Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bent over by Bloomington, at the behest of a mall.

Speakers urge megamall support in Bloomington Chamber of Commerce appearance; MOA's owners appeal for public funding

Bill Griffith, attorney for the mall, said the project has come close to approval but has fallen short in the past three legislative sessions. Time is running short, he said.

"If we can't make the case in three years we won't be back for a fourth," Griffith said.

If the plan can't win legislative approval, Griffith said, the land set aside for Phase II will still be developed. But "big box" retail outlets would probably occupy it, he said.

"It won't be anything that helps all boats rise," Bausch said.

She said public contribution is easily justified in view of the $50 million in state and local taxes the mall generates annually. If the mall is expanded to existing proposals, that figure would increase to $80 million, Bausch said. The mall takes in $1 billion in revenue annually, she said.

Jackass, the plan failed, because, for the last 3 legislative sessions, the legislature has held, at least in this case, that assessing taxes from the citizenry to solely benefit a private enterprise is theft. Your mall should sink or swim on its own merits, not beg money from the state. If your business is worth it, funding should be a non-issue.

Here is what is actually being proposed:
Using what would have gone into the fiscal-disparities state pool to instead fund a parking ramp, which would be owned by Bloomington.

Transferring some land from a TIF district that expires in 2015 to one that expires in 2018.

Authorizing Bloomington to impose local sales taxes on lodging, admissions and recreation, food and beverages and a general sales tax of one percent on the mall.

Mall representatives said more than 80 percent of the cost would be covered by private money, but that at least 17 percent of the project must be public for the project to be viable. The expansion would draw new jobs and tourists to the state, boosting the local economy, proponents said.
The first point is a matter of redistributing the wealth of one city to another. "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need". The only part that bothers me is that Bloomington is asking for special treatment. Get rid of the socialist tax pool, instead of asking for an exemption.

Point number 3 is the sticking point. Taking money at gunpoint from people who have no stake in the mall, who will see no net benefit from the expansion, to give it to private enterprise to improve their bottom line. If the business is worth it, it can fund the expansion itself. Stop screwing me.

The 4th point is utter bullshit. The project is viable without public funding. You want to take public funding to improve your profit margin. That is theft, and more than enough reason to stop shopping in Bloomington, and to never, ever set foot in the Monstrosity Mall again.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Champions of Vydor

For those who are interested(both of you), Champions of Vydor is now available here. That is the database, the server vault, the ini files and the latest module.

The hard drive in the game server is deaddeaddead, so it won't be coming back up.

For those with ill intentions, the database lived on the game server, which is dead.

For those with no clue as to what I am talking about, Vydor is a module for Neverwinter Nights, a MMORPG I used to run. If I've confused you, then you wouldn't be interested, anyway.

Traffic Analysis

Apparently, posting a picture of Mila Kunis is a wonderful way to boost my traffic.

Marketing idiots

Microsoft is stupid.

Logitech is stupid.

For the past few years, I have used exactly one style of mouse on a regular basis, for all of my computing needs. I use a Microsoft Trackball Optical 1.0. It is ergonomic, comfortable and reliable. I have one at work, one in my office, and had one for my laptop. Two or three months ago, my dog ate the cord for one of my three babies. Now, I find out that the only place stocking this wonderful mouse is charging $65 for it. That's more than I paid for all three of mine. The active auctions on ebay are pushing $100 each and more than 70 bids. Yet Microsoft won't bring this gem back on the market.

Logitech has a similar offering. It's the Trackman Wheel. This is currently the only thumb-operated, desk-based trackball that I am aware of. Superficially, it is very similar to the Trackball Optical, but the main buttons on this piece of garbage are skewed at an awkward, carpal-tunnel-inducing angle. There is not a single thumb-operated, desk-based trackball on the market with the buttons set in parallel to the thumb angle.

Both Logitech and Microsoft used to offer functional trackballs in a useful configuration, but neither do now. Logitech used to offer the Trackman Marble, which was similar to the Trackball Optical, except it had a third button in place of the scroll wheel. This gem is going to $200.

There is a serious demand for a trackball in a natural configuration, but nobody is making it. Why?

Friday, April 25, 2008

5 Hottest FHM Women

Taking a page from Kim:
Using ONLY the FHM Top 100 List (below the fold), pick your own top 5, and list them in Comments, in descending order of preference/delectability.
Here's the list, with links to pictures of the women.

Here are my answers:
1. Kate Beckinsale

2. Elisha Cuthbert

3. Angelina Jolie

4. Charlize Theron

5. Mila Kunis

It would be rude to forget the runners-up.

