MonthJuly 2013

We’re Probably Going To Have More Comments Like This

We’re starting my nephew on his first RPG campaign. He developed the world with his other uncle and made his character. The world is very dragon-heavy, because that’s what my nephew likes. So, of course, he wants a dragon of his own. And this conversation rolls out:

Nephew: I want to find a dragon egg, hatch it, and raise the dragon as my own.

Uncle: That’s understandable, but you know that once the dragon reaches juvenile age, it’s going to become sentient. It’s going to be a person. You can’t buy and sell people.

Nephew: What about orphanages?

Uncle (holding back laughter): Let me explain administrative costs.

Metal Tuesday – Edguy – Down To the Devil

This week’s Metal Tuesday is Edguy’s “Down To the Devil.” Nothing spectacular here, but good, solid, catchy metal.


Roaming the plains
where a number is your name
In a palace
And you’ll never find the door
Oh look into the mirror
Is it what you wanna see
Or just a cuddle toy
The vogue has washed ashore

No I don’t care what you say
Into the darkness I plough my way
I’m striking out for paradise
To be the one I am

We’re going down to the devil
We are striking out for paradise
To bedlam below – down to the devil
The mad parade is coming home

Can’t you hear the sound
As they make the hammer pound
Rusty nails into a coffin of your size
To bury you alive
you mature until you’re ripe
Then they reap you
When you’re beautiful enough
in their eyes

They lurk to wall in your belief
Put up glass ceilings that you can’t see
To break down the freak
They don’t want you to be

We’re going down to the devil…

Oh we’re going down

Here’s your invitation, your instigation
Your damnation to the hellfire club

Friday Quote – 7/26/13

Peace is not merely the absence of violence, but the presence of justice.

I heard this in Ghost In the Shell. From my research, it’s a derivative of a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.

This is how I judge when someone calls for peace. Will there be real peace, or merely a cessation of conflict? One of those lessons learned by studying history is that a peace without justice inevitably leads back to war, and usually a more bitter war.

Superstition is Where You Find It

Peter Grant wrote a guest column on Sarah Hoyt’s blog about beliefs and superstitions. Really, read the whole thing.

After demonstrating magical thinking by educated Africans, Grant turns it around to us:

Most First World people of my acquaintance – in Africa, Europe and the USA – regard primitive superstitions as arrant nonsense, without any basis in ‘scientific reality’. I take malicious delight in pointing out to them that they live in societies and cultures where:

– the daily horoscope is essential reading for many people;

– homeopathy is accepted by millions as a valid form of medical treatment, despite it being categorically and incontrovertibly ridiculous from any normative scientific perspective; and

– people pointlessly and repeatedly sound their vehicles’ horns in traffic jams, apparently in the belief that by doing so they’ll somehow magically make the vehicles around them start moving again.

So much for scientific reality . . .

BTW, pick up Grant’s books, Take the Star Road and Ride the Rising Tide. Bery good SF.

And It’s on Fox!

The trailer for the new Cosmos series was released at Comic-Con. Behold the glory!

With Neil DeGrasse Tyson!

I may disagree with the man’s politics, but he can talk science like few can.

Metal Tuesday – Iced Earth – Gettysburg (1863), High Water Mark

This week’s Metal Tuesday concludes Iced Earth’s Gettysburg trilogy with “High Water Mark”. This song covers the third, and final, day of the Battle of Gettysburg.


It was very close, yesterday
I thought for sure, they would break
But this attack, that I have planned
A massive strike across open land

In the center, they will break
(Will they break?)
But plan it well, everything’s at stake
We’ll hit ’em hard, not a silent gun
Before the Infantry’s begun

Execute it well, we risk everything
It’s in Gods hands now

General Lee, I must tell you straight
I believe this attack will fail
No fifteen thousand men ever made
Will overtake that ridge today
A mile charge over open ground
With Yankee cannon gunnin’ us down

We do our duty, we do what we must
And in my plan, you will trust
(Thousands die on this day)
Execute it well, we risk everything
It’s in Gods hands now

The rebel cannon break the silence
One hundred fifty guns make up their cannonade
They must destroy the Union Center Before the Infantry can launch their grand assault

The Yankees are returning fire
(The Earth shakes violently)
In Washington D.C. Lincoln
Feels the earth shake

