Sunday, December 31, 2006

no resolutions

My ten possible options for celebrating the New Year shrunk to two.... and they are not very exciting until later tonight, so once again I'm bored. Now I'm listening to back episodes of The Glenn and Helen Show, some Hugh Hewitt, grappling with my new Bluetooth, and thinking about the coming year.

New Year's resolutions are just asking to be broken. Instead, I am going to post my goals for the year, and maybe I'll remember next December to post how well I accomplished them. Well, here goes....

1. Start my Master's and actually do well. Since I have already signed up for this one, registered, and they have my money, I think this one's in the bag. I could make a goal of getting a 4.0 or to be half way done with my degree by the end of next year, but just getting started is.... a good start. I'm actually really excited that I found a National Security/Terrorism degree online. Hopefully it proves interesting and useful.

2. Complete an Olympic distance triathlon. I did two sprint triathlons last year, had a blast, learned a lot, and I'm ready for more. Let's just hope my knees and shoulder hold up. (Dude, you'd think I was old or something...)

3. Read, no wait, finish a book every month. I have a tendency to buy books, start them, but not finish them. So looking to follow through this year.

4. Get qualified in a new jet... or prop, I guess. Hey, its a prop run by a jet engine. This one's a gimme also, since it is a requirement of my job to learn the T-6 Texan II this March. I'm totally stoked to fly something with air conditioning... oh, and GPS. Plus the AF pays me to get the heck out of MS!

5. Not watch any tv that has anything to do with what celebrities buy, throw away, wear, don't wear, awards they are given, awards they give themselves, and so on.... No more reruns of CSI that I have already seen three times either. So generally not watch tv. This goal should help with the book reading. The cutting back on CSI will be hard though. Curse you Spike tv!

UPDATE: My last options for New Year's celebrations fell through, so I am officially depressed and doomed to watching Nickolodeon with my 11 year old brother to ring in the new year....

Some other resolutions around the blogosphere:
Wake up America - Should auld acquaintence be forgot...
Cockpit Conversation - 2007 Resolutions
Michelle Malkin - New Year's Eve reminder: Cherish life and love
LGF- Open Thread #1, Fiskie/Fallaci Awards Update

Cartoons via Daryl Cagle's Cartoon Index

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I love Day by Day!

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prayers for a brother

A fellow Milblogger, SPC JR Salzman of Lumberjack in a Desert, was injured by an IED and had to have an arm amputated. He seems to be doing pretty well and support over at his sight looks overwhelming. Please keep his and his family, along with all of the military over in the sandbox, in your prayers. Hattip LGF.

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

bored on vacation

As much as I complain about working too hard and not getting enough vacation, I must admit that after one week of actual vacation.... I am totally bored. It has been wonderful to catch up on sleep, go for a run every day, play golf every day, catch up with friends, eat out and drink beer, but I have had about enough. I need something to fill my whole day, and I am not creative enough to fill almost two weeks worth of time. Ideas anyone?

I can't say I have to deal with anything like the culture shock like Grey over at sixty-six though.... Stay safe going back to the sand box boys. Someday life over here will feel normal again.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

hitchens takes on bill maher

My dad heard this on Laura Ingram a while ago, but I had to hear it for myself and post it. Bill Maher is an idiot, along with the people in his audience. The last segment is the best, and no matter his political affiliations, I think I like Christopher Hitchens. Comments anyone?

Ok, maybe Hitchens is a bit harsh. Via Captain's Quarters
However well or badly Ford managed his presidency, however, it seems more than a little churlish to attack him with the vigor Hitchens demonstrates in this column. During the mourning period, which is short enough even for former Presidents, a little acknowledgment of the challenges of the position should balance the criticism of the mistakes made by each. Afterwards, Hitchens would have plenty of time to set the record straight.

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mr. ellison goes to congress...

... to teach us tolerance and justice?

Can you imagine the reporting were another politician to speak to a crowd that responded: Hallelujah! Jesus is Lord? I doubt that it would be portrayed in a positive light. And the early signals from Ellison are very troubling for America and especially American-Muslims.
Given that it's Ellison who wants to inject Islam into politics, what Muslim nation is it that Ellison can point to as an example of a tolerant and just society? Which great Muslim leaders is it he can hold up as examples of an enlightened vision for peaceful co-existence with other religions? I see no great Muslim legacy at all when it comes to advancing human or civil rights.

