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Quit That...damn it, I'm tryin' to watch the game!

On Hiatus  
Friday, January 31, 2003 07:17:53 AM EDT

Blogging will be intermittant for the next week. I'll be travelling and won't always have internet access. I'll try to post when I can though. Dang, maybe I should have hired a Blog sitter.

Posted by: Marc  

More Idiotarianism  
Thursday, January 30, 2003 8:40:50 PM EDT

The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler delivers another dead on rant against...what else...idiotarians!

Posted by: Marc  

Texas style BBQ  
Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:12:41 PM EDT

After reading Kevin Parrott's exceedingly descriptive and hilarious analysis of eating lunch at Sonic and his regret afterwards for ordering the Bacon Cheddar Toaster, I took stock of my own littany of lunch choices.

I am probably more fortunate than most in that my house is only a couple of minutes from my office, so I usually simply eat lunch at home. Not only does it save money, but I can usually have a better lunch than that served by 90% of the places nearby. Of course I don't usually take the time to whip up a really fancy lunch, but occasionally I will. There are times like today though that I don't have anything quick to make at home, in which case I'll either go to one of the fast food joints around here and suffer the same fate as Kevin, or I do the RIGHT thing and get some genuine Texas BBQ from Willy's BBQ.

Today's choice? One huge, delicious, mouth-wateringly juicy brisket sandwich, sliced to order. Believe me, it's a meal. that's a sandwich!

Posted by: Marc  

Deep Thoughts  
Wednesday, January 29, 2003 5:05:19 PM EDT

"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."

"If I was the head of a country that lost a war, and I had to sign a peace treaty, just as I was signing I'd glance over the treaty and then suddenly act surprised. 'Wait a minute! I thought WE won!'"

"If any man says he hates war more than I do, he better have a knife, that's all I have to say."

"Instead of trying to build newer and bigger weapons of destruction, mankind should be thinking about getting more use out of the weapons we already have."

"I wish everybody would have to have an electric thing implanted in our heads that gave us a shock whenever we did something to disobey the president. Then somehow I get myself elected president."

"I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick 'Americans' as their mascot."

"Sometimes I wonder if I'm patriotic enough. Yes, I want to kill people, but on both sides."

"If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at some guys, throw one of those little baby-type pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think of how crazy war is, and while they're thinking, you can throw a real grenade."

"If I ever get real rich, I hope I'm not real mean to poor people, like I am now."

"Better not take a dog on the space shuttle, because if he sticks his head out when you're coming home, his face might burn up."

"I'm not afraid of insects taking over the world, and you know why? It would take about a billion ants just to AIM a gun at me, let alone fire it. And you know what I'm doing while they're aiming it at me? I just sort of slip off to the side, and then suddenly run up and kick the gun out of their hands."

"I remember one day I was at Grandpa's farm and I asked him about sex. He sort of smiled and said, 'Maybe instead of telling you what sex is, why don't we go out to the horse pasture and I'll show you.' So we did, and there on the ground were my parents having sex."

"To me, it's always a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody says, 'Hey, can you give me a hand?,' you can say, 'Sorry, got these sacks.'"

"Somebody told me it was frightening how much topsoil we are losing each year, but I told that story around the campfire and nobody got scared."

"If I ever opened a trampoline store, I don't think I'd call it Trampo-Land, because you might think it was a store for tramps, which is not the impression we are trying to convey with our store. On the other hand, we would not prohibit tramps from browsing, or testing the trampolines, unless a tramp's gyrations seemed to be getting out of control."

"If you want to sue somebody, just get a little plastic skeleton and lay it in their yard. Then tell them their ants ate your baby."

-- Jack Handey [Deep Thoughts]

Posted by: Marc  

Which operating system are you?  
Wednesday, January 29, 2003 12:45:21 PM EDT

Which OS are You?
Which OS are You?

Posted by: Marc  

I'm gonna be rich  
Wednesday, January 29, 2003 07:42:58 AM EDT

I know this letter I just got in my email says I'm supposed to keep this secret, but I'm so excited about the millions I'm about to make that I just had to share my awesome good fortune.
Dear Sir,

I will like to solicit your help in a business proposition, which is by nature very confidential and a Top Secret.

I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one worried and apprehensive but I am assuring you not to worry, as all will be well at the end of this endeavor.

I am Mr. Igho Nikoro, General Manager of African Development Bank PLC. My partners and I have decided to seek your help in transfer of some amount of money requiring maximum confidence.


A foreigner, Late Engineer Mark Otagaki who was an oil merchant and contractor with the Federal Government of Nigeria until his death onboard the ill fated Kenyan Airways bus {A310300}was our customer at the AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK and had a balance of US$32 million which the bank now expects his next of kin to claim as the beneficiary.

We have made valuable efforts to get his people to no avail as he had no known relatives. Due to this development our management and the board of directors are making arrangements for the funds to be declared unclaimed and subsequently paid into the federal government purse. To avert this negative development my colleagues and I have decided to look for a reputable person to act as the next of kin to late Engr. Otagaki so that the funds will be released and paid into his account and this is where you come in.

All documents to aid your claim will be provided by my colleagues and I. Your help will be appreciated with a % of the total sum.

Please be assured that this transaction is safe and risk free. We will need your fax number and phone number for more communication.

Please reply soon.
Mr Igho Nikoro.

Boy oh boy, I can't wait.

Posted by: Marc  

Let's bone up  
Tuesday, January 28, 2003 7:47:29 PM EDT

Think you can hang with Vic Mackey? You better be able to handle a piece.

But if good old fashioned skeet shooting is more your thing, check this one out.

Posted by: Marc  

Spud Gun  
Monday, January 27, 2003 8:40:51 PM EDT

A plummer that I know built a couple of spud guns a while back. That's right, they shoot spuds, otherwise known as potatos. Or you can use apples, pears, grapefruits, just about anything you can shove down the barrel tightly will work. Fill the chamber with Aqua-Net hairspray, strike the sparker (from a gas grill) and FFEEWWW! You've got one deadly airborne tuber that'll travel up to around 75-100 yards depending on how much propellant you use.

