Archive for November, 2006

30
Nov
06

Stupid Beyond Words

I know that it’s difficult for teachers to come up with novel approaches that engage students. It’s tough. Parents look at school as a place to dump their children while they are off doing whatever it is that they do during the day time. Schools are left to attempt to cram some knowledge into the young skulls and usually fail.

There may be as many as 30 seventh grade students from Redwood City (a posh suburb south of San Francisco) that will need to get tested for hepatitis and HIV because a stupid substitute science teacher thought it would be a good idea to use the same lancet over and over again. Even the students questioned the wisdom of the sub’s “protocol” and expressed concern over getting AIDS. According to the story in the San Francisco Chronicle, the teacher has been fired. The teacher will be lucky if he isn’t sued into oblivion and arrested on assault charges.

30
Nov
06

Police Reaction

There’s a whole lot of badness in the air right now. Cops in NY unloaded a fusillade of bullets on a what turns out to be unarmed bachelor party. Civil rights leaders are up in arms (Sharpton and Jackson) about police “brutality”. I wasn’t there, I don’t know if the police felt that their lives were in danger. But there were a lot of bullets fired. In a crime-riddled neighborhood of Atlanta, an elderly woman was killed by police while she defended herself from what she thought was a break-in. Turns out the police were serving a no-knock warrant while trying to locate an alleged drug dealer (John Doe). Specualtion is that Sharpton and Jackson will be heading down to Atlanta once “justice” is done in NYC. In this video (NSFW), police in Compton unleash 81 rounds and kill a man who turns out to be armed with nothing more than a flip-flop sandal. To say that racial tension is heightened would be a tremendous understatement.

The questions that will have to be answered are many. Of course, people want to know why so many shots were fired at unarmed suspects. Should cops expect to be shot at when breaking down the door in a “bad” neighborhood (or a “good” one for that matter)? Where is the line drawn so that a cop knows when it is okay to discharge his/her weapon in defense? Should cops be subject to a never-ending “neighborhodd review” process? And if so, how effective will they become? The courts have already ruled that citizens have no reasonable expectation to expect police to protect their safety. Those same rulings have found that police have no duty to provide that safety. At what point do police become so hamstrung that they are actually worthless?

30
Nov
06

More Sickness

Yesterday, we were all running around in shorts and t-shirts, swatting at mosquitos that were almost large enough to carry off small children. This was after we had a very brief cool snap. Right now, it’s 44 degrees. I’ve watched the temp slowly fall this morning and the weather guessers are predicting thunderstorms in the afternoon and a freeze tonight. Another few days should have us back in shorts and sweating while we rake leaves that were stupid enough to fall off the trees. The half of the Houston metro area that is not afflicted with this friggin’ cold soon will be.

29
Nov
06

Lame Apologies

Mel Gibson goes off in a tirade against Jews and women when pulled over for drunk driving. He later says that those actions aren’t really him. Michael Richards goes off on blacks and Jews and says it’s not him. Michael Vick lobs the bird at some fans in an Atlanta Falcons loss and then says “it was very inappropriate. I was down, upset, frustrated. I just did one thing I’ve never done through all the games I’ve ever lost, no matter how frustrated I’ve been after a game. I don’t know where it came from, but the people who know me know that’s not me and that’s not my character.”

Enough already. If your going to be a stupid idiot in public, be big enough to take responsibility for your actions. This “it wasn’t the real me” crap has got me fed up to here. And getting fined $10,000 when you make 10’s of millions a year is not exactly an effective deterrent.

29
Nov
06

Got Nuke? No iPod!

The Bush administration sure knows how to play rough when negotiating the proliferation of nooocleur weapons. In a bold and stunning move, Bush has implemented the US government’s first-ever effort to use trade sanctions to personally aggravate a foreign leader. Along with the ban in US/North Korean commerce of iPods are, get this, Cognac, Rolex watches, cigarettes, artwork, expensive cars, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and JetSki’s. That ought to put a real dent in the lifestyles of folks who can barely afford to feed themselves (assuming food could be found).

29
Nov
06

Kramer Is Black

Michael Richards, aka Cosmo Kramer, of Seinfeld fame, has been in a bit of hot water of late. Of course, there’s the recent melt-down that he had at a comedy club where he accosted patrons with the n-bomb and other tirades. That got a LOT of press. It also got a lot of hits on YouTube:

But what did not get as much press was the previous tirade in April in which Richards melted down in an anti-Semitic rant. Richards crisis-management expert, Howard Rubenstein acknowledged these remarks by claiming that Richards isn’t an anti-Semite, was just role playing, and is actually Jewish. Huh? What? At least he wasn’t just “angry” on this one.

