Archive for April, 2011

Oh, no, we don’t need any more border security!

April 30, 2011

No, sir, it’s just as secure as it can be and needs to be!

The visiting British pilots were training near a naval air station one night this month when their helicopter came within about 150 feet of an ultralight plane flying without lights. The ultralight darted away toward Mexico without a trace.

The near-disaster over the Southern California desert was an example of drug smugglers using low-flying aircraft that look like motorized hang gliders to circumvent new fences along the U.S. border with Mexico.

You all know what could be done with those rudimentary aircraft, don’t you? You’re all familiar with the good ole fuel-air explosive, yes?

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Sorry, but I had to say it…

April 30, 2011

Say what, you say? Well, in response to this

Consumer technology companies reporting financial results this week are looking like rowboats bobbing in the wake of Apple Inc.‘s supertanker.

Close to oblivion in 1997, Apple is now the world’s second-most valuable company, after Exxon Mobil Corp. On April 20, it reported net income of $5.99 billion for the January-to-March period, nearly double that of a year ago. It shipped a record 18.65 million iPhones during the quarter. Its iPad tablet computers are so popular, the company couldn’t make enough.

I know very well the old argument that “sales doesn’t equal quality.” But that works a lot better when arguing over such subjective things as music. Honestly, would people be buying so many Apple products if they were “wannabe toys” with no useful amount of functionality? Sure, they have their share of problems just like any other gadget. But my MacBook and iPod classic have both served me fine and continue to do so. So did my Windows computers when I had them. In fact, I very well might have bought another PC the last time I was in the market had I not heard about what a cluster-copulation Windows Vista (Microsoft’s latest OS at the time) was. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t understand Apple Derangement Syndrome, and I really don’t think I ever will.

Yeah, that’s pretty much the long and short of that.

April 29, 2011

Presented without comment…

I guess it just goes to show you…

April 29, 2011

…that violent crime can happen any time…

Two men were fatally shot and another injured Thursday afternoon in an apartment complex parking lot on the Northeast Side in what San Antonio police say might have been a botched drug deal.

A botched drug deal. But hey, drugs’r’bad, hmmkay? I don’t know how much the legalization of drugs would cut down on this sort of thing, but it’d be interesting to find out. I do wonder if the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence would say innocent bystanders who were caught in the gunfire and started shooting back were “asking for trouble”…

Thursday radio musings

April 28, 2011

Leslie T. Travis to Rowdy Yates, on her blog (emphasis mine — ed.):

I can’t wait to hear you doing what you do in an environment that will let you loose and do real radio again!

Weeeell, THAT says a lot, doesn’t it?

As for real radio, if it isn’t dead, it’s certainly on life support — at least certain aspects of it. They’ve been running a certain commercial on certain radio stations here in town (if I remember right I keep hearing the ad on KZEP, so it’s probably the Clear Channel stations) that touts terrestrial radio’s advantage of local connections. Which, to my ear, is a load of unmitigated horse shit, considering all the syndicated shows on music radio stations. It’s worse in certain places than others. For example, as far as I know KZEP here in San Antonio has at least a local show in the mornings; I think their only syndicated show is in the 7-to-midnight slot with Nikki Sixx and his gang. On the other hand, KYKR in Beaumont has syndicated shows both in the morning and the evening slots. And we haven’t even gotten to the whole voice-tracking phenomenon, which is used even in major markets like Houston — i.e., Uncle Nasty from KBPI in Denver, Colorado voice-tracking the 7-to-midnight show on the old Rock 101 KLOL in the last few years that station was on the air.

Yeah, I know — that sort of thing saves the companies money, which is important considering that radio isn’t nearly as profitable as it used to be — but terrestrial radio’s touting its offering of a local connection as an advantage still strikes me as getting closer and closer to false advertising every day.

Still not down with the whole Harry Potter thing…

April 28, 2011

…but this missive, seen in various corners of Algore’s intertubes, was too good not to share:

Why Harry Potter should have carried an M1911

Ok, this has been driving me crazy for seven movies now, and I know you’re going to roll your eyes, but hear me out: Harry Potter should have carried a 1911.

Here’s why:

Think about how quickly the entire WWWIII (Wizarding-World War III) would have ended if all of the good guys had simply armed up with good ol’ American hot lead.

Basilisk? Let’s see how tough it is when you shoot it with a .470 Nitro Express. Worried about its Medusa-gaze? Wear night vision goggles. The image is light-amplified and re-transmitted to your eyes. You aren’t looking at it–you’re looking at a picture of it.

Imagine how epic the first movie would be if Harry had put a breeching charge on the bathroom wall, flash-banged the hole, and then went in wearing NVGs and a Kevlar-weave stab-vest, carrying a SPAS-12.

And have you noticed that only Europe seems to a problem with Deatheaters? Maybe it’s because Americans have spent the last 200 years shooting deer, playing GTA: Vice City, and keeping an eye out for black helicopters over their compounds. Meanwhile, Brits have been cutting their steaks with spoons. Remember: gun-control means that Voldemort wins. God made wizards and God made muggles, but Samuel Colt made them equal.

Now I know what you’re going to say: “But a wizard could just disarm someone with a gun!” Yeah, well they can also disarm someone with a wand (as they do many times throughout the books/movies). But which is faster: saying a spell or pulling a trigger?

