Thursday, April 29, 2010

THOR'S DAY RANT: Avoid Danger!

My in-laws have this annoying habit of endangering themselves on a fairly regular basis. I'm not just talking about how they refuse to lock the door to their home during the day- despite there having been cases of criminals barging into homes and attacking people in their town. No, I'm talking about how they dash outside when they hear loud noises. Or sit on the porch to watch for tornados during Warnings. Or how when they hear there's a big fire, they get in their truck to go for a drive and take a look.

I like to say that my in-laws are the same people that Godzilla steps on in his movies. You know the ones. While all of Tokyo is running for their lives, these fools stop, turn toward the camera, point a finger and yell "Gojira!" Then a building falls on them. Or they get stepped on.

"Curiosity killed the cat" does apply to people. And not just my in-laws.

Just yesterday, I was reading an article about a shooting in our town. The police were called to a park where a shirtless man was walking around, pointing a gun at people as they drove past. The police responded and ended up having to shoot the man when he pointed his gun at them.

What really struck me as ignorant in this article, was the neighbor who walked outside to see why the police were at his nearby park. He sees the gunman, goes inside and tells his wife to take the baby and go to the basement. Then neighbor goes back outside to watch some more.

Folks, bullets can travel a really long distance. When they hit glass, or even bodies, they can continue to travel. They don't fly a few feet and drop to the ground like a baseball.

More importantly, bullets go where they are pointed- which is not always where the gun wielder was aiming.

When I was in the Air Force, this fact was hammered into us. We were told to never, ever discharge our weapons in the direction of the very-expensive aircraft. Especially our M-16s, which have an effective range of almost 400 meters (over 1200 feet and that fire a round that can punch through concrete blocks.

If you see the police with their guns out, or some criminal waving a gun around, don't just stand there looking. Take cover.

Which brings up a very important issue the movies are always getting wrong. About cover.

"Cover" means something that will protect you. "Concealment" is something that hides you. A bush will not stop a bullet. It might hide you, but if a bullet is accidentally fired (possibly through poor aim or random accident), it will go right through that bush. Similarly, car doors, couches, windows, etc will not stop bullets. Even human bodies don't stop all bullets.

It is very important to seek cover, or get the hell away. Don't stand there waiting for Godzilla to step on you. Seek cover. Run away.

Don't Forget Free Comic Book Day!

Don't forget, you can get your kids reading- at least a comic book- this Saturday, May 1, 2010.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

THOR'S DAY RANT: The Earth is NOT Your Mother

Well, here we are again: Earth Day. When a bunch of tree-hugging imbeciles suffering from cosmic napolean complexes showcase their delusions of global-impacting grandeur.
Hey, Hippies, if you want to skip baths, stroll around barefoot and smoke weed while looking for trees (or whales) to hump, that's fine. But stop trying to convince me it will amount to anything. Moreover, please stop declaring our planet "Mother Earth". Did the Earth uncomfortably carry you around for nine months, then go through intense pain to squeeze you out an opening that on first inspection seemed woefully small for the task?
Do you call your house, Mother House? Do you call you state, Mother State? Just because you live on this planet (and trust me, I am not thrilled about you being here) doesn't make the Earth your parent. I'd bet money if the Earth were a living thing (instead of being covered with them) it would be quite embarrassed by you. It wouldn't put your picture out for the other planets to see. It wouldn't brag about you at galactic bingo. It'd talk about your successful corporate brother- the one with the big Audi, expensive suits and key to the executive washroom.
Stop calling it "Mother Earth". It's an insult to your own mother. Who has her own holiday.
I refuse to celebrate "Earth Day". Instead, I'm going to celebrate "Jelly Bean Day". Makes more sense.
Don't get me wrong, I live here on the Earth, and like the crying indian of the '70s, I'm all against pollution. Because I don't like to see or smell it. But I fully realize that we humans are about as threatening to the earth as a grain of sand is to the moon.
Think about it- assuming you can put down the weed long enough for your brain cells to fire up again. The Earth is 12,000 miles in diameter. It is believed to weigh 5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg. I say believed, because there isn't a scale big enough to really weigh the Earth.
In comparison, the average human is between 5 and 6 feet tall- basically 1/1000 of a mile. The average human weighs between 54 and 73 kg. Assuming the numbers are right, there are 6,816,300,000 people in the world. That's about 436,243,200,000 kg (average weight of 64 kg X population). Or 1/13,693,279,355,099 of the Earth's mass. That's right. All of mankind is about 13 trillionths the size of Earth. But we can affect the Earth. Riiiiiiiight.
Let's hold off on the argument about whether people can affect the Earth for a minute. Let's look at some other hippie causes in the past.
Communism. Karl Marx invented it- the preferred hippy form of government, where everyone is treated equally, no one is expected to excel, and no one gets to own anything. The Russians put it to practical use- forming the Soviet Union. I'm sorry, the FORMER Soviet Union. Hitler tried using the watered-down form of socialism, Nazism. Didn't work so swell for him, or Germany, either. B. Hussein Obama is trying Socialism in the U.S. right now. And his approval rating is plummeting daily.
Saving the rainforest. Funny how in the 1970s, they were predicting Brazil would be a desert by now. Funnier still that archaeologists have since discovered that the Amazon wasn't always a thick jungle. There was actually a civilization there with canals, roads and huge tracts of clear cut areas for farming.
Saving the Whales. Spend boo-coo bucks on an Earth-friendly ship and try to use it to block Japanese whalers. Result: the whalers rammed the boat, knocking a large portion of it off and sinking it. Whaling continues. And so do the whales, coincidentally.
See, the hippy track record just doesn't impress me. There are no successes. And since I know the Earth isn't my mother- more of where I keep my stuff- I'm not too concerned about going green. In fact, my answer to all this Earth Day nonsense is:
Revelations 21:1 "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."
That's right- the ultimate recycling. After Judgement Day, God is going to recycle the Earth, providing us a fresh, new clean, and hopefully, hippy-free world to live on.
So hippies, have some Jelly Beans and shut up allready.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dear, Taco Bell,

