Monday, July 31, 2006

Castro ill?

Castro handed over power to his brother Raul before undergoing surgery.

The sooner this evil son of a bitch dies, the better. You won't find any "nuance" here about how "Well, I wouldn't wish anyone ill, but..." Nope. He needs to die, now. Actually, he could've died about 50 years ago and saved Cuba and the rest of the world a lot of trouble, but I'll settle for now.

Anyway, like Brad pointed out, Castro's death would hopefully lead to at least one thing: a lifting of the trade embargo, which means Cuban cigars!!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Zippo bleg

So, as you may have surmised based on some previous posts, I smoke cigars. Not a lot, just swishers (if you can call those cigars) usually once a week or so with a higher quality cigar once a month. I've been meaning to get my own lighter for some time, and I've been thinking that I'll cap off my recent spending spree (new computer, couple of books) with a zippo. I've narrowed it down to two, both USAF related ones. But I can't decide. Here they are:

First one is high polish chrome with the Hap Arnold wings symbol, aka the official Air Force symbol.

The other is brushed chrome with the Air Force crest.

Your thoughts?

Buncha pussies

That's what kind of children Psychology Today says we're raising. And I happen to agree. I know far too many people at school who are incapable of the simplest tasks and decisions. Anyway, it's long but it's good. Read the whole thing.

h/t: Agitator

Somalia link dump

First, we have some more eerie deja vu ala Afghanistan: Somalia has first commercial flight in years.
"The first commercial flight in a decade departed Mogadishu's newly reopened international airport Sunday, demonstrating how Islamic militants have pacified the once-anarchic capital and much of southern Somalia." UIC is providing gunmen for "security." Like I've said previously, we've got an Islamist group who has taken power of an anarchic region and brought some measure of peace and stability, at the low cost of completely subjugating the region under harsh 7th century Sharia law. Oh, and harboring terrorist groups. Sounds like a bargain to me. /sarcasm.

Next, Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi survived a no-confidence vote, meaning his government won't collapse, for now.

A Somali minister was shot to death in Baidoa (the home of the Gedi's government) on Friday, but the real news is that another Il-76 arrived amid tight security. While both the UIC and Eritrea deny the claims, several sources have maintained that both this flight and one earlier this week are arms shipments to the UIC from Eritrea.

Finally, a good roundup of the current situation. (From the Beeb, of all places.)

My amateur analysis would seem to indicate a couple of things. First, obviously, Gedi's government has no chance in hell of ever regaining control of the country short of Operation Enduring Freedom, part deux. They become weaker every day while the Islamists grow stronger, especially with the arms shipments from Eritrea. Gedi's government is between a rock and a hard place because most of the people resent the presence of Ethiopian troops, but these troops are the only thing protecting Gedi's government. And quite honestly, the Ethiopian troops wouldn't leave even if Gedi asked them to (as the above roundup indicates.) The UIC refuses to negotiate with Gedi's government until the Ethiopian troops leave Baidoa, making negotiations pointless because the UIC could simply take out Gedi's government. So what we're probably going to see is a war between Ethiopian troops ostensibly backing Gedi's government and the UIC, acting as Eritrea's proxies, and possibly Eritrean troops if things get really bad.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Two videos

First, our esteemed Representative Lee Terry on the Colbert Report...make sure you're listening about halfway through, because Rep. Terry talks about how he has a bone in his meat.

Second, check out this video of a kid, and his guns. Omaha is lucky that I'm not in school there anymore, because with the new concealed carry law, well, I'd probably look something like that.

h/t: Pinch

Mmmm, tasty government bacon

Rep. Jeff Flake recently pushed 19 amendments to spending bills through the house. These amendments required Congressmen to simply vote yes/no on various pork. A few samplings: Multipurpose facility in Yucaipa, California ($500,000); Juniata Locomotive Demonstration ($1,000,000); National Grape and Wine Initiative ($100,000); Dairy education in Iowa ($229,000); and my personal favorite, “Facilities” in Weirton, West Virginia ($100,000). Yes, that's right, the taxpayers of this country are paying $100,000 to support "facilities." Enough to make your blood boil.

