Random Access Memories

July 28, 2008

My rifle arrives

by @ 6:03 pm. Filed under Personal

Several weeks ago I bought an Airsoft version of a Steyr AUG, it finally arrived today.

I was shocked at how heavy the thing was, it’s mostly metal just like a real version of the rifle.

Now to get the rest of my airsoft outfit.

July 23, 2008

My good deed for the day

by @ 5:25 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

When Sarah came to visit me I got her a monthly bus card thinking we would use the bus a lot.
This did not come to pass and I ended up carrying the pass around using it for people who I saw paying with cash since nobody on Craigslist wanted to but it at more than 1/20th of it’s face value.
Today a gentleman at the bus stop was getting out cash and happened to mutter, “gotta save to get a pass”. So I gave him that spare one, much to his shock.
That action felt much nicer than letting someone haggle it out of me for a pittance online.
Hopefully he’ll pay it forward.

July 18, 2008

Fishing Report – Haller Lake, Seattle

by @ 8:46 pm. Filed under Fishing, Personal

So, I headed to the lake this evening with my little boat. The weather was partly cloudy, with a light wind.

Didn’t get any bites at all until about 6pm, then anything I threw into the water caught a perch near the Meridian entrance (there is a tree fall blocking this entrance now BTW) the largest one was about 12″. I got one rock bass as well.

They were still biting when I got bored at about 8pm and headed home.

Aaaahhhh….

by @ 4:35 pm. Filed under Uncategorized

This is the only way to spend a friday.

motoimg048.jpg

July 14, 2008

Gas Guzzling

by @ 8:57 pm. Filed under Business, Politics

What is up with the price of gas?



By C. Marcus Parr




Who’s responsible for rising gas prices?



Asking this question makes sense when we’re paying so much to fill the tank. Seven years ago, the price for a barrel of crude oil was $30. It recently reached a high of $137. Oil not merely doubled or tripled in price during President Bush’s administration, but more than quintupled.



In all fairness, the staggering cost of gasoline cannot be laid solely at the feet of George W. Bush. Several factors are at play the falling value of the U.S. dollar, a diminishing supply (or scarcity) of oil versus rising demand, and speculators in the futures market.



The dollar has lost about 60 percent of its value against the euro over the last seven years. It has lost even more value against gold and petroleum. When the dollar drops in value against foreign currency, Americans pay more for a barrel of oil on the international market.



Alternatively, when speculators set oil futures at $130 a barrel, we pay more at the pump and the United States trade deficit increases. Our annual oil import bill has risen from $106 billion in 2006 to approximately $500 billion today.



Are speculators at the root of this problem? According to T. Boone Pickens, legendary Texas oilman, the futures market is not a ‘bubble’ about to burst. Oil futures are rising because of scarcity and high demand, not speculation. George Soros, the hedge fund billionaire, counters Pickens’ argument by saying the global oil price explosion is caused by commodity futures speculation. He believes that speculation is exaggerating the true price of oil.



Are we running out of oil? Some say we’ve already passed Peak Oil. Finding and extracting crude has become difficult for oil companies. Today, worldwide demand for oil is outpacing production.



No matter which view is right or who is at fault, the world economy runs on gasoline and we’re burning it faster than we can pump it out of the ground.



We need to reduce our energy consumption through conservation. This is a good policy for our pocketbooks and the environment. Commute with others. Use mass transit. We have a marvelous bus system in Sandy: Fareless SAM. It’s clean, it’s safe and it’s free!



Save energy by making your home more energy-efficient: insulate, put in new windows or passive solar systems and buy energy-friendly appliances. We need to buy local produce and goods rather than imported goods. Many of us already have vegetable gardens or shop at local farmers’ markets. Yes, it’s true that conservation will take a major change in the way we live, but these habits will pump money into our local economy, help conserve energy and help build a sustainable community.

The New Yorker

by @ 6:26 pm. Filed under Politics

The other day the New Yorker magazine published it’s July 21, 2008 issue, with cover art by artist Barry Blitt. (Shown below)



It shows Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim and his wife as a terrorist.


