Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thank You For Your Service

Jan. 24, 2012 - obama began and ended his State of the Union address by praising men and women serving in the U.S. military.
"At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down," he said, "they exceed all expectations..."
Feb. 13, 2012 - Three weeks later obama stabs those same members of the military in the back. His new budget includes higher prescription co-payments for active duty servicemen and women, and eliminates incentives for using generic and over-the-counter drugs.

Retired service members face 30 to 78% increases in their annual healthcare premiums for the first year, followed by increases ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent.over the next five years.

Why the disconnect between words and actions?
The administration's admitted objective to Congress, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon, is "to force military retirees to reduce their involvement in Tricare and eventually opt out of the program in favor of alternatives established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare."
Ah. yes, obamacare. That failed socialist dream of universal healthcare that the SCOAMF currently masquerading as the leader of the free world has made the centerpiece of his first (and hopefully last) term. If at first it doesn't succeed, screw over everyone you can to make it succeed.


The military would probably be the first to agree that in times of hardship, sacrifices must be made. But it is only fair and reasonable to expect that those sacrifices are shared and spread across the board. Instead, obama targets the one segment of American society that is arguably most responsible for our freedoms and way of life, while at the same time excluding another segment that already enjoys salaries and perks that many others do not.
Meanwhile, guess who gets off scot-free in the budget-cutting scheme? Surprise! It’s civilian workers ... who happen to belong to that last bastion of labor movement power, government employee unions. And just to hedge the president’s bets on another four cushy years in the White House, the increases aren’t scheduled to begin until after the election.
What a miserable ungrateful hypocritical lying bastard.

Thirteen Days Of Glory - Day Seven

 February 29

General Santa Anna reorganizes his troops. (Source)


For the defenders, this was a relatively quiet day as they recovered from yesterday's fandango. Santa Ana didn't do much either, other than quietly moving his guns and artillery closer to the Alamo's walls.

Also on this day, a relief column of 32 intrepid men from Gonzales arrived in San Antonio. They paused just outside the Mexican lines and prepared to make a final dash through the enemy lines into the fort.
Responding to Col. Travis' appeals, the main contingent of the Gonzales Alamo Relief Force departed the town square of Gonzales at 2 PM Saturday 27 Feb, led by commanding officer Lieutenant George C. Kimble of the Gonzales Rangers ... On 29 Feb, the group prepared to find a way into the Alamo through the surrounding Mexican forces.
Side Note 1: Gonzales is the site of the first battle of the Texas Revolution - The Lexington and Concord of Texas.
Differences between Texas and Mexico progressed from the talking stage to the shooting stage at The Battle of Gonzales, generally considered to be the first battle of the Texas Revolution.

Leading up to the conflict, the Mexican authorities sent a force of about 100 men to repossess a cannon that had been provided the residents of Gonzales for defense against Indians. In response to the Mexican force, the Texans, under Colonels John H. Moore and J. W. E. Wallace, loaded the cannon with scrap iron, aimed at the Mexicans, and fired the shot that began the revolution.

After a short fight, the Mexicans retreated, with one casualty, against no loss on the side of the Texans.

The battle flag used by the Texans at the Battle of Gonzales gained considerable recognition as the "Come and Take It" flag. On a white banner was a picture of the old cannon, painted in black. The flag acquired its name from the words "Come And Take It" printed below the cannon.
 

Side Note 2: Like the current year - 2012 - 1836 was also a leap year.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cleaning Out The In-Box

Not worth keeping, but too good to just delete...

 * * * * * 

A man wakes up in the hospital bandaged from head to foot.

The doctor comes in and says, "Ah, I see you've regained consciousness.  Now you probably won't remember, but you were in a huge pile-up on the freeway. You're going to be okay, you'll walk again and everything else is fine, but your penis was severed in the accident and we couldn't find it."

The man groans, but the doctor goes on, "You have $9000 in insurance compensation coming and we now have the technology to build a new penis.  They work great but they don't come cheap.  It's roughly $1000 an inch."

The man perks up.

"So," the doctor says, "You must decide how many inches you want.  But I understand that you have been married for over thirty years and this is something you should discuss with your wife.  If you had a five incher before and get a nine incher now she might be a bit put out.  If you had a nine incher before and you decide to only invest in a five incher now, she might be disappointed.  It's important that she plays a role in helping you make a decision."

The man agrees to talk it over with his wife.

The doctor comes back the next day, "So, have you spoken with your wife?"

"Yes I have," says the man.

"And has she helped you make a decision?"

"Yes" says the man.

"What is your decision?" asks the doctor.

"We're getting granite countertops."

 * * * * * 


Translating  "Womanese:"

(1)  Fine:  This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up. 
    
(2)  Five Minutes:  If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
    
(3)  Nothing:  This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine. 
    
(4)  Go Ahead:  This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
    
(5)  Loud Sigh:  This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6)  That's Okay:  This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake. 
    
(7)  Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome'.. That will bring on a 'whatever').
    
(8)  Whatever:  Is a woman's way of saying...Go to Hell...
    
(9)  Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.

 * * * * * 

During my yearly physical, the doctor asked me about my daily activity level.

I described one of my typical days this way:

Yesterday afternoon, I waded along the edge of a lake, drank eight beers, escaped from wild dogs in the heavy brush, marched up and down several rocky hills, stood in a patch of poison ivy, crawled out of quicksand, jumped away from an aggressive rattlesnake and took four leaks behind big trees.

Inspired by the story, the doctor said, "You must be one hell of an outdoorsman!"

'No,' I replied, I'm just a shitty golfer."

Thought For The Day

Definition of irony:
The food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever.

Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us, "Please Do Not Feed The Animals", because the animals may become dependent and not learn to fend for themselves...
Addendum - from the USDA web site:
"...we continue to promote FSP (Food Stamp Program) participation aggressively..."
Final Thought: "This explains why the Obama budget looks like it does. They literally believe in a free lunch."

More at this link. Check it out.


Thirteen Days Of Glory - Day Six

February 28

Norther abating, the weather turns to a dreary drizzle. Little food, little rest for the Texans. The Mexican troops again attempt to cut off the water supply. That night in the Alamo, a fandango is held. A lively party, it included Crockett on fiddle and the Scottish defender McGregor on bagpipes. They hold a contest to see who could be the loudest. This is the last bit of fun the Texans will have together. (Source)


A fandango is a type of dance, with Spanish, Moorish, West Indian, and Latin American origins and influences.

