Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Here There Be Dragons!

While I may re-use this title at some point in the future I am using it today for a coolness entry that has nothing to do with soul grinding tyranny or politics. This one's for the children and those of us who still love cool stuff!

We got to take the kids to the Indianapolis Childrens Museum a few weeks ago for a family outing. Indy has one of the best children's museums in the country and one of the coolest things they have is the DinoSphere, a permanent exhibit dealing with dinosaurs and paleontology. It's a great place to take any kid. During our visit we went through the lab portion and I got to take some up close and personal pictures of a Dracorex Hogwartsia skull in the lab, after talking with the resident paleo-technician. I thought I would share some of these, since I know how much many of us love cool things. Use the pics however you like, if you like. They're too cool to horde!

I loved the fact that this thing looked as if it were in the process of developing thumbs! If that nastly old asteroid hadn't done them in, (and given rise to our forbearers) this critter could have become the dominant life form on Earth. It was, despite the fearsome look-an herbivore.

Dracorex was one cool looking dinosaur and apparently J.K. Rowling was really bowled over that they wanted to name it after her books, (which I have read and thoroughly enjoyed!). I sure am glad I didn't have to travel very far to see this wonderful exhibit. Oh, did I mention that it was all privately funded, too? Sweet.
I sure wish they could clone these things! Even an herbivorous Dracorex would make a helluva watch dino! "What's that, Fluffy? The BATF is at the door? Heh...Sic 'em, girl!"

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sisyphus Shrugged

It's been a quiet week at Lake Wobegon...oh, wait...that's Keillor, not me. Oh, well. It's been quiet here, too. Weeding, picking blackberries, going to an auction (I scored a lot books, a gold piece, toys for the kids and...stuff), posting to my other blogs (like Soda? How about food and eating out? Root Beer? There'll be entries there over the next day or two), deciding what to plant in some newly emptied beds and hoping my cucumbers hurry up, watching the kids do their things, making a batch of Root Beer and many other mundane things. I like the mundane things. They aren't complicated and there's seldom any way they get really screwed up.

The mundane keeps me rooted and give me time to think about things, the universe and life in general. I'm allowed to day dream when I weed the garden, or have a conversation with myself while I'm crafting a batch of Root Beer. It's truly difficult to do those things in the meat grinder that most of us have faced in the work place. There's no time to think when you're facing a deadline, dealing with customers, making the next sale or fixing the 90 and 11 problems that arise on a normal day. It's no wonder we have few great philosophers or troublemakers in this day and age. Everyone is seemingly too busy to get a breath or think beyond the moment or to the end of the day.

Everything's scheduled, right down to the time some people are spending with their families. You're never "off the clock". That's not life. It's slavery and existence, not living. I don't miss my old 8-11 job in sales. I don't miss dealing with irate customers or demanding bosses. 120 degree kitchens? Nope. Blasts of 400 degree steam in the face? Not so much. 1st-3rd degree burns? Not missed. I will admit to sometimes missing my first restaurant job. Dishwashing. Long stretches of time when your body is on autopilot and all you do is push dishes and think. It's an exhausting job with one high point...two, actually...every other kitchen job is up from the dishtable.

One of the things I haven't had to deal with lately is futility. I get to see it, but I don't have to experience it. I get to shrug my shoulders and move on to the next thing. It's not quite so simple for those involved in the political aspects of libertarianism, tho. They seem to have futility blindness, it seems. Take the recent debacle here in Indiana where 12 LP candidates were declared ineligible to run for office by using a carefully targeted law. A law that was specific to the Libertarian Party. It didn't apply to Republicrats or their buddies the Democrats. It was designed solely to deprive LP candidates of their right to run for office. Some of those candidates are now running as Democrats, with no penalties....imagine that.

I know folks can see the big picture and have to realise that no Libertarian is ever going to be allowed to win anything substantive. The political arm of libertarianism is almost obsessive in their refusal to recognise the futility of playing the political game any longer. When you make the bar, the BOYN Party just raises it again and makes you have to work harder to meet even the minimums. It's just a cruel joke for them and they have a vile sense of humour. Somewhere there must be a political version of Prozac®, something to make folks realise the futility of playing a game you cannot win. Pursuing politics in the name of liberty may very well turn out to be less likely than winning the lottery given the last 30 years. Lawsuits certainly don't help. Neither do the numerous letters to the editor.

We live today in a country where the courts have ruled that police may knock down your door without warning, order you to stop for no reason and arrest you if you do not obey, change election laws on a whim and have their right to free speech negated. And people are willing to stand for this in order to continue playing the political game. Does anyone here remember Einstein's definition of insanity?
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Somewhere there must be a vaccination for this disease. I hate to see folks whom I like suffer. There has to be a better way than this. Not necessarily easier, but better.

That said, I'm going to go and kill some Japanese Beetles now. I know how to deal with those insects.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

This Is Why I Carry A Gun

I'm a homicidal maniac, they look just like everyone else.-Wednesday Addams

Not so I can stop a homicidal maniac from killing unarmed people, but so I can insure that I and my family do not become one of their victims. From the Commercial Appeal (the main Memphis Rag), (via KABA) comes this story of how an armed man stopped a homicidal lunatic who had stabbed 7 people and then pursued another into the parking lot.
A knife-wielding employee of the grocery store at 9025 U.S. 64 stabbed seven co-workers Friday morning before the armed civilian apprehended him in the parking lot.
"He was stabbing the guy. I grabbed my pistol and ran over to him. I told him to drop the knife. He turned around and threw the knife and put his hands up," Cope said. "I was thinking, 'I'm going to shoot this guy if he keeps stabbing him.' "
Good call, Mr. Cope!
The cops came by to take the guy into custody and write up their book reports, but it was Joe Public who stopped this. Not the cops. Not the paramilitary SWAT Team, such as the ones that are running around breaking down doors. Of course the police had a comment concerning about the situation, too.
“We commend him,” Higgins said. “But we don’t encourage people to take that kind of risk. He could have been hurt.”
Really? And how was that going to happen? Knife versus gun has only one outcome in the real world. Maybe Officer Higgins has never heard that you shouldn't bring a knife to a gunfight? Then again it is possible that Officer Higgins meant that Mr. Cope (the good guy with the gun) might have been shot by the police who might have thought he was the knife wielding maniac? Hopefully Mr. Schnuck will reward Mr. Cope for doing a fine job in saving his employees lives.

Regardless of whether Schnuck's rewards him Mr. Cope gets a big thumbs up from me and my Bulldog! (Poor Bulldog doesn't know it yet, but he's being phased out for something with a lower profile and more lead throwing capacity. BD will be my backup man soon.)

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