Sunday, November 30, 2014

More stupid things I say

While at work a coworker and I were folding letters and packing them into envelopes, when she noticed something:

Coworker:  Hey you aren't sealing the letters?
Me: No, I thought the mail machine could do that.
Coworker:  Mail machine?  What are you talking about?
Me:  You've really never heard of a mail machine before?
Coworker:  No....
Me:  Well, I don't mean to brag, but...
Coworker: (proceeds to perform massive eye roll)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Six reasons why I dislike Doctor Who

If you like any episode of Doctor who in recent years, I have some bad news.  You're not a fan of science fiction, you're not a nerd, nor are you watching an intelligent show.  Don't take this as a slight to you, it's perfectly fine to like stuff that sucks.  I mean, I love the David Lynch version of Dune, but I'm not going to pretend it's excellent movie.  The only differences between liking Dune or Doctor Who, is that the crappy show I like simply means that I am nerd and that I'm a science fiction junkie, or in other words I'm only human and that's my flaw.  Liking Dr Who on the other hand, simply means you are a single woman between that ages of 13-40 and you like mainstream romantic tension and don't like too much science in your science fiction.  Once again, that simply means you're human.

I find it a bit sad, really.  I really like the concept behind Doctor Who, and I even think it's nothing short of brilliant.  Here's a show about a humanoid alien who is a quote "time lord" that has a ship that can transport people across all of time and space.  Just the concept of the show alone allows for limitless possibilities, no?

Well since it's inception, the good doctor's show has been hampered by problems, and as a result has always been a hit or miss affair.  And I do confess, that there was some darn good Doctor Who the beginning.  Some of the most memorable episodes were ones with no villain, incorporated actual science theory, all while having companions that were not love interests.  Most of the failings of early/pre-reboot Dr Who has been mostly a technical nature, ie. poor acting, lazy directing, and atrocious budgets, which result in laughable effects, sets and props.  However, the show still managed to find a lot of steam despite these issues.  But even then I would only recommend cherry-picking the best episodes if you really want to watch.

The current run of Doctor who on the other hand, suffers from what I like to call the Battlestar Galactia syndrome.  It's described by those who like it as a sci-fi show, but in reality, it's nothing of the sort.  It is much closer to being an odd combination of romance serial and fantasy show or some kind of magic soap opera, and thus is the reason for it's popularity.

Like the viewer and their self respect. Just screw it. 
The primary focus is no longer to illustrate or to use actual science concepts of any kind, or to explain/save the universe.  The show has gone from explaining why aliens are the way they are and how their evolutionary path is different, delving into the vast intricacies of the universe, all while giving us an uplifting moral to the story, to just not explaining anything at all, because it thinks the audience too stupid to understand, then try to make some kind of social/political commentary that makes an equal amount of sense, then feed us a bunch of nonsensical romance plots.

Allow me to make a list of all the reasons why this show is terrible:

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Our story so far

The title of the post makes me want to start it off by saying "when we last saw our heroes...", but I'll spare you the nonsense.  So what have I been up to?  Well, the truth is far less than anyone could ever imagine.

When talking about it, I'm not that good at describing my felling other than to say it was depressing.  That being said, I'll give the extremely short add version of the story:  I've been unemployed for the past three months, but I recently managed to land a nice job that'll pay the bills and leave some left over, so it appears I'm actually gonna make it.

The biggest thing I can say without talking about the job situation (or the lack of one) is that I was given an opportunity to go see Interstellar for free, and well I kinda liked it.  I found that rather surprising considering I still can't stand Matthew McConaughey's acting (if you can call it that).  The short review is that it's worth watching, and worth paying to see it in the theatre.  The 'science' is hokey all get out, but has it's good moments along with being a very well paced movie with excellent story arcs and special effects.  It tries more than a little too hard to be the new 2001 (and as a given has plenty scenes and ideas lifted directly from it), but still manages to be good film.  Just be prepared to to spend a full 3 hours sitting in those dang uncomfortable theatre chairs.

As for other news, well, I'll endeavor to simply get back into a regular schedule of posting again, we'll see where it goes from there, but good to see you again, internet.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

funniest thing I've heard in years

So, a good friend of mine talked to me last week and had some news to share.  Conversation went a bit like this:

Ps1c0: So, I got big news.
St Grendel: What's that?
Ps1c0: I got glasses.
St Grendel: Wow.  Really?
Ps1c0:Yeah.  My vision was far worse than I ever imagined. Why didn't you ever tell me that?
St Grendel: You sonofa*&%! I've been telling you that for years!
Ps1c0: Just kidding.
St Grendel: Yeah I wish you'd have told me that after all the times you were driving and asked me if the light was green or not!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Right when you're losing hope

You find that yes, people can actually make good music these days.  Dang good stuff and quite fitting as well.

More to come later...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Slow on the home front

What can I say?  A week of radio silence has kept operational security, but unfortunately there is nothing to secure.  Due to a miscalculation, I was flat broke for most of the week, which has it rather uneventful, but the issue will (thankfully) be rectified by tomorrow.

I forgot to mention that the airshow was still a good experience despite being a smaller event than I've ever previously attended.  I did manage to snap a few pics of some of the festivities, some of them even turning out rather well despite the camera.  I'll post those a little later when I have the time.

In other news, I did manage the unthinkable and actually introduce somebody to the music of Y&T.  Rather surprising considering the person, I mean that kind of music is that guy's bread and butter.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Shut up and take my money!

Instead of a music post, I'll put something a bit more important.

Yeah, I shed tears watching this and while reading their website.  All my monies are now belong to them.  No finer fighter ever flew.  This needs to be a reality as soon as possible.

Another legitimate tactic

So it's another one of those days at work where I have plenty to do, so I just want to turn on some music and focus on getting crap done.  It just doesn't hurt if that music simultaneously motivates people to stay away from my desk and not approach me with new problems.  So I adopt the same tactics as everyone does with hippies:

It's surprising how effective blasting Angel of Death is in an office environment.  Raining Blood is also an effective countermeasure. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

I'll take unforgettable phrases for $100, Alex.

