Thursday, October 29, 2009

First Halloween Frightening Figure

First Lady toy story: Michelle Obama, joins Barack, gets action figure

Okay, so it starts out very mild MO gets her own action figure.

Then it becomes a little more personal.

Finally, we get to All-Halloween, All the time, and I discover that I should be afraid; I should be very afraid!

NBC Video Rewind

NBC Video Rewind

This was originally intended to link directly into an early "Saturday Night Live" show, where you could see the entire show.

NBC has got a LOT of full-show videos and I picked this one because I wanted to see what it looked like. But that was last Friday night, late, and I was just to tired to finish the research. So I just built a blog-stub and went to bed.

Tonite I came back, intending to finish the blog, but I couldn't get anything other than a Rainbow Peacock to display. But try the link anyway (NBC Video Rewind", above). Maybe I just didn't give it time to load.

So I went looking, and found something called "Classic TV", and it had some 'other' video options.

I picked "The Jay Leno Show", which took me to the JayLenoGarage.Com website.

That's good enough for now. I've given you a couple of links, you can amuse yourself as seems appropriate surfing through them.

I did view one video, though. And I even embedded it here. This is a 7-minute video from Jay Leno's Garage: "Jet Bike 2"

A couple of Leno quotes from the video:
(While riding the bike on city streets and a freeway approach ramp) --
"When you're riding sitting on a jet engine, it's scary ... but it's a lot of fun."

(After ending the ride, shutting the bike down in the garage) --
"That's the great thing about riding this bike, just the fact that you're still alive is a huge deal at the end of it!"
UPDATE: 05-NOV-2009
I found the workable link to NBC's archive of Saturday Night Live. See it at:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Arnie and the "F-Bomb

Did Arnie (Arnold Schwarzenegger) drop the "F-Bomb" in an official letter last week?

Never mind the details. The facts are that a Liberal jokes-meister dissed Arnie at a dinner, while sponsoring a Liberal bill having to do with the Port of San Francisco. Arnie later released a statement refusing to support the bill, and some people believe it is more than a coincidence that the first letter of each line, taken together, seem to spell out the phrase:

"F - U - C - K Y - O - U"

This is, of course, mere supposition.

You can see the full text of the letter, which essentially vetoes the bill, here.

You can make up your own mind about the significance of the clearly accidental juxtaposition of the first letter of each line.

If the shoe fits ...

The most unproductive day

Monday Oct 26 is 'most unproductive day' - Telegraph

According to the Telegraph (see above) Monday October 26th is the "most unproductive day" of the year.

I must have blinked. I missed it. Personally, I was very productive in my work on Monday.

If I missed it, the thesis must be wrong. At least, that's my theory.

Actually, it's not entirely bogus.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) is a very real physiological phenomenon, according to the Mayo Clinic:

Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you're like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, seasonal affective disorder causes depression in the spring or early summer.

Don't brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the "winter blues" or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own — you may have seasonal affective disorder. Treatment for seasonal affective disorder includes light therapy (phototherapy), psychotherapy and medications. Addressing the problem can help you keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.

And I'm living proof (at least in my own mind) that this is a true, actual phenomenon.

I like summer. Sunshine. No wind, no rain, nor dark of night ... as The Supremes say. At least during the hours when my body protests that it should be daytime, except that there's no sunshine.

But when Winter comes, I tend to get a little hunch-backed, and spend too much time thinking about blue skies, walking to the office from my car without getting wet, and going to the office AND going home after work in the sunshine, rather than in the dark.

That's why, when I transferred to my new office four years ago, I chose the work station which was closest to the door ... and to the light which is always on over the door.

The rest of my colleagues prefer to work in an environment without overhead lights. When I leave my desk, I enter the TwiLight Zone. Literally. They all have their own personal desk lamps glowing, but these are pitiful zones of light. Walking down the aisle between cubicles is like driving down a country road, where the only light comes from Mercury Lamps atop tall poles which our rural brothers position at the turn-off from the dusty gravel track which wanders from one homestead to the next.

My colleagues are nice people, but they're all virtual Troglodytes. It is as if they feel agoraphobic, fearful of the boundless open areas; they prefer the artificial boundaries established by the limited glow-ring of their 40-watt Halogen bulbs. Intense sunshine where their attention is fixated; everything in the shadows just does not exist. The 21st Century Cave is not for me.