(I guess I'm playing on a gun theme tonight. I'm still working on this other computer, trying to get it rebuilt, so no time for long rants. Just a few fun gun posts for yas.)

Posted by: Marc  

Concealed carry  
Monday, January 27, 2003 8:26:57 PM EDT

to the extreme.

Posted by: Marc  

A BB gun that'll put yer eye out.  
Monday, January 27, 2003 8:20:51 PM EDT

This ain't no Red Ryder, that's for sure.

Posted by: Marc  

Back in Bidness  
Sunday, January 26, 2003 3:01:30 PM EDT

Well, I got the computer back up and running shortly after my last post. I went out after work and picked up a brand spankin new 60 Gig Seagate Baracuda for the computer. I brought another computer home from work that I use for just such an emergency (hard drive crash). It has Ontrack's Easy Recovery Professional on it for salvaging data from damaged file systems. I've had good luck with it, but it's not perfect either. When you lose a drive due to a hardware failure, this program won't help. Ontrack has a lab that can handle that situation too though and it's amazing what they can get off of even hard drives destroyed by fire and other nasty atrocities. It's not cheap, but they can do it. For their software though, the drive itself has to be functional in order for Easy Recovery to do it's stuff. I mounted my trashed drive in the computer from work and started Easy Recovery. It reported back that the drive is functional and it commenced to scanning the drive. That was 30 hours ago and it's only 75% finished. So at this point, I still don't know what will be recoverable from the old drive, but it looks promising so far.

I've reloaded the operating system and basic applictions on the new drive and am working through all the freakin drivers that need to be reloaded. I've got too much stuff hanging off of this computer. 2 printers, 2 scanners, network, a digital video firewire card etc. I restored internet access and have the machine pretty well back to normal, but still have some stuff to load. One nice thing is that this thing is blazing fast again. All the crap that gets loaded over time is gone and I'm only reloading the stuff I really use. In a way, I'm glad this happened. I just wish it didn't take so much time to do!

Posted by: Marc  

Friday, January 24, 2003 5:20:12 PM EDT

Normally I have two computers at home. Both of them are networked together and share an internet connection over a cable modem. The one computer is a half way decent old one that I built about 5 years ago and the other one is a nice Dell Pentium III machine (about 2 years old). The old one started having a hard drive problem 3 months ago and it finally died completely a month later. It wasn't a big deal, I only used it as a testing plattform for server applications. I decided that I'd rebuild it though as it is still a good computer and it only needs a hard drive. The PIII is my main computer and I've been using it full-time ever since the other one died. I haven't bothered rebuilding the old one yet. This morning though, I went to check my email and noticed the hard drive on the PIII was making some unusual grinding sounds(usually a very bad sign) and Windows was locked up. Since this happened right before work this morning, I didn't have enough time to determine whether or not Windows just trashed itself or if the drive actually has a physical problem, but I'm hoping it's not the latter. I do have backups, but this is going to be a total reinstall no matter how I look at it, new drive or not. So, my spare time for this weekend is looking pretty well booked once again...b.u.m.m.e.r! This of course means blogging will be suspended until further notice (I blogged this one from work). Hopefully I'll have it repaired before the weekend is over, though no guarantees.

I'll have no internet access until I fix one of these machines though and that's what really sucks. Why didn't I fix the other one before now? Geez, I feel like a crack head whose dealer just got hauled off to jail. How am I gonna get my internet fix?

Posted by: Marc  

Quote for the day...  
Friday, January 24, 2003 08:05:11 AM EDT

"Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes." - P.J. O'Rourke

Posted by: Marc  

No Comments  
Thursday, January 23, 2003 5:39:57 PM EDT

I've been using a commenting system from for the past couple of months. I went with a third party system simply because I wanted to have a comment feature for this blog right away and didn't want to have to write one. Everything was going pretty well there for a while, but lately their servers or their link (the more likely culprit) have been going down a lot. I'm noticing it almost daily these days. I've been frustrated by that, but it starts to really get under your skin when your readers actually blog about your blog's failures. The thing is, Acidman is right. It's becoming an unacceptable amount of downtime, so it looks like I've got to start working on my own comment system for SimCat.

When the servers go down (or the link isn't available) each post will generate an error if it can't load it's comments, so there are a slew of annoying error dialog boxes to wade through when loading this page. My apologies to those of you if you don't see the comments showing up under each post and have had to deal with those errors. I know it's a real pain. When you get the "A runtime error has occurred" message, hold down your "N" key until the boxes disappear. Any other bloggers experiencing the same problems with Haloscan?

Posted by: Marc  

Thursday, January 23, 2003 5:26:17 PM EDT

The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has declared a Fiskwah™ against who else but our old dear friend Robert Fisk of all people. The nice doggie wasn't so nice to him either. What did he expect though, he was wearing milk toast bone underwear.

Posted by: Marc  

More toys  
Wednesday, January 22, 2003 10:34:50 PM EDT

There's a very interesting guy that I encounter from time to time on one of the photography sites that I like to visit. He's not only an excellent photographer though, but Adam Tow is also a skilled software developer and specializes in PDA programming. Check out his latest, a SIMS for the Newton game. Impressive Adam!

Posted by: Marc  

This is interesting...  
Wednesday, January 22, 2003 10:18:00 PM EDT

I found this cool new toy tonight. A tip of the hat to Silflay Hraka. That's cool Bigwig!

Posted by: Marc  

Stains in the UNderwear  
Wednesday, January 22, 2003 8:48:53 PM EDT

I'm getting a little bit pissed off now. I was willing to go along with all the euronuts and give this whole UN thing a try before plunging headlong into a war with Iraq, but I've come to the conclusion that those UN weasels are trying to hide something. I haven't quite figured out what it is, perhaps it's a knowledge of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction or possibly they don't want the inspectors to discover that these countries have been selling embarrasing goods to Iraq, but something is definately starting to smell fishy.