From Riehl World View.
More from LGF.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

applying some logic to economic "disparities"

A great article by Thomas Sowell today over at RCP.
Who are these minority of the world's population who own a majority of the world's wealth?

They are the population of the United States, Western Europe, Japan and a few other affluent countries. How did these particular people come to possess so much more wealth than other people?

They did it the old-fashioned way. They produced the wealth that they own. You might as well ask why bees have so much more honey than other creatures.

Read the whole thing.

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hs memories

For anyone who was ever a band geek... Thanks Sammy!

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Monday, December 25, 2006

bored on christmas

**UPDATE... I don't know what the deal was but my cartoons kept disappearing. Should be good now.

All the gifts have been opened, we have played the new games, even played a few games of horse in the back yard, so now I'm surfing. Here's some fun. I wish I lived where it snowed...

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

[merry] christmas round up

I'm sitting at home while the rest of the fam goes to Christmas Eve service (I'm going later, I promise!). To pass the time I thought I would search for fun Christmas stuff... Here's what I found:

La Shawn Barber has it right. I always think of Linus in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" when I hear these verses...
"But the angel said to them ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’”

For the bicycler in your life, via LGF.

Who knew Michelle Malkin could play the piano?

Is it wrong that I find children crying when confronted with Santa kind of funny? Via Wizbang!


Friday, December 22, 2006

top 50 g.i. jobs 2006

I ment to post this last week.... or maybe it was the week before. It is always good to highlight companies that support former military.

1. Union Pacific
2. Home Depot
3. Johnson Controls Automotive & Electronics
4. BNSF Railway
6. General Electric
7. ITT Corporation
8. BellSouth
9. Man Tech International Corporation
10. Sears Holdings
11. J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc.
12. Kellogg, Brown, and Root
13. Applied Materials
14. Cintas
15. Sprint Nextel
16. Georgia-Pacific Packaging and Building
17. Schneider National Transportation
18. Brinks
19. Coca-Cola Enterprises
20. Lockheed Martin
21. State Farm
22. Morgan Stanley
23. Fluor Corporation
24. Werner Enterprises
25.Sunbelt Rentals
26. Booz Allen Hamilton
27. American Electric Power
28. Southern California Edison
29. Merrill Lynch
30. Norfolk Southern
31. Honeywell
32. Progress Energy
33. American Express
34. Westinghouse
35. 7-Eleven
36. NVR, Inc.
37. Southwest Airlines
38. The Vanguard Group
39. CDW Corporation
40. Smurfit-Stone Container
41. Phelps Dodge
42. Correction Corporation of America
43. FMC Technologies
44. Bank of America
45. CSX Transportation
46. AT&T
47. Merck & Company, Inc.
48. Southern Company
49. ExxonMobile
50. Allstate Insurance Company

Article here. List here. Links are PDF.

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100th post!

I'm sitting here in the Dallas airport amidst the bustle of holiday travel activities and realize that this is my 100th post. What a milestone. On another happy note, even though weather in most of the country is preventing smooth travel, everyone seems to be in chipper spirits and I have had nothing but smiling faces and many a "Merry Christmas." It is also refreshing to see all of the military members in uniform throughout the airport. If you see any servicemen or women during your holiday travels, make sure to thank them and wish them a Merry Christmas.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

history repeating itself

Dave Zucker takes on the Iraq Study Group. Via LGF

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

moral of the story

From my mother...

A teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment: get their parents to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day the kids came back and one by one began to tell their stories.

"Johnny, do you have a story to share?"

"Yes ma'am. My daddy told a story about my Aunt Sheila. She was a Pilot in Desert Storm and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whisky, a pistol and a survival knife. She drank the whisky on the way down so it wouldn't break and then her parachute landed right in the middle of twenty enemy troops. She shot fifteen of them with the gun until she ran out of bullets, killed four more with the knife, till the blade broke and then she killed the last Iraqi with her bare hands."

