Monday, October 31, 2005

UMC Minister Defrocked

Admitted and active lesbian Beth Stroud was defrocked today by a Methodist Court ruling. Some gay methodists are having trouble with this. I'd imagine other methodists aren't so conflicted.

I'm not a Methodist and my big question is: What took you guys so long? This has been going on for years. This is why I belong to a congregationally organized Baptist denomination. If a minister pulls this stuff they generally either get kicked out by their own church or the church falls apart around them. There is none of this years of church court stuff.

My bible study is current embarking on 1 Corinthians. Corinth was a church beset with sexual immorality on a number of levels (prostitution was a biggie). Chapter 5 seems very applicable right now.
I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."
Or in other words, cast the unrepentant sinner out of your fellowship. Once that is done, let them go on their way.

Of course many people will hold that homosexuality is not "sexually immoral". I'm sure Paul would have a lot to say about those people too.

UPDATE: John the Methodist says that I don't understand why there is a debate here. That isn't the case, I understand why. What I don't understand is why it took over two and a half years to resolve the debate.

The woman preached her "coming out" sermon in April of 2003. She admitted publicly to living a lifestyle that is officially in conflict with being a minister in the UMC and the penalty is, to my understanding, pretty plainly spelled out. It isn't like members of her congregation were sneaking around her garden digging up dirt while violating her privacy.

The facts are a matter of public record as is the penalty. Why did it take over two years to reach a final verdict? My guess is politics, the liberal wing of the UMC didn't actually want to execute their own church laws on the matter.


Today's the day. I try not to speak ill of my fellow Christians for sermonizing about the grave spiritual threat this "unholy" day poses for us and our children. I just have to wonder whether we might be better off if the Christian media spent October 31st celebrating the anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 theses instead of expressing professional outrage about this "pagan" cultural institution.

Google Video

If you haven't tried it yet, go ahead and have some fun. The great thing is that you have access to all types of video and TV. The bad thing is that it seems to be very beta. It is also shockwave/flash and my copy of Firefox at work is too "special" to handle it.

I've been using this to watch clips of Top Gear, a british car show. Unfortunately I can't find a link to the episode where they torture test the Toyota Diesel Hilux. By torture I mean roll down steps, set on fire, and blow up.

Plame Flame

My analysis is a little flawed. While this scandal is not bipartisan, it may be making deeper inroads into the swing voters than I thought. Why? As Instapundit points out, news coverage is rewriting history very heavily. I caught a few minutes of Dateline this weekend and sure enough they were turning this from "a vice presidential official was indicted for procedural violations" to "Bush lied, people died!"

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Ratings Game

The President's are low. Very low. Now analysts are are picking lots of reasons for this:
  • Iraqi casualties are a big round number.
  • Someone outed covert suburbanite Valerie Plame.
  • The economy is pretty mediocre.
I've been watching a lot of BBC lately, so I'll use my favorite British response: Rubbish.

Bush was elected with 51% of the vote. His approval ratings are sitting around 40% right now. What does that tell you? I tells you a lot of people who voted for Bush aren't happy with him at the moment. So?

So Iraq and the Plame affair were going on when we voted for the man a year ago. As one of the unhappy 10% who voted for the President, let me say that I don't give a good God damn about them. Iraq has had elections and passed a constitution since then and the violence is at worst leveling off and seems to be falling. The Plame affair is partisan crap. The congressional scandals are much the same. The economy? Eh, if anything it's probably reacting the president's troubles.

So what is the real problem? The real problem is that the President has done a piss poor job of demonstrating any form of conservatism. In his first term, we forgave a lot of this because he had a war to fight, trouble in the Senate, and hopes for a second term. But now? There can't be a third term. Iraq is greatly improved, but government spending remains out of control. Furthermore domestic security, one of the things we trusted him to take care of, was proven insufficient by Hurricaine Katrina. His first term staff was an impressive brain trust. With the exception of Cheney and Condi, I wouldn't trust his second term staff to out-think my old high school trivia team.

So we're sick of it. And we can do the math. It's 3 years until the next presidential election? The public only remembers two. Now is the perfect time for us to express our displeasure with a minimum amount of collateral damage to the nation.

Most of this is fixable. Get fixing. Your base is your problem. Make us happy. Stop pandering to a left that will never even like you and throw us a bone. And not the kind you find in the bottom of a barrel of pork.


Evangelical Outpost has good investment advice from Austin Pryor. It is worth a read.

I'm a young guy without much in the way of debt or long term savings. Right now my retirement money is sitting in a TSP account, that is the federal governments version of a 401k. Since I don't have that much to lose, I'm heavily invested in the riskier but higher yielding stock segments like small businesses and internationals. As I get older (and the interest rates improve) I'll shift more of my money to more secure investments like government securities and bonds.

