Thursday, October 27, 2005

Quiet fitness blogging

I haven't posted much on my PFT progress because I hit a snag. I somehow over exerted my knee, and have been swimming instead of my usual runs. In addition, I've had some pain in my arms whilst doing pull-ups. It's greatly frustrating, because I wanted a full week's work for my PFT next week. I only pray that I can break 10 pull-ups on monday...maybe that's the lesson God want's me to learn. After all, if faith can move mountains, it certainly could make me do a couple more pull-ups and a few seconds faster in a run.


Why did you re-enlist:

..."because as I look around at the state of this nation and see all of the weak little pampered candy-asses that are whining about this or protesting that, I'd be afraid to leave the fate of this nation entirely up to them."


The "f" word is..."fat"

Police officer scolds woman for using the f-word..."fat."

A woman struck by a hit-and-run driver in northern England said she was told off by a police officer for using the F-word to describe the driver.

Mary Magilton, 54, suffered cuts and bruises after being hit by the car, which mounted the pavement then drove off, Reuters reports.

She reported the incident but was ticked off by a police officer when she said the driver was a "fat" woman.

"I was given a frosty look and told I couldn't say that. I could have said lardy, porky or podgy. But I wouldn't dare use those words," the Daily Mirror quoted her as saying.

I would say that she was nice, only calling the driver "fat." If I were hit by a car, I definately would have used several worse words to describe the driver.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A simple quote from Gen. Patton

Or, more accurately, George C. Scott as Patton:

"You do not belong in this place of honor!"

Army wife gets mad at protesters...differance made

Read this, now!

Nevertheless, many of them shoving the headline "U.S. Military Death Toll in Iraq Tops 2,000" in my face; which none of us needs. Anyway, needless to say I just lost it. I proudly wear Tony's picture on a dog tag around my neck in addition to several photos of him and his unit I always carry with me.

So without hesitation I whipped out the pictures and shoved them right in the faces of the protesters as they did to me with their headline.

Read it again. It almost makes me feel all warm inside.

Idiots on parade

I have a lot of respect for the police. They have a hard job. They should be able to get a decent meal while on the job. Instead some idiot fast food worker gets an idea: Loogie found in Trooper's wrap.

When Michigan cops arrested a teenage restaurant employee earlier this month for adulterating a state trooper's Arby's grub, they declined to say what landed in the poor guy's turkey wrap. But a Freedom of Information request has unlodged a police report that, The Smoking Gun can now reveal, shows that a "LOOGIE" was the unwanted ingredient. According to a police report, a copy of which you'll find below, Stephen Bullion, 19, admitted to the clamming after being confronted by the trooper, who only spotted the phlegm after eating half of his "roast turkey, ranch 'n bacon wrap." Bullion, pictured at right, told the trooper (whose name was redacted from the report) that he did not add the loogie because the customer was a cop, but rather because he arrived at the drive-thru window as workers were preparing to close the fast-food joint. If convicted of the adulteration charges, Bullion faces more than a decade in prison.

Dumb, dumb, and

Not just a number

As a proto-Marine, I have some angry words for the way the mainstream media and anti-war protesters have handled the war dead. I am not alone: Taking a Number

The Marines and soldiers who fight in Iraq are not numbers, but the media and certain groups are treating them as if they were. Number 2,000 was a national treasure, just as number 1,435 was and number 2,038 will be. For what is the value of a man who will fight a war for others who despise him?

But for those who are willing to take action, there would be no wall at all hold back evil and those men and women on the wall deserve more than a number.

Read it all. Then say a prayer for those who have given thier lives for our country.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Great Bondian Mistake

Well, this solidifies it. I was dissappointed when I found out that James Bond would no longer be played by Pierce Brosnan (second greatest Bond in the movies...Sean Connery holds the place of honor, of course). Brosnan had the ability to pull off the swave moves, followed by some butt-kicking goodness.

Unfortunately, it looks like the new Bond is starting off on the wrong foot: New Bond: I hate guns

Daniel Craig will have a problem playing the new James Bond - because he hates guns. The actor will wield 007's famous Walther PPK in the movie Casino Royale.

But he revealed in OK! magazine: "I hate handguns. Handguns are used to shoot people and as long as they are around, people will shoot each other.

"That's a simple fact. I've seen a bullet wound and it was a mess. It was on a shoot and it scared me. Bullets have a nasty habit of finding their target and that's what's scary about them."

Ah, yes...handguns are used to shoot people. Nice arguement. Using the same logic, we could ban other such offensive items as pipe wrenches, rope, scissors, baseball bats, etc because they are used to kill people. Why don't we see this through the magic prism of "responsibilty." This allows us to see that a gun does nothing by itself...there is a person behind the trigger. This person is responsible for their actions. The gun doesn't make them do it.

Then there's more to frighten me into thinking this is the "End Times" of the Bondian world:

Craig is not the first Bond to reveal a hatred of guns.

