31 May 2013

Are they registered to vote in Arizona?

Hey remember when John McCain went to Syria to talk to the rebels? Get some firsthand, face to face interaction?

Ummm... what the fuck is John McCain doing with the Syria rebels? Seriously, what the fuck are you doing there? What part of the United States is Syria in? I can't remember; I'm not very good at geography.

What is he going to learn by going there? After he learns... whatever it is that he learned, what is it he hopes to accomplish? Hey I got some face time and we should give those dudes anything they want, no questions asked, because giving guns and explosives to rebel groups has never been an issue before.*

I love that McCain thinks the USA should arm those clowns. I also love that Russia sent heavy duty missiles to the Assad regime, if only to give McCain and his 'freedom' ilk a massive middle finger.

McCain probably still thinks the Iraq war was a good idea. One thing you can count on with those 'rebels' in Syria is that they have killed / are going to kill a lot of people. Assad might be a very, very bad guy but the 'rebels' will do what they can to outpace him as soon as they are able. It's good that they have a (cranky, irrelevant, windbag, idiot) US senator to stand up for them.

* While we're on the subject, how's the war in Afghanistan going? Badly? Oh.

29 May 2013

Damn a week already?

It shouldn't have been a whole week. I wrote a post and had a cool (possibly not that cool) song attached but then I hit the wrong button and it got deleted. I am an idiot. Are you sure you want to delete this post? Oh yeah do it. I'm good. And then: poof. Gone forever. Ahhh why didn't you protect me from myself?

Get involved in this while you can. Three hour mix? Hellz yeah. I think you have another day or two at the most. Props to Big Cheese for the link.

Since I don't feel like creating something from scratch (again), here's an excerpt of my correspondence with a Friend of the Blog:

I've been feeling sick since late last week so my weekend was very quiet. I made it to a disgusting lunch with some friends on Sunday while they were drinking their faces off. They were at the bars for over 12 hours. Started at noon, and I got a text at midnight that they were still there. How is that even possible? And it was at a horrible chain bar called the Saddle Ranch - possibly you are familiar. It's like getting drunk at a western-themed TGIFridays. Dodged that bullet (aside from the gag-inducing lunch) but stopped by to say hello during their bender and survey the scene. It was awful.

Caught up with some AD [Arrested Development]. What did you think? I thought it was... uneven. Parts were superb, parts were not. It's hard to hit a home run every time. It took far too many episodes for someone to make fun of Portia de Rossi's plastic surgery.* Jesus. Is that even the same person?

*To be fair: she looks great with that short haircut. I'm less convinced on the new nose, botox, etc.

22 May 2013

Gets Me Out of the House: Tactical Response Fighting Pistol

Suns Out, Guns Out
Missile Away!
Get Comfortable
Hey what are you doing in your free time?
Oh nothing much. Just, you know, stuff. Took some shooting classes.

Yeah like what?
Fighting Pistol with Tactical Response.

Was it good?
It was excellent. Highly recommended.

Got any pictures?
Yeah, a few.

Let's see 'em.

Nice. Anything I should look for in these photos besides how amazing your ass looks in those pants?
No. Gaze in wonderment at the firmness of my posterior. I work out, if you hadn't heard. 

I was kidding about the pants. In related news: You're a douche.
Okay, yeah, couple points of interest.

As in?
Well, in the top photo, you can see my trigger finger is where it belongs, and the gun is coming straight up and out of the holster, elbow mostly back. It's actually not a bad draw. It's not textbook perfect, but I've seen worse.

What else?
This is slow aimed fire at 3 yards, and all my shots are in the 3.5" circle.

Is that good?
Depends how fast you're shooting, how far away you are, and if you're moving or not. In this case: no it's not good. It's just not bad. These DEA dots are a common baseline accuracy test. Class was basic level so there were a variety of skill levels among the students.

Are you just saying that? Because it looks good to me.
Shooting what you're aiming at always looks good. But: No, it's not 'good' in this instance. It's the equivalent of driving down the freeway in a car and not crashing. Yeah it takes some practice but almost anyone can do it.

Aww, is it that easy? 
For this type of shooting, yes. I will say that it's better than the guy to my left and right. See all the tape on their targets? You only tape the misses. No tape = you're doing something right. But: slow aimed fire at 3 yards, if you're missing a DEA dot you're either new or bad. The guy to my left was new; the guy on my right was struggling with his gun. His grip sucked, and I don't know that he ever really got it sorted out because he would fix it, then revert to his bad grip the next time he drew his gun.

