Books of 2010: Recap

53 books.  Though maybe someone should check my counting.  Some of them were thicker than others, but I figure that "Atlas Shrugged" averages out with "Old Man and the Sea," and we get an average of 53 real sized books.  That's a lot of books!

Sorry, I just watched Kung Pow! again. That's one of my favorite scenes.

2011, here I come!

New Converts

Some family friends liked my stout so much that they wanted to start making beer themselves. So today we're going to start another batch. Beer making is like shooting--show someone how to do it and they can't help but enjoy themselves!
"Give a man a beer and he will waste an hour. Teach a man to brew and he will waste a lifetime."

The one thing I had to splurge on right now

The only thing that the new truck was lacking was a functional way to play music--and music is the only way I can a drive of any significant length (and you may have noticed that I like music a lot).  So Yesterday I bought a new stereo off of It turns out that a new stereo requires about $45 worth of extra stuff on top of the price of the thing itself, and Crutchfield includes all of that stuff free if your stereo is over $130.  Assuming it all comes in in one piece, we'll see how easy it is to install...

The one thing that I don't like about these things is that they all look the same.  A big knob and some buttons along the bottom, with bright LED lights.  I miss the stock stereo from my jeep already, what with its manual equalizer and big buttons.  What ever happened to manual controls?  Every thing is so digital these days...

And I just reminded myself of a song:

Every band should have a saxophone player in it...


Books of 2010: Sherlock Holmes: The Montana Chronicles

I had been seeing "Sherlock Holmes: The Montana Chronicles," by "Dr. John H Watson, M.D.," "edited by" John Fitzpatrick, around the shops of Montana since the summer, and in early December I bought it just to see what it was like.  The premise is that Sherlock Holmes and Watson came to MT to help out Marcus Daly
(one of the Copper Kings of Butte's mining haydays) and stay for a short time to solve a few other mysteries.  Dr. Watson left the manuscript at the Anaconda library, where it was lost in a safe until recently, when John Fitzpatrick edits and publishes it.

It was written in the same style as all of the other Sherlock Holmes stories, and is highly entertaining and readable, especially if you have been in the areas described in the stories.  Also in the book are occasional pictures from the early 1900's showing the places as they would have been when Dr. Watson was "writing" the stories. I give it 10 pipes out of 10.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes started out my Books of 2010, and this modern incarnation appears to be the one to close it.  I should go back and count how many books I really read, as that was the whole point of this exercise when I started it, but right now I am lazy.  Maybe later.  What will I read in 2011?  Will I finally get back to Vlad Taltos, as I have been meaning to do for two years now?  Will I find new entirely series (series's? series'?  What's the plural of that word, anyway?) to distract me?  Stay tuned to find out!

It's finally below freezing and snowing!

It is winter.

We hitched the horse up to the sleigh,
Like Grandfather used to do.
Over hills and through the dells
We'd glide for an hour or two.
And soon my ears are brittle
And my mouth is frozen shut.
My eyes are locked wide open
And all I see is the horse's butt.

-Red Green


I get the Ruger newsletter, because I can, and got this yesterday:

Just at the time that I really shouldn't...



My uncle thoughtfully put a bumper sticker on the bumper before I went over to get the truck:

For those of you who may not know, an arroyo is a wash, or a gully, usually in the adobe hills, that only gets periodic water running through it.  In the more redneck areas, it's where you put all the stuff that you don't want anymore--like old washing machines and broken glass.  And wrecked jeeps.

Hah hah.

Wait, you said there was a plan?

After the vehicle escapades, which caused undue stress on my mother, the oven went out on Monday, in the midst of cooking a chicken, in the same manner it did just a year ago, causing even more undue stress. With my mother, me, my brother, another college friend who is staying with us for the holidays, and my brother's girlfriend visiting, we needed a new oven now.

So yesterday I spent looking at ovens with my mother. After another stressful day running all over creation, we finally found "the one" at the local Buy More equivalent. Which of course made us feel terrible, for after talking to the super nice salesmen at the other stores who were trying to move the earth for us, we found "the one" in stock at the store whose salespeople are... bored highschoolers. But it was "the one," and product trumps...

Then, after getting home, my mother decided to make smoothies. The blender exploded, complete with little pieces of plastic falling out of the thing. You can't win, huh?

So today we are going to go up into the mountains for a day of rest and relaxation, to one of my favorite places on earth. We'll pick up my truck from my uncle on the way, and hopefully avoid any more incidents.


So... much... random...

It's terrible and hilarious. Or hilariously terrible. It's Llamas with Hats 4!

The plan continues...

As I alluded to yesterday, I got that truck from my uncle.  In exchange for a ridiculously underbook amount of money and "a percentage of your first job's paycheck," this appears to be my next ride.

It's an early 2000's Ford F-150.  Sad to say, but all my years of dissing on Fords appears to have come back to bite me.  (By the way, did you know that Jesus was a Ford man?  Yeah, he walked everywhere he went. Ba-dum-chhhh!)  But it's a super nice ride that is actually comfortable for me and my long legs--even the jeep was almost too small. And don't get me started on Japanese cars...

