PT Christmas!

3:21 PM Dec 30, 2006by Rob Ritchie

Without a doubt, the coolest Christmas gift I received was the California Cruisers "ROCKET" tail lights, pictured below:

California Cruisers have a lot of really cool accessories for the PT Cruiser, so check 'em out!

I have my eyes on these babies.

11:30 PM Dec 29, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less...any man's death diminishes me...

Except this one, which embiggens me.

Update:  I feel bigger already.

10:54 PM Dec 29, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

I just don't go in for the highbrow stuff.

10:36 PM Dec 29, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Professor Darwin, call your office.

I wonder why this may be?

4:12 PM Dec 29, 2006by Rob Ritchie

Housework cuts breast cancer risk

Out of all of the activities, only housework significantly reduced the risk of both pre- and post-menopausal women getting the disease.

Housework cut breast cancer risk by 30% among the pre-menopausal women and 20% among the post-menopausal women.

The study authors theorize:

The international authors said their results suggested that moderate forms of physical activity, such as housework, may be more important than less frequent but more intense recreational physical activity in reducing breast cancer risk.

This story raised some hackles when we talked about it at work; at least one woman (semi-seriously) suggested suppressing this study, because it would be "bad for women."

Seems to me that knowing all the facts would be good for women...and men, too.

But some people who hear things that challenge their world view immediately respond by eliminating the message.

4:45 PM Dec 26, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Will it blend? That is the question.

Videos of the toughest blender in the world.

2:19 PM Dec 26, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Christmas in Christendom it.

Pious gratitude to: Power Line


11:45 AM Dec 26, 2006by Rob Ritchie

I'm at work today, and we just discovered that over the weekend, someone broke into the offices and rifled the desks. Nothing valuable seems to have been taken that I can see, but obviously it's pretty unsettling.

Christmas Thieves = Future Denizens of a Special Hell

Cheap...and Fun!

11:28 AM Dec 26, 2006by Rob Ritchie

11:27 AM Dec 26, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

From That Fascist, Heinlein:

The Left’s one relatively new concern is global warming. Yes, they have been threatening an environmental catastrophe since the late 1950s and climate change since the early 1970s, but it, nonetheless, is among their fresher concerns. Still, it is worth pointing out that worrying about the weather is principally a concern of the aged. The rest of us are too busy hurrying to work.

Read the rest.

Merry Christmas

11:01 PM Dec 25, 2006by Rob Ritchie

We had a lovely Christmas Day over at my sister-in-law's house, with her family and the in-laws. Lots of good food, presents, hugs and games...such fun.

Home now, with stacks of loot. Now, where to put it all?

1:11 PM Dec 24, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Are Santa’s Reindeer Male or Female?

Male reindeer generally shed their antlers long before December 25, whereas the females retain theirs until at least January. The reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are always show as having antlers, so Santa’s reindeer must all be females.

Which sex of reindeer is most likely to be able to fly? I think that's a better indicator than the presence or absence of antlers.

Actually, I think that their capability to fly probably indicates that Santa's reindeer are a different species than the Rangifer tarandus, also known as the "Laplander Blue."

(Lovely plumage on the Blue.)

After the Flood

11:39 AM Dec 24, 2006by Rob Ritchie

Below are a few pictures of our house from the first day of recovery. Things were stuffed into dry rooms, and the carpet was rudely torn out....

12:12 AM Dec 23, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Amazing how a party affiliation impacts news coverage and political sensibilities, eh?

A return to normalcy

9:57 PM Dec 23, 2006by Rob Ritchie

Yesterday, at 9PM, the carpetlayers finished their task and our national nightmare came to an end.

Today, a week after the initial flood, we started returning things to their proper places, including my computer and related electronics.

Hurray! There's still much to do, but Christmas is saved.

Some progress....

11:36 AM Dec 20, 2006by Rob Ritchie

Our house issues are progressing nicely, though it's still in a state of preparedness. Carpet will probably be laid on Friday, we have new linoleum coming today or tomorrow; new vanity today, painting the baseboards today. Plumber

I'm struck by the similarity to Advent: all this waiting for something wonderful. The world is disordered and unsettling, but by Christmas, Peace and Good Will will reign.

Or so I hope. And, hope is what it's all about.

Please note: If you have sent me emails, I haven't been able to access them since Saturday, and I probably won't be able to until next week.

10:27 AM Dec 18, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

We woke up Saturday morning to find that, overnight, we'd had a plumbing failure at the site of a toilet tank in the back of the house. Water was 3" deep in the hallway and the four bedrooms surrounding it. The sensation of swinging your feet out of bed and feeling them squish into the carpet is...unique.

