Thursday, March 29, 2007


Went looking for surveys again, and found a political one. The results are here:

Another badass quiz from eSPIN-the-Bottle...

What Are Your Politics?


Hey, Nascar dad! Or Nascar mom, or Nascar kid, or whoever. You like Republicans, and you might like Nascar, and that’s why you’re reading this.

Republicans are great, because they have good family values, a strong sense of tradition, and they're usually pretty snappy dressers. Seriously, khakis? You can never go wrong with khakis.

Take This Quiz!

That I ended up "righty" isn't much of a revelation. Usually I score so far right that I score into the Nazi zone. I find that interesting, because they were socialists, which I definitely DON'T agree with. What was mildly interesting was that only 10% of the over 15000 teens that took that quiz scored as "righty". The rest were "lefty".

Kids, you need to know this now, because you'll find it out later. Instead of feeling lied to and betrayed later, feel it now so you can get over it: social programs don't work. They keep people subjugated to the government and effectively halt personal growth and achievement. On top of that, the money they're giving away to people who are not working is taking money away from your means to support your family. The Government is the worst possible way to redistribute wealth. As a matter of fact, they're the worst possible mechanism to achieve a whole litany of goals. Since your lefty enablers did such a bang up job of separating church and state (and getting it entirely wrong, by the way), the best mechanism for it, the church, isn't allowed to do so. So, we get a nice, fat, happy, self perpetuating bureaucracy in their place, with layer after layer of waste in the way of actually helping people who need it, and keeping people who could work from working. Oh, yes it does happen. Why do I have to be responsible monetarily for some jerk who decided to destroy his life instead of maximizing it? Why can't I be the one being supported by the government, i.e. draining working people's tax dollars away from more useful pursuits? The answer to that is: I wasn't raised to be a lazy-assed leech.

I know its hard to hear. You're young, you're still idyllic. Your eyes are not yet open to the reality of how hard life can be. As you age, you'll find I'm right. I'm just saving you some time now.

The Penguins are Lying!

I read this over on Risawn's blog. This is a review of Happy Feet, that just came out on DVD. She has an interesting perspective, check it out.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Who's smokin' dah rock at Quizno's?

I hate it when companies put bad commercials in heavy rotation. Geico's metrosexual homo cavemen has taken me to about the limit of my patience. If I see one more variation of the whiney punk ass caveman bitching about how bad his life is, I'm gonna club something. I'd prefer a caveman to take the cudgel to, but I might look elsewhere. Like the people in the new Quizno's commercial.

I've tried the new garlic prime rib sandwich. Its OK. Not the best ever, but OK. The commercial for it is making me crazy, though. Why? Cuz they have some fat ass gamer dweeb saying "Prime rib is the OOber meat". He sounds like he's saying prime rib is the Goober Meat. Go back to playing Worlds of Warcraft and leave the productive members of society alone, dude.

Then there's the skinny hose beast that says "Its not lackin' any meat. And that's what a woman really wants" followed by what is clearly and without equivocation the most irritating laugh ever. Worse than Rachel Ray. Where's my Blackthorne Stick? That woman should be seen and not heard...and not seen would be even better. The sandwich could be the best thing since Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and the sandwich would still not be good enough to cover the stupid, irritating, gratingly moronic, recklessly aggravating commercial that advertises it.

Quizno's, you've done it again. You've given me reason to avoid your latest product. Geico did that a long time ago; good thing their prices did it even before the excessively stupid caveman commercials were aired.

Yes, I like adjectives.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Why you must see 300

Have you not seen "300" yet? Is there something wrong with you? There must be; this is a must see film. Think of the best movie you've ever seen. This one's better than that. Here's some reasons why you have to, in no particular order:
  1. Its not a historical documentary; its based on a graphic novel. As such, the visual aspect of the movie is unlike anything else you've seen.
  2. Its not The Grapes of Wrath. Even the simple amongst you are capable of following the story.
  3. Spartan women are hot, tough, and not to be trifled with.
  4. The one liners from this film warrant watching it several times. In IMAX if possible.
  5. This movie has all the best things about the fighting spirit: honor, integrity, patriotism, truth, justice, and living by the warrior's code. If you don't understand these things, you're a liberal. Move to Cuba. Do it now.
  6. Action. Lots of it.
  7. Spartan women.
  8. Its long enough that you get your money's worth without your butt falling asleep or having to sit so long you have to get up to take a leak.
  9. Goosebumps. This has much to do with the display of the warrior spirit. If this doesn't get to you, you're sheeple. Move your candy ass to Cuba.
  10. All your friends have seen it. You're not on the same page with your friends. They're talking about it, and you have no idea what they're talking about. You might as well move to Cuba.
Don't be a bozo. Go see this movie, or move to the aforementioned worker's paradise. Those are your choices.