Fortunately, Andy Roth over at the Club for Growth is doing something about it. He's trying to round up 435 bloggers to shed some light on the 435 Congressmen. So, being the civic minded citizen that I am, I'll take on my local Congresscritters, Rep. Terry, Fortenberry, and Osborne.

First up are the two that don't represent me, Rep. Fortenberry (1st District) and Osborne (3rd District). These two "Republicans," which, once upon a time, was the party of fiscal responsibility, both voted "no" on all 19 of the spending bills, which means they voted yes to pork. 19 times. How soon can we get these guys out of office? Of course, I can hear Fortenberry's excuse now, "Buuuuttt I'm just a junior Congressman and the Dems are trying hard to knock me off, and WAAAAAAHHHH!!!!" No excuses, sir. Either you are a fiscal conservative, or you aren't. If you don't have the cajones to vote against pork at least a few times out of 19, how can you honestly say you'll be able to go to the mat for the good people of the 1st District?

As for Rep. Osborne (or "Coach" as he's known around here...shoot me now, please), he also voted no on every single amendment. However, he's a bit different because, after losing the GOP governor's primary, he's retiring from the House this year, leaving the 3rd District seat up for grabs; a prime opportunity for a fiscal conservative to take it. Unfortunately, I have not been following that race like I should, basically because it's in western Nebraska, and no one cares about western Nebraska. But with a bit of digging, I've found that the GOP candidate that won a hard-fought primary and is the one likely to win (the 3rd has been in Republican hands for 31 years) is Adrian Smith, and he was backed by the Club for Growth. So, that's good news I suppose.

Finally, on to my home district. The "fightin' 2nd" is represented by Lee Terry, who voted yes on 10 of the 19, giving him a "score" of 53%. Not bad, not good, but certainly better than his esteemed colleagues. 53% is failing on any test, but remember, we're talking about Congressmen here...the test is curved. A lot. So while 53% isn't bad, I think Congressman Terry can do better. And here's how. Make an effort to return the $19 million in federal money that is going to pay for the bulk of a pedestrian bridge that we're throwing up between Omaha and Counciltucky, or as I like to call it, cheap liquor and strip club capitol of Iowa. As with any frivolous municipal project, the bridge continues to fall behind schedule and is probably going to come in overbudget. I have just one simple question: why should every taxpayer in this country subsidize a bridge that only Omahans and the hicks from across the river are going to use? If the bridge is so grand, so great, and so useful, perhaps Omaha and our lovely Iowan hill brethern should finance the bridge themselves, maybe with some help from their states. And if, as is the case here, the locals start complaining about having to spend any sort of money, why is it an acceptable response to start screaming, "FEDERAL MONEY!!!! FEDERAL MONEY!!!!"?

I don't care that if we don't use the money we lose it. The argument against the money is similar to the one your mother used against stealing a pack of gum with you when you were a child. If everyone did it, there'd be no gum left. If everyone continues to take pork, there will be no federal money left. Which means we get to raise taxes.

Someone has to be first, Rep. Terry.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

More bad news out of Somalia

As blogged about previously, Somalia is deteriorating. It now appears that events are picking up speed, as more and more of Somalia's parliament and government resigns in the face of Islamists who control most of the country and are now within striking distance of the government. Also, it now appears the Eritrea is arming the Islamists. While this should come as no surprise considering that Ethiopia and Eritrea are bitter enemies, it is not good news. I certainly hope people in the U.S. government are taking this more seriously than the rest of the world seems to be, because this is quite reminiscient of Afghanistan circa 1996. We need to treat this as the threat to world security that it is. Terrorists operate in the havens provided by failed states; it doesn't get much more failed than Somalia. And the more failed the state is, the freer the terrorists are to operate.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


You Are Guinness

You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world.
Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them.
When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well.
But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.

h/t: Brad

Ooh, you touch my tra-la-la, mmm, my ding-ding-dong

Offered entirely without comment, other than Gunther is god.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Quote of the Day

Comes from Heinlein's Starship Troopers, which I just got done reading. All I can say is that if you are remotely interested about the military, martial tradition, or libertarianism (and I know a lot of people interested in all three) you MUST read this book. Anyway, the quote, which is actually more of a passage, albeit abridged a bit.

