Sunday, December 31, 2006

Nother year!

New Year's is the time of resolutions, which I don't believe in. If you need to make a change in your life, make it. Don't put it off until January the 1st just because that's the start of a new calendar year. It doesn't mean anything more than you need to buy another $12 pile of card stock (hopefully with cool pictures) to keep track of dates on. I end up using whatever calendar I can get for free, which means they're generally tacticool. I'd spend my own money to have a cool high speed calendar full of cool guys with cool guns. Listen up, calendar makers: you're missing out on money here.

I try to keep resolutions that are on my list of things to do anyway, so I'm never disapointed with missing out on getting one done. Why resolve something I know I'm not gonna do? Maybe I suck, but I'm honest with myself. To quote Yoda, that modern primitive philosophizer, "Do. Or do not. There is no 'try'."

So what's on my list of things to do this year? That's pretty easy. Interestingly-to me at least-they generally have to do with education and learning. Some of 'em are just things I wanna get to and have been working at for a while, some are going to be rather major undertakings. At any rate, here's a bit of a list in no particular order for next year...actually, tomorrow:
  • Finish my degree. I'm six classes away, and started working on making things happen on this front about a month ago. I will be finished in '07. Might as well; I gotta start paying back those damn student loans anyway.
  • Get some education on my M4gery. I can shoot; that's not the issue. I wanna really know how to run the carbine, in all aspects of its use. I don't have a lot of experience shooting at distance with a rifle that isn't a bolt action. I wanna learn how to do all kinds of stuff I won't use, such as the continuation of my low light and room clearing education. I already have a tacticool job. I need the skills to back it up and continue to enhance my Intarweb Celebrity. Sorry, can't find the "rolling eyes" emoticon.
  • Get back to Cali for a visit or two. The family is still there and I still have the majority of my friends there.
  • Get to work on the writing of the book. I don't wanna give the concept away on the net and have somebody swoop in and steal it. I'm enlisting an English major friend of mine, and a buddy of mine who's a combat medic. It has to do with the Mobile Undead. I think you could gather that's what all the rambling on my blog about zombies and gear has been about. It may not be finished next year, but it will be underway.
  • Learn something else I didn't expect to. I don't expect it, so I don't know what that's gonna be, but I'm gonna learn something.
  • I'm gonna try to continue a couple things I'm already working on: I'm going to continue to try to eradicate profanity from my vocabulary. Swearing doesn't do anything to get my point across better, and it doesn't bring me closer to God. I'm also going to work harder on not making fun of people. This is very difficult for me. Some people are just begging to be made fun of, and they serve up opportunities like softballs to the outside edge of the plate. Resisting the easy is the hard part. If I can do that, I'll move on to resisting the more difficult. The difficult ones are usually the harder ones, believe it or not, because a good clever put down is art. But, since it doesn't help anyone else, I'm trying to stop that. Now my friends are using their "rolling eyes" emoticons.
I've got some stuff to do, and some stuff not to do. That oughta keep me busy for a while. But, being a anti-resolving kinda guy, there's always next year. I'm more interested in the journey than the destination.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Reincarnation? Are you serious about that?

For whatever reason, the grandmothers I work with seem to universally believe in reincarnation. They buy into it wholesale, and in addition, they believe in ghosts, too. Now, we're talking about working females who are between 40 and 60 years old, and are as previously mentioned, are all grandmothers. They're totally serious about believing in reincarnation.

This all started with the comment (don't ask me how; I don't recall) that if you get a child relaxed enough and ask them who they were before, they'll tell you. I don't recall ever once believing that I was someone other than who I am right now. They say its because of cultural conditioning, but if its true, why wouldn't it be culturally accepted? I know the answer to that, but I'm gonna drop some thoughts for you to ponder before the answer becomes exceedingly clear. This could get outrageously long; I'm going to try to restrain myself from throwing it all out there and losing you two minutes in by giving the highlights.

It would appear that everyone that believes in reincarnation believes that they were famous in a previous life. That makes sense; why would you not want to be someone famous or important if you're going to believe in past lives? How many people could have been Hannibal? Napoleon? The Mayor of York? A queen in ancient Egypt? If more than one person claims this simultaneously, then we have proof that this is a spurious belief. If we take the population of Los Angeles, for example, and figure the per capita numbers of celebrities in that town, we'll still have too many of the population of the city that would have claimed to be famous in past lives. There simply aren't enough famous or important people, as a percentage of the available population, for reincarnation to be viable.