So, so, so bad!!!

So I'm sitting here in front of my puter, running Open Office and being thrilled with all the financial formula calculators it has. Yes, I am doing the homework I was putting off doing in the previous post. I've got the "metal" channel on cable running through my "surround" system (better than nothin', but its about as cobbled together as it could be).

I notice this totally non-sensical sound coming through my speakers. Clearly, its some earnestly sincere hard rockin' types going at it as hard as they can. I turn around, read the screen, and do a literal LOL. The name of the band is, get this: Dying Fetus. No, really! That's their name. No! I'm serious!

The music, such as it was, sounds like stuff that was cutting edge speed metal in about 1990. The vocals reminded me quite a lot of my best belches, with vigorous performance and sustain. I could probably record my famous "Weekends Were Made For Michelob" belch with these guys, and it'd fit right into their song list. Come to think of it, that might yield their only hit.

If Dying Fetus is one of your favorite bands, I'm sorry...that your taste in music is so, so bad. I like loud, aggro heavy metal. Its just that these guys are going to remain obscure until they break up and do those jobs with the names on their shirts full time. That is as it should be.

why so slow?

Perhaps the five or six people that read my blog occasionally have been wondering why I've been posting stuff up even less than usual. I'm sure your happiness revolves around it, so I'll not keep you in suspense any longer. The reason for my lessened presence is: school. My edumacation is conflicting with my online entertainment time. Why do I put up with that, you ask? Its a means to an end. I don't intend to be poor forever. I may be; I just don't intend to be. Finishing my degree is how I'm planning to make that happen.

Now, that begs the question of why I'm able to write this furious screed at this time. That's simple: I'm doing everything I can to avoid delving into my Principles of Corporate Finance homework. Avoiding it at almost all costs. I promise, though: I'll get into it when I'm done here. I may, but the motivation is lacking. Bond pricing questions are no fun at all, and if I need to figure this stuff out, I can probably call a bond broker and as him. Oh, well. Like I said, its a means to and end. I gotta get it done sometime.

The common question is "Oh, you're in school? What are you going to school for?" My typical answer is "I wonder that a lot, too." That's not really true, but the sister of one of my co-workers thought it was charming and giggled a little for me. I guess I'm gonna keep using that line. The fact is, though, I know exactly why I'm doing this, and I fully understand what school at the higher levels is all about. If you don't, reading this could very well change your life, and may blow your mind sufficiently to get on to college if you're not already doing it.

The whole point of college, in the big picture, is not to get vocational training. Sure, if you're going to be an engineer, an engineering degree helps. Even people with engineering degrees don't always become engineers, though. So, we have an exception for vocations that require specific training. What about the eleventy billion other good jobs? Here's a clue, based on almost 20 years of management experience: your degree's subject is far less important than having the degree. Think about that a minute.

Have you grasped it yet? No? Lemme 'splain it to you, Lucy. College isn't about vocational training. It isn't really about expanding your horizons, although if you choose your courses carfully, that will happen. Becoming a well rounded individual isn't the goal, either; its a beneficial byproduct. The whole point of school is to finish. By finishing, you prove a simple yet crucial point: you can start a project and finish it.

Colleges try hard to keep up with the working sector. They try to give you exposure to concepts and methods that are currently in use in the world of the working stiffs. Problem is, they're always reacting, not being proactive and being ahead of the curve. By the time you're in a position to put what they taught you to use, paradigms (pronounced "pair a dig ems". The boss will be very impressed that you know the term. My interview is right after yours; I'll show him I know it, too) have shifted and "we don't do it like that anymore".