Roger Moore, who played the superspy from 1973 to 1985, said after quitting the role that he hated "that awful pose" of Bond with his gun which has become an iconic movie image.

Roger Moore has definately held "worst place" in my little world...though Timothy Dalton was not particularly far off. The end result...I'm now truely frightened that one of the stalwarts of male egoism is about to enter a new dark age. I only hope it is a short time before we see another Brosnan...or maybe, just maybe, Sean...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Motivation...Marine style

Yesterday, I went to the Marine Officer Poolee event. Starting off with a quick talk about Officer Candidate School and The Basic School, we started off with a "fahrtlehk" run. This consists of a short sprint (in this case, an 1/8th of a mile) followed by an exercise...then repeat. We did this for 6 exercises. I have to say that was the most physically intense 11 minutes I have ever experianced. By the end, the lung burn was pretty intense. Good stuff.

After that, we went on a short formation run (about 2 miles). Since most of those present had graduated from PLC Juniors or PLC Seniors, we quickly began singing cadences. Having 13 guys running in formation singing cadences through a college campus was probably one of the most motivating experiances of my life. People's reactions were probably the best part. Some of those driving by honked their horns in support. Most students stood, mouth agape as we ran by. Some older individuals stopped walking and smiled. Pride in all I was doing welled up in me.

One definate benefit was talking to those who have already gone to OCS/PLC. With their advice, I hope my stint (if I an accepted) goes least as smoothly as the physical challenges of OCS will allow.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Taking a high schooler to task

Recently posted at Murdoc Online was this story of an ad that was placed in a high school newspaper:

My first reaction is anger. Why? Well, it's a really dishonest ad and I find it emotionally manipulative (a *MAJOR* pet peeve of mine).

First, it implies that a stint or career in the military means death. This isn't any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it would be a lot more honest if it were to picture loggers or roofers (two of the most dangerous jobs in the US). Just as an additional note, I bet the majority of those grave markers are those who served, but died of natural causes. Oh, and "signing your life away?" Puh-lese.

Second, it plays on people's fears. The group that purchased the ad is a pacifist Christian community. As a Christian, we do not fear death, because we have so much to look forward to. Here, however, we have a group that is fearmongering using death. This seems very un-Christ-like to me. Just my opinion.

Finally, it puts down those who have put their lives on the line for what they believe. I feel that you can "be all you can be" if you have died for something that you fully believe in. Would it not be a greater honor to die protecting your family...or in a random intersection in a car accident?

The only other point I would make is this seems like a bit of an inappropriate ad for a High School. When I worked in the student newspaper, our ads were just local political or activist groups. A college-level paper might be a bit more appropriate, because there's a *HUGE* maturity change between the two.

The makers of the ad claim it is only to create discussion...and that it has.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Well, I did something I never thought I'd actually do. I busted out a personal best 3-mile run *ON* my PFT. I ran a me 75 points on my run. I also have now officially maxed out my crunches (100 crunches in 2 minutes...adding another 100 points). Unfortunately, my pull-ups stand at 9. One more would have given me a 225...a first class Marine PFT. This is something I would have never guessed I could do. I remember coveting a second class PFT score (175). My first official PFT was a 193. A 32 point jump is significant.

I do have to give credit where it is due. I have to say that the Lord helped me on this one. Around the 2-mile mark, I didn't feel very good. I was pushing extra hard, my feet felt like lead, and my stomach was starting to feel nausea. Suddenly, I heard the unmistakable sound of jets overhead. Looking for the source, I was surprised to see the St. Louis Air National Guard doing formation runs in their F-15...Eagles. Suddenly, a thought popped into my head...eagles...on wings of eagles. A snippet of a Bible verse was circulating in my brain. It gave me what felt like a warm chill that spilled over me (okay, so maybe it was my body switching to my fat stores, but the timing was impecable). I started to push a little harder. And harder...and harder. I cranked around the corner and hit the final straight. When it was over, I had dropped my personal best time by nearly 10 seconds.

In addition to the physical testing, I also took the ASTB (Aviation Selection Test Battery). A three-hour test that consists of 6 sections: Math Knowledge, Reading Comprehension, Mechanical Knowledge, Spacial Awareness, Aviation & Nautical Knowledge, and Aviation Supplement.

Math Knowledge, Reading Comp, and Mechanical Knowledge are pretty standard ASVAB fare stepped up a few grade levels. I think I did ok. A couple problems stumped me, but not too many. Mechanical Knowledge has a few more pressure questions than I was prepared there's some educated guesses there.

Spacial Awareness gives you a "view" out the front of a plane and you must pick the image of the aircraft that most likely represents that attitude (the direction, tilt, angle for you non-avaition buffs). This I found pretty Microsoft Flight Simulator time paid off.

Aviation & Nautical knowledge is exactly that. Growing up in the avaition world pays off here.