It's a running joke that everyone in my family is doomed to a white car, and it appears that I am to be no exception.  Any recommendations for cool bumper stickers so I can find it in the parking lot?



$614.47 is what it cost me to get the plates put on to the new(er) truck.  $614.47.  That's enough to buy a K-car.

Life tip, kiddies--don't roll your jeep.  It's cheaper to just keep driving it.  I think I am making that rule number 7, or so.

Why I am amazed by Russia

Vlad Putin is not only the most frightening leader in the world, but he can also sing. Obama would be much too worried about his image to do this.


Death Panels?

If it isn't a death panel for grandma, why does the democrat leader say "While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops..."

If you don't have anything to be ashamed about, why keep it quiet? Short answer: they are death panels, and the government will have the power to decide if you get cared for or not. Doesn't matter how much doublespeak you use to cover it up.

Not that I'm surprised. Anytime the feds control the funding, they call the shots.

From KurtP.

True Grit

The other night me and some friends decided to go bowling.  When we got there, the bowling alley was closed.  Typical.  Luckily, the bowling alley was right next to the new movie theater, and luckier still, one of the girls used to work there and knew the manager well, so we got some free tickets.  Awesome!

Anyway, we went in and watched the new True Grit.  I found it to be a fairly entertaining western.  All of the characters are exaggerations--from the headstrong Mattie to the gruff and drunk Cogburn.  There is no thinly veiled social commentary (even though Matt Damon is in it) which was a pleasant surprise.  It is just a straight ahead western adventure, from all accounts a very faithful adaptation of the original story.  Get that?  Not a remake of the John Wayne movie.

The local newspaper reviewed it at 3/4, and I would say that I agree with them.



Here are some random pictures of Christmas lights from around town that I've seen--

And a llittle video of someone who had one of those choreographed light displays:

I'm going down to my grandparents' house, and will maybe be looking at a truck my uncle the mechanic has a line on.  It was "only abused for a second," as he says.  I was hoping for maybe a new gun of some sort for graduation/Christmas, but it seems that other things will be taking up my limited resources for the foreseeable future...

But I digress.  I'll say again--


John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.
Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men.
That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.



Yes!  I just splurged on a couple .50 caliber ammo cans to replace my duct tape reinforced, water disintegrated, and now glass filled cardboard box that previously had all of my ammo in it.  One whole can got .22 (about 4200 rounds!), and the other assorted stuff went into another.

It's so novel to have ammunition actually in containers designed for it, and it will sure be easier to carry around as there are now handles.

I know it's a small collection, compared to some, but it is what I have.

A Christmas Eve Song

Makes me tear up... I guess I'm just a big softie.


He met her up in Delaware in 1937
She was wearing red lipstick to match her pretty dress
December 24th at a quarter till eleven is when he finally gained the courage to ask her to dance

It was the night before Christmas, it was love at first sight
The carolers sang as they danced through the night
She was a small town girl, he was a traveling guy
He never caught her name before they said their goodbyes

A couple years later he was out on the road
Having Christmas dinner in a diner alone
When he saw a young waitress with a gleam in her eye
Her favorite day of the year she showed her spirits were high
She said sir can you shed a little holiday cheer
A simple Christmas story was all she wanted to hear
He looked prepared with a smile as he started to say here's my favorite Christmas story about a girl with no name

He said I met her up in Delaware in 1937
She was wearing red lipstick to match her pretty dress
December 24th at a quarter till eleven is when I finally gained the courage to ask her to dance

Every holiday season as he traveled he'd tell about his Christmas dance partner that he never knew well
He'd share his favorite story with the locals he met
He was called the Christmas story tellin traveling man

By age 53 he had done settled down
All the neighborhood kids liked to gather around
Just to listen to his stories about his life on the road
All he had now were these children he told
And every Christmas eve they showed up before dark
He'd tell them all the story but they knew it by heart
They could quote it word for word, he always told it the same
It was his favorite Christmas story called the girl with no name

He said I met her up in Delaware in 1937
She was wearing red lipstick to match her pretty dress
December 24th at a quarter till eleven is when I finally gained the courage to ask her to dance

Twenty years later as he took his last breaths
On a cold Christmas morning in a hospital bed
The children had grown, he had nobody left
Except the little old nurse who was holding his hand
He said Ma'am can you share a little holiday cheer
A simple Christmas story was all he wanted to hear
But his eyes filled with tears at the words that she spoke
Because his favorite Christmas story was the one that she told

She said I met him up in Delaware in 1937
Though I never caught his name he was a traveling man
December 24th at a quarter till eleven
I'm so glad he got the courage to ask me to dance


Wrapping Christmas Presents

How the heck do you wrap one of these things:

I think I'm just going to swath it in wrapping paper. Unfortunately it didn't come in a box.

Bacon Blogging IV

I brought home a bunch of that bacon--it went through the crash with me and is still delicious.  But it is so big that to cook enough for 4 people is very difficult using conventional skillet or microwave techniques.  So we broke out the oven racks!  Turned out crispy and delicious. 

Other home-made bacon that I spotted around the blogosphere today was at Defends Her Own--you should check that out too.


Don't... look... down...

