Southern Man

Monday, August 26, 2013

Busy Busy Busy

What a hectic two weeks it has been...way too busy to blog. Way to busy to take care of matters out at The Land, for that matter - the mower broke three weeks ago and Southern Man hasn't even had time to unbox the new one. But Teen Daughter was here for the weekend and she dug the camera out so thanks to here there are actually photos to post.

Southern Man met up with Southern Ex at Pops, the iconic restaurant on Old Route 66 northeast of Southern City, for the transfer.

Why, yes, there is a geocache hidden at the base of the big soda bottle sculpture. Photo from Flickr.

We then headed to a trampoline park where Teen Daughter had a great time and finally wound our way to the Ancestral Manor where she would bunk for the weekend.

The next day we ran errands...

The Hyundai gets an oil change...

...and a much-needed shower.

We watched movies out at The Trailer and she took pictures...

How did that one get in here?

She spent her accumulated allowance on a used iPod (yes, she spent twice as much as she would have on a new no-brand player, but Teenage Daughters are fussy about such things) and we spent the evening downloading music. And Southern Man was once again forced to deal with the abomination that is iTunes. Bleah. Not to mention that the battery in that used iPod lasts about ten minutes so Southern Man will be doing a battery swap one of these days.

Sadly the weekend went by all too quickly and it was time to make the two-hour drive to her mother's house, but with all that new music on the iPod to entertain us...

Southern Mother and Teen Daughter. Beautiful, aren't they?

And of course after dropping her off there was more geocaching.

Southern Man would love to have some big rocks like this out at The Land...

...not to mention a lovely stone and iron fence like this one.

The last two weeks have gone by without much of a break at all. Now things ought to slow down a bit. Four day holiday weekend coming up! Of course the grass is three feet high... Lord, thank you for all of the wonderful things in my life. Amen.

Friday, August 16, 2013

I Will Not Be Silent

You've all heard the meme: They came for the whatever, and I said nothing.

I have been silent for too long. I've been silent because I work in a field where my views are not welcome and I needed my job. I've been silent because I fear the power of the mightiest government ever known. I've been silent for fear of offending those around me. I've been silent because it's safer to be silent than to speak up.

I will no longer be silent.

I will not be silent because Bengazi.

I will not be silent because Fast and Furious.

I will not be silent because IRS auditing based on political affiliation.

It irks me to no end that any one of the above under a Republican president would have the entire MSM screaming for impeachment. But with a black Democrat in the big chair? Crickets.

I will not be silent while the government illegally spies on its own citizens.

I will not be silent when a rodeo clown cannot mock the King.

I will not be silent when the government nationalizes a seventh of the economy and put my health care in the hands of government bureaucrats, and then exempts themselves from its requirements.

I will note be silent when a historic US flag is denounced as a symbol of terrorism.

I will not be silent while the greatest governing document in the history of civilization is dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.

I will not be silent while any reasoned argument or protest against our government's policies is denounced as rascism or extremism.

I will not be silent while those who claim to speak for me - including the worst political class and the worst journalistic class in the history of our nation - are openly ashamed of my country.

I will not be silent while the government continues to destroy what was once the greatest educational system in the world.

I will not be silent while the government continues to destroy what was once the most productive economy in the world.

I will not be silent while the government continues to run up trillions of dollars in debt that can never be repaid.

I will not be silent while the government continues to erode our essential liberties in the name of security.

I will not be silent while an increasingly-militarized police force can sieze your property and keep it without ever charging you with a crime.

I will not be silent while the government regulates with whom consenting adults can associate, what they do their own bedrooms, or what they grow in their own back yard.

I will not be silent while the government continues to attack those who hold that free enterprise and hard work are the keys to wealth.

I will not be silent while political correctness is more important than truth.

I will not be silent while my choice of worship is publicly denounced as "religious extremism" while actual extremists are celebrated.

I will not be silent while the wholesale murder of unborn children remains the law of the land.

I will not be silent while fewer and fewer do the work and pay the taxes, and more and more grab all the handouts.

I will not be silent while we have the most corrupt and fraud-prone voting system in the free world.

I will not be silent because it's my business to decide when I've made enough money.

I will not be silent because I did build that.

I will not be silent because I have children and may one day have grandchildren and I want them to grow up in a great country.

Inspired by this post by Sarah Hoyt.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Movie Review - Pacific Rim

Southern Man gets the feeling that he's going to be posting a whole series of scathing review on the upcoming crop of sci-fi movies. He already knows that Elysium is awful and he has a very bad feeling about Ender's Game but we'll kick it off with the CGI-laden atrocity that is Pacific Rim.

The plot is intriguing: alien beasts (called Kaijus in the film) from another dimension invade not from the stars but through an interdimsensional portal at the floor of the Pacific Ocean. They are large and ill-tempered and have the annoying habit of rampaging Godzilla-like (but without Godzilla's charm or occasional redeaming features) through whatever coastal city they encounter.

Now Southern Man will point out the golden rule of storytelling: once you have your premise (unbelievable or not) the rest of your story must be consistent with a world in which that premise is true. It is here that Pacific Rim fails, and fails miserably. And the first failure is the beleagured human's choices of defense: high coastal walls around vulnerable cities and enormous robot war machines called Jaegers.

Bzzzt. Wrong. When alien beasts emerge from the middle of the Pacific you do not watch for days as they swim for shore and bash their way through your walls. You nuke the hell out of them. And as soon as you figure out what's going on you station, oh, five or six aircraft carriers a hundred miles from the entry point and nuke 'em as soon as they emerge. Every time. Eventually, they'd figure out that Earth was not a very friendly place and move on. There were any number of instances where a well-placed tactical nuke would solve the immediate problem.

It turns out that the monsters are biological creatures that, while immense and strong, are vulnerable to physical damage. So rather than engage them from a distance with the aforementioned nukes or, if that's inconvenient, several helicopters with anti-tank missiles, the humans instead battle them mano e mano with their giant Jaeger robots.

Which are armed with giant swords.

Why, no, that robot doesn't look one bit like Iron Man. Not at all. Please don't sue us.

Now all of this looks absolutely terrific. The monsters and the robots are all exceedingly cool and there's plenty of interesting plot, like the requirement that the robots require two mentally-linked pilots (a subplot revolves around finding a suitable co-pilot for the protagonist, and in another a scientist links with a Kaiju brain and thereby gains valuable plot-saving intel to go along with his bloodshot eye and psychic nosebleed) and there is the usual love interest and plenty of absolutely epic property damage. But there is nothing new here; while quite the homage to giant robots and monsters this is just a big senseless action flick. Other reviewers have noted the awful dialog and lack of chemistry among the actors. It is in Southern Man's nature to note the usual Hollywood defiance of the basic laws of physics; for example, in several scenes the enormous Jaegers are impossibly transported by a handful of helicopters. For whatever reason Pacific Rim is getting fair reviews. It shouldn't. Save this one for a rainy night and a free RedBox code. And have plenty of popcorn!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Back To School

With the end of summer classes last week was Summer Vacation. It went by fast and was spent mostly playing with Teen Daughter. She and a truckload of furniture went back to her mom on Saturday, which was uneventful except for the blowout on the Interstate. Sunday Southern Man and The Titan helped a friend move. The first part of this week was spent cursing at the lawn mower and doing yard work and other outdoor projects and today kicks off three days of eight-to-five meetings. That is all for now. Normal photo-shooting and blogging may resume this weekend, maybe.