The aviation supplement is interesting because it mixes several of the above sections and jams them together. Add a short time limit (35 questions, 25 minutes), and it bumps up the stress. I think I did ok...I reread several questions, and caught a mistake.

I'm just hoping for a 6 or better (it's out of 9). Monday, I'll find out if I can contract for NFO (Naval Flight Officer)...but we'll see.

Cliff Notes: I'm super motivated!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Whoa! Transparent Alumninum

Ace of Spades has this article about the Air Force playing with transparent armor.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFPN) -- Engineers here are testing a new kind of transparent armor -- stronger and lighter than traditional materials -- that could stop armor-piercing weapons from penetrating vehicle windows.

The Air Force Research Laboratory's materials and manufacturing directorate is testing aluminum oxynitride -- ALONtm -- as a replacement for the traditional multi-layered glass transparencies now used in existing ground and air armored vehicles.

Awesome! I'll avoid showing my true geekdom by not making a comment about Star Trek 4...doh!

My blog is worth:


Heh, I figured as much, but I figured it was worth a shot. I don't really see this as a capitalistic venture...just as a way to vent/rant/rave and let friends and family know what all is going on. But hey, I've got over 600 views, so I suppose I'm doing something right.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Oh, how I love the pain

Awesome numbers for today. First, I made my 9th pull-up giving me a beautiful 219 on my PFT score. Second, I busted out a 80/90/80 in my push-ups...90 being the most I have ever completed in a single session.

I didn't score a new fast time for the 5-mile today, but I can definately feel the pain from it. I suspect it has something to do with the single day of rest since my hefty speedwork on Saturday. At any rate, I'm hurting...but love every minute of it.

A great let down

Ah, yes the revered memories of my childhood. Among them, countless hours of watching Inspector Gadget. After I moved on to other things, the mystery of Dr. Claw's face moved to the back burner with other important things like where the heck did half my hotwheels collection go to, or how many GI Joes were in that 3-foot hole we dug in the back yard. In a recent post at Ace of Spades, this nagging mystery has finally been solved: The Face of Dr. Claw

Go read it and be disappointed. The man whose voice and obsessive cat-petting wowed us with cool plots to take over the world...looks like a deranged loon. Sadly, I believe I was better off in my ignorance.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Whatever happened to trust?

You've got to be kidding me. This can't be healthy. Can we say, "control freak?"

Hat tip: The Anchoress


Airlines have some oddball people get on the plane sometimes. Like this crazy guy: Man Accused of Punching Out Plane Window

A passenger punched out the interior pane of an airplane window on an American West flight from Las Vegas to Florida, authorities said.

Ryan J. Marchione, 24, shattered the inner plastic shield covering the glass window and disconnected its frame about 90 minutes into the flight, according to an FBI affidavit. The outer window was not damaged and the plane did not depressurize, the airline said.

Marchione was arrested when the plane landed Wednesday at Tampa International Airport. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted of a charge of damaging or destroying an aircraft while it was operating.

About 90 minutes after the plane departed, Marchione "woke abruptly from his sleep and turned to the passenger seated in 7B ... raised a clenched fist to his shoulder as if he was going to strike the passenger in 7B, then suddenly turned and struck the exterior window," the affidavit said.

"It appears to have come out of nowhere," said Marchione's attorney, Thomas Ostrander. "Perhaps it was some sort of a psychotic episode as a result of drug abuse."

Marchione was released on $25,000 bail to home detention with electronic monitoring.

Wow. The interior windows are some pretty sturdy plastic. Now the exterior windows would take a lot more to fact, mythbusters showed that they won't break, even at 30,000 ft in a pressurized situation.

At any rate, this guy needs some help.

A message to the media

Located at a blog called "They Call Us,'Doc'" is a message the whole mainstream media should take note of. I was made aware of it through LGF, but the message is worth repeating:

Yesterday, I (bottom right corner in the picture) was chosen to be among a small group of soldiers assigned to the 42ID's Task Force Liberty that would speak to President Bush, our Commander-in-Chief. The interview went well, but I would like to respond to what most of the mass-media has dubbed as, "A Staged Event."
First of all, we were told that we would be speaking with the President of the United States, our Commander-in-Chief, President Bush, so I believe that it would have been totally irresponsible for us NOT to prepare some ideas, facts or comments that we wanted to share with the President.
We were given an idea as to what topics he may discuss with us, but it's the President of the United States; He will choose which way his conversation with us may go.
We practiced passing the microphone around to one another, so we wouldn't choke someone on live TV. We had an idea as to who we thought should answer what types of questions, unless President Bush called on one of us specifically.

