DJB

Finding Adventure...

And the stupidity continues.

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In the face of a world-wide economic crisis as well as a war that "we will end", President Obama's staff is spending time trying to re-enact the assault weapons ban that Clinton signed into law and that the Bush administration got repealed. What's the best reason for it they can come up with? Because Mexican drug lords are able to buy "sophisticated" weapons in the US and get them over the border so easily.

Say what? You mean that border we've been trying to hard to close? The one we've spent millions of dollars on to build SOME fences? The one the Mexicans have NEVER cared to see closed? And then, on top of all that, the only actual weapons they mention being a big problem in Mexico are automatic weapons and grenades. NEITHER OF THOSE ARE LEGAL HERE, EITHER. Well, that's technically not true as automatic weapons are legal in VERY rare cases and are VERY difficult to obtain legally. Currently legal automatic weapons are not making it across the border in droves. Semi-automatic weapons? Probably. But there's a HUGE difference between the two.

And other than how it looks, there are few fundamental differences between many hunting rifles and the things being called "assault rifles." The differentiation is ridiculous. It boils down to how many bullets it holds and how it looks. Nevermind the power of it. The fact that it could kill someone from so far away they'd never hear the shot. Or several someones. And all it would do is put a production ban on them. The thousands that are out there will still be out there. They'll just be more expensive since the demand will be higher than supply.

So will criminals have a tougher time getting them? There's never been any correlation to "assault weapons" and crime of any significant nature. Nothing. Nothing about gun control equates to access for criminals. So why bother with it? It makes SOME people feel good. That's it. It does little more than violate our second amendment rights. I think Thomas Jefferson said it best: "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
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Steroids in baseball

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Does anyone else find it just a bit odd that since the feds seized the "anonymous" data that MLB was collecting and made it public that everyone who has admitted taking steroids has also said they quit in 2003 right before the players union voted to ban them and start testing? It's no secret that their own testing is incredibly weak and there are rumors that people have been tipped off to imminent tests, so why the heck should we believe NOW that the deeds were only done when MLB had no rule against it? Sure, people are basically admitting to using controlled substances, which is illegal. But going after that criminally isn't all that likely. The key here is that they are trying to protect their precious "legacy" and records by only admitting to what was done when there was no MLB rule against it.

The whole thing is a farce. Congress should have only gotten involved several years ago enough to say "you guys investigate this, clean it up WELL, and give us a full report detailing EVERYTHING so that WE are sure you cleaned it up well. Then we want to see you keep it clean. Anything less and we WILL clean house." Period. End of story. If Congress can be as involved as they've been thus far, well, they could have done that, too. Bud Selig seems to think he's above all that, but he's not. I'm sick of seeing taxpayer dollars spent on this kind of thing, but I do think they needed a good housecleaning. We could have done it a lot cheaper. I can't stand Barry Bonds, but this witch hunt for perjury is a little nuts. If you can't prosecute one perjury case for a lot less money than this, don't bother. He's scum and he has to live with it whether it's a few months in a Federal prison or at home, and it's not going to change how anyone else does things no matter which one he ends up in.
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These things sure don't take long!

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Looks like the anti-gun lobby is starting to rally now that Obama is in power.  There's already a new bill that's been introduced, and this one is a whopper.  It's completely unconstitutional, and not just that, it's irrational.  When will the gun lobby learn that how many bullets a gun holds has almost zero relationship to violent crime?  *sigh*  See some commentary on the bill here.  

This is amazing stuff, and it's one step closer to a national ID card.  Biometric information?  Really???  That's right, this is a huge step in that direction.  Is the US really ready to spend hundreds of millions of dollars (NOW?) on setting up controls like this?  Can someone please tell me what we would be getting for our money?  Other than a huge step towards a completely unhealthy level of government control?
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The NBA

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I remember when the basketball was enough.  I remember when there didn't have to be an additional "show."  Sure, the All-Star game was never about competition as much as it was about showing off the best of the best, but that was still all you needed.  Slam dunk contests didn't need phone booths and 12 foot special-built goals and custom shoes.  Okay, maybe they did need the custom shoes.  But you get the idea.  

This article likes to blame "this economy" for the necessity of the new "show".  But the truth is the NBA was already dying on the vine before "this economy" ever hit and fortunately for the NBA they can point to the economy now and use that as the excuse as to how to figure out how to reinvent themselves.  Lebron James is the next Michael Jordan, but he'll need some management somewhere to figure out how to build a championship team around him if he is to help rebuild the NBA like Jordan did.  I'm not sure they have any smart enough management left who can also figure out how to even get Lebron on their team let alone build enough compliments around him to get it done.  I wish them luck, but I'm not sure it's possible with current contracts in this economy.
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It's 106 miles to Chicago...

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...we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.

Hit it.