Why is it that France and Germany are suddenly getting all uppity and throwing threats around like tequila at a bachelor party all of a sudden? Especially in light of this article published this week in London's respected Daily Telegraph that tells not just how the weapons inspectors found proof that Saddam has been attempting a nuclear weapons program, but that Hans Blix didn't even report it immediately to the UN security council, an act which in itself violates the 1441 resolution. But if Iraq indeed has been proven to have been working on a nuclear program, then Saddam has violated the resolution himself (big suprise) as well. All that looks like pretty damning evidence if you ask me, enough for GW to rest his case, which just makes me all the more curious as to what France and Germany are so worked up about all of a sudden. Why have they not responded to this report? If this information is true, it looks to me like the writing is on the wall and jumping up and down and flailing your arms around isn't going to make it go away. Maybe Chirac and Schroeder know that the gig is up finally and they're just shooting off the final salvo. We'll find out soon enough I guess.

UPDATE: 01/23/03 - Donald Rumsfeld appears to be tiring of it too. Meanwhile, the french kick Colin Powell in the teeth. (LA Times, requires registration)

SECOND UPDATE: Scrappleface has a better name for them: Axis of Weasels Ha!

Posted by: Marc  

Carnival of the Vanities 18  
Wednesday, January 22, 2003 12:12:19 PM EDT

It is now a full-fledged phenomena I guess. Now in it's 18th week, the Carnival Of The Vanities is up over at the very respectable Meryl Yourish blog.

For my visitors that are unaware of "The Carnival", it's an idea which was originally conceived by Bigwig from Silflay Hraka. It is essentially a group blog whereby several bloggers contribute one post (blog) and the whole lot is grouped together and hosted by one individual blog that week. Each week, the carnival is hosted by a new blog. Go take a look, because you'll find all kinds of bloggery goodness from several of the blogosphere's most talented and entertaining writers.

Posted by: Marc  

A liberal's case for war  
Tuesday, January 21, 2003 6:25:36 PM EDT

Well, it's good to know that at least there are a few of them with some common sense.

Even in the much lesser known political circles here in Ohio they're wisely coming over to the dark other side.

Posted by: Marc  

Snow Dog  
Tuesday, January 21, 2003 5:38:47 PM EDT

I woke up this morning and noticed that we had a fresh dusting of snow last night. Apparently the dog didn't.

Some people I know seem to think I'm kind of cruel for keeping a dog outside year round, especially in the winter. But as you can see she has a perfectly fine house of her own to sleep in and 80% of the time she prefers to sleep out on her little deck here instead. In fact, I think she prefers the winters to the summers as she has significantly more hair than even the indigenous animals around here. The hair can be a liability in the summer for her though.

Posted by: Marc  

Political Personality Test  
Tuesday, January 21, 2003 5:24:01 PM EDT

I found a link on The DailyPundit for an interesting political personality test based on one's views about a war with Iraq.

I scored a 78 which makes me a "Realist" by conservative standards and a "capitalist scrooge" by leftist ideology. On the rationality scale I scored a 10 out of 10.

Shoot, I could have told them that. Here's a graph depicting the results of all people who've taken the test.

Posted by: Marc  

Friday, January 17, 2003 6:16:51 PM EDT

It seems that every time some politician finds him or herself in a fiduciary bind they always go after the same old solution...the so-called "sin tax"!

And so it is that once again we smokers here in Ohio have been targeted by Governor Bob Taft to shore up Ohio's budget deficit. What gets my boxers in a bunch is that smokers were the financial saviours last year too, after getting wacked with a 31 cent per pack increase in cigarette taxes. Now the guvment's telling us to bend over once again. Why is it that we smokers are always the ones doing the heavy lifting?

I mentioned before that we can't even light up in ANY public building and yet it's us smokers that are forced to pay for them. Am I the only one that sees the irony in all this?

They call it a sin tax, but I'd like to know why. I could understand it if smoking were illegal, but it's not. Is it because 75% of our puritan society frowns on smokers? If so, I'll remind you that that in and of itself does not make smoking a sin. After all, just because the whole world believed that the earth was flat when Galileo claimed it was not did not make it any flatter. Or is it because smoking is something of a luxury, not a necessary component of survival? If that's the case, why not tax every round of golf, every movie ticket, every bowling match, every manicure or how about every household that turns the thermostat above 68 degrees in the winter? Why is it always the smokers who get hit with the tax? Hell, we can't even get any respect from the non-smokers. We're considered idiots for putting our health at such obvious risk. I have to wonder who the idiots are though, that can't even balance a budget without taxing somebody or something. Hello? Ever hear of cost cutting? It's what private enterprise does when it finds itself in a similar situation. Look into it. We're in an economic gutter at the moment and my state government wants to take even more of my money. I'm fed up with it and I'm bordering on revolt.

The pat answer to the question of why smokers are the perpetual tax target is of course always the same. Politicians will claim that it's because of the high cost of health care to the government from smoking related causes that justifies the continual taxation of tobacco. The problem I have with that answer however is that even after gouging tobacco companies for billions of dollars in a massive 246 billion dollar settlement in 1998, most states aren't even using the money to pay for smoking related health care. Not to mention, some of them are even reinvesting it in, get this...tobacco companies! What's wrong with this picture?

Why the hell not just make tobacco products illegal? Wouldn't we all be better off? Yes, of course. Everybody but the government and tobacco companies. Tobacco brings in huge amounts of money to state coffers and without it there wouldn't be any easy targets left to tax. The bottom line I guess is that in order to be an idiot smoker I have to tolerate being annually reemed by hypocrites. Hmm. Come to think of it, maybe I am an idiot after all, but I'm not going to blame tobacco companies for that.

