Friday, March 31, 2006

Quote of the unspecified temporal interval

The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depend on himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ah, it's still good!

I just found the ultimate guide to household products for the single male!

Certain items in your house practically scream “toss me” when their prime has passed. That mysterious extra white layer on the Cheddar? A sure sign it needs to be put out of its misery. Chunky milk? Down the drain it goes.

But what about that jar of olives or Maraschino cherries that has resided in your refrigerator since before the birth of your kindergartner? Or the innumerable nonedibles lurking deep within your cabinets and closets: stockpiled shampoo and toothpaste, seldom-used silver polish? How do you know when their primes have passed?

Go check it out!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Up up and away!

Back when in-flight entertainment was very limited...

You guessed it, here I go again.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


OK, This one's for Scrappy and the saga of the stick shift. As long as you avoid a scene like this, I think you'll do just fine.

Gee, I wonder why the place closed.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Full circle?

I rather suspected that something like this would happen eventually. Large scale socialized medicine has finally reached a point where people are asking for privatization again. Not surprisingly, this story comes from Canada.

The doctor who took the Quebec government to the Supreme Court of Canada, causing it to change its policy on wait times and private health insurance, wants to see more privatization.

In his Supreme Court case, Dr. Jacques Chaoulli argued "patients will continue to suffer and die" because of waiting lists.

Personally, I'm wary of any country that tries to construct an entirely socialized medical system. Let's face it, government interaction or interference with any system leads to lost time and lost money. Of course both problems are particularly troublesome in the world of medical care, and in the end, the patients end up suffering.

To quote P.J. O'Rourke, "If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it is free."

Important News

Great news everyone! All the nursery rimes that you learned as a child are being re-written. Don't believe it? Check out Bah, Bah, Rainbow Sheep and see what you think.

Teachers at nursery schools in Oxfordshire, England, have asked children to change the words of "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" to "Baa, Baa, Rainbow Sheep" to avoid the possibility of offending anyone.

In other news, leaders everywhere are rallying for the elimenation of adjectives (which can be derogative,) verbs (which may describe vulger action,) and nouns (which may be offensive people, places, or things,) on the grounds that they may be used in an offensive manner. The fate of articles, numbers, prepositions, and punctuation has yet to be decided.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Quote of the unspecified temporal interval

Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.

-Calvin Coolidge

Blogger Burnout

Maybe it's because spring is approaching, but I haven't had much desire to mess around with blogger lately. I'm not quitting entirely, but I think I'm going back to the once or twice weekly routine that I used to have.

Check back from time to time. I'm sure I'll have interesting stuff to post, just not as often as usual.

Monday morning

Good morning folks! It's been a nice relaxing weekend with no work, no travel, and no blogging. Now it's time for work again, so it's time for this week's first shot of coffee.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Here is proof positive that you can make art out of practically anything.

Found here, originally from here

Go check it out, but I don't want to hear anyone cracking yolks about this one.

(Either there aren't as many opportunities for good puns, or I've fried my brain looking for them. Of course people always said that I would've been a good egg if I weren't a little cracked.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 the eye of the beholder

"She was medium sized and slender, but with a graceful athletic build and beautiful blonde hair of about the same color of the very highest grade of light cylinder oil."

-Alexander Botts (William Hazlett Upson)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I really don't read Geek-with-a-.45's blog often enough. I almost missed this awe inspiring post.

...I'd like to pass along a story a friend shared with me some time ago, a gun show story that makes me smile every time I remember it. The details of the setup are a bit fuzzy, as I'd only heard it once.

It came to pass at a show out in Virginia, the one near the Dulles airport, perhaps a year after 9/11. Apparently, there was some sort of emergency at the airport that called for the evacuation of the gunshow. A voice came on over the PA, announcing the situation.

My friend tells me that the hall grew quiet, as people listened. In that silence, just about everyone in the show simultaneously arrived at the same decision, and for the next 30 seconds, all you heard was the kerplopple of steel on kydex and leather, the snips of zipties coming off, and the glorious ka shink! of a thousand people simultaneously racking rounds into chambers.

It was, my friend assured me, the coolest thing he has ever heard.

It was followed by another moment of silent appreciation, as everyone let what they'd just heard, what they'd just been a part of, sink in. And then, everyone simply made their way towards the exit, in no particular hurry.

That, my friends, is the music of America. It is the sound of a people, of every race, color and creed who are simply determined to be ready, come what may, soberly determined that no evil shall stand in their presence.

It is the sound of my brothers, my tribe and my nation.

I love you all for it.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Riding high

...and lonesome through a starlit sky.