This is in Spain, apparently. No idea why these guys want to fall so far, but diff'rnt strokes fer diff'rnt folks, I guess.

Love it when a plan comes together

Of course, would be nice if it wasn't plan B...

Anyway, I got home, the rental car got turned in with no damage and a full tank of gas, all of my stuff is in the process of being unpacked, and I remain unhurt.

What do you think--will it buff out?

Doesn't look too bad from this angle... 

Stay tuned...


Nothing ever goes according to plan...

Can't believe it--after 4 1/2 years of driving that stupid stretch of interstate, the very last time I have to do it I go and wreck my car. Went off the road just north of Idaho falls, and did a sideways 270.  No damage to me, but the jeep is totaled.  Amazingly enough, not a thing that was packed was damaged.  Not even my box of empty beer bottles.  So I'm a sucky driver but an master car packer...

I stopped for the day at a friend's who lives in Pocatello, to get the adrenaline to bleed out before braving the wild weather any more, and to pick some of the glass out of my ears, hair, clothes, and other random things.  Again, I will say that "safety glass" is a misnomer. Oh, and about that last link--the only thing I could think while waiting for the tow truck was "Dammit, I just replaced that window..."

Stay tuned...

Modern Day Nativity

Kinda clever. But probably be prepared to run into it all over the interwebz.

And I'm off to all parts south.  Wish me luck.


If all goes according to plan

Tomorrow I should be hitting the road early to brave the winter storms and make my way home for a couple weeks.  The weather is looking pretty abysmal the entire way.  700 miles of snow.  So if you want me to keep writing stuff on my blog you'd better wish me Godspeed...  stay tuned...

Everything we can see

In the words of the famous Keanu Reeves: "WHOA."



Ten points if you can tell me what that is a reference to!

Anyway, I got that nielsen survey yesterday, and I even filled it out. But only because they bribed me with two $1 bills in the envelope, so I felt obligated. Clever, that. Unfortunately, the only things they seem to care about are if I watch TV (I don't) and whether or not I'm Mexican (I'm not). I'm still afraid that they picked the wrong household.


Moving up in the world?

I just turned down my first offer for a sponsorship deal on my blog.  But I have a sneaking suspicion that it was some sort of scammer.  I really doubt that anyone really would want to advertise with me anyway, what with the small amount of traffic I get.

Anyway, I'm not saying that at some point I won't abandon my high moral ground for my dirty capitalist leanings, but for now I am still pure as the driven snow.

Wasting time and [not?] ashamed

Took the ol' jeep down to the tire place to get it checked out for my upcoming southward migration--and I'm glad I did.  I had thought that maybe one of my front tires had a slow leak, and it turns out one of the front tires had a nail in it, which is, as we say in the biz, "Bad."  While at the shop I had time to kill, so I tried out the Google Reader App and checked up on all my blogs.  It's very weird to be able to do something like that while sitting in a room that smells like tires.  I'm not sure if I want to say "ain't technology grand?" or "oh man, I am wasting so much time...."  But then, of course, I am here writing about it...

Then I went to the video store to waste some time, and on the way back stopped by the new grocery store that just opened up in one of the old buildings uptown.  They are slightly on the "overpriced yuppie food" side of things, but man, do they have a good cheese selection.  Like this kind.

And now I'll leave you with a completely random music video from the '80's:

Storybook Love

Princess Bride is my all time favorite movie, and has one of the best movie love songs out there:

Unfortunately, the real movie version with Mark Knopfler on guitar isn't out on Youtube, except with this version, and I can't bring myself to post a video with that many cheesy/naked/anime/vampire/combination pictures on my blog. Sorry.

...and while we're on the subject, here's a song by a band called "Cliffs of Insanity"


More blogroll junk

Another question:  Would you prefer there to be all of that information detailing the recent posts of the blogs on the sidebar, or would you prefer a lean, mean list with the name of the blog only?

Oh, and while I was at it, I added a couple more to my list:  Roberta X at the aptly named "The Adventures of Roberta X," and Sean

(I keep trying to say in my head "An North Carolina Gun Blog," which bugs the heck out of me, but when I say it like it's spelled everything comes out ok.)

Bonobo: Black Sands

I was given an Amazon gift card for graduation, and bought this album. It's pretty classy music--a mix between classical, jazz, and a little bit of techno. Very contemplative.



They almost fired up the J79 today.  Slight technical difficulties and the cold and dark caused us to abandon our endeavors for the day.  The guy in charge of the engine said "Yeah, I'll call up my buddies at Edwards tomorrow to get some ideas on how to get this thing going."

...did I ever mention how cool my little job and the people I work for are?

What is the most awesome movie scene ever?

I would like to put forth the proposal for this scene as the Most Awesome, from Jackie Chan's "Rumble in the Bronx"


Any other suggestions?

Quick Question about Blogrolls

I've decided to try out Google Reader, and to try organizing things up a little bit over on the sidebar.  To all three of my readers out there--how do you prefer your blogrolls?  Sorted alphabeticaly,  sorted by most recently updated?  Unsorted?  Baked so they are well done on the outside and chewy in the middle? 

