Cut to spare those with delicate sensibilities )
I'm going to take exception to a statement I keep hearing: "It's not 'Happy Holidays', it's 'Merry Christmas'". I take exception to that because by saying this, you are doing *exactly* the same thing that the PC Police are doing. As far as I'm concerned, it's "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah" or "Blessed Yule" or "Happy Kwanzaa" or Merry Wintereenmas" or "Happy Holidays" or whatever seasonally appropriate greeting you choose. Enjoy the season, accept the greeting in the spirit in which it was intended, and for the love of all that's holy, stop trying to find ways to be offended!

(x-posted to my Facebook and my G+ page)
I was not in the courtroom.

I did not see all of the evidence presented.

I did not hear all of the testimony.

She had her trial. The jury returned a verdict of "Not Guilty". I have no reason to second guess the jury.

To quote [livejournal.com profile] fragbert in his earlier post: Yes, a child was murdered. That was a wretched, deplorable, and monstrous act. The person(s) responsible are, without a doubt, the pinnacle of depravity, and deserve to be punished -- within the rule of law.

Now, to everyone who is braying that Casey Anthony got away with murder, I have a message for you:

Unless you can provide incontrovertible proof that she did it
SHUT THE FUCK UP!


She is afforded the same protections and rights that you and I share under the Constitution of the United States.

You don't have to like it.

I'm not saying that she's some kind of saint, or even necessarily a good person.

But the process was followed, and the verdict returned. One's beliefs or dislike of the verdict do not give one the right to pursue "lynch mob" justice.

It's done.

Howdy Hey!

Jun. 1st, 2011 03:53 pm
So, hi there!

Hope y'all haven't missed me too much. Yeah, I know I go through bursts of writing. Thing is, the number one place I'm used to writing at is work, and work has had the nerve to keep me busy of late. So anyway, here I am, fingers to keyboard, updating this silliness.

Me: Doing well, overall. I really need to go to bed earlier than I do. This is more a factor of my needing to put aside the fun things I'm doing and get some sleep. But they're fun, dammit! Starting to get psyched for Origins.

Family: [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 had her MRI last Friday, and had it interpreted today. Seems that there are 2 herniated discs in her upper spine, one much worse than the other. This is what is causing the pain in her arm. The doc wants to try cortisone shots first for pain management, but is thinking that surgery will probably need to happen at some point. Meanwhile, F is on a class field trip to St. Mary's City, MD today, and [livejournal.com profile] mouseling1 is preparing for her end of year choral concert.

The Last Two Weeks: Well, lessee, Since I last update 2 weeks ago, there hasn't been too much going on. The kids & I went to NJ last weekend for the annual family Memorial Day picnic; [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 had to stay in MD for work. In a way, it may have been just as well, as she had a chance to relax somewhat without us being in her hair. It was good to see everyone, however.

Coming up: Well, it's the end of the school year, so things are getting busy. Have a cub scout pool party this Friday, maybe a Pathfinder session on Sunday, plus I'm stickin' by my cell phone in case a friend needs an ear to rant in or a shoulder to cry on. Yeah, I have someone specific in mind, and no, I'm not gonna mention a name, because they know who they are.

Monday is the final choral concert for [livejournal.com profile] mouseling1. The following Saturday, there's the Book Release Shindig for [livejournal.com profile] punkwalrus's book Trolley (which I will be at, [livejournal.com profile] mouseling1 will be attending a friend's Bat Mitzvah in the AM, and then a party for the young lady that night at Shadowland in Gaithersburg. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 will take her to that, and then she and F will see a movie. That Sunday is a Barking Mad/TCEP meeting. The kids are out of school on the 16th, and will come to work with me on the 17th for "NOAA Family Day". We may go to NJ to attend a graduation/birthday party on the 18th; this will depend greatly on available $$$, since we leave for Origins on the 22nd.

We come back from Origins on the 27th. On the 28th, there is the annual 4th of July shindig at my mother-in-law's country club, which we usually go to. On the 3rd, we take F. out to his Webelos scout camp, where he'll be for a week.

