Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If you're not reading Thor

You shall be smote (smitten, smit ... heck ... you'll be smacked with a magic hammer dammit).

Shades of Simonson's run are heavy in this series. The artwork is lovely and the story is only getting better.

I am glad that they're keeping Thor out of the storylines running through all the other Marvel titles right now. It kind of makes Asgard and Thor's stories seem "above" everything else going on. Given how droll all this freaking Skrull War crap has been so far, staying out of it is a good thing.

This is a post to have something new here

Which is to say that there isn't too much to say.

Ah, I guess I can go off on a monopoly-based, small-town-business rant.

I just dropped my local phone service. Now, I know many people are switching to cell phones anyway, but I just can't bring myself to make that switch entirely. I need some land line. When I was preparing to move here I figured I'd just stick with BellSouth ... er, AT&T, and all would be good. Not quite so. If I lived about a mile south of where I do, yes. If I lived about five more miles north, yes. But I live in an area only serviced by the small town's local telephone company and it charges pretty high prices for their services.

Your only choices, if you don't want to be bent over the barrel by this telephone company, is to opt for cell-only service or get VOIP. We had debated going cell-phone only, but while coverage is pretty good through most of this area, we have a dead spot right in our house. So, we went with VOIP. Just hooked it up the other day and last nigth got it set up where all my home's phone jacks are live. So far I'm pretty happy. The one problem I've had is that my wireless routher sucks. I've got a new one of those inbound. If my damn cable modem had more than one ethernet output it wouldn't be an issue, but ... oh he-well.

In other news, I got As on both of my final research papers and was told by my Media Law instructor that I should submit one of them to the Association for Education of Journalism and Mass Communications, Southeast Colloquium. If I earn a spot there, I will be exempt from comprehensive exams at the end of my degree program. So, I think I'm going to take the time to polish the paper a little.

So, that's me lately. Recovering from semester one, dreading semester two and enjoying the Play Now feature of Netflix. Even when I decide to watch a really, really bad film.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Getting rid of poison ivy

My yard is infested with the stuff. There is an area in our front yard that used to be a flowerbed/garden kind of thing. The previous owner didn't keep very good care of it and it became very overgrown. My wife took to taking care of it two weeks ago and during the process discovered poison ivy growing through it. So, we inspected the side of the house where there is some vegetation and found small bits there. No biggie on these. We can get rid of all of this.

There is a pretty large problem in the back of the house. At the very back of our yard is a chain-link fence blocking access to a drainage ditch. We have three or four trees growing along this fence line, a few bushes, and, we have discovered, a heck of a lot of poison ivy. It is growing up some of the trees and is growing out like a bush in other areas.

The front yard and on the sides of the house are areas we can handle ourselves. But I'm not too sure about all of that stuff in the back. To be perfectly honest, if I didn't have kids, I wouldn't even be worried about getting rid of it.

Do any of y'all have any experience getting rid of the stuff. What I've read about it online has not been encouraging. The biggest debate I'm having is whether or not to call in experts or try and deal with it ourselves.

Friday, April 25, 2008


It's been a while since I've done anything meme, so when I was tagged by tesco, I thought, "Cool." This is a bit of a crazy one, but interesting also:

1. Choose 19 of the songs you like best, regardless of artist or genre.
2. Put them all together in a CD.
3. Make 5 other copies.
4. Post your playlist on your blog.
5. Choose 5 people and send them a copy of your CD each. Send the first copy you made to the one who tagged you.

This is a far more pedestrian list than is tesco's, and it's kind of off the top ofmy head, but here it is:

1. In the Mood - Glenn Miller Orchestra
2. United Forces - SOD
3. Retrovertigo - Mr. Bungle
4. Spend a Night in the Box - The Revered Horton Heat
5. Time is Tight - Booker T and the MGs
6. Search and Destroy - Iggy and the Stooges
7. Some Kind of Hate - The Misfits
8. Wild One - Jerry Lee Lewis
9. Stream of Consciousness - Dream Theater
10. Long Way Back From Hell - Danzig
11. Looking Down the Cross - Megadeth
12. Nothingness - Living Colour
13. This Love- Pantera
14. Summer '68 - Pink Floyd
15. Rid of Me - PJ Harvey
16. I Wasn't Meant to Feel This/Asleep At the Wheel - Suicidal Tendencies
17. Knights of Cydonia - Muse
18. Subbacultcha - Pixies
19. Summertime Rolls - Jane's Addiction

I didn't overthink this. After choosing a bit at random, I organized them a little. I'm supposed to tag five other people, but like tesco, I don't know if I'm supposed to send them a copy of this CD or not. I'm not going to tag five people, though, I normally don't tag anyone, but I will reach out to a couple of folks. I'm interested in seeing what Word Girl and Nightfly will come up with.

Of course, if you're interested, you could just post a list here and that's fine with me.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

George McGovern continues to be an idiot

Does George McGovern have any concept of reality?

McGovern took Sen. McCain to task recently during a speech he gave in Sioux Falls. Apparently he feels slighted over comments McCain made about him many years ago:

And in McCain's first opening remarks, he said, well we all know that George McGovern knows little about national defense.

He then says:

Let me tell you what I would say to John McCain: neither of us is an expert on national defense. It's true that you went to one of the service academies but you were in the bottom of the class. It's true that you were a pilot in Vietnam, that you were shot down and spent most of the war in prison and we all sympathize with that and honor you for your courage. But you and I both had these battle experiences, you as a Navy fighter plane, I as an army bomber. I am not going to criticize your war record and your knowledge of national security but I don't want you criticizing mine either.

