29 December 2009

Adios al Año 2009

I've been a Dave Barry fan since I was a kid, and his annual Year in Review is always worth a read.

Here it is.

26 December 2009

Awesome Video Saturday CXVI

As an after-Christmas gift, this bizarre little spoof from SNL.

25 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

This is a nice message about the meaning of Christmas.

23 December 2009

SPOTD #162 Travelin'

I have traveled a lot over the last month and thought I would use this edition to do some reviews. Not sure if anyone cares but me.

Today's Phrase:
We enjoyed our time with my wife's family on our recent trip to California. I am very happy to staying home for Christmas. If you happen to be traveling, this phrase is for you. Otherwise you may use it on others.

¡Buen viaje!

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable
Bwain vee-ya-hay.

Translation (roughly)
Have a good trip!

Angelo's 2: We had a fantastic breakfast at this old-looking restaurant in Garden Grove. A ton of food, including some delicious huevos rancheros, at a great price.
Yardhouse: On our last night in Cali we ate here with Lacy's family. Half-priced appetizers during Monday Night Football made for a perfect meal, including some of the best chicken tenders that I have ever had.
Point Loma Seafood: One of our favorite places to eat in San Diego. Delicious fish tacos and great clam chowder, with fish fresh off the boats.
Cafe Rio: I would have a real problem if we had one of these in Gainesville, but it would be worth the problem. The steak burrito, enchilada-style is something I always go for whenever I am in Utah.
In-n-Out: Seems like something you either love or hate. More lovers than haters out there, and I am a lover. Somehow they ended up on this list, but I think my twice-annual trips are probably okay.
Olive Garden: I mention it here because their Lasagna Fritta is deliciosa.
Waffle House: You can't beat the Waffle House after midnight. Everyone should go at least once in their life. Atlanta is a great place.

Expedition: We rented one and it had plenty of room and a nifty electric third row, but I prefer the handling of our Honda Odyssey.
Camaro: The rental version is the less-powered V6 model, but it still looks pretty cool. It handled pretty well, but the small greenhouse puts a serious damper on visibility. I especially liked the fat steering wheel.

Disneyland: This was my first time. Just as fun as Disneyworld, with it's own charm. The major difference is how small the castle is and how close the park is to the urban areas.
Sea World San Diego: Just like Sea World Orlando with better weather. You can't help but be amazed by the size and speed of the orcas. It made my jaw drop, even though I've seen it before. The sea lion show was disappointing for all its filler. I'd rather just see the animals performing.
World of Coca-Cola- Pretty fun place to pass the time in Atlanta. You can taste some disgusting Coke-produced soda from around the world, and some good ones as well.

Link of the Day
Enjoy some of the signs that have been photographed around the world.

I'm Ready

An Original

A solid remake

Horatio Sanz has lost a lot of weight.

21 December 2009

On A Better Environment

It is a huge mistake to assume that those who do not support cap-and-trade and carbon offsets are somehow in favor of destructive environmental change. Many simply believe that there are better and less injurious ways to improve environmental conditions.

Bjorn Lomborg is not a global warming denier, but he is not in favor of the current remedies advocated by the many of today's leaders. His reasoning is sound-

Over the last several centuries, the world economy has exploded and the
human condition has improved immeasurably because of cheap fossil fuels; we're
not going to end that connection in just a few decades. Just before the summit
convened, political leaders from a number of major nations were lauded for
announcing carbon-reduction targets that are in fact economically, technically,
and politically impossible to achieve. We saw the same thing at the 1992 "Earth
Summit" in Rio de Janeiro and then again a decade later in Kyoto. And just like
the promises made back then, the vows being made now in Copenhagen are sure to be broken by future administrations. Pretending otherwise is fraudulent.

Of course, that last sentence is not surprising. Politicians are not typically concerned with the ultimate consequences of their short-term thinking. Lomborg also looks at what issues are of real concern to individuals that are most vulnerable to climate variation. Read the article for more.

Reform Shmeform

I'm not happy with the health care bill that is taking shape in Congress. The Wall Street Journal has some excellent criticism here. This post discusses elements of the proposals that may in fact be unconstitutional.