My more immediate savings is going to be headed for an ING savings account. They have an excellent rate of return (for a savings account). This should get my house savings started.

Fragile Fuzzy Nazis

John the Methodists explains what it is like to keep rabbits as pets.
It sounds like Patti fell for the houserabbit myth. There is a popular notion among some rabbit people that one can raise a pet rabbit like one keeps a cat. ... If this were true, it would necessitate that my rabbits are exceptionally stupid for rabbits. I do not think that this is the case.
He also goes on into detail about the many ways you can accidentally kill a rabbit. There are rather a lot of them.

My parents had a garden for most of my life. For a good part of that time we weren't planting it, but one would spring up in that spot anyway. Because of this we had rabbits in the back yard. We also owned a series of dogs. The dogs didn't kill any rabbits, but they had fun chasing them. I did kill a rabbit once. I accidentally stepped on it while walking one of the dogs. I still feel bad about it to this day, but I console myself with the knowledge that it couldn't have been a very smart rabbit.

Oh, the Nazi part? It is a reference to the quite excellent furry comic anthology Albedo Anthropomorphics. This is a hard sci-fi space war series where the good guys are the Extra-planetary Defense Forces and the bad guys are the Interstellar Lepine Republic (ILR). The ILR are rabbit space Nazis who believe in their own buck-toothed racial superiority. Yes I realize that space Nazis are somewhat over done, but it is a really good series. Even the furriness makes sense.

UPDATE: On the other hand Rabbit Nazis are nothing compared to guinea pig jinxes.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Batting 1000

I looked at my postcount for the first time in a long while. In the past year and a half, I've written over 1000 posts. Wow. Hope you've liked reading so far.

Gun Collecting

The Gun Guy is commenting on the death of his gun obsession. He's hit hard times financially and has had to sell off a good portion of his collection to finance his business.

I don't have an obsession. I know, I know, the first step to healing is admitting you have a problem. But seriously, I own 6 guns: two shotguns, 3 handguns, and a rifle. That may sound like a lot to someone who doesn't own any, but the truth is that there is a lot of space in my gun cabinet. I'd eventually like to add a revolver and an AR-15 to my "collection".

A collection isn't exactly what it is. A collection is something you have just to have. My gun cabinet is more of a big green toolbox. Some are for protecting my home (Mossberg 590 and centerfire pistols). Some are purely for training skills (Buckmark and M1 carbine). Some are for sport shooting (grampy's 20 gauge). The only one I'd never sell is my grandfather's 20 gauge, too much history there. I'm not much of a materialist and Amybear's insistence on an upper limit to my number of firearms has helped to hammer that home.

I do get an itchy trigger finger if I haven't gone shooting in a while though. Mostly that's because I'm mostly a handgun shooter. Handgun skills involve complex motor control and are very perishable. So if you haven't shot in a month, you're going to suck when you do.

Still, the funny thing is that my gun obsession has diminished as my collection has grown. Before I owned anything, I studied and read on firearms extensively. I soaked up anything and everything like a sponge. Now I only read posts about the guns I own or would like to own. I suppose I just know what I like as my experience has grown.

Gone Daddy Gone

That was the message today as Michele Catalano has closed down her blog A Small Victory. I'll miss it, but she'll be writing in NaNoWriMo here come November 1.

Miers Out

Harriet Miers has asked to withdraw her nomination and the president has accepted. While I'm sure she is a fine person and a wonderful human being, she was not an acceptable supreme court nominee. The appearance of impropriety surrounding her nomination saw to that. Not only did she not have any evidence of deep-seated conservative principles, but she headed up the search committee that chose her as the nominee. That doesn't cut it folks.

Now can we please get a decent nominee, i.e. not Alberto Gonzalez. Not this guy either as amusing as it might be.

Cell Phones for Kids

While not as cool as Graham Norton's doggie phone, the Buddy Bear phone is a neat idea and a thoroughly engineered product. My only worry is that your kids might think it's a toy and run up tons of charges, but I believe they have thought of that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Serving the Reserves

Mudville Gazette has a story on the 80% retention rates the reserves are seeing right now. 80% retention for the reserves in a time of war just sounds amazing to me. Why are they staying in?
"It's who I am; it's what I do."
"Duty, honor, country."
"If not me, who will do it?"
Why are 20% getting out?
"Not enough money or bonuses."
"Not worth the risk."
"Tired of higher rank bullheadedness and lower rank slothfulness."
Check out 1st Lieutenant Bishop's quote at the end. It's a winner.

The Sky is Falling!

