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Archive for June, 2014

Underdog and I have gotten into it. I'm not ashamed to admit when I've been unfair. The World Cup is entertaining. There. I said it.

Underdog and I have gotten into it. I’m not ashamed to admit when I’ve been unfair. The World Cup is entertaining. There. I said it.

Hi errybody. Cranking this out because Mr. TigerMutt needs to get out there and run around a bit. So, I’m going to limit my personal junk to one small, tiny thing: what is that thing when people pull a crummy move and then are surprised that you have little interest in spending a lot of time with them? I mean seriously, can someone explain that to me? The acknowledgement of crumminess happens, so it’s not like they’re unaware. There’s just this strange disbelief that their behavior might be tied to why their presence isn’t all that desired. Particularly when there’s never much of an apology, more of an explanation of why they are justified in being unjustifiably crummy. Meh. Look, I don’t hate you. I just don’t think I wanna hang. Crummy behavior and whatever you get out of doing it doesn’t really interest me all that much. I don’t have the energy to smile and act like it doesn’t irritate me. There are plenty of people I don’t have to work so hard to be around. But no hard feelings. I’ll see ya around I’m sure.

This piece is just fascinating to me. Be sure to read closely the admittance — ya know, just casually dropped — that there have been CIA programs designed to help Syrians defend themselves. This, my friends, is trial ballooning at its finest.

A new professional acquaintance of mine is covering some really good things. Completely enjoying his work. And, because of his piece, I learned about this, which, to my mind, is absolutely the future of programming.

Speaking of computing, this is huge. Really, it is. And it affects surveillance and location data and everything else. Things were getting a little out of hand. I mean, it’s one thing to make use of these technologies in the interest of public safety but we were traveling at mach 2 toward Big Brother. I’m glad the Supreme Court recognized the need for some restraint.

Finally on the tech topic, toys and more toys.

This seems like a good resource. Just throwing it out there.

So much awkward and hilarious.

That ex-boyfriend of mine really made me shy away from video games but holy cow y’all. Holy cow. I’d play this one I think.

Check out these chill kids. I’d be so proud of a daughter who embraces something off the beaten path like this.

Heh. The video is pretty depressing really. But then, sort of uplifting as well. Because really Facebook tends to mimic a lot of the silly high school popularity stuff — at least in some quarters. Not really in my feed too much because I tend not to want to deal with that nonsense. But I’ve seen it. It freaks me out a little because I really don’t understand what those people are after. It just seems like some alternate reality that is not very real. And it’s a little dark because I’m pretty sure it’s all about envy. And y’all know how I feel about attempts to make people commit one of the deadlies.

Just a little howl and a nod to home. I’ll be down that way in a few weeks. Really can’t wait.

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This is what I'm doing right now.

This is what I’m doing right now.

And

This is what I did last night. Freddie Free. At times I walk around feeling satisfied.

This is what I did last night. Freddie Free. At times I walk around feeling satisfied.

Hey y’all. So I had a post written yesterday and when I pushed the button to publish, WordPress pulled a derp and said something like, “Are you sure you want to do that?” and I said, “Uh, yeah.” and it said, “Well you can’t.” It was a weird dialog box exchange that still doesn’t make sense to me except that I hadn’t closed that tab in my browser for literally a few days so I think WP just got confused. Anyway, take 2…

Let me just start by saying to the people who feel the need to pat themselves on the back for everything — and I mean EVERYTHING — they do. Look, stop okay? Going to the grocery store is not a feat of skill. Being kind and thoughtful to your friends, learning how to share, being decent, not pitching a fit for not getting your way is what you’re SUPPOSED to do. As my friend Jeff was always fond of saying, you don’t get a cookie or a gold star for doing the right thing. It’s what’s required of good people. It, in short, doesn’t make you special. I used to be of the opinion that those people were kind of sad because they just had to be massively insecure to need affirmation for things like that. I’ve changed my mind. Now I think there are some who simply believe themselves to be better than other people and something as simple as thinking of someone else means they’ve done something remarkable and they deserve praise for it. Bleh. Get over yourselves. You may have been born with different opportunities or skills or genetic material, but that has — as we say in the South — shit all to do with something you’ve done. So maybe stop giving yourself so much credit for something you had nothing to do with. It’s obnoxious. But then, you are inordinately amusing and entertaining….hmmmm. Never mind. Carry on being you. Sometimes I get bored and need a good laugh.