At the time and place of the Texas Revolution, the term had come to refer to a kind of diversion, usually a festive gathering marked by music, dancing, gambling, drinking, and eating. Fandangos were held in the streets, in makeshift dance halls, or in fandango houses throughout the year. Violins and guitars at these functions played the equivalent of "Turkey in the Straw" while couples danced a polka or bolero.

Due to the large number of single men on the Texas frontier, the state became known as the Bachelor Republic. Two men frequently danced as partners, the one taking the lady's part "heifer branded" by wearing an apron or a handkerchief tied around one arm. Finding suitable dance music was a problem. If no one had ox-carted a piano to the site or brought a fiddle or accordion, the dancers improvised. At times, to make rhythm, someone banged on a clevis with a piece of iron, scraped a file across a hoe blade, "blew a tune" on a peach leaf, or rhythmically slapped his legs in a maneuver called "patting juba."


Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Six Decades Later

I turn 60 today.

Hold the applause, please. This is not a noteworthy achievement. It just means I haven't killed myself off before now, although not for a lack of trying.

I'll get into the self-reflective stuff later, after I've had time to let the fact that I've lived through six decades, eleven presidents, and three wives sink in. But for today, I just wanted to share with you two of the presents I've received.

The first is a cake my wife baked for me. Thanks, honey. It makes me feel very special indeed on this, my special day.





The second present was very nice, as well as very useful. However, there was some miscommunication involved, as explained below.



I'm going to go off and celebrate now. One Shiner for every decade seems about right...

Thirteen Days Of Glory - Day Five

February 27

Mexican troops attempt to cut off the water supply to the Alamo. Santa Anna is seen by the Texans and is shot at but missed. James Butler Bonham leaves for Goliad to get a message to Col. James W. Fannin for help. (Source)

 
Unbeknownst to the Texians, Colonel James Fannin had finally decided to ride to their relief ... On the morning of February 26, he set out with 320 men, 4 cannon, and several supply wagons for the 90 miles march from Goliad to the Alamo. The Goliad garrison had no horses to move the wagons and artillery and were forced to rely on oxen. Barely 200 yards into their journey, one of the wagons broke down, and the expedition stopped for repairs. The group then took six hours to cross the waist-deep water of the San Antonio River. By the time they reached the other side it was dark, and the men camped along the river. The cold front reached Goliad that evening, and the poorly-dressed soldiers were "quickly chilled and miserable" in the driving rain. On awakening, Fannin realized that all of the Texian oxen had wandered off, and that his men had neglected to pack food for the journey. It took most of the day for the men to round up the oxen; after two days of travel, Fannin's men had not even ventured 1 mile from their fort... (Source)


From reading the above, one might think that Fannin was an incompetent commander. Others argue that he was a victim of circumstance.
The schooner Tamaulipas, carrying ... the Texas army's whole supply of munitions, clothing, and shoes - badly needed by Fannin's volunteers - was wrecked on February 5...
In any event, it should be noted in his defense that "Fannin's men lacked shoes and clothing-many were barefooted and nearly naked..."

Regardless, the bottom line is that Travis and his men waiting at the Alamo were doomed to wait in vain. Fannin was not coming. But they didn't know that.

FOD 2012.02.27

In an interview on the Today Show in February 2009, obama told Matt Lauer that he would be a one-term president if he didn’t fix the economy in three years.
“I will be held accountable,” Obama said. “I’ve got four years and … A year form now, I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress, but there’s still going to be some pain out there … If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”
Check out the chart below to see how well he - and we - are doing three years later.


However, as William Gensert at the American Thinker points out, "...under Obama, many have prospered."
U.S. government employees -- all 2 million of them, with an average salary of $74, 403 -- are doing great.  Public-sector union members are also doing fine.  Crony capitalists, who fund the Obama machine, are doing spectacularly -- there's always an extra stimulus dollar for a backer of Barack.

In fact, most of this president's supporters of are doing swimmingly -- except, of course, the poor, who have gotten poorer.  Then there are minorities, who have gotten substantially poorer, and the legacy media, which, despite having sold its soul in support of Barack Obama, is shedding viewers and readers by the millions.

Americans, who have seen their futures evaporated in a cloud of hope and change, have lost wealth with the declining value of their homes; have lost earnings as wages fall; and are paying more for food, gas, home heating, and electricity.  Whoever thought to remove corn from food to put into gasoline -- and thereby increase the price of both -- is probably also the architect of Barack Obama's energy and employment policies.

A reelected Obama will be Barack unbound -- unbound by the Constitution, respect for the opinions of others, moral convention, or fair play.  His benevolence in doing for us what he knows is best will have no restraint or restriction.  He will fix this nation even if it kills us.
Which is exactly what obamacare is designed to do.

I've made up my mind who I'm voting for this November: ABO

Anyone But Obama...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thirteen Days OF Glory - Day Four

Another cold day for the Texans, a day of little rest. Green B. Jameson, the engineer in charge of making the mission a fort, leads his men in digging trenches around the mission. David Crockett and his Tennessee Volunteers begin firing back at Mexican troops. (Source)


"The Alamo was already a hundred years old at the time of the siege and battle. It was founded in 1718 as a Spanish mission for the purpose of Christianizing the Indians indigenous to the area. The Indians themselves built the mission under the supervision of the Spanish priests and it was named Mission "San Antonio de Valero." The church was designed without the benefit of a master engineer, the roof collapsed almost immediately, and this portion of the mission was never actually completed.

By 1793, most of the Indians had died from disease and "San Antonio de Valero" was closed as a mission. In 1803, a Spanish cavalry unit from Alamo de Parras, Mexico, was quartered In the mission and it was from this unit that the mission received the name "Pueblo del Alamo." The Spanish word "alamo" means "cottonwood" and may refer to the cottonwood trees that grew along the San Antonio River."


"In 1833, a Mexican general, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, was elected President of Mexico, but it wasn't long before he turned his presidency into a dictatorship. He began to collect high taxes and passed harsh and unreasonable laws, making the settlers very unhappy with their new home. By 1835. many colonists began to threaten revolt. Alarmed by these threats. Santa Anna sent his brother-ln-law, General Martin de Cos, to occupy the Alamo ... Declaring martial law, he jailed people for no reason and soon the threat of revolution became a reality. Almost two months after Cos' arrival. in December of 1835, a force of 400 Texans led by Ben Milam made their way into San Antonio and engaged General Cos in battle. After several days of fighting Cos surrendered by raising, a white flag above the Alamo.

