Friday, March 30, 2007
Leadership 101, or Hostage Negotiation 101, or How to Influence Iran
There is a simple solution to this dilemma. First, we will not apologise for something we did not do, but if you return our servicemen and women to us today, I'll promise that we will never intentionally intrude on your waterway without provocation.
If you disagree with this option, you will have 48 hours to return our people to us. If that 48 hours ends and you have not complied, we will send every floating vessel in your Navy to the bottom of the Persian Gulf. If you enjoy having a Navy, you will return our people at once.
If in fact we are forced to sink your Navy, you will then have 24 hours to return our people to us. If that 24 hours ends and you have not complied, we will convert every aircraft in your Air Force into a flaming hole in the ground. If you enjoy having an Air Force you will return our people at once.
If in fact we are forced to destroy your Air Force, you will then have 24 hours to return our people to us. If that 24 hours ends and you have not complied, we will turn every military vehicle in your Army into molten metal. If you enjoy having an Army you will return our people at once.
Is our message clear enough? We will not be toyed with, and our people will not be used as puppets for your illegal and misguided goals.
(Holds up a stop watch and presses the button)
The clock has started. You now have a choice. Please make the right one.
Amadinejad to Blair:
I'm sorry Mr. Blair, but I could not hear the translation of your speech. The only thing coming out of my headphones was Twisted Sister's 'We're not gonna take it', followed by a stirring rendition of 'God Save the Queen.'
What's that stop watch for?
Viva La Revolucion!
Bring. It. On.
Top 100 April Fools Day Hoaxes of All Time
A well documented list of some great hoaxes.
My favorites are the 'Left Handed Whoppers', a campaign to Arm rather than feed the Homeless, and Taco Bell announcing it had purchased the Liberty Bell and renamed it 'The Taco Liberty Bell.'
Since my wife is in Alaska for the next week, maybe I'll call her up and play a little joke on her.
'Honey, the dog got out and was hit by a car. The body was mangled, but the head didn't look too bad, so I took it to a taxidermist and had the head mounted on a plaque, which now hangs over our fireplace. I hope your Alaska trip is going much better.'
Then I'll email a photoshoped image.
Movie Review: Shooter
(Warning, this review contains a few minor spoilers, but trust me... you don't want to spend a dime on this flick)
I fell for it.
I was watching a commercial about the movie 'Shooter', starring "Marky" Mark Wahlberg as an ex-Marine Super Sniper who is tricked into setting up an assassination of 'someone special.' (trying not to spoil too much). The commercial looked great, and it was full of raving reviews... including 'two thumbs up' by those two movie review dudes. So, me and my step-son went to the theater and watched it. After all, the movie reviewers are never wrong.
Where to begin.
Let me throw in some positives first so I don't sound too much like an a-hole. The effects were good, the sniper scenes (including the opening battle) was interesting, and the first 25 minutes seemed believable enough. It looked like I was watching a good flick.
That lasted until the crap hit the fan and Wahlberg gets framed. From this point on it's every "Good guy gets framed, runs and hides from bad guys, gets help from an attractive girl, decides to get back at the bad guys, all the while magically dodging thousands of rounds hitting every piece of dirt around him."
But THAT'S NOT THE WORST OF IT!
Oh no... that was the tolerable stuff.
The really crappy part of it made my stomach so sick, it was as if I had seen Barbara Streisand sunbathing in the nude.
Guess who the bad guys were? Yep, you're correct! They're Right Wing politicians and military leaders bent on building oil pipelines through peaceful African villages, and taking over the world. The movie is filled with line after line of "This is the only country where the Secretary of Defense can tell Americans that it's a war for 'Freedom', when in fact it's all about oil."
There's even a line that uses Abu Grab as an example of how only the little guys ever get caught, and the real leaders who ordered the torture always get away with it.
