Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Houston, We Have A Problem
Being a native of California, I am well aware of both sides of the argument on illegal immigration. It's always been an important issue which has never been properly addressed throughout all levels of government.
Well, if images say a thousand words, then this photo tells me that the U.S. is up Shit Creek without a paddle. We either dig our way out of this situation now, or this image will become something more than just a protest by a bunch of ignorant high school kids who know more about Britney Spears and Play Station then they do about our Government and history.
ATTENTION FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.... GET OFF YER F'N ASS AND DO SOMETHING!!
Monday, March 27, 2006
I'm turning French.... I Surrender!
I give up! I surrender! After filling my 24 foot rented moving truck 6 times, moving over 12,000 pounds of 'crap', and I'm still only 80% complete, I give up. I can't take it anymore.
There are not enough motrin pills or Asian massage 'specialists' in the world to handle the aches and pains I've got. I hereby throw in the towel.
Viva la U-Haul
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Awesome Pictures and Weird eBay Auction
Double post today to make up for Saturday.
This is just one picture posted on the website Ezprezzo. This model of a soccer arena was made completely out of Legos! It even lights up! There are a lot of other cool pictures and videos on this website, just be forewarned that some are NSFW*.
What Am I Bid?
Apparently there is a gal named Meghan Cosby who has put herself up on eBay to help pay for college. You can read the story here. Sadly it is not the fact that she has put herself up for auction that boggles my mind. It's her requirement that "And creeps need not apply." You mean she doesn't want a date with a creep? Wow, I'm glad she made that clear. There could have been some MAJOR misunderstandings there. Such a refreshing change from women who only go out with a**holes. Hopefully she's a great judge of character so she can screen out all those "undesireables".
*NSFW = Not Safe For Work
Thursday, March 23, 2006
As If They Were Not Stressful Enough
The College Board, which handles the SAT tests, admitted a week ago that there were some errors in scoring some test-takers' exams. Today they have admitted more errors in exam scores. Some folks had some scores increased by accident. They were not corrected and the scores were left as is. However, some people got scores lower than what they actually were. Although the scores were corrected, it has long past the deadlines for application to most universities across the USA. Did any hopefuls not apply to certain schools because they felt their tests scores were not high enough? Did any universities reject applications based on an incorrect test score? Who knows.
For many college hopefuls, this is one of the largest and most important factors in gaining admission to the schools of their choice. As such, taking one of these 3 hour tests is stressful enough without having to worry about your test scores comig back incorrect. I can recall how anxious I was about my test scores. With all the stuff that went wrong when I was applying to college, I think this would have driven me insane.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Black? White? Or Shades of Gray?
Greetings everyone! El Capitan has entrusted me to guest blog for him while he is away and I must admit this is an honor. Mostly because I know it is a big act of faith to entrust your well-read blog to someone. The other reason is that I do not have a blog myself. I've always thought I would shoot off my mouth too much before thinking and write something inarticulate.
Allow me to introduce myself. My call sign is Tumbleweed. Like many call signs this one was bestowed due to a very ungraceful maneuver by yours truly while airborne. Sorry to dispel any "Top Gun" fantasies but call signs are usually given due to stupid stuff you have done. I have known El Capitan since college and we have been friends throughout our careers, despite distance and job changes.
But enough about me, onto today's blog subject.
FX is airing a show called "Black. White". The premise of the show is to take a white and black family, place them in a house together, and throughout the season the crew will use makeup to make the white family look black and vice versa. The two families are then sent to various parts of the city and they get to experience how other people and society treats the other side.
I've just started watching so I am not sure how they picked the families and it looks like they are in the Los Angeles metro area. It is quite an interesting show and it seems like the crew tried to pick two families that don't fit "Hollywood" racial attitude stereotypes.
There have been some scenes that have caught my attention. In one scene, the white parents went into a country/western bar made up as a black couple. They received a lot of "what are you doing here?" stares. I wasn't terribly surprised, I have received stares like that walking into some places in the Deep South. However, when my Caucasian girlfriend walked with me into Little Saigon in Orange County, Calif, she received similar stares.
