Friday, April 16, 2004

Yesterday was the first day of a new class. We had the instructor in a previous class that really kicked everyone's butt because of the work load, so everyone was a little afraid of what this class would have in store for us. We were pleasantly surprised that the work load doesn't look too bad (only three papers and one 20-minute presentation). And everyone loves this guy as an instructor. He has so much good, useful, relevant, information to share. Understand that other than the occasional scribble, no one really takes any notes in these classes. You demonstrate your understanding through papers and presentations, not tests and quizzes, so note-taking doesn't really play much of a role. But in this guys classes, we all burn through pens and notebooks trying to keep everything he says for later use. He is really good. So the next five weeks will find me moderately busy, and very happy. This is what I went back to school for.

The weather is gradually moving to summer. Most of the snow is gone other than the odd pile under a pine tree or on the north slope of a hill. We haven't had much rain lately, but it is supposed to rain most of the next few days. That should finish off whatever snow the sun can't get to. Today, I shut down the boiler and left the generator off after I left the house for work. That will be a major savings for us. The new batteries for the power shed will be available Tuesday, so that will further reduce our generator dependence. My dad wants to putter around the house one or two days a week, so I think I'm going to have him building the racks for the solar panels, which will cut the generator usage even more. After some really long months, things could be coming together for us at long last.

Nothing much going tonight. We need to do some birthday shopping for my niece, so we are meeting in the mall for that and dinner in the food court. Other than that, we will be doing some serious vegetation and an early bedtime.

Bob Thompson posted this yesterday:

Subject: Retrosexuals
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 11:55:07 -0400
From: Bob Sprowl

Please allow me to vent. I have had it. I've taken all I can stand and I can't stand no more. Every time my TV is on, all that can be seen is effeminate men prancing about, redecorating houses and talking about foreign concepts like "style" and "feng shui." Heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, metrosexual, non-sexual; blue, green, and purple-sexual - bogus definitions have taken over the urban and suburban world!

Real men of the world, stand up, scratch your butt, belch, and yell "ENOUGH!" I hereby announce the start of a new offensive in the culture Wars, the Retrosexual movement. "

The Code :

A Retrosexual man, no matter what the women insists, PAYS FOR THE DATE.

A Retrosexual man opens doors for a lady. Even for the ones that fit that term only because they are female.

A Retrosexual DEALS with IT, be it a flat tire, break-in into your home, or a natural disaster, you DEAL WITH IT.

A Retrosexual not only eats red meat, he often kills it himself.

A Retrosexual doesn't worry about living to be 90. It's not how long you live, but how well. If you're 90 years old and still smoking cigars and drinking, I salute you. If you are still having sex, you are a God.

A Retrosexual does not use more hair or skin products than a woman. Women have several supermarket aisles of stuff. Retrosexuals need an aisle endcap (possibly 2 endcaps if you include shaving goods.)

A Retrosexual does not dress in clothes from Hot Topic when he's 30 years old.

A Retrosexual should know how to properly kill stuff (or people) if need be. This falls under the "Dealing with IT" portion of The Code.

A Retrosexual watches no TV show with "Queer" in the title.

A Retrosexual does not let neighbors screw up rooms in his house on national TV.

A Retrosexual should not give up excessive amounts of manliness for women. Some is inevitable, but major reinvention of yourself will only lead to you becoming a froo-froo little puss, and in the long run, she ain't worth it.

A Retrosexual is allowed to seek professional help for major mental stress such as drug/alcohol addiction, death of your entire family in a freak treechipper accident, favorite sports team being moved to a different city, favorite bird dog expiring, etc. You are NOT allowed to see a shrink because Daddy didn't pay you enough attention. Daddy was busy DEALING WITH IT. When you screwed up, he DEALT with you.

A Retrosexual will have at least one outfit in his wardrobe designed to conceal himself from prey.

A Retrosexual knows how to tie his tie but doesn't really like to wear one.

A Retrosexual should have at least one good wound he can brag about getting.

A Retrosexual knows how to use a basic set of tools. If you can't hammer a nail, or drill a straight hole, practice in secret until you can -- or be rightfully ridiculed for the wuss you be.

A Retrosexual knows that owning a gun is not a sign that your are riddled with fear, guns are TOOLS and are often essential to DEAL WITH IT. Plus it's just plain fun to fire one off in the direction of those people or things that just need a little "wakin' up".

Crying. There are very few reason that a Retrosexual may cry, and none of them have to do with TV commercials, movies, or soap operas. Sports teams are sometimes a reason to cry, but the preferred method of release is swearing or throwing the remote control. Some reasons a Retrosexual can cry include (but are not limited to) death of a loved one, death of a pet (fish do NOT count as pets in this case), loss of a major body part, or loss of major body part on your Ford truck.