Cool News

They found King Henry IV's embalmed head.  Oh, and his brain.

Bacon Blogging III

Two pieces of 1/4" thick home-grown bacon, three eggs with a few tablespoons of heavy whipping cream mixed in, two pieces of toast with butter, one with home-made apple butter and one with marmalade.


Boy, did they pick the wrong houshold

I got this in the mail:

"Blah blah, blah, survey on TV watchage, yadda, yadda, yadda..."

If only they knew what my TV looked like:

Hey, but don't let those rabbit-ears fool you--that old RCA is a lean, mean, multi-media MACHINE! I mean, just look at the wood panelling! Stand in awe of a remote-control that USED TO BE ABLE TO CHANGE THE CHANNELS, and TURN THE VOLUME UP AND DOWN! And check out that sweet late-nineties DVD player! Nothing but the best, I always say!


So, "nielsen," if that is your real name, why don't I just tell you the answers to your "special opportunity" right now--I don't like surveys.  I don't watch TV.  In fact, I think that TV is the mainstream media's way of brainwashing the masses with their hand-picked information and entertainment.  "The better to subjugate, you," and all that.  You lost me when FOX canceled Firefly.  If I decide to return your little white-and-blue envelope, don't expect any of the answers to be true.  Or even grounded in your plane of reality. 

And stop bugging me.

Picture Poetry

I was sick of sitting at my computer on Saturday, and had to get out of my apartment. Up into the hills I went, with intentions of trying out my new gaiters, and I brought some 9mm in case I was attacked by killer targets. But while I was up there, I decided to make a little fire.

I'm sure that there's some sort of metaphor of life in there.  Call it picture poetry.  I'm sure there are others who can say things better, more eloquently, even with words rather than pictures, but hiking up into the hills and making a fire really helped me feel better that day.

Oh, and the targets (in this case, sticks stuck into the snow) were pushed back and the gaiters were the best $25 I've spent in a long while.


A Comparison

Compare this, which I picked up back in 2008:

Click it to read the words on the left

To this.

They're either lying or idiots, and in either case you shouldn't trust them. 

Adventures in Rocket Interning!

Nope.  Not today.  I didn't have to go in, because they are doing some testing and the building I work in is closed.  As in "In the blast radius."  I guess I can live with that.


...and I feel fine. Seriously, my finals are a total joke. For that matter, my classes this semester are a total joke. Why couldn't they have just given me my diploma last semester? I haven't learned anything new these past 5 months! Oh, that's right--they wanted my money. I always forget that the school administration doesn't actually care if I have an education or not.

Added: ...and I just finished my last true final of my undergraduate career.  One more presentation to go, on Wednesday, and another little ceremony on Saturday. 

Crazy Christmas Music


Sunday Music: Skillet

It's like hard rock worship music.


Saturday night PSA

Hello, I'm here to let you know that Rum Malts are the way to go. Try one, won't you?

bluesun, the Rocket Intern

Yesterday, on my fourth day as a rocket scientist, I painted the rocket chambers, which I previously brushed. Two coats. It wasn't as messy as the brushing, but the paint won't come off my hands... so now I look like a leper. All in the name of science!

Aircraft carriers and signs of the end of the world

As illustrated by Bremner, Bird and Fortune.

By the way, were you aware that there have actually been plans put forth for britan and France to share aircraft carriers? And I quote:

"I have to say that combining naval forces with the French is perhaps not the most immediately logical conclusion, but..."


But I have to say that I'm all for it! It just sounds... entertaining.


Now, THAT'S an interesting search referral

The wonders of the internet never cease to amaze me. Or maybe frighten me.

From my sitemeter:

I do NOT want to know.

I don't know how I missed this

Geeky, geeky, geeky.


It's science!

Today, on my third day as a rocket scientist (can you tell I'm still getting a kick out of that), I spent four hours with a power grinder, denatured alcohol, and some rags. The test chambers got all rusty and needed to be cleaned before being painted.


Bacon Blogging II

Bacon and some friends...

Not quite the flying car of the future I was hoping for...

...but it's a start.

It's no hover car, but still pretty cool. I want one.


Back from the rockets

Well, due to the non-disclosure agreement I signed, I can't tell you too much of what I am doing out with the rocket place--but I will say that all these guys from California are really entertaining to watch dealing with the Montana cold.

bluesun's Bugeye Stout

I have a friend who was trying to replicate the stout I made two summers ago.  Since I was typing it up anyway, I decided, "hey, why not share it with the whole interwebs!"  So, without further ado, I present to the world my stout recipe:

Dark Caramel

2 ½ cups “Fair Trade Raw Cane Sugar”
~2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
½ cup water
Cook on low until almost burnt.