The best part... and yes, there was a 'best part'.... was when they showed the ring leader talking to the bad military guys about killing Marky Mark. It just so happens that the ring leader is an old fat white male, a Senator from Montana (near Wyoming) who happens to be Right Wing, and in this scene he's wearing a khaki shirt, a hunting vest, and is shooting out in the field with some powerful friends.
Did you guess who it was supposed to be? The only thing missing was a bumper sticker on the actor's forehead that read 'I'm Dick Cheney!' My favorite line is how he espouses his hatred for Democracy, followed by another scene where he offers Marky Mark a seat in his circle of fellow evil-doers who will soon be taking over the world.
Oh, and who can forget the master evil dude, played by Danny Glover. When I first realized he was in the movie I thought about how much I can't stand him and his anti-American, anti-Bush, pro-Castro/Chavez crap he spews every time he's on the news. Well, guess what... this movie was right up his alley. The strange thing is I think Danny has developed a lisp. No kidding, he couldn't pronounce his 'S's. They sounded more like 'Th's. Maybe he needs to cut back on kissing the asses of evil socialist dictators.
(Spoiler in the following paragraph. You can skip to the next one if you don't want to know how it ends)
Near the end of the flick, a good guy FBI-type espouses the idea of co-equal branches of government, and how it's supposed to be built on checks and balances. Of course, he can't find any evidence to put away Cheney and Danny Glover, so he tells Marky Mark that this problem can only be solved with a gun. The next scene has all the bad guys sitting in a cabin and laughing about how evil and Right Wing they were. Marky Mark just so happens to track them down and he shoots Glover. As Cheney stands up, he basically tells Marky Mark that he's a US Senator, and that he's too powerful to be shot. Marky Mark then fills him full of lead. Hoorah! Hoorah! Cheney was finally killed by the good ex-sniper good guy! The world is now good again. Or so the movie director wants you to think. All of that peacefulness can be yours too IF you kill the bad, evil Right Wing leaders.
(Spoiler is done)
I can't believe I was able to sit through this crap. I could stomach 'V' for Vendetta's political, anti-Conservative anti-Christian tripe because it was a futuristic Sci-Fi movie. I'm usually always able to find an excuse as to why I should sit through movies that espouse so much hatred for the Right side of the political spectrum, but not this time. This movie was a cheerleading event for the Democratic Underground moonbats who pray to their Ouija Boards every night for Chimpy McHaliburton and his clan of Right Wing dictators meet a terrible fate.
So, to sum it up... This Movie Sucked. I've seen better episodes of Full House. Also, it's a total rip-off of the Keenen Ivory Wayans movie 'Judgement Day.' (What is it with those ex-snipers who get framed for killing someone powerful?)
On my 'Movies are like Alcohol' ratings scale, watching this flick was like drinking a warm, fermented pint of 'Piss-Warm Chango' from an unwashed glass. It's by far the worst movie I've ever reviewed on this site since I started blogging in 2004.
If you don't want to be pissed off, go see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or maybe some chick flick that's out. ANYTHING would be better than Shooter.
***** Trivia Time*****
Who can name the person that brags about how good 'Piss-Warm Chango' is, all the while he looks like he's on the verge of spewing chunks all over the bar? He then follows his beer with a joke about urinating all over the bartender.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Two Weeks in Los Angeles, Edwards AFB, and Tuscon Arizona
Going to the West Coast for fun is something I've always looked forward to. It's where I'm from, where most of my family is, and it helps re-energize the soul. Don't get me wrong, Ohio is not too shabby of a place to live. I just always feel better out West, near the beaches, deserts, redwood forests, In-n-Out burger, Freaks & Geeks, Fruits and Nuts, etc etc.
Kalyssa and her doll ready to fly out West.
Trevi and her doll both fell asleep minutes after we left to the airport.
I headed out west this time because of work, but I was lucky enough to bring along the wife and kids. My wife can't stand being anywhere west of San Antonio, so it the week was pure hell for her. My girls on the other hand had a blast. They love going to where their Daddy grew up.