The Texan force of 400 suffered 19 casualties while defeating Mexican forces of l,1OO and gained the most important military stronghold north of the Rio Grande. Leaving his cannons behind, General Cos fled to Mexico promising not to return. The defeat of Cos angered Santa Anna. It became a matter of honor to teach the Texans a lesson and he began to raise an army which he would personally lead to San Antonio." (Source)

The birthday weekend continues...


You know you're old when...

...you still chase women, but only down hill.

...you now confuse having a clear conscience with having a bad memory.

...your sweetie says, "Let's go upstairs and make love," and you answer, "Pick one, I can't do both!"

...your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.

...your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the guys with the Live Doppler 10,000.

...you get into heated arguments about pension plans.

...you have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.

...you are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police.

...your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

...it takes longer to rest than it did to get tired.

...you're asleep, but others worry you're dead.

...you give up all your bad habits and you still don't feel good.

...you sing along with the elevator music.

...people call at 9:00 p.m. and ask, "Did I wake you?"

...your friends marry and divorce instead of hook-up and break-up.

...you don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.

...you go to the drugstore for Ibuprofen and antacids, not condoms and pregnancy test kits.

..."I just can't drink the way I used to" replaces "I'm never going to drink that much again".

...over 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.

...you don't get liquored up at home, to save money, before going to a bar.

...you regret all those mistakes you made resisting temptation.


 Sadly, the card below is more true than funny.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Weekend Follies

Today dawned cloudy, cool, damp, and generally dreary. Naturally, we had a morning of outdoor activities planned.

Our little community has adopted a two-mile stretch of a local highway. That means every month or so we go out and pick up the trash that has accumulated along it. It's an interesting study in human nature, contrasting the best - people volunteering to clean up other people's mess - with the worst - people who are, when you get right down to it, inconsiderate pigs.

I use the word "pigs" advisedly, because most of the trash consists of fast food debris. Running a close second are drink containers - soft drink cans, plastic water bottles, and of course beer containers of all shapes and sizes.


But we also find some rather interesting items. Our daughter scored a $5 bill. My wife found a lacy, sexy, Victoria's Secret type of bra. Several yards later I found the matching thong pantys.

After a nice warm shower it'll be time for a nap. On tap for later this evening is a nice dinner at one of the fine local dining establishments.


 And then, who knows...

Thirteen Days Of Glory - Day Three

February 25

Travis sends Juan Seguin and Antonio Cruz y Arocha to General Sam Houston to plead for more reinforcements. A cold norther ’Cierzo’ blows in around 9 p.m. Robert Brown, Charles Despallier, and James Rose burn down La Villita. (Source)



"La Villita was San Antonio's first neighborhood. It was originally a settlement of primitive huts for the Spanish soldiers stationed at the Mission San Antonio Valero (the Alamo) ... In 1836, La Villita was the site of General Santa Ana's cannon line in the Battle of the Alamo...

Today La Villita is a thriving art community that stands as a monument to San Antonio's past. La Villita is on the National Registry of Historic Districts." (Source)


Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2012.02.24

It's a Birthday Weekend for someone very near and dear to me ... more details over the next few days.

In the meantime, here's an off-the-wall birthday song. Enjoy...

Thirteen Days Of Glory - Days 1 and 2

I meant to begin this yesterday, but got distracted. So here's a two-fer. (Source: Gone To Texas)

February 23

’El Presidente’ - Excelencio Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna y Perez de LeBron (known as General Santa Annato the Texans and Santana to the Mexicans) arrives in San Antonio de Bexar. He is sighted by a sentry in the San Fernando Church which presently sits in downtown San Antonio in its original spot. Sighting is confirmed by John Sutherland and John W. Smith. William Barret Travis moves into the Alamo and sends Sutherland and Smith to the city of Gonzales for help. Mexican troops move into the main plaza, hoisting a blood-red flag of no-quarter from the church tower. Not one to back away from a fight, Travis answers that gesture with a cannon shot from an eighteen pounder.

February 24

Jim Bowie, who is ill from typhoid/pneumonia, hands the command of the Alamo solely to Travis. For awhile the two had shared command...Bowie with the volunteers, Travis over the regular army. Now the Alamo stood in Travis' hands. The Mexican troops' bombardment begins. Travis will now sit and write his letter ’To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World’.



To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World—

Fellow Citizens & compatriots—

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat.

Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism and everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days.  If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country — Victory or Death.

William Barrett Travis.

Lt.  Col. comdt.

Save Dave

Ah, the power of the Internet. Along with stopping ill-conceived legislation like SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), millions of netizens have banded together to help save the job of Australian banker Dave Kiely.

Dave was caught on live TV looking at semi-nude pictures of Victoria's Secret supermodel Miranda Kerr. While that would seem to be a pretty straight-forward "oops" moment, there is reason to believe he was set up by a practical joker. The video below explains the whole thing (although you do have to sit through 30 seconds worth of an obnoxious commercial before you get to the good stuff).



Fortunately, the bank has decided that Dave will keep his job, although unspecified "action had been taken" in conjunction with the incident.

I just love a happy ending...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Peek Behind The Curtain

Today I'm going to share with you the dirty little secret of what goes on behind closed doors at our institutions of higher education. I'll expose the logical, rational, unemotional, and above all, harmonious, manner in which faculty interact with each other and with the administration. For example:

We had a department meeting yesterday. It was ... interesting. It was intended to be informational. Why we need a meeting to be informed of matters that can be disseminated via email is beyond me, but that's another story. Anyway...

As soon as the meeting was called to order someone pointed out that we didn't have a quorum. That led to a lengthy and intense discussion of what exactly a quorum was. More than 50% of the faculty? 60%? 75%?

Of course, it didn't really matter whether or not we had a quorum unless we were making some sort of formal decision that required voting. This particular meeting was basically a data dump, so having a quorum was immaterial. But that didn't stop the usual cast of characters from pontificating about it at great length.

Things went downhill from there.

The next topic of discussion was the agenda. Item number 1 was "Announcements." Some of them were reminders of to-do's and due dates. This, of course, aroused the ire of the natives, who wailed that the agenda item should have been labelled "Reminders," not "Announcements." Another lengthy discussion ensued.

During shouting matches arguments lively discussions like these I usually imitate my students by sitting in the back row and playing games or surfing the Web on my smart phone. It's like being caught in a thunderstorm. Lots of wind and noise, but very little real damage done.

