29 February 2008

Lust object of the day

All that's standing between Rico and this vehicle is about a quarter million dollars he doesn't have... (Oh, yeah, and the drivers' license he doesn't have, either.)

That's why they call it felony stupid

Courtesy of Kim du Toit, it seems a pair of robbers went into the Regents Park Sporting and Community Club in Sydney, Australia recently, armed with machetes, and demanded all the cash. Unfortunately for them, it was the bar where the Southern Cross Cruiser Club was having their monthly meeting. Fifty bikers, armed with broken tables and chairs, subdued the robbers and turned them over to police.

Rico says this is social Darwinism in action...

Not what they meant by "ozzie, ozzie, ozzie, oi, oi, oi", izzit?

But it's what they should have meant, given that this is Australian rugby star Nyree Osieck.

Rico says it's hard to believe she's a lieutenant in the Australian Navy, but she apparently 'scored all the points' in a recent game with the Australian army team. ("LEUT Nyree Osieck was suitably named player of the series at the post-match presentation.") And nice tits, too...

Rico wants one

28 February 2008

Bad behavior by Barack

Even Rico thinks this was not a good thing, and only being raised outside the country might explain, though not excuse, Barack's oversight...

Can't happen here, not yet anyway

Seems the Saudis took exception to some of the posts on a blog run by Fouad al-Farhan, and slapped him in jail. al-Farhan sent an e-mail to friends just before he was arrested, saying he thought he was being taken into custody because "I wrote about the political prisoners here in Saudi Arabia..."

Rico says of which he's now one...

Another good one gone

Boyd Coddington, whose 'American Hot Rod' show Rico watched regularly, has died.

A tempting target

Seems Prince Harry, third in line to the throne of England, has been deployed with his unit, the Blues and Royals, in Afghanistan for the last ten weeks under a media blackout. Coronet Wales been acting as a forward air controller, but his fellow troopers call him a 'bullet magnet'; he says the experience is about "as normal as I'm likely to get"...

Rico says good on Harry for organizing this, but he's sure the Palace is freaking. Too bad Prince Charles didn't have a nice war to toddle off to when he was young and restless....

Still at it

According to John in Carolina, the Raleigh newspaper is still snarking its way through the lawsuits over the false allegations and arrests two years ago.
The lacrosse players have finally filed a honking lawsuit against the university and the now-disbarred district attorney for fucking them over.

Rico says he hopes they win, and take the fucks for a lot of money; too bad they can't include the newspaper for libel...

Too real, too perfect, too Frank

Go here to hear him sing it (and whoever they got is a dead ringer for Frank's voice):

Strangers on my flight,
turbans they're packin'.
Wonderin' if they might,
plan a hijackin'.
They could pull a stunt,
before this flight is through...

Something's on their minds.
I saw them mutter.
What that in their hands?
Looks like box cutters,
I'm gonna kick some ass,
if they make a move...

Strangers on my flight.
Two smelly people,
and they're not talking right;
and in a moment,
I will grab a baseball bat;
and that will be that.
Swing like Joe DiMaggio,
and rip them both a new a-hole...

And if they pick a fight,
and try to screw us,
I'll punch out their lights,
just like Joe Louis.
It would feel so right,
for strangers on my flight...

Ratta Tat Tat Tat,
Badda Bing Bang Boom,
Zooma Zooma Zoom.
Send those bastards to the moon...

Rico says if more people had had this attitude on 9/11, the Twin Towers would still be standing...

Just what they needed (not)

Seems that California has a new problem: gangs moving to small towns.
The lower end of the Sacramento valley has long been known as the Mason-Dixon Line of California's major Latino gang rivalry. But now clashes between the Sureños, or southerners, and the Norteños, northerners, have migrated through the state. The Sureños wear blue and the Norteños wear red. People get shot on the street for wearing the 'wrong' color, even if they're not part of a gang.
Police, school officials, and community groups say gang violence cannot be curtailed without prevention and intervention. Some towns teach parents to be on alert for signs, such as red or blue clothing, shoes, or handkerchiefs, that show their children might be drifting toward gangs. Other towns have stepped up recreational activities to keep youngsters busy.
Even when law agencies record successes against a gang, members often move elsewhere, as some may have done after crackdowns on Fresno's Bulldogs gang. It has an estimated 6,000 members.

Rico says this has gone too far, as usual; this is illegal immigration taken to the next level...

Geez, and we thought we were arguing

Seems two brothers-in-law got into it locally, sending one of them to the hospital with a stab wound to the stomach.
The argument?
Who should win, Hillary or Barack...

Rico says he and the ladyfriend sometimes exchange words on the same subject over dinner, but have avoided the use of cutlery...

Write your own caption

But Rico thinks it's "Look, I can cut off my own head!"

Ann Richards is whirring in her grave

Seems that Hillary's campaign is running a television ad suggesting that the late Ms Richards would support Hillary if she were alive. Her daughter, apparently, gave permission for her mother's image to be used, but her sons don't agree: "As her children, we never presumed to know her mind when alive and we are not prepared to make a claim as to who she would endorse or what she would do if she were still with us," they wrote in an e-mail last week. "We are not granting permission for her name to be used in advertisements on behalf of either candidate."

Rico doesn't think so either; if Ann Richards was alive, she'd be kicking Hillary's ample butt...

Another great one gone, except virtually

The classic Buckley/Vidal debate during the 1968 convention, with the first known use of 'crypto-Nazi'...

Civil War for the day

Project 28 goes south

Seems the big Boeing-run 'virtual fence' along the border isn't working quite like the Border Patrol wanted it to. Apparently they rushed equipment into place during the big immigration debate, and now stuff doesn't do what they said it would.
"The Bush administration has scaled back plans to quickly build a "virtual fence" along the U.S.-Mexico border, delaying completion of the first phase of the project by at least three years and shifting away from a network of tower-mounted sensors and surveillance gear, federal officials said yesterday."
"The total cost is not yet known," testified Richard M. Stana, the GAO's director of homeland security issues, because DHS officials "do not yet know the type of terrain where the fencing is to be constructed, the materials to be used, or the cost to acquire the land."
The pilot virtual fence included nine mobile towers, radar, cameras, and vehicles retrofitted with laptops and satellite phones or handheld devices. They were to be linked to a near-real-time, maplike projection of the frontier that agents could use to track targets and direct law enforcement resources.
The effort produced "a product that did not fully meet user needs, and the project's design will not be used as the basis for future... development".
"Those problems included Boeing's use of inappropriate commercial software, designed for use by police dispatchers, to integrate data related to illicit border-crossings. Boeing has already been paid $20.6 million for the pilot project, and in December, the DHS gave the firm another $65 million to replace the software with military-style, battle management software."
"Boeing's software could not process large amounts of sensor data. The resulting delays made it hard for operators in a Tucson command center 65 miles to the north to lock cameras on targets. Radar systems were also triggered inadvertently by rain and other environmental factors. Cameras had trouble resolving images at five kilometers when they were expected to work at twice that distance."

Rico says eighty-five million bucks for a system that doesn't work? His open-season-in-the-first-mile system would cost virtually nothing and render the whole illegal immigration issue moot...