President Bush told us, during his closing, that the American people were behind us. I know that we are fighting here, not only to preserve our own freedoms, but to establish those same freedoms for the people of Iraq. It makes my stomach ache to think that we are helping to preserve free speech in the US, while the media uses that freedom to try to RIP DOWN the President and our morale, as US Soldiers. They seem to be enjoying the fact that they are tearing the country apart. Worthless!
The question I was most asked while I was home on leave in June was, "So...What's REALLY going on over there?" Does that not tell you something?! Who has confidence in the media to tell the WHOLE STORY? It's like they WANT this to turn into another Vietnam. I hate to break it to them, but it's not.

Tomorrow morning, the Iraqi people will vote on their constitution. The success of our mission or the mission of the Iraqi security forces is not defined by the outcome of that vote. If the people of Iraq vote this constitution down, that only means that the FREE, DEMOCRATIC PROCESS is at work in Iraq. They are learning to voice their opinions in the polling stations, not through violence. If it is voted down, they will have the chance to draft an even better version; One that may better serve the people of Iraq. This is up to them. It is history in the making and I will not let the media or anyone else (who has not spent more than two weeks here) tell me otherwise. I have been here for almost a year. I have seen the progress made in so many ways from January's elections to this referendum. Don't tell me what the Iraqi people can or can't do. They will tell you with their VOTES!

Day by day, the mainstream media slowly destroys themselves.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Ethics in Journalism...or lack thereof

At Chapomatic, I read something that shocked me...but then again, it didn't. After the Vietnam War, a PBS series called Ethics in America featured many famous people...but one involving journalists (Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace) displayed something disturbing.

These were two star TV journalists: Peter Jennings of World News Tonight and ABC, and Mike Wallace of 6o Minutes and CBS. Ogletree brought them into the same hypothetical war. He asked Jennings to imagine that he worked for a network that had been in contact with the enemy North Kosanese government. After much pleading, the North Kosanese had agreed to let Jennings and his news crew into their country, to film behind the lines and even travel with military units. Would Jennings be willing to go? Of course, Jennings replied. Any reporter would-and in real wars reporters from his network often had.

But while Jennings and his crew are traveling with a North Kosanese unit, to visit the site of an alleged atrocity by American and South Kosanese troops, they unexpectedly cross the trail of a small group of American and South Kosanese soldiers. With Jennings in their midst, the northern soldiers set up a perfect ambush, which will let them gun down the Americans and Southerners, every one. What does Jennings do? Ogletree asks. Would he tell his cameramen to “Roll tape!” as the North Kosanese opened fire? What would go through his mind as he watched the North Kosanese prepare to ambush the Americans? Jennings sat silent for about fifteen seconds after Ogletree asked this question. “Well, I guess I wouldn’t,” he finally said. “I am going to tell you now what I am feeling, rather than the hypothesis I drew for myself. If I were with a North Kosanese unit that came upon Americans, I think that I personally would do what I could to warn the Americans.” Even if it means losing the story? Ogletree asked.

Even though it would almost certainly mean losing my life, Jennings replied. “But I do not think that I could bring myself to participate in that act. That’s purely personal, and other reporters might have a different reaction.” Immediately Mike Wallace spoke up. “I think some other reporters would have a different reaction,” he said, obviously referring to himself. “They would regard it simply as a story they were there to cover.” “I am astonished, really,” at Jennings’s answer, Wallace said a moment later. He turned toward Jennings and began to lecture him: “You’re a reporter. Granted you’re an American”-at least for purposes of the fictional example; Jennings has actually retained Canadian citizenship. “I’m a little bit at a loss to understand why, because you’re an American, you would not have covered that story.”

Ogletree pushed Wallace. Didn’t Jennings have some higher duty, either patriotic or human, to do something other than just roll film as soldiers from his own country were being shot? “No,” Wallace said flatly and immediately. “You don’t have a higher duty. No. No. You’re a reporter!” Jennings backtracked fast. Wallace was right, he said. “I chickened out.” Jennings said that he had gotten so wrapped up in the hypothetical questions that he had lost sight of his journalistic duty to remain detached.

As Jennings said he agreed with Wallace, everyone else in the room seemed to regard the two of them with horror. Retired Air Force general Brent Scowcroft, who had been Gerald Ford’s national security advisor and would soon serve in the same job for George Bush[41], said it was simply wrong to stand and watch as your side was slaughtered. “What’s it worth?” he asked Wallace bitterly. “It’s worth thirty seconds on the evening news, as opposed to saving a platoon.”

As I have joined the military, I've heard lots of people saying that the military "de-humanises" recruits/candidates. Yet, I've never heard of such a blantant example of "dehumanision"...and this is coming from journalists. They have no bond with their own countrymen. Interestingly enough, someone noticed this:

Then a square-jawed man with neat gray hair and aviator glasses spoke up. It was Newt Gingrich, looking a generation younger and trimmer than when he became Speaker of the House in 1995. One thing was clear from this exercise, he said: “The military has done a vastly better job of systematically thinking through the ethics of behavior in a violent environment than the journalists have.” That was about the mildest way to put it.