The magazine says “the cover is meant to satirize the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the presidential election to derail Obamas campaign”.



But with how stupid the US populace is, do you seriously think they will realize it’s a joke? Especially when there is nothing printed in the magazine that explains or relates to the cover art. The comments from the publisher above came out only after they were questioned regarding the image.



July 13, 2008

Apathy

by @ 6:38 pm. Filed under Personal, Politics

So I try talking to one of my co-workers about the new TSA regulations. And no matter how bad a theoretical situation I bring up he says:


“I don’t care, they can do whatever they want for my safety”


Why oh why are people so willing to give up their freedoms for thinking they are safer?

On Conservatives and Liberals

by @ 5:44 pm. Filed under Business, Politics

So I’ve been noticing more and more the rift widening.


And I’ve really been wondering, why?


I’m going to list it as I see it.



#1 Conservatives believe they have a god-given right to anything and everything.


Think about it, they want to anything no matter how bad it is, they want to drive huge cars that get bad gas mileage, they don’t care about the environment, they want to keep every cent of every dollar they ever make for themselves.


In short, they don’t like anyone telling them they have to do ANYTHING.


Why? The USA has become the land of absolute individualism, “Do what you want as long as it directly doesn’t hurt anyone else”, but what about indirectly hurting others? When did that stop mattering? We just think “Gee, that’s not my concern” and go on with our wasteful consumer culture figuring it’ll all work itself out, and we don;t have to be part of the solution.



#2 Liberals see a moral reason to be concerned about indirect hurts.


My car hurts the environment, my choice of hiring illegals or not hurts them and the economy, my bad business tactics are morally hurtful.


Many people seem to think this is somehow weakness, “They just feel guilty for everything”, but in reality it’s an enlightened view that we cannot just care about ourselves.



#3 Money


The USA teaches you that money is hard to get, it’s rare, and you’ll have to work your ass off for it. Along with that you have to pay a ton of money to go to school, so once you have paid for your school you have no desire to make less than possible.


Is this the only way? In Denmark for example school is free.


Yep, it costs nothing to go to school.


If I went to school to learn how to do what I really wanted to do, would there be a learned behavior to somehow feel I needed to earn a ton of money? Highly doubtful.



#4 Welfare


Conservatives do not believe in “Externalities”. They like to believe that all the people that are poor, homeless, on welfare, etc. want to be there. “If they don’t want to be poor they would just work harder”. In truth why should they have to? So long as they are contributing members of society in some way why shouldn’t we help them to have at least a basic level of comfort?




#5 Taxes


It’s an evil word, I know. The forced redistribution of wealth.


But how is it that we still love Robin Hood?


He stole from the rich and gave to the poor, that’s exactly what taxes do, why? Because the rich don’t want to give up their money to help anyone else. Is it wrong for the state to force them to?


Liberals say morally it is our obligation to help others.


Conservatives see it as wage slavery, that they shouldn’t have to give anyone anything or have morals forced on them.



When are we going to start accepting that there is more to life than trying to get ahead for just ourselves and start living in the “United” States of America rather than the divided states of individualism?


Sooner than later I hope.

July 10, 2008

Something all US Citizens should be worried about

by @ 2:29 am. Filed under Crime & Justice, Politics

Your papers please…

TSA Announces Enhancements to Airport ID Requirements to Increase Safety


June 23, 2008


Beginning Saturday, June 21, 2008 passengers that willfully refuse to provide identification at security checkpoint will be denied access to the secure area of airports. This change will apply exclusively to individuals that simply refuse to provide any identification or assist transportation security officers in ascertaining their identity.


This new procedure will not affect passengers that may have misplaced, lost or otherwise do not have ID but are cooperative with officers. Cooperative passengers without ID may be subjected to additional screening protocols, including enhanced physical screening, enhanced carry-on and/or checked baggage screening, interviews with behavior detection or law enforcement officers and other measures.