In another scene the kids were having lunch together. The girl asked the guy how he got kicked out of school. He said it was because he was carrying a knife in his bookbag. She asked why he carried the knife and the guy says it was for his best friend. She asks why his best friend had a knife. His reply? "He's Asian, all Asians have knives." Not true. I'm Asian and I actually carry an SIG SG551 everywhere I go (I'm kidding). This guy doesn't seem to be the brightest light bulb in the package.
Racism is racism. I don't care who has suffered more or what race people think secretly rules the world. Every ethnic group has had rough times making a life in this country. This isn't isolated to America either, it exists just about everywhere else in the world. This will only stop when people stop thinking one race is completely composed of thugs or part of an insidious "Illuminati" type conspiracy.
This show looks promising. I hope FX tries to be objective with it and show all the good and bad experiences the families will go through. I hope they will not slant events in any direction for any of the families. Should be interesting to watch.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Cyclone Larry - This is why I love Australia
Aussies Break Out The Barbie After The Cyclone
After their town was torn apart by a terrifying cyclone - amazingly without loss
of life - the people of Innisfail responded with a most Australian of gatherings: a barbie.
Butchers and restaurant owners in the town offered up their wares to survivors on Tuesday rather than see them rot in refrigerators warming quickly in the tropical heat after the storm cut electricity in this town about 1,200 miles north of Sydney.
It's nice to know that some Hurricane/Cyclone survivors actually know how to survive.
See this picture? Look at it carefully. This picture has brought in more international visitors to this blog than any other post I've ever written. Nearly ever visitor I get from Iran, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Indonesia, and Easter Europe come to my website because they find this picture online, which takes them to an old post I wrote over a year ago.
Obviously this is what makes the world go around.
Cheers! There is hope for us after all.
The F-14 Tomcat... Still The Sexiest Fighter Ever
Yes she was a navy girl, but she was, and still is, the best looking fighter the United States has ever flown. Guest blogger Tumbleweed just sent me a link to a tribute video for the F-14, soon to be retired and put out to pasture. Definitely one of the best fighter clips I've seen. It's even honest about what a goat this plane was when it first rolled off the assembly line, yet the Tomcat proved itself over the years.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Calling All Bloggers! Initiating Operation 'Reunite The Butterflies'
One of the biggest MilBlog supporters and newest member of the MilBlog family, Desultory Butterfly (aka Allie), is graduating from Army Basic Training next Friday. Her twin sister, who is equally one of the biggest MilBlog supporters out there, needs help to travel out to St. Louis to attend her sister's graduation ceremony.
Please Help! Some friends have set up an account to help with travel expenses, so if you can spare a few bones, please send them along via the paypal button they provided.
They've done a lot for us... now's our chance to give them a hand.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
Happy St. Patrick's Day
And for you kids, young and old, here's the proper way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Have a good one... or two... or four.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Reports You Absolutely Must Read
If you're in the military and you want to know about how secure your job is, read these pubs. Looks like the United States Armed Forces will be around for quite some time.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
When Reading To Your Children Goes Horribly Wrong
Meet children's author Suzy Kline
She authored a book that I chose to read to my children called 'The Hole Book'
Below is what she wrote in this book... word for word. You will soon see why I quickly stopped reading this book to my child last night.
I couldn't stop laughing. Especially when I noticed that the book was full of illustrations of cats, gerbils, skunks, and construction workers bending over.
The Hole Book, by Suzy Kline
A lot of holes are embarrassing,
Some holes are fun.
You can swim and fish in holes,
put the ball in holes
and eat sweet holes.
But if you eat too many of those,
you get other holes!
Some holes are important homes.
My home has important holes.
Holes are even a part of people's work.
But the best part about holes is that
you can make one yourself and...
put your finger in it.
But wait, it gets better.
Here's a short list of Suzy Klines other books that once again caused me to laugh uncontrollably as I read each title.