And the 4th is the Annual Independence Day Suburban Charred Meat Festival.

We're a bit busy.

Conventions: Well, I'll be at Origins, TCEP, and Intervention. I'm trying to make sure that [livejournal.com profile] mouseling1 & [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 get to Otakon.

I am, at the moment, a bit annoyed with Origins. For the next two years, they are going to hold the convention the weekend after Memorial Day. Now, I don't know what went into this decision, though I suspect a lot of it was financial. I do think that this is going to be a Very Bad Idea. Now, I know that there are some school districts that are already out, but a lot of them are in school until June, and that means that parents like myself are going to be unable to go. This has become a family vacation time for us, but I can't justify pulling them out of school for it. And I've seen a lot more people opposing those dates than approving of them (at least on the Facebook community). I have a bad feeling that this might sink them financially. We'll see.

We do have alternate vacation plans in the works, however. One that will have us visiting sunny Orlando, FL in the spring of 2012, and Indianapolis in the summer of 2013. heeheehee

Gaming: No tabletop since last I wrote, though I have gotten Ticket to ride for the iPad, as well as all available maps. And there goes days at a time... ;-) Done some WoW, I've managed to get my Archaeology skill maxed out. Turns out that it's a good skill to work on during Laundry night. Find bits, fly to new place, fold laundry while in flight. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I think that's all I got for now.

I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.

Peas. Out.

Convention Countdown
Origins: 20 Days!
TCEP 18: 124 Days!
Intervention: 138 Days!
As I watched events unfold last night, I was stuck by a few thoughts:
  • I didn't feel any joy at the death of Osama Bin Laden. Life is too precious, too fleeting for me to feel joy at anothers passing. I did, however, feel some degree of satisfaction. This was, after all, the sonuvvabitch who orchestrated the biggest sucker punch that America ever received. And just like in any movie where the "bad guy" gets it in the end, there is a sort of cathartic release in knowing that "he got his".
  • As I watched the celebrations in Times Square, in Citizens Bank Park, and outside the north gate of the White House, I never got the feeling that people were celebrating the death of a fellow human being, but rather that this was an outpouring of that same catharsis.
  • I also watched some really silly comments go by on Facebook and Twitter. And I don't mean "ha-ha" silly (though there were quite a few of those), but "Do you have any brains in your head at all" silly. Like people wondering if this would bring peace. Uh NO! This will bring people looking for retribution. The "Head" of al-quiada may be dead, but someone else will step up. They may not be as smart, as connected, as savvy, or as wealthy as OBL, but they *will* step up. And who knows, maybe they're smarter?
  • I'd like to take a moment to deliver a shoutout to all the politicians and talking heads who nearly instantly tried to politicize this:
    FUCK YOU!

    FUCK YOU, THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON, THE DOG THAT FOLLOWED YOU, AND THE FLEAS ON THE LOT OF YOU!!!
  • And of course the conspiracy theories have begun. Lord almighty, the tin-foil hat brigade is out in force. I can't bring myself to believe a lot of conspiracy theories; the rampant incompetence and idiocy shown by humans makes me doubt that shit. Or, as [livejournal.com profile] bynkii put it: I wish the Illuminati were real. That kind of competency in charge would give me great hope."
  • There was also, as I said above, lots of silliness last night that make me laugh out loud. Items like:
    • BREAKING: cigar smoking white man/mohawked black man/suave guy/crazy guy seen delivering Osama body to DC in black van
    • FInally a funeral that Westboro Baptists can protest without pissing anybody off.
    • "Ooops. I should've made that Foursquare check-in private. #4squareFAIL" — Osama Bin Laden's last tweet
    • Every Terrorist-"OK, OK, calm down! EVERYONE CALM DOWN! I HAVE AN IDEA. Who here has seen the movie Weekend at Bernies?"
    • If someone is posting on Facebook that BinLaden is dead, I presume the news was broken on Farmville 1st.

  • Finally, one line that really struck a chord with me last night from the president's speech:

    "But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place."