One girl told him bluntly: "My mother says that violence never settles anything."

"So?" Mr. Dubois looked at her bleakly. "I'm sure the city fathers of Carthage would be glad to know that. Why doesn't your mother tell them so? Or why don't you?'

She said shrilly, "You're making fun of me! Everybody knows that Carthage was destroyed!"

"You seemed to be unaware of it, " he said grimly. "Since you do know it, wouldn't you say that violence had settled their destinies rather thoroughly? However, I was not making fun of you personally; I was heaping scorn on an inexcusably silly idea-a practice I shall always follow. Anyone who clings to the historically untrue-and thoroughly immoral-doctrine that 'violence never settles anything' I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."

Air Force commercial fun

First, watch this:

Then watch this:

You tell me which one is the real United States Air Force.

Thanks to Mudville's open post!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The latest in frivolous lawsuits...

...comes from my alma mater's cross town rival, the lovely V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School. First, the story. Skutt is suing "John and Jane Doe" because of libelous statements that said person(s) "published" on the Skutt wikipedia page. The statements are as follows:

"It's (sic) tuition is ridiculously high, too. Not to mention you get an awful education there. They put more emphasis on sports than they do education. No wonder almost all kids there are complete idiots."

The fact that Skutt is suing at all shows their complete lack of understanding when it comes to Wikipedia. The entire point of Wikipedia is that it harnesses the massive open power of the internet. While the W-H article (reg. required)I'm using as a source doesn't say, I'm certain the "libelous" statements were removed within a few days of being posted. Regardless, the statements are off the page now and the page has been semi-locked (only registered users can post changes.) So, Skutt is suing because of something someone said about them on the internet that was likely corrected within days, and in any case is now fixed. I have no doubt that anyone who happened to be browsing the wiki page wouldn't take the statements seriously. Anyone who believes a statement in an encyclopedia which includes the phrases "awful education" and "complete idiots" probably got their education at Skutt. (1 count of libel!)

Setting aside all of that, the sad fact is that some of these statements could arguably be true. Skutt DOES place a strong emphasis on athletics, and its tuition IS very high. (2 more counts of libel!) Which could perhaps give possilbe understanding as to why Skutt is fighting so hard against them. Regardless, Skutt is tying up the court system and service providers (tracing the IP address) with a frivolous lawsuit

As a sidenote, the W-H does a pretty crappy job of understanding the internet, but considering that it's a print organization, and one that hides most of it's content behind a registration firewall, I shouldn't be surprised. The biggest example of this is when it states that other posts containing potentially libelous material "can still be accessed at Wikipedia." Which is true. I can access them using the page history feature, which is part of the openness of Wikipedia, something print media, with its tradition of page 20-F retractions, is a stranger to. However, the phrasing the W-H uses implies that "sharp criticism of Skmutt's president and principal,...,obscene language, and a mention of drug use" are still all up on the main page. Which is simply not true, but why let facts get in the way of a good story slamming your competition?

Bottom line is that this is a retarded lawsuit, filed by a school primarily run and attended by arrogant rich pompous pricks (Another count of libel!) that I hate, and has poorly written and understood media coverage to boot. Yup, lots for a blogger to like here. I'll be following the story.

Let's let Skutt's lawyer have the last word. "These particular edits were really harmful and mean-spirited." So. They're suing because someone talked about them on the internet in a "harmful" and "mean-spirited" way.