"To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical" - Thomas Jefferson

(original story found at

Posted by: Marc  

Bada Boom  
Thursday, January 16, 2003 9:42:26 PM EDT

Since I've been on a joke kick (and have absolutely nothing to blog at the moment)...
More Modern Medicine

Five surgeons are discussing who makes the best patients to operate on.

The first surgeon says, "I like to see accountants on my operating table, because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered."

The second responds, "Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded."

The third surgeon says, "No, I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

The fourth surgeon chimes in: "You know, I like construction workers...those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end, and when the job takes longer than you said it would."

But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed: "You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains and no spine, and the head and the ass are interchangeable!"

Posted by: Marc  

Modern Medicine  
Wednesday, January 15, 2003 5:10:38 PM EDT

My brother sends along this chuckler today:

An Israeli doctor says "Medicine in my country is so advanced that we can take a kidney out of one man, put it in another, and have him looking for work in six weeks."

A German doctor says "That is nothing, we can take a lung out of one person, put it in another, and have him looking for work in four weeks."

A Russian doctor says "In my country, medicine is so advanced that we can take half a heart out of one person, put it in another, and have them both looking for work in two weeks."

The Arkansas doctor, not to be outdone, says "You guys are way behind, we recently took a man with no brain out of Arkansas, put him in the White House for eight years, and now half the country is looking for work."
Sorry I've been so non-prolific the past few days, I've been busier than normal this week for some reason. I'll be out again tonight too. I'm going to see the Columbus Bluejackets vs. the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Posted by: Marc  

Ok I lied...  
Tuesday, January 14, 2003 10:26:03 AM EDT

No, I didn't die, but I also didn't get around to finishing my pages this weekend as promised. I got sidetracked by a somewhat interesting situation I've got on a firewall here at work. Someone keeps attempting to break in to our internal network, using different addresses and also different networks every few times. I know it's the same person because the MAC address is always the same. For the uninitiated, every ethernet card has it's own address called a MAC address and it's much like an IP address in that it is always unique to one machine on a network. Our firewall catches this person every time and kicks them to the curb, but they seem determined to gain access to our network, trying a variety of different methods. I thought it would be a good exercise to write a program to cull this person's log entries from the firewall logs and keep track of this one machine so as to have complete documentation of this person's activities. It also does a traceroute back to them every time it intercepts the address to determine exactly where they are coming from and logs this as well. It may have scared them off though because they seem to have given up at this point (they were doing it all weekend), but nevertheless the little program is sitting out there waiting and monitoring...if they keep it up, they are gonna be so busted.

Posted by: Marc  

SimCat page update  
Friday, January 10, 2003 6:20:59 PM EDT

I've been noticing that I've been getting quite a few hits to my sideshow pages. Those being the ones you see on my menus at the top and the left hand slider menu (that doesn't work in Mozilla). I'm kind of embarrassed by that because I've really neglected those pages and I didn't put a lot of effort into them to begin with. It's sort of like having people come over unexpectedly while your house is a mess. So last night I decided it was time to get to work on those other pages and I've commenced to whipping them into shape. I've started first with the SimCat page since SimCat has been the biggest reason for my procrastination any way. It also happens to be the one getting hit the most. So if you're interested in a story about rolling your own blogging software (and all the gory details it entails), or you're just interested in SimCat itself head on over and check it out. I'll begin on the others (About/Photo etc) this weekend. Blogging will necessarily be light in the meantime. I'll keep ya posted though.

Posted by: Marc  

Bad Poet Society  
Thursday, January  9, 2003 6:24:11 PM EDT

Tim Blair has challenged the blogosphere to outdo the poet laureate Andrew Motion's latest purge.

CAUSA BELLI by Andrew Motion

They read good books, and quote, but never learn
a language other than the scream of rocket-burn.
Our straighter talk is drowned but ironclad:
elections, money, empire, oil and Dad.

Not to be outdone, I wistfully put pen to paper and...

Bad Poet Society By

It's "blood for oil!", They chant and sing
oh, those who enjoy what freedom brings
never thoughtful from whence it came
just protesting without shame
and all the while they chant and strip
for they've got the time but not a grip
and all their concepts so ill conceived
with just one bad poet who would believe
Other bloggers that have met the challenge so far (that I know of):
Laurence Simon from Amish Tech Support
Acidman of Gut Rumbles
Michele from A Small Victory
I'll add more as I find 'em.

Posted by: Marc  

The "blood for oil" delusion  
Thursday, January  9, 2003 5:32:36 PM EDT

Arianna Huffington, and the rest of the looney lefties want us to believe that Mr. Bush is terrorizing the world and that...c'mon now, say it with's all about OIL!.

I say NOT and here's why.

Posted by: Marc  

Some fun stuff...  
Thursday, January  9, 2003 5:22:23 PM EDT

I don't have any great rants lined up for you tonight, so how 'bout some good 'ol fashioned humor links eh?:
Cigarette Pack Warnings for 2003
Facts on Farts Everything you ever wanted to know about farts.
Female or Shemale You be the judge!
SwearMaster 3000 Swear phrases for tired ass meat-flappers.

Posted by: Marc  

I knew it wouldn't be long  
Thursday, January  9, 2003 5:15:33 PM EDT

Osama's bin bloggin'.

Posted by: Marc  

Young Buck  
Thursday, January  9, 2003 5:05:54 PM EDT

If it weren't for his jacket, I'd swear this guy was a Buckeye fan.

Posted by: Marc  

Wednesday, January  8, 2003 6:25:41 PM EDT

I noticed this on The Drudge Report today and just about blew a full-sized SUV gasket. What kind of crap is this Arianna? SUV owners support terrorists and compromise national security because they buy gasoline that came from Arab countries? Are you saying that you DON'T buy gas for your Honda Hybrid? Are you saying that you don't consume fossil fuels at all? Puhlease! That's just about the most twisted advertisement concept I've ever heard of.

