This is a nice little video posted by MikeyDale 2002 on Youtube of the view from an ultra light aircraft over Garden CIty, Texas. Link. So pleasant.
Hat tip: email from P.H.
This is a nice little video posted by MikeyDale 2002 on Youtube of the view from an ultra light aircraft over Garden CIty, Texas. Link. So pleasant.
Hat tip: email from P.H.
A Fort Hood news release dated December 17, 2009, announced a NEW POLICY ON FIREARMS IN EFFECT :
The policy, and Fort Hood Regulation 190-11, requires all servicemembers and their families living, residing or temporarily staying on Fort Hood to register any POF kept on post with the Directorate of Emergency Services.
Servicemembers living in barracks or in post temporary housing must notify their immediate commander of the possession of POFs and keep the weapon in their respective unit arms room in accordance with Army Regulation 190-11 and Fort Hood Regulation 190-11, the policy states.
This was, no doubt, a reaction to the killing rampage at Fort Hood by Nidal Malik Hasan recently. But it was probably little different from the previous policy, and that left gun owners across the nation decrying the no-guns policy at Fort Hood. All those trained soldiers were sitting ducks without firearms.
But in reality, it must be a tough call for a commanding officer. An earlier Army news release addressed a different problem:
There were 147 reported active-duty Army Suicides from January 2009 through November 2009. Of these, 102 have been confirmed, and 45 are pending determination of manner of death. For the same period in 2008, there were 127 suicides among active-duty Soldiers.
Statistically a soldier is more likely to kill him/her self than be killed by a Jihadist insider. But still, there is something about those gun free zones that seem to attract the mass murderers. And that's the rub. Tough gun rules are meaningless to anyone with a murderous intent. It's trite but true: Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns.
The underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was supposed to have been a fan boy of the Yemeni cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, according to FOXNews.com.
The cleric's website was apparently so persuasive that Umar was moved to stuff explosives in his underwear. Poor lonely Umar. Al-Awlaki must be the al Qaeda equivalent of Smiling Bob. If only Umar had known "male enhancement" is a spammer's myth.
Some people avoid registering at websites simply because choosing a good password is such a challenge. It has to be easy enough to remember but complicated enough to be impervious to the try-every-known-password programs a hacker might use.
So it's nice to run across a list of passwords so common that Twitter has banned them. I was going to list them here, but some of them are X rated, and I wimped out. Here it is in a vertical list with X rated words removed.
To see the entire uncensored list go to the Twitter sign-in page, right click and view the source code. Then search for "twttr.BANNED_PASSWORDS".
"NCC1701" is a common password? I had to look it up -- it's the tail number on the USS Enterprise from Star Trek.
I really don't mean to pick on Democrats. The ones I know are genuinely decent people, and they seem sincere in their desire to help people. But, it's with other people's money, and that's where we differ.
Anyway, to the point. The flag lapel pin became somewhat contentious during campaign season for some reason, and many Democrat politicians were late adopting it.
Well, here's one a Democrat can love. The photo was taken by Chuck Kennedy and comes from the White House photo collection. The lapel pin is on the White House doorman's lapel. Lovely, isn't it? You're sure to recognize the face.
So did al Qaeda want to ruin Christmas for Americans? Let's hope that the failed attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to bring down an airliner is an example of their best efforts.
Jasper Schuringa and other passengers subdued the guy after he ignited the device. They demonstrated once again that when a threat is identified, citizens will come forward to save the day. It's reminiscent of the Flight 93 heroes on 9/11/01 and should be another demonstration to the al Qaeda minions that annihilating Western civilization will not an easy endeavor.
Early reports said that the bomb was "sophisticated," but perhaps that's code for "it slipped through without detection." And it's possible the bomb wouldn't have worked anyway. But hopefully our guardians of air travel will learn how to detect those things without too much disruption to travelers. Their first effort seems to be to confine passengers to their seats during the final hour of a flight. That seems more punitive then helpful, and better scrutiny of the passengers might be more fruitful. But, when CNN asks whether it's a win for al Qaeda, the answer is still "No."
And they didn't ruin Christmas, they just created an inconvenience.
Ah, Christmas morning. It's such a delight this crisp winter morning.
I would like to wish everyone who sees this a very merry Christmas, and I sincerely hope Santa was good to you.
Enjoy your Christmas day.