I'm not a big fan of intelligent design. I'm not a big fan of evolution either. Frankly they don't really impact my work and I don't find either of them especially theoretically satisfying. Both have major falsifier problems.

But just once I would like see someone actually read a book on ID before bashing it foolishly.
Americans and their leaders will have to get over their love affair with intelligent design . Polls show that most don't believe in evolution. But it is actually impossible to talk logically about bird flu, or any other rapidly evolving and constantly changing virus, without using the language of evolution -- specific words such as "mutant," "recombination," "genome" and "selection."
You do realize that ID does actually believe in parts of evolutionary theory, don't you? ID generally holds that natural selection and mutation are generally not sufficient for the generation of new species. ID does not say that these things do not exist in the universe. ID has never said this and will never say this. Adherents to ID are not so obstinate that they reject easily observable facts. Read a damn book.

If I were to criticize evolution because Darwin got inheritance completely wrong (and he did) or because his predictions about the fossil record were completely off, you would think me equally looney. Those things aren't major parts of current evolutionary theory. Darwin's inheritance scheme was replaced with modern genetics. The importance of the fossil record was downplayed via new theory like punctuated equilibrium. See, I've read a book.

Get with the program. If you are going to savage a line of thinking, at least have the decency to learn about it first so you savage it properly. Otherwise you simply jump to baseless slurs with no foundation in actual science. And you spread ignorance. And that pisses me off.

Ammo Prices

The Gun Guy has remarks up about the current ammunition market in the US. Long story short:
  • The massive ammounts of foreign surplus ammo coming into the country is really screwing with consumer price expectations.
  • Expect premium ammo to shoot up in price because of reduced demand in comparison to the inferior but cheap surplus.
  • Expect more cheap foreign ammo to come onto the market from Eastern Europe.
  • Expect American "manufacturers" to start rebranding foreign ammo because they can make it cheaper over there.
  • .22 is going to be going up in price.
In short, if you shoot a lot now is a great time to start reloading. Make your own premium ammo if you require it. Once I have a house to put a reloading bench in, I'll probably do that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

On a Lighter Note

Here are some insults from Sigmund, Carl and Alfred. Good ones include:
I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.

I don't think you are a fool. But what's my opinion compared to that of thousands of others?

I would have liked to insult you, but the sad truth is that you wouldn't understand me.
UPDATE: Silly me forgot the link. Fixed now. Feel free to add novel insults on that subject in the comments.


November is National Novel Writing Month. Risawn is thinking about doing it and Michele Catalano has actually signed up.

The way NaNoWriMo works is you spend all of November writing a novel. A novel is defined as a work of fiction no less than 50,000 pages long. Did I say pages? Sorry that is only for the fantasy novelists. I meant 50,000 words long.

That is the equivalent of writing about 6 to 7 pages per day, every day, for the whole month. At the end you are a "winner" for completing it. In order to do this most people work out the details of plot beforehand and then do massive free writing for the whole month. Editing comes later, if at all.

I've thought about doing this, but it won't be this year. I'll be busy in November and I'm not out of my bible study leadership role yet either. Maybe I'll start the outlining process for something next year.

Traffic Violated

I'm mentioned the traffic habits of cops before. Last night it came home to roost. What was my real crime? I was driving like a cop without the badge.

I left work late last night. As I pulled out of the parking lot, a police SUV pulled in front of me. I slowed down to let him in and then followed him through a series of turns. I matched his speed. At the end of the turns he stopped suddenly and then pulled over in the left hand lane. I slowed down and waiting for him to make a move, then passed him on the right. He turned on his lights for the first time and pulled me over.

He checked my ID and gave me a warning for following too closely. He also chastening me for driving too fast. Of course I wasn't doing anything that he hadn't been doing a few seconds before me. If I can't use a police officer as my model, who the hell can I use?

The whole thing pissed me off so much that I had trouble eating dinner and getting to sleep last night. I suppose I'm overreacting, but the whole hypocrisy of the event raised my hackles even now.

Real American Heros

Rosa Parks died yesterday at the age of 92.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Brazilian Keep Their Guns

Despite pressure from the government, the media, and the Catholic Church, Brazilians rejected a gun control referendum by over 60%. Geek has more.

People need to get a few things through their heads. Guns are not just a violence issue, guns are fundamental civil rights issue. You have a fundamental right to defend yourself from aggression. If I lived in Brazil, with that moron Chavez on across the border, I'd want to keep my weapons too. They have a ready made example of how tyranny follows disarmament. They also have a good reason to worry. As Venezuela collapses (and it will) trouble will be coming to them.


I'm having a lot of trouble getting blogger to work today. Not sure why, but it just does not want to post. Keep that in mind.