So imagine my surprise when I find that this news story passed me by for the past couple days:

EPA Memo To Employees: Please Stop Pooping In The Hallway

Wow.  You're telling me this is the same caliber of person you want running America's health care?  I mean, it doesn't help that the VA is actively killing veterans, but we now have the EPA going all naturalist +11.  What, do we need to paradrop a heavily armed Jane Goodall in there to teach them some class?  Not only that, but they can't comment on it?  Aren't everything they do supposed to be public domain?  So much for that whole transparency thing, eh?

In other less scarring, yet almost as wrong news, I was goofing off looking at aviation photos the other day and I saw another aviation photographer's work that he titled "Aero-rotica."  Just about spit my drink out right at that moment.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

two for one deal

So, last weekend I saw two movies I haven't' seen before X Men: Days of Future Past, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

The new X Men movie is all about tying the new(ish) prequel in with the old X Men movies and cast, and it succeeds very well, along with delivering a very entertaining movie chock full of what-if history and great action.  Worth every penny.

The latest installment of the Mission Impossible franchise on the other hand, is a pretty disappointing watch, which is sad, because I really wanted to like this movie.  It even had some elements and scenes that I really loved, but the story and most of the action was so bland and predictable that is was nigh unbearable at certain parts.  Why can't Hollywood just let spy thrillers be spy thrillers instead of trying(and failing) at turning it into another bland action movie?  Oh well, at least we still have the one good installment in the series, (the first one) which I had to re-watch because this movie just didn't cut it. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

going to the other fun show

Well, I'm excited, as this weekend will bring with it the big airshow over at Hill AFB.  What are they calling it this year?  Warriors over the Wasatch?  Supposedly the name won't be changing again for the next one. Whatever.  I bet they'll manage to justify another name change next year.

I am pretty exited for this little event, and I mean it when I say the word 'little'.  The list of events/performers is not only small, but relatively lackluster compared to most of the airshows I've been to.  Heck, even compared to the Parowan airshow, it seems a little sparse.  They have the usual items, like the Golden Knights (those guys are everywhere), an F-16 demo, a P-51 demo, along with the Thunderbirds, and a handful of specialty built aerobatic craft, along with the obligatory jet car nonsense.  But they do have a couple of things I'm interested in seeing, like a T-33 performance; I've never seen one fly before, let alone do a whole demonstration.  That'll be cool.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The most sultry of pictures

Amazing Blue Angels photo.
Found a new tool in looking up awesome official photos of military aircraft, at this site here.  The National Archives is so far the best repository of modern military jet photos ever.  I am especially impressed with the quality of blue angels photos there.  Man, I can't wait until I get to see those guys perform again.

Best Tomcat pic ever!  Exploding target seen in the right side of the frame.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Conversations at work

Being the nerd I am, most conversations will drift towards movies at some point. Don't know how the movie The Notebook came up though, but I guess it's inevitable when talking to the female variety.

I posed the assumption, "So, being a woman, I'm sure you've seen The Notebook."
"Actually, no.  I haven-" (interrupted by me giving the hard stare) "Okay, so I have.  She looks at her feet and mumbles "Multiple times."
"Yeah, you can't tell me you haven't.  I can call that bull about 50nmi away."
"It's a good movie."
"No, it's a terrible movie.  Any man who says they like it has something wrong with them."
"I like it"
"Well of course you like it, you're the target demographic.  But if you're with a guy that says he likes it, they are one of three things: a liar, a psycho nutcase that may murder you in your sleep, or gay.  All of the above being a red flag if you're interested in this guy."
"Really?  You really think that no man can like The Notebook?"
"Please, at the end of that movie when they were old and dying, I was cheering on the disease that killed them like I was betting on a horse race."
"Holy crap, you really are the world's worst person."
"Well they did kill Osama a while back, so that bumped me up on the list."

Proof is in the pudding, darlin'

Sunday, June 15, 2014

tunes from where?

Cause everybody loves Cowboys from Hell:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Wow, they DO exist!

Remember that rant I had not too long ago about bad cops and such?  Well, guess what I just found?  A good cop that's also a good man and decent human being for wising up.

We need more like you, good sir.  Much more like you.

slow moving action

back when I was planning for my brother to come up, I had all sorts of cool ides of things to do and places we could go, but that was back when I had time and money.  So, now it appears we are spending our weekdays watching all the best of the Bond flicks, and the weekend is simply a re-hash of a Swayze gone crazy special.

Though if I can manage to coax the boy out of bed not long after zero dark thirty, perhaps we can leave in time to go hunting for an A-12 crash site.  there aint much there these days, but I think it would still be a fun trip to take.

Looking forward though, I'm gonna have to do a bit more brainstorming on places we can go on subsequent weekends.

In other random news, the location of my apartment is still making me itch for a digital camera that has a seriously beefy optical zoom.  Getting tired of seeing awesome shots of F-16s without being able to get a close enough shot of 'em.
waiting for their closeup. (official USAF photo)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The squirrel's leftovers

So, catching up on missed episodes of the Squirrel Report, the latest's (no. 107) call in topic was blatantly ripped from an Ace of Spades post.  The post poses a fun question that says you can travel back in time to do one thing: you can either cure or kill any one person in history.  However, the rules are strict; you can't cure and kill someone, you only have the choice to cure OR kill one person (and I believe you can't choose living persons, either).

The comments were really good, but after a while they have kind of veered off to something I think is a bit more fun.  So, I think it would be fun to expand the idea to include what people were doing in the comments.  Same basic concept, choosing people from history, but we change the arbitrary rules to include three people: one you save, one you kill, and one you marry.

I can see this being the ultimate hangout topic.  I've been thinking about it since listening to the episode, and I'm still having a really difficult time trying to narrow down the choices of people down to one for each category.  So far this is is the best list I could come up with.
can we get this guy a "shoot me" t-shirt?
I'd kill Karl Marx and subsequently save hundreds of millions of lives (and intellects)
I'd save Joseph Smith Jr. from being shot (man, that will really open up the possibilities! And piss off a lot of intolerant/ignorant people at the same time!),
and I'd marry Roza Shanina (because what a babe! and classy, too.  I'd sure as hell turn her capitalist.)
Momma always said, "Only marry a girl with confirmed kills!" ...or something like that.  I think.