Back in 2005 Yolanda Jean Madden was found guilty by Judge Robert A. Junell in a trial without jury in the U.S. Court, Western District in Midland, Texas, of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine too close to a school. She appealed the order to the 5th Circuit and lost. But with the help of a very determined father, Raymond Madden, she was awarded a new trial by the same judge at a hearing that took place on 12/18/09, exactly one week before Christmas. (Here's an Odessa American news report. And here's a video featuring a post hearing interview with Ms. Madden.)
Ms. Madden had raised several points in her motion for a new trial, but only one survived the Judge's scrutiny, and that one issue was so strong that the Judge vacated the 2005 ruling and ordered a new trial. Apparently Odessa Police Department Detective Greg Travland testified that he was present at a confession by Ms. Madden. However, there was a "whited-out login sheet" that Ms. Madden contends shows that Detective Travland was at the Ector County jail across town at the time the confession was alleged to have been made. The log in sheet was not made available by the prosecution to the defense prior in the original trial in 2005 even though it could possibly have been used to impeach prosecution testimony. Therefore, Judge Junell granted a new trial and set jury selection on 2/1/10. [Update: New trial date May 3, 2010.]
I believe the documentary evidence in question is in Exhibit C to one of Ms. Madden's motions. It's hard to tell what they prove without a time line, but you can look at them yourself and make your own determination. Download Exhibit C.
So is Ms. Madden guilty or innocent? That's for a jury to decide. If she is found guilty in the new trial then she will be sentenced again. However, if the police fabricated evidence as she has alleged, then that is a very serious problem. Regardless of what one thinks about the war on drugs, everyone expects fairness and propriety in the criminal justice system. There are no winners in the war on drugs anyway, only losers. If people begin to suspect the police and prosecutors are not playing fair then that throws a whole new complication into the mix, and we all suffer for it.
Previously about the Madden case in chronological order, oldest on top:
There was a scene in the movie "Repo Man" in which the good guys got in a beef with a gang of ruffians, and they met under a freeway for an old fashioned "West Side Story" rumble. The two sides trash talked and made all sorts of threats. But then one of them threatened to sue, and that was a knockout punch. Not a blow was struck by anyone, but they all mulled that threat, grumbled, and quietly got in their cars and drove away.
It was hilarious. But that seems to be the American way. To settle an issue file a suit. Sue critics to end the discussion.
So we have local entrepreneur Clayton Williams suing Fort Stockton Mayor Rueben Falcon for libel per se and slander per se for something Mr. Falcon allegedly told the Fort Stockton Pioneer and the Midland paper in an ongoing battle over water rights. (A Google search for the phrases quoted in petition paragraph 12(b) didn't return the offending article.)
Locals love Mr. Williams. He's philanthropic and employs a lot of people. But the irony meter is on 11. Some people out there might be old enough to remember when Clayton Williams ran for Texas governor, and they might recall thinking that Mr. Williams the politician might have had a shot had he been able to keep his own mouth shut.
Then there's that little issue of Mr. Williams having taken almost 800 grand in government farm subsidies. It's give and take, so who knows? Maybe with the philanthropy it will all balance out in the end.
This has been a year full of memorable events, and President Obama's fall from grace has to be one of the most noteworthy. All during the campaign of '08 the public saw him through a gauzy lens that disguised the wrinkles and hid the flaws. He was on cloud nine when he was inaugurated, and he probably believed all that flattering P.R. his campaign had fed a gullible electorate.
A year ago we couldn't have predicted such a dramatic withering of the admiration Obama once held, but given his performance in office, it should not come as a great surprise. And there it is, the Rasmussen Tracking Poll showing that 25% of the nation's voters strongly approve of the way that President Obama is performing with 46% strongly disapprove leaving his Presidential Approval Index rating at -21, the lowest yet.
There's a long list of reasons why this is happening, and at the very top at the moment is the unpopular health care plan he and the Democrats in the House and Senate want to cram down the throats of the American people. There's an arrogance there that says they are so smart that they know what's good for us even if we don't.
Maybe Mr. Obama is thinking that he'll be remembered as another F.D.R., although he probably has a limited knowledge of American history. Apparently, he's unaware that F.D.R. made a lot of mistakes, because Mr. Obama seems bent on repeating them. While the public today may be no more intelligent than they were in F.D.R.'s day, they are certainly more tuned in to what's going on. And the camera lenses can hide the wrinkles and flaws only so long.