Alright, let’s talk about the serious stuff. I’ll try to remember what I wrote yesterday…

With no disrespect to Megyn Kelly, who is a total badass, I tend to not be jumping aboard this train. Everyone’s comparing Rand Paul’s invocation of Reagan as a reason to blast Cheney/Bush for their decision to go into Iraq. I just think that, given 9/11 and their belief that Iraq had some pretty nasty stockpiles of weapons, they made the best decision they could at the time. And wanting to bring Democracy to a region — wanting to offer the concept of freedom and self-governance to a repressed and tortured people — was noble and came from a place of good. Unfortunately, Western concepts are culturally so foreign it would seem that it may have been a losing proposition from jump. But the effort wasn’t evil and I’m so proud of the men and women who were there, who fought on behalf of that noble goal, and I refuse to diminish their sacrifice by questioning the nobility of the goal. For the record, and speaking as someone who really does want to stay out of world skirmishes where we have no immediate interest, I believe we should have gone in. I believe the WMDs existed and were moved, and am fascinated by pieces like this — of course making no claims about its veracity because how the hell do I know? — but there is and has always been more to this story. Finally, I do not think what is happening there now is because we made the decision to go in. What’s happening now is directly the fault of the current administration and its leading from damn behind philosophy. Because this is true, and this is the future. And Obama needs to man up and cop to his role. That sounds disrespectful and I’m sorry. But it’s how I feel. But I can get into that some other time.

Just to keep things real, Fox news is running a piece on fighting Anthrax right now. Welcome to the new age.

I’m just gonna leave this here. Krebs quote about not posting private information is apparently one that needs reiterating.

Everyone’s seen this floating — heh, see what I did there? — around right? Holy. Cow. If it’s real, it reminds me of that time I was a kid swimming out to the sandbar off the coast of Ft. Walton beach (you can kind of see it here) and I opened my eyes and realized I was smack in the middle of a flight of butterfly rays. But they’re harmless. I’m not sure I would have known what to do if I saw a shark. Punch them in the nose, right?

My friend Matt recently moved back home to England and he sent me this video the other day and said, “Sarah, it has been a while but this is really something. While referring to British history mostly, a reminder of how remarkable Mrs Thatcher really was. A revolutionary (albeit not quite ideologically pure for libertarians) who achieved a lot in favour of economic freedom. If only we could find another PM like her here. A great pep up if you ever feel down about the power of freedom for ordinary people as an idea.” Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to know such great people. Thank you my friend.

Pretty is as pretty does. I don’t know if Hope Solo is nuts or not, but the hyper aggressive/competitive woman is just freaky to me. For example, after my softball game the other night, a new girl on the other team we beat like redheaded stepchildren — very attractive and a good player — decided (I think. I never really am able to get into their crazy heads. Thank God.) that she had an interest in one of my male friends and I think felt like I needed to be dealt with if she was going to get close. Seriously. She literally cornered me and put her hands up on either side of the wall to block me from saying goodbye to my friend. It was manically physical and off the chain crazy. I almost punched her in the stomach. But I don’t need to get nailed for assault so I just spit a few annoyed words at her and made her look a fool, which tends to be how I roll. But ladies, scale it back. Maybe “ladies” isn’t the right word there… Because look, if you’re going to be crazy, at least do something useful with yourself.

Just a funny after that crazy talk:

This is just true.

This is just true.

Someone asked me yesterday what my male physical ideal looked like. That’s easy.

I didn't even have to think about it.

I didn’t even have to think about it.