Bugeye Stout

Dark Caramel, from above
5.5 lb Light Liquid Malt Extract
0.5 lb 90L Crystal Malt
0.5 lb Roasted Barley
1.0 lb Dehusked Black Malt
1 oz. Fuggle hops (4.8% AA)
1 oz. East Kent Goldings (4.5%)

Minutes Left
Last Minutes
1/3 oz
1/3 oz
1/3 oz

East Kent Goldings

1/3 oz
1/3 oz
1/3 oz

Yeast:  White Labs british Ale Yeast WLP005

Primary Fermented ~4 weeks, bottled with very little sugar for light carbonation


An Experiment

Well, Uncle said that he thought gunboggers were in an echo chamber, so JP said "Uncle says that a lot of gunbloggers just link to other blogs," so I'm linking to JP to see if someone else will link to me. Eventually, I hope to see Uncle link back to himself, like a Giant Hadron Collider. Maybe we'll discover a new type of sub atomic particle!

...or maybe it will fizzle out here.

Yet another reason Concealed Weapons Permits are dumb

In addition to being unconstitutional, expensive, and a hassle, here is another reason concealed weapons permits piss me off.

'Long-term' Employee Responsible for Mesa County Data Breach
Law Enforcement Files, Personal Information Released On The Internet

Assuming that the county sheriff is competent and secure is no replacement for a county sheriff who is competent and secure.

And in case you are wondering, yes, that is my home county, yes, I do have a concealed handgun permit, and yes, I am calling the credit bureaus to report possible fraud.


This is very odd music, and I like it a lot, but this time it's not my fault!  This time it's Butch Cassidy's fault!  Honest!

And this is some sort of weird mashup using that music and some sort of hip-hop. Very odd. Don't watch it if you don't like surrealism. There, you can't say I didn't warn you.


A small job

Remember a couple weeks ago I talked about the J79 engine and some hybrid rockets?  Well, the opportunity came up for me to work out there with those people for the next couple weeks, setting up stuff for the really big hybrid they are working on.  Since my class schedule is pretty light (read: this semester is a joke), I am not worried about missing anything, though next week is finals.  It should be pretty interesting, even though I will only be a lowly intern, making peanuts.  But it will give me another title you can use--"ROCKET SCIENTIST."

Yay, go me!

I just realized that Saturday was my one-year blogiversary.

This post is my post number 661.

That's 1.81 posts of wasted time a day.


I am now well on my way to fame and glory.  Or something.

As I said on a cold December day, just over a year ago:  "Blogs. Never before have so many said so little to so few."

As that great pontificator of the interwebz, Strongbad, says, "Let's get this train-wreck a-rolling!"


Bacon Blogging

Incidentally, this is the first picture on my blog that was taken from my new Droid.  Fun, fun, fun...


Weather: -5, patchy fog.
Plane: on schedule.
Mother: leavin' on a jetplane.

Love ya, momma. We'll see you in another couple weeks.


What's a Partridge?

One of my favorite versions of the 12 days of Christmas--it varies it enough that it doesn't get so old.


In Memory of Thanksgivings Past

I give you a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a pig.

...and bacon strips, and bacon strips, and bacon strips, and bacon strips...

Quote of the Day

That’s why expectations from the new Congress must be realistic: the cavalry is riding to the rescue but the settlers may already be dead.

Luke Popovich
National Mining Association Vice President, External Communications 

I was a member of the Geology Club for a while, and got on the NMA's mailing list.  I find it an interesting monthly publication, and while this quote is aimed specifically at the coal mining industry, it nicely sums up why I'm not sold on the future being bright and rosy.


One Man Band

I warned you about random things, and yet you still came back. Amazing.

Delayed, yet marveling

It's snowing, of course, the day my mother is supposed to fly in.  Which delayed the flight till 9:00 pm, aka, "maybe tomorrow."  So she flipped flights to come into Bozeman, where a friend of mine is going to pick her up and bring her here, hopefully in time for the department dinner tonight.  All of this wouldn't have been possible without my email and phone, for without it I wouldn't have know my friend was in Bozotown, and I wouldn't have been able to get ahold of him, and coordinate with everything else.  Ain't technology grand?

Busy busy busy

As I may have mentioned, my mother is flying up today to be here for several small ceremonies my school does for December graduates.  I'm hoping she doesn't have too much of a hassle with the TSA on the way up, but since she's flying out of Hither Regional Podunkton Airport and landing in Yon Regional Podunkton Airport, I doubt there will be too much trouble.  Small airports seem to have nicer security people, in my decidedly non-extensive experience.  Anyway, I'm not sure how much I'm going to be out and about with her over the weekend, so until later I might only have some random little things come up.  In other words, no change from usual.


Cold Fingers

I went shooting on Monday, in celebration of the end of hunting season (I can go up into the hills and turn my money into noise without ticking off hunters). In the amount of time I was out (about 45 minutes), the temperature dropped from 17 to 9 degrees F. And the wind was blowing. I only stopped because I could no longer load magazines, my fingers were so numb. I was so happy, though--I finally got to try out the new magazine I got for the XD (worked fine) and the subsonic .22 LR (it's true, the clack of the 10/22 bolt  is louder than the rest of it).

And then the sun went down and I got cold cold.  And then I went to help butcher a deer.

Ima Droid'n (soon, at least)

Apparently, my mother had a hankerin' for a Droid Incredible, and there was a "buy one get one free" at the Verizon store (between the Incredible, the X, and the II) so I will soon be the proud new owner of a Droid X.  My mom is coming up for graduation on Thursday, and will be bringing it with her.  More to follow...