Here's a link to Ms. Huffnstuff Huffington's from-way-outta-left-field ad campaign (with video).

UPDATE: I noticed that Michele over at A Small Victory has a couple of fine rants about this subject here and here. Make sure you check out all the comments on those posts while you're there.

Posted by: Marc  

It's conclusive  
Wednesday, January  8, 2003 5:15:40 PM EDT

Backpacks overloaded with too much homework DO injure children. Especially when they smack them in the face.

Posted by: Marc  

Cool Device Alert for digital camera geeks like me...  
Wednesday, January  8, 2003 4:55:17 PM EDT

Hitachi announced today that they have developed a 4GB Microdrive designed to the CompactFlash Type II industry standard. Currently, Hitachi's largest Microdrive is 1GB.

I use the 1GB Microdrive in my Canon D30 digital camera and it can store about 300 images at maximum resolution. Woohoo! Now I'll be able to get 1200!

Posted by: Marc  

The General's view on terrorism  
Wednesday, January  8, 2003 4:35:38 PM EDT

Matt Hayden points out a poignant and humorous article today, written by the former Air Force ACC commander, Gen. Richard Hawley offering his assessment of terrorists and/or leftist dingbats.

Posted by: Marc  

Perky Nipple Parade  
Tuesday, January  7, 2003 5:47:06 PM EDT

If this happens there will be plenty of them, but I'd epecially recommend DC.
"One hundred thousand women and men will strip on Jan. 18 in Washington D.C. and San Francisco for the huge national peace march in protest of the stripping of constitutional rights by a government intent on war," said Donna Sheehan, founder of Unreasonable Women Baring Witness in Point Reyes Station.

"Our message to women all over the world is be bold, be courageous, be vulnerable for peace."
More like they'll be vulnerable for frostbite...

Posted by: Marc  

Salesmen From Hell  
Tuesday, January  7, 2003 12:50:35 PM EDT

I had a very strange dream last night...

I had boarded a bus somewhere in the middle of nowhere (I can't even remember the last time I've been on one of those) and seated right behind me was a guy I know in a professional capacity. He's a sales rep that I buy computers from from time to time for our company. He was seated next to another computer sales guy who I also encounter from time to time. They said hello and immediately started trying to sell me a computer. I was thinking to myself, "what's up with that, no small talk, how's the family sort of thing?" Really strange. The computer they were trying to sell me had everything on it that I'd never use like an AMD processor, full 5.1 stereo surround sound speaker set-up and a 54-in-1 multipurpose fax, printer, scanner, copier, coffee-maker sort of swiss army techno-knife thingy. I thought it was strange that these guys were trying to sell it to me because they know exactly what kinds of computers I like. Not to mention, this particular computer was marked up about $500 more than it was worth. I said "no thanks guys." That didn't faze them. They went on to tell me how much better my life could be if I had this "state of the art" computer complete with DVD burner and $2000 worth of software that was, well, worthless. I said, "seriously you guys! NO!". They kept at it, taking turns giving me all the wonderful specs of this PC. I was starting to get kinda ticked and said goodbye to them, I was gettin' off then and there. I stepped off the bus and was somewhere that looked like a city park or something like that. Nicely manicured lawns, small ponds with ducks swimming about and playgrounds full of kids. I thought hey this is kinda nice. I had been off the bus for no more than a second and there they were! Those two salesmen had followed me off the bus and were beginning to ONCE AGAIN expound on the fantastic attributes of this crappy overpriced computer. I was really getting upset by now and just started running away from them. They ran right along with with me! All the while of course telling me that I really should buy it now because they only had a couple left. I couldn't believe their tenacity! Finally, I saw a large slide on a playground and made my way for that. I started climbing the ladder and was kicking at them to keep them from following me up and although it stopped them from climbing, they were undeterred in their quest to sell me a computer and continued to tell me from the ground what a fabulous offer they were giving me. I was flabergasted! I got to the top and turned to look down and they had dissappeared. I thought "cool, they're gone" and started my way down the slide. I don't remember hitting the bottom, I must have woke up before I did. As I opened my eyes I realized I had fallen asleep with the TV on. I looked at the clock and it said it was 4:30 AM. Then I looked at the TV and there on the screen were two guys hawking that same damn computer on some infomercial on the History Channel. Doh! I realized right away that there wasn't a whole lot of dream analysis necessary for that one! Now, I'm just hoping one of those things doesn't somehow show up at my door next week!

Posted by: Marc  

How about personal responsibility?  
Monday, January  6, 2003 7:25:32 PM EDT

After Helen Thomas' idiotic rant against George Bush's position on tort reform last week, I was preparing to provide a counterpoint, but Acidman beat me to it (dangit Acidman!) in a fine fisking of Ms. Thomas' screed. Rather than re-hash Acidman's take, I'd just like to add a few more comments on the issue.

Now I find Helen's understanding of the whole tort reform issue WAY too simplistic and I'm guessing that this is roughly how the entire democratic party looks at it as well, making the case that we have to punish big bad business as severly as possible for product snafus where innocent victims get injured or even killed, or rich doctors for malpractice and that the system does not need to be reformed at all. Obviously trial lawyers don't want to see it changed, since they are the biggest benefactors of all by leaving things alone. While it all sounds great to someone who's been unnecessarily injured by a defective product, or rogue medical procedure to be compensated with some huge monetary award, the problem is that far, far too many times the system as it is gets grossly abused, with trial attorneys leading the way towards that abuse. To me it's really a matter of personal responsibility. We've all heard of the obvious cases of people suing McDonalds for serving them hot coffee and then when they spill it on themselves it's suddenly MickyD's fault (that netted around $500K), or how about the fat guy that blames the golden arches for the fact that he was too stupid to know what was making him fat. Cases like that are so bogus it just makes me want to throw up. Yet they are often successfully litigated anyway. That anyone can actually even make the claim that they are not personally responsible for their own stupidity actions at all just drives me nuts. We've become a society of abusive litigators and the bottom line is, someone has to put on the brakes. ASAP. Do you remember that 15 year old kid that stole an airplane and flew it into a bank in Tampa last year? Yeah, well his mother is suing the company that made the kid's acne medicine, Accutane, that she claims is the reason that he committed suicide - for 70 million. Now, while it IS possible that accutane had a hand in the boy's suicide, I am certain that they were both VERY aware of that fact. Accutane has carried a warning label stating as much since 1998. So whose really at fault here? She took that risk. And how do you suppose she arrived at that 70 mil figure anyway? Now I don't want to belittle her tragedy in any way, I'm sure she is devastated, but c'mon...are she and her son blameless in all of that? It just seems a little too opportunistic to me.