27 February 2008

Politics makes bedfellows strange

Seems they're still whacking Barack Obama for being a Muslim when he's not. (He's a fundamentalist Christian, which Rico holds to be not that much better, but at least he's not one of them.)
"If anyone is still puzzled about the facts, in fact I have never been a Muslim," he told Jewish leaders in Cleveland.
Then, just when he was getting over the Somali-garb photo incident, Obama gets praised by none other than Louis Farrakhan. Can't win for losing, sometimes...


Got to see Mark this weekend. (a Sunday-Monday weekend), He's doing great for one who has been slammed…still, it was good to have first seen the video clip that Chris posted. A new pic. will be up soon.
You’ll have noticed that all pictures of Mark so far are bad. I thought to circumvent that. I flattered myself thinking that I could, at least, to get a pic. that showed his eyes (they are in there, trust me). After sorting through several takes, I conclude that a good picture cannot be taken in that building; I think it’s the overhead lighting that shadows the eyes.
And Mark…he’s the same as ever, if different. Most all of the ‘different’ is expected to go away. For example, he still has double-vision and does not often make eye contact when he speaks. At first I felt he wasn’t following, but he was. He’ll occasionally tip his head back and go so wide-eyed that there’s almost white all around the pupil. He looks like a tiger ready to pounce…disconcerting on the first few occasions, but he‘s straining to pull the double images together.
When speaking, he’ll pause before replying, and then, in a measured tone, give an answer. The really heartening aspect is that the answer comes back with the same thought and choice of words, and sometimes ‘choice’ words that we all know and expect from Mark. His sardonic wit has not left him. On a few occasions when we were bantering a point back and forth, there’d be a pause on his end, and a smile would slowly work its way across his face, hang there for a few seconds, and fade. He was laughing.
When asked how he's doing, (even by staff, who will breezily inquire) he usually responds: "Fine. In the great scheme of things." But since 'the great scheme of things' includes such items as: 'the moving of the sun across the heavens', it leaves much room for improvement in Room 205. His first request: "I just want to get outta here." Can't fault him there. It's a great re-hab institution, but still...looking from the inside-out, they're much the same. The decor is by Bland Environments, Inc. (their stock must be doing well), and the food supplied by Uni-Paste Industries.
Which is the other frustration: the whole experience has boogered up his taste-buds. (also expected to normal-out in the next few weeks.) As mentioned before, his beloved Coca-Cola can sometimes taste like lipstick [moreso some times than at others] At dinner he munched some cookies while waiting for the entrée. I asked if they were any good. 'Wallboard," he said. For the main course, Uni-Paste Industries went all-out with heavily breaded Veal Parmagiana. "Wallboard," again...though I don’t think his taste-buds could be blamed this time. The 'wallboard response' might be our body's way of insulating us from institutional cooking.
That’s it off the top o’ my head. As other things surface in memory, I’ll post. Reading back over this, I do not mean to be the least bit gloomy. It was very, very good to see that the essential ‘Mark’ was still in there, unchanged, and chafing to get out. Now it’s just getting the bawd going again, and the expectations are good.
'til then...

Rico says the UniPaste gag goes way way back; the premise was (it got started when I was in college) how do you convert UniPaste, a tasteless, colorless, white paste that comes in a 55 gallon drum, into food? The trick, while eating in the college dorm, was to come up with the series of physical events (forming, coloring, heating) that turned it into whatever was on your plate. We had great fun with it, and Kelley loved the notion, having eaten some dorm food himself along the way...

Tag you're out

Rico is unclear how attorney Jon Eardley is going to fight on as Britney Spears' lawyer after another lawyer was appointed her conservator by a state court, but it will be amusing to watch. "We have only just begun the fight," Eardley said in a statement. "There is nothing that will stop me from dismantling, if necessary, this oppressive and unjust conservatorship." Judge Gutierrez ruled the case would remain in state court, not federal court as Eardley sought, because Eardley had no authority to move it.

Another great one gone

Per Douglas Martin's on-line column in the New York Times: "William F. Buckley Jr., who marshaled polysyllabic exuberance, famously arched eyebrows and a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse, died Wednesday at his home in Stamford, Connecticut."

Rico says he was found at his desk, just like Bat Masterson, as one might have guessed...

Doing it the hard way

Rico's done this. It's hard. This guy makes it look easy.

They're not making borders the way they used to in the old days

Turks are crossing into Iraq because the PKK is crossing into Turkey.
Palestinians are crossing into Eqypt.
Indonesians are crossing into Papua New Guinea.
Slovenes are crossing into Italy.
Taliban fighters are crossing into Syria from Iraq.
Poles are crossing into the Czech Republic.
Basques are crossing into both Spain and France.
Dutch guys are crossing into Argentina.
Mexicans and Central Americans are crossing into the US from Mexico.

Rico says we have one of the few borders where people don't get shot for crossing illegally; maybe we should fix that...

Rapid posting movement

Seems Rico has been doing better this year than last (no surprise there); he's posted 600 items on this blog so far in 2008, which is what he did in all of 2007 (during which he was otherwise engaged for much of the year) and close to double what he did in 2006 (though he got a late start that year). More to come...

Political humor, via Photoshop

Rico suspects this isn't what the shirt said when she held it up...

Fun in the sun (or rain, given that it's England and Oregon)

Seems the Brits have nipped a local Islamic training scheme in the bud, putting the ringleaders on trial for setting up paramilitary camps: "Prosecutors told a court hearing that the men set up camps in idyllic spots across England to train in a range of paramilitary skills. National parks in the Lake District, in northern England, and the New Forest, in southern England, and quiet corners of the southern counties of Berkshire, Kent and East Sussex were all used for training — including a former school."
"Clad in mud-smeared combat fatigues, the young Muslim men trained in picturesque British farmland, hurling imaginary grenades, wielding sticks as mock rifles and chopping watermelons in simulated beheadings."
"Dozens trained at Hamid's camps were hoping to carry out attacks, said a senior police official, who demanded anonymity to discuss counterterrorism work. 'There was repeated talk of finding and killing nonbelievers', he said."
"The British camps, which gave instruction to about 10 men at a time, also offer a glimpse of the training centers British-based radicals hoped to open in Oregon, in the United States, before authorities halted their plans."

Rico says everybody laughed at the camps in Oregon; maybe they shouldn't have...

Bill being dragged around by the parts

The International Herald Tribune has an on-line article about Bill Clinton on the campaign trail: "The long campaign has taken some of the fight out of the Big Dog. Bill Clinton is dutifully traveling from state to state and small town to small town on behalf of his wife's presidential candidacy. But the growling and snapping Bill Clinton that the country saw before the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries has been muzzled and leashed. He is being kept as far from the media as possible to prevent any more of the red-faced, finger-wagging tirades and freelance political commentary that polls say cost Hillary Rodham Clinton a lot of support, particularly among black voters. In the Lancaster High School gymnasium Monday night, Bill Clinton spoke for a full hour to about 2,000 people. The room could have held 1,000 more, but the rest of the gym was curtained off. Earlier in the day, at a college campus in Chillicothe, Ohio, he spoke in a gym that was two-thirds empty."
"An equally troublesome matter was the $5 million loan Hillary Clinton made to keep her campaign afloat before the coast-to-coast Super Tuesday nominating contests on Feb. 5. "Where did that come from?" Clare Walker, who runs a family-owned shoe store up the block, said. "A lot of people in this area who thought she was for the working middle class and the poor are wondering about that. That's a lot of money. That really hurt her in this area. That $5 million came out of nowhere," she added. "I think even more than her husband that will cause her to lose. The people here are poor but they're not stupid."