As a corollary to the previous thought, some people believe that their previous lives occured very, very long ago. One of my coworkers claimed to have been an important or wealthy Egyptian from the time of the Pharoahs. Since lives were shorter then, what happened between the 40 years of life then and the life being lived now? Once you died, your soul or escence or whatever makes someone a person must have been doing something. Something becoming nothing doesn't happen much in nature. If someone is reincarnated, clearly there are rules. There are laws that govern what happens. Do you become a lesser life form for some reason? Do you become an ameoba for a while before you become a person again? Where's the reason in that? If you're taking up a certain amount of energy now, why would you take up less after a life? You'd have to to be something less than you are now. By the same token, if you were more, say, a 300 year old tree hundreds of feet tall, why would you come back as less energy? It just doesn't make sense. Your soul would have to be somewhere in the meantime, and there's no explanation of that.

Here's another incongruity: the number of people on the planet is increasing. In a July 2006 estimate, the CIA figures that there are 6,525,170,264 people in the world. That's more people than have ever been here before, and the number is rising. If people are being recycled through reincarnation, why are there more now than there were at the beginning of recorded time? The world hasn't gotten bigger or smaller. Its the same size planet as its always been. So where did all these n00bs come from? Other planets that they've been hanging out on while waiting to get back in the game here on Earth? That can't be, either, and that's my last point.

OK, consider this idea for a moment: you die, you're reincarnated as someone else, somewhere else. You're Phil, the new guy who accidentally turned cows inside out in South Park. You used to be Pharaoh Seti the First, and now you're Phil. Never mind that you went from being human to E.T. for a minute. Riddle me this, Batman: how'd you get there? Are you seeing where I'm going with this yet? Clearly, if this were the case, there would be laws that govern the logisitics of how this happens. It couldn't happen randomly. How much of what happens in nature is truely random? Not very much; remember cause and effect from your biology classes? So there's laws set forth to determine how all this happens. If you believe in reincarnation, you're probably about to be really upset with what must be the truth of all this.

In order for there to be laws, even laws that govern the rules of reincarnation that is total hooey, there must be an authority to set forth those laws. As stated previously, you can't just pop around and reincarnate as Tom Cruise (clearly he's an alien). Something determines who or what you become, so you don't end up with 50 people being Tom at once. As there are laws that govern nature, there is conspicuous evidence that all this has been managed and ordered to make it work. How did that happen? Couldn't just be a Big Bang that set this complicated system in motion. I don't buy that stupid theory anyway; its beyond rediculous. Its even more rediculous in terms of reincarnation. So here it is: for this to work at all, there has to be a supreme being. Even the goofy theory of reincarnation would require God to work. Reconsider your belief system, and get right with God.

That popping sound in your ears just now? That was your mind being blown.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Cingular is offensive

I have yet another rant. Cingular has started running this stupid commercial for their MP3 phones. Now, a phone that plays MP3's is kinda cool. The technology is pretty amazing and that somebody decided the world should revolve around your phone is visionary.

The problem is that Cingular apparently will allow anyone to get one of their phones. They have two college dudes who clearly use too much cannabis playing one of the greatest rock tracks of all time. Rock the Casbah is the best song on a very good record. Combat Rock is a great record from first track to last. The song is a seminal piece of music. These two pot heads should be old that they must have heard the song for years.

No, you morons. Joe's not singing "Stock the Cat Box." Why would you think that? Does that fit in at all with any of the lyrics? I know most popular music doesn't always make much sense, but Rock the Casbah does. They're pretty easy to hear. They're reasonably clear, for a rock song. That's what's so retarded. They're screwing up lyrics that most people in their age group know, understand, and can speak coherently about. I was going to say "eloquently", but further reflection prompted me to correct the error of my ways.

Ever wonder how they could get that song so, so wrong...when its on their phone? Didn't they have to download it? Didn't they have to have a source for it? Wouldn't that mean it'd be damn near impossible to get the song to the phone without knowing what its called? How could you download a song without having its title? Since the title is the same as the words in the chorus, it would take a heck of large bong load to screw that one up. And these idiots were getting in a car. They're clearly too messed up to drive. Those fools will kill someone.