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“They need a base of operations to train and recruit and plan. And there’s really only one reason they need such a thing. These are among the most dedicated people in the world to their cause, and what do you imagine is the cause they’re dedicated to? We, unfortunately, do not have the same dedication.” ~ Pops on Iraq

Hey howdy to all several of you. I’m taking a minute from spreadsheeting to check in because the Advil is starting to work and I can actually type for extended periods of time without wanting to throw up. Battling the never-ending migraine and it’s really starting to annoy me. I can get it to a place where I can function but with the humidity making me sweat out every bit of water in my system, the last several days of extreme pollen in the air, and the recent barometric fluctuations, I feel like I’m perpetually hung over. And there’s nothing more dissatisfying than feeling hung over without the joy of drinking. I’m hoping to make a book release thing later on the Hill but I’ll just have to see what my sinuses say. Anyway, Iraq…

I’m trying to decide if I want to write about this in a more “official” capacity. I’m not sure I do because, for the life of me, I don’t know what the answer is. I keep thinking of the guys that fought and died there trying to stabilize the region, and it makes me rather angry. Because even if you disagreed with W — and I’m no fan of being the world police — there is absolutely nothing beneficial about what’s happening right now. It certainly doesn’t benefit the US or its allies. And the greater concept of peace is absolutely threatened unless you believe these guys marching toward Baghdad have noble intentions. I think the evidence suggests that’s not the case. Understatement of the year, I know. And I think the larger lesson is, of course, that we can declare that the war is over, but that doesn’t mean the enemy agrees. Which is why I think my libertarian friends should be paying very close attention to what’s happening right now. No one likes war, and you can declare yourself a pacifist, but if someone shows up at your door with a bat, or tries to destroy your business, or threatens your family, you by God better know how to fight. A destabilized Middle East is actually very bad for us. It simply is. Perhaps there’s a way to facilitate its stabilization that doesn’t require war but so far we haven’t found it. And now, well, it just looks like a waiting game. We need to be looking to Afghanistan as well instead of just handing over the bad guys like the hostilities have ended and being like, “Y’all be good now, ya’hear?” per Hillary Clinton. Then, of course, there’s Syria, which puts me in the mind of the rat line conversation I had a while back about how we were arming AQ there and they are, without question, some of the people upsetting the apple cart in Iraq. But I still think O thought — because, ironically, we are now actually as arrogant as all the lefties thought we were under W — we were helping free Syrians. AQ was dead. Of course they were. We had decided it and said it aloud. And that’s all it takes, right? And I guess it’s just as easy to call a do-over when that’s the thrust of your muscle.

Anyway, I’m glad some of the new kids are starting to offer ideas. Because don’t think this isn’t potentially a part of that dedication to cause I mentioned earlier. This, too. That’s not paranoia. That’s the reality and I’m pretty sure people who have been existing under this idea that we’re safe within our borders may have their minds changed. Sorry to worry you. But let’s just not be stupid going forward, okay? Does this mean we get all crazy and start rounding people up Japanese internment style? Of course not. But this, from 2006, still goes on and acting like it doesn’t is foolish.

Okay, back to spreadsheeting. Here’s some other things.

Interesting. No one really talks about this marginalized group, do they?

Fascinating. I like the idea that the great masters were the tech geniuses of their time. Because of course they were.

Oh man I could get into this…

I had a song written about me once when I was younger and a lot cuter. It wasn’t as awesome as this one but I’ll tell you about it sometime…

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Hi y’all. Just quickly getting a little out before getting back home to finish the day’s work and take the mutt out. Turns out he’s a good little egg, if a little nervous every time I leave that I’m never coming back. We’re working on it. And he’s very smart — I think that comes from whatever terrier lives inside his genetic code — so he’s getting better by the day. Anyway, here he is making friends down in St. Clement’s Maryland this weekend at a Hits for Heroes softball tournament I played in:

stylin

He’s weird looking, I know. But the boys seemed to think he looked pretty cool, so I’ll take it. Anyway, I have not been able to stop thinking about the Bergdahl trade because it seemed at first blush like just a ludicrous move, then it seemed like a terrible PR campaign, then it seemed again like a really terrible trade. And I’ve settled on the fact that it was, in fact, a terrible trade. But let me explain…