I won't bore you with the rest, but suffice it to say that there was yelling back and forth on a couple of different topics (I abstained), followed by a rare near-unanimous agreement to have a face-to-face meeting with the president and the provost regarding their micromanaging of the class schedule (at this point I woke up and whole-heartedly participated).

FYI, usually classes are scheduled by the various Colleges that comprise the University. The powers-that-be have come up with the notion of moving away from a four-day course schedule (classes on Mon./Wed. and Tues./Thurs) to a five-day schedule (Mon./Wed./Fri. and Tues./Thur.) This nonsense is being driven by a recent visit from a state legislator who noted that the campus seemed empty and several classrooms were vacant. The visit, naturally, occurred on a Friday afternoon. Now the dolts running this place are afraid that another incident like that might feed the perception that tax dollars are being inefficiently managed. (They are, of course, but that's also another story.)

A little insight into why this is a big deal, beyond the obvious (no one wants to attend or teach classes on Friday):

First, faculty are evaluated in three areas; research, teaching, and service (working with student groups, serving on committees, etc.). Fridays have traditionally been reserved for research and service. It's not only more convenient, it's more efficient to block out several hours for concentrated effort on a Friday than to spend an hour or two on the same project 3 or 4 days a week. Furthermore, many of us attend conferences or travel to work with colleagues and collaborators in other locations on Fridays and Saturdays. Requiring us to be on campus on Fridays would obviously curtail such trips.

Second, the faculty jealously and zealously guards the principle of faculty governance. That's a fancy way of saying that the faculty believes it is important to be involved in making decisions that affect our research, teaching, and service. In this case, different faculty members have different preferences regarding what course to teach, and what days and times to teach them. Having the ability to work out those issues on a departmental basis helps us feel like we have a say in what goes on around here. In reality, that's a bit of an illusion, which is why we cling so fiercely to what little decision-making authority we do have.

Third, we're a state school. Thanks to the economic malaise we find ourselves in, salaries have been frozen and travel budgets have been slashed for the last two years. Needless to say, that hasn't helped morale. Implementing changes that make our day-to-day lives more stressful doesn't help ("The floggings will continue until morale improves.")

So expect any day now to see on the news a torch-holding pitchfork-wielding mob of faculty marching shoulder-to-shoulder on the administration castle building. Off the Man! Power to the People! We're the 99%!

There's more, but I'm as tired of writing about it as you probably are of reading about it. I know other people have issues with their jobs, and that relatively speaking our issues don't seem that serious. I'm grateful to be more-or-less gainfully employed, and I do realize that things could be worse.

But I'm still pissed off...

Make Sure You Have Plenty Of Kleenex

I've subscribed to Sports Illustrated for decades. In its heyday it was the place to go for well-written articles with a sports theme. Not necessarily sports stories, but stories about people - the human condition - within a sports context.

Over time it has evolved (devolved) into a more typical sports magazine. The stories focus more and more on the sport, and less on the human element. But I continue to subscribe, more out of habit and inertia than for any other reason. Occasionally, however, there appears a story that revives the old glory days.

In the most recent issue there was one such story. You can read it online, but be warned, it's a lengthy story - make sure you have plenty of time and a fresh cup of coffee. However, if you get the chance read it in the magazine. The accompanying photos really make the characters come alive.
The Legacy Of Wes Leonard

You may have heard about the Michigan high schooler who made a game-winning basket and then died. Here's the rest of the story...
Also be warned - this is a heart-touching story. If you don't shed one or more tears while reading it you have no heart.

I cried like a baby...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Look For The Bare Necessities

Harper recently posted something about a local newscaster who was doing a story on a new business in her area - a waxing salon.
I listened as the reporter was touring the facility, glanced up as she was being shown to a room and discussing the privacy measures and reasons that everyone should be comfortable with putting all their bits out there for this company to remove the hair from.

I caught the tail end of a description of the salon's trademark package that includes some 'sparklies'.  Ahhh, a vajazzling kind of a salon.

As the story was wrapping up, the reporter's voice-over was recounting the location and noted that, "everything from a basic clean up to a full Brazilian is available.  And while they specialize in kitties, they also wax eyebrows and other body parts."
"Kitties," it appears, is a TV-acceptable euphemism for the more well-known euphemism for a lady's 'garden of pleasure' (yet another euphemism). But I digress.

As coincidence would have it, today I was following some links and ended up at this site. It's another salon and spa that specializes in hair removal - and more.

Guided by "World-renowned hair removal guru Cindy Barshop," this place offers not only laser hair removal and waxing of all sorts, but also vajewling and vatooing.

Okay, waxing I'm familiar with (in a theoretical sense - I have no personal experience with it, at least insofar as my body hair goes). But this place adds a new twist to what I always thought was a pretty straight-forward process.

Waxing
We are the originators of the Completely Bare bikini wax, the "no hair left behind" treatment. We also offer an array of waxing services for both men and women including the Foxy & Carnivale bikini wax as an add-on with any Completely Bare laser or wax treatment.
Foxy











Carnivale












Vajewling
Choose from an assortment of designs made with real Swarovski elements™ exclusively for Completely Bare - choose from a heart, star, bow or even initials. Cindy says, "You don't need a reason for a Vajewel™."
My favorite is the Dollar Sign vajewel. Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, it is currently out of stock.



Vatooing
Inspired by her recent trip to Morocco, Cindy presents the new henna vatoo™. Choose your exotic style without leaving home.

A trained spa specialist applies an exclusive stencil and airbrushes the ink directly onto the chosen area, giving you a coy secret to hide or reveal as you choose.
Before you sprain your finger clicking on the links be advised that all the images there are PG-rated. Nothing to see here ... move along.

As a side note, my most popular post by far was on the same topic. It discussed vadazzling (aka vajazzling - the forerunner to vajeweling) and had an image of what was purported to be Jennifer Love Hewitt's vadazzeled vajayjay.

That post was dated May 2011 and it still leads my weekly traffic statistics by far.

That says something about the people who read this blog...


Speak Up

Following a growing movement in the blogosphere, I've turned off Word Verification. The recent change Blogger made to the CAPTCHA images is making them quite difficult to read. I have problems leaving comments on other sites, so I see no need to force the myriads of people who comment on this site to jump through the same hoops.

Comment away...

Think Of The Children

The story below gives us a preview of coming attractions if obama gets a second term.

Notice that this story originated from a British paper. No U.S. mainstream media outlet wanted to print it, because it (1) points out the greed and out-of-touch-with-reality nature of unions, and (2) gives us a preview of the abuses we can expect under obamacare (along with, of course, 'free' contraceptives and abortifacients).