Thanks for letting another college educated, talentless hack choose your ad campaign. Think about this: that was probably the best idea they had. Consider what might have been.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Air America Bankrupt? Bwaaaahhaaaaahaaaa!!!!!

This apparently happened all the way to September, but I found a blurb about it yesterday on the Yahoo news links: Air America is going under.

Now, if your first thought is "what the hell is Air America", first I'd have to nod sagely and then point that out as one of their many problems. Its tough to be very concerned about it when the whole network was completely forgettable anyway. Wow! They have Al Franken! ...uh...who? Isn't he that guy that had to coattail Rush Limbaugh to get any notice at all for his books, even putting El Rushbo's name on the cover? In the damn title? Yeah, there's a personality. I'm told he was a comedian, but other than having a goofy lookin' face, I can't think of anything funny he came up with. On top of that, he's far more hateful than I appear to be in my writings. He's one of those venomous lefties. He wrote a book that about 10 people read called "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot." Yeah, seriously.

So Air America is failing or has failed or something along those lines. The EIB Network it ain't, that's for sure. It would appear that the lefties are going to, or already have (and its been totally ignored) claim that the failure is due to station mismanagement, rather than the truth. The truth is, according to the facts, nobody is listening to them. They're not making money because companies (remember the "Tim Robbins" explanation of what Corporations do in Team America: World Police? I'll find that and add it in at the end here) aren't advertising and creating advertising revenue. Companies don't advertise where there money is not getting a return. Hello, Air America! Nobody's listening! No money for you!

Mismanagement is relatively easy to fix. Lack of listeners isn't. That's why its easy to blame the lack of performance on the management. You've lost millions; its time to come to grips with the fact that your format isn't appealing. The old Liberal crutch of "its all about feelings" isn't working when that feeling is simply "We hate Bush". It doesn't work. We hated Clinton and didn't whine about it the way you clowns are.

Sure, America is changing again, but citizens here in general are trying to find a centrist point of view, and that's certainly not the left. They may have elected a very inefectual Democrat congress (which may end up split down the center again), but they don't want leftist vitreol. Maybe they're finally figuring out what those of us on the right have always known: people can fend for themselves. The government doesn't need to be all up in our business. Sure doesn't bode well for the left.

So your big attempt at fighting back against Rush, Hannity, Hitchcock, Savage, and the long list of others has failed. I'm not sorry to say that I'm not surprised. The left has no idea what makes talk radio work, and they paid a big, big price for it. HAHAAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAAHAAAAAA!!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

New Parts for the EBR!

I swapped some .40 S&W ammo that I got for free for three packs of Magpul Gen II Followers and a couple three packs of Old Skool Magpuls in that cool tan color. Now I have something like 14 mags with the new followers and a few left to replace. The two mags on top of the pyramid in the pic are HK steel M4 mags. Gifts from a connected customer.

Also new (and part of the swap) is the Troy Battlesight. I recently got the Aimpoint M2 from a friend of mine. Its pretty much a pre-swap item. I'm gonna have to hook him up with something good, but his AR is better set than mine is. He gave up the Aimpoint because he has an Eotech on his rifle.

Last piece that's gonna be added is a fold down front sight. I'm thinking PRi, but I think I'll wait until after SHOT show to see what I'm gonna put on it. I still want to replace the buttstock with a Vltor Modstock, but I don't have to have that...I just want it real bad!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Gone Already?

I was discussing the current shows on TV with some friends recently. We found an unfortunate trend: it does no good to get involved in a show anymore. A program gets cancelled so fast that there's no time to decide if its worth getting hooked. I was starting to get into 3 lbs, and its cancelled already. There was a huge buzz and push for Smith, and it lasted for, what, five or six weeks? If a show doesn't hit right away-and I mean in the first airing and a couple weeks after-its gone, replaced with another stupid game show or "reality" TV.

I'm not sure what it is people want to watch these days. Many of the people I work with (its a unique demographic: they're all older married ladies with grand kids) are big fans of shows like Dancing with the Stars. They really care about who won. Apparently, they're rather representative of what people want to see these days.

