30 December 2012

Here... I... Go!

I had someone whom I greatly respected and admired tell me at the end of a successful effort, "You have done something triumphant." I'm not sure she was right, but she meant it. As a result I treasure those words more than most.

My first thought when I watched this video was, "YOU HAVE DONE SOMETHING TRIUMPHANT!" 

Here's to you in the new year. And to triumphs, big and small.

Love you.

29 December 2012

Put it on blast!

Big Cheese sent me this. I'm horribly late to it but whatever. I'm not super current on all the sweet EDM jamz these days. So it's good that people like Big Cheese are out there and can point me in the right direction.

I've been wearing it out since I heard it. Repeat offender x(a lot). Makes me want to dance and/or give you a hug. Is that good? I'm saying yes.

27 December 2012

Now with more racism!

The Atlanta Braves have a new batting practice cap. I didn't even know such things existed, but if asked I would have guessed in the affirmative, since it's a glorious opportunity to sell you (the fan) more garbage. On the other hand it's a fun opportunity to try some different things with the logo, maybe branch out a little.*

Look at those caps. The A's elephant is awesome. Mr. Met is great. There's a lot to like. Unless you're a Braves fan and/or an idiot.

The Braves new cap is retro, and by 'retro' I mean 'surprisingly racist'. You have to wonder who in the graphics department thought this was a good idea. They did use this logo from 1967 to 1989. You know what else is from 1967? Jim Crow laws! Let's bring those back too! If it's old it must be awesome! America!

* Unless your logo is perfect in every way, as in the iconic interlocking SF and (it pains me to say it) NY teams. Or even the script D for the Tigers, which in classic white on a navy blue background is outstanding. Not as good as the SF orange-on-black, but it's close.

23 December 2012

Happy Xmas!

 This comes in via Alligator Sunglasses (natch).
They must be babies because I'm not sure you could put a hat on a full grown alligator-dile without him eating you making a fuss, but they are still soooooooo cute.

21 December 2012


I posted this trailer already this year but I'm coming back to it again. It was my favorite commercial of the year, which is saying something, because who likes commercials? It's brilliant.

19 December 2012

Change of pace

I bet you're sick of gun talk. 
Here's a great song to cleanse your palate. I can't promise I won't come back to the gun stuff at some point, but I'll try not to. Anyway, here's Forest Whitaker by Bad Books.

18 December 2012

Gun control(?)

The shrill noise about guns in the US is probably beyond annoying and I'm sure you're tired of it. I know I am.  This post is a mess of arguments that I've been mulling as the 'debate' about gun control swirls in my little pea brain. If you're not into it just ignore and come back in a couple days for something else.


New gun control legislation in the United States will not be effective in any meaningful way. You might as well pass a law telling people not to get fat: It's too easy to eat junk food and be lazy. (Obesity, for the record, is a far greater health danger than firearms.)

Am I against stricter gun laws? Not necessarily.

I start with this article from Malcolm Gladwell:
Gun control will be all the rage for a while, but the problem is so difficult that it may be intractable, at least in our lifetime.

Reports indicate that the shooter in Conn used an AR-15 rifle, likely with a 20 or 30 round magazine. The gun he used is legal in, I think, 47 states. You can ban the high-capacity magazines but that's just sticking your finger in the dike. Here in CA we are limited to 10 rounds per magazine for all guns, unless your magazine existed before the ban. So there are pre-ban mags out there. Of course you can still buy the high-cap mags in Oregon, Nevada or Arizona if you drive there. The AR-15 in it's most common iteration is also banned in Califoria under a complex set of laws that ends up having little effect on actual ownership.

I found this from the New York Times article very intersting: "And they cite statistics indicating that unlike handguns or shotguns, rifles of any type account for only a fraction of homicides in the United States — of 12,664 murder victims last year, 323 were killed with rifles, according to the F.B.I.’s Uniform Crime Report."

To reiterate: 2.6% of the murders listed by the FBI last year were committed with any type of rifle.

Furthermore, if (when?) the weapons ban goes into effect again these rifles will still be in wide circulation. There are tens of millions of citizens that safely own and operate these firearms. Why should they be made to turn in their guns? (They won't anyway; don't even ask.)

I have yet to hear a description of plausible legislation that will prevent what happened on December 14th. It's not that I am against stricter gun laws, it's that I don't think the laws will work, and I don't think they tackle the core issue of responsible gun ownership (see Gladwell article). I think it should be more difficult to buy a gun, but I also think that if you can prove that you are a responsible citizen then you should be able to own any gun you can afford to buy. 

The analogy to automobiles is useful because it's a deadly device that almost everyone here in the US uses and is familiar with. Consider that we have around 33,000 automobile related deaths every year in the United States. THIRTY THREE FUCKING THOUSAND (and that's down from ~42,000ish per year from 1995-2007). No one is making it tougher to get a driver's license, or calling for a ban on cars. Also consider that the graying of the baby boomers is going to make that number increase. Where is the great hue and cry? Where is the outrage? There isn't any, because people are stupid and lazy.