Worst. Lawsuit. Ever.


Real quick update: if you go to Skutt's official website, you should notice something very interesting: "Congratulations to the Skutt Catholic Football Team for winning this year's Class B State Championship!
Congratulations to the Skutt Catholic Wrestling Team for winning their 9th consecutive Class B State Championship this year!
Congratulations to the Skutt Catholic Boys Basketball Team for winning this year's Class B State Championship!
Congratulations to the Skutt Catholic Girls Soccer Team for winning this year's Class B State Championship!
Congratulations to the Skutt Catholic Boys Soccer Team on being this year's Class B State Runner-Up!
Congratulations to the Skutt Catholic Girls Tennis Team for winning this year's Class B State Championship!
Congratulations to the Skutt Catholic Boys Golf Team for winning this year's Class B State Championship!
Congratulations to the Skutt Catholic Trapshooting Team's 1st Squad for winning this year's Class B State Championship in the Handicapped Division!
Congratulations to the Skutt Catholic Trapshooting Team's 1st Squad for winning 3rd place overall in this year's Class B State Championship!
(Whew! We're going to need a new page for all this stuff!)"

All that, right on the front page. Nothing about academics or service projects like there are on other Omaha area Catholic H.S. websites. But don't you EVER accuse Skutt Catholic of having an over-emphasis on sports.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Quote of the Day

From an article about a banner ad on MySpace that infected over a million computers with AdWare. (Right now, a million dads are wondering what the hell their 14 year old daughter did to the computer.) Anyway, it's an interesting read, but the best quote is at the end:

"MySpace is "strongly" urging all Internet users to "follow basic Internet security practices such as running the latest version of the Windows operating system, installing the latest security patches, and running the latest anti-spyware and anti-adware software.""


Damn hippies

San Francisco continues it's drive to the bottom in trying to be the Mecca of bums and hippies. Everyone in the city, and I mean everyone, will get free health care. The real kicker is that it will require mandatory contributions from all businesses in the city. I think that if I was trying to drive out all business from my city, I'd come up with something like this.

Cartman said it best: "They're not people, they're hippies!"


While I've been known to commit my fair share of stupid guidon offenses, falling in with Wing Staff is of a far lesser magnitude than this.

Somalia declares war, rest of world realizes that Somalia still exists

Most people have probably forgotten about the Islamist takeover of Somalia, especially in light of the Lebanon situation. The leader of the Islamist militias declared holy war today on Ethiopian troops in Somalia protecting the Somalian government. While this could get ugly very fast, we should realize that Ethiopia has recognized the threat of a possible Taliban-style regime on their borders, and is trying to do something about it.

And we should be supporting them, not "urging restraint."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Who you rollin' with?

Bob Saget, bitch. You better AKX someone.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Journalists are retarded

Came across some further evidence that, despite all their talk and "layers of editors," journalists are still retarded, and a j-school degree does not give you basic math or reading comprehension skills.

Money magazine came out with their annual "best places to live" list. The list is divided up into two sections: one is the top 90 small cities, and the other is the top 10 big cities. "Small cities" are towns with populations between 50,000 and 300,000, while "big cities" are any city with a population over 300,000. Now, it should be painfully obvious to anyone that the lists were intended to be separate. Not to this dumbass (or her editor.) She somehow came to the conclusion that the list ran 1-100, with the top 10 city list being placed at the rear, so the 10th best big city (New York City) was the 100th best city in the nation overall. Like I said, she's a dumbass. To make it all the better, here's how she opened her piece:

"Sorry, Omaha. Tough luck, Chicago. Too bad, Minneapolis and Kansas City and Denver. Yeah, you heard right. Lincoln has trumped you all. At least that’s what one poll says." anyone could possibly think that Lincoln would be ahead of Omaha, Chicago, Minneapolis, K.C., and Denver is beyond me. See, those towns actually have something to DO in them. In Lincoln, you can go to bars, hit on college students...did I mention you can go to bars? Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad town, but you would have had to live there you entire life to honestly think that it is a better city over all than the afore mentioned ones.