Now, I can't quite figure out if that's because people really prefer those shows, or a few of them have become hits and the studios find them less expensive and easy to produce, and now its all they're making so we're stuck with 'em. When Survivor was introduced, it was unique, and drew a lot of viewers because of it. Now, they've done just about everything they can do with it, and in my mind it jumped the shark a couple seasons ago. I don't think it'll go away anytime soon though, because its relatively cheap to make and can still draw enough of an audience to sell advertising on it. I can't stand any of the alleged "reality" shows. They're vapid and intellectually vacant. They're not funny, and they're not compelling. They're not comedy, drama or action. I fear that we're stuck with 'em because the low production cost makes them irresistible to the networks. That's the reason game shows have made a resurgence. If it wasn't for the dramatic music, nobody would care about which case the contestant picked.

The other sad aspect of TV shows these days is that the high cost has pretty well killed off originality. 3 Lbs was another medical show. Smith was a cop drama from the opposite direction that people apparently didn't like. Jericho is kind of a version of The Day After that was released 20 years ago. Of the new crop, its unfortunately the best of the bunch.

I guess the bottom line is that until we demand more of the networks, this is what we get. It would appear that there's some of this going on now. A perusal of one of the forums I am a member of revealed this topic as a top five list. Most of those members responding didn't list network shows in most of their lists. A few did, and they were generally the same shows: Jericho, The Unit, and...uh...I guess that was about it. The rest were cable shows. Oddly, or perhaps not, is that most of those shows were semi-reality shows, like Miami Ink and American Chopper. The rest were premium channel shows, like the Sopranos and the like.

It would appear that network TV shows are going the way of the newspaper...or perhaps more accurately, network TV news. There are a fraction of the news shows now than there were several years ago. The reason for that is that more news is available faster on the Intarweb. Could it be that there's going to be yet another revolution that will have us watching our little monitors instead of our large TV's? That will be interesting to see.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Thanks for giving us crappy bowl games, BCS.

Unbelieveable. Florida vs. Ohio St. for the national championship? Are you kidding? Just give the trophy to OSU. The Gators stand no chance whatsoever of beating the Buckeyes. They're gonna get pounded, badly. Nice going, BCS.

Michigan plays USC in the Rose Bowl? At least USC is gonna get their ass kicked at home in front of their fair weather fans. Michigan is clearly the second best team in the country, and they have to play #5 instead of playing LSU, which would be a much better game. C'mon, let's get serious: Michigan lost only to OSU, who was ranked #1 at the time, by a field goal. Florida lost to Auburn. USC lost to two unranked teams, the second being UCLA when they had a chance to cement their position. SC is gonna get chewed up big time by Michigan, just like the Gators are gonna get mud stomped by OSU. If there was anything else to do during that holiday week, I wouldn't bother watching, but since its the end of the foo'bah season, I'm going to have to...cursing that worthless BCS abortion the whole time.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

These are a few of my favorite things

Somehow I've become known for my negative opinions on things like movies, guns, music, fake boobs, and various other things. I think I've figured out why that is. If something sucks, I'll say so in a nanosecond. Generally, if I like it, I won't talk about it all that much. There's just so much worthless crap in the world that I don't have enough time to comment on everything good that counteracts the garbage.