After flying into LAX close to midnight, we drove to our hotel near Long Beach. I had to work early the next day... all day... so everyone just kicked back at the hotel while I was gone. The next day we made it to Edwards Air Force Base for the second half of my meeting. I don't care how many times I've been there, it never gets old. One of my twenty uncles works at NASA's Dryden Test Flight Center, so he got to finally meet the wife and kids while giving us a behind the scenes tour of the NASA facilities. We checked out the Space Shuttle facilities, the dozens of experimental aircraft and hangers, and got to see what the replacement for the shuttle is going to be. Basically, it's a space plane that sits on top of a rocket. Simple design, and hopefully safer than the shuttle.
One of the coolest places on earth.
The X-15... the fastest plane ever. She deserves more than being put up on a stick.
The lifting body test aircraft was the forerunner to the Space Shuttle.
The drive back to LA from the desert is long, but while driving through Pasadena we decided to take a risk and call my family. In a nutshell, the wife and parents don't get along that well, but my brothers and sister have always been great. We ended up having dinner with my two younger brothers and sister at Benihana's in Ontario. It was the first time my youngest daughters have really met any of my siblings, and they all enjoyed their time together.
The Bros, the Sis, and the girls all meet for the first time.
Quality time between the kids and the family... Mission Accomplished.
We headed to the beach the next day. My luck, it was a cold, gray, and dreary day, but we still walked away with a bucket of shells and the girls had a great time. Later on that night we headed to 'Downtown Disneyland', located just outside of the overpacked, overpriced Disneyland park. Thankfully this place was free, and we still got to watch the fireworks show from the park next door.
Legoland at Downtown Disneyland.
If only I had $600 bones to waste!
Quality time at the beach... Misson Accomplished.
The next day we spent half the time walking around the 3rd largest mall in America, called Ontario Mills. The place is massive, yet it was still packed wall to wall with people. While the wife shopped at the Abercrombie and Hollister Outlets, I just relaxed and ate mall junk with the girls.
Quality shopping in Southern California for the wife... Mission Accomplished.
That night we took yet another risk and called my parents to invite them to dinner. We ended up meeting them at The Melting Pot in Pasadena. It was the very fist time my parents have ever met my daughters, so it was a pretty big step for all of us. Everyone seemed to get along fine, and the food was great as always. Of course I forgot the camera for this event to have proof that they all actually met (I still can't believe it). The waiter offered my wife lots of wine to help with the situation, but the free desert worked even better. You can't argue over chocolate fondue and strawberries.
Parents and wife coexisting in the same state and my daughters meeting their grandparents for the first time... Mission Accomplished.
The next day we drove to the Hilton at LAX because my wife and girls had to get home. I had to head back to Edwards that night, and then to Tuscon Arizona the next day. That morning we heard that the Airbus 380, the newest and biggest airliner in the world, was landing at LAX for the first time. Since we had time to kill we went and watched it. Honestly the thing is ugly and it doesn't look that big, but other folks were ready to hump the landing gear in front of the news cameras. They thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. To me it's just a $300M death trap. I've had some engineers tell me about how dangerous the wiring is on that thing. But hey, it has a massage parlor, so I guess that makes it all worth it.
Baby's got back.
I'm sure it's fun to fly in. I just don't want to.
Oh, and I have a bone to pick with Ms. Paris Hilton. Your hotel parking garage was great, but the rest of it stunk. We had more amenities at the Residence Inn by Marriot than we did at the Hilton. That's the last time I throw them any of my money. Unless of course they want to give me a free upgrade to the Presidential Suite.
After I said my goodbyes I headed back to the desert, and to Edwards Air Force Base. I forgot just how nice the desert was... especially at night. When the road you're on is straight for 20 miles, it's always interesting to turn off your headlights and look at the billions of stars surrounding you. No kidding, the road to the base off the highway is the only place I've ever worried about being upducted by UFOs. It's that dark, desolate, and uninhabited. Can't wait to go back.