Monday, June 9, 2014

more missed opportunities

I've been on the lookout for high quality rifles that shoot 7.62x54R because whatever the price of the rifle, I know I can offset by a significantly cheaper ammo budget than most other calibers while still having steel core bullets.  I'll have to put more effort into maintaining them, what with the corrosive ammo and all, but still, I'm dead set on it.

The problem being that most precision rifles in this caliber are either of a dreadfully low quality or are so exquisite that they are beyond any reasonable price point.  Despite the attractively low prices of Mosin Nagants, they do require a bit of work and modification to get them to a point that they can shoot accurately over a distance.  Consequently, that makes the price jump up to the point that they are no longer much cheaper than just getting another rifle with all the features you want built in.
What a beauty.  Now that's a real man's biathlon rifle.
Now getting to the meat of the matter, which is the Finnish Mosin M/28-76.  It was issued in both target and sniper models, a majority of them imported here being of the target variety.  It has everything I'm looking for, nice stock, cool sights, can take an optic after being tapped and racked, still can shoot run of the mill 54R ammo, all for less than $600; that is, when they first appeared.
Now this guy has the dream setup, right here.
But now it seems it's impossible to find one, and when you do, the seller wants twice that much.  Phooey.  Anyone that comes across one of these for sale at that $600 range again, you let me know!

Something striker this way comes

imagine the following conversation with a hipster:

You:  Hey, did you hear about that new hybrid sports car?
Hipster:  Ugh, please, I've had a fuel efficient car since the 70s.
You:  Um, okay.  That's not what I'm talking about.  There's this new hybrid sports car that's really cool, it's breaking all sorts of records.
Hipster:  Sheesh, what a bunch of posers.  They aren't doing anything new!  My college class made an electric car once.
You:  But you can actually drive this one fast, and it'll compete with the fastest of regular cars.
Hipster:  Whatever, my Ford Pinto was more efficient.
You:  I don't think your're getting the point.

This is the kind of reaction H&K had to the rest of the world getting striker fired pistols.  They just love being the hipster that points out that it had a striker fired pistol waaaay before they were cool.  Look buddy, just because you had one in the 70's doesn't mean it's cool or that it was even good.  There was a reason you didn't sell 'em like hotcakes, and it wasn't because it was striker fired.
The ridiculous over the top ambition of the VP70 resulted in nothing but less than stellar reliability coupled with superfluous capabilities.
But, finally getting back into the program nearly 40 years later they've come up with the VP9.  Get it?  'Cause it's just like their old VP70, but better!

I'm honestly surprised it took them so long to suddenly realize they were missing out on a whole market.  I think it was spurned by the fact that LE everywhere are all drinking the Smith and Wesson M&P cool aid, and HK finally realized it was passing up on some sweet deals.  For their sake, I hope they haven't missed the gravy train.  Either way, I can see this thing doing really well on the civilian market. Heck, despite my eager mockery of HK, I'd still be willing to get one, as long as I have the money.
Although this does look like it'll be a solid and good shooting pistol (I mean, it IS HK after all), I'm also puzzled at it's magazine capacity of 15 rounds of 9mm.  I mean, everyone else is sporting 16 to 20 these days and the best they could muster up is 15?  I dunno what they were thinking there.

Update:  Hey, didn't the old VP70 have an 18 round magazine? let's look that up.....yeah, it did.  WTF H und K?  You couldn't use those magazines?  Why do you keep taking two leaps forward and two steps back?  Honestly I feel like I'm ABSuperman here: "They made the gun good, why can't they make the magazine good?"

Friday, May 30, 2014

conversations at work

Episode no. whatever.  I just have a gift for starting conversations in the most unprofessional manner.  Gotta work on that.

Carrie [10:24]:
Do you know if there is someone laying cable today?
Robert [10:24]:
that's just gross
Carrie [10:25]:
THAT'S just gross

That special time of year?

I don't know what it is, but this seems to be the time of year that everyone I know, along with their nephew's cousin's uncle's former roommate to Disneyland this week.  Not just a few select individuals either, there is a solid seven people I know all going and they aint going together cause they don't' know each other.  Yet somehow this is the time they all seem to synchronize their visit (almost perfectly,too).  Things like this are liable turn me into some kind of conspiracy theorist.

In other news I did manage to meet a girl that not only got a random joke I made referencing George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four, but told me that she is constantly frustrated by the amount of people who never get her frequent references to it, too.  We spend a good amount of time doing nothing but that for a while and laughing our butts off.  Needless to say, I think she's worth asking out.  Now I just gotta figure out how in the world to do that in Newspeak.  Maybe if told her that my Eastasia wants to go to war with her Eurasia?  Yeah, I'm not really good at these kind of things.  Maybe we can go watch Brazil or something.

Oh and as I was about to post this, it appears my brother had to ride the train back early from downtown so that he can give me my keys back, which he forgot he was carrying in his pocket.  Yeah, that could have been bad.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

up the Hill

I'm probably the only guy in the world with exact opposite problem:

Funny that I do noting but rant and rave about how cool it is that I live right under the flight path of every single F-16 in existence, and can hear them all time.  But the moment my family comes by, they cease to show even once because of the federal holiday weekend.  Sheesh. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A time for all things

such as not having a lot of time.  The family is here today, but soon there will only be two.  Never enough time.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The American pastime

Had a coworker come by my department asking if anyone wanted to get some free tickets to a baseball game, that she won in a drawing, but didn't want.  Obviously there were no takers, as the IT crowd are not a very sports oriented bunch.

Later, I had to let her know the error of her ways.  I reminded her that she is a very attractive young woman, and that if she really didn't want to go she should have offered both the tickets individually to a couple of disliked people while implying that they would be going with her... Yeah, I am a never ending source of useful advice to the rising generation.

The day of reckoning has come

Well, wish me luck, as it has come time that the seas boil, the mountains shake, the sky darken, the dead rise, and the heavens scream.  Today my brother is coming up and will be spending the next two months living with me, so I hope I don't screw it up.

In other news, maybe for the first time in a while I'll actually be able to secure a date, despite the terrible timing.

Not much to say other than wishing everyone a relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Finally! a card game I can get into.

I love the playing the game Apples to Apples at parties, but I'm always losing because I always love the most twisted and dark answers the best, which no one else likes.  Also getting chewed out afterwards for ruining everyone's set of blank cards by writing "horrific things" on them doesn't help my case.

