Monday, July 28, 2008

Great Music Monday-Highland Cathedral

This week's Great Music Monday is the amazing classic bagpipe piece, "Highland Cathedral."

Actually written by two Germans, Ulrich Roever and Michael Korb, it has been suggested as a possible replacement National Anthem for Scotland.

This beautiful piece today is played by the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment, recorded live at Ulster Hall in 2007.

And as always, please comment on the piece and if you have suggestions, leave those in the comments, too.

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Links

In the Blogroll on the sidebar, I have added two new links to blogs I read daily.

1. Call me Ahab. The blogger Caleb is from Indiana and is in his mid to late 20's and blogs mostly on guns and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Lots of good information and his weekly podcast Gun Nuts: The Next Generation.

2. Snowflakes in Hell. Sebastian lives in Pennsylvania and his subtitle pretty much says it all: "Because It'll Be a Cold Day in Hell Before We Surrender the Second Amendment." Again, a blog on guns and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Both have several posts each day and are well worth your time to read.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Michael Bane Hits the Nail on the Head

In case you haven't heard or left your comment yet, the government is accepting comments until August 8th on removing the ban on the possession of firearms in National Parks in states that have Concealed Carry laws.

Comments can be left here.

The original deadline was back in June but it was extended.

Anyway. Michael Bane, host of the TV shows "Shooting Gallery" and "Cowboys" on the Outdoor Channel, has a post up on his blog with his comments on the issue.

MB's comments are probably some of the most thought out and best stated you will read. Really, a fantastic perspective on the need for CCW in National Parks (and in everywhere else as well).

One of his points is about how predators use the remote areas of parks to prey on victims. This is a topic I talked about back in late March in the post "Disturbing." It is the story of a 24 year old woman attacked, kidnapped, raped, murdered, and decapitated. All of which started on the Appalachian Trail.

Go to the site and leave your comments in support of the measure to allow the carrying of firearms in National Parks.

From the Go and Read File

GO to Kim du Toit's and READ THIS POST!

The jist of the post: A revolution by blood would be BAD. We must wage this revolution by our words. To quote: "We have letters to write to Congress and the White House, votes to cast in elections, and posts like this to write. Soapbox, mailbox, ballot box. Forget the fourth box. If that time ever comes, you’ll bitterly regret having to use it, I promise you."

Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell talked about Kim's post earlier today as well, and referenced the history of the American Revolution. One of his points was that the founding fathers, revolutionaries, Sons of Liberty were committing treason and that the revolution was not as as prim and pretty as history class would have us believe.

I left a comment that I thought I would share here as well:

I am a history buff, particularly for the second half of the 18th century (1750-1800), including being a reenactor of the time period. And all anyone has to do is some basic studying of the American War for Independence to understand that war is NOT Politically Correct.

At one particular event I attend every summer we do a “Fashion Show” based on historical persona’s. The first thing we tell the audience is this will not be politically correct, and if you are easily offended, you will be here. History is not just great victories and fancy balls, it is bloody, violent, and horrific-on both sides. Homes destroyed, families ripped apart, hangings, these were all a part of real life.

So go read the posts and join the revolution.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Don't talk to those who are supposed to represent YOU!!...

...especially if you don't agree with them.

From the New York Post via the daily updates fro the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

"An outspoken Long Island gun owner's home was raided by Nassau County detectives, who seized two dozen weapons he lawfully owns just one day after Rep. Carolyn McCarthy's office made a 911 call about him."

So, a constituent who disagrees with a position held by the person elected as his representative goes to said congressperson's office to voice opinion (exactly what is supposed to happen in a representative government) about a case of an illegal immigrant who was deported, only to be later found back in the U.S. and charged with attempted murder. The next morning, the police arrive at said citizen's home and proceed to confiscate two dozen LEGALLY OWNED firearms.

There is no mention of the citizen ever being charged with ANYTHING and no mention as to whether he was able to get HIS PRIVATE POSSESSIONS returned.

The reason for the raid?

"The office staff felt that [citizen]'s behavior was disruptive and threatening,"

So, all I have to do is get elected to congress and I get taxpayer funded strong-arm henchmen. Ah Socialism.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Growing Like a Weed

The dog that is.

As of today, Omar, my Spinone Italiano dog, is 11 weeks old. Growing like a weed. He has to duck to go under the chairs in the kitchen now.

And long legs from hell. I am firmly of the belief that he will be at least 90 pounds when full grown.

I have some frustrations with the training. He is figuring out the "come" command alright, as long we are not in the main house yard-there are too many smells to investigate (mostly cat crap that he proceeds to try and eat). However, we head out to a pasture and he listens well there.

Basic obedience is going well. Since I brought him home, he has only had 5 mistakes in the house-pretty much all of which were my fault for failing to pay attention. But he sleeps basically through the night-into the kennel about 11:00pm and ready to go out again about 6:00am. When we are in the house, if he needs to go out he heads for the door. When I get his attention, he will sit basically on command, and is doing very well with the "down" command to lay down.

