Friday, July 27, 2007

Moral of the story? Don't antagonize people with "pyro" in their names.

Maybe. Or possibly Navy folks are insane. Take your pick.

Boing Boing: Guy who lost online trollfight drives 1300 miles, burns dude's trailer:
"A dude on the internet referred to Navy Fire Controlman 2nd Class Petty Officer Russell Tavares as 'a nerd' in an online trollfight. In one of the more dramatic tales of internet rage we've seen lately, the 27-year-old Tavares, who believed himself to not be a nerd, hopped in his car and sped off 1,300 miles from Virginia to Texas, where the name-caller lived.

Tavares photographed road snapshots along his route, and posted the images online, as if to prove to his internet peers that he was not a luzer. When he got to there, he burned the dude's trailer down.

Anderson, who went by the screen name "Johnny Darkness," traded barbs with Tavares, aka "PyroDice.""

Too little, too late...

...too much bullshit.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > $100 Million to Wrongfully Incarcerated:
"Yesterday, a federal judge ordered the U.S. government to pay more than $100 million to four men who were wrongfully imprisoned for 35 years. The court found that the FBI had withheld evidence proving the men's innocence for decades. The Justice Department actually argued that the FBI has no duty to share evidence with state prosecutors, even if not sharing will result in a wrongful conviction.

Thankfully, the judge disagreed. Two of the four men have died. Their share will go to their heirs."

A discussion from my probable future...

Overheard in the Office | But Ranting Is My Chosen Artform!:
"Disgruntled woman: Did you get my e-mail?
Boss: Yes, but you're so consistently negative I didn't bother to read it. Plus, your e-mails are always too long.
Disgruntled woman: What?
Boss: From now on, you're limited to two paragraphs-- No! Two sentences. And try to be positive for a change.

Chantilly, Virginia"

Boy, does Chicago suck.

Add that to the list of places I never want to visit.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Chicago PD's Professionalism Problems:
"Three days after her name appeared in a Chicago Sun Times report about police harassment of residents in her public housing facility, a narcotics team raided the home of 63-year-old grandmother Carol Wallace.

...This comes on the heels of a number of recent police scandals in Chicago, including...

• Two high-profile videos of off-duty cops beating, respectively, a female bartender and a group of businessmen.

• In the beating of businessmen, Chicago Police Chief Phil Cline (who has since resigned) initially swept the complaint under the rug. He waited four months to suspend the officers, and then only after the video surfaced in the media.

• At a hearing for the cop caught beating the bartender, Chicago PD cruisers attempted to block media access to the courtroom, then ticketed media vehicles parked in the lot.

• Just last week, 30 Chicago police in full paramilitary attire shut down a poetry conference. Officials say the show of force was necessary because the event was unlicensed, was serving alcohol, and because there were candles placed near "very flammable, oil-based paintings.""

Positively Kafkaesque.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > I've Got Nothing Here:
"Tampa's Mark O'Hara was released from prison this week. He was serving a 25-year sentence for possession of 58 Vicodin tablets. Prosecutors acknowledge he wasn't selling the drug. They acknowledge that he had a prescription for it. At his trial, two doctors testified they'd been treating O'Hara since the early 1990s for pain related to gout and an automobile accident.

But prosecutors inexplicably brought drug trafficking charges anyway, because as the article explains, "Under the law, simply possessing the quantity of pills he had constitutes trafficking."

This is simply stunning. The man was sentenced to 25 years for possessing 58 pills for which he had a legal prescription.

Prosecutors then argued—and the trial court agreed—that the jury was not allowed to consider the fact that O'Hara had a prescription because Florida statutes governing painkillers don't allow for a "prescription defense," as if that rather crucial fact were some mere technicality those ACLU-types are always using to get criminals off the hook.

...O'Hara is free after an appellate court rightly deemed the trial "absurd" and tossed out the verdict."

Walk with the animals, talk with the animals...

Very cool.