Teachers in cash-strapped US school district get free plastic surgery
Teachers in a cash-strapped US school district are entitled to free plastic surgery under the terms of their health insurance policies.

Among the procedures which have been carried out at taxpayers' expense on teachers in Buffalo, New York, in recent years are nose jobs, liposuction, breast implants and Botox injections.

Last year, the town's 3,400 teachers spent $5.9 million of public money on enhancing their appearance, at a time when the school district is forecast to run a $42 million deficit.
Once the math is done, that works out to $1735 per teacher. The total of $5.9M is almost 15% of the total deficit.

$5.9 million would buy a lot of books, or hire a lot of new teachers. But instead the union, and yes, the teachers themselves, would rather get rid of their wrinkles, plump up their lips, and do other assorted nips, tucks, and augmentations.
... Nine out of 10 procedures are now skin treatments such as Botox, and 100 per cent are described as elective, and therefore medically unnecessary.
Nice set of priorities you have there, all you Buffalo teachers. You should be proud of yourselves.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Headline Potpourri

From a random walk around the Web:


This one has personal significance for me, seeing as how my office is just a hop, skip, and jump from the Texas-Mexico border.

El Paso police chief confirms woman shot by bullet from Mexico
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said the woman was a 48-year-old mother who was pushing a child in a stroller when she was shot in the upper right calf.

Allen said the round went through her leg. She was taken to University Medical Center of El Paso.

El Paso has had two previous incidents involved stray bullets crossing over to this side of the border...
... that we know of.
Shots were also heard near Aoy and Hart elementary schools and Guillen Middle School, and the schools were immediately placed on lockdown, district officials said.

According to emergency radio transmissions, witnesses told police they heard shots coming from across the border ... witnesses reported hearing automatic weapons being fired in the area.
Oh good. Automatic weapons fire near schools. I don't care what anyone says. If it's not already, Mexico is fast becoming a third world country ruled by armed gangs.

I work in a border city that, similar to El Paso, is one city divided in half by the Rio Grande and the Texas-Mexico border. And like El Paso, we have had bullets from Mexico impact buildings on this side of the border. Fortunately, however, no people have been hit.

Yet...


NJ governor Chris Christie is being mentioned as a possible VP running mate for Mitt Romney, if Mitt wins the republican nomination. That might help make conservatives more comfortable with Romney, especially if Christie keeps coming up with gems like this.

Outspoken New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had some rather harsh words for billionaire investor Warren Buffett on Tuesday.
During a discussion with CNN's Piers Morgan about tax rates, Christie made it known that he's just about had it with Buffett, the world-famous investor who lent his name to a proposed tax hike on the rich.

"He should just write a check and shut up," Christie said. "I'm tired of hearing about it. If he wants to give the government more money, he's got the ability to write a check -- go ahead and write it."
I like it. Put up or shut up, Warren.


I just don't get this one at all.

Obama Birth Control Rule Will Hurt Homeless Veterans
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), a leading Republican congressman overseeing veterans issues, is warning that President Obama's decision on birth control will have far-reaching effects even on the seemingly unrelated issue of combating homelessness amongst veterans.

Miller is chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. On Monday, he sent out a press release on the president's FY '13 budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs, saying that upon "first glance," it "appears positive given today's constrained fiscal environment, which is a good step forward."

But, he added, Obama's decision not to exempt all religiously affiliated organizations from covering the cost of birth control for their employees may cause problems for veterans. It's not completely clear how the two are related...
Damn straight it's not clear, although it looks like Miller is trying to express his concern that faith-based institutions providing shelter and services to homeless veterans may be denied VA funding if they refuse to comply with obama's edict.

If that is indeed the case, I wish he would have expressed himself with more clarity, like this person did.
According to Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, disease is “any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of any part, organ or system (or combination thereof) of the body that is manifested by a characteristic set of symptoms and signs and whose etiology, pathology and prognosis may be known or unknown.”

I have yet to meet a doctor who defines pregnancy as a disease, and I worked in the OB/GYN field for over 10 years.

Healthcare is about the prevention, treatment and management of illness. Contraception is not healthcare.
And she saved the best for last.
I hope for the good of this nation that President Obama is not given another four years to continue his war on freedom.
I can't improve on that, so I'll just sign off for now.

Keep the faith...

Laughing To Keep From Crying

Long day yesterday ... with every indication that it's going to be a long week.

On top of that the news is full of gloom, doom, and politics. I'm already sick and tired of the mudslinging, lies, and biased reporting, and there's still almost nine months to go.

So to cope I need either massive amounts of wine, women, and song ... or a few jokes.

Since I have to work tomorrow, that rules out the wine. I can't carry a tune in a bucket so song is out. And my wife would take a very dim view of women - especially since I'm 200 miles away from her. So that leaves humor.

 * * * * *

A woman who had been married three times walked into a bridal shop one day and told the sales clerk that she was looking for a wedding gown for her fourth wedding.

"Of course, madam," replied the sales clerk, "exactly what type and color dress are you looking for?"

The bride to be said: "A long frilly white dress with a veil."

The sales clerk hesitated a bit, then said, "Please don't take this the wrong way, but gowns of that nature are considered more appropriate for brides who are being married the first time - for those who are a bit more innocent, if you know what I mean? Perhaps ivory or sky blue would be nice?"

"Well," replied the customer, a little peeved at the clerk's directness, "I can assure you that a white gown would be quite appropriate.  Believe it or not, despite all my marriages, I remain as innocent as a first-time bride.  You see, my first husband was so excited about our wedding, he died as we were checking into our hotel."

"My second husband and I got into such a terrible fight in the limo on our way to our honeymoon that we had that wedding annulled immediately and never spoke to each other again."

"What about your third husband?" asked the sales clerk.

"That one was a Democrat," said the woman, "and every night for four years, he just sat on the edge of the bed and told me how good it was going to be, but nothing ever happened."

 * * * * *

Roy, an undertaker, recently came home with a black eye.

"What happened to you?" asked his wife.

"I had a terrible day." replied Roy . "I had to go to a hotel and pick up a man who had died in his sleep. When I got there, the manager said they couldn't get him into a body bag because he had this huge erection.

I went up and, sure enough, there was this big naked guy lying on the bed with this huge erection.  So I grabbed it with both hands and tried to snap it in half."

"I see" said his wife, "that must have been awful, but how did you get the black eye?"

Roy replied: "Wrong room."

