Monday, May 24, 2010

Clash of the Titans review

Defending Aquaman


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is This Thing Still On?

So... who's ready for me to fire this all back up again?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Where The Hell Have I Been?!?

A fair question. A question that deserves an answer, I suppose.

So, here I am in Springfield, Illinois. I've been here a little over a month, actually. Cohabitation with fair Kimberly is going well. No real fights between the two of us. The closest thing to a real argument we've had was when I ate the last of the chocolate cake that Georgia (her mom) sent over... but we won't get into all that. Suffice it to say, it was (as you could well imagine) delicious.

I never thought living in Illinois would be much different than living in Arkansas. Turns out I was wrong. The differences are subtle; almost unnoticable to the unobservant. I've likened it to waking up and finding yourself in some alternate universe. An alternate universe that is just slightly off-center to what one is accustomed to. So, I've decided to give you a few examples of what I've noticed so far.

The Top 5 Subtle Differences Between Arkansas and Illinois:

1) No Southern Accents -- Oh, bless 'em, these people try. Oh, how they do try to speak in a southern accent. Mostly when they do try however, it comes out very forced. Honestly, it hurts my ears when they do it. Slowly I'm adapting to Mid-Western Speak so I can blend in (it's not that tough for me really, especially since on the whole most of these people have no discernible accent whatsoever [which is one of those subtle, unnerving things you don't pick up on until weeks after you've been here.].)

2) The Trees Haven't Started Budding Yet -- Well, none that I've seen at least. It's March for crying out loud and the grass is just now starting to turn green again. By now, back in Arkansas things should have already started to green up and flower beds should have yellow explosions of daffodils. Here? Nothing. Don't get me wrong. Anyone who knows me knows I love winter, but my internal clock is screaming "It's Springtime Already!!!" and it just isn't that time up here yet. Weird.

3) An Amazing Lack Of Bar-B-Que -- Kim made bar-b-que chicken wings several nights ago and I ate them like an Ethiopian getting a visit from Sally Struthers. It's weird what you miss when you've had it so available to you your whole life. Which brings me to ...

4) There Are No Waffle Houses ANYWHERE! -- You read that correctly my southern readers. There isn't a single Waffle House in this entire city. Try and wrap your mind around that bit of info for a second or two.

5) No Confederate Flags -- Yes, yes. I understand I'm in the north now. But being in the north doesn't mean there aren't rednecks up here (there are). I also understand I'm living in Abe Lincoln Central which really doesn't leave one to expect the Illinois version of a redneck to brandish a Confederate Flag on the back window of their pick-up truck. I get that. But here's where it really struck me. If you go to a convenience store in Arkansas and see a display of Official Larry the Cable Guy "Git - 'Er - Done" talking cigarette lighters, I'll bet you real money it'll have a Confederate Flag on it. Not here. Up here it's an American Flag. That's the subtle difference.

Subtle differences and all, it's nice up here and being with Kim makes it all the nicer. The funny thing is there are similarities between Arkansas and Illinois as well (which makes those differences all the more insidious, but I digress). I'll cover those later. Right now, I'm going downstairs to make a gallon of sweet tea, fry some ham, make a skillet of corn bread and cook some turnip greens before I go completely into withdrawal.

Nice to be back on DAO, y'all!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Still Think We're The Good Guys?

It's no great secret that I'm against "the war". Hell, I'm not even sure who we're fighting at this point. Terrorists? Iraqi insurgents? Any Muslum that wanders in our crosshairs? All of the above?

For my seemingly weekly (weakly?) news/comment post, here's a little diddy that Reuters reporter Will Dunham wrote that came across the wire a little over an hour ago. As always, here's the report in it's entireity [with my comments].

US defends use of white phosphorus

By Will Dunham [... who, as far as I know... no relation to comedian/ventriliquist Jeff Dunham (who is making a nice comeback, by the way. Sorry Jeff, I know you really never "went away".)]

The Pentagon on Wednesday acknowledged using incendiary white-phosphorus munitions in a 2004 counterinsurgency offensive in the Iraqi city of Falluja, but defended their use as legal. [Of course he did. If we do it, it's perfectly legal.]

Army Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. military had not used the highly flammable weapons against civilians, contrary to an Italian state television report this month which said the weapons were used against men, women and children in Falluja who were burned to the bone. [Well, c'mon ... with all those civilians running around a few of them are bound to get hit. C'mon Italy! It's not like we were actually aiming at those Iraqi women-folk! Not with our illegal chemical weapons we weren't! I mean LEGAL! We were using these illegal chemical weapons legally! It's kind of like having a perscription for "medical" marajuana. Think of it that way. Plus, it's really hard to aim that Willy Pete (that's the rumored slang term for White Phosphorus). And those kids? Well, it was like Jim Henson's Irsurgancy Babies out there. They had to be taken out!]

"We categorically deny that claim," Venable said.