What does a bad grip look like?
Funny you should ask. The picture of us seated shows a guy with a textbook firing grip on a Glock (black shirt, arms extended, foreground), a not very good grip from the shooter #3, my grip, and barely visible in the far distance you can make out the bad crossed-thumbs grip from the stout fellow to my right (aka shooter # 5). If you compare targets 2, 3, 4, and 5 in the second photo with the grips of shooters 2, 3, 4 and 5 you'll notice that the shooters with a good grip are hitting the target consistently, and the shooters with poor grips are not. This is not a coincidence.*

Wow I'm asleep. Can we talk about something else?
Uh yeah, sure. Did you see the new Star Trek movie?

No? You still there?

*The seated photos were taken several hours later in the day than the first two but I promise that the targets looked consistent throughout.

20 May 2013

The People Have Spoken (again)

Ze Newbs weighs in from the comments section on his own awesome yoga experience.
Take it away, sir!

awful. i had a similar (not similar at all) thing happen to me at the studio i used to frequent in boston. boston yoga does not equal CA yoga. i.e. not so many dudes. like i was often the only one in a class of 15-25. the waiting room of this place was exceedingly small for the studio space and during class turnover it was a cramped mess. shoulder to shoulder and cheek to cheek...as in when i was squatting down putting my stuff in my bag while leaving one day i looked over to see the bare ass of one of the women doing a quick change of her pants. in the waiting room. 3 feet from the register. maybe closer to my face. my double take revealed she was not in fact doing a porky pig impression but had some oh so tiny undergarments on. i'm not a prude but geez.

That's a lot of awesome. We'll leave it there for now.

17 May 2013

Clean it Up

Long time readers will know that I split my exercise time flexing with my shirt off at the local yoga studio and crossfit gym. I feel like I get more out of the workouts when I kick them around with someone afterwards, especially the yoga. However, I don't have regular peeps at yoga so there's no easy way for me to do a debrief. If only there were some kind of an outlet to express my experiences... Oh, hey! What's up?

Couple weeks ago a guy at the yoga studio set a new personal hygiene low (since surpassed) after class. My habit is to duck into a bathroom stall to change out of my sweaties after class. There are changing areas but those are always busy. The Men's is quick and usually available because the classes are only about 20% male, if that. Note that the men's room has two sinks, and it's not a big space. Just big enough, but if two guys are standing at the sinks they are in very close proximity. (This detail becomes important later.)

I exited the stall to see a pile of sweaty clothes in one of the sinks. There wasn't anyone in the immediate vicinity so I left the disgusting pile where it was. I don't have anything against being a gross sweaty mess per se, but it is your obligation to try and corral it as much as possible, display a sensitivity to the other students that might not want to get involved in your mess. Putting your ass-sweated shorts in the sink where we wash our hands does not display the requisite sensitivity. One man's opinion.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. After class was over I did the same thing: changed in a stall, exited to wash my hands, as per usual. Upon exiting the stall I was assaulted by the sight of a naked, furry fat man putting his sweaty clothes into the sink. WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I guess it's cool to get naked, put your clothes in the sink and hang out (pun intended) after class. News to me. Why change in a towel? Too much effort. Why change in a stall? Enh, didn't feel like waiting the 30 seconds. I had to step around him just to wash my hands, a prospect made less appealing by his naked sweatyness and his pile of sweaty clothes in the other sink. If it's more gross to have to go in the bathroom and wash your hands than it is to just leave with your sweaty post-yoga germ hands intact then something is very wrong.

In the context of a locker room the full naked sink visit is fairly typical. In the context of using the men's room it's fucking horrible. I gather that one could infer some overlap based on the setting, but not so much overlap that you would strip naked and stand in front of the goddamn sink like an overweight silverback gorilla. Dear Sir: Do the universe us a favor and put a towel on. Please.

See you Sunday!

15 May 2013


A lot to love about this. Is it excitement? Is it fear? Sensory overload? Some combination of the above?

It's not often you see dreams come true.

Reese the Best Dog Ever was famous for, among other things, opening gifts and packages. You never saw someone without opposable thumbs open anything so adroitly. She would attack and shred cardboard, packing material, tissue paper, ribbon, plastic, whatever. Any box she could reach was fair game because there was usually a prize inside. The mess was considerable but the payoff was worth it.