Megan Fox - Her role in Transformers was....yummy.
Summer Glau - I've never craved carnal knowledge of a machine until the Sarah Connor Chronicles
Alyssa Milano - I've had a crush on her for at least 20 years
Natalie Portman - Luke Skywalker's mom? Oh, yes.
Keira Knightly - She's bony too often, but when she let's herself fill out a bit, watch out.

I feel gypped

I distinctly remember being promised global warming. It's almost freaking May!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vote Tracker

MPR has a great service. They have a website with every legislator and their voting record, in an easy to read, easy to search format.

Minneapolis 4th Precinct Highlights

I don't even know what to say about this, but it sure kicked over my giggle box:
A female, the former girlfriend of the victim’s baby’s dad, pointed a gun at the victim and her children while driving down Lowry. Suspect was located at her home.

Don't go for rides with strangers. There were planning to kill this guy for $125.
Victim said he was picked up by an unknown female in South Minneapolis and when they arrived here an unknown male who’d been hiding in the van grabbed him, put a gun to his neck and $125 and ID from his pocket. When the victim jumped out of the van and fled the suspect fired at him three times.


I think I'm going to take boxing lessons.

It's been a long(long) time since I've been in a fight, so it isn't about that. I just want to be able to box.


This MP3 player is built into a standard cassette tape, letting you use it as either a uniquely old-school-style MP3 player, or with any car cassette or cassette player to play your music. You will have no problems listening to hours of your favorite songs via the built-in SD card slot, and you can easily change to different songs if you have multiple SD Cards. If you are into retro style looks but with a new technology upgrade, this is a MP3 player worth adding to your gear.

Ebay Marketing Genius

No comment.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Candidate Selection Criteria

or, Quote of the Day

You have to pick a baseline of disappointment and then vote on how the candidate differs from the baseline. For example...

Candidate A: Does not stand for anything I believe in.
Candidate B: Does not stand for anything I believe in and will kick me in the junk.

Well, the choice is clear.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Tax Refund

It's nice that the media has finally noticed that tax refunds aren't free money and has deigned to inform the plebes.
The IRS is not Santa Claus, and your tax refund is not a gift. Your tax refund is really a return of your money with no interest.

Tattoos for beer?

How much of an immature, frat-boy punk POS do you have to be to get a bar logo tattooed on your ass in exchange for free beer?

That's not something he's going to regret when he's standing in front of a crowd of people saying, "Hello, my name is Weston King, and I'm an alcoholic."

And the picture proves it. He's a wimp, to boot.

The "Must-Have" Gun Accessory

Mountain Dew kills my accuracy.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ice Cube's Image....Inspiring?

An image of Ice Cube in a glass hospital window has convinced one man that his wife's life isn't worth living, and reduced sick music aficionados to tears.
Cruzada, who was one of several viewers to send an e-mail about the image to, said his ex-wife was recently diagnosed with stage-3 cancer.

"This was just a sign for me to not worry about what is going on in my life and that everything else is under control," Cruzada said. "It was an enlightening experience."

Denial, the new cure for cancer. Denis Leary would be proud.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Modern Flirting

As a father with only a few years to go before my kids start looking for more in the opposite sex than cooties, this is a troubling trend.
— Forget about passing notes in study hall; some teens are now using their cell phones to flirt and send nude pictures of themselves.

Girls, if you act like a whore, you will be treated like a whore. If you demand to be treated like a lady, you will, by and large, be treated as such. The cads, punks, and thugs want you to spread your legs. The decent guys want a relationship. Demanding proper treatment will weed out the first, leaving the second group for your review.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Glasses Update

Update to this post.

I got both pairs of glasses in about 2 weeks. One regular pair, and one pair of sunglasses, both with bendy frames.

Unfortunately, the regular glasses had the lenses ground incorrectly. Apparently, the focal point was off. This was causing a 'ripple' effect in my peripheral vision, made my feet seem to far away(which made for occasionally interesting episodes on various staircases), and left me with a fair amount of eye strain, which got worse if I tried taking of my glasses to read.

So I emailed Goggles4U.

This is there response:
We are fully responsible to resolve this matter in best possible manner.

We would like to immediate send you a replacement pair. For this, please select two new frames and forward us the product code by return email and we will produce and send you one replacement pair ASAP.

In less than 2 weeks, I had the replacement pair. There was no hesitation, no quibbling, just good customer service. That's approximately $25 for a pair of glasses with the UV and anti-scratch coating, bendy frames, a hard glasses case, and excellent customer service.

I will not hesitate to buy from them again, or recommend them to my friends.