Just further proof that all a journalism degree equips students with is an ability to string words together to form sentences.

(For the record, Omaha was 7th out of 10 on the big cities list. Quite respectable. And much better than Lincoln's 60th out of 90 placing on the small cities list.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

SWAT Abuse

Radley Balko has a paper out about the increase in SWAT and paramilitary police raids, specifically related to narcotics, in the U.S. Well worth checking out. Also definitely worth checking out is an interactive map detailing botched raids, organized by category.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Bill of Rights, v2.0

A few words of explanation: As you may well know, Nebraska recently passed a concealed carry law. Omaha, however, still has an ordnance on the books prohibiting concealed carry that supercedes that state law. The City Council is now considering repealing the ordnance, which has led to a lot of disgusting anti-gun rhetoric being spouted off. While considering how to respond to this, I came up with a few Second Amendment...modifications, if you will. And things just went from there.

So, without further ado, the Bill of Rights, v2.0.

I. Congress shall make no law that includes the words "Christianity," "Christ," "God," or any other deity associated with white males; or abridging the freedom of speech, excepting American flag burning, which isn't really speech anyway; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, unless they burn American flags, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, as long as they don't burn American flags.

(Note: freedom of the press was not included because persuant to Article VIII, the press have now become a fourth branch of government, and as such need no special protection in the Bill of Rights.)

II. A well regulated police force, being necessary to the control of a population, the right of the police to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.


A well regulated group of hunters, being necessary to the stomach of a free nation, the right of the people to keep and bear hunting rifles and shotguns shall not be infringed.

III. Not important, and not applicable. What were they thinking anyway? I think ol' Madison was being just a little paranoid.

IV. The right of Congressmen to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, unless you're a teenager or drug "dealer", supported by Oath, affirmation, or anonymous informant, and particularly describing the place to be searched, including your entire neighborhood, and the persons or things to be seized, including your neighbor and your dog.

V. No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury. Sometimes. Nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. Again, sometimes. Private property shall be taken for public or private use, without just compensation.

VI. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense. Unless you're a terrorist.

VII. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. Also, the right to sue someone for injuries incurred while breaking into their home shall not be infringed.

VIII. Excessive bail shall not be required, unless you're a teenager, nor excessive fines imposed, unless you're a teenager or a drug "criminal," nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

(Note: An example of "cruel and unusual" punishment would be putting someone at risk for infection during the process of executing them. However, sterilizing the needle removes the "cruel and unusual" part of the punishment.)

IX. What the hell does this one even mean? I think the founding fathers were smoking a little too much hashish.

X. N/A. The states are no longer considered separate entities, and therefore have no powers.

Hope you enjoyed my version of the Bill of Rights, and feel free to make your own additions in the comments.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Leaving for Colorado tonight. Gonna do some mountain climbing, will be back Sunday. In the meantime, two bits of nerdom to tide you over.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Captain Wedley

Cuz when it's game time, it's pain time!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Lost at Sea

Just found out about this sad news today...a local kid (graduated from a high school about 10 blocks from my house) who enlisted in the Navy after graduation was lost at sea on Saturday. Today the Navy called off the search for 19 year old Airman Jason Doyle. He fell overboard in the Sea of Japan from the USS Kitty Hawk. A sad reminder that regardless of whether or not they are in a war zone people in the military will be putting their lives at risk for us every day.

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Thanks to Mudville's Open Post!

F**K my generation

Great video find via Chap. Pat Dollard's whole project looks great.

Have to say that I pretty much agree with the sentiments in the video. So many people around my age just don't get it. The military and warrior ethos are foreign concepts to them. Hell, the concept of being willing to take a stand and fight for anything is a foreign concept to most of them. Fortunately most of the people I know are smart enough to know that saying "Man, I'd totally fuckin' kill all those fuckin' guys" is pretty ignorant, but I've run into my fair share of the type. They're annoying as hell to me; I can't imagine what they're like to someone who's been over there.