But I shall worry no more, for I have found the ultimate card game.  You know it's good when they not only have a theme song, but the lyrics include the line, "Oprah sobbing into lean cuisine..."

So you can grab a free copy of the original game in .pdf format on their website, but I'm thinking of buying the full deal for monies. 

possibly not the best method, but very effective

So, I have been told that I have a very peculiar process of how I decide to buy a book that I'm interested in.
First, I go to a myriad of sellers that offer the book (Amazon is the most convenient though), then do nothing but scour the reviews.  Sadly, to some it is regrettable that I will never, EVER read any positive reviews for it whatsoever.  If I'm interested enough to even consider purchasing a book, I've already heard enough good things about it.  I buy books purely based on reading negative reviews on it.  I scour them looking for these major identifiers:
  1. If the reviewer cites no quotes or sources for his criticisms, then the book is already one step closer to being my property. 
  2. If the reviewer cannot type, spell, or construct a sentence to the point that it is legible by anyone with more than a two digit IQ, the book is certainly worth buying. 
  3. If the reviewer's only major critique involves emotional pleas to avoid some irrational phobia they have that they assume you share (hoplophobia, xenophobia, eleutherophobia, etc.).
  4. If the reviewer's only major argument is to bash the author because they are white, black, yellow, conservative, communist, or otherwise don't like them, without referencing the material or subject of the book, then it's definitely worth buying.
  5. If the reviewer's argument laughs in the face of deductive reasoning. 
Recently I bought Bayou Renaissance Mans's book, Walls, Wire, Bars and Souls: A Chaplain Looks At Prison Life, and I did so purely on the (lack of) strength in this negative review:
Sounds like this guy wet himself because he's in denial about inmates being scary.
Wow.  Where do I begin?  So, this guy read a book about a guy's experiences with the most reprehensible people in our society who are locked up because it's been proven that they cannot function as honest people like the rest of society, then has the balls to equate the author to a Nazi because he simply states the details of this truth?  Never mind the fact that the whole reason the Nazis were vilified was because they illegitimately accused a whole innocent race for crimes they could not have done then tried to kill them all.  He then tries to play it down by saying it's an exaggeration, but it's clearly the whole point he wanted to get across in the review.  What a winning intellect on McBookerson's part!  I hope he never has to make an ethical decision in his life, as he just proved within the space of three sentences that he not only doesn't know what a Nazi is, but that he might be more like one than the author he just tried to compare to them.
For the sake of others without my same method of purchasing, I hit that NO button on the "was this review helpful to you?" question so hard I may have broken my mouse.  But in the end I have to thank you, Ready McIdiot.  You have furthered the cause of another good author getting good money for a good book.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Godless communists

Was trapped in a wiki walkabout when I found myself on the page about the Stasi and was rather surprised by some interesting facts.  Did you know they had an entire branch called the Division of Garbage Analysis?  Seriously.  Their whole job was to look through everyone's garbage for "western goods" as they were verboten.

Overall, the Stasi employed over a quarter million people during their near forty year long existence to weed out "the class enemy", and utilized somewhere near two million informants.  Some have concluded that this number equates to nearly one informant or stasi for every 6.5 citizens in East Germany.

Also, they commenced a campaign of desecrating cemeteries and other Jewish sites in West Germany by smearing them with swastikas and other Nazi symbols. They also submitted funds to the defense of Adolf Eichmann along with funding Neo-Nazi groups.

More proof that anyone who advocates socialisim or communisim is not only your enemy, but is interested in nothing but similar nefarious plans.  Those who don't are too stupid to realize it, and are what the Stasi would call a useful idiot.

God bless those who prevent others from forgetting it:

Friday, May 16, 2014

random food for thought edition

C.S. Lewis is the gift that keeps on giving:

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good
of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live
under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may
at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good
will torment us without end for they do so with the approval
of their own conscience." 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Just kept on driving...

Not normally my kind of music, but it's funny to read the comments for the video on youtube and see that most other people found out about it the way I did, the documentary Shadow Company.

Also, possibly the most prolific mercenary quote of all time is right before the end of the documentary at 1:24:11.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Going slightly overboard

I really like my job, but I don't make much money.  Like, at all.  My paycheck is practically an inside joke in our HR department.  That being said, it's pretty obvious that I no longer live with the roomie, I don't have a whole lot of disposable income.  I try to keep pretty good tabs on my spending, but there are things that I have a weak spot for.  One is ammunition.  The other is books.

Now, as far as the decipherable dead trees go, I just can't help it.  I just will always find non-fiction far more entertaining and enjoyable than fiction.  I can list pretty quickly the number of fictional books I've enjoyed on one or maybe two hands.  So, I've taken to ordering more papery goodness from Amazon.

I got two in particular that are quite interesting reads, the first being Civilian Warriors by Erik Prince, detailing the formation, rise, and downfall of Blackwater's prominence.  Certainly enlightening.  Secondly (and far more fascinating) is Gunship Ace by Al J. Venter, which is all about the the life of South African/Rhodesian mercenary pilot named Neall Ellis.  I would certainly recommend both, but I must say that the book about Neall Ellis is far more intriguing to me because so much of that man's history is unknown to me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I have nothing to declare, sir!

No, really.  I got nothing.

I could go on about my day, but most people will find that boring.  I could give you my feelings, but people find them insensitive.  I could share my experiences, but people find them unpleasant.  I could share with you my thoughts, but people think they are offensive.  I could tell you my opinions, but people find them politically incorrect.  I could give you my spirit, but people rarely accept it. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

contrarian corner: cops behaving badly

Yeah, it's time for another stupidly long rant.

I remember when I was young, I liked the idea of becoming a cop.  I love the concept of helping people in need and I liked the idea of helping to serve true justice.  However as life goes on, I can't help but view most officers with disdain, and the reason why is a multifaceted answer.  I'll address these in my usual haphazard manner.