Here's the link:

Friday, April 11, 2008

My Vow

I was reading this article and the associated comments. The article, for the benefit of the lazy, was about a recent home invasion and the comments discussed potential vs proper responses to violent thugs breaking into your house.

In the invasion in question, the phone line was out, probably cut. The police, therefore, were not coming.

This comment was made:
dont forget even those 'old' cell phones that are turned off (no service plan), can still be used to dial 911. Keep one in the bedroom on the charger. Hear the perp break down the door, dial 911 drop the phone, grab the gun.. and very loudly yell for the intruder to leave or they will be shot, that 911 recording will make for a good defense in court.

The response, by someone calling himself(or herself) 'Rational Radical', was this:
Maybe, but how will your soul feel when you found out you just blasted a teenager that is starving.

A timely(unfortunately) posting on Kim's site, quoting this article prompted my response in a discussion on another site:
Better than my soul would feel if some feral teenager raped my wife before strangling her, then raped my daughters before burning them alive, while I'm bound and trying to squirm to the neighbor's house for help.

To be perfectly clear: I did not invent that. It happened, in the NY Times article linked above.

You may want to stop reading. The details make me want to do unpleasant things to criminals. The details keep me awake at night, every time I hear the story. The details make me weep.

Last August, two feral thugs in Connecticut broke into a family's home. They tied up the entire family. The raped and strangled the mother, then raped and burned the daughters alive to hide DNA evidence.

I told you that, I put you through that horrible experience, so I could tell you this:
I swear this, on my life, my freedom, and my honor: Evil like this will not touch my family while I draw breath.

I will shoot, stab, kick, scratch, paw or otherwise destroy, anyone trying to harm my family, without reservation.

I do not care if the feral thug in my living room is starving. I don't care if he's stealing my television to feed his starving kids. I don't care why he is my home. I have to assume, for my family's safety, that he is there to do us harm.

Another man's poverty, another man's addiction, another man's unfortunate lot in life, is not enough for me to surrender my life, or that of my family. It is not enough to cause me to subject my family to any form of torture or terror.

If you come near my family with intent to do harm, I will come at you with everything I have. I will fight you with my dying breath, and if you manage to overcome me, I will do my best to rend your soul.

There is nothing that I won't do to keep that terror out of the hearts of my children.

You have been warned.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

News Roundup

State Senate disapproves of a free market.
The Minnesota Senate backs a ban on software used by ticket brokers to jump in line and buy up blocks of concert tickets.

Because it, of course, wouldn't be fair. Fair is a myth, folks.

Rapist gets warm fuzzy from the court system.
A Rochester man convicted of raping three different women has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Rapists, especially the serial variety, should be sentenced as follows:
1. Nail the fun bits to the floor of a shed.
2. Proved scumbag with a rusty axe.
3. Set the shed on fire.

After that treatment, I'm pretty sure recidivism isn't an issue.

Child molester gets a hug from the court system.
VIRGINIA, Minn. (AP) ― An Eveleth man was sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually assaulting a boy in a school bathroom.

Molesting a child.
Molesting a child where they are supposed to be protected by the government.

The possibility of ever seeing daylight as a free man should be denied to this freak. I hope he dies in prison from fissures created when he receives his 'just desserts' from Ms. Bubba over the next 8 years.

If it was my son, he'd be begging to be allowed into prison. He would not want to be near me. If you molest my son, I will make the shed treatment look like a BJ over breakfast.

Jim Ramstad doesn't approve of voter expectations.
Two area state legislators should not have been punished for parting company with Republican Party powers over a transportation bill, U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad said in Bloomington Friday.

"That is just plain wrong," Ramstad said at a town meeting at Bloomington City Hall.

Ramstad, who is not seeking re-election, said he was shocked at the rebuke issued to State Reps. Neil Peterson and Ron Ehardt after they voted to pass the bill and then to override a veto by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Peterson, who represents House District 41B, and Erhardt, District 41A, lost committee chairmanships after they cast their votes in February. Later, both were denied their party's endorsement for re-election.

Mr. Ramstad, I understand you stopped pretending to be a conservative a long time ago. Your liberalism allows you to interpret reality in any way you wish, so I'm sure you will miss my point.

They were denied the party endorsement by the caucus system! That means, for those unfamiliar with the process, that the delegates elected by the voters decided they weren't worthy of calling themselves Republicans. The VOTERS and their DELEGATES decided to banish these wallet-rapists from the party, NOT the Republican machine.
Ramstad said both men voted their conscience and should not have lost their committee leadership assignments.