"Good Heavens" said the horrified teacher. "What kind of moral did your daddy tell you from this horrible story?"

"Stay the Hell away from Aunt Sheila when she's been drinking."

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Monday, December 11, 2006

rumsfeld's goodbye

Smash meets Mr. Rumsfeld. I had similar meeting in Colorado Springs in 2003 during a NATO conference. He might be small in stature, but still a giant of a man. I think if they met him, even his critics and enemies would agree.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

sunday night humor

My grandfather would appreciate this, and I can post it because I only dye my hair brown. Hattip CFPA.
A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, "Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get it started. Her boyfriend asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?" The blonde says, "According to the picture on the box, it's a tiger." Her boyfriend decides to go over and help with the puzzle. She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table. He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, "First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a tiger." He takes her hand and says, "Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then ..." He sighed...Let's put all the Frosted Flakes back in the box."

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i know a marine

We all do. Mary Katherine Ham has a great piece about Marine's reactions to the Iraq Study Group's recommendations. It is telling that those who are fighting and giving life and limb for are the ones who believe it is necessary to keep fighting for freedom and democracy in Iraq.
I know a Marine. He sits in a bar in North Carolina. He came there by way of Fallujah. The same close-cropped blonde fuzz glimmers on his head in the dim light as burned under the hot sun of Iraq. He’s the greatest storyteller I know, spinning tales about his overseas exploits, both combat and otherwise—only with the express permission of the mixed company present, of course.
I know a Marine. He sits on a low bench at Walter Reed Hospital, white paper crinkling beneath him as he works his left knee back and forth. Below the knee is about 12 inches of tibia, wrapped at the end in gauze and tight bandages while the wound heals. His left foot took its last step in Ramadi. It landed on an IED instead of Iraqi sand. He was on his way to clear a tower of an insurgent sniper when it happened. His fellow Marines—some double amputees jogging on treadmills and lifting weights—rib him, calling the injury a “flesh wound."
***Only in a Washington TV studio, perfumed with hairspray and haughtiness, could running away before the job is done be considered tough and resolved.

I know a Marine. He is packing his stuff this week. On Saturday, he will bend down, kiss his wife good-bye, and deploy again for Iraq...He’ll go with a mind to win, and he will not find boldness, passion, toughness, glee, or honor in anything less. That is a practice for Washingtonians, not Marines.

Via Wizbang!

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

best music of 2006

As the year winds down, the top 10, 50, 100 lists abound. I love to peruse the top album lists to find good music that I missed in the last 365 days. Here's the top 10 from some lists I've found, hit the links for more. I'll be coming up with my own top 30 before the year is out.

NME Top 50 Albums of the Year via Wizbang Pop!
10 My Chemical Romance - Welcome To The Black Parade
09 Kasabian - Empire
08 The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth
07 The Long Blondes - Someone To Drive You Home
06 Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
05 CSS - Cansei De Ser Sexy
04 Hot Chip - The Warning
03 Muse - Black Holes and Revelations
02 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
01 Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not

Uncut's Top 50 Albums via stereogum
10) Thom Yorke – "The Eraser"
09) Sufjan Stevens – "The Avalanche"
08) Hot Chip – "The Warning"
07) Midlake - "The Trials of Van Occupanther"
06) Arctic Monkeys – "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not"
05) Neil Young – "Living With War"
04) Joanna Newsom - "Ys"
03) Comets On Fire - "Avatar"
02) Scritti Pollitti – "White Bread, Black Beer"
01) Bob Dylan – "Modern Times"

Top 30
10. Los Lobos - "The Town and the City"
9. Destroyer - "Destroyer's Rubies"
8. Subtle - "For Hero: For Fool"
7. Ghostface Killah - "Fishscale"
6. TV on the Radio - "Return to Cookie Mountain"
5. Bob Dylan - "Modern Times"
4. Joanna Newsom - "Ys"
3. Clipse - "Hell Hath No Fury"
2. Tom Waits - "Orphans, Brawlers, Bawlers, & Bastards"
1. Ali Farka Toure - "Savane"

More to come...