Was it lonely at the top, President Obama? How about the bottom?
Searching the web for interesting sites can be quite a chore, and Sleepless in Midland is here to help.
First up, Where's George, a dollar bill tracking site. Enter the serial number of a dollar bill to see where it's been. It's a voluntary effort and works only if someone else entered that particular bill. The two I entered were first timers, and once I put them back into circulation they would appear at the site again only if the next person to handle them enters them, too. Nice idea, but it would be markedly different if retailers participated.
Next, you can paint like Jackson Pollock. Just click and move the cursor to make art. (I would like to see one that lets me draw like Norman Rockwell.)
Oh those quotations marks. How does one know when they are necessary? Easy, learn when they are inappropriate by looking at Unnecessary Quotes. For example, an autographed photo with the inscription: Thanks for all your "help". And my favorite security guard.
All of the above via a friendly emailer named Ann.
Finally, poor Tiger Woods. People just can't lay off of him. Now we have a poster of Tiger the Lyin' King at iber soup proving that not yet every joke has been used.
Not funny? Maybe what this site needs is a laugh track.
Mild mannered citizens by day, Ninja Road Repair Warriors by night -- dressed for success in black Ninja costumes, they sneak into position while the city sleeps. While Batman rids metropolises of criminal vermin, the Ninja Road Repair Warrior fills pot holes.
Blogging neighbor Wallace has reignited Mean Street Kick Ass in a desperate cry for help with a villainous pothole. But the contractors who would do that for the city street department are most likely tied up on other projects. And ordinary potholes may not be serious enough to pull the workers off those other jobs. As most of us eventually discover, many times it's easier to just do something ourselves rather than wait for someone else to do it.
So maybe it's time for some Ninja Road Repair Warriors to slip in late some night, clean the hole, dump in some EZStreet cold asphalt, tamp it down, then make a speedy getaway.
Who were those masked men and women? I dunno, but when they left, that pot hole was filled!
Pity the poor Sandhilll Cranes. They fly thousands of miles for their seasonal migration from as for North as Alaska only to arrive in Texas just in time for hunting season. As they duck and weave to avoid shotgun pellets, they should take some comfort knowing the hunters are using lead free shot.
As if we didn't already feel it in our bones, it's a sure sign of winter to humans who see the picturesque "V" formation as the majestic birds fly South.
The poor bird not only has to fly such a great distance just to stay warm, dodging hunters the whole way, but he has to endure the taunting whoops of his snobby cousin, the Whooping Crane with the privileged plumage of white feathers who glides safely across the U.S., living the good life behind that invisible shield created by the word, "Endangered."
Maybe Sandhill Cranes will live long enough to one day fly the "Endangered" banner, too. Irony happens. In the meantime, good luck to you ugly ducklings. And may all of your hunters be shooting cameras.
Saturday after Thanksgiving a man armed with a silver revolver robbed a Cash America Pawn Shop in Lubbock, Texas, and got away with 276 pieces of jewelry valued at $40,000. News reports here and here.
The store had cameras about the place, and a photo of the perp is currently posted in Cash America store windows announcing a $10,000 reward for information that leads to this guy's capture. Also, Crime Line, the crime reporting hot line, is offering another $1,000.
If this guy's acquaintances have seen this photo, they know who it is. It's only a matter of time before someone decides to cash in that lottery ticket.
Post script. Speaking of rewards, the big bounty money is on the terrorists. Seems like some mercenaries would have tried to collect that $25 million for Osama bin Laden.
Updated 3/1/2010: Captured! Keenon Jones was arrested in Dallas after police were alerted by staff at a gold buying company in Florida where he tried to sell some jewelry. See Lubbockonline.com, Myfoxlubbock.com and Everythinglubbock.com.
"Wash your hands!" "Wash your hands!" Our mommas always said to wash our hands. And now that flu season is here we are told to sanitize our hands to prevent the virus from spreading.
The first sanitizer dispenser I noticed in a port-a-potty was at the Fort Stockton sesquicentennial celebration a couple of months ago. There was one in the port-a-potty at a road repair site the other day. And the man who came to pick it up said that most port-a-potties have one these days.