That being the case, I thought it might be fun to list some of my favorites, rather than all that stuff that I dislike. Now, this list is totally variable. My favorites are always subject to change, and the lists may vary in length, as well. I should also admit that I infuriate some liberal tree hugger with my opinions. They're dual purpose like that, which I appreciate. These may be in numerical order, but chances are they're not exactly in a set order. I may explain why I love 'em, I may not. Several of these are timeless enough to not require explanation.
Favorite Movies, Comedies:
  1. Caddyshack. One of the two movies that changed my life...or at least my sense of humor
  2. Stripes. This is the other one
  3. Ghostbusters. Are you seeing a trend here yet?
  4. Strange Brew
  5. Team America: World Police
Favorite Movies, Action:
  1. Pirates of the Carribean. Might as well make this all of them, even if the last one's not out yet.
  2. Heat. This one's worth watching just for the epic gunfight outside the bank
  3. The Ghost and The Darkness. The only movie to give me the same tingly sensation that bear hunting did.
  4. Bad Boys II. A lot of profanity, but such a well constructed buddy flick that I can't help but love it
  5. The Buccaneer. I wish this one was released on DVD. Its one of the greatest pirate/freedom type flicks of all time. I love this movie!
  6. Traffic. Had some goofy parts to it, but unlike Syriana, it made some sense and managed to tie the ends up pretty cleanly.
  7. Gladiator. It has epicality.
  8. 13th Warrior. I'm not generally an Antonio Banderas fan, but he was good in this one. This is one of those movies that I throw in to watch over and over again when nothing else sounds good.
Movies, western:
  1. Rio Bravo. Its John Wayne. All John Wayne movies rule.
  2. El Dorado. Essentially the same story as Rio Bravo, but I still dig it the most. John Wayne for president, post humously.
  3. Silverado. The best blending of comedy and drama in just about any genre. It both trancends and defines the western.
  4. Tombstone. This movie caused an epic road trip to the town. Good times.
Movies, Sci Fi/Horror:
  1. The Fifth Element. I love this movie. Its got everything, including Milla.
  2. I, Robot. Between the effects and the story, its pretty engrossing. enjoyable fun.
  3. Serenity. I'm not a huge fan of the series; I didn't see most of it. The movie's good fun, though, and the dialogue is unique.
  4. Underworld. Stylish, and with Kate Beckinsale in leather. Don't get no better...except with a sequel
  5. Underworld The Sequel.
  6. Shaun of the Dead. I'm not a huge zombie movie fan, but this one's unique and funny.
  7. Predator. So much to love about this flick, it can't be listed here. Just not enough space. Get to de choppah!
Movies, War:
  1. In Harm's Way. This star-studded epic really does deserve a top spot
  2. Three Kings. Sort of a war movie. Wierd and quirky.
  3. Band of Brothers. A series rather than one film, but its awesome.
  4. Blackhawk Down. Not a documentary, but a decent representation, according to those who were there, of the events in Somalia.
  5. The Patriot. Good flick to make you feel good about being an American.
  6. Master and Commander. Sort of a war movie, but different enough to earn a spot.
  7. Hamburger Hill. Good performances from several actors that you know now but probably didn't know then.
  1. The Quiet Man. John Wayne in Scotland as an American getting back to his roots. Quite good.
  2. Braveheart. Long, but entertaining
  3. Blade series. Sort of horror, but mostly action. Entertaining.
  4. Hollow Man. The effects are amazing.
  5. Hatari. Yeah, its another Duke epic, but even with the love story and song(they always did that back in the day) its a great story.
  6. The well known Steven Segal movies of the 80's and 90's (Marked for Death, Under Siege, etc). They're my guilty pleasure.
  7. Miracle. I remember this when it was happening. Its such a perfect snapshot of that time in history. Go rent or buy it, its great
  8. Lords of Dogtown, and Dogtown and Z-Boys. These both document events that happened in my youth. In a way, I was a part of this history, although not with them.
  9. Riding Giants. Another Stacy Peralta documentary. I learned a lot from this movie, and it was very entertaining. I didn't ever surf (I was heavy into Boogie Boards and body surfing, but never surfed, oddly enough) but this one kept me all the way through.
Favorite bands: I'm not gonna bother to break 'em out by style, I'm just gonna list 'em.
  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers. They still bring the funk, even when Flea isn't slapping.
  2. Demon Hunter. Really heavy, but musical
  3. Old Van Halen: never got tired of it. Everything they did with DLR was pretty great. Everything else was not worth owning
  4. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones: Really funky jazz, with an unusual mix of instrumentation.
  5. Mighty Mighty Bosstones. How can ya not like a band that has a song called "Haji"?
  6. U2 up until Rattle and Hum. Their facination with heroin references turned me off, but I love all the stuff before this.
  7. Stevie Ray Vaughn. He left us too soon.
  8. Living Colour. No better description than "unique".
  9. Parliament Funkadelic: Just started getting back into this band. They bring the funk, but keep it ultra smooth.
  10. Testament. Underrated, and fantastic. Far better than their contemporaries
  11. Anthrax with John Bush. I know a lotta people like the old stuff, but they weren't anywhere near as good with Joey Belladonna. Armored Saint was a great band because of Bush.
  12. Evanesence. There's something both soaring and haunting about Amy Lee's voice, and the band can keep up with her. I think I have a secret crush on the hot goth-ish chick.
There's a lot more, but I suspect you've been bored with this for a little while already. ;)