jump to navigation

Blondes and Horses and Bears, Oh My. September 21, 2011

Posted by Retired Geezer in Heroes, Women Ranting.

Pretty good story about a young female wrangler, backing down a Griz.

You have to go to the story to see her cute picture. Erin Bolster is the Wrangler, Tonk is her horse.

It was a pleasant ride until we came around a corner on the trail and my horse stopped firm and wouldn’t move,” Bolster said. “He never refuses to go, so that caught my attention quick.”

But not fast enough to avoid the spike white-tailed deer that burst out of the brush and glanced off Tonk’s left front shoulder.

As Tonk spun from the impact, Bolster saw a huge grizzly bear crashing through the forest right at the group in pursuit of the deer. Horses panicked and guests grabbed saddle horns for the ride of their lives.

“No amount of training could keep a horse from running from a 700-pound charging bear,” she said.

Seven of the horses sensed the danger, scrambled around and galloped back on the trail toward the barn.

But Scout bolted perpendicular to the trail into the timber packing the 8-year-old boy.

“The deer peeled off and joined the horses sprinting down the trail,” Bolster said. “So the bear just continued running right past me. I’m not sure the bear even knew the roles had changed, but now it was chasing a horse instead of a deer.”

The grizzly was zeroed in on Scout and the boy – the isolated prey in the woods.

Adding to the drama, the boy’s father, an experienced rider, could not convince his horse that it was a good plan to ride to his son’s rescue.

“The last thing he saw over his shoulder as his horse ran away was the grizzly chasing his boy,” Bolster said.

You know you’re going to go read the whole thing.

WW II Memorial – Our friend Eugene September 21, 2011

Posted by kevlarchick in Heroes, History, Honor.

Dave in Texas, Gabe, Andy and I were moseying along the Mall in DC last Saturday. We all agreed we’d like to see the new WWII memorial near the Washington Monument.

The place was crowded with vets;  a national program called Honor Flight  flies WWII vets to the Memorial free of charge.   They all wear T-shirts and nametags.

One soldier named Eugene was staring at one of the scenes etched into the marble, and I asked him where he served and where he was from.   He began to describe his day, how folks were hugging him and thanking him.  He was overwhelmed and moved.

Then he stopped.   Eugene went on to say that one of his fellow vets who was supposed to make the trip that day had died several days earlier.    He never got to see the memorial.

Then he broke down and started to weep.

I hugged him and said “Eugene, we’re so glad you’re here today.  I’m so happy I got to meet you.  Thank you.”   Then I couldn’t talk anymore;  Eugene and I smiled thru our tears.  I was this close to full out blubbering.

Dave, Andy, and Gabe, kings of commenting, were surprisingly silent.  Not sure why….

Not Eugene, but someone just as awesomes

Come Fly With Me September 21, 2011

Posted by skinbad in Crime, Stupid shit, Travel, WTF?.

And I’ll slit your throat and pull your eyeballs out.

Suddenly I See September 20, 2011

Posted by Retired Geezer in Heroes, Technology.

I blatantly stole this from Patterico.



If it is gone, you can blame K.T. Tunstall’s record company.


Netflix Steps In It Again September 19, 2011

Posted by geoff in News.

I’ve been a subscriber to Netflix for more than 10 years, and although there have been missteps along the way (the lawsuit concerning Netflix’s deprioritization of high usage customers, for example), I’ve been a huge fan of the way they run their business and provide their service.

But in the last few months they seem to have completely lost it. Everybody knows about their changes to their DVD/streaming pricing scheme; changes that cost them a million customers. Now they’re announcing another stupid move:

Netflix is rebranding its 12-year-old movies-by-mail service as Qwikster and adding video games to its catalog, Reed Hastings, the company’s CEO, announced Sunday night. The Web-streaming portion will continue to be called Netflix, he wrote on the company’s blog.

After the separation, people who subscribe to both services will have to log into two separate websites, Netflix.com and Qwikster.com, to manage their movie queues and account information, Hastings wrote.

Are they trying to force me to give up their streaming video, which is supposedly their company’s future? Do they really think that I want to manage my queue via 2 separate web sites?

Note to Netflix: Your online content is weak, and the best parts of it are easily viewed via your competitors at a lower price. You’ve just lost one more streaming customer.

Here’s what Reed Hastings recently said about his repricing decision.

“It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming, and the price changes,” Hastings wrote. “I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation.”

“In hindsight, I slid into arrogance based upon past success,” Hastings wrote. “Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight.”