Regardless, the project looks like something to keep an eye on.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Another Random Conversation

In IHOP parking lot at 4:00 a.m. on Sunday morning after poker. Discussing religion/spirituality/etc. while smoking cigars. (Okay, Swisher woodtips, so not exactly cigars, but close enough.)

Brett: Okay, well, here's what I think about won't get offended or anything will you Mike?

Me: Of course n-

Dan: Are you kidding?!? He's Mike.

Hell yes.

Poker recap

So I played the usual Friday night poker game last Saturday. This one was particularly notable simply for the absolutely horrible night I had; half bad luck and half my fault. I finished second in our tournament and still ended up $5 down on the night.

We start off the usual $5 tournament with 7 people. I play reasonably well, better than usual for me. Living up to my reputation as the most unpredictable player in our little circle, I completely bluffed my way to two big pots. I was holding jack, (pair of 2's one time and high card jack the other) but since I rarely bluff, and was betting hard every time around, I bluffed everyone out. So, long story short, I make it to heads up with a 3-1 chip advantage over the other guy. Now, I knew he was a great heads up player, and had watched him take out someone else from a similar deficit last week, so I knew to be careful. But, as you probably guessed, he took me out, slowly but surely.

So I finished second in the tournament, made $5 plus got my $5 buy-in back, and was ready to make some money in cash games (where I usually make money.) Play a couple games, then we play some Chicago (I think) follow the bitch. (The reason I say "I think" is that I looked at the wiki page for Chicago poker, and it's something completely different.) For those of you unfamiliar with this game, Chicago is 7 card stud with the highest spade in the hole taking half the pot; follow the bitch means that queens and whatever follows queens when they are dealt are wild. The non-queen wild can change as another queen comes up. I'm holding shit, but I've got the jack of spades in the hole. The Ace and Queen of spades had already come up, so the only card that can beat me for half of the pot is the King. Joz is showing 4 of a kind. I start playing it pretty aggressively, and assume that since no one is calling me, I'm sitting pretty good for half of the pot. Last card (#7) comes, face down, aaaaaaand what does Ms. Joz pick up? The King. Of spades. Pissed me the hell off, because that's complete luck and a statistical anomaly.

So I bust out, and watch Batman Begins and Monty Python. (NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!!!) Eventually I buy back in, around 1:30. We're playing some stud game, and I come up with full house, which is beaten by Travis' four of a kind. Being a complete idiot, I had failed to see that I in fact had four of a kind as well, between some wild cards and such. Four aces, to be exact. Ugh.

To top the night off, we play stud again and throw in assassins. The gist of assassins is that the player with the death card in the hole can, at any point during the game, flip over that card, point to any player, and tell them they fold. Long story short, I end up with five of a kind. Betting is over, and no one's killed anyone yet, so I think I'm sitting pretty good. Travis, who was sitting next to me, forgets that we're playing assassins and says, well, Mike wins. Dan then flips over the death card and says, no, you fold. Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittt.....I wasn't particularly pissed at Travis, because the only other guy in the hand wasn't showing anything, so it was pretty obvious who Dan would pick to eliminate.

Just not a good night.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Inmates rule Asylum

Via Instapundit, some disturbing news about the IAEA in regards to Iran. It appears that Iran has demanded, and gotten, the virtual firing of an IAEA inspector. While this shouldn't really surprise anyone, it is very disturbing news.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

KIck-Ass Boeing vids

Found some really awesome videos of Boeing heavies doing crazy stuff. First one is of Boeing crosswind tests on the 747 and 777 at a remote Brazilian airbase known for its continuously high cross winds (supposedly on this test they were gusting up to 50 knots). The last triple 7 to land looks like it is hovering in. The next video is of a 747 on final at Kai Tak. For those of you who don't know, Kai Tak was the old international airport in Hong Kong, and it definitely required some aerial acrobatics to get in or out of. While the video looks extreme, it isn't too out of the ordinary for Kai Tak. The last two videos are both of high speed low altitude flybys by 757s. Simply kick-ass.

h/t to Planet Potato for the first two videos.