Leaving the Valley going East to the Desert.
So nice to see this when walking into my room. I triple checked the bedding.
Beautiful Desert morning.
Heading to work. You can see a B1 in the background.
Rain approaching in the distance.
A B-52 on the left. The new Airborne Laser on the right. It's a freak'n "Laser."
The Space Shuttle's 747 Transport flew by a few times.
This road went on forever. One of those things about the Desert.
A dry lake bed, which is why this base is out here. Lots of places to land.
Spent the day at Edwards AFB, and then headed back to LAX to fly out to Tuscon. I stopped off at an In-n-Out Burger because it's a legal and moral requirement for any California ex-patriots who return for a few days.
The world is good again. I'll take two of everything.
A 4x4 with fries. Impossible to drive with.
Losing another year of life by enjoying an In-n-Out 4x4 burger with fries and a shake... Mission Accomplished.
Once I arrived in Tuscon I drove to Davis-Montham Air Force Base, home of AMARC... aka The Bone Yard. I had never been to the bone yard before, and it was everything I expected it to be. Absolutely amazing. If you're a history/airplane buff like me, this place is the holy grail of aviation history. Aircraft from every era stretch as far as the eye can see in all directions. Some of them are in good shape, others like the B-52s have been sliced up to make the Russkies happy, and others are completely sealed up and ready for use again if ever called upon.
Sweet. Kill 'em all!
C-5s, F-14s, and F-4s in their final resting place.
A buff in the buff. It's like a camero on blocks in a trailer park.
Hundreds of F-18s.
More Buffs that are sliced and diced. What a waste.
More cameros on blocks. The only thing missing was the sound of banjos.
My favorite fighter, the F-14 Tomcat, is the newest visitor to the place. Nearly every F-14 has been shipped for flown there to waste away in the dry desert air. Sad to see those things out there. They were the tip of the spear for projecting the strength of our nation for decades, and now their the homes of rattle snakes and desert birds.
This F-18 had the Soviet Aggressor paint scheme.
Never heard of this test plane. A YC-15? Short version of the C-17.
Even stranger, a YC-14. Very short body, strange engine placement.
The original A-10s with their forest camo, ready to kill some Soviet Tanks in Europe.
After a few days of meetings and schlepping for money, people, and ramp space on the base, I spent my last few hours at a MLB Spring Training baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners. Three words... Out-Freak'n-Standing. I had a great time, drank some Flat Tire Amber Ale while sitting field level just behind 3rd base, and I even pissed off #28 (Ibanez) from Seattle. The guy was a prick, so kindly let him know, and we all had fun doing it. In the end Seattle beat out Chicago 11 to 6, yet it was worth every penny for the $8 ticket and $6 Amber Ale.
Doesn't get much better than this.
The Flat Tire was pretty damn good.
A White Sox hit... one of many good plays.
The game was close until the 7th, when the White Sox brought in their second stringers and forgot to include a pitcher. I hope they find a good pitcher before the season starts.
Watching a good baseball game, drinking quality brew, and harassing the other team... Mission Accomplished.
The next morning it took 12 hours to get back to Dayton. The trip was well worth the time because of the mission I was able to accomplish for work. It's the first program I've ever been on where we're putting 'toys' on the stuff they're flying now to directly suupport the guys in the air and on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. I can't wait to see it in action.
The trip paid off in other ways as well. Spending quality time with the wife and kids, and seeing my parents meet their grandkids for the first time was priceless. I wouldn't trade it for the world. I hope we're lucky enough to do it again some day soon.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Why do we give moron countries expensive military systems?
I think these guys might have been french. They have nothing better to do.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Israel Recalls El Salvador Ambassador Who Was Found Naked, Drunk and Bound
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
JERUSALEM - "The Israeli ambassador to El Salvador has been recalled after he was found drunk, naked and bound in sexual bondage gear in his yard, an official said Monday.