On the other hand, if you get a job in the military (God bless you and thank you for your service if you choose this route) the training you get is very cutting edge. Get a degree while you're in and combine that with the training you get there, and you're bankable. You're so money and you don't even know it. F'rinstance: one of my co-workers has a wife in the Army. She's in comms. She's already getting headhunted for contracting companies for big money when she's done. Couple that field with a degree, and you're going to make a nice fat pile of cash.

But do you see the difference? College can never be as cutting edge in what you get taught. That being the case, don't expect it to be. I'm sure you're offended at that thought: "What the...You gotta be kiddin' me!! I'm spending $40,000 a year to get an education, and I can't really use it?!?" In a nutshell: yeah. You won't apply all that much of your batchelor's degree to your job. A lot of what you're staying up nights working on, and I'm not refering to tomorrow's hangover, don't mean squat in the working world. All it means is what has previously been stated: you can start something and finish it. That's all. Period. End of story.

How do I know? I've seen thousands of applications and hired a hundred people. Little of what they know is of use to me; I have to train them in everything I want them to do. If anything, I have to un-teach their bad habits. That said, I still want college educated people if I can get them. Why? Because I know they'll start a project and finish it. Seems simplistic, but that's what it means.

For the average job, would I look at the school you went to? I'd be impressed that you dropped the coin to get though Yale. It doesn't guarrantee that you'll get the job over the guy from SDSU, or Slippery Rock State or Joe's Higher Learning Establishment and Basque Restaurant. This is the place where your personality, confidence, and ability to interpersonally communicate comes through. Make sure you can do that as well as finish from an expensive school.

Here's another hint: the lower division stuff that you take at the local Community College is worth just as much as the classes that are costing you five times as much at the Institution of Expensive Higher Learning. Kinda makes ya wonder why you're forking out all that money for it, doesn't it? Here's the reason you're paying all that money: tomorrow's hangover. That's all. Period. End of story.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I was just poking around in the Dashboard, and realized that this blog has been here for a year. Doesn't seem like it, but there it is. Happy Birthday to Haji's Place.

Thompson to run?

Just heard on the preview for the local news-thankfully still a half hour away-that former actor and Senator Fred Thompson is considering a run at the Presidency in '08. Awesome news.

Thompson is cut from the old school Reagan conservative mold. Solid guy who appears to be skeleton-in-the-closet-free.

Please run, Fred! Please? Pretty please? Pretty please with a case of 5.56mm ammo on top? It'll drive those tinfoil hat, moonbat nutjobs at absolutely whack ass crazy. Totally worth it! That's a valiant cause if ever there was one.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Why is Anna Nicole such a big deal?

In between Jericho, an online quiz for my Scientific Models of Origins class, and Personal Defense TV, I did a bit of channel surfing. I noticed a trend that goes back all the way to last week, and possibly even further back than that. Its a disturbing trend, and one that I certainly don't understand. Seems to be very little call for it, but its there nonetheless.

What is it(?), I hear you asking. What is it that vexes Haji so? What could it be, this heinous thing that permeates cable TV?

I saw, yet again, another show about Anna Nicole Smith. I don't understand what the reasoning is. What did she do that made her worth being a celebrity that must be memorialized for weeks on end? Was she a helper of people like Mother Theresa? Was she a philanthropist as Bill Gates has become? Was she an artist, a poet, a thespian (that's an actor, not a chick that digs case you were confused) , a world leader?, not quite. Let's do a quick recap:
  • Playboy model, and an exotic dancer, if I recall correctly
  • Marrier of almost dead multi-millionaires
  • mother of a kid who died under mysterious circumstances
  • Certified, Grade A, First Class Trainwreck
So what is it about her that's so compelling? I can't think of a thing. Presidents have died and had less fuss made about them. People with a lifelong body of incredible work in a plethora of fields of endeavor pass without even a note in the newspaper...which is hard to believe, given how little newspapers are read anymore, and how news starved they seem to be.

Here's the bottom line for me: she made a mess of her life. She died tragically, but likely of her own carelessness. I feel for her daughter and her uncertain future. That truely is a tragedy. Her life, though, isn't even good spectacle. She should be lamented, not celebrated. Kinda makes me a little bit sick to think that she has this kind of impact. America is becoming a weird, weird place.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Steel knowledge

Because of this post that I found through my bro Josh's blog, I thought it might be a good idea to pass on some good sources for info on blade steels and the like. Since there's so much information, misinformation, and just plain whacky crap out there on the net, I find it helps to go to the source. Especially in cases of high performance alloys like the CPM series steels. So, without further rambling on my part, I give you...The Links!