Classified Top Sacred

John has a practical question about congregational confidences:
As ministers, we are ethically obligated to protect the privacy of struggling people in our congregations. At what point does it become acceptable to refer to someone as a sermon illustration?
Several of his readers have commented, but here are my two cents.

I actually was quoted in one of my senior pastor's sermons. It was not a story of my sordid past (which I don't actually have.) My pastor did a sermon series on Calvinism. I thought it was a bad idea. This topic can divide churches and makes little practical difference in your daily christian walk. I told my pastor so in response to an email he had sent. He liked some of my thoughts so much he actually quoted me. He did so anonymously and with my permission, even though what I had said was not in confidence.

Now things will probably get murkier if the person is dead or if you are pastoring a different church. Then maybe you can avoid asking for permission if you change the names to protect the innocent. Maybe.

Today's Online Quiz

I am 62% loser. What about you? Click here to find out!

Wow I'm normal. Must be a software bug or something.

Get Fuzzy

Bucky is taking a class in gunsmithing? Something about that makes me nervous.

I also found it kind of sad that I actually know what you do with a "chamber reamer". I even know where to buy one.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Peanut Obscura

You are Rerun!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Firearms Industry Protection

For many years now, the firearms industry has been beset with lawsuits. Most of these are brought by liberal cities egged on by gun control groups. These folks are trying to bleed the industry to death using the legal system. To date firearms makers have won all but one, with the vast majority being thrown out of court. Some states are sick of it and have passed state laws to shield the industry.

Today the house passed a bill extend this legal shield from a few states to the entire nation. The Senate had passed a bill months ago. Bush says he will sign it and good for him.

Commuter Cars

I'd like to add the EcoRacer to my list of cars I wouldn't mind owning. It's a mid engine volkswagon turbodiesel in a very light body. It gets great gas mileage (70 mpg), has good acceleration (6.3 0 to 60ish), and it's even a convertable. As long as they didn't go into production in Mexico, I'd consider buying it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Urban Archipelago

A coworker pointed me towards this essay on the Red and Blue State divide. It gets the analysis right, that the Democrats win the cities and the Republicans win the country/suburbs. That is where the smart stops.

The whole rest of the essay is complete foolishness. My coworker showed it to me because he thought it was satire. They obviously have no understanding of how infrastructure scales with population density. Their vision of a new selfish form of urban liberalism is also misguided. Read it if you must, but unlike my coworker I thought it was just sad.

Stossel on Guns

I already knew the contents of this article by ABC reporter Jon Stossel. It is still nice to see a network news personality saying to it though.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hillel's Angels

That's what you call yourself if your a group of motorcycling Jews from North Jersey. Just go read it.

Not A World Traveler

Put me down, you don't know where I've been.

create your own visited states map

These are the states I have really visited as opposed to driven or flown through. I don't think you can fly in the US without going through Hartsfield in Atlanta. I've also been through most of the northern US when we droven my grandfathers Dodge home to Pennsylvania from Washington. But none of that counts because all I did was see airport and interstate.

Not Just for Star Trek

The Air Force has actually developed transparent aluminum. Montgomery Scott would be proud.

Chinese Cars

Chinese industry can be good. They actually make some darn good guns. Cheap labor prices mean that they can do things the high quality old fashioned way instead of the cheaper and often crappier modern way.

But sometimes not so much. The Chinese auto industry has a way to go. Their Landwind SUV recieved a crash test rating of 0 out of 5 in European testing. It is the only zero ever recorded. Not only does the safety cage fail, but it turns around and throttles the steering wheel through the crash test dummy's head. There are videos!

But hey it's probably pretty cheap. Of course if I were going to drive a car that I knew would kill me, why not make it expensive? I won't be needing that money anyway.

At least when I get the itch for a motorcycle again, I'll be able to tell Amybear "but dear, it's still safer than a Chinese SUV."

Monday, October 17, 2005

Ugly Europistols

Sad to say, but "the Gun Guy" shows the ugly didn't start with Glocks. Maybe it's genetic or something.

For comparison, tGG has a Remington 1875 single action revolver. It's a beaut. I have a real itch for a single action revolver right now. A problem is that I really don't like Colts or clones which is 90% of the single action market. I'm thinking about either buying a replica 1875/90 Remington or taking a replica percussion Remington revolver and modifying it up as a garage project.

The real problem with all these guns is that the standard caliber is .45 long colt and it's helluva expensive. We're talking about 50 cents/round and even 31 cents/round for reloads. By comparison, commercial reloads in .45acp are available for 17 cents/shot and 9mm is about 13. I suppose I could look into getting them in .38sp but then the extra weight throws the balance out of whack.

