Tuesday, December 31, 2013

[Official Video] Daft Punk - Pentatonix

One of the guys at work showed this video to me and my co-worker this morning, and I was totally blown away.  Check it out!

Oh, and Happy New Year to everyone!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry F**king Ho-Ho to you all

Yeah I know it's irreverent to talk that way, but it's sort of a family tradition with me and my sister, and how we greet each other on Xmas Day.

Hope everyone got what they wanted and enjoy the time with your family.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Paul Walker...RIP

Actor Paul Walker dies in car crash

Was totally blown away when I saw this today.  I wish his family and friends all the best and my prayers go out to them in this time of crisis.

This pic says it all

I came across this pic when going through my files.  It pretty much sums up how I feel about my Second Amendment rights.  Although I just wonder...a 10-round magazine on an AR??!!

The photo must have been in New York State...
Of course since just about every weapon shown in the pic is now considered illegal there, might even be someplace else in libtard-land.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Another Thanksgiving is past...

...and I managed to keep my sanity.  Plus it helped that my sister decided to low-key it this time around and focus her energies on Christmas instead.
So instead of turkey, stuffing, etc...had the #3 combo from Roberto's Taco Shop.

Friday, November 15, 2013

2 AM random thoughts

I just love my schedule sometimes.  It gives me the freedom to do what I need done, and also lets me go out and hit the Strip in the middle of the night to watch all the tourists go ooh and ahh at the sights, while in their midst the homeless and downtrodden try to get some sleep or beg for the leftover pocket change those same tourists might possess after dumping their savings into the slots or leaving it on the table after being foolish to bet on 00 or on the Don't Pass bar.

Other times, I just kick back, tune to DirecTV channel 884 and do some reading until the melodious sounds of new age lull me back to sleep until I wake up after daybreak, ready for another fun experience.

Meanwhile I definitely gotta get together and keep packing as I figure the house will be gone by beginning of February.  Still hoping to get a decent apartment on the south side.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Your latest version of 'ZOMGWTF did I just watch?!!??' (very NSFW)

Came across this on Gizmodo as their latest installment of the weirdest thing on the Internet...and brother they weren't kidding!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Obama is channeling...

From the "Day by Day" webcomic back on October 9:

Makes you go 'hmmmm...'

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NPR's 100 best SciFi/Fantasy novels

I came across this list at another blog, which I won't bother to mention as it appears the author has not updated it for awhile.  The ones which are listed in bold are the ones I have read:

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin (soon)
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis 
 Now there are some more classics which are not included that I have read and enjoyed, as well as some which may be considered 'modern classics' as they have been published within the last 20 years.  They are listed below by author:
Robert A. Heinlein
  • Space Cadet
  • Friday
  • The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
  • Tunnel in the Sky
C.J. Cherryh
  • Downbelow Station
  • Rimrunners
  • Heavy Time
Michael Z. Williamson
  • Freehold
  • The Weapon
  • Rogue
  • Contact With Chaos
  • Better to Beg Forgiveness...
  • Do Unto Others
  • When Diplomacy Fails 
David Weber
  • All the "Honorverse" series (great military sci-fi)
John Ringo...hell, I love practically every single one he has written!

Now obviously I do need to play catch-up on my reading of the classics, but hopefully that will be something I can tackle once I finish draining the swamps and fight off the gators. 

(edit 11/30/2013: turned out after re-reading this I left off a couple I had read, so updated the list to reflect it.) 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Looking back at UserFriendly.org

I found myself yesterday perusing the UserFriendly.org website, which is essentially Dilbert aimed at the hardcore geek and IT crowd.

Started up in 1997 by JD 'Illiad' Frazier, it described the daily lives of workers of a small Canadian ISP mixed in with some oddball characters from the works of H.P. Lovecraft, along with the Dust Puppy, who was a collection of dust bunnies and other detritus come to life (with Hobbit-like feet!), and Erwin, a sentient artificial intelligence residing in an old SGI O2 workstation (although at times he also resided in an iMac, a iPod, and an ancient IBM PC).

The strips were published daily online, and IIRC were also published in some tech magazines in the late 1990's and early 2000's.  Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, Illiad has stopped producing new strips since mid 2009, but the strips are still archived online at the site.

The casual observer who is not familiar with the ways of geeks, nerds, and IT workers in general may find the punchlines and the plots confusing, but it still offered a unique point of view of how IT and our Internet culture has evolved in the early days when the Internet and the World Wide Web was new and exciting and seemed limitless.

Also, if you can find it at Amazon, the book 'Ten Years of UserFriendly.org', a huge 1000-page tome of the first 10 years of the strip is worthy to add to your library.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Back to reality?

So it appears that the congress-critters have finally decided to get their collective heads out of their asses and agree on a temporary solution to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling once again.

Polls have advised before the shutdown that the Republicans will take the brunt of the blame for this mess.  IMHO, everyone in Congress is to blame!

Time to do some changes come Election Day 2014... 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Confessions of a Street Pharmacist: Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

Stumbled across this recipe while looking around the blogosphere.  I definitely gotta try this sometime:

Confessions of a Street Pharmacist: Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

Another month gets off with a bang

So now the government decided to really kick the stupidity level up a notch and decided to shut things down as neither side wants to man up and compromise a little on their respective positions.