So is the issue guns, or is it stupidity and laziness? A gun ban isn't going to change anything; a concerted effort to stop being so goddamn stupid and lazy might have some positive effect.

Addressing issues like mental illness takes effort. Being vigilant takes effort.* Being responsible and accountable takes effort. Bring back the 'assault weapon'** ban if it makes you feel better, but until our society commits to doing the difficult work of addressing mental illness, remaining vigilant and staying accountable we will be right back here again, gun laws or no.

As for the video [below], Yeager is roughly the polar opposite of myself in much of his worldview, but I am hard pressed to argue against his call to action. He couches it in sexist, macho language, but his core argument is valid: You must act.

* If you have access to a deadly device it is your responsibility to keep it away from those that would misuse it, especially if they live with you. You don't leave your fucking car keys lying around if your teenager might steal your car. Same with guns, only x infninity

** Can't even begin to describe how much I hate those meaningless words. Ugh.

15 December 2012

14 Dec 2012

I don't know what the fuck is wrong with people but it takes a special kind of psychotic to gun down 20 children and 6 adults. "Active shooter" is the term used to describe these mass murderers. 

We don't yet know all of what happened in Connecticut but I expect that we will hear stories of immense bravery in the face of grave danger. Why do I think this? Because it's almost certain that some of the unarmed school administrators and teachers ran towards the sound of gunfire. That's real toughness.

James Yeager has a good summary of an appropriate citizen response in the face of that kind of danger. I'm not sure I would be up to it, but I hope I would. The first step is knowing in advance what the right thing is, and Yeager lays it out in plain English in the video below. (Language NSFW.)

If you're anything like me, it may help to spend some time on a plan of what you would do if confronted with this type of situation. The more time you spend the better your response is likely to be, but anything is better than nothing.

 'Chance favors the prepared mind' - Blaise Pascal.

13 December 2012

The bad guys won

Setback in politics today as Susan Rice withdraws her nomination for Secretary of State. She was doing her job as ordered when she was relaying information regarding embassy attacks in Libya. Fox 'News', et. al. tried (unsuccessfully) to make the embassy attacks and the administration response an issue before the election and their shills in the Senate continued to bang that drum when Rice was nominated.

Just as relevant was that Rice's relentlessness in her open disdain for John McCain and Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign. Apparently McCain and his aides remembered that she identified him and his VP candidate as incompetent assholes (which they were/are) and he's been gunning for her ever since.

It's a shame because Rice was an excellent candidate. If you read the accounts of what happened after the Libya attacks you'll see that she was doing her job exactly as she was supposed to, and that had she reported matters as she fully knew them she would have divulged confidential CIA information, which was out of the question. So what the senators are really bitter about is that they weren't 'informed', which is tough shit for them.

It's a huge disappointment. Obama submitted a strong candidate for a position in his cabinet and she was rejected because of petty jealousies and fabrications. Lame.

12 December 2012


Overheard at the grocery today when the guy in front of me wrote a check (WTF?): "Twelve twelve twelve, you'll only see that once in your life."

Me: "You only see every date once in your life. That's how time works."

Enjoy twelve THIRTEEN twelve (THIRTEEN twelve twelve if you insist on putting the relevant information at the beginning like a rational person). It only happens once a lifetime! 

Not much else to report. Kind of a slow time of year. Trying to find a good winter solstice gift for The Girl. That's hit and miss. I think I worked it out but need to get down to the mall shop and check it in person. The mall won't be crowded this time of year, will it? No? Cool.

09 December 2012

This and that

Heard a remix of this song. Liked the hook, the remix not so much. Found this (original?) version, loved it, so I'm punting it over to you. I even liked the video, which is unusual.
If the link doesn't work (and it may not), try this one.

For a remix, hit this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S50pY3CaFvE

In unrelated news: I've noticed that The Girl, who I love completely and totally, loads the dishwasher the exact same way she puts stuff in the trash: as though nothing else will ever need to go in there. It's an interesting strategy, but it works for her.

More later.

06 December 2012

Man down!

This is awesome
Got the flu over the weekend. Such a drag.

In my quiet time I trolled the internet on my ipad and napped. Saw this picture, loved it super hard.

Photographer is Ben Canales. This self-portrait is definitely one of my favorite pictures of anything, ever.

Imagine that is a finite you juxtaposed with part of the Milky Way, which is only one galaxy of millions. And then remember that the Milky Way itself is so vast that our own solar system is utterly unremarkable and forgettable. This from Wikipedia:

As a guide to the relative physical scale of the Milky Way, if it were reduced to 100 m (110 yd) in diameter, the Solar System, including the hypothesized Oort cloud, would be no more than 1 mm (0.039 in) in width 

It reminds me that I'm not such a big deal after all.