I must compliment the Veteran's Parkway, Clarksville, IN, Taco Bell as the best frickin' fast food restaurant EVER.

I am 42 years old, and grew up eating fast food- it being just my dad and I. Now with kids, I find myself driving thru way too often. I have eaten a LOT of fast food in my life. I'm like an expert on it.

And I have to say, in all my 42 years, I have NEVER had the level of service I got at your Clarksville, IN store.

See, the lady there started to hand me our order, stopped, looked in the bag and yelled back to the kitchen- "Hold on! I'm missing something here!"

That's right- not only did she check our order, she CORRECTED it! And apologized.

Clearly, this gal doesn't belong in any drivethru. She needs to go to Taco Bell's fast food academy or something. Or maybe be an executive in your company.

I personally hate Taco Bell's food- my wife loves it. But service like that could get me to start eating more than the caramel apple empanadas.

Congratulations on your amazing luck at employing someone who actually takes pride in a good work ethic!

Viva Taco Bell!

Monday, April 19, 2010

HAMMERS: Not Good for De-Icing

It's a classic American fixit method: hitting stuff.
Remember when we had analog TVs and the picture would go out, or get all weird? You'd smack your TV until the picture came back.
Electric, handheld appliance (drill, blender, toaster) not working. Smack it. Maybe the electric contacts will work.
Batteries in your flashlight failing? Smack the bottom- watch the light flicker and get brighter.
Car won't start, and you're going to be late for work? Pummel the dash several times, cursing.
In our modern digital age, the whacking method doesn't work so well. Things are delicate. Look at Amazon's Kindle- falls can break them. Or take cellphones that a little rain can ruin. But despite all the advances in delicate machinery, there was one thing that remained robust, and worthy of a pounding: the refrigerator. Like the mini, dorm-sized one I had in my basement, stocked with cold drinks for my movie marathons and video gaming sessions.
It was a great little fridge. Despite the fact the kids never bothered to close the door all the way, it still kept working. Oh, and frosting up quite a bit. Like over an inch of ice. To the point the door wouldn't close all the way.
So there I was, tired, ready to go to bed, and now I had to fix the mini fridge. In the past I did my emergency de-icing with a pair of pliers- carefully breaking off pieces of ice that blocked the door. But this time, I saw my hammer. My claw hammer.
I mean, it was right there. Laying out from a project earlier in the day. Taunting me.
Thinking about it, I remembered that once I completely de-iced a freezer on a full-sized fridge with a hammer and screwdriver- carefully tapping away at the ice like a paleontologist excavating fossils. Hmmm... any screwdrivers nearby? Nope- just that  punch I had been using earlier. Well heck, a punch is like an icepick with a screwdriver handle. That'll work.
Oh, it worked all right.
It blasted through that ice no problem. Even tap-tap-tapping, it was slicing through the ice pretty easily. Too easily. Then it hit the aluminum conduit on the mini fridge's freezer. Pffssssss!
No more freon.
No more mini-fridge.
No more cool drinks during movies.
Dammit. There's an $80 to $100 mistake.
The moral of this story is two-fold...
1. Close the door to the fridge, to prevent icing.
2. Time, not hammers, is the best way to defrost your fridge. Time spent with the door open, exposing frost to room temperature.