The carpet is a total loss, and has been torn out. Large, noisy blowers and dehumidifiers have been going for two days, and we've been living in the front part of the house while everything dries out.

We didn't really like the carpet anyway....

Our computers are completely disassembled, so email and blogging (except limited from work) are curtailed for the duration.

The Mithril Friz...

9:30 PM Dec 15, 2006by Rob Ritchie

11:29 AM Dec 14, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

My father told me stories about these things:

Shoe-Fitting Fluoroscopes

The shoe fitting fluoroscope was a common fixture in shoe stores during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. A typical unit...consisted of a vertical wooden cabinet with an opening near the bottom into which the feet were placed. When you looked through one of the three viewing ports on the top of the cabinet (e.g., one for the child being fitted, one for the child's parent, and the third for the shoe salesman or saleswoman), you would see a fluorescent image of the bones of the feet and the outline of the shoes.

This never seemed like a particulary safe idea to me, but according to the article, they were relatively safe for the customer, though the shoe seller was often exposed to dangerous amounts of radiation.

Read the whole thing, very interesting.

Call Amnesty International

8:31 PM Dec 12, 2006by Rob Ritchie

Downgrading torture

JEANNETTE, Pa. - You could say it was the purr-fect ending a 14-year-old boy wanted.

A district judge on Monday dismissed a harassment charge against the teenager, who was accused of repeatedly "meowing" at his neighbor, 78-year-old Alexandra Carasia. The judge reprimanded the boy, telling him he was immature and should have used better judgment, but decided no criminal charges were warranted.

The boy's family and Carasia do not get along. The boy's mother said the family got rid of their cat after Carasia complained to police it used her flower garden as a litter box.

The boy said he only meowed at the woman twice; Carasia testified that he did so every time he saw her.

The judge heard the case Aug. 22, but decided to wait 90 days before ruling to see how the boy and Carasia got along.

Carasia was satisfied with the reprimand.

"I'm just glad he at least reprimanded him," she said. "He used to be a good boy. It has done emotional harm to me. ... I was the one who was tortured."

The boy's mother said the case should have been dismissed in August.

Great News!

8:18 PM Dec 12, 2006by Rob Ritchie

Fred Phelps loses lawsuit!

BALTIMORE -- A Kansas church has been ordered to pay $3,150 for costs and fees associated with a summons and complaint filed by the father of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by the extremist group.

Albert Snyder, of York, Pa., is suing the Rev. Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church after church members demonstrated at the funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, of Westminster, and posted pictures of the protest on their Web site.

Lance Snyder was killed in Iraq in March. Members of the Topeka church claim U.S. soldiers are killed as God's punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality.

His father's federal lawsuit, filed June 5, alleges church members violated the family's right to privacy and defamed the Marine and his family at the funeral and on the church's Web site.

Phelps and the church refused to grant a waiver in the serving of summonses in connection with the federal lawsuit, making the church liable for those costs.

Court documents say the church has 30 days to make the payment to Snyder.

With any luck, this will start a trend.

4:08 PM Dec 7, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Islam gets concessions; infidels get conquered

When Muslims conquer non-Muslim territories — such as Constantinople, not to mention all of North Africa, Spain and southwest Asia — those whom they have conquered as well as their descendants are not to expect any apologies, let alone political or territorial concessions.

Herein lies the conundrum. When Islamists wage jihad — past, present and future — conquering and consolidating non-Muslim territories and centers in the name of Islam, never once considering to cede them back to their previous owners, they ultimately demonstrate that they live by the age-old adage "might makes right." That's fine; many people agree with this Hobbesian view.

But if we live in a world where the strong rule and the weak submit, why is it that whenever Muslim regions are conquered, such as in the case of Palestine, the same Islamists who would never concede one inch of Islam's conquests resort to the United Nations and the court of public opinion, demanding justice, restitutions, rights and so forth?

Put another way, when Muslims beat infidels, it's just too bad for the latter; they must submit to their new overlords' rules with all the attendant discrimination and humiliation mandated for non-Muslims. Yet when Islam is beaten, demands for apologies and concessions are expected from the infidel world at large.

As Charles Johnson writes, "How did this get past the editors at the Los Angeles Times?"

A day that will live in infamy....