The Tar Heel Sports Car Club used to have a night series about once a month at the RBC Center in Raleigh.  It was a low key series limited in participation and never thoroughly scored.  There were no trophies.  But it was a heck of a lot of fun.  This run isn't terribly great, but I submit that this is some of the most fun you can have at a max of 45MPH on a weeknight (well, and with your clothes on...I think mine were on, anyway!).



This was circa 2004 in a Toyota Spyder, fairly stock (though it somewhat obviously has a straight pipe and Supertrapp on it) and on street tires.
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Brett Favre "tainted" his legacy?

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The talking heads are now asking silly questions in the wake of Brett Favre's retirement like "did he taint his legacy with his time with the Jets?"  Say what?  I don't think anyone looks at Michael Jordan's "legacy" in different thanks to his time with the Wizards.  As time passes people won't even remember the time with the Jets.  Why?  It wasn't memorable.  It wasn't horrible, nor was it Favre's fairly typical greatness.  Why?  He's old, and what he tried to do would have been difficult even if he weren't.  It's not easy to jump into a new system with new players and be great.  

Favre is a lock to go into the Hall of Fame.  He'll be remembered forever in Green Bay and elsewhere.  Taint his legacy?  Only if your definition of "legacy" has way too much "short term" or you expected him to work miracles with the Jets.  I mean it's the Jets, for crying out loud.
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Allow self defense in schools!

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I've always thought it was crazy that students are not allowed to legally carry firearms on campus, especially when so many people have to call campus home.  Now there's more of a movement in this area, and this website is there to help it. Good for those who created it, and hopefully we can spread the word further. 

It saddens me when members of the law enforcement community, like the NC State Public Safety Chief Tom Younce are against this with non-existent arguments.  You can see his argument and more on the topic here in Raleigh on WRAL.com.  This blog entry also says things quite eloquently and I agree 100%.  I can't find the source, but I heard that at the time of the Virginia Tech shootings that there were over 100 firearms checked at the front gate by the VT public safety department in accordance with their current policy on weapons on campus.

It should be noted that what people are asking for is actually NOT a free-for-all where guns are legal on campus.  They are actually asking for concealed carry ONLY be allowed.  In most states, including NC, you can not get a concealed carry permit without going through a class, background check, and being fingerprinted.  This is not the kind of thing criminals do, this is what law-abiding citizens do.  Criminals will bring guns on campus anyway and law-abiding citizens should be allowed to defend themselves in the United States of America. 
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Holy battery eater!

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I've been using Firefox for quite some time as my browser of choice.  It all started with Mozilla being the only decent browser for Linux, but I soon found that even on Windows machines I preferred the speed and features of Firefox over Internet Explorer.  So I've always just installed it by default on any machine I've had.

Recently, however, I've noticed it seemed to take a lot more CPU 
time on my Mac than perhaps it should.  While I had a few plugins on Firefox, it was nothing significant.  So I decided to switch back to Safari (the default Mac browser) and see what happened to my battery life.  I was getting just over two hours when disconnected from power while m
ostly surfing the web via Firefox.  With Safari I'm seeing around 6-8% CPU usage typically and am over three hours of battery life!  I guess it pays to try different things.  Hopefully Google gets Chromium released for the Mac soon so I can try that.
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Politics Sucks.

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So the politicians are working on an "economic stimulus package."  Great.  We need that.  But why does it have to include a huge pile of line items like $3M to upgrade the clubhouse at some public golf course in nowheresville, Nebraska?  Or worse, read this article about the health care changes it includes.  Nevermind whether you even agree or disagree with the changes, why is it even in the bill?  This is the kind of thing that really drives me crazy about the US political system.  No, it's not about me being mad at the democrats because both sides do it.  They're always squeezing unrelated things into bills that they'd never get passed on their own.  

But the changes in that article are scary, too.  Health care is complex enough already.  It's hard enough to get good care as it is.  And now we're going to trust the federal government with the details of it?  No thank you.  As for all the individual line items like the clubhouse?  Like the old joke goes, a few billion here and a few billion there and pretty soon you're talking real money.
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Indy quicky

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My fence fixes appear to be enough, at least so far. He made it through his first night in the kennel with Jasper and Sandi. He appears to really like the dog house as even during a warm day you'll find him in it (it has several light bulbs for heat). I think he really likes his blankets, which I had thrown in there. They seem to be arranged a little different than they were, though he hasn't pulled them out, which I find kind of cool.

He's still pretty rambunctious when you go in to see the dogs or feed them. Ash said he was jumping up and mouthing her arm (not biting, just being annoying with his mouth) while she was trying to feed them this morning. And I wen to see them tonight and he was a little on the obnoxious side trying to get attention. But he's young...he'll get it. At least he has a big place to run now along with a warm place to sleep at night! Seems happy. The other two seem a little perturbed still, but they'll warm up to him.
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