Avada Kedavra, meet Avtomat Kalashnikova.

Imagine Harry out in the woods, wearing his invisibility cloak, carrying a .50BMG Barrett, turning Deatheaters into pink mist, scratching a lightning bolt into his rifle stock for each kill. I don’t think Madam Pomfrey has any spells that can scrape your brains off of the trees and put you back together after something like that. Voldemort’s wand may be 13.5 inches with a Phoenix-feather core, but Harry’s would be 0.50 inches with a tungsten core. Let’s see Voldy wave his at 3,000 feet per second. Better hope you have some Essence of Dittany for that sucking chest wound.

I can see it now…Voldemort roaring with evil laughter and boasting to Harry that he can’t be killed, since he is protected by seven Horcruxes, only to have Harry give a crooked grin, flick his cigarette butt away, and deliver what would easily be the best one-liner in the entire series:

“Well then I guess it’s a good thing my 1911 holds 7+1.”

And that is why Harry Potter should have carried a 1911.

That riff was inspired by WHAT, again?

April 28, 2011

Oh, man, if I’d had a drink in my mouth I’d have spewed it when I got to this part of Gibson’s Kirk Hammett feature

The inspiration behind the “Enter Sandman” riff was … Soundgarden.

Hammett’s most famous riff might never have occurred had he not been a fan of Soundgarden. In a 2008 interview with Rolling Stone, he explained: “Soundgarden had just put out Louder Than Love. I was trying to capture their attitude toward big, heavy riffs. It was two o’clock in the morning. I put it on tape and didn’t think about it. When [drummer] Lars [Ulrich] heard the riff, he said, ‘That’s really great. But repeat the first part four times.’ It was that suggestion that made it even more hooky.”

That’s some funny shiz-nit, yo. Remember this? Chris Cornell insisted that Soundgarden wasn’t influenced by heavy metal AT ALL, but here we have the guitar player for one of the bands that pioneered thrash metal saying he was influenced by Soundgarden. Now, I know “Enter Sandman” might not exactly have been a thrash metal record, but “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” was, and it had that dark, foreboding riff there at the beginning just like “Enter Sandman” did. Like I told my buddy that posted that link on Facebook, I’m sure Chris Cornell’s head would explode if he heard the lead guitar player in one of the baddest-ass metal bands in the world was a fan of his band.

My friend replied, “He’d probably be even madder to find out that Bruce Dickinson thinks he’s a great metal singer.” Yes, indeed. It’d be fun to see which one of those would result in the more violent head explosion. 😉

Close the gun show loophole!

April 27, 2011

Or ban IED manufacturing in Mexico. Or something.

Federal agents are investigating an improvised explosive device found on a Texas highway near the Mexico border.

Offhand, I’d say, so much for that whole Americans-not-being-affected-by-Mexican-cartel-wars thing. Granted, there’s no documented proof that the aforementioned explosive was built and/or planted by anyone with the cartels, but who else could it have come from?

Quote of the day…

April 26, 2011

…right here:

Country music hates itself more than San Antonio does.

Yep, that’s about right. I never would have thought of that. One more reason I married her. 😉

Who are the stupid ones, again?

April 26, 2011

I don’t think it’s the residents of San Antonio

I’m beginning to put more credence in America’s smartest cities list, which last year ranked San Antonio 53rd out of 55 U.S. cities.

How else to explain the number of DUI cases in the six weeks since Officer Stephanie Brown was killed by a drunk driver?

I remember this list being discussed but didn’t pay much attention to it at the time, so I did a Google search. And guess what came up as the top search result? Note that URL — thedailybeast.com. Now, if you’ll remember, The Daily Beast is the Web publication that employs such intellectual heavy-hitters as Chris Buckley and Meghan McCain. Okay, right, so I still forged ahead, thinking that maybe this list would have some sort of credibility.

As you might imagine, I was at best nonplussed. What were the criteria? Book sales, number of institutions of higher learning, number of residents with college degrees, and number of eligible voters who voted in the last presidential election.

What’s wrong with this? Plenty. But just so this isn’t a novel-length blog post:

• Nonfiction books? I’m guessing Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock count as nonfiction? Surely you see the problem there, no?

• Institutions of higher learning? More specific to San Antonio, I’m sure our fair city ranked pretty high on the list, with UTSA, the University of the Incarnate Word, and Our Lady of the Lake University (and per Sabra in comments, the ACCD (which has the best math department in the state, not too shabby for a community college district), Trinity University, and now A&M. And St. Mary’s University). But even so this leads to the next criterion…

• Number of people with college degrees? Sorry, but it’s already been established that having a college degree doesn’t necessarily make you smart. This is going to be even more true in the coming years, as the K-12 establishment attempts to steer even more people into four-year degree programs that they are not best-suited for.

• Number of eligible voters who voted in the last presidential election? So, thinking the choice between the douche and the turd sandwich is no choice at all and acting accordingly makes one, ah, less intelligent? (Full disclosure: I actually did vote. For Sarah Palin and that jackass who was her running mate, what’s his name…McBain…McHain…McVain…oh, fuck it.)

I don’t know what to chalk that letter to the editor up as, other than yet more self-loathing that San Antonians seem to be legendary for in some circles. Even so, it’s incredibly asinine — stupid, even — to call 99.9999 percent of the population of this city stupid for the actions of that other .0001 percent.