Aside from overblown plaintiff awards, what about what happens to these companies when they are forced into bankruptcy because of a frivolous lawsuit? Does anyone think about the soon to be unemployed employees of that company? If it's a public company, there is a good chance that those people have retirement accounts funded largely by a now worthless stock. Does anyone think about them? When it comes to doctors and the outrageous malpractice insurance fees that they now incur because of the out of control malpractice litigation, what are we gonna do when they ALL refuse to even perform surgery? Well, I guess at least there wouldn't be anymore malpractice suits.

The bottom line is, people have to take some responsibility for their own actions as well as be realistic about what to expect when in fact a company or doctor is liable for compensatory damages. It's just not a simple as Helen makes it seem. More on this topic later.

Posted by: Marc  

Buckeye Built  
Friday, January  3, 2003 7:55:00 PM EDT

1968 was the last time the Buckeyes won a national football championship. That was one fantastic team Woody led that year. We've got a chance to do it again tonight and I AM PSYCHED! I'll be staying at home with my Mom and Dad and brothers and sisters-in-law to watch the game. When I built my house, it was framed by Ted Provost, one of Woody's All-Americans, an OSU Hall of Famer and who starred on the 1968 championship team. He was a great football player, a great guy and a great carpenter to boot.
Just sumthin' I think is kinda cool. I know Ted's out there watchin' you kids, so go win one for the gipper! It's time for the game so no more bloggin for the rest of you!


Posted by: Marc  

Lucky 13  
Thursday, January  2, 2003 5:32:17 PM EDT

I put the OSU banner back up until after the game tomorrow..

Tomorrow night The 2nd ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will meet the #1 Miami Hurricanes for a shot at the national championship title at the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, AZ. Both teams managed to end their seasons undefeated, and were the only teams to do so, so I think it's going to be an interesting matchup. Ohio State is currently a 13 point underdog though, which in my mind is pretty damned optimistic thinking on the part of the oddsmakers view of Miami. Have those people even seen the Buckeye defense? They only allow an average of 12.2 points per game and the Bucks have only lost by 13 points or more once in the last 26 games. Sure, the Buckeyes have had plenty of close calls this season, but then again Miami wasn't immune to those either (remember Florida State?). The Buckeye defense has only given up 2 touchdowns in its last 22 quarters. So I don't really understand why the odds have been stacked so decidedly against the Buckeyes for this game. Sure the 'canes are going to be tough, but it seems to me that they're being just a little too cocky about their favored status and I'm hoping the Buckeyes will open up a can of Big Ten Buckeye whoopass on 'em and teach those boys a lesson.

13 points huh? I mentioned in a previous post that I like that number. It's the number of Buckeye wins this year (13-0), the number of seniors on the roster, and the number worn by the powerhouse Buckeye tailback Maurice Clarett. Oh and I started this blog on a Friday the 13th and watched the Bucks beat Michigan from the 13th row and now it's the number the Hurricanes are expected to win by. Yeah I like that number 13 and naw, I'm not at all superstitious...

Pete Fiutak at concurs with me too, here his 13 Reasons Ohio State Will Win

UPDATE: Matt Hayes of seems to feel the same way. He thinks this year it will be the Buckeyes Party. Right on Matt!

Posted by: Marc  

A Celebrity Disease?  
Tuesday, December 31, 2002 08:45:46 AM EDT

I was telling my brothers over Christmas that I hadn't been to a theater all year and that the reason was because I was kind of upset with the vast numbers of idiotarians in Hollywood that have recently been inclined to deliver to us dim-witted political stunts rather than the quality entertainment we expect from them. Are You Hep To The Jive delivers an excellent rant describing exactly why this pervasive lunacy on the part of Hollywood's elite, as well as the ridiculous hoops you have to jump through at the theater these days, just makes the whole experience feel like rape.

Posted by: Marc  

Wow, I dropped the ball eh?  
Monday, December 30, 2002 6:17:06 PM EDT

I haven't blogged in 3 days now, not because I didn't want to, but I ended up having a seriously busy weekend and still won't have much time to sit down to the keyboard even this evening. The really sad part about that is that I was interviewed by Chris Seper from The Cleveland Plain Dealer a couple of weeks ago, for a story he was doing on blogs that no longer get updated. Oh yeah, you guessed it, I've been idle for 3 days and his story ran in yesterday's paper....argh...I am so lame. Here's the online version of the article.

As an aside, my comments weren't working when I posted this, so if you got a bunch of errors upon loading this page, that's what they're from. Haloscan's commenting system has been pretty good so far, but occasionally they too have a hiccup.