The other thing that has me confident is so far, Omar has shown no signs of being gun shy. On the 4th of July when we went to Wil and Red's for the 5-B party, there were some fireworks being set off in the yard and they didn't phase him at all, except the one set of like 12 screamers - the kind that as soon as they come out of the tube they have a high-pitched screaming sound. Those bothered Omar, but they rest didn't seem to matter. This past weekend I started introducing him to the blank gun. I started out being very cautious how close to him I was when I fired, but he never noticed. So I got progressively closer. Tonight, I fired several blanks withing about 6-8' and it didn't bother him, never even flinched. THAT is good news.

The frustration right now, is trying to get him to "heel." Being a puppy, he likes to wander and explore and when I try to get him to heel, he tends to hang back or try to run ahead. When he tries to run ahead he ends up pulling on the leash and starts to wheeze. But we will get there soon.

And because they want it, for the ladies here is a slightly grainy photo I took on my new phone.

Great Music Monday - Alegria

A little late in the day.

This weeks selection of Great Music Monday comes from Cirque du Soleil's special show for the 25th Anniversary of the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Cirque du Soleil from Wikipedia: Initially named Les Échassiers, they toured Quebec in 1980 as a performing troupe and encountered financial hardship that was relieved by a government grant in 1983 as part of the 450th anniversary celebrations of Jacques Cartier's discovery of Canada.[2] Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil was a success in 1984 and after securing a second year of funding Laliberté hired Guy Caron from the National Circus School to recreate it as a "proper circus". No ring and no animals helped make Cirque du Soleil the modern circus ("Cirque Nouveau" / New Circus) that it is today.[3] Each show is a synthesis of circus styles from around the world and has its own central theme and storyline which brings the audience into the performance by having no curtains, continuous live music and performers change the props.

The show for the Anniversary was called "Midnight Sun" and was only performed once. I have no idea what they are saying but it still is a fantastic piece.

So enjoy "Alegria."

And as always, if you have a suggestion for some Great Music, leave a note in the comments.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Time for a New Adventure

I am joining the ranks of Quality Weenie and Tammi.

The ranks of unemployed.

That's right folks, I no longer have a job.

Tuesday afternoon I was called into the office of my company president along with the other 2 bosses in the office. Long story short, they were of the belief that what they have to offer in the long term would not be a good utilization of my talents and therefore, continuing to employ me would be a disservice.

Basically, I was doing two things. Estimating, which involved doing quantity take-offs (counting how much material needs to be used in a building) on a program run by an old computer with Windows 95 for an O.S. and the actual take-off program still ran in DOS. Freaking DOS!!!!!!!!!

The other thing I worked on was revising the safety program. The final incarnation was not completed prior to my exit.

However, there are some good points to this in the end. They promised they would not challenge me filing for unemployment and would provide a good reference.

Also, since it is still summer, there may be a better possibility of finding a job now than closer to the fall.

So today I filed for unemployment (I was unemployed for three months a little over a year ago and never filed and still haven't gotten out from under the debt of that mistake). And tomorrow I will be updating my resume and posting to career builder and monster. Also, going to start making phone calls and doing lots of internet searches, as well as visiting offices in the surrounding area.

If anybody knows of good job opportunities in either construction (management position) or firearms manufacturing between Peoria and the Quad Cities and Princeton and Monmouth, please let me know.

As for tomorrow. I need out of the house to just relax and refocus. I think I will either go golfing or hit some tennis balls around.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Great Music Monday - The Voice

This week's Great Music Monday selection comes from the group Celtic Woman and is sung by Lisa Kelly accompanied by Mairead Nesbitt on the violin.

The song is "The Voice" and was the Eurovision Song Contest 1996 Winner.

From Wiki: "Lyrically, it is a very Celtic-inspired song, with the singer portraying herself as "the voice" which watches over the world, describing "her" effects on the natural world, such as the wind, the seasons, in a similar way to Mother Nature. It is of a folk style..."

As sung by Kelly, it is haunting and amazing at the same time.

If you ever have an opportunity to go to their show-it is absolutely worth the money, as the cd's and dvd's don't really do justice.

And as always, please leave suggestions in the comments.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I propose... Amendment!

Actually, it is not mine, but I am on the bandwagon now.

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by the Emergency Operations Center in my hometown to check on the weather and see if it looked like we would be storm spotting that night.

While there, the father of one of my very good friends and I got into a hour and 40 minute conversation about politics, some about the POTUS race, and some about the FUBAR that is Illinois government right now.

As the conversation progressed, we began talking about how the districts for the Illinois General Assembly are divided. Currently, Senate districts are based on population with 59 districts in the State. Each Senate district is divided into 2 representative districts, for 118 total.

The horrible problem with this: WWWWAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY too much clout to the USSC (Union of Soviet Socialist Chicagoans).

By my count-there are 27 Districts outside of Chicago and the Suburbs. See the map below for the "downstate" map.
Which translates to 32 Senate Districts in Chicago and Suburbs. See the striped area in the upper right had corner of the above map? Yeah, that little area has more Senators that the rest of the State.