Parents These Days...

Michele is pontificating on proms and the quality of modern parentage.
The sad part is, it's not just prom night. Have you seen the MTV show about Sweet 16s? It's enough to make you sick to your stomach. What is it with this generation of parents?
Amen sister.

I'm a TV addict. I blame my parents (or else I would have to take personal responsibility and we can't have that...) I'll admit to catching parts of Sweet 16 and Laguna Beach on MTV. It's scary and I don't often watch long. The shows compel you to watch in the same way "when animals attack" or the police chase shows do. They're like watching a train wreck, which is kind of fun in a sick way.

What really scares me is not that these children are little monsters. They certainly are, but that is beside the point. What worries me is that some younger kids, the junior high MTV set, may be watching Laguna Beach and thinking that is how they are supposed to behave. Now that is frightening.

A Shooting Brake

What is a shooting brake? Sounds like some sort of catastrophic vehicular failure, but it isn't.
The Shooting Brake concept evolved a century ago from European gentlemen wishing to have enough room for their guns when they were going hunting or to shooting contests yet at the same time drive their sports cars. A "shooting brake" is a modified two door coupe with an estate-wagon back crafted, rather than grafted, on.
What a wonderful idea! I want one. I'd, uh, carry groceries in the back. Yeah it's for groceries dear. Thats the ticket.

On a more practical note, carrying firearms in a car like this might be troublesome in the states. (The shooting brake seems a Euro thing.) Some firearms transportation laws direct you to store guns unloaded and locked out of reach. Your car's trunk is great for this. A small car with a hatchback is much less ideal. This is part of the reason my current car is a sedan, by the way.

Mars and Venus

Amybear and I have different planning styles. She likes to get as much done up front as possible so there is less worrying to do later. I like to put off decisions for as long as possible so I can avoid making the same decision twice. (Oh the contracter you booked three months ago? He just canceled.) This is causing some conflict in wedding planning, but it is easily solved by me minding my own damn business.

It occurs to me that this same relationship, the woman plans and the man procrastinates, is exactly the same as what I see in my parents. I wonder, is this a man/woman thing or am I just turning into my father as I grow older?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Blessed Transitions

My small group had a long talk about where the group is going last night. To make a long story short I will be transitioning out of leadership and we'll be going to a more round robin style of teaching. This is good because (1) I'm in a singles group but am getting married (2) the guys in my group are strong mature christians and capable of taking this on themselves.

It is like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Leading a lesson per week for about 2 years has really worn me out. I'll be still be leading a study here and there as part of the rotation, but sharing responsibility is a good thing. Maybe I'll have time now to do more substantial writing for the blog.

Morning Commutes

Ooccasionally I get the idea that a motorcycle would be a great idea for my morning commute. Then I have a trip in like this morning, when an idiot in an SUV decides to go from 60 mph to complete stop on the onramp only a few feet in front of me. Antilock brakes don't fail me now. I'm fine. The car's fine. The driver was an idiot, but it only takes one idiot to make your life miserable.

So far I'm ahead of the game for October though. Last year I had two people rear end me within the space of two weeks. So far I'm clean. What is it about fall that makes people stupid?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sly 2

Well I finished the game last night. Amybear will be very happy about that. I liked it. If you have a PS2 and enjoy a good platformer Sly 2 is it. Plus it's on the $20 greatest hits list right now because Sly 3 just came out.

Sly 1 was good. In some ways it was a ring-tailed copy of other games like Spyro, the hub and spoke organization was similar. The levels were straightforward platformer stuff, but good straightforward platformer stuff. They tried to break up the Sly gameplay with shooting and driving mini games. To some extent it worked. But some of the levels were just incredibly hard and the master thief challenges were barely worth playing.

Sly 2 is great. It has a feel all it's own. The hub and spoke system is basically gone. Levels are organized into 8 hubs with missions set in each hub much as in GTA. Instead of the obvious mini games of Sly 1, the Sly 2 gameplay is broken up by playing Bently and Murray, Sly's cohorts who each have their own gameplay style. There are mini games, but they move you towards a goal with a much more seamless quality. Oh and the difficulty is tough, but not impossible like the last one.

In short I liked it. The only thing I really wish for is the ability to replay all the missions in an episode once you have beaten it.

Hey Crackhead!

Ok I saw this really funny post on a motorcycle forum. It does contain some profanity so if that's a problem, skip it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


My music tastes shift a lot. I generally gravitate towards music that will have a long shelf life. I don't do fad music. Except hair metal. But I was young and impressionable then. Boy bands? No. Hootie? Boring. Teeny pop? Not really, certainly not Britney. Alternative rock? How is it "alternative" when the majority of kids in my high school were listening to it? I do admittedly like swing, but swing is classic and I don't own a zoot suit or go to the dances.

