Wednesday, March 26, 2008


From one of my brothers



A biker is riding by the zoo, when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion's cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her screaming parents.

The biker jumps off his bike, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain, the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.

A New York Times reporter has seen the whole scene, and addressing the biker, says, "Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I saw a man do in my whole life."

"Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I felt right."

"Well, I'll make sure this won't go unnoticed. I'm a journalist from the New York Times , you know, and tomorrow's paper will have this on the first page. What motorcycle do you ride and what political affiliation do you have?"

"A Harley Davidson and I am a Republican."
The journalist leaves.
The following morning the biker buys The New York Times to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads, on first page:

Republican Biker Gang Member Assaults African Immigrant and Steals his Lunch

Another reason I'm a Netflix fan

I'm in class this week so I'm really behind on email. This showed up this morning:

    As you may have heard, our shipping system was unexpectedly down for most of Monday. We should have shipped your DVDs but were unable to. Your DVDs were shipped today, Tuesday, March 25th, instead.

    We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. We will issue a 5% credit to your account in the next few days. You don't need to do anything. The credit will be automatically applied to your next billing statement.

I really didn't notice anything. Yet they stepped up, admitted a problem, and made it right (even though the didn't have to). Well done Netflix!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

An Easter Transition

We planned a small gathering. The four of us, my wife's dad and his wife, my sister, and her family. Much less that the usual chaos that seems to erupt on holidays at Casa de Al.

After church the prep began. Ham in the crock pot, potatoes, veggies. And candy. Lots of candy. So far it was it was a typical Easter.

Dinner was great. My brother-in-law headed out to the family room to watch college hoops on the HDTV. He was asleep in just a few minutes. Too much Cabernet with dinner I guess as there was no triptophan in play. After clean up I went out to harass him and that's when it got weird...

My sister and her husband lean to the political left. My wife and I lean to the political right. Needless to say it can get interesting at times when the discussion turns to politics. Always friendly but interesting. So when my brother-in-law started asking questions about guns I was just a little confused. It turns out that they are worried about society and the possible problems ahead if the economy tanks. They live in a more upscale neighborhood than I do (making 3 times what I do helps in that regard) so Randy thought (correctly IMO) that they would be a more likely target for home invasion and burglary. Randy was thinking that having a gun for personal protection might be a good idea. I was kind of surprised. Then he said that my sister was in favor of this as well. I was shocked. My sister had made it very clear over the years that "guns were bad". Having me around constantly challenging her must have finally sunk in. :-)

So we talked. I got out my guns and went though each one and why I had it. During this Thing1 came out and started talking about his favorites and the tens of thousands of rounds that we have fired together. Time together shooting - as he gets older we need to do that more often before he moves out and starts his own life. Anyways I started with my .22's. A Ruger MarkII and a Dan Wesson 4 inch revolver. Cheap ammo and great practice. Then it was on to the Glock 17 and the CZ75c. Ammo costs more but as far as personal protection a 9mm is far superior to a .22. Randy seemed to like the grip of the Glock. Not so much the CZ. The grip circumference really seems to matter to him.

Then the long arms came out. A old H&R 865 .22 that my dad gave me 25 years ago. It's a great little bolt action rifle that is very accurate. Then the Ruger 10/22. It wears a dot sight that makes hitting the target easy. Finally the KelTec Sub2000. Kind of a scary black rifle but it's inexpensive and, in my experience, reliable. I had a couple more but it became obvious that Randy was interested in the handguns.

So we talked some more. My big question seemed to surprise him. Would you be willing to take a human life? Or are you hoping to scare the bad guy away? How would you secure the house? Secure the gun(s)? These questions need to be answered before buying a gun for self preservation. Then Randy started asking questions: How to buy a gun? Where? Where to practice, how often, etc. What is a good home defense weapon? Lots of great questions. Hopefully my answers will get him thinking.

It looks like a Ruger MarkII will be his first purchase. If that works out then Randy and his wife need to see if they can share a gun or if due to some physical strength issues, will need something lighter and less powerful than Randy can handle. Lots of decisions.

It looks like the transition from sheep to sheepdog has begun.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My next Nerf gun

Full auto

Now thats fun! Thing1 will probably get one as well. That will be a battle.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Want a million dollars?

Netflix is giving it away.

You do have to earn it.