It's been pointed out that cops and other emergency services risk their lives every day.  This is true, but some also make the statement that soldiers in combat are simply facing a 'raw' version of life as an LEO.  I take issue with that statement for a couple of reasons.  First is that cops are civilians (yes, I'm one of those nitpickers) as such you get to clock out, go home sleep in a nice bed at the end of the day, and unless you live in one hell of a bad town, you never have to worry about getting killed in the middle of the night by artillery, getting blasted on the road by an IED, worry about co-workers getting captured and beheaded on international news, or deal with the possibility of dying on foreign soil and never receiving a proper burial, because the local populace insisted on desecrating your body.  All while contemplating this in a foxhole while away from family and friends for months on end, and worrying about getting court marital-ed for doing the right thing.

You have a plethora of non-lethal tools at your disposal to subdue the uncouth people you encounter, whereas the average soldier has nothing more than his rifle, armor, bayonet, and fists, then is told to keep order in entire cities with a handful of buddies, but if they kill anyone without a uniform on, it's never ending NJPs plus a court martial for you.  I doubt you'll ever go to a riot encounter with nothing but those tools and under those conditions.

At the end of the day, because of your civilian status, you can quit at any time; things get too rough and you can go tell people to stuff it.  A soldier has no luxury like that when facing death, and they are forced to confront it or face punishment.  So no, you're not on equal footing with a soldier, and no, you're not experiencing "combat-lite" or it's filtered/canned/processed equivalent, despite the stresses of your job.

Speaking of which, my second point: despite it not being war, your job is supposed to be tough.  By it's very nature, you are to assume all are innocent until proven guilty, all while constantly dealing with the most unsavory types of people and situations peacetime has to offer.  So, that being said, the whole point of your position is to put yourself in harm's way, the moment you start complaining about how unsafe it is, all I can think is, perhaps it's the wrong job for you.

Thirdly, your attitude sucks.  Granted it's hard to maintain a good one when you deal with the worst of civilized America every day, but for the love of everything holy, why is it that every time I talk to an officer for whatever reason, they either treat me like a retarded child, or like I just threatened the lives of their family?

Here's a hint for you guys:  If you want to be treated with more respect by both veterans and other civilians, perhaps you should stop the posturing like you're some superior being and treat other people as equals.  Yes, dangerous situations call for being defensive and/or readiness for violence, and I know you have to be prepared for any situation to turn violent, but does that really warrant treating me like a felon at 2am because you thought part of my windshield wasn't scraped of ice to your satisfaction?  Don't act like you're better than anyone else or that your sizing them up for a fight, and you may notice a sharp incline of respect headed your way.

I agree with many in that not all people in the military are heroes or even good people and the same goes for the cops.  However, unless proven to be otherwise, I believe all veterans deserve respect.  However, it's increasingly hard to justify respecting all cops.  Why?  Because of the "good cops."  Not only are the "good cops" so few and far between, but it appears to everyone that they are ineffective in making changes in their department.

The modus operandi of the 'bad cop' is double standards, code of the blue, corruption, complete ignorance of law, irresponsibility coupled with unaccountability because he is untouchable.  In a worst case scenario, the cops are just another organized crime syndicate.  Best case, your respect is demolished because your department's few 'bad cops' are not disciplined/prosecuted and instead given a paid vacation for hurting or even killing innocent people, when the same activity performed by the average citizen would warrant prison or in some cases execution.

Why do I blame the 'good cops' for this?  Well, when's the last time you arrested one of them?  Particularly when they do something illegal in public.  Show the populace that no one is above the law.  When in private, are you actively working to build a case against them?  If they are committing crimes, are they not just as much of a threat as (if not more than) any other criminal?  Does not your job require a higher sense of personal responsibility than the burger flipper down the street?  Why do you let these people go on ruining all you stand for?  They may be the ones actively destroying your reputation, respect and authority, but by not lashing out and pressing charges to the fullest extent, or not shooting one when they are harming another innocent, you are passively condoning it.  Why do you continue to give support to unconstitutional laws and practices?  Believe it or not, as an officer you have a choice to enforce or not enforce a law.  Make a stand and risk being fired if that's what it takes.  By not doing so you are no better than the guards at concentration camps who "just followed orders."

Being police officers (unlike the military) you are required to police the american populace, a people with all the rights and privileges thereof, which necessitates a responsibility placed upon you to uphold not only the law and answer to your employers, but to protect those rights.  What do I mean by this?  Well, as an officer, you are employed by US; you know, we the people.  So, considering you answer to us, most cops seem to place higher esteem on city/county/state officials or other cops than they do with John Q. Public.

I don't care if there is a LEO union working in the background, if you truly want to do your job right, you will help to weed out these people from law enforcement whatever it takes.  Not simply transfer them to another department, not give them paid leave, not shelter them from charges being pressed, you need to either destroy their entire future in law enforcement or let them know you will do so if they do not act responsibly in wielding such rampant power.

The same goes for the militarization of the police.  You may not have replaced your cruiser with a MRAP, or suited up in mall ninja gear for a no-knock raid, but why are you letting it press on in your department without speaking out?  You may not be in charge, but that doesn't mean you can't do something.

Every single person I know (not counting minors of course) has had a bad experience with the cops in which they were falsely accused, treated roughly without cause, had their rights curtailed, fined for something they didn't do, etc.

Let that sink in for a second.  EVERY SINGLE PERSON I KNOW.  No exceptions.  I don't make a habit out of associating with ruffians, I don't live in the ghetto, I'm not friends with a bunch of felons, I'm not even located in a massive city, but everyone I know has had a bad experience with the police acting far out of line.  Now, to say that the cops simply have their fair share of bad apples, sounds unlikely at this point.  It diminishes the real scope of the issue if ALL the people I know have had this happen to them.  These issues are not isolated, or a minority, it's become very widespread problem to the point of being a national issue of the police being saturated with "bad apples."  Federal cops are by far the worst (you can generally assume there's hardly any good ones among the lot of 'em) and have always been, however this has fermented among local and state cops for so long that they have slowly come to the forefront of the problem as well.

