Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Blogus Interruptus

I'm going to be away for a bit, so don't be surprised if you see NO NEW TRAFFIC on this website for the next week (give or take a few days.)

I will be driving to Utah, from Oregon, so I can see my grandchildren. Not incidently, I look forward to renewing my acquaintance with my son, Ben and his lovely wife, Alysha. They're a young couple just starting out in life, suffering the same "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" that many of us have already experienced, and struggling to make a good life for their family.

Perhaps I can't smooth out some of the speedbumps/potholes in their road through Life, but at least I can be a significant presence in the lives of their children.

They're good kids, Ben and Alysha. And the children are charmers!

I went to the Used Book Store here in Corvallis this evening, and bought ten or twenty "you can read this for yourself" books to read to the tiny ones.

It's impossible to start children too early, when it comes to loving books.

So excuse me if I don't blog as much as I want, or as much as I should.

I have more important things to do for the rest of this week, and much of next week.

Britain Announces "Latex Glove Control" Program (and other stories)

Former husband guilty of attempted murder with latex glove

Yes it's true (if you believe The Guardian.)

Some Idiot tried to kill his ex-wife by capitalizing on her alergy to latex gloves.

Given that Great Britain has totally banned the private ownership of firearms (including posession of toy guns in public), most knives, pepper spray, tasers, lasers and phasers ... they should be an entirely peaceful crime-free society.

Sadly, not. Who knew?

Well, of course the ex was an American, and she should have known that all Americans are red-necked cowboys. And gangsters. Still, one wouldn't normally have expected such -- originality from an American.

Worse, he was a potential mass-murder.

He had six more latex gloves in his pocket.

No 'film at 11', but expect the Brits to enact a law which prohibits purchase of more than 1 latex glove per month. (That's the way WE would handle it!)


Wait, it gets better.

Do you recycle?

If you don't, and you live in the 99 - 44/100% of the world with something better to do than promote a nanny state, you're only guilty of being socially incorrect. (San Francisco may be America's "Nanny State".)

In London, it can cost you big bucks ... up to £2,500. (I can't tell you what that is in real money, but figure it will cost you something like $4,000 for putting your London Times in the 'dustbin' instead of in the recycling bin.)


Here's the capper:

British police "want spy planes to fight anti-social behavior".

That's right. The police are so overwhelmed with the need to write out warnings, they can't patrol anymore. They're looking for high-tech gadgets to do their job for them.

Don't know what "anti-social behavior" means? Neither did I, until I went to the website (see link) and discovered the elements of anti-social behavior:

Anti-social behaviour has a wide legal definition – to paraphrase the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, it is behaviour which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more people who are not in the same household as the perpetrator. Among the forms it can take are:

  • graffiti – which can on its own make even the tidiest urban spaces look squalid

  • abusive and intimidating language, too often directed at minorities

  • excessive noise, particularly late at night

  • fouling the street with litter

  • drunken behaviour in the streets, and the mess it creates

  • dealing drugs, with all the problems to which it gives rise.

All these are issues which concern everyone in the community. They cannot be written off as generational issues – they impact on the quality of life of young and old alike. And they require a response which puts partnership into action.

Incidently, Answers.com provides some profound insight into the "Antisocial Behavior" phenomenon. Essentially, it considers it a "personality disorder" (Specifically, "Antisocial Personality Disorder") and states that "Antisocial Behavior" is characterized by, well, "Antisocial Behavior":

A personality disorder characterized by a history of continuous and chronic antisocial behavior that is not attributable to severe mental retardation, schizophrenia, or manic episodes.
And we wonder why the Brits are so fixated on "Antisocial Behavior"? They don't know how to define it, but they 'know it when they see it'.

Unfortunately, they see it all too often. See "Yobs".

Here's a thought:

To my Dear British Friends,
Why, when you see "Antisocial Behavior", do you not act upon it? Instead of just writing out an "Antisocial Behavior Order" (ASBO), why don't you just ... stop it?
Your most obedient servent,
Jerry the Geek

The answer, of course, is because a significant portion of the public is so politically correct that they object to even this minimalist approach to widespread social "issues".

Here's one Brit's take on it:

Criminalizing Anti-Social Behavior

Should the state have the power to throw you in jail because you're obnoxious, annoying, or generally a community nuisance? That seems to be what is occurring in Britain: police can obtain an "Anti-Social Behavior Order" that restricts a person's ability to do legal things. Violators can be thrown in jail.
Oh dear, that would be ... bad ... wouldn't it?

Here's my Geekish take on it.