Now translate that to State Reps and there are 64 in the USSC and 54 for the rest of Illinois.

So, the USSC hold a majority in BOTH houses of the General Assembly. How it is that the State hasn't gone communist is beyond me.

Now, how do we remedy this significant problem? Simple. Amend the Illinois Constitution to redistrict the Illinois Senate to more closely mimic the way the U.S. Senate is set up.

***History Education Alert. Learning Ahead***
When the founding fathers were drafting the Constitution, they more populace states wanted the legislature to be based on population-giving states with more people more power. This would be like states (at the time) of Virginia and Massachusetts. However, states like Rhode Island said that every state should have an equal voice regardless of population. Thus we ended up with a bicameral legislature (consisting of 2 houses). One house based on population (House of Representatives) and the other house equally distributed between the states (Senate).

The solution in Illinois is to leave the Illinois State House of Representatives organized based on population like it is now. Then, reorganize the Senate by reducing the the number of Senators from 59 to 51, and then district the state based on county lines. Thus we would have 2 counties represented by one Senator. Thereby, putting all the counties on a level playing field like the U.S. Senate (In theory it is level-but party politics is really what drives it). So Cook County would have the same voice as Putnam or Stark or Williamson County. Knox County and Lake County would be equal.

Now, of course the USSC will fight this proposal fully tooth and nail. But, there may be another option.

Article XIV, Section 1. (b)-
If the question of whether a Convention should be
called is not submitted during any twenty-year period, the
Secretary of State shall submit such question at the general
election in the twentieth year following the last submission.

So what does that mean for us? We are due for a vote this year on whether or not to hold a convention. It takes a 3/5 majority to force a convention and we DEFINITELY need a convention. This is the best time get this injustice corrected. Along with a bunch of others. Go over to the Part Time Pundit to read some other ideas of things to work on.

The one thing that Mr. Bambenek doesn't bring up that we should also be pushing for is to include Concealed Carry to the IL Constitution.

So come November, vote "YES" for the Con Con. And tell EVERYONE YOU KNOW in the state to vote "YES."

h/t to Ogre for alerting me to the vote.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Great Music Monday-An American Trilogy

This week, I decided to stay in the Patriotic Spirit, with an anthem from the great Elvis Presley.

From wikipedia: ""An American Trilogy" is a song arranged by country songwriter Mickey Newbury and made popular by Elvis Presley. Presley began performing the song in concert in 1972—a February recording was released by RCA as a single. Presley performed the song in the 1972 documentary, "Elvis On Tour", as well as his 1973 international satellite telecast "Elvis—Aloha from Hawaii". "An American Trilogy" is a medley of three 19th century songs—"Dixie", a blackface minstrel song that became the unofficial anthem Confederacy since the Civil War; "All My Trials", originally a Bahamian lullaby, but closely related to African American spirituals, and well-known through folk music revivalists; and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", the marching song of the Union Army during the Civil War."

I first heard the song performed by a Christian music duo, Dust and Ashes.

It is a great arrangement. Please enjoy. Comment.

And, as always, if you have suggestions for great music, let me know via e-mail or in the comments.

Freedom is not Free, it is paid for by the blood and sweat of the soldiers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

More Clout

h/t to ThunderPig for the video.

This is the same stuff I have been saying. Just with more clout behind it.

Yes. We need to pursue other forms of fuel, but they are not ready yet. The left constantly barrages us with "you won't see any of this oil for 10-15 years" in reference to building new refineries and drilling for new reserves. That may be, but how far away are we from VIABLE and RELIABLE long range alternative fuel system? 10 years? 20 years? 50 years? Ever?

The network for distribution of gasoline and diesel are in place. Gas stations already exist. How long will it take to get a network of recharging stations that can handle the massive influx of cars needing plugged in? Or have fueling stations that can carry hydrogen. The support for these technologies is not available.

And why do we continually support other countries that are hostile or at least less than friendly with HUGE quantities of OUR MONEY.

Then they do stuff like this.
Yes. That is an island. A man-made Palm Island. This is one of two built. There is also an archipelago built to look like a map of the world.

And I don't need to tell you about how hot is in the middle of the freaking DESERT. So what did they do? Built and INDOOR SKI RESORT 400 meter long! WE PAID FOR IT.

We should be investing this back into our own country. And letting the rest of the world pay us for our oil.

If we could crank out the oil we already have that we can't touch, I bet we could eliminate the national debt and cut taxes.

But instead, our self-sufficiency is being blocked by the libtards.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Great Music Monday-Last Ten Years

Yes, I know I am a day late.

But not a dollar short.


On the the Music.

This weeks selection is from The Gambler, Kenny Rogers. The song is dated a little bit (about 3 to 4 years old), but I think it has an interesting perspective for the State of the Country and World, especially this week and we celebrate Independence Day on Friday.

So without further adieu, "The Last Ten Years (Superman)"

Freedom is not free.