A sanitizer dispenser in a Port-a-Potty is so logical that it shouldn't be a surprise that the people in the business have already implemented that idea.
Hillary Clinton and Tiger Woods' wife have something is common, man trouble. Hillary went through it, and she no doubt has some advice of her own for Mrs. Woods, or Elin Nordegren as she prefers to be known.
Let's imagine what Hillary would say:
A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. Play the victim's role, and you'll be a celebrity in your own right. Oprah's audience will eat it up. Hell, you could even run for office! (Just joking girl, stay out of my game.)
Tiger hasn't peaked yet, and there's still a lot of money yet to be made in this deal. Milk it for all it's worth.
Oh, and learn the words to "Stand By Your Man," and sing it all the way to the bank.
Just one of many funny pictures found at eatliver.com.
Actually, there is a Sarcasm Society where someone can try to learn how to be sarcastic if they wanted to. I would advise against it, though. I learned it early on, and it has taken me a lifetime to unlearn it. Sarcasm is a solitary humor that is usually enjoyed by the person who creates it but no one else.
Today was the big grand opening of the intersection of Garfield St. and Golf Course Rd. in Midland, Texas. If you recall, the pipes under the street that carried rain runoff had rusted after having done their jobs for 35 years, and a cavern grew under the intersection. A small hole in the street was discovered, and that exposed the problem. The intersection was barricaded, and a month long street project began with a coordinated effort involving the city of Midland, Key Enterprises, Inc., and James Hindman, Inc.
And a major effort was made today to try to get the intersection open by 4:00 pm. Asphalt was laid, but the temperature was too cold for some of it to cure properly. So steel plates were laid on a problem area, and one lane remains closed.
I would have liked a ribbon cutting, but it was more like a synchronized movement of city vehicles to unblock the streets when the intersection finally opened.
Ever wonder how those white arrows and lane markings get stuck to the street? They come in pre-cut sections, and they are melted onto the street with torches reaching temperatures of 450 degrees. Here are some photos.
The first car to travel through the intersection legally in almost a month came through at about 5:40 pm today. You can see it in the last photo -- a silver Camaro.
Sig Sauer has a new product out called the P250 2sum. What makes this handgun package unique is that it's basically two guns in one. The package comes with two guns -- a full size and a compact -- with only one set of innards. The user decides whether he/she wants to shoot the big one or the little one then drops the innards into the frame of choice. And the interchangeable grip modules lets the user fit it to his/her hand. The regular P250 comes in a variety of calibers, but the 2sum comes in 9mm.
The Sig site doesn't show the MSRP at the moment, however gunbroker.com currently has a few listed for sale between $739 and $799.
So is this a good marketing strategy? They'll find out, I guess. But many gun owners might prefer to simply own two separate working guns rather than two with only one working mechanism. Also, I hate to bring this up, but there's no manual safety. That's a big issue with me, but then I'm just a big sissy.
President Obama pulled in a lot of votes in 2008 with his focus group tested slogans -- "Hope," "Change we can believe in," "Yes we can," etc. More recent phrases, like "Public Option," haven't been as successful.
So now he's probably stockpiling slogans for the 2012 election. Let's help him out with some bumper sticker suggestions of our own.
Campaign slogans for Obama in 2012:
We didn't waste the last crisis,
We won't waste the next one
Obama 2012 -- the devil you know
More government is better government
They were wrong when they said I would ruin the country. Give me another four years.
Obamanomics -- Gruel in every pot!
You loved me in '08
Can't we still be friends?
He stole your heart in '08
Re-elect Obama and get it back
Four more years
and we'll get it right
Obama Magic -- Will make your job reappear.
Is the plan!
If 'Bama can't do it,
No one can!
Obama -- the American Apologist
It's working in Venezuela
We fooled you once, that's our fault
We fooled you twice, that's your own damn fault,
Wait, wait, that didn't come out right.
Republicans may need some, too. So let's help them out with these:
Yes we can, too.
We're not as bad as Democrats
Give us another chance.
We won't piss it away this time
There was a time when you couldn't turn a corner here in Midland, Texas, without seeing one of those painted fiberglass buffaloes. (See the photos at a post from '05 titled West Texas Wildlife for a sampling.) Then all of as sudden they were gone.
But that's fine. Modern art is best appreciated when it's not permanent.
She's the winner of two tickets to the 12/12/09 performance of the Midland Community Theatre production of "A Christmas Carol."