It's time to put down the computer...

...when you realize that a) you think you recognize each of these sites and b) you realize that you would probably visit each one of them on a regular basis.

h/t to Chap.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Random Conversation

Me: I'm probably going to go out and try and find some missile silos with Matt on Saturday.

Mom: How? Are you going to just look for big abandoned silos?

Me: Well, for starters, they're buried.

Mom: Oh, so you're going to go out with a shovel and dig?


Mom: Are they like a cellar door then?

Me...Yes, a 110 ton cellar door hardened against a direct hit by a thermonuclear weapon...

For context, I am planning on going out with a friend from AFROTC who lives in Omaha to hunt down some missile silos sometime soon. There are 12 abandoned Atlas ICBM sites around Omaha, and 3 Nike-Ajax abandoned SAM sites. I'll make sure to bring my shovel so I can dig them up.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

In other news...

...the U.N. still acts as the enabling hang out for petty pissant thugs. Witness reason #428,803,574 why the U.N. sucks: Draft Resolution demands Israel quit Gaza. The resolution goes on to call on Israel to "scrupulously abide by its obligations and responsibilities under the Geneva Convention." Please excuse me while I laugh my ass off. Seriously, this is too rich even for the Arabs. Calling on Israel to abide by the Geneva Conventions...does Arabic have a word for Geneva Convention? Judging by the behavior of their "combatants" over the past 30 years or so, I'd say not. When your resolution is condemned by France as being too one-sided, you know you have some real issues. But, to be fair, the resolution does say that all prisoners should be released. Presumably this includes Cpl. Shalit. And that should be enough. I mean, why wouldn't we trust an Israeli enemy's word on a captured Israeli soldier? It's not like this has happened before or anything.

UPDATE: I think I've figured out why France cares so much...Cpl. Shalit holds dual Israeli-French citizenship. I should have known better than to think France would take a stand out of pure altruism. There's always an angle with those tricky Frenchies.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Nosy Nellies

So I had a rather, um, interesting experience last night that I feel, while a bit of a stretch, points to a couple of the problems with the U.S. today.

Last night, after putting up my couple of posts (speaking of which, you should really check out that Van Halen/F-15 video again...Van Halen is way better when mixed to the sound of a couple of P&W F-100s in full 'burner.) Anyway, after putting up the posts, I headed over to a friend's house for some poker and cigars. The poker didn't go bad, didn't go good, basically a standard night, but that's not what I want to talk about. While driving to my friend's house, I passed by a group of people in his neighborhood in the street setting off fireworks. A quick sidenote, in Sarpy County, fireworks are completely legal, which means that on the 4th there are a lot of people setting off fireworks in the street in residential neighborhoods. It's not an issue, we just adjust for one night. So I drive by at about my normal 4th of July speed (15-20 mph.) It's slower than usual because people have an annoying tendency to set off fireworks right as you're driving up; if you aren't careful you can catch a fountain or worse in your undercarriage. So, I drive by and think everything is fine. I get to my friend's house, and he suggests we go buy cigars, so we get back in my car and head back down past the people who were having a party. A lady steps out in the street and flags my car down, so I stop...big mistake.