Posted by: Marc  

Design Changes  
Friday, December 27, 2002 6:56:49 PM EDT

I've been goofing around with SimCat's template as you can see. I made the Quit That header at the top in Photoshop and decided to add a photo of me too, just for grins. I'll change that one from time to time, if for no other reason than I look like a dork! I was about five years old when my grandpa snapped that photo in his back yard. You see that German Shepherd behind me? Yeah, well I had been out there taunting him that entire morning, which explains the evil mischievous smirk on my face. As soon as grandpa went back in the house that dog ran me down, tackled me and bit me on the cheek. He only bit me once and then growled at me as he walked away. At the time, I freaked out of course and I'll never forget it, but in retrospect I know I deserved it. I had badgered him into it. The funny thing is that I've been bitten 7 times by dogs in my life and every single damn time it was a German Shepherd that did it. But not one of them ever bit me a second time. You would think that I'd hate dogs, especially german shepherds, but I don't and have owned dogs myself for my entire life and still do. Believe it or not, I even know of some shepherds that rank at the top of my list as far as good dogs go.

Posted by: Marc  

Goodbye Herb  
Friday, December 27, 2002 4:51:37 PM EDT

We lost a fine photographer yesterday. Herb Ritts, the famed celebrity photographer died yesterday at age 50 from complications due to pneumonia.

Personally, I thought the man was brilliant he could get celebrities to do things for a photo that I could hardly believe. He was an ego handler extrordinaire. Goodbye Mr. Ritts, you'll be missed.

Posted by: Marc  

Experts My Ass  
Thursday, December 26, 2002 7:26:43 PM EDT

So these four "experts" all picked Miami for winning the Fiesta Bowl against the Buckeyes. Me thinks NOT!

Posted by: Marc  

Thursday, December 26, 2002 10:14:46 AM EDT

So, I step outside this morning into the fabulous snow that fell for most of yesterday and out of nowhere, BAP! I get pelted in the head by Da Goddess with a blogger snowball.

I'm gonna get you for that one Joanie!

Posted by: Marc  

Merry Christmas Everyone!  
Tuesday, December 24, 2002 1:28:43 PM EDT

Hey, this is MY blog and I don't have to be politically correct and say Happy Holidays if I don't want to.

Blogging will be necessarily light at least until Thursday, as my playbook for the next day or so is quite full. Have a terrific Christmas everyone!

Posted by: Marc  

Oilpatch Daze  
Sunday, December 22, 2002 10:27:30 AM EDT

I've been experimenting with a new tool that I've added to SimCat that builds photo pages. It's sort of an online photo scrapbook feature. As it's first test, I decided to use a series of photos from the best job I ever had, that of an oilfield roughneck. I spent about 3 years doing this job, but these images were all taken on one hitch (14 twelve hour days on the rig), just outside of Port Arthur, Texas. I wanted to put these up since there is so much talk these days about oil and there are also a suprisingly small number of images on the web that are taken on a rig floor. Hopefully, these images will serve as somewhat of an education for those that have never actually seen a large oil rig. These images are about 22 years old now and were taken with a crappy old Minolta 35mm SLR. Somewhere along the line, I lost the negatives and so these were scanned from old faded prints. I cleaned them up a bit after scanning, but they still show their age somewhat.

For my regular readers, I've put in the ability to click on an image to see a larger version of it open in a new window, but given the relatively small amount of bandwidth that my ISP provides for my account, I may have to disable that feature depending on the traffic these images generate. I'll just have to wait and see. Enjoy!

Here is my first photo essay: Oilpatch Daze

Posted by: Marc  

Road Rage Rant #2  
Friday, December 20, 2002 8:04:54 PM EDT

Ok kids, judging by the seemingly endless number of driving infractions I've been seeing around here recently, I've decided to give you all a quick refresher in the art and etiquette of driving your vehicles. Let's go back over some basics...

12 Lessons From Driver's Protocol 101:

1. When you are driving down a 4 lane highway and a driver attempts to merge into traffic and you have an open lane next to you, USE IT and move your sorry ass over and let said driver in. That includes you sweetheart, the chick in the little green Datsun that not only didn't want to let me in today, but actually sped up to try to catch me before I could merge. She failed. Here's some advice honey, get something bigger than a 2 liter motor. You're lucky I didn't just slam on the brakes and give you the sweet sensation of a reese hitch to the face.

2. If you like to drive 15 miles an hour slower than the speed limit, that's fine. But when you do it and there's a mile long line of cars stacked up behind you, it's time to re-think that strategy. You have a device called a rear view mirror, use it bonehead.

3. If you can't drive without using your high beams full time, go see your damn eye doctor or stop driving at night. You're pissin' me off. Oh, and when I flick my high beams at YOU that means turn the wattage down, K?

4. Using your cell phone while driving, though not illegal here, is extremely annoying to other drivers when we're behind you and you've suddenly forgotten that your driving a car and going 15 miles an hour in a 45 mph zone. See lesson #2.

5. If you work for the county and drive a county truck, I realize that you're on the clock, but that doesn't give you a license to crawl down the road in order to avoid getting to your $20/hr, taxpayer funded shovel-leaning duties in the ditch. See lesson #2.

6. If you drive a 25 ton cement mixer, I realize that you may be paid by commission and that you have an incentive to drive 90 miles an hour. Just stop doing it when I'm around, because I have NO desire to feel the sweet sensation of a Bulldog hood ornament rammed up my ass.

7. In a related lesson, if you come up behind me and I'm already 10 miles over the speed limit and I don't speed up, get over it or pass me, but don't ride my ass or I'll give you the sweet sensation of a reese hitch to the face. See lesson #1.

8. If you think your car is so cool that it needs to be parked diagonally across two spaces in an already full lot, be prepared for some free body work that will make your car just a little less cool.

9. That little lever on the left hand side of your steering wheel is called a turn signal. It lets the driver behind you know what your intentions are. Push it down when you're going to turn left, push it up when you're going to turn right, K?

10. You kids with the 1000 megawatt car stereos with 14 subwoofers - the rest of us don't actually want to hear Vanilla Ice at 200 decibals while we're pumping our gas, got that?

