Guns: The Pistol Grip Shotgun stock
If you have any complaints which you'd like to make, I'd be more than happy to send you the appropriate forms.
Most people reading this are probably familiar with "denial of service" attacks, where a computer or server is intentionally attacked in order to deny service to its users. In my case, it's my favorite web forum, The High Road, that is the target. THR's been down for many days now, and it's only through the hard work and money of stalwart server operators that there's even hope that it's going to be back up again at all.
It's no secret the U.S. Army spends a lot of time and energy on recruiting - from magazine ads to multiplayer video games, watching how our country sells the life of a soldier is an interesting pastime. The most visible weapon in the arsenal, so to speak, is the TV commercial.
Another reminder of the kinds of freedoms that American soldiers, past and present, died to protect:
I watched quite a bit of "Star Trek" over break, and if there's one thing that's consistently good in all the Star Trek TV series and movies, it's the music. Even when the stories go south (like when "Voyager" brought in Borg boobs to boost ratings), there's always the uplifting and adventurous scores from Jerry Goldsmith to accompany the material.
While there are some who have called "Kokomo" the Beach Boy's worst song, there's something charming about it when it's being performed by voice-actors for characters made out of foam rubber and fleece. Midway through the song, there's even a changed song lyric ("That dreamy look in your eye/Underneath a tropical island sky") which seems like an improvement over the original ("That dreamy look in your eye/Gives me a tropical contact high"). This music video used to play incessantly during Nickelodeon's daytime lineup, so as a kid, it stuck in my head.
This video is dumb, but funny by G4 standards.
This article offers a somewhat sobering perspective on the Middle East. It's hardly an original sentiment - commentators have remarked for years that the Middle East is lagging behind even other parts of the Third World in terms of development, especially given the enormous amounts of oil and human capital that would seem ripe for exploitation.
...Is to avoid getting in one in the first place.
Farrelly Brothers movies tend to follow the same formula - crazy guy chases girl, crazy stuff happens (usually involving toilet humor), and eventually the guy gets the girl. It's worked on stuff like "Dumb and Dumber" and "There's Something About Mary," and "Me, Myself, & Irene" pretty much plays it by the book. In this case, the freak is Charlie, a nice guy with a Mr. Hyde-like persona named Hank that lurks inside him, waiting to emerge. With anyone else but Jim Carrey, the movie would probably be unwatchable, but nobody does demented quite like Ace Ventura himself.
Today, though I could've read for my summer classes, I decided to watch the "extended DVD cuts" of all three "Lord of the Rings" movies back-to-back-to-back. There's nothing like nearly 12 hours of man-boy Elijah Wood tearing up the screen - I'm not even that big of a Tolkien fan, but I have to admire all-out filmmaking when I see it, especially with such summer disappointments as "Spider-Man 3" fresh in my memory. And for those of you who don't get a kick out of seeing Sean "Rudy" Astin kicking some orcish butt, I feel sorry for you. :-)
The greatest advice on what is needed in a handgun that will be carried for self-defense was given by Jeff Cooper - "100% reliability, sights you can see, a trigger you can manage." I've blogged several times about how important it is for a firearm to be reliable - any gun that is not or cannot be made to function properly should not be trusted to work when the chips are down. I guess it's time for me to move on to the second requirement, "sights you can see."
How do you sum up the longest-running game show in history? "The Price is Right" is easily my favorite game show, because of the sheer audacity of its premise. In essence, it's an hour-long commercial featuring literally dozens of mini-advertisements per episode for the prizes. The only way to make such an exercise is entertaining is by attaching loads of silly pricing games to the products and getting people psyched about playing for them. When you have a twenty year-old guy jumping up and down because he won a dishwasher, that's when you've struck something very primal in the human condition:
It's weird how often you can perceive echoes of "1984" in political "debates." Here's some choice examples of doublethink from the GOP candidates: McCain supporting making Bush's tax cuts permanent even though he voted against them, Giuliani touting "a woman's right to choose" but insisting that abortions be minimized, and Romney declaring that he supports gun owners' rights under the Second Amendment even though he signed into law Massachusetts' "Assault Weapons" ban.
The following video is very instructive, but perhaps not in the way that the producers intended:
One of the big problems with declaring your candidacy for president nearly a couple years in advance of the actual election is the number of opportunities to stick your foot in your mouth. While it seems everyone running is racing to distance themselves from President Bush's policy on the Iraq war (sometimes it seems Bush is the only one defending Bush these days), there are other issues that candidates can trip themselves on - guns, abortion, immigration...
One of my Mom's favorite groups is the Bee Gees, and for good reason - the "Brothers Gibb" have withstood the test of time. In the pop pantheon, where having a few hits can make someone a star, the Bee Gees have written and recorded a whole albumful of memorable songs, including the perenially covered "How Deep is Your Love." Of course, her taste for the Bee Gees rubbed off on me...
I'm a terrible photographer. It's part science and part art, but I haven't really mastered either the technical or aesthetic aspects of the craft. Thankfully, there are people on the Web who have, and one of those people is Skunkabilly (Xanga site here).
Hell hath no greater fury than a woman scorned - and in this case, the woman was my Mom. The owner of Silver Pond, a Chinese restaurant that we frequent, had canceled our reservations for a graduation party a week before the graduation. Mom declared she would never set foot in the place again - a Silver Pond-cott, if you will.
It took me a while to realize that "pop music" isn't much of a genre. There are a 1,001 different varieties of pop; while it is sometimes counterproductive to pigeonhole bands into one box or another, it makes sense as a way of getting a handle on things. The song I'm talking about today is "Tess Don't Tell." It's firmly within the "Dream Pop" subgenre, and it comes from the pop band Ivy.
I just remembered how to add links at the sidebar on the right of this page (a simple HTML link dropped in the middle of an arcane template). I've added some of the blogs I visit daily; all of them are definitely worth your time. Many of them are the sort of "personal" blogs that I think the Web is perfect for - I find that the big, multi-user news blogs do a great job of keeping up with current events, but are less idiosyncratic and therefore less interesting.