But getting back to the main theme: although I prefer sunshine on my shoulders (makes me happy!), I can still enjoy a productive day under the mere influence of a few fluorescent tubes above my desk. So did Monday make me blue? No. Actually, I did accomplish my daily self-imposed productivity goals, and the day was rewarding. Fun, even: I think a person should find work that they enjoy, and when I do my job to my own personal standards, I enjoy the day.

I believe that the theory that "October 26 Is The Most Unproductive Day Of The Year" is pure bull-pucky. Some of my most unproductive days this year were during the height of the summer, and the reasons had absoutly nothing to do with the length of the daytime, or the amount of light impinging upon my own workspace.

Still, I know that if I did not have bright lights shining on me all day, it would be a total bummer, man!

PS: Dude, do NOT build your own ultra-light airplane and fly it back and forth across the rocky shoals of the California Coast. Think: Icarus, okay? You're, like -- not high enough, and not light enough, no matter what you're smoking.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Note to the Court About Gun Rights: "From My Cold Dead Hands!"

Pajamas TV - The Hicks File - A Note to the Court About Gun Rights: "From My Cold Dead Hands!"

Bravely (and shamelessly) stealing from "The Hicks File" on PJTV, I offer the following observations from this six-minute opinion piece:

"The policy on guns is not driven by practical considerations -- but by ideology."

"... lawbreakers break laws. That's -- what they do! It's silly to expect that a criminal will be deterred because there are laws to restrict guns. Criminals will always find a way to arm themselves. In fact, they can do it easier than you. Assuming, that is, you're a law-abiding citizen."

"Don't you agree that it's time that the second amendment got the same respect as the rest?"
And even though I have featured this video clip before, because I cannot resist, see also the following:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Leaping wolf snatches photo prize

BBC NEWS | Leaping wolf snatches photo prize

Excellent photo, worth taking a moment to appreciate.


Portland, Oregon KPTV News on USPSA/IPSC shooting competiton

Take a look at a sport that combines target shooting with an obstacle course.
It may not be "New news" to us, but Portland (Oregon) television station KPTV has a portrait of USPSA competition up on their website.

Dated October 25, 2009, the web-article features People That I know! Norm and (son) Zack Bright, Dave and (daughter) Beck Sirea, show viewers how exciting it is to shoot Practical Pistol competition in the sun.

Just the introduction of a video featuring sunshine and outdoor activities without rain is News here in the Great Pacific NorthWet, and this video has lots of sunshine and shooting.

Emphasis on the family, emphasis on the sheer joy of shooting competitively -- Run & Gun is definitely Good News for us all.

We don't have the download available, so go to the link and watch it for yourself.

We're fortunate to have such photogenic people representing Practical Pistol. More important, it's obvious that they're having fun shooting "Race Guns" beside other handguns which are not as exotic in a fun, family-oriented shooting sport.

I strongly encourage you to go look at the article, and view the video. Heavy traffic on a commercial website (especially here in Blue State Oregon) is probably one of the best ways to demonstrate to the Main Stream Media that we "Support The Sport."


Also linked through USPSA, a video article about GM Jimmy Reed from Texas

Cemetery Escort Duty

I received this in an email today from an old friend, Bill S., whose son Adam just recently returned from his (second? Third?) tour of duty in Iraq.

I can claim nothing about the content. It looks like fiction. At best, it's apocryphal; unsubstantiated and the author is unknown.

But it reads good, and I admit I admire the emotional content.

So I include the entire text of the email, including the few statements at the end, which are not directly related and seem excessively jingoistic.

On the other hand, I prefer jingoism to its exact opposite, which we see far more these days than we need.

Cemetery Escort Duty

I just wanted to get the day over with and go down to Smokey's. Sneaking a look at my watch, I saw the time, 1655. Five minutes to go before the cemetery gates are closed for the day. Full dress was hot in the August sun. Oklahoma summertime was as bad as ever--the heat and humidity at the same level--both too high.

I saw the car pull into the drive, '69 or '70 model Cadillac Deville, Looked factory-new. It pulled into the parking lot at a snail's pace. An old woman got out so slow I thought she was paralyzed; She had a cane and a sheaf of flowers; About four or five bunches as best I could

I couldn't help myself. The thought came unwanted, And left a slightly bitter taste:
'She's going to spend an hour, and for this old soldier, my hip hurts Like hell and I'm ready to get out of here right now!' But for this day, my duty was to assist anyone coming in.