New Aquarium In Yokohama: Get Face-To-Face With Seals and Walruses » Japan Probe:
"Sky News has posted a cool gallery of pictures taken at the new Fureai Lagoon aquarium section of Yokohoma’s Hakkeijima Sea Paradise. The new section, which opens on Friday, will allow visitors to get up close and personal with seals, sea lions, and walruses via some innovative tubes and tunnels."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Jessica the pet Hippo[!]

Unbelievably cool.

Big Jessie: Homely Hippo Loves A Massage |Sky News|World News:
"Jessica weighs almost a ton and enjoys sweet coffee and a massage before she goes to bed. She's a hippo with a big identity crisis - she thinks she's a family pet.

Tonie Joubert, a retired game warden from Hoedspruit in South Africa, found her washed up on his land by flood water when she was just a day old.

He hand raised her, fully expecting her to return to the wild as soon as she was old enough. That was seven years ago and Jessica has never left...."

Operation Basra Badger - Reports now coming in from our correspondents...

Reports and photos now coming in from our Australian correspondent Dan [why Kev calls them a nation of "degenerate criminals and sheep-fuckers" is beyond me. I found Dan rather pleasant.]

We'll start off with a heavily edited meta-pic [pic of a pic], cause I don't really know if Blogger's Terms of Service would cover it in all its "den of iniquity" glory. Worse yet, it was the only one of three I could edit enough to get up here. Ah, sin and vice. Good times.

An early shocker to the day was when a just purchased and full bottle of Malibu Rum slipped from my grasp to meet the cold, hard, unforgiving pavement in Nagoya. I let my fellow travelers think it was simply an accident, occurring while fumbling to put my change away.

The truth of it was, and I didn't think they could handle the truth, was that the bottle fell from my grasp only because I had to fight off the rapidly advancing and attacking cadre of deadly ghost ninja vampires. And while I managed to defeat them all without dropping the bottle, in order to successfully close the temporal portal from which they emerged, that particular magickal spell required alcoholic spirits to be successful.

Why yes, I do watch a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Why do you ask?

But that's a pic of the bottle I dropped/did my magickal working with above, with Kev's powerful expression of rage for any possibility that alcohol might be wasted.

Kev, he does love the food.

Damn, I look positively contemplative. Though in reality, I believe this to be the early stages of the alcohol poisoning.

And Kev, he does love his cigars as well.

His large, round and thick rods that he loves to suck on.

Not at all gay.

He says.

Here you see me with my second bottle of rum [and Coke]- aware and always vigilant - on the lookout for more ninja ghost vampires, unbeknownst to my friends.

Above, Ry looks as if he either wants to fight me or fuck me.

Had I known, I'd have slept lighter.

Whereas below, my expression communicates perhaps my default setting when listening to Ry - one of slightly perplexed confusion.





Keiko, the kind bar owner who was kindly enough to allow us to order up a pizza, who was sadly, forced to close her eyes below, when facing the sheer awesome-y magnitude of Kev's inaugural gun show.

Inspired by Green Day, Kev begins his moshing/'rasslin-athon.

Notice, despite my level of intoxication at this point, and whilst keeping a firm grip on the mic, that in the first pic I'm properly posting on the hip to create space in order to turn my hips and pull guard - in true brazilian jiu-jitsu/mma style. While Kev, the bastard, prepares to burn out my eye with a cigar. [My story and I'm sticking to it.]

And in the second I'm tucking my chin and gripping my opponent's arm in order to create space.

...and of course at no time did I stop singing. I maintained the high road, of course, throughout, and at all times. As long as there remains no photographic proof to the contrary.

So, to sum up... I am awesome. That is all.

We are the ghosts who walk.

And smoke, clearly.

Above, a bar lass admires Kev's manicure and french tips.

I thought it was a bit much, personally.

Walking home at the end of the night, and in the pic below, you can see, I am feeling no pain, and I AM DONE.

Yes, indeed.





[Even Dan is shocked!]

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What Tarot Card Are You?

And the thing is, no matter what variation of my name I put in, I kept getting "The Fool" card.