Congratulations Ms. Inskeep. Enjoy the play!
And to everyone who entered this and previous contests, thank you for participating! It's been fun!
The road repair work at Garfield and Golf Course Rd., Midland, Texas, came to a standstill the other day when the rains first came. And the Friday morning snow didn't exactly light any fires.
Pop-ups. Left click on the thumbnails to get a larger pop-up.
So the whole operation has been delayed. The good news for anyone hoping to use the intersection sometime soon is that, aside from laying a new surface, the work in the intersection itself appears to be getting close to an end. Work may continue West of the intersection, however.
He robbed a woman at gunpoint taking her purse and camera cell phone. The owner had programed the camera phone to send any photos taken with it to her computer. So when the scholar snapped a photo of himself holding what appears to be an air gun the victim gets some first class evidence.
This looks like a fascinating piece of equipment, if it's affordable. The Deltasphere scanner takes a digital image of a crime scene, then gaming software lets the investigator work the scene and manipulate the images. It will be like playing a game based on a true story, the players just have to solve a crime.
North Carolina State University received a grant to help build an IC-CRIME platform. Here's an excerpt from their news release:
The IC-CRIME platform will employ the latest in 3-D laser scanning technologies to virtually reconstruct and preserve crime scenes, and will be built on a game engine to enable virtual recreation of the scene. The laser scanner technology, developed by Research Triangle Park company 3rdTech, will allow investigators to accurately record room and object dimensions, as well as the placement of every piece of evidence in a crime scene. The scanners can capture millions of data points at a crime scene within a few minutes. Combined with high resolution digital photography, and other trace evidence data such as microscopic and chemical analysis of fibers, a comprehensive, permanent data record will be produced within the NC State IC-CRIME platform. The IC-CRIME platform will make the crime scene accessible to those investigators granted access, such as blood spatter and hair and fiber experts who may be located in different parts of the country. In fact, experts from around the globe will be able to be brought into crime scene virtually and collaborate effectively to prosecute a case.
Chief: "Are you playing computer games again???"
CSI tech: "Uh, yeah."
From the standpoint of those of us who have been sitting on the fence on the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory, the leaked emails and research data and the reaction of the pro-warming crowd has gone a long way in pushing us to the opposition.
If the AGW theory were really valid, then surely there must be some real proof that (a) CO2 emissions have been rising as rapidly and consistently as the warmist camp says, (b) temperatures have been rising during that same period, and (c) that (a) caused (b). But no, there was just the strident calls to silence the opposition.
I used to enjoy listening to Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcasts (theskepticsguide.org) featuring a group of self described skeptics who skewered psychics, quack medical cures and spoon benders. But they grew tiresome when it became clear their politics had so much influence on their thought processes, and they would ruin something with an offhand remark like, "Bush ruined science." Huh? They were all so completely on board with the anti-Bush narrative that they felt such a remark needed no explanation.
They were so smitten with the AGW theory that they tagged the theory's skeptics with the name "global warming deniers," you know, like Holocaust deniers. For people who called themselves "skeptics" there sure seemed to be a lot of group-think conformity.
So I had to go back to them for their take on Climategate, and episode 227 on November 25, 2009, has an 11 minute discussion beginning at around 34:00.
Sure enough they circled the wagons, defended the global warming narrative, and tried to link global warming skeptics with tobacco industry efforts to confused the link between smoking and cancer. At worst, Climategate is just an embarrassment but shouldn't change anybody's mind, they say. And they bristled over the use of the word "skeptics," they are the the true skeptics, you see. Those who are skeptics of the global warming science on which the warmists rely are just "deniers."
To those of us in the cheap seats, the shrillness of the warmists was supposed to alarm us into acceptance, but it had the effect of hardening our resistance. And with Climategate developing, and the warmists in deer-in-headlight mode, it's time to enjoy the Schadenfreude.
She's the winner of two tickets to the 12/5/09 performance of the Midland Community Theatre production of "A Christmas Carol."
Congratulations Ms. McLain. The feedback on the play has been very positive.
There's another contest going on, and that one is for two tickets to the 12/12/09 performance of the same play. Email me to enter. The deadline will be noon on 12/7/09, and barring any unforeseen delays, the winner will be notified that afternoon.
Bah humbug in the nicest way!