Rico couldn't have said it better himself...

Dueling Democrats

Seems Hillary and Barack were still at it in their latest debate. MSNBC billed the debate at Cleveland State University as "do or die," and that wasn't far off. Clinton, of New York, has lost 11 contests in a row to Obama, of Illinois. Clinton advisers, including her husband, have said she needs to win Texas and Ohio on March 4 to stay viable.
Some of the sharpest exchanges came over Iraq and foreign policy. Clinton said Obama chairs a subcommittee on Europe but had held no hearings on how to strengthen NATO's hand in Afghanistan. She also said Obama had unwisely "threatened to bomb Pakistan." Obama said he had never made that threat, but had proposed to strike terrorists within Pakistan if the government there were unwilling or unable to do so -- something he said the Bush administration did just several days ago.

Rico says that, whoever becomes president, they need to tell the world the United States will strike terrorists no matter where they are...

Yeah, but who would buy the damn place?

Seems that Michael Jackson is being forced to sell Neverland, or lose it in a foreclosure.

Given the history of behavior on the property, Rico can't imagine who, other than NAMBLA, would want it...

That's nice. What about my stock?

Last month Apple reported that in the first quarter, the Mac unit has registered a growth of 44 percent and revenue growth of 47 percent compared with last year. Apple shipped 2,319,000 computers and the company estimates that 19 percent of the Mac installed base is running Leopard, Mac OS X 10.5. Leopard generated $170 million in revenue for Apple during the first quarter.

Apple's trading at $119 this morning. Rico wants that $200 a share he was promised...

Nothing sells so well as sleaze

And the Lindsay Lohan 'recreation' of the famed Marilyn Monroe photos, from the 1962 issue of Playboy (reshot by the same photographer, Bert Stern, who's gotta be ancient by now), in the 25 February issue of New York Magazine would certainly qualify.

Rico has only seen them in passing, but they certainly do recreate the old Marilyn mystique, if not her physique... (Though where Lohan, always a skinny girl, came up with those hooters, Rico has no idea.)

More of Bill's money gone

The European Union has fined Microsoft the record sum of 899 million euros for "failing to comply with a 2004 antitrust order, the largest EU fine ever imposed against a single company. Today's fine brings the total penalties against Microsoft to 1.68 billion euros in the case. The company was previously fined 778 million euros for abusing its dominance in the software market and failing to abide by the antitrust decision."

Rico says while that's only 1.35 billion dollars, which Bill can probably write a check for from his personal account, it couldn't have happened to a nicer company...

Civil War for the day

Remembrance Day, the 139th

26 February 2008

Just when you got all the flags straight...

...along comes this problem. (Click to read the map.)

Rico says what the hell, the more the merrier. Besides, the Basques have been waiting a long time for their own country, as have the Kurds (who were promised a country at the end of WW1, fer fucksakes). But he's sure the Russians don't want to deal with the Ossetians or the Abkhazians, any more than the Turks do with the Kurds or the Brits with the Welsh...

Just when you thought you knew who the players were

Seems that Willard Romney only 'suspended' his campaign, not terminated it.
He could, therefore, come back in with his nearly 300 delegates and try to unseat McCain yet again.

Rico says he's tired of this whole campaign already, and it's not even March yet. With Fred out of it, his heart ain't in it any more...

Made it to 8000

Seemed like a long time coming, but I'm finally over 8,000 visitors in the last two years.
That's a few minutes to a 'real' blog (hell, even The LawDog Files has had nearly a million visitors), but it's still not bad.
I thank each and every one of you who reads my stuff.
Do tell your friends.
Hell, tell your enemies...

Less bang for your buck

The Marines are having a tizzy about who did or didn't order enough MRAP vehicles early enough to protect its troops in Iraq. At a million bucks apiece, the defense industry supposedly couldn't produce them fast enough back in 2005, when they asked for them. They're now making a thousand a month (thus a billion dollars a month added to the cost of the war; the military-industrial complex at its finest), which is pretty amazing. Rico didn't think they were getting blown up at that rate...

Smells like desperation to Rico

Yahoo is trying desperately to avoid being swallowed up by Microsoft. This New York Times on-line article lays out its death throes...

Rico says they can both take each other to internet hell as far as he's concerned...

One, two, many Texas

The New York Times has a nice little on-line article about the 'many' parts of Texas: "When Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton issued her gunslinger’s invitation to Senator Barack Obama recently, challenging him to 'meet me in Texas', the question many people here asked was, Which one?"

Rico says he's been to Texas, all parts ("a state as large as New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina combined, and probably even more diverse"), and it's an amazing place. The original plan was, if necessary, to split it into five states. While that would make for too much political confusion, it's still a viable notion...

Write your own caption

But Rico thinks it's "Pick a finger, bitch, 'cause it's going up your..."

(Hey, hey, Rico meant nose. What did you think he meant?)

Hillary's first use of a sink in years

Seems they're using a classic phrase to describe the struggle in the Democratic primaries:
The San Jose Mercury News reports that Clinton's campaign is "throwing the kitchen sink" at Obama: "After struggling for months to dent Sen. Barack Obama's candidacy, the campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton is unleashing what one Clinton aide called a 'kitchen sink' fusillade against Obama, pursuing five lines of attack since Saturday in hopes of stopping his political momentum."

Rico says, while it took her campaign awhile to admit it, it's what he's been saying all along about the tizzy over the Obama-in-native-garb photo: "If Barack Obama's campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely." Wait a minute; they should be ashamed? Didn't the Clinton campaign issue the photo in an attempt to brand him with the Islamic boogy-man image? The Clintons are getting desperate...

That's a lot of internet

Seems that Google is investing in a $300 million cable to provide 960Gbps capacity across the Pacific, linking Japan and the West Coast. Even with all that capacity, it's only adding twenty percent to what's there now. It's set to be up and running in 2010.

Rico says they'll have to get around to satellite uploads soon, or they'll have to install another couple of cables like this...

Who knew?

Bill Gates pokes fun at himself.

Rico says the guy may have a new career as a comedian, but Bill's been making us cry for years...

25 February 2008

And they're hunting McCain, too

Now they're jumping on John McCain for saying that " it would be fine with him if U.S. troops remain in Iraq for 100 years or more".
Funny, we've had troops in Germany for over 60 years and defended Japan with our military for the same amount of time, and Korea for over 50 years, but that's okay...

Now it starts

They're circulating a photo of Barack Obama, dressed in indigenous clothing, during a 2006 visit to his father's homeland; the tizzy is over the 'Islamic' quality of the clothing.
So, Rico wonders, if Bill Clinton dressed in a kilt during a visit to his family's ancestral home, does that make him a Scottish Nationalist? Morons...

