took some AVI-format videos, and if I can find a way to cut down the file size I'll put them up in a special sub-album with credit to the owner of the videos.
Also, I've managed on this blog to feature a few of movies that SWMBO filmed. I have several others, and as soon as I edit them down into a size and format that is easy to download (if you have a hi-speed connection) I'll include them in a special sub-album for each day.
The albums published are included in this list of all planned sub-albums:
Saturday Morning: the Shooter Meeting, introduction of the authors of the Jungle Run (Loren and Sherrie), miscellaneous shooter-views of the stages taken before the match started, photos from several squads on several stages, and photos of some of the individuals either shooting stages or standing around waiting for their turn to shoot. Also, there are some photos from Saturday Afternoon: SWMBO didn't change from the 1GB chip to the back-up 256MB chip until late in the day. 323 photos. DONE!
Saturday Afternoon: These are photos from the small Sandisk memory chip SWMBO loaded after the battery on the Geek Digicam gave out.
Sunday Morning: Photos from the remaining stages from the 2nd match day.
106 photos. DONE!
Awards: photos from the Awards Ceremony of the individual winners, and some crown pictures at the cermony. 64 photos. DONE!
Norm Bright Photos: will be loaded 'soon'. Norm and his son Zac were on the 'super squad'.
Ron Downs Photos: will be loaded 'soon'. Ron was part of what may be called the 'junior squad', and includes some great photos of junior IPSC shooters competing. I'm trying to reach Ron so I can get his permission to publish these photos, but I don't have an email address or other contact means for him. Ron, if you read this . . . please contact me to give permission or to with-hold permission for me to publish your photos.
Ron Downs Videos: Ron took some great movies, but they're all in AVI format and I've not yet tried to edit them and convert them to WMV format. If I get permission, I'll do so. If I can't edit and convert them I'll make them available for a limited time in the original format.
SWMBO videos: She took a lot of movies, and I'll edit these 'soon' and post them on the website. The editing process takes a lot of time, as I like to remove extraneous footage, add titles and music, and then convert them to a file format (WMV) which reduces detail clarity but allows much faster downloads by making the resultant filesize smaller. If I have requests to do so, I may make the original video available regardless of the filesize. Each set of videos will be a sub-sub-album of the daily sub-album, just to make it easier to find them.
Unfortunately, these photo files are too numerous for me to add comments to each picture. However, the gallery software allows non-logoned viewers to add comments. Please feel free to identify shooters and stages where you can. I depend on your discretion to keep these comments gentlemanly and family-friendly. No, you don't need to logon either to view the files or the add comments . . . unless the privilege is abused. I will eliminate the commenting option if it is abused and I have to delete derogatory or profane comments.
We won't see any inappropriate comments, of course, because IPSC competitors come in two catogories: Ladies, and Gentlemen. But you never know who is going to pick up on these links, so in the unlikely case that some Yahoo from Nowhere drops by to vent his/her spleen, you should be aware that they have the option of ruining it for all the Normal People who are intrinsically interested in this event. [sigh]