Go and read all of it. My own contempt for the media has risen to a new level.

UPDATE: This morning (051014), Michelle Malkin posted on the Bias of Mike Wallace. Interestingly, he seems to have lost his "professional detachment" when he talks about gun control.


Earlier this week, I wondered if I had reached some sort of breakthrough in my run times due to a sudden drop in my wife and I's 5-mile time. Well, I'd have to say I broke something. Today I busted out a 22:14 3-mile. That's a 40 second drop from my previous best. On top of that, I also broke my personal best in 1-mile and 1.5-miles at 6:58 and 10:45 respectively.

To say I'm motivated is an understatement.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

An accurate picture of the state of terrorists in Iraq

John at Powerline posted an excellent analysis of a letter between al Zawahiri, al Qaeda's number two leader and Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda's forces in Iraq and had been intercepted by US forces this summer. The picture painted in the letter does not speak of a quagmire...instead, it shows an organization that is being cut down. Especially interesting to me is this little tidbit:

However, despite all of this, I say to you: that we are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media .... And we can kill the captives by bullet. That would achieve that which is sought after without exposing ourselves to the questions and answering to doubts. We don't need this.

So the terrorists realise this...but the mainstream media seems to be either ignorant of this or have chosen thier side.

Go and read the whole thing. It'll present a much more interesting view of current events. If you want to read it yourself to make your own analysis, the letter is available here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Goodbye BCGs

So one of the aspects of joining the military that I was not looking forward to were the BCGs (Battle Combat Glasses...or Birth Control Glasses), as I have terrible vision. Well, it appears the Army has addressed the issue:

For the first time in the Army’s history, basic trainees will be issued protective eyewear to be worn during training and a frame of choice for garrison. Issuing eyewear, with prescription inserts for those who need them, is effective Oct. 1 and is “expected to be in full swing by mid-fiscal year,” said Army Chief of Optometry Col. Michael Kaminsky.

This sounds the death knell for the traditional brown frame for Army eyeglasses wearers, nicknamed by generations of soldiers as the BCG, or birth control glasses.

The decision to issue protective eyewear followed a nine-week study at Fort Benning, Ga., in which infantrymen in two basic training companies, their instructors and drill sergeants wore three prototypes, providing feedback to the Army’s chief of optometry and Program Executive Office Soldier, which ran the program.

The model chosen for all 60,000 soldiers who go through basic training annually is the UVEX XC, which is already on the list of approved eyewear. The Revision Sawfly model is an alternative for soldiers with smaller faces.

Providing protective eyewear to all is expected to cost $2 million.

“It’s the right thing to do. The protection of each pair of eyes will more than pay for the program in terms of rehab costs for one injured soldier,” Kaminsky said.

Unfortunately for me, the Marines really like tradition...and I have my doubts that they'll be issuing these by the time I ship. Oh, well, I didn't join the Marines for the sexy eye-wear.

My Running Resume

Inspired by an idea from my wife, I've decided to keep a running resume on my blog.

20051008 - O'Fallon Fall Festival, 5K Fun Run:
41 Overall; 3 in Age Group (20-29); Chip Time - 24:28; Gun Time - 24:50; 7:54/M

20060415 - Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, PFT (3 miles); 20:40; 6:53/M

20060729 - Washington Town & Country Fair 5-mile Run: 37 (approx 300) Overall; Unknown in Age Group; Gun Time - 41:54; 8:18/M

20060917 - Lewis & Clark Half-Marathon: 860(2925) Overall; 85(153) in Age Group (M 25-29); Chip Time - 2:02:52; Gun Time - 2:05:02; 9:23/M

20061028 - Gumbo Flats Pumkin Run: 39(590) Overall; 2(18) in Age Group (M 25-29); Chip Time - 23:15; Gun Time - 23:35; 7:30/M

20070317 - Officer Candidates School, Quantico, PFT (3 miles); 21:23; 7:08/M

20070730 - Officer Candidates School, Quantico, Final PFT (3 miles); 19:52; 6:32/M

20080207 - The Basic School, Quantico, PFT (3 miles); 20:19; 6:46/M

20080211 - Torn ACL. No running :(

Training Schedule:
Monday - Stretch & Strength
Tuesday - 5 miles Moderate
Wednesday - 17 Miles Bike Ride
Thursday - 5 miles Moderate
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 8 miles Easy
Sunday - Cross Train

Monday, October 10, 2005

More people oozing

I've posted once before about people who ooze into your life...and how it's difficult to maintain the proper Christian attitude and actions, yet stop the oozing. Well, it has gotten more difficult. What can you do?

By the way, it's definately not polite to ask a secondary favor if you have already been told no on the first favor...especially if the secondary favor is at the same time as the first favor, and the comment "I'm currently busy at that time" has been said. Most people realize that with simple logistics, you can only be at one place at any one time. If you are busy at the said time, you are still busy if a second favor is asked. Apparently, some people haven't figured out the idea that time and space (in most circumstances) will only allow you to be in one place at any one time. Grrrr...