It's not just Rico, fortunately

Seems others aren't buying it, either:
General Motors Corp Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has defended remarks he made dismissing global warming as a "total crock of shit," saying his views had no bearing on GM's commitment to build environmentally friendly vehicles.
Lutz, GM's outspoken product development chief, has been under fire from Internet bloggers since last month when he was quoted as making the remark to reporters in Texas.
In a posting on his GM blog on Thursday, Lutz said those "spewing virtual vitriol" at him for minimizing the threat of climate change were "missing the big picture."
"What they should be doing in earnest is forming opinions, not about me but about GM and what this company is doing that is ... hugely beneficial to the causes they so enthusiastically claim to support," he said in a posting titled, "Talk About a Crock."
GM, the largest U.S. automaker by sales and market share, has been trying to change its image after taking years of heat for relying too much on sales of large sport-utility vehicles like the Hummer and not moving faster on fuel-saving hybrid technology.
"My thoughts on what has or hasn't been the cause of climate change have nothing to do with the decisions I make to advance the cause of General Motors," he wrote.
Lutz said GM was continuing development of the battery-powered, plug-in Chevy Volt and other alternatives to traditional internal combustion engines.
GM is racing against Toyota Motor Corp to be first to market a plug-in hybrid car that can be recharged at a standard electric outlet.
Lutz has previously said GM made a mistake by allowing Toyota to seize "the mantle of green respectability and technology leadership" with its market-leading Prius hybrid.

Rico says screw climate change; he wants electric cars so we can stop importing oil and fuck over the Sandbox...

Got it

Seems the attempt to blow up the falling satellite worked; "By all accounts this was a successful mission," Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a statement. Cartwright said analysis of debris supported the initial conclusion that the missile had most probably destroyed the satellite's tank of hazardous hydrazine fuel as intended. "From the debris analysis, we have a high degree of confidence the satellite's fuel tank was destroyed and the hydrazine has been dissipated," he said. Experts were tracking less than 3,000 pieces of debris, all smaller than a football. "The vast majority of debris has already reentered or will shortly reenter the Earth's atmosphere in the coming days and weeks," Cartwright said.

One, two, many Fidels

The Cubans have solved their leadership problem by instituting a wider Communist Party structure to replace the Fidel era:
"The idea of Cuba's bearded revolutionary leader being replaced by legions of party clones was illustrated on the front page of the Communist Youth newspaper Sunday. Under the heading "Cuba post-Castro," the cartoon showed rows and rows of gun-toting Fidel Castros. "Now, and in the future, the Revolution needs many Fidels," the caption read.
"The new council makeup evidently was meant to assure revolutionary old-timers that no significant political changes are planned. The growing effort to shore up party influence troubles some, particularly activists such as Oswaldo Paya, who has sought a referendum on civil and political rights."
"In accepting the presidency, Raul Castro made clear that he was not filling his brother's shoes alone, and that the entire Communist Party was poised to inherit Fidel's political power. The party, he said, "is the sole worthy heir."

Whudda fuck?

Hillary is now stepping up he criticism of Barack, following the little lovefest during their last debate:
"Senator Clinton highlighted her experience in foreign policy during a speech in Washington, and seemed to compare rival Barack Obama to President Bush when he won the presidency with relatively little foreign policy experience in 2000.
"We have seen the tragic result of having a president who had neither the experience nor the wisdom to manage our foreign policy and safeguard our national security. We cannot let that happen again," she said. "America has already taken that chance one time too many."

Rico says excuse me, but when the fuck did Hillary get all this foreign policy experience? Watching Bill fuck up? Sitting in the Senate? Rico doesn't think so...

A Commie by any other name

Seems that Citgo, the Venezuelan-owned gas company, is changing its name to Petro Express.
There's one right across the street from Rico, so he guesses he'll see the change soon.
If you like buying your gas from wacko dictators, please continue to do so.
Rico? No. He buys his gas from ex-commies like Lukoil.

Some things you just gotta see

Rico says
this guy is brilliant and this video is a classic...
(But "space is one cold motherfucker" has to be the best comment ever on the whole thing. 'A film not by Ken Burns' is true, too, but the imitation is almost perfect.)

Quote of the day

The LawDog Files blog had a great one today:
"The Taser C2 is okay if you're philosophically opposed to the whole 'Blood Out, Air In' method of critter control; or if you're stuck in some Third World hell-hole that won't let you carry a firearm (like New York or California); or maybe if gun-shots, blood and screaming upsets your stomach -- but other than that I think I'll just stay with my bang-sticks."

Rico says 'Blood Out, Air In' is now a new mantra...

The wingman

Rico doesn't have a photo of the phenomenon yet, but the new kitten is always walking alongside the older cat at about the five o'clock position, just off her hip, in the classic wingman position. Cracks us up...

Rico knew it was a good day

On this day in 1836 Samuel Colt received a patent for his first revolver. While it would take another 37 years to achieve the sublime form of this Single Action Army, it was a start. As the saying goes, "God may have created Man, but Samuel Colt made him equal."

Perfect for the next Renaissance Faire

But it's an Islamic wacko celebrating Ashura, the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar; it marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram. It is commemorated by the Shi‘a as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala on 10 Muharram in the year 61 AH (December 10, 680 AD). Sunni Muslims believe that Moses fasted on that day to express gratitude to God for liberation of Israelites from Egypt. According to Sunni Muslim tradition, Muhammad fasted on this day and asked other people to fast.

Rico's been out of it

Thus he had to do a serious Google search to find out that, just as he'd suspected, the phrase 'baby bump' was only about two years old...

Talk about playing the sticks

The New York Philharmonic has played two back-to-back concerts in the Far East, and the distance between the venues is far shorter than the distance between the two concert halls: "In the capital of newly-rich, communist China, the New York Philharmonic played at a recently opened, futuristic structure featuring state of the art acoustics. Beijing’s National Grand Theatre is a huge glass oval seemingly floating on a pond that surrounds it and was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. The building, opened only a few months ago and nicknamed 'the egg', stands in sharp contrast to the communist monoliths such as the 1950s Soviet-style Great Hall of the People and Beijing’s ancient Forbidden City for its emperor that sit nearby. New York Philharmonic officials were bowled over by the new facility.
In still desperately-poor, communist North Korea, it will play at a hulking, ramshackle structure the locals struggle to keep heated and lit at night. In Pyongyang, the Philharmonic will be playing East Pyongyang Grand Theatre in central Pyongyang, a bland communist building that mostly hosts propaganda performances in support of North Korea’s leaders as well as the occasional visit by Russian dancing girls. The theatre, which underwent a formative and artistic renovation last year to meet the requirements of the new century, has all necessary facilities as an edifice of culture, the North’s official KCNA news agency says."

And why can't Rico remember which comedian it is that Kim Jong-il reminds him of?

But isn't that the point of insurance?

Seems that insurers have been in the habit of cancelling policies if the insured dared get sick. One company, HealthNet, was actually rewarding employees with bonuses based on the number of cancellations they arranged. But a California court has now awarded one woman nine million bucks for doing it to her when she got breast cancer.

Rico says that is one sick motherfucking policy, even for an insurance company...

Rico is also lucky that his insurance company didn't pull the same thing on him when he went down a year ago. Of course, if they had, he'd have demanded his guns back and a one-way ticket to wherever his insurance company was located...

A new low, even for al-Qaeda

Giving new meaning to the old story Appointment in Samarra, "a suicide bomber in a wheelchair killed a senior policeman in the city of Samarra today", according to an London Times on-line article.

One scary motherfucker

Javier Bardem won, appropriately, Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars, for his role as Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men.
He used a cattle gun in the movie, surely one of the weirdest murder weapons ever.
He played, without a doubt in Rico's mind, one of the scariest, nightmare-quality bad guys in the history of movies; definitely a shoot-him-first-and-ask-questions-later kind of guy.