  1. Crucible Service Centers this is the Crucible main page. You can navigate through enough info to drive yourself batty from here.
  2. Crucible Cutlery Steels this is the page for the high performance, yet not CPM performance level steels
  3. Crucible's CPM page this is the highest of high end alloys. Read up on how this stuff is made, and how it differs from traditional steels. If you're like me, your first thought will be "who came up with that idea?
  4. Crumetals is another Crucible site that has some more drive-you-batty-with-information stuff on it. By the time you're done reading through Crucible's materials, you'll probably know more about steel than you want to. Bear in mind, this is just one manufacturer's site.
  5. Bill Harsey's web site I added this one mostly because I like him so much. Bill Harsey is an amazing craftsman, but more importantly, he's a hell of a good man.

Two Movies to Recommend

Let's get this out of the way up front: I'm old. I turned 40 a few weeks ago. My alleged formative, great years-according to the radio and TV, anyway-were in the mid to late '80s. Truth be told, I'm more than happy to have moved beyond the high school years. They were not my best or even favorite years. I've had a heck of a lot more fun since then. That being said, that period of time did much to formulate and solidify my beliefs, ethics and convictions. Being born in the 60's pretty much means that you're a child of the70's and '80's, and the events of those decades were very, very influential. Which brings us to the "why" of the recommendation for seeing these movies.

The first of them is simple nostalgia, really. The Lords of Dogtown is simply an accounting of the groundbreaking that happened because of the Z-Boys. The story is more about the interpersonal relationships of that bunch, but the movie is so well done that I can't help but get that feeling of "the good takes place during my growing up years. Being a California kid when skateboards came out meant that my life revolved around skating (and BMX, but there's no movie to recommend about that) and all things related to it. LODTol' days". It extends even as far as the background music. There's a song by Budgie (Crash Course in Brain Surgery, released in '71) that went on to be covered by Metallica. Its all a wonderful snapshot of a very unusual time in America. There was still a little bit of that youthful innocence while the ways of the world were portrayed as well. The best and worst of the time is in there. Its a pretty doggone accurate account, even for a fictional story, of that time in history.

The interesting thing is that while it could be about the changes in technology, it remains to be about the people involved. All the changes in the scene are documented, but they're not the most important thing. The people are.

If, after seeing this flick, you wish to get a documentary account of the story, Stacy Peralta made great film called "Dogtown and Z Boys". He was there, so the documentary is as much a recollection of his youth as an accounting of the personalities and the times. Both of these flicks are really worth watching, especially if you're from that time...or your dad was.

The other film of note is called Miracle. It stars Jack Burton...I mean....Wyatt Earp...I mean...Kurt Russell. This is the story of the '80 Olympic Hockey Team that won the gold medal, beating the Soviets who were the best team in the world at the time. The best thing about this particular movie is that very few of the actors are ones anyone's ever seen before. They're not stars, but the performances are awesome. The players look like players. Even Kurt Russell, who looks very little like Herb Brooks facially, goes above and beyond in this performance. His was the type of portrayal that should be honored with academy awards, instead of the latest guy playing a drunk again.

One of the most telling things to happen in this film happens after the Christmas party as Herb is on his way home. They play a bit of the State of the Nation speech by then-president Carter. The section of the speech they used perfectly desribes the feeling of America at that time. We were looking for something to latch onto to make us feel good about being Americans again. The Carter administration inhereted some ugly problems (remember, there was still fallout from Watergate at that time), and created some more of their own. America needed something to get that feeling of national pride again. This team happened along at the right time, and handed the world one of the most amazing shockers of all time. This film does a great job of explaining why it was so important. On top of that, the actors look like hockey players, rather than actors playing hockey players and not looking like they belong there.

Both of these movies are snap shots of periods in time that could easily be depicted as different from what it really was. The way I remember it (yeah, I know) is how they showed it. Kudos, not to mention the endorsement of a blog writer that hardly anyone reads, to those that made this great films.