In an odd side note, I have discovered that this individual suddenly falls silent after I make any mention of the Marines. I have yet to figure out why.

Unicef wins the "Why on Earth?" Award

Here's an article on a new ad for Unicef in Belgium: Unicef bombs the Smurfs in fund-raising campaign for ex-child soldiers

The people of Belgium have been left reeling by the first adult-only episode of the Smurfs, in which the blue-skinned cartoon characters' village is annihilated by warplanes.

The short but chilling film is the work of Unicef, the United Nations Children's Fund, and is to be broadcast on national television next week as a campaign advertisement.

The animation was approved by the family of the Smurfs' late creator, "Peyo".

Belgian television viewers were given a preview of the 25-second film earlier this week, when it was shown on the main evening news. The reactions ranged from approval to shock and, in the case of small children who saw the episode by accident, wailing terror.

Unicef and the family company, IMPS, which controls all rights to the Smurfs, have stipulated that it is not to be broadcast before the 9pm watershed.

The short film pulls no punches. It opens with the Smurfs dancing, hand-in-hand, around a campfire and singing the Smurf song. Bluebirds flutter past and rabbits gambol around their familiar village of mushroom- shaped houses until, without warning, bombs begin to rain from the sky.

Tiny Smurfs scatter and run in vain from the whistling bombs, before being felled by blast waves and fiery explosions. The final scene shows a scorched and tattered Baby Smurf sobbing inconsolably, surrounded by prone Smurfs.

The final frame bears the message: "Don't let war affect the lives of children."

What on Earth are they thinking? Lets bomb Disneyland in an advertisement to achieve shock factor that we can't get because we've exploited the war-torn children images so much that people are not sensitive anymore? Then on top of it, they make it so generic, that we haven't a clue what they're talking about...except it appears to be anti-war. Specialness.

However, I love this quote from the comments at LGF:

Or maybe they can have an episode where Azrael, Gargamel's cat, is trying to assassinate Papa Smurf with a car bomb for being a collaborator but Marine-Smurf snipes him through the window before he reaches the Smurf Hut.

They could end the episode with "Don't let terrorists murder innocent people."


The 5-miles that noted a change

Today, my wife and I ran another 5-miler (as is our custom on mondays)...but something was different about this one. I challenged my wife to break our 50 minute 5-mile time funk with me, and we started running...careful to stay with an easy, brisk pace. The result? 46:20...a 9:18/mile pace. The best part was that we still had energy left. I'm really hoping this was a breakthrough that will show in my 3-mile times. I know I'm getting closer to my goal of a 21 minute 3-mile time, but I would love it if it were sooner than later.

I hit another milestone today in my pull-up program. I busted out 8 pull-ups in one max set session. I've found a good form for my repetitions that seems to have given me the advantage of momentum. If I keep training hard, I fully believe that I will hit 20 pull-ups before I ship.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The 5K post

We ran our 5K today. I was having some trouble because I was constantly (for probably the first mile) being boxed in. My end-time? 24:40. I knew I could have done better. After my wife ran across the line, we decided to stick around and see who won places (and scope out the competition). We were completely shocked when the 3rd place overall winner was 14! We continued watching as our age groups got announced. I cannot express my shock as my name was announced as 3rd in my age group (technically 4th, because the 1st place overall was taken out of the age group running). I was shocked.

After we got back home, we looked up the results. I ended up in 41st overall.

As I think about the whole thing, I just get more motivated. I did well...even though I know I could have pushed harder. In fact, 1st in my age group did a 23:38...I've done a 22:55 3-mile, so I know it could have been possible to beat his time.

The course was interesting. The hills were speed killers, but apparently my speedwork/hillwork allowed me extra speed up those hill. I passed a whole lot of people running up those hills. I got a lot out of this experiance...lessons I hope to use over the next two weeks in my quest to shave more time off my PFT scores.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The 5K

Well, tommorrow is the 5K (3.1 mile) race in O'Fallon. I'm rather excited (though, not as much as my wife). I'm hoping for a breakthrough performance (like breaking heavily into the 22s or even 21s on 3 mile portion) that will allow me some more points in my PFTs in the future. We'll see.

My pull-up program continues. Yesterday I did 13 training sets (right now thats sets of 3). The last one, I couldn't pull all the way up...otherwise, I would have done 40 pull-ups total. I'll probably continue to do the training sets today as that seems to work my arms pretty well.

I discovered that I need to do my crunch program a little more often. I have maxed out the crunch score, but I'm aiming to bust out 120...just in case.