One time she got impatient while waiting for me to open a birthday present and she pawed at it in frustration, gave me a fat lip. My bad. I let her open it while my lip swelled. Didn't make that mistake again. Lesson learned.

14 May 2013

Nerd Follow Up

Mine is Almost Entirely Useless Trivia and SciFi References
This image is a nice follow-up to the Ender's Game post. Synergy.

In related news, I went out and tried to socialize a bit this weekend. It went about as well as can be expected. Which is to say, not well at all. Baby steps.

Casual social skills are perishable. Something to work on, I guess. Is there a crossfit workout for that?

10 May 2013

They Made a Movie

If you're a man of a certain age (born between 1970 and 1978) and you read books as a young person then it's likely that you read / were exposed to / were assigned the excellent Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. The book is famous in SciFi circles for several reasons, not least of which is that, like the hit-and-miss Harry Potter series, it pulled in a lot of young people (mostly boys) that weren't otherwise inclined to read. Even people that don't 'like to read' managed to finish the book; it was a gateway drug for future nerd addicts.

Full disclosure: I was already on board (captain of?) the Nerd Express by 1985, so this book was just something to obsess over while I matured into my impressive/debilitating peak-level social awkwardness. 

The book is also known in part because the author is a devout Moron Mormon, which is shorthand for closed-minded, religious fundamentalist asshat (yeah I said it - I'll stop saying it when it's no longer true). So: one of my least favorite types of people wrote what was, for a long time, my favorite book.*

The movie looks formulaic in 2013, but the book was all kinds of awesome in 1985. Not sure how they'll handle the brutal violence between the children. Battle Royale Hunger Games took that issue mainstream but Jennifer Hudson is 21 or 22 playing 17ish in that series; she will be in her real-life mid 20's by the time it's over. At the start of Ender's Game the protagonist is 6 years old. It appears he's quite a bit older in the movie, which probably has the die-hards foaming at the mouth but enabled them to actually get the movie made. Cast is A-list, so that's something.

In any case, I'm looking forward to it. If it's any good I'll see it more than once. And re-read the book. Speaking of which, my copy was lost - can I borrow yours?

* I learned later from an industry insider that Card was regularly rejected for awards within the SciFi community because of his religious views, which: lame.

05 May 2013

This is How You Get Down

This song is a remix from a couple years ago. I tried to post it when it was the new hotness but couldn't find a decent version online. Heard it masterfully incorporated into a mix and tracked it down. It starts at 1 hr 13 mins if you want to go straight there.

Props to Big Cheese for the sweet jamz. Again.

02 May 2013

Flipping a coin would have been easier (also cheaper)

Sooo the guy responsible for creating and selling fake bomb detectors is going to jail. The good news is that at least they weren't based on ridiculous 'golf ball finders'. That would have been too stupid to believe. Wait, what?


Well, at least they weren't expensive. Those golf ball finders were a ripoff at $19. Imagine paying tens of thousands of dollars for a scam device that didn't work - wait, hang on... it says here:

7,000 devices under the ADE brand to the Iraqi government and other international agencies for prices ranging from $2,500 per unit to $30,000, when they cost less than $50.


The good news is that they weren't widely used in dangerous areas so no lives were lost. Whoa... hold the phone! The New York Times says:

The suicide bombers who managed to get two tons of explosives into downtown Baghdad on Oct. 25, killing 155 people and destroying three ministries, had to pass at least one checkpoint where the ADE 651 is typically deployed, judging from surveillance videos released by Baghdad’s provincial governor.

Hmmm... That is a lot of people to blow up with one bomb. And, umm, 4000 lbs of explosives is a lot. Like, a lot.


Good thing they didn't buy very many of these (useless, expensive) devices. Must be an isolated case. What's that? The Iraqi army bought thousands of them? Wait, did you say thousands? Oh.


Well, at least they didn't spend a lot of money. What's that? $122 million, according to the Guardian?

That IS a lot of money.


Well, at least they aren't still being used. Wait, what's that? They're still in use in some areas?


There's a promotional video? Sounds promising. Let's go to the tape:

Seems legit. It's got an extendable antenna and also it plugs into something.

Can you imagine if you're a US soldier stuck in a place where people are trying to kill you and you have to work with people that believe this nonsense? How would you even get up in the morning?