Rico says if he was prone to nightmares, this guy would be in them...

The end of software as we know it

Adobe is bucking the market yet again, this time with its 'Air' on-line software applications. According to this BBC on-line article, the apps will run on Macs, PCs, and eventually Linux machines, and even allow users to work on their files off-line.
Sounds like the deathknell for Microsoft, and that brings a tear to Rico's eyes... (Air running on a Mac Air would do just fine, thank you.)

24 February 2008

Slamming Microsoft again

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman ruled that the consumers may go ahead with a class action lawsuit against the software company Microsoft over “Vista Capable” advertising program, the Associated Press said in a on-line article.
Introduced in 2006, the Vista Capable program was initiated by Microsoft and its hardware partners in order to help the customers to make informed decision when buying a new PC, and to maintain the sales of Windows XP systems during the 2006 holiday season. Windows Vista for consumers was launched in January 2007.
However, the lawsuit claims that the labeling system was 'misleading' because many of those computers were not powerful enough to run all of Vista's features and they could run only the Home Basic version of Windows Vista.

Rico says you buy Redmond crap, you get Redmond crap.

Not Rico's bicycle, of course

The latest internet craze is single-page sites, and this one is a goodie...

They never learn, do they

Rico remembers the original news story, over 25 years ago now, when a Japanese woman and her husband were supposedly shot on the street in LA by 'street robbers'.
Turns out, of course, that the husband shot her (and shot himself in the leg, always a dicey proposition) for the 1.4 million in insurance. This is reminiscent of that other shooting (of which Rico can't remember the details, sorry) where the guy shot his wife in their car and then wounded himself, blaming some innocent black guy...

Cuba si, Castro no

Why it's bad there, from a Washington Post on-line article:
"Estrada and the 100,000 to 150,000 other self-employed Cubans provide a glimpse of what the future might look like here, and help explain some of the low-intensity excitement about the possibility of historic change. Estrada sometimes earns three or four times what he made before quitting the Cuban navy six years ago, when his pay was the equivalent of $17 a month. He still struggles to make ends meet, but he is much better off than the overwhelming majority of his neighbors who live in rotting homes with spotty plumbing and have to feed themselves on state salaries as low as $11 a month."
"But the biggest change Fidel let his brother talk him into was allowing more tourism. About 270,000 tourists went to Cuba in 1989. By 2006, that figure had jumped to 2.2 million, with nearly one in four tourists coming from Canada, according to the Cuban government. Once a bargain, Havana is now one of the most expensive cities to visit in Latin America, with rooms at more than half a dozen top hotels going for $200 to $600 a night."
"Currently, half of Cuba's arable land is not cultivated, but many here believe private ownership of some farmland would free farmers to produce more in a country that imports 80 percent of its food."
"The longtime leader complained about "inequalities" that self-employment was creating and railed against a "new rich class" that was paid by tourists in U.S. dollars that had much more buying power than the Cuban peso. In 2004, his government stopped granting self-employment licenses for 40 types of businesses. Among those who could no longer work for themselves were masseuses, magicians and clowns. Other businesses remained technically legal but were effectively closed because licenses weren't renewed."

Rico says oh, yes, nothing like self-employed clowns to fuck up your economy. But he and his father are ready to bring their dollars to Cuba any time the feds say we can go...

Uh, oh, now she's mad

Seems Hillary is pissed about campaign mailings by the Obama campaign that impugn her record on the NAFTA 'deal' and her position on universal health care.
Obama said that, despite her current criticism of NAFTA, she supported the trade agreement when it passed during her husband's administration. "You can't be for something and take credit for an administration... and then, when you run for president, say that you didn't really mean what you said way back then. It doesn't work like that."
Clinton asked, "Since when do Democrats attack one another on universal health care?" Obama had a ready reply to that: "When she started to say I was against universal health care... which she does every single day."

Rico says she's wrong, he's right, this is going to get funnier as the campaign goes on, and he can hardly wait until the voters in the Great State of Texas have spoken...

Reality isn't what you think you know

23 February 2008

The Halloween Documents

Seems there's a site out there that posted a bunch of data on Microsoft's 'secret' campaigns against Linux and Open Source. Far be it from Rico to promote anti-Microsoft information...

Rico had to look it up to discover that it's a marketing strategy: FUD
It stands for 'fear, uncertainty, and doubt'...


A video message from Mark to all his friends.

Kelley said...
At once cheering and chilling. I can look at it and say, 'that's not him', but when I hear his take on things, and the way he phrases it...it is.

Dick Wilson said...
I was elated to hear your voice, uttering cogent thoughts and being insightful, as always. I have followed this blog everyday and have written occasionally, not out of "curiosity for your quest", as you stated, but out of concern and love for my first cousin. From this temporary setback you will acknowledge your strength and the fact that many people love and admire you, including me. People miss your wit, charm, laughter and occasionally caustic "take on life." I can hear you now, "one hellava way to learn it." Remember how quickly time passes. You'll be back in action sooner than you know it. Love ya, man.

Linda O'Neill said...
You look even better than last we saw you. Your eyes are clearer and I see Mark returning a little more each time. We are so proud of the uphill battle you are fighting. So happy to read the opthamalogist prognosis that it will just take some more time and that it will be ok. Lots of prayers still coming your way. The airwaves are alive with the magnetic forces of all our combined love for you. hugs from L'ON

Getting smart, finally

From a New York Times on-line article:
"Texas, once the oil capital of North America, is rapidly turning into the capital of wind power. After breakneck growth the last three years, Texas has reached the point that more than 3 percent of its electricity, enough to supply power to one million homes, comes from wind turbines. Texans are even turning tapped-out oil fields into wind farms."
"No less an oilman than Boone Pickens is getting into alternative energy. 'I have the same feelings about wind', Mr. Pickens said in an interview, 'as I had about the best oil field I ever found'.”
"Dandy’s Western Wear, the local cowboy attire shop, cannot keep enough python skin and cowhide boots in stock because of all the Danes and Germans who have come to town to invest and work in the wind fields, then take home Texas souvenirs."
“Texas has been looking at oil and gas rigs for 100 years, and frankly, wind turbines look a little nicer,” said Jerry Patterson, the Texas land commissioner, whose responsibilities include leasing state lands for wind energy development. “We’re Number One in wind in the United States, and that will never change.”

Rico says Texans being Number One in wind is an old story...

Spat? Killing people is more than a spat

Seems the Iraqi takeover of Basra in the south hasn't gone very well, in spite of the best economic base in the country, a homogeneous population of Shi'ites, and no Western troops to inflame nationalist sensibilities. But they're 'disappearing' doctor, teachers, and other professionals, and murdering politicians, sheiks, and the judiciary. Oh, yeah, and more than 100 'impious' women...
From a New York Times on-line article, this: "Iraq’s security forces are the most conspicuous example of the tension between politics and violence in Basra, and the aptly named Serious Crimes Unit of the Basra Police is perhaps the most egregious example. The British Army determined that the unit was a death squad linked to Shiite militias and dispatched Warrior tanks in December 2006 to pound the rogue force’s headquarters to rubble." "Reported killings peaked in May, when 112 people were murdered. By December killings had declined to 38, finishing 2007 with a total of 848 known homicides. Basra also had 383 reported kidnappings in 2007, according to official provincial tallies."
"But we still have militias here. We push them out of the door and they come back through the window.”