I was on a secular rock kick for a while. Sorry Contemporary Christian Music lovers, but a lot of CCM sucks. I went secular to get music that doesn't. I bought some early Beatles albums. I bought some rock albums. I even bought Greenday's latest. Then I realized that it was only winning awards because it bashes Dubya and the War. Oops.

After leading a study on 1 Kings 18 (Elijah kicks Baal's ass), I remembered a Disciple song on the subject "God of Elijah". So I bought the album it was on at my local Family Corporate Store. Now I'm back on the Christian metal kick. As long as I don't buy any Petra, I might not do anything I regret later.

Organizers on the Cheap

I have a PDA. It's a palm m105. I bought it in grad school after I missed one too many meetings. I considered several options to spending over a hundred bucks, like small notebooks and the like. In the end though a paper notebook won't beep and annoy me if I forget something (like jury duty that was scheduled months ago). So the palm was a good investment and I still use it regularly.

If you are looking for something with 90% of the functionality, then there are two possibilities you might want to look at. The first is the Pocketmod. It's a sheet of paper you make with flash program. Using some creative folding, you cut and fold it into an 8 sheet organizer.

Nice, but there is no way to hot sync the thing with my datebook. What I really want is a pocketmod program that interfaces with my electronic calendar at work. That way I print out one in the morning and I have everything I need to do that day in my pocket.

There is also the Hipster. This is a stack of 3x5 cards binder clipped together. You write on them with a pen. The hipster mini uses business cards instead. If the bind clip bugs you, then several index card or business card holders are available at office stores.

Via Evangelical Outpost.

The Crave Factor

Man I've been having a serious thirst for Cheerwine. But the closest distributor is in Warrenton, VA. Thats a good hour on the other side of Amy's parents. Maybe some day I'll surprise Amy and make the drive. We would both like a few cases at the wedding, if nothing else.


I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. It taught me a few things about professional sports. The Eagles, the Flyers, and even the Sixers can win. They'll come and go, but the franchises themselves have potential. You can expect to get to the playoffs and maybe even get somewhere. They won't go all the way, but they'll make a decent showing of themselves.

But the Phillies will always suck. When I want to see a baseball game now, I go see the Wilmington Blue Rocks. It's a minor league team, but they play almost as well as the Phillies and cost much less.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Joan and Jimmy are no longer an item.
I'm not quite sure what to say. I can't even wrap my mind around it yet. But apparently Jimmy and I are no longer an us and no one bothered to tell me. I found out on my own today. I just wish he had told me himself. I think I deserved at least that. I've always been of the opinion that if you are causing someone else pain, the very least you can do is plant your feet firmly on the ground and let them unload on you.
I agree. You did deserve better than this and if this is all Jimmy had to offer, then frankly I'm disappointed in him. I thought he was a stand-up fella. Amybear and I broke up once. We were long distance and it was over the phone, but at least it was her and me and she could dish it out as needed.

Joan, I wish I could say something that would make it alright. God has a plan for you and even if Jimmy isn't part of it, it'll still be a good one. Reading your site for over a year now, I've picked up on an undercurrent of self loathing. It's understandable given all that you have been through. Not to go all Stuart Smalley, but you are special. You're good enough. You're smart and sexy and beautiful. In the end, this is Jimmy's loss.

You may not want to hear that, but it's all I got. In the end I'm sorry and I wish I could do something more substantial for you.


My suspicions were correct. Feeble Knees had her son a little over a week ago. "Bug" (thankfully a pseudonym) is healthy and 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

Gift Registration

Because I'm a slackergovernment employee I had a nice 4 day weekend. Amybear came up last week. We snuggled, caught a movie or two, and went shopping.

Part of this shopping was our initial effort to set up a Gift Registration list. So far we have some fine china, bedding, towels, small kitchen appliances, etc. I'm looking into good knives right now.

I know some of you folks out there in bloggerland have been through this already. I curious if you have any suggestions for things to put on the gift registry. A coworker has already suggested that there be enough articles of manliness there that all our gifts aren't for Amy. Anything else? That's what the comments are for.

UPDATE: On another note, Bridal Flip Flops?

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Battle for Mosul Recap

Michael Yon's current dispatch is amazing. It is long but well worth the read.

