~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Monday, March 31, 2008

19% now up to 20%

Best $30 bucks I've spent yet this year.

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I'm not scared of your knife

Okay, this video warmed my heart.

And no, Glenn. Reporters do not know the difference between Army and Marine. All things military are equally "icky." Our military changes the world with violence, journalists change the world with words. Why would they stoop to learning the intricacies of an inferior system?

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Beer update

Project Red Ale an unqualified success!

Operation Raspberry Lager underway. I'll post a photo log of the third batch next month. Promise.

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Frittata Sunday

This is quickly becoming our Sunday morning staple:

6 eggs, beaten
1-ounce Parmesan, grated
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup chopped roasted asparagus
1/2 cup chopped country ham
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

Preheat oven to broil setting.

In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together eggs, Parmesan, pepper, and salt. Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Add asparagus and ham to pan and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with parsley.

Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

So far we've done ham and mushroom, and tomato onion and herb. A tastier breakfast has yet to be invented.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Don't drive angry

If your mortgage company has an annoying automated phone system that burns up your cell minutes and requires several tries to get a real person on the line, whatever you do, don't pound your fist on the computer desk.

You'll just knock over your Coke into the amplifier of your $400 sound system. Take it from me. I know. From whence. I speak.

I'm switching to bourbon and Coke, now.

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Energy bill in the balance

While I remain committed to fighting nanny state mandates wherever they rear their hydra-like heads, I'm still a cheapskate who'd like to reduce his energy bill to near zero. Saving Mother Earth is just gravy.

Our utilities expenses aren't very much (with new construction comes new insulation, new code rated furnace and such) but like with stealth technology, now that we have our radar cross section down so low, I can't resist playing around with it.

I'm considering experimenting with the following:

- Compact fluorescent bulbs. Controversial, ugly, mercury ridden, but hey! If it'll knock a few bucks off my utilities, I'll give them a shot. My research is still ongoing, but here's my plan so far. 1)Switch outdoor lights over to CFL, 2)buy several different brands of indoor CFLs and long life incandescents for some home comparison tests. Where we go from there really depends on our test results. Can anyone recommend a brand of CFL you've had luck with?

- Inline water heater. I've crunched the numbers and I just can't justify replacing our current water heater with a new "on demand" unit until the current one reaches the end of its life. But I'm excited by this new technology, and as a stop gap, I want to get a thermal blanket.

- Catch barrel for sump runoff. Our basement was carved out of solid bedrock. We're basically sitting inside a granite bowl beneath the water table. This means that in wet weather, the sump pump collects and discharges a bunch of water... water that just goes to waste in the woods behind the house. Come Summer, I then water the lawn with water I pay for out of the city spout. Surely there's a way to make one source of water pay for the other. Developing...

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"Be Real" part II

There's probably an essay post on "unrequited love" and good art in that last post, but I need to mull it over a bit. Today I've bookshelves to build. In the meantime, here's a couple of vids in the same vein:

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Be Real"

What a great song! I love the chorus:

So be real/
I'm tired of your inconsistencies/
Even though I know/
What you do to me/
Makes me strong

all set to a sexy, smoky blues.

(Via: VodkaPundit.)

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Frontline folly

Jules Crittenden reviews PBS Frontline's "Bush's War."

God! How I hate that phrase. Bush's war. As if, should the war be lost, it would only be a rebuke of Bush's hubris and not a loss to America in general. I'm more than a little bit, um... invested in seeing our eventual victory in Iraq. I've got skin in this fight. That's not to discount the right of my fellow Americans to disagree with the reasoning behind the initial invasion, but Frontline's casual, dispassionate indifference? Bush's War? Sheesh!


As television goes, it is a relatively comprehensive review of the major decisions and controversies of the Iraq war, with a little 9/11, Afghanistan precede. It makes some, though not many, attempts to be fair and thorough in presenting the perspectives of both sides. When you watch it, you might learn a few things. You’ll remember a lot. It won’t change your mind about anything.

We’ve got that out of the way. On to what’s wrong. I’m not sure in the space I can reasonably fill here, short of exceeding Frontline’s own 4:30-hour limit, that I’ll be able to enumerate them all. It’s daunting...

This is probably a good place to mention one of the (other) fundamental shortcomings of this documentary. It takes place in a fishbowl. A Washington D.C. fishbowl, in which history largely doesn’t exist. The Sept. 11 attacks are presented only as a horrific event that prompted Cheney and Rumsfeld to start rabidly pushing for the invasion of Iraq. The history of Saddam Hussein, and the many reasons why his removal made sense and still makes sense get lip service at best. The fact that the UN sanctions regime was on the verge of collapse, the danger that posed, and what was subsequently learned about Saddam’s plans to resume his weapons programs in that event get no airing. The questions that remain about what Saddam might have done with the dormant elements of his WMD programs and whether they were shipped to Syria, not mentioned. The positive geopolitical ramifications of the removal of Saddam Hussein … Libya’s capitulation and last summer’s revelation that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program after the invasion of Iraq, if only briefly … not part of the scope of this project. Presumably the recently released Pentagon study that found extensive contacts between Saddam Hussein’s intelligence agents and al Qaeda came out after this Frontline series was put to bed. But there is no reason to think Frontline, like most of the American media, wouldn’t just have reported the “no direct operational links” part.