You Are The Fool

You are a fascinating person who is way beyond the concerns of this world.
Young at heart, you are blissfully unaware of any dangers ahead.
You are a true wanderer - it has be difficult finding your place in this world.
Full of confidence, you are likely to take a leap of faith.

Your fortune:

You are about to embark on a new phase in your life.
This may mean changing locations, jobs, friends, or love status.
You are open about what the future will bring, and free of worry.
You have made your peace with fate, and you're ready to start down your new path.

No prayer of keeping motivated terrorists out...

So saith David Mackett, the president of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance...

"No shit." So saith... um... me.

Hot Air » Blog Archive » A Pilot on Airline Security:
"There is simply no deployable technology that has a prayer of keeping a motivated, prepared terrorist out of the system every time — even most times. TSA misses more than 90% of detectable weapons at passenger checkpoints in their own tests, and it is not their fault, because of the limitations of technology and the number of inspections they must conduct. This doesn’t count several classes of completely undetectable weapons like composite knives and liquid explosives.

What is TSA’s fault is their abject failure to embrace more robust approaches than high visibility inspections, and their accommodations to the Air Transport Association’s revenue interests at the expense of true security, while largely ignoring the recommendations of the front-line airline crews and air marshals who have no direct revenue agenda and are much more familiar with airline operations than are the bureaucrats (remember government ignoring the front-line FBI agents who tried to warn them about 9/11?). Deplorable amounts of money have been wasted on incomprehensible security strategies, while KISS [Keep It Simple, Stupid] methods proven to work have been ignored."

A sad day for the newspaper industry.

My youth was fully informed by my mom's frequent purchase of the Weekly World News [and the Enquirer and the Star, of course.] When you think about it, boy does that explain a lot.

Weekly World News Shutting Down (SFScope):
"American Media has decided to suspend publication of Weekly World News, both the print publication and the web site. No reason was given at press time, although reliable sources do tell us that management turned down at least one offer to buy the publication."

Well, this clears that up.

Peaceful Warrior Blog:
"Those of us aspiring to a more spiritual way of life are presumably not supposed to judge others - but that in itself is a sort of judgment (i.e. “Judgments are bad”!) Besides, judging is one of those things we humans do best, and continuously. We compare one thing to another, separate the real from the false, what we like and don’t like, and so forth.

Judgments are normal and fine, as long as one does not mistake them for “truth.”
They are, after all, just our subjective opinions. We are entitled to them, but not entitled to insist that others share them."

Monday, July 23, 2007

Operation Basra Badger - The 13 Hour Drunken Coldcut Photo Remix.

So I headed up to Nagoya for the weekend for a belated birthday blowout with a buddy a mine - Kev, who's just entered his Jesus year. If he ascends bodily to heaven, we'll both know being raised Catholic paid off. I waited all year for my ascension, but it didn't come. There's only so much blasphemy I can do, you know.

Regardless, I headed up, and fellow expat world traveler Ry headed down from Tokyo. We both got in on Friday, the day before the 'official' kickoff, and warmed up our livers and conditioned our brain cells with some light drinking and cigar smoking - just to stay in form, of course.

As the conversations tend to do amongst superior minds like ours, it quickly turned to world events, US politics, Iraq and the merits of national health systems. [Sadly, I'm serious. A little education is a dangerous thing.]

The only conclusions we managed to come to, however, were that Kev doesn't feel he should have to pay taxes to cover health costs for donut eating fatties, I'm a godless pinko commie-bastard, and Ry has what can only be described as an unhealthy man-love for Bill Clinton.

Ry stands here, mouth agape, clearly taken aback at the size of Kev's guns, circumferences achieved without even flexing.

So after having begun our 13 hour drinkasmokathon on Sat afternoon at a den of iniquity - the type in which photography is not allowed [use your imaginations people] - we began our pub crawl in earnest.

See here, for example, Kev + Beer = Happiness. The equation is simple really.

And you can see the distinction in the next pic, in a nice little Irish pub - perfect for an Irish lad born in England - where Kev without beer clearly looks pensive and distraught.