    This needs to be tattooed backwards on the forehead of every congresscritter so that they see it everytime they look in a godblessed mirror. Stop saying that the things we need to do are "too hard"! This is America, goddamit, we do 5 impossible things every morning before breakfast!

Ok, I'm done for now. I'm gonna go eat some leftover BBQ ribs.
OK, so I'm sure many of you have heard Jon Bon Jovi flappin his gums together and accusing Steve Jobs of "ruining the music industry".

Jon Bon Jovi slams Steve Jobs for 'killing' music

OK, so yeah, there's is a semi-"romantic" experience that's missing. There was something to the concept of listening to picking out an album and taking it home and playing it...

Thing is, You can still do that.

What "Beanhead" Bon Jovi is missing is that has been killing itself for a long. damn. time. now.

CD's selling for $14-20 US, 10-16 songs, of which, what, 3 or 4 are any good?

Here's a great example: David Lee Roth, who I really enjoy as a performer and singer, both with Van Halen and on his own, put out the "Eat 'Em and Smile" album. 10 tracks. 2 were GOOD (Yankee Rose, Goin' Crazy), 2 were ok (Ladies Night in Buffalo & Shy Boy), the rest were crap. 4 songs for probably $10-12 (at the time).

And a lot of albums were like that.

So, the music companies were gouging the music buyers and the music makers. And then had the nerve to act surprised when people started illegally ripping and sharing the music.

To be clear, I do NOT condone this, as it is theft. Period. Not condemning anyone for doing it either. But it is *their* music, *their* IP, and they if they want to share it with you for free, they can do that. If they want to share it for a price, they can do that as well.

OK, so people aren't buying full albums. True enough. But what the iTunes store also does is allow for impulse buying and buying of more obscure artists

Another great example. A few years ago, I had 3 Guns N Roses CD's stolen. They were on my list to be replaced. 2 weeks ago, I had a deep yearning to listen to the Gunners. No music store around, and didn't want to wait for Amazon. Got all three albums downloaded to my iPad, and cranked those tunes all the way home. If I had waited to get them through Amazon...well, I'm willing to bet they'd still be on my list.

Look, the point is that buying music online isn't killing the music industry, The music industry is doing that to themselves. These greedy controlling cockgobblers need to FOADIAF anyway. They've been screwing artists and fans for DECADES.

And Jon Bon Jovi should know that. If he doesn't, he's far more clueless than I ever dreamed.
...but only $0.02 after taxes.

Hey there, how are ya today? Got a little bit of time right now, so I thought I'd drop by and rearrange some electrons. Maybe even post something? Heaven forefend!

OK, ok, enough of all o' that. Time for a Bullet List Of Doom (tm)!