When a Retrosexual is on a crowded bus and or a commuter train, and a pregnant woman, heck, any woman gets on, that retrosexual stands up and offers his seat to that woman, then looks around at the other so-called men still in their seats with a disgusted "you punks" look on his face.

A Retrosexual knows how to say the Pledge properly, and with the correct emphasis and pronunciation. He also knows the words to the Star Spangled Banner

A Retrosexual will have hobbies and habits his wife and mother do not understand, but that are essential to his manliness, in that they offset the acceptable manliness decline he suffers when married/engaged or in a serious healthy relationship - i.e., hunting, boxing, shot putting, shooting, cigars, car maintenance.

A Retrosexual knows how to sharpen his own knives and kitchen utensils.

A Retrosexual man can drive in snow (hell, a blizzard) without sliding all over or driving under 20mph, without anxiety, and without high-centering his ride in a snow bank.

A Retrosexual man can chop down a tree and make it land where he wants. Wherever it lands is where he damn well wanted it to land. Except on his truck--that would happen because of a "force of nature", and then the retrosexual man's options are to Cry, or to DEAL with IT, or do both.

A Retrosexual will thank any person in military uniform for serving their country that they encounter.

A Retrosexual man doesn't need a contract -- a handshake is good enough. He will always stand by his word even if circumstances change or the other person deceived him.

A Retrosexual man knows that if he hasn't been hurt doing something lately then he hasn't been doing enough and its time to get off his ass and get to work.

A Retrosexual man doesn't immediately look to sue someone when he does something stupid and hurts himself. We understand that sometimes in the process of doing things we get hurt and we just DEAL WITH IT!


Jerry Pournelle has once again hit the nail on the head in regards to Iraq. Twice. As he says; Bush seems determined to take liberty to Iraq on the points of our bayonets, but is his determination enough?

A note from Bob Thompson's site on a small terror attack in North Carolina:

We had an Islamic terror attack in North Carolina yesterday, although I doubt it'll make the national news or be described as such. It happened in Fayetteville. Abdullah el-Amin Shareef stole a vehicle and went on a two-hour hit-and-run spree, searching out pedestrians to run down. Before he was stopped and captured, he made at least five hit-and-run assaults. Witnesses said he left the major highways in search of victims, driving down back roads and residential streets looking for people to run over. He killed one man. Another is in critical condition. Unfortunately, the cops took Shareef alive. It's too bad an armed civilian didn't put down this bastard before he was able to hurt those innocent people.

I would expect to see more of this. Individuals and small groups working to create a constant trickle of casualties. One effect will likely be more sympathy for Israel whose citizens deal with this sort of thing every day.

There seems to be some restlessness within the National Guard troops that seem to be on indefinite deployment despite promises to the contrary. This has been seen spray-painted on Guard barracks all over Iraq:

One week a month my ass!

Nice. "Beware the fury of the Legions." Our leaders seem to know nothing of history. It will be their (and likely, our) undoing.

The Nielson rating folks have new electronic boxes that measure what people actually watch instead of what people say they watch on the old, written Nielson diaries. Horror of horrors, few seem to be watching shows that feature blacks, so 1) the set-top boxes are racist and only report "white" TV shows to Nielson headquarters or 2) a different way of measuring must be found to make sure minorities are getting enough attention directed exclusively at them:

The drop has riled everyone from network executives to community activists. For black, Hispanic and Asian viewers, switching to the new system could mean less money for programming and advertising directed at them.

"A drop in ratings translates to a drop in advertising, which translates to a drop in programming, which translates to a drop in opportunities for the black community," said Paul Williams, president of 100 Black Men of New York, one of the organizations that has called on Nielsen to review its local people meter technology.

Maybe the problem is that every show that "features" blacks and Hispanics is just plain stupid. We don't watch much TV and when we do, it tends to be "white" shows that star people (white, black and Hispanic) who can speak Standard English instead of Ebonics or Taco Bell Chihuahua. Instead of criticizing Nielson for not recording what isn't happening, minority "leaders" and TV executives could take this as an indication that blacks and Hispanics prefer to see themselves portrayed as educated, intelligent, functioning members of society instead of ghetto-ized retards. But what do I know; I'm white and thus have no understanding of the "black experience."


The first signs of civilization now date back 75,000 years. But wait! God created the earth in late October, 4004 BC! Oops.

A good article on E-Bay as modern bazaar and the impact that has on home-grown scientific interest in the young (and not so young).

And time to get to work.

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