While Rico applauds the Brits for 'pounding the rogue force's headquarters to rubble', it's only a start. But the stats on Basra aren't probably all that much different than any US city of the same size...

Quote of the day

The JammieWearingFool blog (a reference to the Pajamas Media tag, Rico thinks) came up with this one:

"a person of pallor"

Rico says that's what he is, alright, at least until he can get back to lying in the sun somewhere...

No, no, not that John Holmes

This one is the U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes, who's lit into the Israelis for blockading the Gaza Strip, calling it "collective punishment", which is banned under various Geneva Conventions.
Of course, so are indiscriminate rocket attacks.

Rico says the real John Holmes had a bigger dick...

Playing to the locals

Given that the Obama/Clinton debate was in Texas, this question by the moderator was perfect:
"Are you saying your opponent is all hat and no cattle?"

Rico says for those who don't speak Texan, that meant that Hillary thought Barack was an imposter, with a big story and nothing to back it up...

For the Clintons, making it has been easy

According to an on-line article by the Washington Post, the Clintons are raking it in now that they've left the White House. Bill, over the last six years, has taken in nearly forty million in speaking fees; last year he spoke 352 times, some of them for more than $150,000 apiece. "The Mito City Political Research Group, a Japanese political studies center, paid Clinton $400,000 for a 2002 speech about politics. Besides Goldman Sachs, the two firms that have paid Clinton the most over the past six years are foreign-based. Gold Services International, an event organizer based in Bogota, Colombia, brought Clinton to Latin America in the summer of 2005 for $800,000 in speaking fees. The Power Within, a motivational-speech company in Toronto, paid Clinton $650,000 for speeches in Canada in 2005 and brought him back for an undisclosed sum in 2006. The company was founded by Salim Khoja, a Kenyan immigrant who years earlier was convicted of stock fraud and was barred for life from the brokerage business. Those willing to pay Clinton to speak say they can pack a hall with people eager to hear his question-and-answer sessions on Middle East peace, his motivational seminars, or his lectures on globalization that weave together personal anecdotes and detailed data aimed at inspiring corporate executives to compete better in the 21st-century global economy."

Rico says hell, for that kind of money, he can be damned entertaining...

Good code name

After successfully smashing the falling satellite with one of its defense system missiles (not that testing it was the object of the exercise, oh, no), the Pentagon is now concerned with what might not burn up in the atmosphere upon reentry and actually make it to the ground. They have new hazmat teams ready to "be flown to the site of any dangerous or otherwise sensitive debris that might land in the United States or elsewhere." The teams are called 'Burnt Frost'.

Rico says much of the time the code-name wizards just pull the next one off the list, but this one sounds like they thought about it...

Civil War for the day

Today, with that hair and that look, it'd be Dude, back da fuck up!...

Still cute, in spite of it all

Britney Spears keeps showing up in front of the paparazzi without her underpants. When I was young, that was considered a sign of a trashy upbringing. Now, of course, it's a sign of low self-esteem.

Didn't get me this time

Seems that being 'mostly' dead isn't the real problem. A woman in Nashville is dead, according to government records but, unfortunately for her, she's still alive:
"Todd said that being dead off and on makes everyday life difficult."

Rico would think so...

Turnabout is fair play

Seems the lacrosse players at Duke are now suing the university and the City of Durham, North Carolina for 'emotional distress'. "Lawyers for the players accuse Duke University, the City of Durham and several school and police officials of fraud, abuse, and breach of duty for supporting the prosecution of the case. Thursday's suit on behalf of 38 unindicted players and nine members of their families seeks unspecified damages for invasion of privacy, emotional distress and other injuries. The lawsuit says Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong and his investigators hid and fabricated evidence, adding the city of Durham should be held accountable for Nifong's actions. But the lawsuit doesn't name Nifong, who was disbarred and spent a night in jail for his handling of the case, because of his pending declaration of bankruptcy. Nifong is claiming more than $180 million in liabilities, almost all tied to the prospect of losing two other lawsuits stemming from the rape case."

Rico wonders why not 'false imprisonment' and 'failure to use common sense', too...

And on that note

Seems that all blue-eyed people (which would include Rico) are related: "Danish researchers have concluded that all blue-eyed people share a common ancestor, presumably someone who lived 6,000 to 10,000 years ago."
"Originally, we all had brown eyes," according to Professor Hans Eiberg of the University of Copenhagen. "But a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a 'switch,' which literally 'turned off' the ability to produce brown eyes."

Sounds right when you think about it

Seems that Africans are more genetically diverse, and genetically stronger, than the rest of us (this courtesy of a Fox News on-line article and the prodding of an African-American friend of mine).
As would be expected with the "out of Africa" theory, the researchers found Africans had the greatest amount of genetic diversity, followed in turn by Middle Easterners, then Europeans and South Asians at about equal levels, then East Asians. Native Americans had the least genetic diversity of all, indicating that part of the world was settled last.
Some revelations weren't even surprising to a student of history like Rico: "The Basques in northeastern Spain and southwestern France may be right to demand their own nation — they're not closely related to anyone else."
"It's been known for years that all non-Africans are descended from a small group, perhaps only a few dozen individuals, who left the continent between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago."

Rico says that it's hard to imagine a world so empty of people that "a few dozen individuals" could found all the nations outside Africa...

22 February 2008

You know it's been too long when...

...Rico gets horny looking at cartoon women.
In defense of his ladyfriend, this is a problem of life's little interferences...

What it looks like, really

This is my friend Ken, after his aneuryism surgery this morning. But Rico looked somewhat worse, they say...

Civil War for the day

Twenty years later, Microsoft grows up

Rico isn't sure what 'open APIs' really get you, but it sounds like Microsoft has finally decided to come out and play with the other children...

First it was tennis...

...then it was football, then Tiger Woods broke the color line in golf. Maybe now we can do the same with politics...
Rico says the sooner everybody gets it that the color of someone's skin has nothing to do with anything other than a fluke of genetics, the better...

Only another three weeks of this shit...

...then Hillary will be gone, by her own admission.

Rico hopes the Great State of Texas does the right thing, yet again, and blows Clinton away...

High time, too

An InfoWorld column asks the question: is it Time to dump Windows?
"Of the plausible alternatives to Windows, Apple's Mac OS X has the largest market share and history."
"The TechWeb site has also provided a good guide on how to make the switch to Mac OS X."
"There's the matter of style. Some PC manufacturers have tried, but none can match the sleek sophistication of Apple products -- and Apple knows it. You can't help but notice a certain glee in the way the company's advertising flaunts its products' superior design."
"Why get a Mac? Well, ask a BMW owner why she didn't buy a Dodge. They're both cars; they both get you where you need to go. But the BMW does it with more style and grace, better construction, and more of an "Ooooh" factor. Same thing with a Mac."
"Apple tends to care much more about consistency than Microsoft does."

Rico couldn't agree more...

Dodged a bullet

Looks like John McCain has buried the whole 'sex with the lobbyist' thing in 24 hours. His wife (a good-looking woman in her own right) at his side, he withstood every question thrown at him during a press conference in Toledo, and walked away proud.

Rico says the New York Times is going to have a hard time living this one down; this wasn't the Pentagon Papers...

What's it going to take to bust this guy?