Kevin would lock the 'In' gate and if I could hurry the old biddy along, We might make it to Smokey's in time.

I broke post attention.
My hip made gritty noises when I took the first step and The pain went up a notch. I must have made a real military sight: Middle-aged man with a small pot gut and half a limp, In marine full-dress uniform, which had lost its razor crease About thirty minutes after I began the watch at the cemetery.

I stopped in front of her, halfway up the walk. She looked up at me with an old woman's squint.

'Ma'am,may I assist you in any way?'

She took long enough to answer.

'Yes, son. Can you carry these flowers? I seem to be moving a tad slow these days.'

'My pleasure, ma'am.' Well, it wasn't too much of a lie.

She looked again. 'Marine, where were you stationed?'

' Vietnam , ma'am. Ground-pounder. '69 to '71.'

She looked at me closer. 'Wounded in action, I see. Well done, Marine. I'll be as quick as I can.'

I lied a little bigger: 'No hurry, ma'am.'

She smiled and winked at me..
'Son, I'm 85-years-old and I can tell a lie from a long way off. Let's get this done. Might be the last time I can do this. My name's Joanne Wieserman, and I've a few Marines I'd like to see one more time.'

'Yes, ma 'am. At your service..'

She headed for the World War I section, stopping at a stone. She picked one of the flowers out of my arm and laid it on top of the stone.. She murmured something I couldn't quite make out. The name on the marble was Donald S. Davidson, USMC: France 1918 .

She turned away and made a straight line for the World War II section, stopping at one stone. I saw a tear slowly tracking its way down her cheek. She put a bunch on a stone; the name was Stephen X.Davidson, USMC, 1943 .

She went up the row a ways and laid another bunch on a stone, Stanley J.. Wieserman, USMC, 1944.

She paused for a second.. 'Two more, son, and we'll be done'

I almost didn't say anything, but, 'Yes, ma'am. Take your time..'

She looked confused. 'Where's the Vietnam section, son? I seem to have lost my way.'

I pointed with my chin. 'That way, ma'am.'

'Oh!' she chuckled quietly. 'Son, me and old age ain't too friendly.'

She headed down the walk I'd pointed at. She stopped at a couple of stones before she found the ones she wanted. She placed a bunch on Larry Wieserman, USMC, 1968, And the last on Darrel Wieserman, USMC, 1970.

She stood there and murmured a few words I still couldn't make out.

'OK, son, I'm finished. Get me back to my car and you can go home.'

Yes, ma'am. If I may ask, were those your kinfolk?'

She paused. 'Yes,
Donald Davidson was my father,
Stephen was my uncle,
Stanley was my husband,
Larry and Darrel were our sons.
All killed in action, all Marines.'

She stopped. Whether she had finished, or couldn't finish, I don't know.
She made her way to her car, slowly and painfully.

I waited for a polite distance to come between us and then double-timed it over to Kevin, waiting by the car.

'Get to the 'Out' gate quick. I have something I've got to do.' Kevin started to say something, but saw the look I gave him. He broke the rules to get us there down the service road. We beat her. She hadn't made it around the rotunda yet.

'Kevin, stand at attention next to the gatepost. Follow my lead.' I humped it across the drive to the other post.

When the Cadillac came puttering around from the hedges and began the short straight traverse to the gate, I called in my best gunny's voice:
'TehenHut! Present Haaaarms!'

I have to hand it to Kevin; he never blinked an eye--full dress attention and a salute that would make his DI proud. She drove through that gate with two old worn-out soldiers giving her a send-off she deserved, for service rendered to her country, and for knowing duty, honor and sacrifice.

I am not sure, but I think I saw a salute returned from that Cadillac.

Instead of 'The End,' just think of 'Taps.'

As a final thought on my part, let me share a favorite prayer: 'Lord, keep our servicemen and women safe, whether they serve at home or overseas. Hold them in your loving hands and protect them as they protect us..'

Let's all keep those currently serving and those who have gone before in our thoughts. They are the reason for the many freedoms we enjoy.

'In God We Trust.'

Sorry about your monitor; it made mine blurry too!

If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under!

In the words of President Teddy Roosevelt, "We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Remember, the government cannot give anything to anyone that they have not first taken away from someone else.