 * * * * *

Ole's car was hit by a truck in an accident. In court, the trucking company's lawyer was questioning Ole.

'Didn't you say, sir, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine?' asked the lawyer.

Ole responded, 'Vell, I'll tell you vat happened. I had yust loaded my favorite mule, Bessie, into da......'

'I didn't ask for any details', the lawyer interrupted. 'Just answer the question. Did you not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine'?

Ole said, 'Vell, I had yust got Bessie into da trailer and I vas driving down da road.....

The lawyer interrupted again and said, 'Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question.'

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Ole's answer and said to the lawyer, 'I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule, Bessie'.

Ole thanked the Judge and proceeded. 'Vell, as I vas saying, I had yust loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into da trailer and vas driving her down da highvay ven dis huge semi-truck and trailer ran da stop sign and smacked my truck right in da side. I vas trown into one ditch and Bessie vas trown into da other. I vas hurting real bad and didn't vant to move. However, I could hear Bessie moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape yust by her groans'.

'Shortly after da accident da Highway Patrolman, he came to da scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he vent over to her'.

'After he looked at her and saw her fatal condition her took out his gun and shot her right 'tween da eyes.

Den da Patrolman, he came across da road, gun still smoking, looked at me and said, 'How are you feeling?'

'Now vat da hell vould YOU say?'

 * * * * *

Monday, February 20, 2012

FOD 2012.02.20

Today's words of wisdom are courtesy of The Audacity of Logic.

Here's a quick look into the three former Fannie Mae executives who brought down Wall Street. File this under the heading of ‘Perspective.’

Franklin Raines - was a Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Fannie Mae.

Raines was forced to retire from his position with Fannie Mae when auditing discovered severe irregularities in Fannie Mae's accounting activities. Raines left with a "golden parachute valued at $240 Million in benefits. The Government filed suit against Raines when the depth of the accounting scandal became clear.

[Side Note: Even Time Magazine acknowledges that Raines is one of the key instigators of the financial crisis that began in 2008.]

Tim Howard - was the Chief Financial Officer of Fannie Mae.

Howard "was a strong internal proponent of using accounting strategies that would ensure a "stable pattern of earnings" at Fannie. Investigations by federal regulators and the company's board of directors since concluded that management did manipulate 1998 earnings to trigger bonuses. Raines and Howard resigned under pressure in late 2004. Howard's Golden Parachute was estimated at $20 Million!

Jim Johnson - A former executive at Lehman Brothers and who was later forced from his position as Fannie Mae CEO.

Investigators found that Fannie Mae had hidden a substantial amount of Johnson's 1998 compensation from the public, reporting that it was between $6 million and $7 million when it fact it was $21 million. Johnson is currently under investigation for taking illegal loans from Countrywide while serving as CEO of Fannie Mae. Johnson's Golden Parachute was estimated at $28 Million.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

FRANKLIN RAINES?

Raines works for the Obama Campaign as his Chief Economic Advisor.

TIM HOWARD?

Howard is a Chief Economic Advisor to Obama under Franklin Raines.

JIM JOHNSON?

Johnson was hired as a Senior Obama Finance Advisor and was selected to run Obama's Vice Presidential Search Committee.



Didn’t Obama say to judge him by the people he surrounds himself with?

Kinda makes you sick to your stomach doesn’t it?

Our government seems to be rotten to the core.

Obama is hoping you won’t notice.

Vote in 2012… it is the most important election of our lives…

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Funnies 2012.02.19

Too many meetings last week ... more scheduled for next week ... no relief in sight... ... sigh ...



Quote from a recent meeting: "We are going to continue having these meetings, everyday, until I find out why no work is getting done"

I'm proposing a new policy for future committee meetings: they cannot last longer than either my laptop battery or my bladder, whichever needs attention first.

Committee: a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done. (Fred Allen)


Saturday, February 18, 2012

We Are So Screwed

Today's post is a little late, because it took me several hours to recover from seeing this chart (H/T Doug Ross for the link.)
The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year
... (Wyatt Emerich of The Cleveland Current) analyzes disposable income and economic benefits among several key income classes and comes to the stunning (and verifiable) conclusion that "a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year."


Further highlighting what the entitlement state has done to us, note that someone working one week a month at a minimum wage job walks away with a disposable income of $31,630 (92% of the $60K wage earner).

For more discouragement visit the link.

And while you're at it take a look at this post, which identifies "The Forgotten 33%." (H/T again to Doug Ross)

That's the percentage of the American electorate that is not super-rich (the 1%), doesn't pay income taxes (46%), or doesn't work for the government (20%).

In other words, only one-third of Americans does not have a vested interest in supporting big government.

We're doomed...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2012.02.17

This is a Texas version of the Johnny Cash standard "I've Been Everywhere." It was created by a bunch of Harley riders who traveled to every place mentioned in the song. They had a lot of fun and did a great job on the video.

Check it out.



The actual video ends around the 3:20 mark, but for some reason it keeps going with a blank screen for another minute or so.

News Flash

Whitney Houston is still dead.

Get over it, already.

Those Who Can't, Teach

A couple of days ago I posted a mild critique of our public school system. Little did I suspect that modest post would trigger an explosion of bizarre behavior by teachers and administrators around the country.

Example 1:
Government employees are inspecting pre-schoolers' lunch boxes and substituting school-provided food for home-packed lunches when, in the opinion of the Food Police, the home-packed lunches don't meet government requirements.

"Your children vill eat vhat ve say, not vhat you pack..."
Example 2:
A middle-school student was strip-searched in front of his classmates after one of them accused him of possessing marijuana, even though (1) the accusing student admitted he was lying before the strip search, (2) the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that school officials can't perform even a partial strip search of a student, regardless of whether or not there is probable cause, and (3) this same school district was sued (and lost) less than ten years earlier in a case where a mass strip search (!) of students was found unconstitutional.

If school officials can't learn, how on earth can they expect their students to?
Example 3:
A teacher required her fifth-grade students to send Christmas cards, which included the kids' names and addresses, to a prison inmate charged with child pornography and currently serving time on weapons and stalking charges.

The teacher is in trouble with her bosses, not for having the kids communicate with a convicted perv, but for having them participate in Christmas activities.
Example 4:
Kindergarteners were forced to memorize and perform a chant worshiping praising barack obama.