Under the law that created TSA, the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, the TSA administrator is responsible for overseeing aviation security (P.L. 107-71) and has the authority to establish security procedures at airports (49 C.F.R. – 1540.107). Passengers that fail to comply with security procedures may be prohibited from entering the secure area of airports to catch their flight (49 C.F.R. – 1540.105(a)(2).


This initiative is the latest in a series designed to facilitate travel for legitimate passengers while enhancing the agency’s risk-based focus – on people, not things. Positively identifying passengers is an important tool in our multi-layered approach to security and one that we have significantly bolstered during the past 18 months.



In short if you refuse to show ID as is your constitutional right you will not be allowed to fly, if you have lost it, or forgot it you will.


Why? We don’t know, since the Bush administration has made all TSA documents “Secret”. Nothing like being forced to follow secret laws.


Fascism anyone?

July 7, 2008

There are easier ways to travel

by @ 6:54 pm. Filed under Personal

Body of “flying priest” balloon adventurer recovered off Brazil


July 5th, 2008 by Mohit Joshi


BrazilRio de Janeiro – The body of “flying priest” balloon adventurer Adelir de Carli has been recovered some 100 kilometres off the Brazilian coast, local media reports said Saturday.


Father de Carli went missing in April while attempting to fly with 1,000 helium-filled party balloons tied to a chair. The body was recovered by a tugboat crew off Rio de Janeiro state, reports said.


Police said clothing, a rucksack and shoes left little doubt that the body was that of the priest. DNA tests would be conducted to provide final proof.


Father de Carli, 42, had set out on April 20 on what was planned to be a 20-hour flight from the town of Paranagua, in the state of Parana, to Dourados, in neighbouring Mato Grosso do Sul, to break a 19-hour world record and “to promote religion,” as he put it.


He had also been seeking to raise money to build a chapel and to contribute to the cause of long-distance lorry drivers demanding longer breaks.


He went missing eight hours into the flight attempt as the wind blew him off course towards the sea. Rescue teams at sea later found the balloons the Roman Catholic priest had been using and fragments of what may have been his chair some 50 kilometres from the seaside resort of Florianopolis, in the state of Santa Catarina.


Authorities feared at the time he had fallen into the sea and been dragged south. They broadened the scope of the search, hoping to find De Carli at sea or on an island in the states of Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.


On January 13, the priest made a successful attempt to fly supported by balloons, travelling 110 kilometres from Ampere, in Parana, to the Argentine town of San Antonio, in a four-hour flight. He used 500 balloons and reached an altitude of 5,300 metres


Friends did not regard de Carli as a “crazy priest” but as an experienced flier and parachutist, who completed several survival courses.

On happiness

by @ 6:48 pm. Filed under Personal

Recently, the list of world’s happiest countries was out.




The winner? Denmark!




The survey for happiest nations was conducted by University of Leicester,and what exactly was asked isn’t revealed. But,what’s striking is that the list which is here, is appearing to be more or less the same in any survey conducted across the globe.
The 20 happiest nations in the World are:




1. Denmark
2. Switzerland
3. Austria
4. Iceland
5. The Bahamas
6. Finland
7. Sweden
8. Bhutan
9. Brunei
10. Canada
11. Ireland
12. Luxembourg
13. Costa Rica
14. Malta
15. The Netherlands
16. Antigua and Barbuda
17. Malaysia
18. New Zealand
19. Norway
20. The Seychelles




Other notable results include:




23. USA
35. Germany
41. UK
62. France
82. China
90. Japan
125. India
167. Russia




The three least happy countries were:




176. Democratic Republic of the Congo
177. Zimbabwe
178. Burundi




What do I personally find striking about this list? That most of the happiest nations tend to be welfare states, have extremely high tax rates, or general socialistic tendencies.




It’s also worth noting that another survey by livescience.com showed: “Americans are no happier today than they were 50 years ago despite significant increases in prosperity, decreases in crime, cleaner air, larger living quarters and a better overall quality of life.”




So, exactly what gives?




My opinion? The USA will never be happy with “what it haves”. It’s far too busy trying to get more and more and more that people cannot stop and enjoy what they have currently.




Maybe in a few decades that’ll change, but either way we have to drop pure individu

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