Here you see Kev's "Whatthefuckmate?" face as he expresses his displeasure at my picking up a box of Phillies Sweets - 6 for 800yen! - as he continues his elitist practice of smoking only Cuban cohibas while pontificating on endlessly about cigar wraps and leaves and rolling and whatnot. Yeah, maybe yours are better Kev, but mine taste like candy, so there ya go...

Little known fact that what is commonly thought of as an obscene hand gesture actually means, amongst most civilized tribes of the lower Amazon "Hey bro, I love you too."

True story, swear to god.

Any bar that let's you order in your own pizza, well that's just good folks.

After pizza we headed off to the next bar, with our full complement of annoying gaijin we for the night.

Joined by Australian triathlete extraordinaire [and loud ass snorer - but that was later] Dan, and John... as we left the land of deep couches and delivered pizza, heading off to see the next pub, to insure that safety, rights and standards were being met throughout all of Nagoya...

Here is the first, of many, "gun shows" by Kevin throughout the evening.

Yes Kevin, we know, you're very manly. Well done.

In the "damn small world" category, out on the crawl Kev met a lad who grew up not 2 miles from where he grew up. They drank and reminisced of those wacky Catholic/Protestant rivalries. Also known as, I was delighted to learn, the heathens VS the kneelers.

And then, in the finest Japanese tradition, it was on to karaoke, where the voices of four powerful, yet intoxicated men, shook the very foundations of music itself.

Thanks to Kev, the selections were sure to include prodigious amounts of country and western, Johnny Cash, Elvis, and Tom Jones.

I've yet to figure out how a man born in Britain may actually be the biggest redneck I've ever met. I'm from North Carolina for god's sake. That's just embarrassing.

Here you can see both the sadness and disdain in Kevin's eyes as he's forced to toast with my girly bottle of Malibu Rum. I care not!

This may be the greatest karaoke picture of all time. Made even more so that they weren't paying attention to the camera and were just totally rocking out.

I must confess that I didn't quite understand their enthusiasm for the song - "It's Raining Men [Hallelujah]!"

They were really into it though.

This next pic was snapped after I had just committed what turned out to be both a strategic and tactical karaoke error. See, I was not aware that choosing to hammer out a Green Day song would necessarily CAUSE Kev to think that moshing inside a karaoke room was a good idea. And as boys will be boys, moshing turns to 'rasslin both quick, fast and in a hurry.

One broken glass and cigar burn later, time was called on the bout on the account of too much masculinity.

Good thing we hadn't been drinking. That might've impaired our judgement.

And it should be noted, contrary to how it looks, Dan was not trying to have his way sexually with Kev in this picture.

That was later. [Hi Dan!]

Come the end of karaoke [and moshing] we were all feeling the manly hetero-bonding love...

...though what possessed these three to take this big gay group hug walk down the streets of Nagoya is still a mystery.

Kev quickly reasserted his masculinity a short time later, at our final bar of the night, by becoming the man-meat in a bar wench sandwich.

As Dan continued his mastery in the fine art of chair dancing.

Last call at the last bar. Kev treats us to what will be, sadly, his final gun show of the night [morning?] as all look on in amazement and wonder.

It's good to know, that whether you be in America or Japan, after 13 hours of carousing about town and entirely too much alcohol, there will always be a Denny's Restaurant [I kid you not] to go into and get some greasy food to soak up all that nonsense in your system. Sadly, no hash browns, but beggars can't be choosers.

Here we are the next day, outside of Kev's host family's house, after 6 hours of sleep and gorging ourselves on more pizza [the diet of salt, cheese and fat really is required after a night of alcohol.]

Kev is regaling us with tales of courage in this pic as he points to the very location that he once had his way with a squirrel. He explained it as something done in the finest of English traditions, and that back home it's considered the highest form of love you can achieve, outside of a public school or unless you're a Catholic altar boy.

Strange lad that Kevin, but I like him.

Hope you had a happy birthday, man.

A few un-blogged [it's a word] pics from the wkend are here, for those inclined to such things -