Added:  My mom sent me a picture of it this afternoon:

Excitement building...



Blog Roll

Quick question--is the correct term Blog Roll, or is it Blogroll?

In any case, I added The Adaptive Curmudgeon to mine.

And I see that mupedalpusher at Defends Her Own added me to her blog roll--and she doesn't look too crazy, so I'm adding her too.


...and when you least expect it, JEFF GOLDBLOOM.

Books of 2010: Double Play

Haven't done this for a while, so I have two books to add to the list. Continuing my John Ringo kick, I read "Yellow Eyes," which I think has the worst, least applicable cover art out of any book in the Posleen War. Seriously, read the book and tell me what is going on on the cover. It detailed the happenings in Panama during John Ringo's alien invasion, with a large focus on naval warfare, particularly the USS Des Moines and USS Salem. I found it to be pretty entertaining, or at least much better than "Eye of the Storm."

The second book that I read was Sun Tzu's "Art of War." I got about halfway through it in High School before I gave up on it, so I decided to give it another go. I thought it was pretty interesting, and the addition I read was annotated with many little stories from Chinese history which illustrated Sun Tzu's sayings.

So. I give "Yellow Eyes" I give 8/10, and "Art of War" I also give 8/10.

U-G-H spells "UGH"

I know this is going to sound weird to you east-coasters out there, where it is already 6:00 as I type this, but man it's early. I think that bacon sandwich last night was just too much for me, as I've woken at 4 o'clock and can't get back to sleep. Oh well. Gives me 4 hours to do... stuff... before going to class. Wheeeeee.


Not sure I should say this

I was looking for something unique for my brother for Christmas, and Breda had that link to a store on Etsy, Ties that don't suck, and then I may have done a slight brain skip, and wound up looking at Cravats, and thought my brother would like those (as he has some strange Steampunk tendencies), and then I may have wound up buying two... you know, one for him and one for me. Why? I don't know. Maybe someday I'll travel to Virginia and get in on some of that reenactment action, or maybe some Cowboy action shooting. Or maybe just so I can look stylish when the coming collapse of civilization finally happens. In any case, it will go well with my wool vest.


Not only did I have enough home-grown bacon to make a cup of bacon grease, but I just found out that I don't have lab this week, and indeed, I am completely done with labs in my undergraduate career. 


Yesterday, I was given about 30 pounds of meat, probably two-thirds of it home-grown bacon, and most of the rest in deer sausage. What am I going to do with 20 pounds of bacon? Seriously, I'm taking suggestions. I'm contemplating bacon and eggs for breakfast and BLT's for lunch for the next year, but that might get a little old.

That's after I stuffed most of it into the freezer.

It's about 1/4" thick!

On a related note, I love my ranch friends.  And their attempts at dieting.


Sunday Music: Day By Day

Sometimes I just gotta go back to that earnest 90's Christian music. Nothing else is quite like it...


Last Christmas...

Yesterday I helped my ranch friends find, cut down, put up, and decorate their Christmas Tree, and watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Charlie Brown Christmas. I know I'm going to be sick of Christmas stuff here in another week or two, but right now it's still novel and exciting.

What better way to sicken the feeling but by using a cheesy 80's song!

Sorry, that may have been uncalled for.

Not only is this a fine example of Mainstream Journalism

But, since it's NPR, it's also an excellent use of your tax dollars!

"That Fat Lip Might Give Obama Street Cred"

I have some issues with this.
1)  You say having stitches on the prez's lip got in a basket ball game will make North Korea respect Obama?
2)  Not only that but you call it a "valiant" injury compared to Bush choking on a pretzel and Clinton tearing a tendon while golfing?  No.  From the 1828 Dictionary we can see
VALIANT (a): Performed with valor; bravely conducted; heroic; as a valiant action or achievement; a valiant combat.
Let me repeat myself:  No.  It's basketball.

And lastly,
3) You call me racist for disagreeing with most of Obama's policies, and then you go and write this? Give. Me. A. Break.

I think one of the comments sums it up nicely:
"'Street cred' - with who? Not this country. Doing your job would be street cred. What next, is Obama going to do a prison stretch to help him sell albums or the next 'bill'?"


Are you prepared to be confused?

I think it's a commercial. But not a very good one.  Between the annoying music, Dr. Horrible lookalike, and product that appears to be only marginally functional in it's advertised use, it's hard to see why I should buy it.

Yes, I went there

It's the day after Thanksgiving, so It's time for Christmas Music!

Straight No Chaser is awesome...


Triptophan Trip

Why? Because it's there!

Thanksgiving Hymn

Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God's own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God's own field,
fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown
are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear,
then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we
wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come,
and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day
all offenses purge away,
giving angels charge at last
in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store
in the garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come,
bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in,
free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified,
in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels, come,
raise the glorious harvest home.

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving, surrounded by food, friends, and family.


Cold-Weather Advice

If the weather outside is frightful...

...make hot buttered rum!

I'm Thankful For...

I'm thankful for Thanksgiving break. Seriously. I just now swapped my pajamas pants for some fleece pants and put on a wool sweater. On a day like this...