"It's part of our conventional-weapons inventory and we use it like we use any other conventional weapon," added Bryan Whitman, another Pentagon spokesman. ["I mean, if you want to talk WMD's, don't even get me started on how many nukes on ICBMs we still have active," he continued. "These people need to count their blessings to Allah (or whoever) that the President doesn't just get bored with this whole 'war thing' and we start dropping those babies! He's already commisioned military artists to draw pictures of crucifixes and the face of Jesus on most of our nukes. Let me tell you, those Muslums will shit their robes when they see the true dipiction of our Lord and Savior with his true northern Eurpoean caucasion complexion and his piercing blue eyes bearing down on them on a missile of Holy Redemtion!"]

Venable said white phosphorus is not outlawed or banned by any convention [which is a lie]. However, a protocol to the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons forbids using incendiary weapons against civilians or against military targets amid concentrations of civilians. [See? But, lo! What light from yonder loophole breaks?]

The United States did not sign the protocol. [heh heh... ain't we a stinker?]

White phosphorus munitions are primarily used by the U.S. military to make smoke screens and mark targets, but also as an incendiary weapon, the Pentagon said. They are not considered chemical weapons. [This may be confusing. It's a chemical. It's used as a weapon. But it's not a "chemical weapon"? Well, if you want to split hairs, that's actually correct. Incendiary agents such as napalm and phosphorus are not considered to be CW (chemical weapon) agents since they achieve their effect mainly through thermal energy.] The substance ignites easily in air at temperatures of about 86 F (30 C), and its fire can be difficult to extinguish. [Actually, it's damn near impossible to extinguish, unless you can flush the burned area with water and/or saline mixed with coppor sulphate. And you know there's lots of that stuff just laying around out there in those desert towns.]

U.S. forces used the white phosphorus during a major offensive launched by Marines in Falluja, about 30 miles (50 km) west of Baghdad, to flush out insurgents. The battle in November of last year involved some of the toughest urban fighting of the 2-1/2-year war.

Venable said that in the Falluja battle, "U.S. forces used white phosphorous both in its classic screening mechanism and ... when they encountered insurgents who were in foxholes and other covered positions who they could not dislodge any other way." [Whatever happened to lobbing a damn grenade? I know when I was doing my Army training we had to throw grenades all the time. And if you can't throw it that far, whatever happened to using a grenade launcher? Perfectly legal stuff there. Gunpowder... metal shrapnel... not the chemical kind that will continuously burn into your flesh with a white hot flame, just good ol' normal metal shards ripping into you? Whatever happened to that? Too mundane? Not flashy enough?]

He said the soldiers employed what they call a "shake-and-bake" technique of using white phosphorus shells to flush enemies out of hiding then using high explosives to kill them. [Emphasis on "bake", I guess. I can see an interview with a soldier at the time, "Well, we had these insurgents that we just couldn't decide what to do with, plus it was only 45 minutes until chow time. So, we decided to cook them up with a little 'shake-and-bake'."

Pan down to a 5 year old little girl, wearing a kool-aid stained t-shirt with the words "Git 'Er Done" above a Confederate Flag. loading another white phosphorous shell into a launcher, "And I ha-yulped."]

The Italian documentary showed images of bodies recovered after the Falluja offensive, which it said proved the use of white phosphorus against civilians. [Actually, in my meager research on this story before I decided to comment on it, I saw some of those pictures. Lots of crispy dead people. One was a baby. I guess it's called "friendly fire" (bad pun) or "acceptable losses" or "inadvertant casualties". I guess the point is, we probably shouldn't have used what most of the rest of the world considers illegal chemical weapons, but hey ... I guess America's arguement is, "Die from being chemically roasted to death or die from a bullet... dead is still dead."]

"We don't target any civilians with any of our weapons. And to suggest that U.S. forces were targeting civilians with these weapons would simply be wrong," Whitman said. [Two words here: Collateral Damage. Note he's not saying that civilians weren't killed. We just weren't directly aiming at them. Which, of course, makes it perfectly okay.]

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Hard Five

For the longest time, I've had this list that I call "The Hard Five". Other people have different names for it, but essentially it is a list of people (usually celebrities) that, if you have a "significant other", you are allowed to "be with" whoever is on your list.

You get the idea.

Anyway, my "Hard Five" is constantly in flux. I pull people in and out of the bottom two slots all the time. Currently here is how it stands now (and yes, there is somewhat of a theme):

1) Janeane Garofalo -- She's held the #1 slot for several years now. Thankfully the break up with The Former Girlfriend, who bore more than a passing resemblance to Ms. Garofalo, didn't tumble Janeane off the list.

2) Rachael Harris -- Moving up the list from her normal lock in the #4 spot, Racheal has the distiction of being the only blonde on the list.

3) Tina Fey -- Notice the trend yet?

4) Julia Louis-Dreyfus -- Okay... fine... so I couldn't immediately find a picture of Julia Louis-Dreyfus with a pair of glasses on, so in her true comedic fashion, this will have to do.

5) Alex Borstien -- What can I say? My weakness for cute, funny, curvy, short brunettes creeps in even on my Hard Five (and that combo always trumps the whole "glasses" thing).

So class... aside from my "glasses fetish", can anyone tell me what all five of these women have in common?