If I'd be allowed just one little dig at Senator McCain, since he gave me. I would say, 'John, you were shot down early in the war and spent most of the time in prison. I flew 35 combat missions with a 10-man crew and brought them home safely every time.'

Let's analyze why this is stupid. First of all, yes, McCain was shot down early in the war, but it was on his 23rd combat mission. TWENTY fucking THREE combat missions Georgie, hardly a small number. During the time before his being shot down and captured, he had served on the USS Forrestal when the Forrestal Fire incident happened. During that fire he was trying to pull another pilot from his plane when a bomb exploded. The other pilot, tragically, was killed in that explosion and McCain also suffered injuries.

Let's not mince service here. They're both war heroes. There's no relativity in military service. You either serve honorably or you don't. What can be qualified, though, is their knowledge of national defense. Senator McCain has been a member of the Senate Armed Services Comittee since he first joined Congress in 1987. Plus he did liaison work for the comittee while still on active duty. That's 21 years worth of national defense work in my book.

Other than McGovern's continued opposition to every kind of military action after World War II, I find no such expertise in his history.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The threat outpaces the readiness

I'm not sure what to think of Alan Keyes these days, but his Renew America website has some interesting articles. Some crackpot ones as well, but you can sift through the chaff easily enough.

My attention was drawn to one opinion column in particular: Global pressures outpace military funding by Jeff Lukens. He is so correct here that I can't put it any better than he has:

Today, seven years into the Global War on Terror, we are still spending a paltry 3.7% of GDP on defense.

Our procurement needs will, if anything, grow in the years ahead. For example, our primary air-supremacy jet, the F-15, is old, metal-fatigued, and coming apart. Stress cracks from age and overuse are causing them to crash. Many were built before the pilots flying them were even born. Now, one-third of all F-15s are either grounded or headed to the scrap yard.


The United States will be hard pressed to make up the lack of funding of its military since the end of the Cold War. With the growing pressure of entitlement spending on the federal budget in the years ahead, restoring military funding to adequate levels becomes an even greater challenge.

This is not news to anyone who watches the military or is concerned about national defense. But it's refreshing to see it put in such plain language.

Friday, April 18, 2008

My head is more than the sum of its parts

That is, sinuses suck.

At some point during yesterday evening my head turned into a 10-gallon water jug full of seeping liquid sloshing about and feeling as though it threatens to separate from my shoulders.

Damn allergies.

Non segue segue …

Last night I finished a research paper that’s been giving me some problems this week. This weekend I have to quickly push out another one, though the shot group doesn’t have to quite as tight on this one, so I’m not sweating quite as bad. After next week I have some relief from school for a few weeks and that’s kind of odd. This semester seemed to just blow by. In a way, I hope all of grad school is like this – blowing by that is.

With my undergraduate degree, there was no real plan other than to use it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. I have a clearly defined goal in my sights with this graduate degree, though. Just have to hang in and complete it.

My non sequitur of the day: Mormons DO NOT practice or condone polygamy. Extremists who have branched off and formed cultist sects do. And if these folks in Texas are guilty of what they’re being accused of by all means, prosecute the hell out of them. However, it’s plain wrong to pull children away from their mothers like that.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Idol thoughts 4-15

So. They're going to give Kristy Lee hell and then love that piece of David Cook tripe? Wow. Someone must be slob jobbin' backstage is all I gotta say.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Is this blog on?

I've been busy, sure, but I'm also just a lazy bitch and one of the first things I do nowadays is ignore this place.

We arrived back from DC Wednesday afternoon and all went well. I learned how to do a bunch of stuff in Adobe InDesign that I will NEVER need to do. Nice to know how to do, though.

Since we've been back I've been putting off writing research papers, playing Guitar Hero and watching Doctor Who. I really like the look of this season so far, but my opinion's out on Catherine Tate. She seems suitable for Doctor Who, but she makes me miss Martha. And that's saying something. I think Kylie Minogue did such a good job in the last Christmas special it makes me wistful for a companion of real caliber. So far, Tate has yet to do that. Guess it's pretty obvious when I refer to her by her real name rather than her character.

Companion criticisms aside, both episodes of this season have been well written and well executed. They hint at returning villains (hmm, wonder who she could be /sarcasm).

So, if you're not watching Dr. Who yet, you have some great eps coming up on Sci/Fi.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Train again, train again diggity dig

I'm at training again. Probably my last trip of the year. Well ... there might be some end-of-year thing I could get into, but the way the budget is looking this year, I doubt it.

I keep going back to the same place for classes, but I went with a different hotel this time. Our experience with our last hotel was crappy. If you've ever got to go to Old Town Alexandria for something, let me know so I can tell you what hotel to avoid.

So, more business as usual, but I'll let you know if something develops.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I work with some pretty cool folks who have been some pretty cool places and done some pretty cool things.

Today, we were speaking about Prisoners of War. One of my co-workers used to work on the USS Ronald Reagan and mentioned a speaker they had during a POW ceremony aboard the ship. Something the man said spoke volumes:

"There’s no such thing as a bad day when there’s a door knob on the inside."

Check it our for yourself.

That's enlightenment.

Idol thoughts 4/1

Ramielle going home? I think so.

Michael Johns rocked. Little David had the best vocals of the night though.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No joy

Sorry for the lack of posting. Well. I'm not terribly sorry. So, I'm sorry for not being sorry. That's honest enough.

Two weeks ago, my parents were in town. Last week, we had friends in we hadn't seen in year. Saturday, Daughter Number 1 had her first soccer game of the season. It's been a bit hectic.

Add to that the fact that I don't have much to say lately, and ... yeah, it just kind of trails off.

Oh, I finally joined the rest of the video-game-console-owning public and got Guitar Hero III yesterday. Very, very fun.