...a body shouldn't have to go outside.

You need more theremin in your life

I can tell from here.



I finally got around to doing my school loan "exit counseling" today.  I was struck by the irony of the section called "Money Management Tips," which gave tips for keeping a balanced budget so I could pay the back.


Imagine that.  The federal government giving me tips on balancing a budget.

Okay, what's the deal?

The day started out at 1 degree and snowing. Then the snow stopped, the sun came up (though not out), and the temperature started dropping. Now it's down to -2 or so and looking to only go down. I was under the impression that the temperature was supposed to go up during the day?

On a slightly related note, don't you just love those guys with the snowblower who are so happy to have a piece of powered equipment that they go out and do the whole block, even though there is only an inch of snow?

STOL Competition

One of my goals in life is to get a Piper Cub. Someday when I'm rich and famous.

Gratuitous Gun Porn

A friend has recently come into possession of an old K-frame (I think) S+W in .38 special. I know pretty much zilch about revolvers (so don't ask me the model, age, or anything else...), but the gun was so pretty I had to share.  It's too bad I only had my cell phone with it's crappy camera on me at the time.  I do know that the gun rode in the door of a pickup truck for many years, but that's about it.


For all you zombie fans out there

A bunch of normal looking guys impersonating a creepy-weird pop star who had zombie makeup on. So I guess I don't know if this is really for a zombie fan, but I still think you'll like it.

KA-BAR Update

Over the weekend I was contacted by KA-BAR after emailing them and sending them this picture, and was pleasantly informed that they would replace it at no cost to me.  Customer service!  I am still thinking about alternative clips that might be used, or possibly just getting a whole nother sheath, but it sure is nice to know that I will have something for it, at least.  Currently the knife is hanging on some p-cord around my neck under my shirt, which is inconvenient if I want to get at it. 

Anyway, I thought I would let you all know how it goes...


Sunday Music

Despite Jon Foreman's recent, slow decent into Bonoism (the tendency of a pop artist to think that his opinion is the only one that matters), I still love me some Switchfoot.


I thought I might share what -8 degrees fahrenheit looks like for those of you in warmer climes.

And this is at 8:00 in the morning. On Tuesday the high is supposed to be -3.  Hey, but my jeep started right up!


out of contact

I'm trapped in a snowdrift today, and don't know when I'll get out. Amazingly, there is also wireless access and homemade cinamon rolls in this snowdrift. More later... by the way, do you know how hard it is to blog from a Kindle?

Pleasant music to wake up to

Just a continuation of the music from last night. Enjoy what I think is possibly the best song written by man:


Pleasant music to go to bed to

I'm a big fan of a cappella music. I blame it on Homeworld, which had Barber's "Agnus Dei" (best song ever, by the way). I also blame Homeworld for my rather large Yes collection.

Broken TDI Belt Clip: this is what we would call a "setback"

Trying out the TDI today with the clip facing outward, I may have accidentally... broke it into two pieces.

The clip seems to have been built with a much thinner belt in mind than my double-leather-layer Beltman belt, which causes the end of the clip to point out far enough that it can catch on stuff.  And break.  I don't think this is covered under the warranty, but I emailed KA-BAR just to see.  For now I might try hanging it on some P-cord.  I was also looking around for other sheath options, and there are a few out there.  Something else would be finding some other type of hook and attaching it--does anyone know of a place to find belt hook hardware?  I looked around Google but nothing much popped out at me.  Something kinda like this.  It seems like it would be easy to just use the existing holes and hardware that came with the TDI to attach something like that.

Anyway, that's the news from Lake Wobegon.

November 19, 1863

Gettysburg Address from Adam Gault on Vimeo.

Think what you will of Lincoln, he sure knew how to speachify.

From New Jovian Thunderbolt.

I need someone else's opinion on this

Because I sure can't decide what to think.  It looks so awesome, but the potential for failure is very large, too...

Seen first at The Smallest Minority, and Kevin is obviously in the awesome category...

Books of 2010: Possum Living

I finished "Possum Living," by Dolly Freed just recently, after buying it at the beginning of the semester for kicks and giggles.  In case you didn't know, I have some quiet survivalist tendencies, which mostly manifest themselves in growing and storing food (which is hard to do while I'm at school) and stockpiling stuff like ammo (which is also hard to do on my current jobless budget).  So when I saw that the subtitle was "How to live well without a job and with (almost) no money," I was intrigued, as I was at the "suburban self-sufficiency" vibe.  Plus it was first published in 1978, so I figured it would be good for a laugh at outdated advice if it turned out to be horrible.

And, yes, it did have a bit of outdated advice (such as "Don't buy health insurance," which is now supposedly mandatory...), but it also had quite a bit of good practical stuff, albeit without too much detail.  A few of the things gone over that I want to do someday are gardening, growing rabbits for food, and, of course, moonshining (that one's actually rather high up the list, but don't tell anyone).  The book avoids detail (as I said) and really focuses more on the attitude. 

So, I give it a 7.5/10, for being a mildly informative, slightly anachronistic, somewhat entertaining, very libertarian "don't take no crap from nobody"-type book.  Now, excuse me while I go look for an old pressure cooker and some copper tubing...