You see that people have no respect for themselves, each other, or authority. They act out in public. But instead of penalizing them for doing "bad things", you write them a TICKET saying they shouldn't do that any more.

When they continue to act out, you write them another ticket ... read, 'ASBO'.

Here's a thought, courtesy of that 'lazy thinker', Albert Einstein:

Insanity may be defined as doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.
Until you get your heads around the fact that what you are doing does not yield the hoped-for results ....

... you people are so screwed. SCREWED!

I trust I have made myself sufficiently clear.

Monday, October 16, 2006

CCS Junior Team at USPSA Production Nationals

I have mentioned before in these pages how proud we in the Columbia Cascade Section (CCS) are of the young men * in our Junior Team.

Mike McCarterThis team sent several members to the USPSA Open/Production National Match (starting October 11, 2006) at the new range in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and coach Mike "Mac" McCarter provides this description of their first National Match experience:

... we made it back safe and sound Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.uswith two national champions; Chris
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usCordoza and Andrew Wesley. In addition Chris only missed top Junior
Production by 20 +/- points.

Our trip included Jeff & Barb Cordoza, Nick Leonard, Mike Kennedy, 6 of the
Junior team and myself. Two of us got busted in the Portland Airport before
we ever got off the ground because we had glock magazines (unloaded) in our
carry on's. When they saw the xrays of the mags they called a red flag and
almost shut down the whole airport. After a little discussion and talking to
the Portland police we were allowed to check them thru with our other
baggage. The NW airlines website doesn't say anything about magazines which
TSA considers part of a handgun.

We landed at Tulsa in the rain but shot Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and
Saturday in dry weather. Nick Leonard did the photography for the team and
we got team pictures with most of the big hitters, sponsors and coffee
girls. They (USSA Range People) had 6 or 7 blonde bombshells driving around
serving coffee and snacks. Needless to say we told the junior team that this
was the norm for national events.

CCS - The Whole Junior TeamThe whole team had brand new Techwear Junior team shirts and represented our
section very well. I had multiple people come up to me and say how impressed
they were with the team. I have to say everything went well until the
shaving cream fight 1/2 hour prior to leaving for the awards ceremony; but
oh well! they are juniors after all.

We should have pictures out soon, Nick did video discs and picture discs for
each of the team members. You should see the range. At less than half
finished it already has 20 bays completely covered with turf, including the
berms. I believe it will have 45 bays when done including long range rifle
bays. The rumor is that Multi-gun Nationals and one pistol national will be
there next year plus the other pistol national in Missoula.
The match results are available in the USPSA Members' Area (unfortunately, not available to the general public, but you can try here.)


This letter from Mac only mentioned the Class Winners from the CCS Junior Team, but I think we should also acknowledge the fine performances of the rest of the team.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usIn Open, both Ryan Leonard and Nathan Swan finished above 50% of Open Match Winner Chris Tilley's score. In a field of 239 competitors, that's at least as well as I have ever done in a National Championship.Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Especially considering that there were no less than eight (8) Match DQ's in that division. I know there are some stories to be told, but I won't tell them.

I've competed against both Ryan and Nathan, often ending up on the short end of the stick. Nathan is competing in C-Open, and Ryan (Nick's son) in B-Open. Ryan has been competing for about a year longer than Nathan, and I'm sure the gap will narrow within the next year. We're looking forward to watching these two battle it out for top junior Open in the future, especially since Zac Bright (son of Norm the Ungrateful), another B-Open Junior and a similarly tough competitor, was unable to attend the Nationals this year.

It's not easy being a B-Open shooter in CCS. Especially when you are being beaten by competitors who are young enough to be your grandchild.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usAn unmentioned Production Division Junior shooter, Stephan Kemper, also ended up at over 50% of Match Winner Rob Leatham's score. Again, if I did that well against The Great One, I would be strutting around with great pride. Stephan is one of those shooters who impress spectators because he is always giving 110% in every stage. It will take a couple of years for his accuracy to catch up with his blinding speed, but I have great expectations for young Stephan. My only solace is that, while he can shoot faster than I can with a Production Gun, my beard is longer than his. (And greyer, too!)

Junior Justin Bagget obviously ran into some trouble on this match, which isn't surprising in the Nationals. He might be comforted by the knowledge that he beat a Grand Master, and was within striking distance of a B-Production shooter. We're glad Justin was there to represent Team CCS,

* Note: CCS now has a young woman in the Junior Team. She began shooting just a month ago, and was unable to participate in the Team effort at the National match this year. I join my friends and neighbors in hopes that she continues to shoot with us and will be eligible to participate in the 2007 USPSA National Match.