We hate the fact that SWAT teams can do no knock raids on the wrong house, shoot up the place and get off scott free, while the poor occupant who had to defend his home from unlawful intruders is sent to prison.  We're tired of being treated with no respect, and like we have no rights.  We're pissed off at the rampant corruption that goes on and on without improvement.  We're outraged at being served warrants for simply exercising free speech.  We're sick of you working for politician's personal interests instead of upholding the law.  We're through with you getting special treatment after breaking the same laws we do but not getting the same punishment.  We're infuriated with laws being passed for us to obey, but for you be exempt from.  We're tired of your word against ours in a trial when your side is so often taken because of special treatment.  We're tired of you not holding your officers to a higher standard.  We're tired of you standing back and doing nothing when rights are being infringed in front of your eyes.  We're tired of you enforcing laws that restrict us from filming/photographing public places or employees. We're enraged by the repeated violations to our 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th and other Amendments. Were're tired of the bull-crap of no name towns getting APCs, MRAPs, and GMPGs for no other purpose than to waste our tax money fighting imaginary tanks, and we are pissed that you're able to buy them and we can't because somehow you're better than us despite a higher crime rate than the general populace!

That and where did the service go to in "protect and serve," eh?  When's the last time you saw a cop stop to help someone broken down on the side of the road?  When's the last time you heard a cop ask how he can help you out when lost?  When's the last time you heard a group of cops discuss anything other than "how do we get this guy?" as opposed to "how can we help?"  When's the last time you heard a cop tell another bad one that what he's trying to do is wrong?  When's the last time you were treated with basic politeness and respect from a cop?  When's the last time you talked to a cop that didn't try to treat you like an immediate threat?  When was the last time one talked to you without giving off a massive superiority complex?  When have you ever seen a cop tackled and tased for getting in a person's face and threatening them?

This is the reason the average American and in particular the American serviceman hates you.  To be told our whole lives that men are created equal, and see nothing but special exceptions for you to the point that you're nearly above the law.  For the servicemen to fight and die solely for our rights then come home and see that they are trampled on by your kind nearly on the hour, all while the good cops stand back and do nothing.  That is why.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Friday, May 2, 2014

breaking even

Time for more conversations at work.  Had a couple of funny exchanges, one at my expense, the other a pretty good quip.

First up is the gaffe: I have a Star Trek ships of the line calendar at my desk that gets a fair amount of attention from passers by, and today was no exception.  Our consultant was sitting next to me and noticed me changing it to this month's picture, of which is a sample:

He immediately asks, "Why would you want to be looking at the anus end of the ship?"
"Hey, I'll take the Enterprise any way I can get it." I shot back.
*Queue the sound of a pin dropping with numerous heads turning slowly in unison*
"Awwww crap."

Thankfully I was able to make up for it when I stumbled upon another conversation in which the boss was talking:
"Yeah, the wife's car needs some new brakes."
"Just be sure not to use the other guy's brake pads." While mustering my best Chris Farley voice.

So much for that raise I was about to get...

A change in the scenery

For the small handful of people who actually read this thing, you may notice a change in the layout of the 'ol blog.  The initial theme/layout I had was one I liked, but ultimately needed to be fine tuned with more customization than I had the motivation to ever do, and was really just a placeholder until I could get around to it.  Well that never happened, then it just stayed that way, and the more I saw it, the more it hurt the eyes, so here we are.  I'm thinking this will be the preferred look of the blog until I can come up with something better.

Also, I'm thinking of getting less lazy and coming up with a better banner already.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

National Register of Historic...Stuff

The onset of summer is slowly stalking us and will soon be upon us.  I'm still eagerly awaiting the arrival of my brother for the duration of the summer, and possibly taking a few days off to commune with nature and explore places of historical interest.

In other news, it's been a slow news week.  I think the most exciting thing I can think of off the top of my head is that I discovered that some friends of mine have never seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, despite being self-proclaimed sci-fi fans.  So, I wrangled up a copy of it along with the sequel for ludicrously cheap from Amazon and am making a countdown to when we watch it and put their genre-fandom to the test.

Random whatnot:  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  The Duffel Blog may be funniest thing on the internet. They particularly got me laughing with their two latest posts.  Go check it out:

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

SHOT show has got nothing on this

I always thought that going to shot show would be kinda cool, but since it has devolved into an AR-15 circle jerk of mall ninjas, I've been a bit weary of just about any gun related trade show.  That is until I hear of this bad boy at the NRA meeting.  Behold the wonder of the MBUS Pro:
A wonderfully retro look for the plastic rifle age

Now this is my kinda gig:
do they come with the bus?
Wait a minute!  Who put this crap in here?  This thing should be exclusively stocked with M-14s, Thompsons, and M1 Carbines.
Well, looks like I'm renewing my NRA membership. 

Goofing off at the office

One thing about my job that I love is the fact that we basically get to play with high tech toys half the time. This time around we got our hands on some demo phones, and stumbled across an app that was left on one of them called Manga Camera, that turns any picture you take into something that looks like a cell from a manga comic/book.

Obviously this proved to be a serious distraction to real work getting accomplished on that day, as you can see:

I swear, I look like friggin Col Sanders in this pic.

Our intrepid teammate (pretending to be) hard at work.

Poor old roomie looks like a disheveled Soviet sailor in this pic

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Remix reading

for your weekly music, something that sounded interesting:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Adventures in not writing

I'm really feeling the need for more C: drive space recently.  There's just too many programs I like to keep handy on my primary drive to get by with only half a gig.  Also, I'm really wanting to switch to a solid state drive but those are still more than a little too pricey in the capacities I'm looking for, so I'm just kinda stuck managing disk space for the time being.

On an unrelated note, all this internet sleuthing I'm doing on military aircraft crash sites is tempting me to go steal some public property and subsequently restore it and put it on display or something....

There just aren't enough surviving Tomcats in this world.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

An interesting philosophical question

In a conversation with a friend I mentioned in passing the result of the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr; specifically how despite having been vice president, Burr fell into obscurity nearly overnight.  Contrast to Hamilton, who's name will be instantly recognizable to anyone with a shred of competency today.

This, in turn brought up the assassination of Lincoln and how terrible that was.  I was pretty eager to debate that fact that Lincoln was a pretty terrible person and was eager to provoke what was coming to him, but then someone stated the following, "Nobody should be famous for shooting another person."

This posed an interesting question considering that there are many people who can be thanked for doing just that.  Granted, most people might not want to be famous for shooting someone, but if the person they shot was undeniably consumed with evil, I think it can go without saying that they deserve a hearty thanks and a pat on the back at least.  There are many people who are on some level famous for doing nothing but shooting another person, and arguably doing the right thing, the following is a small list of examples:

Timothy Murphy is an American legend that likely got free beers for the rest of his life for his shot.