1:26 PM Dec 7, 2006by Rob Ritchie

Five Years On, Unanswered Questions About December Seventh Remain

HONOLULU (Routers) Five years after the sinking of the battleships in Pearl Harbor, many still question the official government story of what happened on that fateful day, and who was responsible. Some believe that the Roosevelt administration did it themselves, deliberately, making it look like Japanese religious fanatics were responsible, in order to drag the country into a war that they could get by no other means, to benefit arms merchants and the Jews.

Heh... Read the rest.

1:33 PM Dec 6, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

On a Wing and a Prayer

The day we tell the captain of a commercial airliner that he cannot remove a problem passenger unless he divines beyond question what is in that passenger's head and heart is the day our commercial aviation system begins to crumble. When a passenger's conduct is so disturbing and disruptive that reasonable, ordinary people fear for their lives, the captain must have the discretionary authority to respond without having to consider equal protection or First Amendment standards about which even trained lawyers with the clarity of hindsight might strongly disagree.


Ultimately, the most despicable aspect about the imams' behavior is that when they pierced the normally quiet hum of a passenger waiting area with shouts of "Allahu Akbar"and deliberately engaged in terrorist-associated behavior that was sure to trigger suspicion, they exploited the fear that began with the Sept. 11 attacks. The imams, experienced travelers all, counted on the security system established after 9/11 to kick in, and now they plan not only to benefit financially from the proper operation of that system but to substantially weaken it--with help from the Saudi-endowed attorneys at CAIR.

US Airways is right to stand by its flight crew. It will be both dangerous and disgraceful if the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation and, ultimately, our federal courts allow aviation security measures put in place after 9/11 to be cynically manipulated in the name of civil rights.

Read the whole thing.

12:25 PM Dec 6, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Muslims Demand Prayer Room in NASA Moon Base

(2006-12-05) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on NASA to include a Muslim prayer room in its planned moon base, and on all passenger spacecraft shuttling between earth and the moon.

“The moon was the inspiration for the Islamic crescent symbol,” said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper, “By all rights, Islam should be the official religion of the moon, but we’re willing to tolerate diversity, for the time being, in exchange for protection of our civil rights.”

CAIR, a non-profit organization which promotes understanding, justice and “appropriate limits on freedom of speech” for its ideological adversaries, initially intended to organize a boycott of moon flights to protest NASA’s development of the moon.

“But then we realized,” Mr. Hooper said, “that the only way to reach the moon people with the message of our peaceful religion is to live among them, blend in and act normal, and then periodically to burst into loud cries of Allahu Akbar in public places.”

12:09 PM Dec 6, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

From today's Bleat:

For some people of a particular generation, sex is the only sacrament they have, but it’s anything but holy. It’s hot short and loud, like a rest-room hand-drier you turn on by hitting the button with the side of your fist. This has been going on for forty years, but they still act as if the Eisenhower Shock Troops will burst in and arrest them for talking about recreational sex. If they have a church, it has Lenny Bruce as St. Sebastian, pierced by a dozen hypodermic needles. He died for our sins. And what were our sins? That nagging sense of shame at finding a Playboy in daddy's sock drawer, I guess.

And of course this all makes me a prude, I know. And a hypocrite. And a fan of all the gleaming shallow Formica falsehoods propagated in the name of Bob Hope and Jiffy Pop. Perhaps; but sometimes I prefer that to the chattering, shiny, unmoored meta-reality that clatters out of the television sets, or the mouths of our pretty betters.

Amen, brother.

5:46 PM Dec 4, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

The Tensor reports that there's no cause for alarm.

Thanks for pointing him out...

5:41 PM Dec 4, 2006by Rob Ritchie

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, second from right, stands amidst puppets controlled by tsunami affected children at a rebuilt school at Thazanguda in Cuddalore district, around 165 kilometers (103 miles) south of Chennai, India,

Pious gratitude to: Tim Blair

5:08 PM Dec 4, 2006

by Rob Ritchie

Instapundit discusses Albion Tourgee, who

...had been a champion of racial equality during Reconstruction, but the U.S. public tired of keeping troops in the South and the national press painted Reconstruction as an unrealistic failure, leading to the takeover of pro-segregation forces and the enactment of Jim Crow laws.

Yeah, bad things happen when you pull troops out before their mission is complete.

Luckily, nothing like that could happen today.

Where is the video?

3:05 PM Dec 4, 2006by Rob Ritchie

I read this account of the Fabulous Flying Imams, and I have to ask: where is the video?

I have to assume that the airport gate area and plane interiors are monitored by video cameras. (If they are not, then shouldn't they?)

Roll the tape. It'll either show these guys to be harmless, fuzzy little teddy bears, or it'll show the other thing.