Access to die for.

Feb 25, 2006 | | 0 comments |

If you're into planes (and I am) and you've got friends in the right place (which I do), you can get access to airports the likes of which the average planespotter can only dream of. After doing some data collection on friday for work, the guy escorting me airside at KSLC took me out to the hold point at runway 34R, from where I was pretty much on top of the aircraft. Most of these photos were taken moments before being power sanded with a mixture of dirt, sand and gravel in the jetwash of the aircraft.
A posing 767....

Literally under the wing as it taxis on to the runway...

And even a thumbs-up from some cool Southwest pilots...

Three cheers for Stanislav Petrov.

Feb 24, 2006 | | 0 comments |

After all, 23 years ago he saved your life. Or if you're younger than 23, he allowed you to be conceived. It's a sad world where someone like this now lives so far below the poverty line that he's nearly dying of starvation.
Stanislav Petrov

Today's lyrics quiz


Winamp is on random play, skipping sweetly through 5.01Gb of 80's music. This one popped up and I thought the lyrics were very relevant, for some reason. So name this tune:
The place where I come from is a small town
They think so small
They use small words
-but not me
I’m smarter than that
I worked it out

No, and stop asking me!

Feb 23, 2006 | | 0 comments |

Since AOL bought out Winamp, it seems like every time I run it, it tells me about a new upgrade which is available to fix some critical security flaw. Why is it that when Winamp was independent, releases came out three times a year, and now its owned by AOL, they're coming out three times a week?
No, I don't want the latest version, and for the love of God stop bloody asking me!

Today's roundup of republican lunacy.

Feb 22, 2006 | | 0 comments |

Lest we forget what total idiots the B*sh regime are:
- B*sh and Rumsfeld both admitted today they didn't know anything about the UAE port deal until after they approved it.
- Turns out Cheney was drunk when he shot his "friend" in the face. Very drunk. Like unable to pronounce basic words and stand up properly drunk. So said his Secret Service flunkies today.

Bloody iTunes 6!


Since upgrading to iTunes 6, JHymn will no longer strip the DRM from my music purchases. Those bastards at Apple have screwed everyone over again. Once more I'm now stuck with music on one machine - I can't burn it to an mp3 CD for the car, I don't own an iPod and I can't take it home. What the fuck use is downloadable music if I can't do with it what I want? This whole RIAA and fair use thing has got to stop. It's destroying the music industry.
Oh well - back to downloading illegally then. Sorry RIAA - you can blame Apple for this one. It's not my fault you nazi's won't let me listen to music anywhere I want after I've purchased it. So I'll just stop purchasing it again.
Thanks to JHymn, you nearly had me sold on the idea, but now you've locked it up tight again, you can all go fuck yourselves.

Line item veto and the UAE ports deal.

Feb 21, 2006 | | 0 comments |

There's a couple of political wranglings going on right now and I reckon the pair are linked. B*sh is pushing for line-item veto power - basically the ability to allow him to nix any single proposal at a micromanagement level. At the same time, Michael Jerkoff, the homeland security guy who looks like a child-molester, things it would be just swell to let the UAE run 6 US ports.
Well clearly letting the wolf guard the sheep is not a good idea. So here's one way it could go down : El Presidente is going to say something to the effect of "well I could veto this deal if you give me line-item power of veto", thus getting what he wants.
So option 1 : the UAE port deal is a smokescreen to cover up something unpalatable that B*sh wants.
Option 2 : There's a massive backhander deal in it for the B*sh family and/or Halliburton.
Option 3, for the conspiracy theorists, is that B*sh and his cronies have realised the inescapable truth : you cannot secure ports. Given that, letting someone else, especially someone associated with terrorism, run the ports, relieves them of responsibility. So if and when there's some incident involving the ports, B*sh can point fingers and say "well they told us they could handle it - don't blame the government".

B*sh made a fantastic comment to the press corps today on the subject : I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company. I am trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world, "We'll treat you fairly."
Wow. Well "all of a sudden" people are taking your lead Mr B*sh - after all you're the one who has demonised the Arab world and turned half of America into Arab-haters. So now people are taking your side, you're getting all pissy about it? And "We'll treat you fairly" ???? I'm sure all those dead Iraqis are glad about that.

Only in America!

Feb 20, 2006 | | 0 comments |

This is classic American stupidity. A Utah soldier, Sgt. Layne Morris, of West Jordan, has won a lawsuit he filed against an Afghan "terrorist" because - get this - the "terrorist" threw a grenade at him and the shrapnel blinded him in one eye. He's won $102million in damages.
At its most basic level, he has sued an enemy combatant in a war, for shooting at him.
This is so retarded I wondered whether to blog about it or not, but the sheer stupidity of it made it worthy of inclusion. To put that into perspective, that's nearly 4% of the entire annual gross national product of Afghanistan.
Does Sgt. Morris think these guys who fight with 30 year old Russian weapons, have billions of dollars stashed back at the cave under a rock or something? He's obviously never going to see a single cent of this, which makes it the golden pinnacle of frivolous lawsuits. I'm sorry Sgt. Morris got blinded in one eye but there is (currently) no draft, which means he voluntarily joined the army, knowing he'd be sent into combat, which means he knew he'd be at war with bullets, bombs, grenades and other explodey bangy things. Chances of being injured? Pretty frickin' high.

What makes this even more bizarre is that Morris (and a lot of other bloggers and media observers apparently) seriously believe that he's going to be robbing the "terrorists" of this money. Because of course the Afghans will certainly abide by the loophole in the Patriot Act which allowed this case to proceed. And naturally they'll pay up. I suspect Al Qaeda are writing the cheque right now.....

Come on. This is just another in the long series of examples of America demonstrating that it does lead the world in one thing : outright stupidity.

It's worth pointing out that normally "acts of war" are not subject to civil suits. Morris argued that Khadr (the person who killed his partner) was a terrorist, not a soldier - so his actions were not an act of war, but terrorism, and were therefore subject to civil suits.
It's also worth noting that Morris hasn't even been able to prove who threw the grenade that injured him so basically he's sued nobody and won a buttload of cash he's never going to see.
If you want a good chuckle, check out some info on this lunacy here.

To put this story into perspective, look up Jeremy Ross Purcell. He was a marine who was killed during an August 2002 training exercise when another trainee marine put real bullets in his gun and shot Purcell four times. The supreme court threw that out today and said they didn't want to waste everyone's time listening to arguments about the case.


Feb 19, 2006 | | 0 comments |

That's the number of vertical feet I skied today. This I know because of the fabulous Axess ski pass system that Solitude has. The new boots are great. They're no carpet slippers but then no ski boots ever are. At least I was able to ski right through to about 14:00 today before calling it a day :-)