*shamlessly stolen from here

If you've been reading this blog for very long you probably figured out from the plane in the picture above that I'm not in Chicago anymore. I'm a little further east of that, but will be returning very soon.

Monday Morning!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Quote of the unspecified temporal interval

The previous post reminded me of this quote.

a Man that hath a Sword by his side, shall have least occasion to make use of it.
- J. Trenchard & W. Moyle

Those Eeeevil Assault Knives!!

I was reading through some of Kim du Toit's posts the other day when I came across something disturbing. Apparently some politicians have decided that forcing people to register machetes is vital for public safety. That's right, people are no longer trusted to keep big knives unless they are registered with the government.

Go ahead and read this lousy bill for yourself.

It would appear that politicians in their ever increasing move towards a coddling, nanny government have decided that any blade over 18 inches long has no legitimate use other than cutting grass. Even better, if you do need a machete for legitimate purposes (and now that's pretty much limited to landscapers) you have to pay 'an appropriate annual registration fee.'

I really don't know what they're trying to accomplish by this, because large knives are not considered a good tool for committing crimes. They're virtually impossible to conceal and can only be used within arms reach of the attacker. Of course, what criminal will bother to register their blade. (Sound familiar? That's right; gun control!) But if you don't want to be called a criminal, you have to go to the local police, explain that you need a machete to 'cut grass' and hand over some of your hard earned money.

I'll admit, it is possible that I am somewhat biased. I do have a sizeable collection of antique blades, some of which would have to be registered if a law like this were put in place. Besides that, I think it's ridiculous to try to restrict the use of pretty much any type of knife.

The knife is one of the earliest and most useful tools invented, which most likely explains why I have so many of them. A little while back a friend of mine was over for a visit and we started talking about pocket knives. We discussed the number of knives we each had, and what different uses we had for them. After getting together most of my knives for examination, he had to take a picture just to document how many I really had.

Each one of these knives has it's own purpose. Two of them are my camping knives (the large ones on the left and right) which I very seldom carry. The serrated blades are good for cutting through corrugate, rope, chords, or (in an emergency) seat belts. Another knife is exclusively used for food preparation and consumption (it comes in handy if you camp or fix your own food when you want to avoid eating at truckstops.) Some of the knives are used for model building work because they hold a good edge, while others are simply handy to have around. The Swiss army knives and multi tool on the right all have different features and I carry them according to which situations I expect encounter. The small knives at the bottom are my first pocketknife (left) and my grandfather's pocketknife (right.) And of course the big knife at the top of the screen is part of my militaria collection. (I also keep it around because I think it's good to have a big knife in your house for those 'just in case' scenarios)

I started acquiring knives back when I was in grade school, and yet in all this time, my blades have never cut anyone (except perhaps myself) Nevertheless, if legislation continues in the same direction as the bill mentioned above, I could foresee a day when I was legally required to register, or even surrender all of these knives.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

What else would you expect

Here's a story from the 'what would you expect from Chicago' department.

Mayra Ramirez thinks driver's ed is a waste of time. And in her case, it is. She's blind. But the 16-year-old and dozens of other visually-impaired sophomores are required to pass a written rules-of-the-road exam to graduate from Chicago schools.
Don't you just love it when the people are so strict about rules they can't even use common sense.

Crime wave!

This just in: Police have become aware of a disturbing series of crimes in Florida!

Two high school students were arrested on burglary and theft charges after allegedly stealing hundreds of cookies from the school's kitchen.

About 300 cookies, which cost 75 cents each, had been stolen from the kitchen over several days so surveillance cameras were set up. The cameras allegedly caught the two ninth-graders carrying garbage bags. They were then identified by a coach, The Stuart News said Friday.
The teens in question have been arrested, but police suspect there may be more here than meets the eye. Some say there may be a yet unidentified ringleader behind these robberies.

Police have released a sketch of a suspect who is wanted for questioning. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts should contact the police immediatly.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Sidewalk art

These things are awesome!!
It looks like trompe l'oeil is still alive and well, though in a slightly more public and spontaneous form than in it's previous days.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Are you serious?

I didn't know anyone was doing a study like this. Where can I donate to the research fund?


It's official, the iPod is now a part of mainstream culture. His Holiness now has one!

Stay tuned for the new papal edition!

I guess I'm not the only one who found this amusing!

Educational post

Here's a little story with an important lesson.

"One day a boy and an old man were walking through a village with their donkey. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked. As they went along they passed some people who remarked it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding. The man and boy thought maybe the critics were right, so they changed positions.

Later, they passed some people that remarked, "What a shame, he makes that little boy walk." They then decided they both would walk!

Soon they passed some more people who thought they were stupid to walk when they had a decent donkey to ride. So, they both rode the donkey.