Nice Guy Syndrome

Michael Dean has two posts up on Nice Guy Syndrome or just NGS.
For those that don't understand NGS here is how it usually works. You become friends with a girl, you are attracted to her and have strong feelings for her. At some point in the friendship you begin talking about possibly becoming more than friends. With NGS this conversation quickly turns to the female friend stating, "You're too nice to date, let's just be friends." Of course she fails to realize that in saying these words, that friendship will never be the same. The guy begins to think that someday she will find someone that's not "too nice to date" (read "a jerk") and will break your heart even more. Therefore that friendship falters and slowly fades away to nothing. Both sides are sad and upset, but usually the guy more than the girl, since his heart was broken.
Yup. I have been the victim of NGS several times. The last time was in college with a girl I knew in High School. It ended with her saying "but Jeff you're such a good friend, why would I ever want to date you?" Well you ripped my heart out, would you like to stomp on it a bit while it's on the ground?

Fortunately Amybear was able to cure my NGS with a small injection of BGI or Bad Girl Influence early in our relationship. Otherwise we might still be discussing our favorite forms of laundry detergent. Instead she gave me a kiss and I found better things to do than talk, like try to get another kiss.

Why is this such a problem? Michael says it is due to feminism breaking the male spirit. He has a point. When I was brought up, we were taught to be sensitive. We didn't do anything to offend the girls. We suppressed our juvenile rough housing. We learned to be quite passive really, because that was how good little boys behaved. Being good little boys, we listened and obeyed.

Now this whole thing is great if what you want is well behaved little boys. Which is what many of the uber-feminists want. They don't have kids or husbands and they just want men they can walk over. But most women aren't like that, which is why feminism is dying as a popular movement. Real women want partners not peons. So in practice, this feminist training doesn't work.

I'm a man. I'm not a little boy. Somewhere along the line, I realized a good little boy is just a doormat. Just think of the guys in High School who got the girls. The dicks. Who got to kiss Lois Lane more, Clark Kent or Superman? And Superman is still a big blue boyscout.

Good little boys get left behind. That is until we've had enough. Then we realize that the jerks are stomping us flat and nobody is going to stand up for us if we don't stand up for ourselves. We become adults. We become men. We start taking care of our own problems. We're still nice guys, but we don't take crap from bad boys.

Women want someone who will is a worthy partner. Someone who will defend them in a fight and keep their children safe. Someone with the decisiveness to take charge and solve problems. They want men. It is a damn shame we aren't training our boys to be men anymore.

Now this isn't the only reason of course. Another biggie is that women know many friendships don't survive becoming relationships. So if you spend a lot of time together and get to be good friends, she isn't willing to risk what you have now for what you might have in the future. You have invested all this friendship together, why risk it? But in a way this is just a penalty for going slow and being over-cautious. If you were more aggressive, you wouldn't have this huge friendship investment would you?

For those of you out there who haven't found your woman yet, just don't be a little boy. Be a man. Hit her over the head with your club and drag her back into your cave. She'll love and respect you for it.

Dogs of War

Get Fuzzy is featuring them in today's comic. If you want to full story on war dogs like Stubby and Chips, here is a site on war dogs throughout history.

Among the things you will learn is that Darby Conley got a few things wrong. Chips did not receive the purple heart or silver star. He was nominated for them by a brigadier general, but someone higher up decided that medals are only for men not dogs. He was probably denied because he bit Eisenhower...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Posting is going to be sparse for a while until further notice. Unfortunately my internet access at work has been completely cut off by my own stupidity. The speed of my return will be hastened by the responsiveness of the IT department.

Two Horns

Here is a great idea that came up driving home from lunch. Cars should have two horns. The first horn would be the nice horn. It's the one you honk for thanking someone or just getting their attention. It would probably sound like a clown car horn, cute and high pitched. The second horn would be the one you use to tell people off. It would sound gruff and rude, like a large man yelling profanity, because that is what it's for.

I think this would add a real depth to travel on the nations roadways. As it is I just use my horn to tell people off, but with two I have so much more depth. I can practically converse with them.

Harriet Miers

So she's the big story in the blogosphere. She seems woefully underqualified to be on the highest ranking court in the land. Her main recommendation is that she is Bush's attorney. I don't want to be mean, but I hope the Senate bitch-slaps both her and the President down for this.

Bush has worn out the "trust me" line. I'm genuinely tired of seeing him nominate good ole boys and gals. It's time for the Republicans to get a serious setback. Maybe shattering their aura of electoral invincibility will get them to act like conservatives again.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Final Prayers

I've been asking for prayer because a friends father was in a bad way. His dad died at about 6:30 pm EST today. He had terminal pancreatic cancer, but the actual cause of death was a heart attack and stroke.

The good part is that the family had enough time to get together and was present with his dad when he died. This was far more sudden than most of them were expecting. It's hard on the family, but it may be a merciful end for his dad compared to the effects of pancreatic cancer.

