Monday, December 28, 2009

Home and back again

We went to the USA for Christmas which was nice to see family
and bask in the deserts of home. (mmmm, chocolate). I had to come
back here for work which meant my flight was Birmingham>Houston>
Frankfurt>+2 more connections and 29 hours total. Today I feel like I was
shot at and missed, shit at and hit.

Apparently I traveled just ahead of the new search requirements and
the restrictions of going to the bathroom in the last hour of flight. That restriction
won't stand up to actual practice, we'll have situations like Frozone in the
Incredibles "You can shoot me, but I'm going to pee".

Apparently the guy setting off the bomb hid it on his leg and burned off his
junk. I don't see how improved searching is going to find these kind of bombs,
if someone is willing to burn their love tackle off to take down a plane no amount
of taking your shoes off is going to stop that without much more personal pat downs,
and even then you'll get the eternal question, "Is that an explosive in your pocket
or are you just happy to see me?"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sleepy luggage thief

We made it back to the usa for Christmas. I had to travel to Greece
and back earlier in the week, then we flew from bologna to germany to
Houston to New Orleans and I was pretty wiped out by the time we got
to MSY. Instead of dutifully checking my luggage tags, I picked up a bag
that looks just like ours but is around 10% smaller. We zombied around for
a day, my wife thinking that the strange bag belonged to my parents and our
bag was still in the car. I thought I had the right bag until I was asked to go
get our other bag. It several minutes of travel fogged arguing until we looked
inside and gave a mutual "doh!"

I called Continental and they said bring the bag to the airport and pickup ours
and the bag's owner would be waiting. I said that sounded bad, what if he's
some kind of hitman on a mission? The girl said 'don't worry, he'll be waiting
outside', which didn't really comfort me.

Luckily the bag's owner's went to lunch when I made the bag switch and there
were no sniper's bullets to take me out as I walked into baggage claim. It turned
out the bag's owner's had a wedding to go and were about to go out to buy new clothes.

All I can say in my defense is "doh!"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lileks needs help, send money guns and lawyers

Or just Money. James Lileks who is one of my favorite columnists
is running a pledge drive. If we don't send enough money he'll
give The Bleat the ax.

So send money to keep high quality bleatage going like this:

As I tweeted: Target was doing their photo-booth hiring from the Li’l Witch Employment Agency this year, it seemed. I asked her if she had a thumb drive I could use, and she said – literally – “Nah.”

Nice to hear that someone still says “Nah,” because I tend to use it in a novel from time to time.

I sent 30 simoleans, which I found out today are a chain of mountains in northern italy.

Monday, December 07, 2009

A year of magical thinking

Stephen den beste is back on the intertubes with a column on hot air.

On hot air he's writing about Obama as a Teleological thinker, how he expects
magical thinking to work to transform the USA:

It explains his economic policy. Teleologists inherently don’t believe in unintended side effects when it comes to implementing their idealistic policies. Obviously it should be possible to provide free health care to everyone without wrecking the economy; it’s just how things really should be, so that’s how it will be. Where will the money come from? That’s the kind of question that materialists ask; teleologists don’t concern themselves with such trivial. It’ll happen somehow, because it’s obviously how it should turn out. To say we shouldn’t do it is to be heartless, uncaring — and those things are more important than mundane claims that it won’t work. If you just believe, it will work.
Jimmy Carter was similar and we see how that turned out. Jimmy Carter described
the congress as the ravening wolves, and we're seeing the wolves running free now
as they create 2000 page healthcare bills. Depending on the kindness of congress
or the kindness of governments that don't like us is a bad idea and likely to have
bad results in the non-magical world.

Den Beste was one of the four horsemen of the ablogalypse, and his USS clueless
blog was one of the first must reads for clarity of thought. Here's a blog on the
mean green meme that explained so well the way that different groups of people
think post 911. I'm glad he's back.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Liberation Day for Ravenna - Dec 4th, 1944

Today's the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Ravenna from
the German occupation.

It was liberated by a combined attack of partisan's and British,
but the partisan attack from behind meant it was not destroyed
by bombing.

The British were led by Popski's private army, a commando group
whose attack saved St. Apollinare in Classe from destruction. It was
thought that sniper fire was coming from the church's bell tower, but
Popski's group went forward under fire to find that there was no one
there, so it wasn't bombed to ruin.