Now they passed some people that shamed them by saying how awful to put such a load on a poor donkey. The boy and man said they were probably right, so they decided to carry the donkey.

As they crossed the bridge, they lost their grip on the animal and he fell into the river and drowned.

The moral of the story? If you try to please everyone, you might as well kiss your ass good-bye."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Quote of the unspecified temporal interval

A man chases a woman until she catches him.

Today's helping of news

My posts lately have been a little lame, so I figured I needed to gather up a little interesting info this evening.

First up: Mad scientists are fine, just don't be a bad, mad scientist!

Scientists have produced superheated gas exceeding temperatures of 2 billion degrees Kelvin, or 3.6 billion degrees Fahrenheit.

This is hotter than the interior of our Sun, which is about 15 million degrees Kelvin, and also hotter than any previous temperature ever achieved on Earth, they say.

They don't know how they did it.

For something which they don't understand and was, in a sense, sort of a goof, this could turn out to be really big news. Read on.
One thing that puzzles scientists is that the high temperature was achieved after the plasma'’s ions should have been losing energy and cooling. Also, when the high temperature was achieved, the Z machine was releasing more energy than was originally put in, something that usually occurs only in nuclear reactions.
So they may have discovered a rather amazing energy source. Let's just hope they don't burn down the lab before they figure this out.

Next up: Some people may be smarter than they appear (at least on paper)
About 4,000 students who took the main SAT college entrance exam last October received incorrectly low scores because of problems with the scanning of their answer sheets.
How bad was it?

Admissions officials, however, said Tuesday some students had been affected by as much as 130 points — forcing schools to scramble to re-evaluate candidates at a time when many are trying to make final decisions.

Great! Glad this kind of thing didn't happen when I was applying at the University of Illinois.

Here's another great one.

Do you remember a while back when I mentioned that the Malaysianan government was sponsoring a search for bigfoot? Well Guess what? No, they didn't find him. In fact, nobody wants to try.

And of course I would be remissis in my duties if I didn't mention this:
The Empire Microsoft Strikes Back.

In a fairly obvious attempt to strike back at Google, Yahoo, and all the others, Microsoft has released it's beta

Don't you just love competition?!

Let's wrap things up on a light note.

Does anyone remember the opening scene of "Back to the Future" when Michael J Fox (Marty McFly if you prefer) gets blown across a room by that giant amp? Well here's a subwoofer that might actually be able to do just that.

I'm just glad these guys don't live next door to me.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Math! It all adds up!

I haven't posted anything particularly nerdy lately, so here's a fun little link

Idiot World's Math G od eek Test.

I'll admit, I'm not much of a math nerd, but this is a fun(ny) way of wasting a little time, and since it's somewhat academic in nature, you can feel like you're improving yourself.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Spilling mistakes

I guess no matter how good you are at something, a spelling mistake can eventually catch up with you.

A Cyprus court jailed Pakistani national Fazal Ur Rehman for eight months for forgery after police spotted spelling mistakes on stamps on an Afghan passport he was carrying -- otherwise it was a near-perfect copy.

Ah, Monday morning!

"Doctor! Every morning when I drink my coffee, I get a stabbing pain in my right eye,"

"Well, have you tried taking the spoon out of the cup?"

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oh joy!

This just in from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

“Drivers of passenger vehicles should avoid the Dan Ryan entirely,” said IDOT Secretary Tim Martin. While many motorists will use public transportation or IDOT-designated alternate routes, truckers will be urged to stay on the expressway because their vehicles are too heavy for local streets. “Our message is ‘Cars Off, Trucks On,” said Martin.
Work is set to begin at the end of this month or beginning of next depending on weather. Looks like I'll be taking 55 downtown from now on.

(C'mon, click on the picture already)

Big 5 0

Carinival of Cordite has made it to 50 posts! Go check it out!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Hello Cleveland!

I guess now that photoshop is so popular, nobody is safe anymore, including the police.

Some people are saying that there's a hidden image in the Cleveland police logo on the side of their cars.A recent newspaper article did some editing, taking away bordering and edging on an image of the logo -- and the result was the image of a pig.

I guess I can kindof see it, but the editing makes it pretty noticable. Don't you just love photoshop?!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Quote of the unspecified temporal interval

"The attitude of people associating guns with nothing but crime, that is what has to be changed. I grew up at a time when people were not afraid of people with firearms."

—Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

(Again, via Kim du Toit)

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Here's a little bit of insane engineering for you. I know that VW likes to brag about their turbocharged engines, but I'm pretty sure this thing is a bit faster than a stock VW.

Whew!! It's a good thing this car can moves so fast, because I'd hate to be stuck right behind it in traffic.