I watched some of it last night, but the never-ending stream of NYT reporters interviewed wore thin after just 20 minutes. I decided Alton Brown's Good Eats on the Food Network was more worth my time.

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Cactus Cuties

(Via: GBW)

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tom Stoppard: Astute man

Playwright Tom Stoppard pens an interesting (and beautifully written, of course) editorial in the London Times on his estrangement from the 60's counterculture:

By the mid1960s young people started off with more liberty than they knew what to do with, but confused it with sexual liberation and the freedom to get high so it all went to waste – wasted, that is, in a cultural revolution rather than social revolution.

On a related note, good art resists translation into another medium, or so my old film professor said. Ace hints at this here:

By the way, I have to be honest: [Stoppard's film] Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is good, cheeky fun, but it's a bit too cutesy and Pinteresque in its meta-ness, and, I have to say, a bit overrated. It's one part pure whimsy (Lewis Carroll does Hamlet) and one part intellectual airiness with a dollop of existentialism mixed in as a thickening agent. Good, but not great. Funny, but smile-funny and not laugh-funny. I like it, but I can't bullshit you and say it's the greatest movie ever made just because the author/director is on our side.

While I like the movie, R&G works much better on the stage, where the willing suspension of disbelief is easier. Much of that expectation of disbelief is written into the text, I think. Take Michael Crichton, whose novels always read like screenplays waiting for the camera to roll. Contrast Sunset Boulevard, which works better as a film than as musical farce. Finally, consider Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Fantastic work of radio fiction, works well in print, too. But I was ready to kill everyone involved with that disastrous movie!

It's not the only standard by which good art is judged,but "resists translation" is a good starting criterion.

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"Dead and Breakfast"

This DVD has been gathering dust on my shelf for over a year and I finally watched it with some friends last night.

Verdict? Every bit as good as the "Evil Dead" franchise... maybe even better. Bold words, I know. Check it out for yourselves.

UPDATE: Welcome fellow moronospherians!

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And knowing is half the battle

As far as I'm concerned, Mark Steyn's article today is the definitive word on Obama's pastor problem:

[L]ast week, Barack Obama told America: "I can no more disown [Wright] than I can disown the black community."

What is the plain meaning of that sentence? That the paranoid racist ravings of Jeremiah Wright are now part of the established cultural discourse in African-American life and thus must command our respect?


So much for the post-racial candidate.

I'm amending my comment over at Lee's ("The more I watch Obama, the less I know about him") to read the more I learn about Obama, the more annoyed I get. Or, as AllahPundit put it, "Partisanship aside, as much as I loathe his politics, I always liked Obama the man and believed that his devotion to racial reconciliation was sincere. I don’t anymore."

Count me among those fooled, too.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

DC v Heller today

DC vs. Heller will be heard before the Supreme Court today. Reason Magazine's Brian Doherty:

Meanwhile, on the east coast, failing to report the gun you didn't realize was lost or stolen will soon earn you jail time.

In a sneaky amendment to a crime bill, Pennsylvania gun control forces are pushing hard for legislation that would criminalize the failure to report guns that are either lost or stolen...

Ever heard the expression "Count the silverware"? If you're wealthy enough to have valuable silverware, it probably is a good idea to count it occasionally. Because guests can be dishonest. So can contractors, house painters, gardeners, cleaning people, etc. It would be unimaginable for anyone to propose making it a crime to fail to report stolen silverware, though...

Why single out guns unless the intent is to stigmatize them? I think that a law criminalizing non-reporting requires more than merely reporting a loss or a theft; by its nature it imposes an affirmative duty to monitor and count your guns on a regular basis or be a criminal (in much the same way that a law criminalizing the non-reporting of silverware would require counting the silver). But because it does not spell that out, I think it's unconstitutionally void for vagueness...

Emphases mine. And I agree totally.

UPDATE: Clayton Cramer has pics of blockbuster lines waiting to get into the Courtroom audience.

(Via: Glenn)

Also, Paul Cassell at The Volokh Conspiracy highlights some useful "original sources" for understanding the 2nd Amendment:

With Heller about to be argued, a lot of folks are debating what the Second Amendment means. But what does the historical record really show?

MORE: Randy Barnett weighs in at Opinion Journal:

However it is decided, Heller is already historic. For the first time in recent memory, the Supreme Court will consider the original meaning of a significant passage of the Constitution unencumbered by its own prior decisions. The majority and dissenting opinions in this case will be taught in law schools for years to come. Here's a layman's guide to the significance of the case...

(Also via Glenn)

UPDATE: CSPAN is playing the courtroom audio live.

(Via: Ace)

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Monday, March 17, 2008

"Currently prohibited by cost and logistics"

Yeah, but everyone knows that Bush is the real danger.

(Via: Gabe)

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Must hug beer

Welcome to my new hobby.

The first batch (a red ale) is bottled and should be ready in the next week or so.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

More from the anti-recruitment house of horrors

Once shocking, now predictable.

(Via: Ace)

UPDATE: For the record, I consider this judge's actions even more insidious than the bombing of the recruitment center in Times Square this past week. That bombing is an aberration from the American norm, while Mackel and her fellow travelers will go on quietly subverting recruitment efforts for years to come. Ultimately, they will do far more damage.

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