11. When you are coming up to a red light and there's a car waiting to pull out into the street, why not show just a LITLLE compassion and let the car into traffic in front of you, rather than blocking it completely. Stop acting like you don't even see it, especially when it's lights are right in your face while you wait anxiously for that light to go green.

12. If you want to use that left hand lane out on the freeway, that's fine. Just remember that it's called the passing lane, not the "I'm gonna just glide along next to this other car" lane. See lesson #2.

Oh, and before you start giving me grief about ditching my own vehicle, I consider that the proper etiquette if it means avoiding hitting somebody else's.

Posted by: Marc  

Here's a heartbreaker of a story  
Friday, December 20, 2002 3:09:06 PM EDT

I'd have been chucking rocks at these drivers:

"Kira is probably less than 2 years old. I found her and her 4 year old brother running down my street almost getting hit by cars that would not stop. They were honking at 2 barefoot barely dressed babies to get out of the road.
They are lost."
Go here for the rest of the story.

Link found at Silflayhraka.

Posted by: Marc  

More on RSS  
Thursday, December 19, 2002 7:42:49 PM EDT

Joanie, Da Goddess left a comment on my previous RSS post asking what exactly RSS is. I thought it was a good question, because I tend to forget that a lot of bloggers aren't "techies" like myself, so it does deserve an explanation here. I'll try to explain it in layman's terms if I can.

Essentially an RSS file (Rich Site Summary) is a file that encapsulates a website's contents in such a way that it can be easily read by a variety of popular applications other than just a web browser. Typically, RSS feeds are used by news sites to facilitate the distribution of content to other sites. Web logs are perfect candidates for creating an RSS feed, as they expand your audience by allowing people who use programs like Headline Viewer and other news syndication aggragators, to see a summary of your posts. These applications allow a person to gather headlines from multiple sources without having to actually visit each site. With these programs, if you see a headline that interests you, you simply click on it and it will take you to the site itself with your web browser for the full story. They are great tools because you can cover a lot more sites in the same amount of time, without actually wasting any. Many of the blogging tools available, like Moveable Type incorporate features for generating an RSS newsfeed for your blog, so you don't even have to know anything about how they are constructed. But if you'd like more information as to how to build an RSS page, here is a more in depth explanation of RSS with links to other resources as well.

Posted by: Marc  

What Lunchmeat Are You?  
Tuesday, December 17, 2002 5:17:04 PM EDT

You are SALAMI. The phallic meat.
What Lunch Meat Are You?

Posted by: Marc  

164 Blogs Rolled

Da Goddess
Gut Rumbles
Kevin Holtsberry
Colby Cosh
Silflay Hraka
Ravenwood's Universe
Howard Bashman
N.Z. Bear
Rebecca Blood
Babbling Blog
Blog Critics
Daily Pundit
The Talking Dog
Groupthink Central
The CounterRevolutionary
The Drudge Report
Ernie The Attorney
Inappropriate Response
The Capitalist Lion
Mark Byron
Unqualified Offerings
Agenda Bender
Dave Tepper
Die Fluffy Wuffy, Die
Photo Dude
Mighty Girl
Rabbitt Blog
Bananna Counting Monkey
Damn Hell Ass Kings
Protein Wisdom
The Ville
Tomato Nation
Dawn Olsen
Tony Pierce
Hawk Girl
The Raving Athiest
Blissful Knowledge
Media Minded
Ox Blog
Max Power
The Safety Valve
Austin Bay
Bathroom Break, Boss?
Sand In The Gears
Sgt. Stryker
The LookingGlass
USS Clueless
The Buck Stops Here
The Volokh Conspiracy
Sweat Flavoured Gummi
Coyote At The Dog Show
The Beauty of Gray
Little Green Footballs
Speedy Snail
Organic Mechanic
Mimi Smartypants
Dog Door of Death
Defective Yeti
Life As It Happens
A Small Victory
Dawson Speaks
Armed And Dangerous
Recovering Liberal
The Right Track
Boing Boing
Group Captain Lionel Mandrake
The Invisible Hand
Captain Mojo
Junkyard Blog
Spleenville (Andrea Harris)
Carraig Daire
Weblog Central (MSN)
Midwest Conservative Journal
Vodka Pundit
Am So A Pundit
Uncle Bob
World Wide Rant
Shell Shocking
Andrew Sullivan
The Politburo
Shiloh Bucher
Ken Layne
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Cranky Hermit
More Than Zero
Andrew Olmsted
Right Wing News
Random Jottings
Robin Goodfellow
Occam's Toothbrush
The Stranger
Michael Graham
The Bitch Girls
Music Pundit
2 Blowhards
Jason Kottke
Brushstroke TV
Live From The WTC
Life After 50
Blog Ecosystem
Bitch Pundit
Happy Fun Pundit
The Homeless Guy
South Knox Bubba
Adam Tow
Athena Runner
Rolling Clouds
Quinn MacDonald
Wil Wheaton
Sofia SideShow
Arrogant Rants
Mean Mr. Mustard
Just Another Day
Sour Bob
Buzz Bombs
PalmerMix Music Blog
Kim du Toit
Juan Gato
Are You Hep To The Jive?
Daze Reader
The Fat Guy
Easy Tiger
Backy Girly
Devil Duck *
Hi-Fi New York
Acerbia 4.1
Bitch Sessions
Winds of Change
Minnie's Journal
Ryan McGee
I Have A Brain Cloud
Memento Mori
Diary of a Madman

All Music
David Baerwald
Tony Rice
Bela Fleck and The Flecktones
John Cowan
Aimee Mann
The Clarks
Gillian Welch
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Calrence Gatemouth Brown
Robert Earl Keen
Name This Tune
Michelle Shocked
Guy Clark
Steve Earle
Nickel Creek
Tim OBrien
Willie Nelson
Drive-By Truckers
Allison Moorer
Janis Ian
Peter Wolf
John Prine
16 Horsepower


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Internet Movie Database
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Movie Review Query Engine
E! Online


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