DOOM! Doom, I say!
  • Administrivia: Please give a warm welcome to the three newest readers of this little slice of insanity: [livejournal.com profile] leaf_kunoichi, [livejournal.com profile] jvmatucha, and [livejournal.com profile] mummoth, all of who found me through the friending frenzy I pimped yesterday. Pull up a chair and help yourself to somethin' to drink. I generally suggest that people read this post if they want to know more about me.
  • Me: Doing well. Slept for about 10 hours on Tuesday night, and have felt better since. Looking forward to the upcoming 3 day weekend.
  • Family: Doing reasonably well. Still have to occasionally sit on people to get them to do their homework. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 may be enjoying the next few days of work a little, since the boss will be in the Bahamas. B turns 13 in 18 days. Not sure I'm ready for a teenager yet. ::sigh::
  • Work: is work. And nothing on the other front, but nothing was expected yet. Have about 2-3 weeks before I hear anything.
  • Where we've been: Not much of anywhere, really. At home for the most part, relaxing, cleaning, gaming...you know the routine. Got some stuff coming up though, which I will talk about in...
  • Where we'll be: [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & B will be at Katsucon this weekend, at least on Saturday. F & I will be at home doing some work, then probably going to [livejournal.com profile] stoooooooo & [livejournal.com profile] ginabeth's on Sunday for the Daytona 500. I'm not really a NASCAR fan, but F. likes it, and it's a chance to see family for a bit. Monday...is a bit of a treat/surprise for the kids. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 is gonna take a half-day and we're gonna take the kids to see the International Spy Museum. After that, we've got meetings, and scout functions, and birthday stuff...we'll be good and busy until the end of March. I think.
  • Wisconsin: I need to take a moment here to talk about this mess. Let's leave aside the fact that I'm looking for a federal job, ok? If we are going to tak a serious look at things, we have to admit one thing: in certain ways, the unions are broken. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in any job where they have to deal with a union can tell you that there are some people who need to go, but you can't get them out because of tenure. And I'm not talking about some worker who has put in many long years and is kinda coasting the last year or two until their retirement - I honestly don't begrudge them that. But I am talking about those people who know that it's damn near impossible to get fired and who use that fact to get away with being obstructionist, petty, lazy, incompetent, burned out, or just plain useless. I've seen it in every government agency I've worked in. Every teacher worth their salt that I've known sees these people too. Yes, there's a place for longevity and not being able to fire people just because they're older, but there has to be a way to get rid of the deadwood. And this whole idea of stripping away the collective bargaining rights is also fucking stupid. Especially from teachers, who are not, and have never been paid enough. The unions may be a part of the problem, but the bigger problem (by far) is the ridiculous idea on the part of the American people that they want it all, they want it now, and they don't want to pay for it. Paying the people who run the government (and I ain't talking about the politicians - they're about as useful as a gnat's fart in a windstorm - I'm talking about the rank and file...the people who actually do the work) a good wage is neither wasteful nor unreasonable. Paying the people who we trust to educate our children a good wage is neither wasteful nor unreasonable. *IF THEY ARE DOING THEIR JOB* The unions need to get off their ass and figure out a way to make merit part of the criteria for tenure. The politicians need to get over themselves and look at people and corporations and say "Hey, you want this stuff? Pay up".
  • Gaming: Well, we're 3 sessions into the new Pathfinder game. I know I'm not "feelin' it" as a GM as I take them In Search Of The Unknown, but that's in large part due to the fact that this is a straight-out dungeon crawl with little to no story. In this case, it's probably just as well, as we're all learning the system. It's just that I like my adventures to have a little more story behind them. We'll get there. They've only got one more session in here, I think. Then it's on to the Keep on the Borderlands (I think).
  • WoW: Still playing a few nights a week. Completed the new questlines, just have Dungeons and raids to see. Probably start leveling my Archaeology and Fishing.

I think that's all I got for now.
I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.

Peas. Out.

Convention Countdown
Origins: 125 Days!
TCEP 18: 197 Days!
Intervention: 211 Days!
Ranty goodness ahead. Some profanity. You have been warned.
This is just a rehash of what I said on Twitter earlier today )
grayhawkfh: (Tat)
Ranty goodness ahead. Some profanity. You have been warned.
This is just a rehash of what I said on Twitter earlier today )
Oh yeah, this is gonna get ugly. Fast. Don't click if the language offends.

Icon and title are not directed at the f-list. I believe in you people, and your common decency.
Uncle Grayhawk on a rant )
grayhawkfh: (Tat)
So, it's done. The health care bill has passed.

Critics are raving; proponents are slapping themselves on the back.

And I, like most of America, am left wondering what this means for me and my family.

Let me be clear. I've said this before. The system that is in place now

Does.

Not.

Work.

I don't know if this plan will make any more difference than a gnat's fart in a windstorm. What I do know is that we had to do *something*. As [livejournal.com profile] keithdb pointed out elsewhere, it seems we've become a nation afraid to take chances. Afraid to fail - which makes us afraid to succeed. If every little step isn't planned out and risk eliminated, people don't want to proceed. And truth be told, I've been as guilty of that at times as the next person.