Seems that Drew Peterson, already suspected in the disappearance of his fourth wife, has now been implicated in the homicide of his third wife. The first two wives got off easy with divorces, but the second one said that her then husband, a police officer, told her that he could kill her and make it look like an accident.

Rico says this is why having cops investigate domestic violence reports on fellow cops doesn't work out too well, especially for the wives who turn up dead...

He wins, she loses

According to Time on-line, Obama won the debate in Texas last night. Even Hillary had to admit it's been much ado about nothing (there's that plagiarism again): "Whatever happens, we're going to be fine."
It may, in the end, be a moot point: "Barack Obama has racked up 11 victories in a row in the two weeks since Super Tuesday, grabbing the lead in pledged delegates, and momentum."
Obama definitely understood the challenges of being the commander in chief: "My number one job as president will be to keep the American people safe. I will do whatever is required to accomplish that. I will not hesitate to act against those that would do America harm. Now, that involves maintaining the strongest military on earth, which means that we are training our troops properly and equipping them properly, and putting them on proper rotations."

Rico agrees with Time that "more and more people are perceiving the reality of what's happening on the campaign trail as well, and despite her best efforts in Austin Thursday night, Hillary Clinton still appears unable to alter it."
Rico says he will be happy when this bullshit is over and Obama and McCain can get down to slinging vituperation man-to-man between now and the election...

21 February 2008

McCain gets dinged by the NYT

The New York Times is going with the story about McCain's alleged affair with a lobbyist. First off, there's a thirty-year difference between McCain and Ms Iseman. (The photo shows that pretty well, along with why he might well want to have an affair with her.)
If the guy can get some from a woman that much younger, hell, Rico says good on him. Okay, so he was getting some free airfare from riding in a jet owned by her corporate client. Big fucking deal. This, too, is much ado about nothing. (Shakespeare, for the plagiarism-worried.)
The Serbs, always an excitable people, decided to get mad about Kosovo declaring independence and burn our embassy (fortunately closed at the time), along with the embassies of Bosnia, Turkey, and Croatia.

The problem? "Most Serbs consider Kosovo their religious and cultural heartland." But they got thrown out by the Turks (the Islamic jihadis of the day) in 1389, and haven't been back since.

Rico says but this is why you have US Marines in US embassies...


I told Mark to do something for the camera, so he put his arm around his cute young therapist. See, I told you not much has changed.

Rico says nope, not much has changed in the last year, either. Jenn, my "cute young therapist", remains a lust object, but I don't get to see her every day, so that's different, just not better...

Just another crazy mixed up kid

No, really. Seems that Cho Seung-hui, the latest college shooter at Virginia Tech, was born of Korean parents, grew up in Saudi where his father worked, moved to Virginia, and recently changed his name to Ismail Ax, even having it tattooed on his arm, and used the name on the package containing his 'rant' that he mailed to NBC News.

Rico says there's no connection, of course, between Islam and crazed gunmen...

Quote of the day

According to Iranian Mullah Hassani, unveiled women are like buses: anyone can ride them.
Well, being a learned man, he parsed it a little finer than that, of course; he divided women into three groups:

The first group are the women who are badly veiled who are like buses who everyone and anyone can ride.
The second group are women who are wearing scarves without Islamic overcoats; they are like taxis who only pick up certain passengers.
And finally, in the third group there are women like my wife who are like donkeys who let only one person ride them.

If Rico had said that, everyone would have howled... (As did his wife, undoubtedly, for being compared to a donkey.)

Another Arkansas triumph

Seems that "we have had leprosy in Arkansas since forever. Some people get the idea that leprosy just came with the Marshallese. That’s not true," according to Dr. James R. Phillips, the Arkansas Department of Health’s branch chief of infectious diseases.

Rico says durn, isn't that special... The fact that an estimated 6,000-8,000 immigrants from the Marshall Islands, a leprosy leader, live in Springdale, Arkansas doesn't have anything to do with it, of course.

Like they're going to build one

Seems the Chinese are still doing a little spying on us. Four men, Dongfan Chung, Tai Shen Kuo, Yu Xin Kang, and Greg Bergersen, were arrested recently in New Orleans for passing information about the space shuttle, the C-17 transport plane, and the Delta IV rocket to China, presumably for money.
Bergersen, a Weapons Systems Policy Analyst at the Arlington, Va.-based Defense Security Cooperation Agency, an agency within the Department of Defense, was charged with being the source of the classified information

They're at it again

Seems the too-many-photos scam is at work again in Iraq.
al-Reuters is circulating a photo by one of its infamous stringers of the remains of the 'massacre' at the Baquba morgue. Unfortunately, it's exactly the same image that AP released with a date three days earlier. Not sure how likely it is that they let bodies lie out in the sun, in exactly the same spot, for three days, but the fact that the guys in the picture are wearing the same clothes is another clue that al-Reuters got scammed again...

Rico says this posed-photo thing is getting old, and everyone should just cut off al-Reuters as a source...

How do you say 'Sixth Sense' in Persian?

Seems that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently claimed that his administration is supported by the Hidden Imam. Now, no one has seen the Imam since the sixth century or thereabouts, so I'm not sure how Ahmadinejad determined this, but it's interesting that he thinks so...

Rico says another loony-tunes world leader with access to nuclear weapons; just what we needed...

Ah, brotherly love

Seems the Egyptians aren't all that happy with recent incursions across their border, either:

"Egypt's foreign minister said that no further violations of its borders would be tolerated in the wake of a 12-day breach of its frontier with Gaza and said anyone daring to cross would have their legs broken, the state news agency reported. 'Anyone who violates Egypt's borders will get his leg broken', Aboul Gheit was quoted as saying. He added that Egypt only allowed the Palestinians to cross the border after Hamas blew up the wall because of fears over the humanitarian situation resulting from Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip."
"A top Hamas delegation crossed into Egypt Thursday to meet up with Egyptian officials wanting to make clear that no further breaches of its border with the Gaza Strip will be tolerated, a security official said. The Hamas delegation, led by Mahmoud Zahar, came at the Egyptian request, after they received reports that the Islamist organization was planning to forcibly reopen the borders again at the end of the month, the official said speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. 'The Egyptians will tell Hamas bluntly that the old self-restraint manner is over and that Egyptian security guards have been given orders to open fire on any Palestinians trying to cross the border', the official said."

Rico laughs, and wonders if it would work on our border...

Maybe it's the water in Arkansas

An on-line commenter who calls himself 'American Libertarian' said this: "Mike Huckabee is a pandering disengenuous glutonous cliche-spewing power-hungry creep."

Rico couldn't have said it better himself...

Shooting yourself in the dick

Seems that KGO talkshow host Bernie Ward went well over the line, and got caught.
Lesson One: if you're interested in child porn, don't send it via email to someone you barely know. They might not be amused, and might turn your pathetic ass into the cops. (As happened in this case, and good on them that did.)
Lesson Two: if you fail lesson one, try the old "oh, I was just compiling all those naked pictures of kids for my upcoming book on right-wing hypocrisy over child porn" line. Who knows, if you can say it with a straight face, it might work...
Lesson Three: do not send this stuff to Rico; he will hunt you down (in actuality, not virtually) and cut off parts of your anatomy with garden shears...

Good shooting

Seems the satellite that imperiled someone somewhere got hit by the Navy on the first try. The SM-3 missile fired at the satellite didn't carry a warhead, but the 17,000 mph impact is expected to have broken up the satellite enough that reentry will burn it, and the toxic hydrazine on board, before it hits the ground.