Tsuriel Raphael has been removed from his post and the Foreign Ministry has begun searching for a replacement, said spokeswoman Zehavit Ben-Hillel.
Two weeks ago, El Salvador police found Raphael naked outside his residence, tied up, gagged and drunk, Israeli media reported. He was wearing several sex toys at the time, the media said.
After he was untied, Raphael told police he was the ambassador of Israel, the reports said.
The British Broadcasting Corp. reported that he could identify himself to police only after a rubber ball had been removed from his mouth."
Why couldn't this happen to some unsavory politicians in our own country? It sounds like a college prank, but you know it was real. What an idiot!
West Bound and Down, Loaded up and Truck'n!
I've got a picture of one of the Galactica Vipers on my desktop at work now thanks to Dave. Still impressed he got to hang out with all of these actor-types and order a pizza from the deck of Galactica.
I'm going to be spending all day today getting ready for a week in LA, followed by a week in Arizona. All for work of course, but the wife-unit has decided to tag along the LA portion of the trek. So while I'm stuck in meetings in Long Beach, tearing apart aircraft at Edwards AFB, and talking to some Russians out in Arizona about START Treaty stuff (which they really really really won't like to talk about), the wife will get to hang out at the beach with our daughters and do everything I wish I could. Surf, Sand, and Sun.
What I am looking forward to doing is spending the weekend with them and taking the girls to In-n-Out for the first time. Looking at Disneyland too, but the prices are criminal just to get into the front gate. $60 bones for each kid? Guess it's not the happiest place on earth anymore unless you're in the upper echelon.
I would really like to drive up the coast to Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay to show them where I grew up, but we'll see if we can squeeze the drive in. 7hrs is a long drive just to walk around a few hours and buy a few shirts from Santa Cruz Skateboard Shop.
But then again, I really miss the place.
So, I'll be taking an insane amount of pictures from LA/Long Beach/Edwards/Arizona and everywhere else I can without having the dogs and/or big guys with automatic weapons turned on me.
Ya'll Come Back Now, Ya Hear!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Blues Traveler is History, or... John Popper got Popped by the PoPo
Inside the black Mercedes SUV, officers found a cache of weapons and a small amount of marijuana, the Patrol said. A police dog searched the vehicle, finding numerous hidden compartments containing four rifles, nine handguns and a switchblade knife. Authorities also found a Taser and night vision goggles. The vehicle was seized."
Caught with illegal firearms is bad.
Caught with illegal firearms and drugs is very bad.
Caught with illegal firearms, drugs, tasers, and knives, while driving over 100mph?
One helluva good concert tour in prison.
I hope they sell tickets.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Roll'n With My Homies
Blackfive posted an outstanding video of some terrorists who fired an anti-aircraft gun at some good guys, and then went trotting off through the woods holding hands and singing Kumbaya.
That is... until we responded.
Also, if you haven't heard, it sounds like a very important Iranian General has defected to the United States via Turkey, and he's spilling his guts to our folks. I hope this is true. If so, he's our next American Idol.
And, a hearty congratulations to Dave at Garfield Ridge for chasing the dream. He's giving up a high-paying, high-power position with Uncle Sam to go back to school and get his PhD.
Very sweet. I hope to follow suit some day... I just need to get that high-paying, high-powered job with Uncle Sam first. If not Sam, then maybe Uncle Heffner.
And finally, I can't wait to see 300 this weekend. If my head stops wanting to explode and my lungs start working again, I'm going to see the movie at an IMAX theater.
If you're going to see blood, you might as well see lots of it.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Turning into a Zombie - Day 4
Apparently my little angel Trevi shared this wonderful flu virus with me last week. Instead of my body putting up a good fight, it raised the surrender flag (viva la France!) and has been slowly turning me into one of the zombies from Dawn of the Dead.
It's now day 4, and I still feel like crap. Haven't been craving brains yet, only Starbucks Chai Tea, dry bread, and tons of medicine. This sucks!