Please continue praying for the family as they grieve their loss and make funeral preparations.

Rosh Hashanah

It starts at sundown. Amy and I figured this out by checking the Hellboy calendar in my kitchen. There is something funny about looking up the times of Jewish High Holy days on a Hellboy calendar.

Landing on Your Feet

Joe Cathey is recounting whimsical days of his youth. Back when he used to drop his cat out the window onto his sleeping bulldog to see what happens.

Now I don't have many stupid kids stories. That is what happens when you're an introvert, you stay home and don't get in much trouble. At least not until you go to college. But here is a quality window story.

It was winter in the mid 1980s. Snow was on the ground and I was stuck in Sunday school with a gang of other boys in our late elementary years. Our teacher failed to show up so we had to keep ourselves occupied until church started. You can see where this is going.

Well our sunday school room is on the back side of the church. Because of the lay of the land, our second story window is only about a half story up. The ground is at about window level on the first floor and is covered in nice soft snow. We wondered if we could safely jump out of the window without hurting ourselves. It took about a half hour before anyone worked up the nerve to try it.

Sure enough, he landed safe and sound and more people followed. I didn't try it until at least the second or third go round because I'm a good introvert and also afraid of depths (heights are fine, depths uhh uhh).

Now where is the comedy? Well you see my classroom happened to be located directly above the senior pastor's office. The fact that he was leading an adult Sunday school class in there didn't help us one bit. Fortunately my parents weren't in it. Unfortunately other boys were not so lucky. I don't think I've seen Rev. Brown's face quite that color before or since.

We all got yelled at. Some mercy and grace was dispensed later when the church realized they screwed up and left a seven or eight pre-pubescent boys without adult supervision.


Nissan is bringing a concept car forward that looks oddly familiar. I think I've seen riceboys driving their '93 civics dolled up just like that!

It has been my opinion that the Honda Civic 3-door hatchback from the early '90s is the almost ideal form for that type of compact car. It's small and nimble with the wheels at the corners. The design is such that four adult males can actually sit in the thing comfortably, albeit not with much in the way of trunk space. If you turbocharge it, you can even get it to accelerate at a fair pace. It's sort of like a mini, except with a useable back seat and better reliability.

When I went looking to buy my first car in 1999, I wanted one of these, but couldn't find one for the life of me. By then the later generation Civics had expanded so that they were both larger in ways that didn't matter, and smaller in ways that did. Sadly, I ended up with a Ford Escort instead.

In 2003 when the Escort was showing its age I entered the market again. When I saw the Ford Focus, I thought they may have captured some of the old magic. But I rented a Focus once. I couldn't bear to own one. So I bought a Mazda Protege, which I like a lot and have no complaints about.

We'll see what is around when the Protege bites the dust.

Baby Off-Board

If my calculations are correct, Feeble Knees probably had her baby this weekend. A few prayers in their direction would not be remiss, even at this late date.

A Weekend in Review

I got a lot done this weekend. Floors were vacuumed. Clothes were washed. Recyclables were recycled. I bought and delivered my Dad's 70th birthday present. Things were generally good. The following deserve a bit more than a footnote, perhaps a bullet point.
  • My brother and I went to see Serenity yesterday. It was quite good, but also fairly open-ended. I got the feeling they tied up the major arc-plots of the original series, especially River and her brother's plot. There is also room for future stories with most of the crew, if you get my drift.
  • I went shooting Saturday with my hipower and 1911. Things went well, but towards the end of shooting the grips on my hipower cracked. This is the second set of wood grips to crack and both did it in the same place along the grain lines. The first set were fairly cheap, but these latest were not. No more wood grips for me, my next set will be synthetic.
  • While cleaning the air filter on my Protege, I noticed that one of the mounting brackets on my intake had cracked. I bolted it down as best I could and now I have to call AEM to see if they'll send/sell me the replacement part. The car still runs, although I'm running good gas for the next tank until my fuel injection system realizes the engine is breathing better.
  • Sly Cooper 3 is out for PS2. This meant I had to do the only logical thing. I bought Sly Cooper 2 for $20. It is a great game and unlike the last one, there are levels where you play the whole gang. Murray the Hippo (the muscle of the team) and Bentley the Turtle (the brains) make for much more interesting game-play changes than the mini games of Sly 1. I'm enjoying it way more than I should. Which is why I got way too little sleep last night.

UPDATE: Tycho is noticing that Serenity isn't burning up the box office. I would like to note that nothing is burning up the box office right now. Turnout to the theatres was really light yesterday, probably because the weather was so nice. At least Serenity came out on top of the new releases moneywise.