Both men voted their politically expedient option, abandoning conservative principals and betraying their constituents. When people elect a Republican, they expect certain behaviors. That's not 'bowing to the party', that's called 'keeping your word'. Interesting concept, huh?
Ramstad is chief Republican author of the Climate Stewardship Act, which aims to reduce greenhouse gases and deal with global warming.

Damn. I was hoping you'd have a grasp of reality and possibly some critical thinking skills. Unfortunately, you drank the AGW(Anthropomorphic Global Warming) kool-aid.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Big City Disasters

A downtown tornado? It could happen

The article doesn't say what could happen or what would happen. It's purely a scaremongering piece and openly admits that.

However, in the spirit of scaremongering, what would happen if a tornado rolled through North Minneapolis? Where would those people go, and what would they do when they got there?

What would happen in a natural disaster hit your local ghetto-ish area? Remember Katrina?

Rules for the Police

Via LawDog, I bring you The Peelian Principles, which are considered to be the basic foundation for all modern policing:

1) The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.

2) The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.

3) Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

4) The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

5) Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

6) Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.

7) Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

8) Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

9) The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.
On my way to work this morning, I saw a woman with a bumper sticker of a peace symbol. Peace is a decent ideal, as long as it is tempered with an understanding of the reality of human behavior. Millions of years of evolution aren't going to be overcome by 50 years of smoking pot.

Next to it was a "loving kindness" sticker. This reads "Loving kindness is my religion". Loving kindness is only a religion in the sense that there is an imaginary entity who doesn't really do anything to effect change in the world, but has some seemingly impossible standards for people to live up to, and has somehow managed to convince people to ostracize and attack anybody who doesn't live up to those standards. Hell of a hook to hang a religion on.

I wonder how she would react to being handed a "W" sticker. My guess is her reaction would be closer to "bitchy assault" than "loving kindness.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Domestic Burglary

What a domestic crime.
300 blk 17th St NE:

Officers responded to burglary; homeowner returned home to find backdoor which he had locked now open, window near door broken, in kitchen noticed stove had been used to make food, drawers open, called 911; officer found 2 suspects in victim’s bedroom, naked in bed: Arrested/ BURGLARY

Precinct investigating

Ick. Coming home to find a break-in is bad enough. To find out the burglars pretended your stuff was there stuff, cooking food and having sex in your bed....ish.

The Future is Now

This little guy weighs 235 pounds, can carry 340 pounds, is better at walking through ice and snow than I am. He can climb cinderblocks, jump more than his body length, and makes an annoying humming sound.

Say hello to BigDog:

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I want to buy a deep-fryer.

I want to wrap a Slider in bacon, dip it in beer batter, and deep fry it. How can that not taste good?

And I'm not the only one.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sales Tax, the Update

Courtesy of Minnesota Majority, we have the Hennepin County commissioner votes.
# In Hennepin county, Peter McLaughlin championed the transit-tax cause, joined by Opat, Stenglein, Dorfman and Koblick. Randy Johnson and Penny Steele opposed, but the tax increase was passed 5-2.
Let's compare to the voting record from August 2006, when they decided to inflict a stadium on us:
The vote was four to three, with Commissioners Mike Opat, Mark Stenglein, Peter McLaughlin and Randy Johnson voting in favor, and Commissioners Gail Dorfman, Linda Koblick and Penny Steele voting against the ordinance.
Voting "No" both times: Penny Steele. Ms. Steele needs to be re-elected forever.

Voting "Yes" both times: Mike Opat, Mark Stenglein, and Peter McLaughlin. *

In favor of a tax to benefit sports-team owners, but against a tax to benefit transit contractors: Randy Johnson

Opposed to giving rich baseball players free money, while approving of taking my money to benefit the minority who work downtown: Linda Koblick

Mr. Johnson and Ms. Koblick need to have their constituents ask about their consistency. Taxes to benefit a minority are never right.

*Rope, tree, politician. Some assembly required.**

**No, I'm not serious. I wouldn't grieve, but I'm not condoning or even suggesting the hanging of these thieves.

Sales Tax

3 Metro Counties OK Sales Tax Hike
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) ― Hennepin, Dakota and Washington counties have joined the list of metro counties that will raise their sales taxes in July to pay for transit projects, but Scott County won't.

The Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington county boards voted Tuesday to adopt the higher sales taxes, while the Scott County Board rejected the proposal.

That's two years in a row the jackasses in the legislature and the thieves on the HennCo board has decided to steal my money to benefit a tiny percentage of their constituents.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Fallacy of Fair

From Chris.

In this life, you get what you're given, what you earn, what you make, or what you take.

Fair is for board games. In the real world, you have to work for what you want.