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21 December 2010 @ 12:05 am
Something just occurred to me. Being the nit-picky smart-ass I am, I noticed we have All Hallows' Eve, New Year's Eve and Day, All Saints' Eve and Day, All Souls' Day, etc. Given this, shouldn't it really be Christmas' Eve and Christmas' Day?
05 December 2008 @ 07:09 pm
"Detonography is a method for sculpting metal with plastic or other explosives."
Sculpting with explosives. How cool is that?

Hmm, I'm feeling artistic...
11 November 2008 @ 11:00 am
Today is Veteran's Day in the United States. While I think our veterans deserve a day of remembrance, so often it seems the reason November 11th is chosen is lost.

Ninety years ago today at 0500 local, on a rail car at Compiègne in the north of France, the Armistice ending World War I was signed by Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch for the Allies and Matthias Erzberger for the new German republic. At 1100 that morning, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Armistice took effect and hostilities were ended.

Thank you to our Veterans, both ours and those that have served alongside ours.
11 June 2008 @ 04:41 pm
In May, 2015 NASA is planning to launch a new space probe.


Solar Probe+
Current Mood: nerdy
21 March 2008 @ 09:11 pm
Saw from tegyrius there's a LJ "strike" on. Because, apparently, it's wrong for a for-profit company to expect to make, um, a profit and stop subsidizing the creation of new, free journals. I'm sorry, but if your thoughts aren't worth allowing adverts or a whopping $1.66/month ($20/year) to you maybe, just maybe, they really aren't worth sharing.

That may sound a bit hypocritical coming from a Basic account holder, but I more or less followed my own advice here. I had a paid account and found I didn't use it enough (my last prior entry was from August 2007) to justify it. If I find myself posting more, I'll almost certainly go back to paid.

Seriously, if this is a bug enough issue to you the "strike" against LJ, you've got a pretty darned good life going.
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
10 August 2007 @ 03:46 pm
Today the New York Times published my sister's first piece for them. It's a travel piece on our old hometown in upstate New York.

I couldn't be prouder of her.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
11 July 2007 @ 01:34 pm
I really respect understatement.

29 November last year, Black Hawk 221, of the Australian Army, crashed trying to land on HMAS Kanimbla (ex LST-1188 USS Saginaw). Warrant Officer 12 (unnamed for purposes of the inquiry) was the loadmaster on 221.

Testimony before the Board of Inquiry showed WO 12 is a master of understatement: "My next image is seeing the tail rotor go past my window and at that point I thought we were in a little bit of trouble."

"...a little bit of trouble."

I should say so.
Current Mood: amusedamused
23 March 2007 @ 09:44 am
Last night took the girl and met up with tegyrius to see 300 at the new local Movie Tavern. Since 300 has been out for a few weeks now, I'll limit my comments to:

  1. It was a good, but not great, movie and entertained me.

  2. It was visually quite stunning.

Movie Tavern, on the other hand, is not well known in the Lexington area yet, at least judging by the size of the crowd. For those not in the know, Movie Tavern is one of the good things to come out of Texas recently. A movie theater with "tables" for every seat, either an actual table or a bar depending on row. A movie theater that serves food not of the concession stand variety. I had a Tex Mex burger (cheddar cheese, pico de gallo and guacamole), the girl had the classic cheeseburger and Tegyrius has a Black and Blue burger. We shared a basket of fried pickles. Though they have a full bar, we didn't partake. At first, I worried the other patrons' dining would interfere with the movie experience, but this was not the case. Nor did the wait staff intrude: they work on a "menu up" system where they leave you alone unless you stand your menu up, signaling you need service. The movie tickets were reasonable at $7.00 for evening tickets (matinée is $5.00) and the food was reasonable, if a bit more than Applebees et. al. (burgers were $1-2 more than an equivalent at Applebees), and was made up for by the convenience of one-stop-shopping.

I know I'll be going back.
17 March 2007 @ 01:33 pm
At tracker7's request:

  1. Thelonius Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall: Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. Pretty much the whole damned album. I'm glad they dug this out of the Library of Congress.

  2. Crown of Love: The Arcade Fire. I love the transition in tone toward the end.

  3. I Will Follow You in to the Dark: Death Cab for Cutie. One of the best, saddest and haunting love songs I heard in a while. A very simple arrangement.

  4. Tommy Gun: The Clash. Just fun.

  5. Whose Side are You On?: Decomposure. Very interesting in choice of sounds, fun song.

  6. City Skies: Dylan in the Movies. Picked this one up recently off an Indiefeed.com podcast. Another one that's just fun to listen to.

  7. Requiem K.626: Mozart. The 1997 Philippe Herreweghe recording from Harmonia Mundi. I was introduced to Herreweghe through his awesome second recording of Bach's St. Matthew Passion from 1999. I'm not sure why, but I've been listening to this a bit lately.

But, not gonna tag anyone else.
19 February 2007 @ 09:49 pm
Most anyone following the gun rights debate in the United States will probably have tripped across the Jim Zumbo incident over the week-end. If you haven't, I'll summarize. Mr. Zumbo, a long-time hunting writer and television show host, posted an entry about the use of AR-15 rifles for hunting in pretty inflammatory terms (e.g. "I call them 'assault' rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I'll go so far as to call them 'terrorist' rifles.") to his Outdoor Life magazine blog; his blog has since been removed by the editorial staff of the magazine. This resulted in a firestorm of negative comment on his words, both as comments in his blog (at last count, more than three thousand), threads on every major firearms forum I know of, and emails to the sponsors of his television show. As a result, many of these sponsors, including Remington and Cabela's, have dropped him. And, the Brady Campaign MySpace blog posted his entry under the title, "Even Remington's top gun writer agrees on Assault Weapons".

Now, I'm not going to comment on Mr. Zumbo's post except to say I accept his apology at face value, that he posted without thinking and out of ignorance. But, due to his prominence, the damage is done and there will rightly be consequences. He should have sat back, thought, and most importantly, learned about the AR-15.

What I really want to talk about is the class of response from the shooting community. Or, the complete and utter lack of it on the part of many. There were also many well thought out responses as well, but I think there were too many calling the man a "traitorous bitch" or a "Quisling mouthpiece for the anti-gun lobby". Such posts are counterproductive and, I think, only serve to reinforce the stereotype of gun owners (and particularly military style rifle owners) as reactionary redneck yahoos, so narrow minded that no dissension can be tolerated.

There's one other category of response I also take issue with. Not because these are rude ad hominem attacks like the above but because they provide ammunition to the opposition. I speak of those satirical paraphrasings of Mr. Zumbo's entry that portray scoped hunting rifles as "evil sniper rifles" or "military-grade sniper rifles". While we in the firearms community may recognize these as satire, those opposed might just grab on these as serious material. They did. The next post on the Brady Campaign's MySpace page after the Zumbo piece attacked the "sniper rifles" used in hunting mixed with hyperbole such as "shooting through six police cars" and "enabling [snipers] to engage targets at distances of well over one hundred meters". Another choice quote is, "Any rifle configured and equipped as a sniper rifle has no sporting purpose especially as a hunting rifle.". They go on to list "223, 308, 7mm mauser, 30-06, and 6.5x55" as unsuitable for hunting. Yes, their ignorance of the issue is laughable, but those they are trying to convince are just as ignorant. And, to the ignorant, our satire often seems a well reasoned argument against firearm rights.

Please, when responding to perceived attacks on the Second Amendment, think before you hit that "Post" button and do us all a favor.