I'll be honest, I only skimmed that second link. It's late, and I'm tired, in addition to not being a lawyer. I'll try to read it tomorrow.

Who wants these bills? Really?

19 December 2009


It was a fantastic film. The 3D really was unlike any I'd seen before, more immersive, visually impressive and vibrant. Some have said that were it not for the technology this would be a mediocre film. That may be true true, but it also undervalues what was achieved technically. You can't separate the two.

I enthusiastically recommend. The folks we watched it with were in agreement.

15 December 2009

Terrorists and the NGO's who love them

O'Grady continues to expose the links between left-leaning organizations and governments and the Colombian marxist terrorists known as the FARC.

Some so-called human rights groups are at best sympathetic and at worst complicit in the illegal activities of the FARC. This has served to limit the liberty of the Colombians in the areas where the FARC operates.

Read the article for more.

12 December 2009

Past & Present

There is a new ESPN documentary premiering tonight, The U. It looks at the 1980's heyday of the program, the winningest team of that decade.

The Miami Herald's Dan LeBatard had a great piece on the current state of the Canes, one that includes excellent academic performance and very few legal issues, especially compared to other programs.

Awesome Video Saturday CXV

Bad Marketing

11 December 2009


Radical environmentalism does not equate social liberalism, but there is often a correlation. It is ironic that some socially liberal individuals advocate a policy that is anathema to the kind of liberty they claim to espouse.

Population control is immoral. My opinion on the issue is based in part on my theological beliefs, but not entirely. I believe in liberty, and that liberty should extend to the number of children a man and woman choose to bring into this world.

The author of this Financial Post (Canada) piece seems to agree with the contention of the Chinese government- population control is a necessary component of efforts to thwart climate change. She even claims that China's one-child policy is the reason why China has enjoyed such strong economic growth. Both contentions are foolish, the latter especially so.

China has enjoyed growth based on its embrace of free-market principles and the increasingly consumer-focused nature of its economy. The one-child policy has produced female infanticide and drastic gender imbalances, resulting in surplus males in the Chinese population.

Does the author propose criminalizing childbirth? Imposing increased fees and taxes on those who have more than one child? In an environment where fewer children are being born in Western countries we should be thankful for those who have children. They are an economic necessity.

Furthermore, population control would put Western democracies in demographic peril, given the much higher birthrates in predominantly Muslim and predominantly unfriendly countries.

The argument is unsound.


It seems that life as a Federal employee is pretty darn good. Federal employees have higher average salaries than their comparable private-sector counterparts. They also have much more generous retirement packages.

It used to be that generous public employee pensions helped compensate for the lower compensation that a "civil servant" might receive in their lifetime. Obviously this is no longer the case.

08 December 2009

Never Forget

I had a busy day yesterday, but was remiss in not commenting on the 68th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. This was a transformative event in American politics, effectively ending U.S. isolationism forever and shaping America's preeminent position in the world.

National Geographic has some nice articles on the subject.

03 December 2009

SPOTD #161

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

I'm headed to Atlanta tomorrow for the SEC Championship Game. I've never been much of a Gator fan, but I'm not the Gator-hater I once was. I am a Tebow fan and I hope the Gators pull this off.

Today's Phrase:
The College football season is nearing its end. This is the time for championship games and the bowl season will soon be upon is. Now you can root for your team in espanish.

Sí, se puede.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable
See, say pway-day.

Translation (roughly)
You can do it!

Whistle Past the Graveyard
This is a pretty cool look at the Mojave Desert's airplane graveyard.

Most submarines have been very slow-moving. This one is not, at least from a relative standpoint.

What Might have Been
Star Trek was one of my favorite movies this year. For a long time there was speculation about whether William Shatner would have appeared. If he had, this is how it would have occurred. It's too bad it didn't work out. I like this quite a bit.

Social changes have led to alterations in beloved classics like Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever.
Not quite as best as it used to be I think. Take a look at how things have changed.

Human Tragedy
My dad, a fellow car buff, sent me this distressing story about how $1.5 million went for a swim.

Link of the Day
Creepy, clever marketing.