And yet, I find myself pondering two quotes:

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten - author unknown

Take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly, and try another. But by all means, try something. - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Leaving things they way they were is lunacy. Too many people fall through the cracks. Too many people have to choose between medicine for their children or paying the electric bill. They don't see the doctor because they don't have the money. People denied procedures that will actually improve their health and reduce long term costs for reasons unbeknownst to Gods and men.

And yes, I've been in *every* *one* of those scenarios. And they all fucking suck. And way too many of my friends are here as well.

I don't know if this bill is going to work any better. I'm neither smart enough to decipher it nor audacious enough to predict the future of how this will all play out.

But something had to be done. And it was.

Now we watch and wait. And if it fails, let us all have the decency to not point accusatory fingers, but instead admit the failure frankly, and try something else.
Holy. Hopping. Hell.

Last night was the culmination of almost 2 weeks of raging asshattery by Sears.

So here's what happened:
behind cut for anger, profanity, blood pressure and stupidity )
Every day, I read about this shit.

Every day, I have to stop myself from completely going apeshit with insane rage.

Let me be clear about something:

THE CURRENT SYSTEM DOES!
NOT!!
WORK!!!


Decisions on *your* health are being made daily by insurance companies based on money, not on what is best for your health.

Anyone who thinks that the health insurance companies give a good goddamn about your health is either hopelessly naive or completely deluded.

You pays your money and you get what they feel like giving you.

I don't know that a government run plan will be any better. But to keep plowing ahead with the shit we're doing is fucking deranged, because it clearly doesn't work.

Yes, I am one example of how it doesn't work. And I know that a number of people reading this are also aware of this fact on a very personal level.

Bloody hell. Why am I ranting at you. I suspect that most of you agree with me...
(and this is by no means an exhaustive list - just what's cranking me now)
Click at your own risk )

Tools

Apr. 29th, 2009 02:51 pm
My father was (and is) a believer in the concept of "If you can fix it yourself, then why hire someone to do it". To some degree, I have picked up on that from him. And while I'm no master carpenter who can build a 4000 square-foot house out of nothing, I have a serviceable skillset.

One of the things I learned from him, however, is that your tools matter. They don't have to be ultra professional grade tools, but they should be good. Craftsman has always been a preferred brand in our family, as they were well made and if something happened to it, you took the pieces back and they replaced it. I am given to understand that this is not quite the same these days, but you get the idea. (And don't start on me regarding Snap-On or MAC tools - we didn't have anywhere to get those around our way)

Bottom line: Good tools = good work. Things that are supposed to be sharp are kept sharp. Pliers meet and grab where they're supposed to. blahblahblah

So, I'm here at the new job, and I reach for the wire cutters in the shop to cut the end of the tie-wrap, only to find that if I heated them up, they wouldn't cut warm butter! They were dull, out of alignment, and chewed up!

And this was the good set!

I am determined that if I have to work here, there will be some decent tools. Even if I have to buy them myself.

Sears Hardware, here I come...
So, lately, while driving back and forth to work, I find myself realizing that I REALLY need to either a: Get more audiobooks from the library or b: get satellite radio. And I don't think that option b will help that much. Because these godsdamned commercials are driving me up a wall!
cut for ranty goodness and language )

And with that, I find myself running out of steam.

A reminder that I'll be home for the vast majority of the weekend with the kids while [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 goes off to a wedding with her mother.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that she should take tranquilizers with her (to be used on her or her mother), but whatever.

So, if you're bored and want to stop by, gimme a call.

Remember: You woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning. By definition, that makes this a good day.

Peas. Out.
Yeah, it seems like a big sports week for me, eh?

So, two topics on my mind today. Both revolve around football. Both behind cuts for the large non-sports-caring contingent of my F-list
Eagles 2009 Schedule )
The Draft )


Remember: You woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning. By definition, that makes this a good day.

Peas. Out.
Howdy folks.

Yeah, I know I said I'd try to write more, but weekends are difficult for me to write on. I've got stuff to do, dammit! So, here I am. And there you are. And that wierd guy is over in the corner doing...odd things...to his Star...Wars...collectibles...ODEARGHODS! Stop THAT!