Mary Marony and the Chocolate Surprise
The Horrible Harry's Secret
Herbie Jones and the Dark Attic
Herbie Jones and the Monster Ball
What's the Matter with Herbie Jones?
Mary Marony and the Snake
Song Lee and the Hamster Hunt
Who's Orp's Girlfriend?
Orp and the FBI
Horrible Harry and the Christmas Surprise
Horrible Harry and the Green Slime
Song Lee in Room 2B
I still can't stop laughing. This lady is absolutely f'd up.
Senator Stabenow's Contribution to 'Clinton 2008'
Monday, March 13, 2006
Observation of the Week
Why do we have Drive-up ATMs that have Braille markings on the keys? I'm all for equal access, but isn't that just a recipe for disaster?
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Dave at Garfield Ridge Got a New Job!
After years of being pushed around at that little five-sided building out in D.C., Dave at Garfield Ridge has decided to branch out into the world of Hip Hop. Dave and his close friend Diane Horner have developed a new dance video that combines Country, Hip Hop, and some totally radical 80s retro style clothing. I was told that Dave personally trained each one of Diane's backup dancers. Be sure to watch the Oscar-worthy video he produced. It's solid gold baby!
Good luck Dave. I really hope the investment pays off, but do yourself a favor and stick to your day job for just a bit longer.
Why Robin Williams is King
I'm sure this is an old photo, but I still like what his shirt reads. 'I Love New York' in Arabic. Anyone know where I can buy one?
Friday, March 10, 2006
My Kind of Six Pack
Any volunteers for the new rectal exam?
I want one... I really really want one. Of course the day the Air Force gets some of these babys is the day monkey's fly out of Dave at Garfield Ridge's ass carrying fist loads of more appropriations money.
Ain't gonna happen, but a man can dream.
The Bleak Future of Military Retirement
I've been hearing rumors about this for quite a while, and now it looks like the effort change the military retirement package is picking up steam. A friend of mine sent me the article below. Not sure of the source, but it looks like it came from The Hill.
If the military is concerned about retention and recruitment, this is not the way to go.
No More 20-year Retirement?
The Pentagon's Defense Advisory Committee on Military Compensation (DACMC) used its final public hearing on Feb. 28 to announce preliminary recommendations for sweeping changes to the military compensation system.
The DACMC is supporting a complete revamping of the current military retirement system. The committee's view is that the current 20-year "cliff-vested" system is outdated, overly "generous," inflexible, and inequitable (with no retirement eligibility before 20 years and no incentive to serve beyond 30 years).
DACMC's recommended changes (most of which DACMC envisions as applying only to future service entrants) include:
* Eliminating the immediate annuity upon retirement and delaying payment until age 60
* Providing additional retired pay credit (and basic pay increases) through 40 years of service
* Initiating government contributions to a Thrift Savings Plan or 401K-like plan of 5 to 10% of basic pay
* Vesting of members between 5 years and 10 years of service
* Creating a "gate pay" system to provide lump sum payment incentives at specific points of service
* Vesting in retirement health care benefit at completion of 20 years of service
* Raising single housing allowances to the "with dependents" rates
Although the committee's recommended changes wouldn't be imposed on the current force, the DACMC proposes offering current members the option of participating in the new retirement system.
Under Secretary of Defense David Chu has indicated the DACMC's recommendations will be turned over to the Tenth Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation (QRMC), which is due to convene shortly. Chu has said he plans to send Congress at least one of the DACMC's recommendations separately - extending the pay table to 40 years of service.
MOAA's perspective is that most of these proposals have been reviewed or recommended by any number of military compensation reform panels over the last 40 years. The practical reality is that proposals to apply civilian-style retirement systems to the military haven't been adopted or haven't worked because military service conditions are so much more severe than civilian working conditions.
The 20-year retirement (and 20-year vesting) system was enacted in the belief that there has to be a significant "carrot" to draw highly capable people to serve for at least two decades under conditions that most Americans want to avoid even for a short time. Conditions like the present high-deployment environment sometimes put that system to a severe test.