Rumor has it the lesson plan was adopted from a North Korean school, substituting "obama" for "Kim Jong-il."
I was at a loss to explain all this foolishness until I stumbled across this story, which makes everything clear as a bell (H/T GOC).
School Official: Parents Don't 'Know What Actually is Best' for Children

Debbie Squires, an education official for the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association, states that parents, 'may WANT what's best for their child,' but, 'they may not KNOW [what's best for their child].' During a Michigan House Committee meeting determining parents’ school choice, she claims that educators know better than parents when it comes to children.

Squires explains that, ‘educators go through education for a reason,” to later imply that child-caring requires special education. She elaborates that parents, or, ‘individual residents,’ lack the vision of ‘what actually is best from an education standpoint’ for their children.
Educators go through education for a reason, all right. It's the easiest major in the country, and as such attracts the least qualified students.
Slackers wanting to earn the country's easiest college major, should major in education.

It's easy to get "A's" if you're an education major. Maybe that's why one out of 10 college graduates major in education.

Research over the years has indicated that education majors, who enter college with the lowest average SAT scores, leave with the highest grades. Some of academic evidence documenting easy A's for future teachers goes back more than 50 years.
There are several undesirable consequences of this 'race to the bottom,' but perhaps the most damning is that "Low grading standards in education departments may contribute to the culture of low evaluation standards in education more generally..."

Boy howdy, I'm here to testify there's a boatload of truth in that last sentence, both from working with College of Education faculty and from dealing with their output in my classes.

There's a strong correlation between people with education degrees and government employment.

Coincidence?

I think not...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Our Dear Leader Can Beat Up Your Dear Leader

To go along with Truth Teams and the Food Police, we now have brainwashed kids forced to chant paeans of praise to our Dear Leader (not to be confused with North Korea's Dear Leader, although the difference is shrinking daily).

Kindergarteners chant paean to Obama  (H/T Cranky Professor)
As part of a Black History Month program, kindergarteners at Tipps Elemementary School in Houston were sent home with lyrics to a chant lauding Barack Obama ... A note to teachers said students would be “required” to learn the chant, though the school claims only some students were chosen for the evening program and parents could refuse to sign a permission form.

“The Barack Obama Song,” which prioritizes rhyme over substance, does have a sort of North Korean enthusiasm for every aspect of our president’s life.

Who’s famous slogan is Yes we can?
Obams’s famous slogan is Yes we can
Who do we know is the man?
Barack Obama is the man
He’s our man, Yes we can!
There are several more verses of this claptrap, but I couldn't control my gag reflex long enough to post them.

Seriously, how much longer will we put up with this crap?

Score One For Homer

They say politics makes unlikely bedfellows. Toss in some beer and you never know who'll end up in the sack together.

Over drinks, foot soldiers of the left and right explore what they agree on: more than you'd think
It would have been just any mundane clash of civilizations with points thrown and missed until a Mad Hatter in the form of the gregarious Tea Partier appears in the thick of the stand off between Occupiers and Conservatives and says - hey stop shouting at each other - you got at least 60% in common - so lets have some beers (many beers) and discuss this. And so began the Beer Summit an initiative between possibly the minuteman wing of the Tea Party - attendees at the CPAC and some of the Occupiers who came to protest CPAC.
Which just goes to show the Tao of Homer
Here's to alcohol, the cause of—and solution to—all life's problems.

Partial Truth

There's more than enough blame to go around. The government, teachers unions, administrators, and yes, teachers themselves, all deserve a place in the loop.

Nevertheless, there's enough truth in this to merit attention.

It's tempting to blame 'society' for today's educational woes. The lack of holding people responsible for their actions, coupled with the emphasis on making everyone feel good, has resulted in a generation of students who think they are special. The so-called trophy generation - where everyone gets a trophy just for participating - is entering college and the work force with a sense of entitlement.

However, we are society. By allowing this 'positive self-esteem' disease to infect everything from youth sports leagues to educational institutions, we are doing our kids, and our country, a disservice. When these kids leave the nest they're going to get slapped in the face with reality.

For once, I find myself agreeing with Doonesbury...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The World's Most Unforgetable Lecture

As regular readers of this blog know, I'm a college professor. I came late to this gig after several other careers of various profitability and respectability. There's several things about my current profession that I especially enjoy.

One is the notion of academic freedom. Within broad constraints, I can research and teach pretty much what I want, and how I want. That's a big plus compared to the corporate world, where I was stuck with whatever random project my boss assigned me to.

The dress code can charitably be described as "informal." I usually wear Hawaiian shirts to class, after a couple of decades of wearing suits and ties. Heaven!

Outside of scheduled classes and those never-to-be-sufficiently-damned committee meetings, my time is pretty much my own.

I get to travel to different places for conferences and research projects. In the course of those events I meet all sorts of interesting people. They don't all think like I do, which can be both aggravating and stimulating, but on the whole is enjoyable.

Some of those people are (or at least seem to be) relatively normal. Others fit the stereotype of the eccentric college professor. However, I've never met anyone quite as eccentric as this fellow.
In 1983, at the Urodynamics Society meeting in Las Vegas, Professor G.S. Brindley first announced to the world his experiments on self-injection with papaverine to induce a penile erection. This was the first time that an effective medical therapy for erectile dysfunction (ED) was described, and was a historic development in the management of ED. The way in which this information was first reported was completely unique and memorable, and provides an interesting context for the development of therapies for ED. I was present at this extraordinary lecture, and the details are worth sharing. Although this lecture was given more than 20 years ago, the details have remained fresh in my mind, for reasons which will become obvious.

The lecture, which had an innocuous title along the lines of ‘Vaso-active therapy for erectile dysfunction’ was scheduled as an evening lecture of the Urodynamics Society in the hotel in which I was staying. I was a senior resident, hungry for knowledge, and at the AUA I went to every lecture that I could. About 15 min before the lecture I took the elevator to go to the lecture hall, and on the next floor a slight, elderly looking and bespectacled man, wearing a blue track suit and carrying a small cigar box, entered the elevator. He appeared quite nervous, and shuffled back and forth. He opened the box in the elevator, which became crowded, and started examining and ruffling through the 35 mm slides of micrographs inside. I was standing next to him, and could vaguely make out the content of the slides, which appeared to be a series of pictures of penile erection. I concluded that this was, indeed, Professor Brindley on his way to the lecture, although his dress seemed inappropriately casual.

The lecture was given in a large auditorium, with a raised lectern separated by some stairs from the seats. This was an evening programme, between the daytime sessions and an evening reception. It was relatively poorly attended, perhaps 80 people in all. Most attendees came with their partners, clearly on the way to the reception. I was sitting in the third row, and in front of me were about seven middle-aged male urologists, and their partners in ‘full evening regalia’.