My advice for all of you healthy-type folks out there, if you see someone coughing or ill, run for your life. Go home, board up your doors and windows, and hide away until the zombies have all come and gone.
What the hell... I'll try anything at this point.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Universal Healthcare at its Finest
The next time you hear a Presidential Candidate promise he or she will implement Universal Health care across America, read this story.
It's about the appalling conditions at VA hospitals. Of course the press is trying to pin this on Bush, but VA hospitals have been an issue since World War I. There have been some significant improvements at some of the worst locations, but the fact that many are still substandard is pathetic.
Pathetic, but nothing new.
Even worse, the VA hospital system has always been advertised by many as a utopia of Government-provided health care. In reality, it's a mirror image of the Canadian/British government-provided system.
Universal Health care. I'll buy off on it the day they can perfect the VA system.
Friday, March 02, 2007
All Up in Djibouti, part 1
Great friends are few and far between in this world. One of them, known to you as 'Tumbleweed', stops by every so often to contribute to this site. Another one is currently stationed in Djibouti, and as promised, has finally sent some good pictures of... Yemen? Still waiting for the Djibouti pics, but these are just as good. I'm just glad he's OK out there. We weren't sure how they'd treat the 'Filipino Legend' out there in Africa.
Ironically both of these friends are leaving the Air Force soon. We all went to college/AFROTC together, and thankfully I have enough trash on them to guarantee they won't share what they have on me with anyone else. Big picture though is that the Air Force is slashing and burning their Officer corps, and retraining many in the Enlisted ranks to downsize and 'adapt' to the new reality of money and war. War = higher costs of operating = more expensive toys = cutting personnel expenses = Do more with less, and suck it up.
Talk about U.S. companies handing out Pink Slips... the Air Force has been saying 'adios' to so many folks it's unreal. And the cuts still aren't over. What was once a guaranteed job as long as you were squared away is a now a 'cross your fingers-dust off your resume-hope you don't get cut' gig. Sadly, they're losing some of their best folks over this. Many are taking the separation pay rather than sticking around to be cut, which offers almost nothing other than a handshake and a pat on the back.
So, back to reality. Here's the highly edited and sliced up letter my friend sent me, along with some 'modified' photos he attached. I thought I'd share the experience with you, without giving up anything important.
Enjoy, and wish him luck.
I’ve been traveling back and forth between Djibouti and Yemen for the past few weeks and just got back into town last night. I’m taking care of construction work in these countries as well as covering for another person sent elsewhere. Its all good, at least it makes time go by faster. Although, its seems like I’m working for UNICEF or the Red Cross than the military. Very humanitarian stuff going on here.
My life thus far… I was living in a tent, but now it looks like I moved up in the world and am now in a CLU (Containerized Living Unit---basically a large metal box with a window, 20x20ft). Think of a metal box with your own bathroom…That’s a clu. Trust me, its much better than it sounds. And it definitely beats being in a tent with a bunch of strangers. Man, I can’t wait to use the snooze button again. Plus, I’m getting tired of walking to the restroom at 2am (I should really stop drinking water before I get to sleep).
I attached pics from my trip so far… they’re mostly from my trip to Yemen. I had yet to take a prolonged trip (w/ my camera) in downtown Djibouti.
What intrigued me about the Yemen trips most were the amount of people who had Saddam Hussein pics displayed on their cars.. Luckily I made some ‘friends’ with the local military, so I felt pretty safe. They even let me pose with the 'dishka' (the gun on the back of the truck). Now I'm a true gangsta!
I took pics of my recent trip to Socotra, an island off the east coast of Yemen…. In essence, a beautiful, tranquil place. Europeans vacation there for snorkeling and deep sea diving. But the place was very technologically backwards…limited phone service, dial up Internet, no hot water. Did I mention there are 2.5M goats inhabiting the island? I’ll send some pics once I get them downloaded.
Saladbar, aka Your Brother from Another Mother