Congress previously changed the law in 1986 to reduce 20-year retired pay for new entrants in 1986 (that also was touted as "encouraging longer service"). But the change had to be repealed in 1999 after the Joint Chiefs of Staff complained it was hurting retention.
If today's 10-year servicemembers facing a third Iraq deployment were under the DACMC-proposed system, they would be mulling between (a) separating and taking a significant chunk of their retirement with them or (b) waiting until age 60 to get an annuity if they continued serving. We suspect that situation would generate some ugly retention figures. We'll be very interested to see what the QRMC does with this recommendation.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Thank You Ben Stein
By Ben Stein
The American Spectator
Now for a few humble thoughts about the Oscars.
I did not see every second of it, but my wife did, and she joins me in noting that there was not one word of tribute, not one breath, to our fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan or to their families or their widows or orphans. There were pitifully dishonest calls for peace -- as if the people we are fighting were interested in any peace for us but the peace of the grave. But not one word for the hundreds of thousands who have served and are serving, not one prayer or moment of silence for the dead and maimed.
Basically, the sad truth is that Hollywood does not think of itself as part of America, and so, to Hollywood, the war to save freedom from Islamic terrorists is happening to someone else. It does not concern them except insofar as it offers occasion to mock or criticize George Bush. They live in dreamland and cannot be gracious enough to thank the men and women who pay with their lives for the stars' ability to live in dreamland. This is shameful.
The idea that it is brave to stand up for gays in Hollywood, to stand up against Joe McCarthy in Hollywood (fifty years after his death), to say that rich white people are bad, that oil companies are evil -- this is nonsense. All of these are mainstream ideas in Hollywood, always have been, always will be. For the people who made movies denouncing Big Oil, worshiping gays, mocking the rich to think of themselves as brave -- this is pathetic, childish narcissism.
The brave guy in Hollywood will be the one who says that this is a fabulously great country where we treat gays, blacks, and everyone else as equal. The courageous writer in Hollywood will be the one who says the oil companies do their best in a very hostile world to bring us energy cheaply and efficiently and with a minimum of corruption. The producer who really has guts will be the one who says that Wall Street, despite its flaws, has done the best job of democratizing wealth ever in the history of mankind.
No doubt the men and women who came to the Oscars in gowns that cost more than an Army Sergeant makes in a year, in limousines with champagne in the back seat, think they are working class heroes to attack America -- which has made it all possible for them. They are not. They would be heroes if they said that Moslem extremists are the worst threat to human decency since Hitler and Stalin. But someone might yell at them or even attack them with a knife if they sad that, so they never will.
Hollywood is above all about self: self-congratulation, self-promotion, and above all, self-protection. This is human and basic, but let's not kid ourselves. There is no greatness there in the Kodak theater. The greatness is on patrol in Kirkuk. The greatness lies unable to sleep worrying about her man in Mosul. The greatness sleeps at Arlington National Cemetery and lies waiting for death in VA Hospitals. God help us that we have sunk so low as to confuse foolish and petty boasting with the real courage that keeps this nation and the many fools in it alive and flourishing on national TV.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Thank You Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle lives out in the small farming town of Yellow Springs Ohio, just a couple of minutes from where I live. He had a live show just a few days ago, sort of like his homecoming, and according to my coworkers it was one of his best. Most people who live here have had 'Dave' sightings around town, and yesterday was my first. My son and I were at the mall when we spotted a small crowd outside of a store. When we walked up to see what was going on I spotted Dave buying some stuff at the counter. Ironically instead of feeling star struck, I actually felt bad for the guy.
I remember reading an article in Time about his stay in South Africa, and how nice it was for him to be able to go to the mall out there and nobody noticed him. Instead, here he was in his hometown and he couldn't even buy a video game for his son without being swarmed by a bunch of teenage idiots shouting "I'm Rick James Bitch."
Yes, he's a celebrity and the crowds are all a part of the deal when you're rich and famous, but I've seen enough interviews with the guy to know that he's no Tom Cruise or Denzell... he's just a really laid back guy who lives on a farm in a small Hippie town and happens to be really funny. Whereas I have no sympathy for the actors out in Hollywood I still see begging for any and all attention, Chappelle just wants to live like the rest of us.
