Thursday, November 15, 2007

BLOGMEAT! Volume III, No. 11

"Geeks Surf The Net So Americans Don't Have To ..."

Happy Birthday!

Tomorrow is my sister's birthday. She'll be (mumble mumble mumble) years old. Hint: she's 5 years older than me, and I love her dearly ... if only because I always have "I'd like you to meet my MUCH older sister" to hold over her head.

I doubt that she will be enchanted to learn that her birthday is about to be shared by a cartoon character, but hey! I think it's funny.

Terrorism, American Style

The fallout from the 'right to assemble' protests at the Olympia, Washington, port protests SHOULD be over now that all of the military equipment has been sent on its way to Fort Lewis.

(Note: That's right, the military equipment was not being sent to Iraq; this is military equipment which has been returned from Iraq. Why these idiots are protesting 'returning' equipment we may never know.)

However, the breaking news is that the extremes to which these "protesters for Peace" have gone in their bid to disrupt lawful activities may result in real penalties.

One female protester went so far as to use her children as 'human shields'. It worked, because no decent person would scoop them up for fear that the children would be harmed. As it turns out, this neo-hippie Earth Mother was so distracted by the Victory Dance when the cops chose to leave their "And A Little Child Shall Lead Them" human barricade, she ... dropped her toddler son on his head. In the gutter.

[sigh] And another Liberal shall arise, which should be the final convincing argument in the "Nature or Nurture" argument.

(H/T: Sondra K)

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

Kim chimes in with this article about a college Physics student who takes a bevy of friend to the range.

He got some great photos in there, too, including a young lady shooting a suppressed 10/22 at sunset (apparently they just kept shooting until they ran out of either light, or ammunition ... whichever comes first; this philosophy has always worked well for me.)

Unfortunately, there was one photo showing a nubile nimrod who managed to break not one, but TWO rules of gun-handling safety.
  1. It is always not a good idea to stick the muzzle up your nostril;
  2. Keep your booger-hook off the bang-switch.
I logged onto the site so I could add some quiet encouragement to observing the basic rules of safety, but found that others had noticed the same breach of personal-survival etiquette. I retired gracefully, without comment, comforted by the observation that I was not the only reader who noted the faux pas.

Lessons learned here:

(1) When introducing tyros to guns, it is best to have at least one experienced and safety-minded shooter watching each tyro every time they get near a gun.
(2) Those 'safety officers' should have no other duties (eg: taking photographs) than watching for unsafe gun-handling ... and stopping it when it invariably happens.
(3) Nobody wants to dampen the enthusiasm of brand new shooters, but they WILL do something scary. Expect it. Watch for it. Stop it.
(4) Remember, if you brung 'em, you're responsible for 'em. Don't let them shoot their noses off. They'll thank you for it ... and if they don't, they are among those who should be protected by not encouraging them to go shooting with you next weekend.
Who are you ... really?
The wonderful Lawdog contributes a link to a test designed to answer the question: "If you were a character in DiskWorld, who would you be?"

He (Lawdog) bravely announces that he is Samuel Vines, the notational 'hero' of Morpork.

To my absolute and total surprise, I got the same rating, but only just barely squeaking past the dubious distinction of being Lord Havilock Vetinari.

I am not amused. I have always thought that Vetinari was the real Thrilla from Manilla. On the other hand, I was worlds away ... so to speak ... from being type-cast as "Rincewind" (the Geeky Wizard). Well, now I'm twice disappointed.

I suspect that the questions which doomed me to comparison with a comic/action hero were "can you tell where you are by the feel of the road under your feet" and "do you like drinking". But on the other hand, maybe I'm just paranoid ... well, there you go again. Maybe I AM Vines.

What's that? You say "What the F are you talking about, Geek!" Is it possible that you are not acquainted with (dare I say, 'familiar with' DiskWorld?

Oh, bother.

Just check it out on (or any link that you find when you google "diskworld" except the clearly out-of-touch Wikipedia link), and write down the names of the books. No, on second thought, just write down the name of the genius who invented it: Terry Pratchett.

Then hie yourself off to your friendly neighborhood used book store and buy one of every Pratchett book you find there. Don't worry, there will be few -- folks who read Pratchett usually keep their book copies to read again. Certainly, don't buy just one because you'll just be back next week to buy the rest. Save yourself the trip.

You'll soon find yourself haunting bookstores, ordering from Amazon and Barnes&Nobel because Pratchett is one of the very few authors who can write a lot of books aiming for comedy ... and actually achieves it. First time, every time. (The only other author who can match this bizarre standard is Donald Westlake.)

Who are you ... Really? (Part Deux)
The London Daily Mail (file this under "The Brits!" has announced that the British Government has ...
... unveiled plans to take up to 53 pieces of information from anyone entering or leaving Britain.

For every journey, security officials will want credit card details, holiday contact numbers, travel plans, email addresses, car numbers and even any previous missed flights.
Not exactly "proposed", not even "tabled" and certainly not "enacted" ... but "unveiled" plans to impose this egregious really really ugly plan to force would-be travellers (both 'into' and 'out of' Britain) more than the travellers might wish to waste the time revealing .. on a form?

The plan, apparently, is that when you are required to tell the government (for example) where you are going, who you plan to stay with, and the contact information of your hosts .. why, if you (sometime in the future) 'act up, badly' the Gov will know not only all about you, but about your pals and what they are up to, too!

Well, we're all honest persons, right? Why would we object to providing this information to our Nanny-State? It's obviously vital information in The War Against Terrorism.

Stepping out of the 'sarcasm mode' for just a moment, I must admit that I've been very accepting of 'security measures' enacted in the U.S. since 9/11.

The trouble is, who knows how far it will go? How intrusive it may become, how likely it may be to bite us in the posterior at a future date?

The Geek Rule Of Thumb is: Watch The Brits. If there's any 'security measure' which might be enacted by a Nation to the detriment of its citizenry, The Brits Will Lead The Way.

Not to say I have an opinion here, or would wish to impose it upon you. But if I had an opinion, it would probably be something along the lines of ...

What a bunch a Maroons!


No comments: