Posted on February 21, 2005
I was invited to speak at a fighter symposium in Finland several years ago. I arrived in early March, tasked to give an unclassified lecture on 1v1 fighter combat. That’s a pretty short lecture, alas, but as I was there in conjunction with some other folks, we spent a week sightseeing and mixing with the locals. It was a great trip to a very foreign place, although it was very, very cold.
The kind of cold you read about in books, maybe. Jack London, “Call of the Wild” cold.
The Finns are fascinating people – serious in demeanor, almost grave, and yet much given to partying at late night discos and bars, none of which seem to close prior to 4 AM (I discovered this through personal observation and verification).
Sample Finnish humor: One day Pekka and Toivonen meet after a long time apart and they go to a sauna in the woods. They drink vodka for a couple of hours. Pekka asks how Toivonen has been doing. Toivonen says nothing, but continues drinking for a couple of hours. Then, slowly, he replies: ‘Did we come here to babble, or did we come here to drink?
Posted on January 12, 2006
Remember that Virginia coal miner who, having been found guilty of raping and murdering his sister-in-law, went to his 1992 execution insisting upon his innocence?
Turns out that, along with being a rapist and a murderer, he was a also a liar:
A new round of DNA tests that death penalty opponents believed might finally prove that an innocent man was executed in the United States confirmed instead that Roger Keith Coleman was guilty when he went to the electric chair in 1992.
In a case closely watched by both sides in the death penalty debate, Gov. Mark Warner announced that genetic testing on semen proved Coleman committed the 1981 rape and murder of his sister-in-law, Wanda McCoy.
Posted on April 25, 2006
Did you ever notice how people tend to fight for the best parking spots – the ones closest to the entrance – at the health club?
Back To The Index
Posted on April 21, 2006
This is the sort of thing that’s going to happen when you let a conservative columnist write for the LA Times (I can almost read the anguished letters to the editor now):
Consider the trailer for “An Inconvenient Truth,” Davis Guggenheim’s documentary about (Al) Gore’s green crusade. The movie’s poster shows penguins walking across a desert. The trailer says, “If you love your planet … if you love your children … you have to see this movie.”
So you see: The producers – uniquely, for Hollywood types – don’t really care that much about turning a dime on the movie. They care about your children. Is all. Those of you who don’t love your planet or your children are of course free to take a pass. You bastards.
But – WAIT FOR THE IRONY!
December 28, 2005
And there’s so very much to do.
I’m wildly, improbably behind at that online probs and stats course, in consequence of the fact that the whole of it is, as I have remarked before, filthily written and that the sitting in front of the monitor being forced to read it puts me in the spirit of shooting myself in the teeth. And yet it’s not going anywhere, is it, and the new quarter starts on the 4th of January 2006, which is not so very far away once we’ve said good-bye to 2005 which is something we are very keen to have done, it being probably our least favorite year in the last twenty or so by a long chalk.
And there’s a Sailor at my last command, a good man he is, and getting commissioned to Ensign *, United States Navy who has asked me not only to read him the oath but also to say a few words, and that’s on the 4th too and it’s not the kind of thing you can do on the wing because of the significance of the thing to the man who’s asked for it and he was a shipmate, wasn’t he, so I’ve got a speech to write and not so very much time within which to write it.
Posted on April 17, 2006
No – not the angry one. That left, with its childish temper tantrums, potty-language-as-a-substitute-for-rational-debate and moaning, self-indulgent navel gazing has gotten quite a bit more attention than they really deserve, and a period of reflective silence from them would be very much appreciated.
I’m talking about the classical “liberals,” the way the word used to be defined: The post-enlightenment political ideology of those who wanted to extend and protect the liberties and rights (both personal and property) of individuals against tyrannies of all sorts, whether those tyrants be national fascist regimes, or antagonistic aggregations of aggrieved interest groups demanding obeisance to their own definitions of moral propriety. People who understood that because democratic majorities could also be tyrannies, that the principal role of a properly drawn constitution was to protect individuals from the potential depredations of the state:
Posted on February 17, 2006
I don’t know whether Janis Joplin, if she was alive today, would make much of an impression on the music world.
I was toodling home today when her “Me and Bobby McGee” came on, a song I’ve loved I think since I was a mere nobbut. Something about “feeling near as faded as my jeans,” and “windshield wipers schlappin’ time” were the first words that ever spoke to me of imagery. And imagery of course, is the soul of poetry.
Notwithstanding meter and rhyme, which are only, when properly deconstructed, mnemonic devices.
Did you know that her final album containing Bobby McGee and “Mercedes Benz” only came out after her overdose? I didn’t.