Said lady is drunk off her ass, and proceeds to grab my arm (I had my windows rolled down) and yell at me for "driving too fast." She said that I was going to run over one of her kids, etc. As soon as she stepped up to the car, I could tell she was drunk (slurring speech, eyes were unfocused) so I wasn't going to make a scene like I usually would; I just nodded my head, said yes a lot, and then proceeded to start to drive away...another big mistake. Apparently she wasn't done with me, so she grabs onto my arm as I try to drive away. In retrospect, I probably should have floored it and forced her to either let go or be drug along, but like I said, I wasn't spoiling for a fight because I was pretty sure that everyone at the party had been drinking heavily. Anyway, she then threatened to call the cops on me and again proceeded to berate me. By this time the little exchange was drawing a crowd, so I was starting to get a little worried. Not that my friend and I couldn't have taken them (3-4 heavily intoxicated pieces of white trash) but that something would have happened to my dad's 4Runner. (Why I was driving the 4Runner is a story in and of itself.) Fortunately, someone in the crowd asked drunk lady what was going on and she released my arm, leaving me "free" to drive away.

So, what does all this have to do with the problems in the U.S. today? A couple of things. First, the fact that the lady felt she had the right to tell me how fast I could drive. There is a posted speed limit, and as long as I follow that law, I can drive as fast or as slow as I want, irregardless of how fast you think it is safe for your kids. If you think 25 is too fast, then perhaps you should petition the City Council (or State DOT, not quite sure who sets speed limits) to change the speed limit on your particular stretch of street. Regardless, you do NOT have any sort of right or power to tell me how fast to drive, much less verbally berate and physically assault me in order to enforce the speed limit that you feel is the proper one. Typical of a society in which we feel the need to control other people, even when it really doesn't affect us. Second, normally I have little problem with people who flag me down to politely tell me that I should slow down. I'll apologize and say yes, I won't drive that fast next time. But Ms. Drunk didn't do that. Instead, she was physically and verbally abusive. Can't say I'm really surprised by that behavior, though. Finally, her threat to call the police. There was a time when people settled disagreements civilly. If they couldn't settle them civilly, they settled the disagreements themselves by whatever means were necessary. What they didn't do was call the police/authority at the drop of a hat. But that's exactly what this lady threatened to do. As a sidenote, I was tempted to tell her to call the police, and then wait for them to get there so I could report her assault, buuuuut...I'm not like that, plus I had a poker game to play. Anyway, the immediate resort to authority/power is, again, typical in a society where we have students suing to get their grades changed and people petitioning the government to ban fast food. If you can't bring about your wishes by convincing people to do it, you force them.

I know I'm reading way too much into this little incident, so don't take it too seriously, but I do think they are some valid points.

Postscript: I would just like to call my friend, Jason, one of the biggest pussies I know. Why? Well, we drove back the same way to his house, going past drunk lady's party again. Me, being the rebellious 19 year old that I am, wanted to pursue several courses of action, ranging from driving by at an excessive rate of speed to driving by at 2 mph while giving them the Hawaiian good luck sign to simply driving back and forth over all of their fireworks in the street. Jason, being the big pussy that he is, told me that I couldn't because he "knows these people." Whatever're just a big puss who doesn't know how to get back at people.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Another anniversary

While much of our nation celebrates July 4th, there is a lesser known anniversary today being remembered on the other side of the world. This July 4th marks the 30th anniversary of the Israeli mission to rescue the hostages held at Entebbe. Good wiki round up here, and a very detailed IDF report on the raid here.

This anniversary should serve as a reminder to the captors of Cpl. Gilad Shalit of the lengths Israel will go to to get it's captured people back.

Happy (Belated) 4th of July

Sorry for the lack of posting, work and school have been kicking my ass, and then I've been out of town the past couple of days. Anyway, wanted to wish everyone a Happy 4th, and figured that since I did the fireworks thing last night, I'd do a little something else here. Interesting sidenote, I went to a party last night involving lots of fireworks, and the geniuses that were setting them off somehow managed to have three artillery shells explode in close proximity to the 5 feet off it. How they did that, I don't know. Anyway, here we're going to celebrate in a bit safer manner...Van Halen and American airpower in the form of Eagles. Make sure you crank up your speakers.

Happy 4th!

Thanks to Mudville's open post!