The good news, Mr. Hastings, is that the Netflix team doesn’t need to bother. The bad news is that the Qwikster team hasn’t earned any of the brand loyalty that prevented me from checking out your competitors’ plans.

So now I will.

Puppy In Trouble! September 18, 2011

Posted by Michael in News.

You think the drought in Texas has been bad?

You are right.

The Impact of Immigration on a Sleepy Little Town September 18, 2011

Posted by geoff in News.

Very interesting article on the impact of large numbers of immigrants on a smallish British town. He talks about the culture clash, the disruption in the locals’ lives, and the burden on the school system:

You cannot get much deeper into England than you do under the huge skies of Lincolnshire, where land and sky and water meet and the impossibly beautiful tower of Boston’s ancient church reaches towards the clouds.

I came here first nearly 30 years ago and had a sense of penetrating a sleeping, utterly undisturbed part of the country.

How shocking it is, then, to return and find Boston so strangely and unexpectedly transformed. In the past few years this place has seen drunken street battles between locals and migrants, some nasty assaults and a continuing air of suspicion and dislike that it is hard to miss – yet which cannot be openly expressed.

The sad thing is that these problems were by design:

Putting Stimulus Jr. in Perspective September 17, 2011

Posted by geoff in News.

You, like me, have probably become insensitive to the kind of numbers the President is throwing around. After all, given that the last Stimulus will end up costing us $821 billion (about 70% of which has been spent, BTW), what’s another $447 billion?

So let me give you a quick sense of scale.

$447 billion is enough to give ~450 thousand businesses in the US $1 million each. That’s like giving 9,000 businesses in every state a million dollars.

If you add it to the $821 billion of the original stimulus, we could have given 1.2 million businesses $1 million each. There are only 6 million firms with employees in the US, so 20% of them could have had an extra million in their pocket.

That’s a ridiculous level of stimulus for this economy.

I’m In The Mood To Be Irish September 15, 2011

Posted by Michael in Music.

What the heck.  Geoff has convinced me that we’re all about to be drunk and impoverished and enslaved by China.  Let’s party!

This music has an odd similarity to jazz, even though it sounds nothing like jazz.  I think it’s the spontaneous feel of the music.

Thanks to Doug for the link.

Hey Daily Mail! Your Graph-Reading Skills are Teh Suck! September 15, 2011

Posted by geoff in News.

There’s nothing so upsetting to me as someone who can’t read a graph. Actually, that’s not true at all – there are many things that upset me more than that, but among the things that upset me, an inability to read graphs is highly ranked.

Anyway, today the Daily Mail is in a tizzy over some FBI training materials which are apparently uncomplimentary to Muslims. I’m not going to worry about that part – it’s this graph they show that’s got me upset:

It was shown with the caption: “Leaked material: The graph included in the training manual shows that the more devout a Muslim, the more likely they are to be violent

Hunh? Do you see an axis that expresses degree of devoutness? Do the curves say anything about devoutness? No, they sure don’t. What the graph really says is that the devout followers of the Torah and the Bible evolved from violent pasts to a non-violent present. But followers of the Koran didn’t.

You can argue whether that’s true or not, but that won’t change the fact that Ms. Rachel Quigley of the Daily Mail can’t read a graph.

NOW It’s a National Emergency? September 15, 2011

Posted by geoff in News.

The redoubtable DinTX linked to this video of our President telling us that the jobs situation is a “national emergency.” While I’d certainly agree that the jobs situation is dire, I was wondering what it was that suddenly clued the President in. Was it the unemployment rate?

Naw – couldn’t be. Things haven’t changed much over the past 4 months, and we’re actually right on track with what Geithner predicted 18 months ago. No surprises there. So whence this sense of urgency?

Could it be the Initial Unemployment Claims?

Nyoop – initial claims may be drifting upward, but not at a rate that would signal a new “national emergency.” So what could it be?

Oh yeah. I suppose being only 14 months away from the 2012 election does constitute a national emergency…

…if you believe that the nation’s role is to further your own ambitions.

Best Headlines of the Day September 14, 2011

Posted by geoff in News.

Call SuperNanny: Scientists shocked by behavior of rare gray whale

Is there that much ursine porn? Getting online in Idaho is a slow crawl, residents blame bears

Because pain loves it some objectivity: Researchers Detect Pain in Brain in Search of More Objective Pain Analysis

It depends on what the meaning of “is” is: How often did humans and Neanderthals have carnal relations? Not very

Kinda goes with the territory: Deep-sea fish in deep trouble