I have to say that I enjoy the push-ups for some reason. I can consistantly get about 65 on my third set, which makes me feel pretty good. Fun stuff.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Fiscally Fit

I'm a pretty concrete kinda guy, so I don't get "visions" or remember much of my dreams...but for no apparent reason, I had some sort of subconsious thought that has not stopped developing since Monday. It is an allegory for my financial views. I like to call it Fiscal Fitness:

Imagine, if you will, a group of 100 people. The only real differance between them is their fitness level. You see 5 that could only be discribed as professional athletes. Another 20 look to be in exceptional shape. Another 40 appear to be mostly good shape. The next look mildly heavy, but not out of control. At the other end of the spectrum, you see several very large individuals (morbidly obese). This represents the population in terms of financial health. Those who are particularly fit are doing well financially...those who have let themselves go, are deep in debt.
Some of these people have it easy to get into shape. Perhaps one had a champion marathoning mother and a body-building father. This individual may not have to work as hard to become fiscally fit, but they must discipline themselves to keep in shape.

Others have a harder time. Bad habits and slow metabolism make staying in shape difficult. This person must work harder...but they can reach fiscal fitness.

In this system, those that put forth the time and effort are rewarded. Those that don't care are not.

One day, someone shows up with a device that transfers fat from those with excessive amounts to everyone else. Those who have worked hard to reach their level of fitness, obviously don't like the idea. Those who are not in the best of shape are delighted.

This is a work in progress. Please feel free to comment to add to the basic ideas.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Analysts shocked when standard economics prove true

When I took economics in college, I figured some parts were easily understandable. In particular, supply and demand. Apparently, basic economic thought has evaded these analysts: Oil Hits Two-Month Low on Falling Demand

The price of oil fell to its lowest level in two months on Wednesday as evidence builds that the high cost of gasoline and other fuels is sapping demand.

New data from the Energy Department show that fuel consumption over the past month declined by almost 3 percent compared with last year. Analysts attributed the trend to soaring pump prices and a slowdown in economic activity, particularly among Gulf Coast states that were affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"Maybe there is some elasticity to petroleum demand after all," said analyst Andrew Lebow of Man Financial Inc. in New York. The decline in oil prices coincided with an even more pronounced selloff of gasoline futures, which Lebow attributed in part to momentum trading.

Um...yeah. Gas prices go up...I stop using it as much. Pretty basic thing people do...I just don't see the mystery here. Then again, I don't have a doctorate in, economics.

Final Countdown

In my longest mileage in the shortest time, I've gone 9.6 miles in the past three days. This now begins my two-day break before my 5k I have scheduled on saturday. I can already tell my shins will be enjoying it.

I've noticed my push-ups remain fairly consistant...but some oddball pains accompanying them aren't. I haven't totally figured out why I'll get some good muscle burn in some sets, but not others. It may be form related.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Boeing and Bell


Apparently, Boeing and Bell apologized to CAIR for this ad because it insulted them for some reason. Oh, well, I still like it...except for the whole rope being, like, 20 feet off the ground part...

A Message to a Raving Lunitic

Several conservitive bloggers have picked up a post at The Daily Kos inciting violence of the treasonous kind(link to actual post availible at Confederate Yankee):

It's become more and more apparent to me over the past five years that all the activism and non-violent protesting in the world will do precisely squat. When you're dealing with evil people who have no shame, the old rules of the game don't and, indeed, can't apply if you have any hope for success. Hundreds of thousands of people have marched, millions of letters have been written, tens of millions of votes cast, and hundreds of trillions of electrons expended pontificating on blogs...for nothing. Nothing has changed. Nothing will change. Not unless it comes in the form of something akin to the French Revolution.

We need terror. We need horror. We need the streets running awash in rivers of blood of these thugs and criminals and zealots. Activism didn't prevent 60,000 deaths in Vietnam. All the activism of the Civil Rights era has gotten African Americans precisely nowhere. Segregation may not be the law of the land anymore, but it's still the de facto state of America.

When y'all want to start throwing molotovs and sniping from windows come and talk to me. Until then, I will be content to retire, be a hermit, and laugh at everyone. Even then, I may still just feel like laughing as the world falls apart around me, but at least I'll be willing to listen.

Tell you what. Try starting your "bloody revoloution" near a US Marine base. I suspect you'll find them less than accomidating to your assault on our government. If you wish to get involved in shooting matches with them, I think you may be surprised at the speed with which you are dispatched, as they take warfare pretty seriously.

Proud little Capitalist

You are a

Social Moderate
(56% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(81% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Wow...I never woulda thought...oh, wait, maybe I would.

I found it's analysis of my social position rather interesting. I suspect my more libertarian views push me farther "left."

Monday, October 03, 2005

Motivated!...Dedicated!...Hard Core!

This morning, I planned an early morning PFT with the Officer Selection Assistant. I busted out a 23:00 three-mile run for offical use, which grants me 70 points. Adding my crunch score pops this up to 170. With my 7 pull-ups so far, this means I currently have a 205. Awesome. This allows me to ensure I *WILL* have my 225 by the time of the last PFT...and I might be able to pull off 240 or 250 (my goal). I'm very, very happy...and motivated.