I don't know about this

What do you think about having three columns?  I am getting sick of having to scroll down so far to get to stuff on the sidebar.  This might give me room for some more random junk to put out there, too.  I don't know how it will all work out...

Added: no, that wasn't right. How about this one?

Added II: Try this on for size...

More J79 Fun

As I mentioned here. my Aerospace Propulsion class was researching the J79 jet engine.  We were researching it because today we went on a field trip to a place that has a few J79's that they use to supply air to some other tests.

 They've also got some very large hybrid rockets that they are testing, and some other cool stuff.  They just run it right in the hangar like that.  Pretty cool stuff.  Sorry I'm not too specific, but I don't want to have to kill you.


Let me be clear-I actually don't mind cold weather.  It's just... when the forcast looks like this...

...I kinda would like a little bit more warning when it gets below zero...

Essential Wardrobe Items

"Jayne Is My Role Model" T-shirt and handmade wool Jayne Hat.

Everyone should have them.



Well, in an effort to clean up my bookmarks and keep everything up to date, I am doing a Blogroll Update!

In no particular order (I don't want to be too organized, you know), here we go!

First is Butch Cassidy at The Runt Compound.
Then comes JP at Eyes Never Closed.
After that comes Father/Son duo PawPaw at PawPaw's House and DLG at The Displaced Louisiana Guy.
Fifth is Wilson at wilsonblog.
Then is Scott McCray at MacBourne's Musings.

I would be remiss for not mentioning Linoge (and WizardPC) at Walls of the City, that I added a while back but never said anything about. 

And I think that takes care of it.  I'm thinking about messing around with my layout, here, and make two columns for less scrolling to get to stuff.  Maybe not though, as then I would have to, you know, actually do something.  Perhaps I could organize the blogs differently also...

Hmm.  Well, in any case, welcome to the blogroll, one and all.  So far I keep a reciprocal blogroll, and if you don't look too freaky-weird I'll keep that policy.

Added: cybrus, at Lost and Found

Some good music

I was looking for something a little different to get my mom for her birthday, and found this album on Amazon. It's pretty "interesting," but still good.



By popular demand, I unveil what knife was hidden in that box. It's a KA-BAR TDI, in the small size.

They call it a "self-defense knife," to be drawn with the gunless hand. It comes with a plastic sheath with a metal belt clip that can be switched from side to side. I'm still trying to decide how I'd like to carry it. I currently have my keys, my leatherman, and my XD on my belt, so finding an ideal way to do it is like playing a game of tetris.

So I kinda bought it as a fallback for going to school with, as I can't carry my gun there.  But I kinda bought it just because it looked cool and I had money burning a hole in my pocket.  You can never have enough knives, right?

And FTC, FCC, FAA, FUC, and ETC-- my money was spent on this product.  I spent it freely, and willfully.   No one gave me anything.  No one asked politely.  No one forced me to.  No one.  You are the one with the sound of jackboots playing in the background while you stomp on the first amendment. A pox on you and your house!

I can't see my house from here!

Because there seems to be some sort of cold white substance floating downwards though the sky.

Yep, it's officially winter.

Nothing to see here, move along

Poll: 4 in 5 Support Full-Body Airport Scanners

The comments there are very telling. Mostly they revolve around "Huh? That's not what ANYONE AT ALL IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY THINKS!  ARE YOU EVEN CONNECTED TO THE SAME PLANE OF REALITY?"

Thanks, CBS. Why is it that I don't believe you?

TSA:  Burn it up, and burn it down.


Hmmm... now that's... kinda cool actually. I wouldn't pay for theirs when I've got 300 yds of P-cord in a box somewhere.  What do you think about the Parachute Cord Rifle Sling?

Dear TSA

Dear TSA: you need to go.  You need to go now.  Your previously annoying antics have grown to be truly disturbing, a representation of everything wrong with bureaucratic creep.  You are a personification of Benjamin Franklin's saying, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Dear TSA: I know you are out there, and I know that you watch the blogs (even my humble little one).  Which frankly, is also somewhat disturbing. But I know that you have people working for you, normal people, who aren't "bad guys," people who are just doing their job.  Unfortunately, these people have come to rely on an institution that stands against everything that makes my country great.  These people have become accomplices to your agenda by way of their complacency.  They should not stand for your policies any more than I should.  As long as they do, I can not feel sorry for them if my words cut.

Dear TSA:  I know this may sound harsh, but I truly believe that we should burn you to the ground, and keep you in the history books only as a horrible warning.  You are nothing that should be kept, and I am ashamed that you are a part of my country.  It is telling that your Wikipedia entry has only a "criticism and scandal" section, with nothing detailing your non-existent triumphs.  It is telling that at this point if you had a success story, most would dismiss it as a staged publicity stunt. You are useless, and you should never have gotten beyond that brainstorming session in the U.S. Capital Building back in 2001. 

Dear TSA:  you are nothing to me, you are nothing to America, and you have no hope of gaining our love or respect.  You have jumped the shark, and I hope to see my tax dollars spent on something else, anything else, very soon.