Simo Hayha  a.k.a. The White Death  also likely to have been called 'The Norse God of Thunder'

Soghomon Tehlirian totally a hero and the shooting is his only claim to fame.

Jozef Gabcik - killing Nazis is a pretty good case for being not all bad, but this guy = total hero.

and if there wasn't a security concern for his identity, I'd personally buy a drink for the guy that first shot Bin Laden.
I mean, what sensible person wouldn't fire shots in this guy's direction?
Point being is that despite plenty of horrible people being famous for shooting other people, there are also plenty of good people who are famous for killing another person because they knew it was the right thing to do.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Maybe, just maybe...

I have been to one too many historic sites, museums, and state parks.  Why?  Well, every time I commute to work on the train, it ends up stopping at some point for another train to pass.  Whenever this happens, without fail, I expect for some armed cowboy bandits to hop on the train firing blanks with some kind of bit to go through, possibly involving a musical number.

Once again the internet sounds off

about something or another regarding the guy in charge of Mozilla, and consequently Firefox.  I stopped using Firefox ages ago, due to it's increasingly lackluster performance, but It's interesting that I've lived to see the day people are boycotting a non-tangible product because "gay rights" were curtailed by California's general public 6 years ago.  The whole thing stinks of witch hunt to me, and hopefully the man won't have his future ruined, despite already being forced to step down.

though from the news source for the story that I lazily googled, it's cool to see that Utah has a state rep that registers a full on 0% rating from the NARAL pro-choice America group.  This I also find funny in that a pro-choice group would rate him at a 0% when I'm sure he would consider abortion in cases of rape and/or when the life of the mother is in danger (as do I).

In other more lighthearted news, I have to admit that I got tricked good on April fools day.  Normally I'm on the lookout for people trying to pull a fast one on me, but I've been had like the rest of 'em.  Totally fell for the one story on Alert 5 news that said a Chinese J-10 defected to Taiwan.  Did not see that coming form a defense news site.

can you imagine how crazy that would have been?

Monday, March 31, 2014

with your two cents and my two cents, we got... something

Okay, so the internet has been completely abuzz with the actions of one Senator Leland Yee and the subsequent media bias.  Since everyone and their housekeeper's dog is talking about it, I feel like I only have three things to say about the whole fiasco with this role model of violent video game crusading and gun control:
  1. Thank goodness they caught the guy.
  2. I wish they had caught him a whole lot sooner. 
  3. Holy freaking crap, I had no idea that irony came in flavors so sweet! I'm going to be savoring the flavor until I die of super-cavities and gingivitis.  Seriously, this is nothing but the most epic win against gun control and dummies that wanna ban video games, but I'm gonna be too preoccupied with sipping on the delicious irony juice.  Oh, and enjoying the great memes that it will inevitably spawn.

*Images blatantly ripped from somebody's facebook page.

Moscow Music

Okay, so the song kinda sucks, but the music video is too good to miss:

Also, does anyone else find that the band is a little too aptly named?

Friday, March 28, 2014

what keeps on slipping?

So, this week has been going by so dang fast, I think my head is spinning.  Not much is really happening, but I gotta say there's some great stuff on the horizon.  It looks like my brother is going to be able to stay with me for the duration of the summer this year, and I'm thinking of organizing some cool stuff for us to do.

So far, I'm thinking that on the way back up to my place we can make a few stops at some military crash sites.  There's a B-52 site right at the edge of the state that's a good candidate.  While here, I was thinking of going on a mini road trip one weekend to visit some historical sites and museums, then by the time I need to bring him back the Blue Angels will be in town making for a nice finale.  Should be some good times.

shady practices

So, more than a bit of a slow news week at Casa Del Flyover, but there are some old things I can bring up.  I don't really remember what brought it up, but something reminded me of a time back when I was a teenager.  For a while in my late teens, I volunteered at an air museum.

It was pretty cool, not only because I'm a serious mil air junkie, but because the museum was a very unique one.  Instead of just displaying full aircraft with the exteriors restored, this place just had cockpits.  Lots of cockpits. The place wasn't even officially opened when I got there, but the plan was to have an experience like no other air museum: they were to have fully restored cockpits, and have them open to the public 24/7.  Now, if that don't make you intrigued, I don't know what will.
Our T-38 pit.  Wish I had a before/after pic to show the contrast.
Now, restoring vintage military aircraft cockpits is a pretty daunting task.  A big portion of the facility (actually, most of it) was dedicated to to storing and cataloging original analog instruments.  No joke, I working a massive warehouse full of these things, with racks and racks of boxed full of original instruments.  My job, for the most part, was to go through the entire Indiana Jones warehouse of inventory and group the instruments together by type or by model number if we had an excessive amount of the same kind and label them so the guys restoring the cockpits didn't have to take all day trying to find the right, dial, display, ect.

Okay, not quite that big, but close.
Since this operation tried to be as accurate as possible, this involved very authentic instruments dating all the way back to the 1930s.  Those of you in the know will be reminded that back in those days, in order to make something "glow in the dark" for night flying, they went crazy by painting just about everything with this exciting glowing stuff called radium.  I was simply told that I can't afford to brake any instrument, but if I did, to let somebody know stat, cause that stuff will set of a Geiger counter like a like a cricket.  So, the running joke was that anyone among the stack of instruments for too long would become impotent.
Now imagine this dial, but all the markings were faded this deep brown color....that's the way they all were.
Lost of fond memories of that place, but after thinking about it, despite there only being trace amounts of radium in those dials, we were surrounded by hundreds of thousands of them, later found out that radium is nearly 1000 more time radioactive than Uranium, has a distinctly negative effect on sealing compounds, turns into the brownish black of radium nitride (which nearly all of the dials were colored this way) when exposed to air, all this and I distinctly remember a couple of incidents involving a case or two being dropped and shattered before...
Neat o!
Anyways, the museum didn't exactly do well in such a small community, with little to no advertising, so it aint there anymore, but thankfully the internet is forever, and you can see some of the cool crap I used to work with:

Below is a link to a page detailing how my boss got the B-52 pit and restored it. That sucker took years.  I was there just after he first got the thing, volunteered there for years, and it wasn't done till I was long gone.  One interesting thing to note is that the B-52 we had actually dropped bombs in anger during Desert Storm.