We have a poolee event on October 22 that will involve some PFTs. I'm hoping that the compation helps me shave off another 30 seconds or a minute. Either of which will help me. The more points now...the better. Ooo-Rah!

More California School Madness

I've written several times on various issues with CA schools, but I think this article really highlights a lot of the problems: 20% of Seniors Flunk High School Graduation Exam

Nearly 100,000 California 12th graders — or about 20% of this year's senior class — have failed the state's graduation exam, potentially jeopardizing their chances of earning diplomas, according to the most definitive report on the mandatory test, released Friday.

Students in the class of 2006, the first group to face the graduation requirement, must pass both the English and math sections of the test by June.

The exit exam — which has come under criticism by some educators, legislators and civil rights advocates — is geared to an eighth-grade level in math and to ninth- and 10th-grade levels in English.

Wow. That's a lot. Wait a minute...geared to an eighth-grade level in math and ninth and tenth in English? This highlights a problem I have with many schools. We don't want to lower standards just to pass more people...that's not fair to those who have done the extra work. We work to raise those to the standards. A diploma is earned.

There's several snippets I could quote and discuss, but I feel there is only one that warrents attention:

Los Angeles High School senior D'Janay O'Neal had another complaint. She said she freezes up on the math portion of the test because "math has never been my strong suit."

D'Janay, 17, said she passed the English section on the first try but has failed the math part three times. She is taking an extra remedial math class this semester to help her pass the test, in addition to her Algebra II class and two Advanced Placement courses. She said she has a 2.0 grade point average.

"I am totally freaking out that I may not graduate," said D'Janay, who attended a rally against the exit exam this week in a park next to her high school.

"No matter what happens, I'm going to college because I need college to further my education," she said.

While I commend her dedication to going to college, I worry about how she sees things. In particular, a lesson I learned while taking Calculas in college: Colleges will flunk you if you do not meet their requirements. If you cannot pass a standardized test set to the eighth-grade level, you are not ready for college.

Mil Posts of Note

Three excellent posts of highly suggested reading right here (sorry, I lost my original post and am too irritated to make the nice pretty one that took me 20 minutes to make and lose).

The first deals with the common liberal misnomer that the military feeds off the poor. In fact, the bulk of enlisted military personnel come from the middle and upper-middle class:

In fact, the percentage difference between the richest and poorest quintiles increases between 1999 and 2003! And the highest percentage is actually in the second richest quintile of recruits, followed by the richest quintile. It is no exaggeration to say America's most prosperous families bear the greatest share of the burden of fighting in America's defense.

There's a pretty graph there for all you visual people (like me).

The second is an editorial from the Star-Tribune. It deals with a Marine Reservists' thoughts on anti-war protesters:

MacVarish says that the terrorists can't win militarily. So their strategy is to make the U.S. and Iraqi people "bleed a little every day." They hope that the resulting media attention will turn the tide of American opinion against the war, and make the political cost of sustaining it too high. "The more play the press gives Cindy Sheehan," MacVarish concludes, "the better the terrorists' chances are of ultimately succeeding here."

What would a terrorist victory mean? "If we leave before the new government is established and the Iraqi Army is ready," says Vold, "the people will be at the mercy of the bad guys" -- beheaders and torturers, who blow up children. MacVarish minces no words: "If the terrorists win over here, stand by. There will be no stopping them anywhere in the world."

The last holds a fascinating thought:

In the entire 20th century, no two democracies started a full-scale war with each other, and no two stable democracies fought with each other at all. For the sake of this argument, let’s assume a war is a conflict between at least two nations that causes at least 10,000 deaths. In the most recent 100 years, such an event didn’t happen once between two democracies. Not once.


In the 20th century, dictatorships were responsible for starting the bloodiest wars, producing 24 million battle deaths in World Wars I and II alone. Perhaps 37 million died in all the battles of all the wars in that last century. Dictators also managed to kill, with little fear of losing power, about 115 million of their "own people."

Start with Stalin’s 39 million dead by purges and state-imposed famines. Add in Mao killing 35 million in purges and state-imposed famines. Add in Hitler’s 21 million dead by racist extermination. Add in Imperial Japan’s 5 million deaths in massacres outside battle. Add 2 million dead in Pol Pot’s "killing fields." Add in Saddam’s 400,000 in mass graves.

So without dictatorships, 152 million people would have not lost their lives. Some say we should not spread democracy. I'm thinking we should. Read it all.

A Tribute to Monty Python

After reading this post by Citizen Smash, I just kept thinking of this scene from The Holy Grail:





EDIT: Little does she know she did the exact same thing. Maybe I changed something in one of her older posts that she'll never find...or maybe I haven't. *evil grin*