::ahem::

OK, seriously, hope everyone is doing well.

As for me, I am. Day 1 of the second week of the new job, and things are going well. Still don't have a badge, or full access, or useful things like that.

I have coffee though. And my 3 liter bottle of water.

Friday night was uneventful, really. Got home, had some dinner, played some WoW.

Saturday, I got up and went to BestWorstBuy to get some movies for the Easter Baskets. The Easter Bunny (or Easter Spider, if you prefer) has been putting movies into the Easter baskets for a few years instead of a lot of candy. Oh sure, there's SOME candy, but not a lot. I picked up Next Avengers for F. and Pokemon Battle Frontier, Vol 2"> for B. I already had Top Gun for [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0. Well, once I did that, I met everyone else over at Giant for some grocery shopping, then [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & B went off for the monthly Chivalry & Sorcery game at MSD HQ, while F. & I went home. We put groceries away and cleaned the living room a bit, then settled down to watch Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. Although it doesn't lose much in translation to the small screen, I'm still glad I say Iron Man in the theater. I also liked Incredible Hulk, but...it seems to suffer from the same damn problem that the comic went through from the late 60s until the early 80s: Predictability.
  • Something or someone shows up.
  • Hulk comes out.
  • Hulk beats on it.
  • Hulk gets madder and stronger.
  • "HULK IS STRONGEST THERE IS!"
  • Antagonist gets crushed.
  • Hulk jumps away.
  • Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

So, anyway, we had some fun & played around until the girls got home. The kids went to bed, and [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & I put the baskets together, then I hid the Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. Sleep beckoned, so I answered it's siren song.

Well, on Sunday, F. was up first, so he got us all up. In my basket was the twin pack of Rocky and Rocky II, as well as some goodies. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 had, in addition to her movie, had 2 cookbooks (Tis the Season to be Baking: Christmas Reflections and Bread Recipes & Bake And Be Blessed, both by Fr. Dominic Garramone), as well as Chocolate Truffles from Glenstal Abbey, Ireland.

While the kids made sure that the table was ready, I set about preparing Easter brunch, consisting of:

And yes, F & I once again shared the lamb butt. ;-)

Afterwards, we cleaned up, then emptied the pantry. Once empty, [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & B. cleaned out the area, while F & I disassembled the old shelf unit. I had purchased a wire-frame shelf unit a few weeks ago, and we finally had the chance to put it together. The other advantage, of course, is that we could get rid of canned goods that have since expired (including a box of store brand jello that had a date of June 2002 on it...)

I'll tell you this: Next time I choose to make nacho fixings or anything that requires refried beans? I'm making my own. We had *6* bags of pinto beans in the pantry. Mainly from Angel Food, and I know they don't go bad...but 6 bags? Oof. That's a bit much.

Finally, we got all that done. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & F went to her mother's to feed the cat B watched some of her new Pokemon, and I took a nap. When they got home we got ourselves cleaned up a bit and headed to Hamburger Hamlet for dinner. 2 reasons for that: 1: I forgot to take anything out for dinner and 2: Kids ate free. So, Hamlet it was. So, we came home and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

And now, a few notes:

On the Amazon Kerfluffle )
On the so-called 'Tea Parties' )

Going to do Mother's Day dinner at my place again. Not sure how many people we're going to have yet. Definitely 8, maybe 10-13. I'll do the proposed menu as a separate post later, as soon as I figure out what I'm going to do with the asparagus (I cuss, you cuss, we all cuss for asparagus!), as well as what appetizer and dessert I'm doing.

Crap. Just got the following article from [livejournal.com profile] tenku_no_shiro via Twitter: Harry Kalas Taken to Hospital Harry is the long-time voice of Phillies baseball.
EDIT: In the time it took me to finish writing and posting this, Harry Kalas has died. My thoughts on this can be found here.ENDEDIT:

That, I think, is all I have for now.

Remember: You woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning. By definition, that makes this a good day.

Peas. Out.

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Frank N. Huminski

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