Professor Brindley, still in his blue track suit, was introduced as a psychiatrist with broad research interests. He began his lecture without aplomb. He had, he indicated, hypothesized that injection with vasoactive agents into the corporal bodies of the penis might induce an erection. Lacking ready access to an appropriate animal model, and cognisant of the long medical tradition of using oneself as a research subject, he began a series of experiments on self-injection of his penis with various vasoactive agents, including papaverine, phentolamine, and several others. (While this is now commonplace, at the time it was unheard of). His slide-based talk consisted of a large series of photographs of his penis in various states of tumescence after injection with a variety of doses of phentolamine and papaverine. After viewing about 30 of these slides, there was no doubt in my mind that, at least in Professor Brindley's case, the therapy was effective. Of course, one could not exclude the possibility that erotic stimulation had played a role in acquiring these erections, and Professor Brindley acknowledged this.

The Professor wanted to make his case in the most convincing style possible. He indicated that, in his view, no normal person would find the experience of giving a lecture to a large audience to be erotically stimulating or erection-inducing. He had, he said, therefore injected himself with papaverine in his hotel room before coming to give the lecture, and deliberately wore loose clothes (hence the track-suit) to make it possible to exhibit the results. He stepped around the podium, and pulled his loose pants tight up around his genitalia in an attempt to demonstrate his erection.

At this point, I, and I believe everyone else in the room, was agog. I could scarcely believe what was occurring on stage. But Prof. Brindley was not satisfied. He looked down sceptically at his pants and shook his head with dismay. "Unfortunately, this doesn’t display the results clearly enough". He then summarily dropped his trousers and shorts, revealing a long, thin, clearly erect penis. There was not a sound in the room. Everyone had stopped breathing.

But the mere public showing of his erection from the podium was not sufficient. He paused, and seemed to ponder his next move. The sense of drama in the room was palpable. He then said, with gravity, "I’d like to give some of the audience the opportunity to confirm the degree of tumescence". With his pants at his knees, he waddled down the stairs, approaching (to their horror) the urologists and their partners in the front row. As he approached them, erection waggling before him, four or five of the women in the front rows threw their arms up in the air, seemingly in unison, and screamed loudly. The scientific merits of the presentation had been overwhelmed, for them, by the novel and unusual mode of demonstrating the results.

The screams seemed to shock Professor Brindley, who rapidly pulled up his trousers, returned to the podium, and terminated the lecture. The crowd dispersed in a state of flabbergasted disarray. I imagine that the urologists who attended with their partners had a lot of explaining to do. The rest is history. Prof Brindley's single-author paper reporting these results was published about 6 months later.

This lecture was unique, dramatic, paradigm-shifting, and unexpected. It is difficult to imagine that a similar scenario could ever take place again. Professor Brindley belongs in the pantheon of famous British eccentrics who have made spectacular contributions to science. The story of his lecture deserves a place in the urological history books.
As a footnote, three years later Professor Brindley was knighted for achievements in the field of bioengineering research. He is now Sir G. S. Brindley, Ph.D.

And no, I have never given a lecture remotely similar to that one...

Terrorism By Any Other Name

I posted something snarky on Monday about the growing muslim population in the greater Detroit area. Trying to be witty, I included a sarcastic image of a child suicide bomber.

Then I read this story. Life, it seems, does indeed imitate art.
Six months ago, in a moving ceremony during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, President Hamid Karzai went on Afghan television to pardon about two dozen young boys, the youngest only 8 years old, who had been caught trying to carry out suicide attacks.

On Monday, authorities in Kandahar province (Afghanistan) reported that two of the children, 10-year-olds, had been rearrested last week, apparently intending again to carry out bombings.

Provincial spokesman Zalmay Ayubi said the boys each had a vest full of explosives when they were detained ... and that they told intelligence officers they had been recruited for suicide missions.

... the pair had undergone training at a madrasa, or religious school, in Pakistan. The mullahs there told the boys they would be unharmed when they set off their bombs...

(One of the children) ... told authorities he had been taught how to detonate an explosives-laden vest. "They showed me how to press the button in my hand," he said...

The children spoke of having been told to try to approach foreign troops and set off their explosives, and of receiving drugs beforehand, which they were told was medicine to make them strong.
So much is so very wrong with this that I'm at a loss for words. What sort of people, or parents, or religion, use children in such a callous fashion?

The common denominator, I'm afraid, is islam.

I'm aware that is somewhat simplistic, but I'm sick to death of being politically correct about it. Yes, other religions have their shortcomings, and yes, other religions have committed atrocities in the past in the name of one god or another. But they've all more or less outgrown that, with one glaring exception.

The 'religion of peace.'

The same 'religion' that demands tolerance for itself, but denies that same tolerance to other religions.

The same 'religion' that cold-bloodily sacrifices children to kill other women and children.

That's not a religion.

That's terrorism...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nanny State Nonsense

I'm not a big fan of Michelle O, but I can live with her babbling on about what kids should eat and how they should get more exercise. There's certainly no shortage of overweight people in this country, and by highlighting the issue something good might come of it.

But the good should come from individuals, and be a matter of choice. It should not be crammed down our throats by jack-booted thugs government employees.

Food police bust 4 year-old in NC (H/T iOwnTheWorld)
A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.
Inspecting lunch boxes?!? WTF!?! I didn't realize we were living in a police state where kindergarteners' lunch boxes were subject to inspection, and parents forced to pay for an alternate lunch if their kids' lunch didn't met government requirements.
The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.

The girl’s mother — who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation — said she received a note from the school stating that students who did not bring a “healthy lunch” would be offered the missing portions, which could result in a fee from the cafeteria, in her case $1.25.

“I don't feel that I should pay for a cafeteria lunch when I provide lunch for her from home,” the mother wrote in a complaint to her state representative, Republican G.L. Pridgen of Robeson County.

“What got me so mad is, number one, don’t tell my kid I’m not packing her lunch box properly,” the girl’s mother told CJ. “I pack her lunchbox according to what she eats. It always consists of a fruit. It never consists of a vegetable. She eats vegetables at home because I have to watch her because she doesn’t really care for vegetables.”

When the girl came home with her lunch untouched, her mother wanted to know what she ate instead. Three chicken nuggets, the girl answered. Everything else on her cafeteria tray went to waste.
Your tax dollars at work.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think parents know better than the government when it comes to their kids eating habits.

When does it stop?