Thursday, March 31, 2011

WTF With The ATF?

I know I don't follow gun issues as closely as I should, but am I wrong to assume that the ATF is populated with individuals who think they are in a cop action movie?

Oh, and why is there a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms anyway? That makes as much sense as having a Bureau of Coal, Petroleum and Citrus Fruit.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Looking For A Straw Hat And Coveralls.

We were a little behind on our price changes last week, so I spent some time printing up fresh shelf labels. I have to say that for the first time I was shocked at the jump in the cost of basic foodstuffs like flour and cooking oil. I usually just pay whatever, because you have to have them anyway. This time though, I marched over to the garden section when I clocked out and bought a small selection of seeds and dirts.

My luck with plants is spotty at best, but with the price of vegetables as they are I'll count myself ahead if I can get one sorry tomato seedling to produce.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Max Bacon vs. Belinda Carlisle In The Girlie Run Dance Off

I had no clue that the band GTR even existed. Back in the 80's I had the arbitrary idea that the progressive rock bands were, like, you know, too commercialized and not true to the music. ( Then of course GnR goes and decides they need a full orchestra backing them up.)

The good thing about music tastes, or any artistic favorings, is that you can never run out. I'm still finding great games that have "Made for Windows 95!" on the packaging.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh God, Where's The Iodine?

Oops. Just a very mild dust storm blowing through. It now seems like the Japanese reactors are not going to turn in to Chernobyl+Three Mile Island times a zillion. The disappointment is almost palpable. I don't know if this ever happened in the past, but the desire for bad things to happen so your particular point or view will be justified and your enemies put in their place is a phenomenon that I've seen really ramp up in the last ten years or so.

I'm kind of surprised the green types haven't jumped on the idea of ocean fallout as a good thing. After all, it would buy the bluefin tuna a few more years if the fear of radiation kept some out of the fish market.

I didn't know that tuna were apex predators and that squid were a mainstay of their diet. I knew vaguely that squid were increasing their numbers to the point that the oceans in the pretty close future (about the time the polar icecaps melt, so take it with a grain of salt) are going to be squidville.

So there we have it. The mighty atom teaming up with the persecuted tuna to defend the surface dwellers against the cephalopodic menace. Take that Winnie the Windmill. All you have done is chop up about a billion birds.

More nukes!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dictator To Minions: The World Hates An Australian Kid More Than Me!

  I saw the video of the bully getting body slammed by his victim today.  Contrary to my own expectations,  I actually feel sorry for the bully.  I mean, the kid followed all the rules:  He didn't pick on anyone smaller or younger than himself, and he walked off his asswhooping without the cowardly blubbering we are told to expect from bullies who get their just desserts.

  Everyone gets their fifteen minutes of fame, and this kid is now famous world wide.  As the bad guy.  Twelve years old.  Much like a lauded child actor, I see a lot of alcohol and drug abuse in his future.

  I love it when experts tell us that TV and movies might make kids violent.  The first anti-bullying movie I saw was My Bodyguard, and I think The Karate Kid was the last with a lot in between.  You know, I don't think any of them made any sort of difference in schoolyard bullying. 

  By the way, I would have aimed the little snot at the curb.


The Emir Strikes Back

  I happen to agree with the President in regards to Libya.  Doing nothing is a sound strategy, and if you waffle long enough, many problems will resolve themselves.  Of course, knowing when to waffle and when to "Do Something!" is the hallmark of a good politician.  My concern with the President's policy is that it is not being made out of sound political judgment, but rather paralysis from discovering that one of the flamboyant rogue types so beloved of a certain class here in the U.S. isn't as popular with his own people as made out.

  Khadaffi is popular enough to make Libya a civil war.  Problem with a civil war is that if you jump in on one side, it makes the other side your enemy.  Problem with Islam at this point in history is that if Gadhafi manages to bring down an American plane he will suddenly be the new Saladin taking a whack at the Crusaders.  Even the anti-Kadaffy forces will declare themselves proud before they go back to demanding more aircraft patrols.  Silly?   Remember that a Kosovar in Germany just shot Americans on their way to Afghanistan.  

  I feel sorry for all those Libyan diplomats who defected early on.  I doubt they did anything out of courage and just thought Quadafi's ouster was a slam dunk.  Probably wishing they sat in the corner and  mumbled vague neutralness right now.



Sunday, March 13, 2011

Meanwhile, the world changed.

  I've stopped posing my lawn jockey for this season at least, so that gives me some time to reflect on these latest history changing events from the all important viewpoint of the retail worker.

  Egypt.  Wow.  Who would have thought that was coming?  Big question now is who will be Pharaoh.  My guess is on the Muslim Brotherhood.   Like every other revolution, everybody is going to be handing out candy between dances, but then they will discover a degree in Islamic Studies doesn't pay the bills.  Cue the repression.

  What is so interesting about this is that it's all been done before not so long ago in Egypt.  No one wants to remember that Mubarak was Sadat's vice president, and Sadat was Nasser's.  Of course, Nasser came to power in the '52 revolution in which the people of Egypt were very much on the side of the plotters.  In fact, when Nasser offered to resign for losing the '67 war with Israel, street demonstrations demanded that he not.  It's your mess, Egyptians.  You put them there. 

  Yes, we "propped them up" in the sense that we pay a big fat bribe every year for peace.  That's what makes watching Egypt fun: Egypt starts, or a least provokes wars with Israel that it loses, and in return we pay them a heap of money, make sure they get every inch of land back and have them sign a treaty not to do it again.  

  Probably too early to make predictions, but a lot of people are thinking the Copts are going to have a pretty rough time in the future.  Non-Islamic peoples in Arab lands have traditionally taken the nationalistic route, and the Copts have carried the Pan-Arab spear as high as anyone else.  Those days are probably over.  The various -isms of the past century have had their chance to change the Arab World and have failed.  Islam is the only man in the arena, and with everyone else long gone, the Copts are beginning to see the crosshairs slowly being trained on them.  You can only dhimmi up for so long before you start to realize that the kicks are not stopping.

  Of course it is possible that nothing will happen and the Muslim Brotherhood will prove tolerant.  I hope so, because things might get grim.  It would be nice to think the States would welcome fleeing Christians, but my amateur study of the Middle East suggests that the West is pretty apathetic towards religious minorities.

  One last thing: I wonder how many museums are looking at their Egyptian collections and saying "Told you it was preserving, not looting!"