Monday, March 24, 2014

What day is it?

Went and had another crazy LAN Party to end all LAN parties over at the 'ol roomie's new shack, and we stayed up so late, i think I'm still feeling the effects considering I just woke up a few minutes ago on the train headed home from work.  Seriously, I have barely any recollection of the events of today whatsoever.

In other news that is to be filed in the "that was waaaayyy too much information" category, is that although I'm not the kinda guy that likes to fool around, it's still extremely entertaining when I get phone calls from multiple attractive young women and suddenly come to the realization that I'm being booty called.  I sure as hell aint taking 'em up on the offer, but it's still quite the self esteem boosting moment when you hear a girl desperately trying to find any excuse for you to come over.  Maybe if I was a LOT younger and dumber, sweetie.   You know, come to think if it, I blame this on the beard.  Once I got it, they all start crawling out of the woodwork.

Love that movie

More tardy tunes

Had this one stuck in my head for a bit.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thoughs on fat acceptance from a fat guy's perspective

Perhaps it's because I'm located near a big college town, or perhaps it's some areas of the internet I frequent, perhaps it's even some of the people I know, but it seems there is a big movement towards "fat acceptance" these days.

What do I mean by that?  Well, we all know that obesity is widespread in America, to the point that the First Lady erroneously likes to call it an "epidemic."  Then, on the other end of the spectrum, there is a high proportion of advertising, entertainment, fashion, the arts, ect, that is so obsessed with thinness that it can be equally unhealthy and many times, completely unrealistic.

Now, of course there is a wide diversity in body types.  Everyone is going to be genetically inclined to a certain body type, and we will always be physically different in some way or another.  So, because of the reasons I mentioned earlier, we end up with people that are very unsatisfied with their looks and give themselves massive cuts to their own self esteem because they don't have the figure of whatever model, dancer, actor, singer, ect.

In response, there is a "body acceptance" movement that tries (and somewhat succeeds) to promote a higher self esteem through self acceptance and acceptance of one's own body to the point of taking pride in it.  That you should be proud of the 'curves' you have and no one should tell you differently.  Sound pretty good so far, eh?

So why do I bring all this up?  Well, I can't help but notice a few small problems with this movement.  One is, that although I find it reprehensible/irresponsible/wasteful that advert companies photoshop models to a ridiculous degree, thereby exacerbating unrealistic expectations; I also find it funny that these same people in this "acceptance movement" seem to decry the use of tall, thin, attractive models to begin with.  If they truly believed that all bodies are special and that we should be proud of what we have, why would they attack those who simply have that thinner body type?  Not only that, but in addition to attacking these people simply because they have different bodies, are they actually doing something to add variety into the market and change it?  No, they just sit on their fat butts and complain.

My second problem is that although it's important to have good self esteem, why is it that this movement seems to ask people to take pride in overweight/obese bodies?  I know there are people with medical conditions that would make it far more difficult to maintain a thinner body, in fact, I know a few people like that personally.  However, the disappointment the average person feels for not being more healthy than they are, is a natural and proper response.  It is our reaction to those feelings that are incorrect.  We cannot afford to slump into a depression over not having a healthier body type, rather we should just be motivated to to action and change.  Knowing you are overweight is a good thing.  Without it we would all be dying of heart attacks from pounding twinkies all day.

Third is that this movement is full of rampant sexism/feminazi elitism because men are not allowed to participate (not that I think men should anyways).  If a woman is overweight because "exercise is hard" or "OMG I just love chocolate too much," she's encouraged and told that men aren't accepting her because they are all evil pigs and she should feel proud about who she is.  However, if a man is overweight he's still a disgusting lazy slob that isn't worth knowing.  Even worse are the friends, family, and acquaintances that suggest to the person they lose weight because those people care about the person's well being.  Suddenly they are labeled insensitive jerks who don't care about the person's feelings and are demonized by this culture of "acceptance."

Did they stop to think that yeah, it is unhealthy you are overweight?  That maybe this person thinks that you are so important to them and they care about your physical well being enough that they are willing to tell you the hard truth?  That maybe they are willing to help?

In fairness, there a good number of people who are so diametrically opposed to this movement that they are in favor of fat shaming.  Berating and belittling those who have this problem and buy in to the whole crappy fat acceptance movement, which I don't approve of either.

I simply submit that feelings are not the end all be all reasons for life the universe and everything.  I submit that if someone truly cares about you they are willing to breach the hard subject with you.  Not only that, but if it is a hard subject with you, it's just about a guarantee that you already know is is a problem and need to change.  So don't buy in to this bull-crap movement that simply makes you feel better about being unhealthy and defy those who obviously care about you.   Being a fat guy myself, I don't blame my present condition on anyone but myself.  It's not the fault of food, bad genes, parenting, advertising, or privilege that I'm overweight, it my fault and mine alone.  So suck it up and deal with the fact that you're fat and just admit that its your own damn fault, and/or motivate yourself and change it if it makes you that unhappy otherwise. 

What a weird week

It's just one of those odd times when I can't say it's a bad week and it aint a great week, it's just been kinda weird so far.  Lots out of the ordinary weird stuff going on.  So hold tight, I'll be posting another long winded pointless rant after I've had a chance to hear last night's Squirrel Report.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

the zombified radioactive cockroach of guns

They just keep turning up.

Behold the wonder that is the gun people just can't seem to let go of.  A gun that everyone thought died out with the third reich and only lived on in spirit through the AK is now turning up in every conceivable place known to man.  First they show up in the Syrian debauchery, then a couple show up in gun buybacks, and now we can see 'em roaming the breadbasket of Europe.  Every time I go to The Firearm Blog, I feel like I'm catching up on the National Inquirer's headlines as they search for sasquatch/alien Elvis/zombie Reagan/whatever the hell else.

I can only image where they're gonna end up next.  I can see the headline now, "drunken, in debt Nebraska farmer spots glowing STG-44 fall from sky, now charges admission to freakshow for locals interested in seeing the piece."