As an FYI to those who might not be aware, you have to be born of a Jewish mother or convert to be Jewish. Some reform sects of Judaism say that being born of a Jewish father is sufficient. Richards meets none of these standards. Rubenstein claims “He said there were two mentors who raised him and who had a big influence on his life, and they were Jewish. He said, `I agree with the concepts and the religious beliefs of Judaism and I’ve adopted Judaism as my religion,'” Rubenstein said. “He really thinks of himself as Jewish.” Sorry, thanks for playing, but you don’t get to learn the secret handshake or pretend to like matzo during Passover.

The last comedian who actually made people laugh by tearing down others was, possibly, Eddie Murphy. He wound up in the backseat with a cross-dressing hooker… on purpose. Face it, Michael: you’ve imploded. You may or may not need professional help with your issues, but you should consider a new line of work.

28
Nov
06

Jeff’s Handy Firearm Tip #3

WD40

WD-40 is NOT a good product to use for a gun lubricant. While WD-40 is great for about a billion things around the home, gun lube ain’t one of ’em. WD-40 falls in the same category as penetrating oils. These products can permeate the primers on your bullets and cause misfires. You want that bullet to go off when it’s supposed to.

28
Nov
06

And Now… The MPAA Loses Its Mind

Update: The story is satire, along the lines of NOT REAL. Sheesh folks!

 

I am solidly of the opinion that groups such as the MPAA and RIAA are staffed, mostly, by candy-coated f*ck nuts. Their strong arm tactics of trying to force consumers to “settle” cases out of court for allegedly “infringing” copyrighted work under fair use and other strategies is just plain silly. These are also the folks who have brought you copy protection schemes that bring some players’ functioning to non-existent levels, introduce malware rootkits onto your computer systems, and have Granny defending herself against putting Right Said Fred’s Greatest hits on file sharing networks.

Now, the MPAA is lobbying to make sure that home users authorize their entertainment systems before any in-home viewings (from Slashdot). The link is under a heavy load right now, so be patient! You’ll just love this salient point:

“The MPAA defines a home theater as any home with a television larger than 29″ with stereo sound and at least two comfortable chairs, couch, or futon. Anyone with a home theater would need to pay a $50 registration fee with the MPAA or face fines up to $500,000 per movie shown.”

I’ve got an admittedly old 30″ Toshiba tube TV. It’s not getting replaced anytime soon because of the great appliance rebellion of ’06. I have a Fosgate home theater sound rig, a comfy chair, a recliner, and a small sofa in the same room with the TV. I also have something like 800 movies. By the MPAA’s program, I would be facing a potential fine of $400,000,000.00, or so. I suppose that I could defend myself by claiming that the sound is, technically, not stereo since it is Dolby 5.1, using 6 speaker enclosures. Most folks would assume that stereo equates to just two enclosures…

28
Nov
06

Percussive Maintenance

There’s a new spate of game consoles on the market. That means there’s also a spate of game console issues. One of the new products is the Microsoft Xbox 360. Given that it is a Microsoft product, some of them have unexplained issues. Many folks are familiar with the “blue screen of death (BSOD)” for Windows operating systems. Of similar import is the status known as “3 Red Lights” for the Xbox 360. A gentleman across the globe has a novel approach to fixing it. This is not a recommended approach, though. And Microsoft support is likely to be a little testy with you if you try it…

28
Nov
06

It’s Got No Male Utilities

buck 

It’s deer season in a lot of parts of the United States. While the overwhelming majority of hunting trips will be uneventful and many freezers will get loaded up with tasty critters, bizarre stories have become enmeshed in the fabric of deer camp. Now, I’m afraid, the expression “nice rack!” will take on an even more bizarre meaning. Carmen Erickson, of Minot, North Dakota, dropped a buck with a nice 4×4 rack with just one shot. Only it wasn’t a buck.

“It’s got no male utilities,” said Erickson. “It has teats … it was pretty unusual.” And went on to say “We couldn’t find any male genitals on the deer”. Six hunting partners with Erickson witnessed the doe with a 4×4 rack. Nice rack, indeed. Story.