The quote in the header is from a talking head I saw on the news Sunday (apologies, can’t remember his name), and it’s 100% how I feel about the trade. It doesn’t add up. We gave 5 pretty nasty dudes back over for 1 alleged traitor and, given our President’s own words about how these Taliban leaders could return to their old ways, it doesn’t look like a prisoner trade at the end of a war. And he really wasn’t a hostage of his platoon mates can be believed. I feel like something of a jerk because I suggested that I would have been okay leaving him there. I’ve since softened that stance because that really is pretty inhumane and I just don’t want to be that hard. (I keep telling you all I’m really just a little girl in my heart.) But to trade 5 bad guys for 1…well, honestly, weak guy, is a pretty bad trade. I mean those are some pretty crummy negotiating skills.

At first I thought there must be something about Bergdahl that made him worth it. The more I read, the more I think he was just a jackass with zero loyalty and kind of a soft head. Who in their right mind goes looking for the Taliban to help him? I mean come on dude…

So sure, bring him home, but did we need to give up the men we did to do it? Is it possible that our President was so eager to close Gitmo to get the feather in his cap that he would make us look, once again, like complete morons who have no respect for our fighting men and women? It would appear so. And the Haqqani leaders — not the Taliban, which is another interesting wrinkle — must have counted on that narcissism when they offered Bergdahl up. Peachy. Just effing peachy. And I’ve seen some of the articles noting that we can track those bad guys, and that we won the war of ideas, and that it’s a morale booster to the men/women in the field because they knows we’ll bring them home. And to that I say what my father is fond of saying when he encounters stupidity: horseshit. Anyway, these guys are pretty thoughtful about bringing their traitor home, but they think the trade was bad as well. Because my understanding is that in any trade one is supposed to maximize the gain while minimizing the cost. I suppose, as my father noted, it depends on your goal if the gain was maximized. And that speaks to the fact that our leaders and the country may — as they have been on many other things over the last 6 years — be working at cross purposes. That struggle gets tiresome after a while, no?

Anyway, I do feel bad for being so harsh about Bergdahl initially. But that scene from Lonesome Dove sprang to my mind — one of the best things put on film dammit — and Michelle Malkin [Correction: Malkin didn’t write it, rather a poster at her site did. And it’s not about the current administration per se, but it is about Obama. Mea culpa.] wrote about it here in relation to some other weirdness this administration has done over the past several years. Relevant part below:

But another story, one that leads to many of the story’s tragic events, is the tale of Jake Spoon himself. Robert Urich played Jake in the miniseries, and I always thought he was miscast; he was cold and citified. It should have been Tom Selleck, someone charismatic and charming you really wanted to like, only to discover gradually through his carelessness and neglect what an empty soul Jake Spoon really had.

(Hang on, I’m going somewhere political with this, I promise.)

Spoon adapts easily to whoever his companions may be, and he falls in at one point with some sadistic horse thieves led by Dan Suggs, who enjoy shooting settlers and burning their bodies. Jake doesn’t shoot anyone but is complicit in the bodies’ desecration. Perhaps he does so out of fear that Suggs and his men will kill him if he doesn’t–but Jake isn’t in any hurry to escape them, or fight them. It’s easier for him just to continue riding with them.

Uva Uvam Vivendo Varia Fit.

Until one day, he’s called to account. Suggs, his brothers, and Jake Spoon are all captured by Gus and Call and Newt, who promptly decide to hang them all for burning the farmers and murdering three horse traders as well. Jake tries to fast-talk his way out of the necktie party, explaining that he doesn’t share in Suggs’ guilt:

JAKE SPOON: Oh, you don’t need to tie me up, Newt. Hell, I didn’t kill anybody. I just fell in with these boys to get through the Territory. Hell, I was gonna leave ‘em first chance I got!
GUS McCRAE: I wish you’d taken that chance a little earlier, Jake. A man who’ll go along with five killings is takin’ his leave a little slow.

There are more protests from the gang and from Jake, and then his old friend Gus explains:

GUS McCRAE: You know how it works, Jake. You ride with an outlaw, you die with an outlaw. I’m sorry you crossed the line.
JAKE SPOON: I didn’t see no line, Gus. I was just tryin’ to get through the Territory without getting scalped.