What happens here this day
The fate of this nation
In the balance it will hang
Consumed with the pain

The courage of the blue
The valor of the grey
So very sad but true
Consumed with the pain

The Virginians are the chosen
In wait behind the trees on Seminary Ridge
Longstreet’s slow to give the orders
The lines emerged a mile, fifteen thousand men

The charge begins in all its grandeur
(To the copse of trees)
For many of these men
They know it is their last

The slaughter now ensues
Bodies fall like rain
They valiantly pursue
Yet doomed to remain

At the double quick they charge
The canister rips through them
To the mouth of hell they march
Glory, the only gain

We’re almost there my boys
I’ve never served with finer
We must push forward boys
And bayonet the Yankee tyrants

To the copse of trees we charge
To crush the Union Center
And when they turn and run
An open road leads us to freedom

It’s over now we are retreating
I never thought that we’d be beaten
All this blood is on my hands
The thousands dead due to my plan

I am responsible, all of it is my fault
I thought us invincible
Is this gods will, after all?
I look across this blood soaked land

All this blood is on my hands
God forgive me, please forgive me
It’s all my fault
The blood is on my hands

Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network

Today I joined the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. Go follow the link and see all they offer.

The main reason is that they will help my attorney if I’m ever in a self-defense shooting situation. They also provide training and a list of affiliated attorney who understand self-defense.

Why if I understand self-defense law and have done nothing wrong do I need an attorney? Let’s look at Zimmerman. This was a case that managed to find some legs in the media and was latched on by professionals. There’s the old saying, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” I want a personal advocate that will make sure that I have done all the correct actions to prevent that kind of political/populist prosecution.

So for the uninitiated, when you start carrying for protection, make sure you have an attorney that can defend you and make sure that you have taken all the correct actions.

Aren’t They Supposed to be Civilized?

A 24-year-old Norwegian woman went to Dubai earlier this year. In March, she went out with some friends and was raped. When she reported the assault, she was arrested for extra-marital sex, drinking alcohol, and perjury.

Now, she’s been convicted and sentenced to 16 months in jail. The only bright spot in this, is that it looks like Dubai police are dragging their feet in actually bringing her into custody as she appeals.

Here’s the part that just pissed me off to no end:

According to the Emirates Centre for Human Rights, UAE law states a rape conviction can only be secured after a confession or as the result of testimony from four adult male witnesses to the crime.

(emphasis mine)

Really, so physical evidence doesn’t count? How about female witnesses? Exactly where is the justice in this?

Before anyone dismisses this as one of those “backward Muslim things,” please remember that it wasn’t that long ago that victims of rape were shamed because of Christian attitudes to sex. Please tell me how either helped the victims receive justice?

Update: She’s been pardoned and free to return to her home.

Friday Quote – 7/19/13

Liberty is not advanced by misinformation and pseudoscience.

Ronald Bailey, Reason science correspondent, in this article.

Normally, I understand that daytime TV is rife with pseudoscience. The Dr. Oz Show alone can usually produce enough bullshit to fertilize a field. Still, there is something highly disturbing about Jenny McCarthy joining “The View.”

It gives her a larger audience that will consider her “legitimate” because she’s now a talking head. This is a celebrity with a death toll to her name because of her current anti-vax ramblings.

BTW, make sure your kid gets jabbed, and on schedule.

The Future Is Now


Last week, my computer got nuked by a thunderstorm. So, now I’m building a new desktop. To be honest, I bought the parts my brother and friend recommended and will be helping them as they actually build it. So, what does that have to do with the pic?

Parts have been coming in over this week. One of the parts is a 120 GB Solid State Drive. For those who don’t understand techno-speak (of which, I’m barely conversant), it’s a much larger version of a flash drive. Here’s the fun. It was packed in the box with another part, and I COMPLETELY MISSED IT. When I was doing delivery reconciliation, I noticed that the SSD was reported as delivered, but I never saw it. I decided to check the box again before I went into a tirade about people swiping stuff off of my front porch.

I carry an phone with 64 gigs of storage. I’ve seen thumb drives with the same storage. I don’t know why I was shocked at how small the SSD was. The thing was about the size of my iPhone.

Every so often I am smacked in the face with the realization we are living in the best times of human history.

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