Civil War for the day

The Confederates retreat, tired and footsore, at the 140th of Antietam in 2002.

20 February 2008

Renaming the new cat

While we called it Rosebud at first, since we were unsure of the gender, the cat is definitely a boy, so he's been Bud for awhile. Given his innocent yet pugnacious behavior, however, Rico is pretty sure we ought to start calling him Billy Budd, after the character in the movie of the same name. The fact that the character is portrayed by one of Rico's favorite actors, Terence Stamp (in one of his earliest and fayest roles), doesn't hurt.

We only have two out of three

"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election."
Otto von Bismarck

As expected, the usual suspects

To no one's surprise (least of all Rico), the Iranians, the Syrians, and an ex-CIA officer named Bruce Riedel all say that Israel was behind the car bombing in Damascus that killed Imad Mugniyah.
The US, of course, for its own reasons, does not lament the death of Mugniyah. "The world is a better place without this man in it. He was a cold-blooded killer, a mass murderer and a terrorist responsible for countless innocent lives lost," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack. "One way or another he was brought to justice." McCormack said he did not know who was responsible for the killing of Mugniyah.
Mugniyah was implicated in the 1983 bombings of the US Embassy and US Marine and French peacekeeping barracks in Beirut, which killed over 350 people, as well as the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and the kidnapping of Westerners in Lebanon in the 1980s. Mugniyah was under indictment in the United States for his role in planning and participating in the June 14, 1985, hijacking of a US TWA airliner and the killing of an American passenger.

Rico says no matter who did it, couldn't have happened to a nicer guy...
Check out this site for good arguments for the Second Amendment and carrying weapons. Rico does...


Okay, it was yesterday; so sue me:

Mark had his long awaited appointment with the neuro-ophthalmologist this morning. Seems they didn’t have him on the appointment book but fit him in anyway. To make a long story short, he didn’t get any sort of corrective lenses today but the doctor feels that his double vision should resolve on its own in about three months at which time he thinks Mark will only need regular corrective lenses. I didn’t write it down, but I seem to remember (as does Mark) that one eye is 20/70 and the other 20/800. On an odd note, he said that Mark should wear the eye patch only if he feels that it helps his double vision and that the theory of the brain tuning out one eye to compensate is nonsense. He also said (and he put it in writing), and I quote “no need for eye exercises, they are of no value”. Looks like Mark will have to fill a couple hours per day with something more interesting. Mark gave thumbs up on this one!
Mark also seems to have passed the plateau and had an enormous amount of stamina today. It also helped that he hasn’t had a full day of therapy since Friday, but I noticed a great improvement in his memory and conversation. He keeps up with a conversation especially if it’s just one person.
Mark has decided that everything he drinks tastes like lipstick or he complains it’s sour. Not sure what to try next.
His favorite part of the day was riding in the transport van with the sun shining on him. I don’t know how they did it but it seems there’s no south side of the rehab hospital and I’ve never seen the sun shining in any of the windows. Hopefully we’ll have a warm spell soon and I can take him out to sun himself.
The one date Mark remembers is March 6th, his tentative discharge date.

Rico says the neuro-ophthalmologist was wrong; it's a year later and no change to his doubled vision. Turns out it's a fourth nerve palsy, giving him a ten-degree rotation of the right eye.
He still loves sitting in the sun, though; it's a cat thing, he decided...

Australian seeks new hobby

Yes, the car is made out of matches. Nine hundred and fifty-six thousand of them, to be precise. According to the Daily Mail, Michael Arndt used 1,686 tubes of glue, spent about $9,000, and took six and a half years to complete the thing.

Rico says the guy doesn't get out (or get laid) much...

Gub heads rejoice

Seems a guy named Oleg Volk has a nice site about the Second Amendment.

Rico says check it out.

More Apple doings

The Sydney Morning Herald has an article about Apple's trademarking of possible gaming software.

Rico says may they do better at it than last time: "In the mid-'90s, Apple released a game playing multimedia console called the Apple Pippin in the United States and Japan. The console struggled in a market dominated by the Nintendo 64, Sony Playstation, and Sega Saturn, and only a few thousand units were reportedly produced. In 2006, the Pippin ranked 22nd on PC World's list of the Top 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time.

Fucked again

The Sydney Morning Herald has a nice article about the triumph of Blu-Ray.

Rico says he bought a Beta tape player, back in the day, because it was 'better'....

Seal team, geddit?

A team of seals has taken over a nuclear submarine, and won't give it back. The Navy is concerned...

Mac heads unite

Seems that people still don't get it about Macs.

Rico says you're either a Mac junkie or a Windows clone:

Now that's change

A classic Saturday Night Live skit, via Michelle Malkin, that covers the whole 'change' issue perfectly.

Rico says if another candidate promises 'change', he's going to ask for it in silver dollars... (And by the way, Fred, now that you bailed on the campaign, I'd like my contributions back.)

Careful what you say

Seems Michelle Malkin has some 'issues' about recent comments by Michelle Obama.

Rico says opening your mouth can be a dangerous thing for politicians and their spouses...

Another splendid palindrome

Civil War for the day

Fort Clinch, east of Jacksonville in Florida. The big guns are, alas, fakes...

19 February 2008

Spetsnaz are tough bastards

More travel, but warmer

Another NYT on-line travel article, this one about hanging out in St. Barts.

Rico likes the sound of that a lot better than Berlin; he's been to Berlin, but not St. Barts...

Great idea; let's see if it works

The New York Times travel section on-line has this article about honor-system wine bars in Berlin.

Rico says it's an interesting premise; he suspects it won't work here...

Gotta go

The new Indiana Jones movie is coming in May. It looks like a rehash of the earlier ones, complete with Nazis, lost tribes in the jungle, and the usual Harrison Ford wisecracks. But Rico will be there, regardless...

Too much time on their hands

Seems the latest internet craze is 'single serving sites', which only have one page and only do one thing. Some samples:

Sometimes Red, Sometimes Blue. Sometimes the page is red, sometimes it is blue.
Misanthropebook, a Facebook parody.

Go to Kottke's page and check out others, if you care.

Classic, in a twisted sort of way

Homer, as if painted by Rembrandt. Interesting, but too weird, even for Rico.

And yet more old friends

I just sent a copy of At All Hazards to Sheriff Jim Wilson, who writes a column for Shooting Times. Hopefully he'll mention it in his column, and many people will suddenly want it...
I don't need to sell a million of them (though that'd be fine; feel free to order), but a few thousand of each would be nice. Hell, if each of my blog readers thus far just bought one copy...

Speaking of old friends

I got a call last night from Don Kantor, an old friend from my days in California.
The surprise was that, while I'd been trying to contact him, he'd been trying to contact me.
We hadn't spoken in probably fifteen or twenty years, so the coincidence was pretty high.
Had a nice chat, catching up, and we'll talk again.

Rico says there's something about a NDE* that makes you want to find all your old friends... (And if Dan Alcala or Maria Victoria Alonso or Randy Denbow or Janaia Donaldson or Liz Ens or Bob Hickson or Fariba Karimi or Mark Leinonen or Kelly Montana or Robert E. Smith are reading this, do email me, or post your email in a comment and I'll write you.)

*NDE = near-death-experience; they really suck, but are illuminating if you make it back.

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