So I spent the last day thinking about the situation and feeling bad for the guy, and by chance I ended up going to the movies with a friend and seeing 'Block Party', Dave Chappelle's new movie about a party he threw back in Sept 2004.
Two words about the movie.... Freak'n A.
Yes it's funny, but it's not about Dave and it's not a stand-up routine. It's an actual block party where the audience paid nothing to see some of the best musicians of Hip Hop, Rap, and R&B. If you're a music buff who loves Jazz and Urban rhythms, and you have any knowledge about the history of Rap, this movie will be one of the best you've seen in years.
Even if you're not into Rap, this movie illustrates what makes this country what it is. It takes an ethnically diverse audience and subjects them to one of the greatest 'melting pots' of music (Jazz, Caribbean, Rap, R&B, Hip Hop, Rock) that I've seen since watching old clips from the Monterey Jazz Festival when the greatest Jazz musicians would all jump on stage together and jam for an hour.
If you love music, you'll love this movie.
Thank you Dave Chappelle. Thanks for the movie, the music, and the laughs. For once I didn't regret spending 8 bones to watch a movie. You proved once again that you are indeed an ordinary guy who got lucky in life, yet you never forgot where you came from and how you got there. You definitely gave back on this one.
As for the mall, it's a bummer Chappelle can't even walk around his own town without being swarmed by a bunch of morons with pimples and camera phones.
Then again, you're Rich Bitch! You can hire some folks to beat the crap out of all of those idiots. The entertainment value alone would make it worth the cost of a few body guards.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Congratulations Marines - The Thunderchickens are On The Loose
The first V-22 Osprey squadron will be activated today.
They're appropriately using the call sign 'Thunder Chicken'.
I just hope the damn thing works.
Busy day, weekend, and next week I'll be out in D.C. kicking some major Joint Chief ass. In reality, I'll be begging for money from the brass, so the knee pads and shoe polish are coming along.
Maybe I should reconsider my choice of uniform for next week.
'Sir, just taking one for the team Sir!'
Blogging in 30 Seconds or Less
Busy day, lots I want to discuss, but very little time to share my unique wisdom and vast knowledge on the important topics of today. So, I bring to you....
Blogging in 30 Seconds or Less
Air Force wants to sell the F-22 to allies: As long as it only goes to Japan, Britain, and Australia... good move. Helps the Air Force to buy more for the U.S.
Jessica Alba vs. Playboy: Any mud wrestling involved?
Blanco assured Bush and Feds that the levees were intact: I'm sure it's still Bush's fault some how.
China turning up the heat on Taiwan: Getting boring. Can't they just kiss and make up?
Ray Nagin is a joke: Instead of riding a horse, he should have been up on a school bus.
Thank you Nicole Kidman for my highest two days of traffic in the last two months. I think I'll just post a picture of her every other day. That'll keep 'em coming. It's scary how closely her fan club follows her day to day routine.
Top ten cars for 2006, and none are American. Any surprise? Have you seen the crap coming out of Detroit lately, not to mention the fact that UAW members make more when they get laid off then when they're actually working.
Bush in India... good. Bush in Pakistan... very bad. Not too safe. What I'd really like to see is Bush fly up to the mountains bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan, climb to a hilltop, and shout at the top of his lungs 'King Kong ain't got nothing on me!!!'. Of course he should follow up by taunting Bin Laden to stop making love with his donkey for one second and come out if he had a pair big enough.
Now that's entertainment.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
23 Days and Counting
We've been waiting since November of 2005 for our house to be built, and this month is the month it's finished. Having never owned a home before, let alone never having had one built, we're both very nervous and excited about what to expect. The unknowns and concerns equal the excitement.
In November the design was planned and approved...
In December the basement was dug...
And now, knowing our luck, we're just hoping we don't get stuck with this...
So if any of you home owners have any last minute advice, suggestions, or warnings, please send them our way now. We could use all the help we can get.