At least our military will still get paid, otherwise it might be interesting if time went on and all they got were IOUs.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Good fun at the range

Early yesterday morning, I woke up and decided it was way past time to go do some shooting.  Even though there was a wind advisory and the gusts were fairly strong, I figured it would make things interesting.  Besides, I wanted to make sure my carbine was properly zeroed and make sure everything was running properly.
So I loaded up with my pistol (Glock 22), my carbine (an AR-15 with 16" barrel and Magpul furniture), one rifle magazine (short on the ammo, I know what I said about having enough ammo but financial considerations come into play), all my pistol mags, the ammo can full of 40S&W, and range bag, then headed out to the county's shooting park.
Although it's way the hell and gone halfway into the Sheep Range at the end of Decatur Blvd. (or so it seems), the range is a very decent facility, with separate areas for trap/skeet shooting, archery, and rifle/pistol.  Hopefully they will follow through on their plans to add a tactical range in the near future ;-)
I wound up being the first person out on the range, and had plenty of time to get things situated with setting up my targets with the kind assistance of one of the RSOs.  About half an hour later, another gentleman showed up, and I just had to stop and watch the fun as he was shooting an AR pistol (for you non-gun types, it's basically an AR-15 with a very short barrel) and had his target at 10 yards out.
Very loud muzzle blast, which can be expected with a shorter barrel, but I am sure it was fun to shoot all the same.
After setting up my larger targets, I used the magazine full to make some very nice shots and with only using my support hand to hold the barrel and not the usual rifle rest on the table.  I didn't have to make any physical sight adjustments and though the wind probably didn't help matters, I still wound up with a fairly decent grouping of hits.
 So overall, not a bad morning to start things out with.  Now just need to get some more rifle ammo and keep practicing to get some tighter groupings.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How a LEO should act towards citizens

While I do not totally agree with open-carry (has its advantages and disadvantages), it's nice to know there's at least one good LEO out there who is aware of citizen's constitutional rights and doesn't go full-retard. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Perusing a new book

Peter Grant, the host of the blog 'Bayou Renaissance Man', has just published his book "Walls, Wire, Bars and Souls', an intriguing read and narrative of his time spent in the Federal prison system as a chaplain ministering to the inmates.
His book will definitely be an eye-opener as he describes the workings of an average prison and the personalities of the warders who watch over the inhabitants, and the unsavory personalities of the prisoners (although most prefer to call themselves 'convicts').
Read more about it here and if you find it interesting enough, go to Amazon and download a free sample or just buy it ($3.99 for the Kindle edition as of today's post).
I plan on reading it completely and offer my thoughts in a future post.
Meanwhile, try to survive the weekend!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The question regarding ammo

I like to peruse the various other sites on the blogosphere, some of which are of the 'preparedness/patriot' bent, and gather info on best practices and methods for making sure you're on the vertical orientation after confrontation with baddies and helping their way to transition to the horizontal-subterranean repose which is how the loser usually finds themselves.

This article here by the Bayou Renaissance Man offers his opinion and observations on how much ammunition one should keep on hand for defensive purposes.  My own answer to that question personally is 'never enough', although for practical purposes a minimum of 500-1000 rounds for rifle and 1000-1500 rounds for handgun would both allow a minimum of practice to maintain proficiency and to defend yourself should things blow up in the world.

Once I have a chance to poke around, I do intend on jazzing this blog up a bit to make it less vanilla and monotonous on the eyes.  Stay tuned...

Humanity's first interstellar probe

This video from Space.com discusses the confirmation from NASA that Voyager 1 has definitely crossed the boundary from our solar system into interstellar space.

So old Star Trek jokes aside, it would be fun to stick around for the remainder of this century to see where we wind up.  Assuming of course we still have resources available to get off this planet.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Meanwhile in the blogosphere...

AmericanMercenary: Struck a nerve?

I often wonder sometimes whether our fellow citizens tend to confuse a democracy with something else entirely.  Take a look at AM's earlier post then look at Ann Banrharts's commentary which started the whole line of thinking.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Getting started...

I have often posted various odds and ends on social media sites, but I believe it is time to make the plunge into blogging.  Hell, so I am starting about 15-20 years late, so sue me! ;-)

Why do I refer to myself as a desert rat?  Well, besides the fact that I have lived the majority of my life in the Southwest US, that particular sobriquet was something my dear late mother had pinned on me, and was echoed by my sister.  So I figure if the shoe fits...

So a little more about me.  I am in my early 40's, on the verge of middle age and beginning to reflect some on what my life's journey's have taken me and what is lying ahead.  I am single and not really interested in hooking up formally, but rather to live in sin and enjoy my hedonistic ways...easy to do here in Sin City.

My political views tend to be more towards the libertarian slant, with a mix of conservative liberalism thrown in to add some spice and to piss off the total lib-tards which seem to grow in numbers day by day.  Although not really all too enthused by Ayn Rand and her points of view, it does have some validity which I hope one of these days my fellow citizens would point to when it comes time to go to the polls.

As for religion/spirituality, I was raised in a family which had roots in Baptists, but then went to and was influenced by the Episcopalians some, but after seeing some of the excesses and hypocrisy which most organized religions tend to have in excess, I feel my relation to God and to Jesus can be handled without the middle-man to muddle things.  I honestly believe that if you try to live life to the fullest, follow the Golden Rule, and try your best to be honest and candid in dealing with others, He will make sure of things when the time comes.  And considering that He already had one good chance to call me to His Home, I suspect there's more in the works here on Earth I need to take care of.

I don't expect anyone to really share my beliefs or opinions that I post on here, but it would be amusing to see what occurs when I kick over various anthills and watch what boils up from the depths.

OK now time for bed.  And remember, it's Patriot's Day so take a moment to pause and reflect on what has happened in the last 12 years since that fateful Tuesday morning and honor the memory of those we have lost.

Official Time from NIST.gov