It doesn’t save poor Jake. They all knew he should have had the judgment to extricate himself from his bad companions long before his reckoning arrived.

If the GOP takes the Senate, I’ll be comfortable having her in the executive office. On principle, I don’t like the idea of one ideology in every branch. But holy moses, stuff like this will never stop being disturbing. Throwing your underlings under the bus is not only bad leadership but it’s the behavior of a personality that is not quite…I’ll say it…mature.

As a dancer, I’ll weigh in: bad form. On a stage, fine. At the actual site, there should be some reverence.

Um, there may be a very good reason Google has opted out of the encryption game. And I don’t think it has much to do with whether they have the capability to do it.

Pretty much all of this. Number 9 especially because Jesus H., it’s a press release, not a work of literature…

It is just different down there. I’ve addressed number 17 before I think. And I love that it’s true.

Laughed pretty hard here.

This is my buddy Chad’s place and the excitement is overwhelming. He’s a good guy and their coffee joint is going to be great. Check them out immediately.

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Hey y’all. Just a few quick thoughts on a few things of minor importance depending on your particular view of things.

My brother and his family left this morning and are bringing my little buddy Roscoe. I’m very, very nervous. Because what if he hates living here? I’m taking him from playmates and a family and I’ve never really gotten over putting Stella through the move that ultimately just made her kind of give in to her old age once and for all. The guilt is terrible. And I have this weird thing about animals — I’ve always liked them more than most people and I can’t stand if they suffer because of the selfishness and stupidity of people. It just kills me. So, what if he’s a sad little guy being here because he won’t have a yard and other dogs to pal around with? Stressing…

That’s really all that’s on my mind except I need to get haulin’ so I can leave work early and get back and finish vacuuming and make sure I have food dishes and other things for little man. Why does excitement feel so much like worry?

Other things…

So, Jay Carney stepped down. And so did VA Secretary Shinseki. As Allahpundit hilariously put it: “Today is the day Obama settles all family business.”

Fairly fascinating look at some of that image promotion stuff I talk about frequently. I mean, if you had no prior knowledge of either man, who would you think did a better job? Because you’d be wrong. And I’m not 100% sure but I think people ultimately figure out the real quality of work versus the glowing terms and flashy images mediocrity is sometimes portrayed as. Helps to have people willing to help sell you I guess. But the truth does out eventually. I believe that.

“Living in constant fear of hypothetical worst-case scenarios…”

Cried a little bit watching his reaction. I wish more people had that kind of heart. Hell, I wish I had that kind of heart.

It makes me uneasy as well.

Oh come on man, people hate me to my face — even people who I thought at one time were friends — and I don’t believe I would ever compare how that makes me feel to being bloodied on a battlefield. Although maybe I have…I’ll have to go back and look. And if I did, I’m ashamed. Anyway, the woman lives in a bubble of privilege and likely always will. So, fine. She can exist there. There’s no problem with that. And if she wants to invite me over to go hang out on the yacht or whatever, I might take advantage. One thing I’ve noticed about folks like her though is that they tend to whine about the negative stuff but not really express a lot of praise for other people. They also hardly ever say thank you. It’s as if the adoration is expected and so there’s no need to say thanks for what is — obviously — just the natural order of things. But there’s a rule if you’re going to promote yourself and what you do so flamboyantly in the public eye: try not to be an asshole and don’t read the comments. Just be who you are. You’ll always have your fans to keep you warm. Like the guy who wrote this piece defending her. Except…is it really defending someone to say, “God knows I would expect to be hated daily if I invented GOOP.”?

Okay, that’s all I’ve got y’all. Wish me luck with my new kid. Hopefully this is the first in some positive changes in my life because the last year has been like walking through some kind of dream where everything went kind of haywire. I know that some good things happened — and the results of those good things may not have come to fruition yet — but man…things have been a little rough. At least now I’ll have a buddy to hang around with and love on. It’ll be good practice for when I actually start letting the right people back into my life.

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