57 Channels

... and nothing is on. At least, not on most of them.

Well, it's a bit more than 57 channels, really. Just went through and cleared out my Google reader subscriptions, paring down 400+ blog subscriptions into just over 200.

First rule: Anything that hasn't updated more than once in the past year gets the heave-ho.

There were some blogs that I was subscribed to that haven't had an update in almost six years. Yeah... whatever you may have had to say, I think it's safe to say it's been said. The conversation is closed. This, sir, is an ex-blog.

Second rule: If your blog shows that you're a jerk, you go.

Now, rule #1 is pretty simple to apply. Rule #2... not so much. Really, rule #2 exists solely for a handful of people who's blogs looked interesting at first. Long-term examination of their topics, conversational tone and attitude have led me to firmly slot them into the "Man, what a tool" category.

Bozo bit flipped, in other words.

I have no reason nor desire to continue to pay any attention to those individuals. It's a free country, they can continue to spew their attractively-packaged ignorant garbage, but not in my direction.

Just in case you were wondering: it takes quite a bit for someone to annoy me to this point. Frankly, John Scalzi's political snark infuriates me sometimes... yet I still read Whatever. Same goes for Ken and Pat over at Popehat, who often manage to get under my skin from the opposite political direction. I regularly read blogs written by individuals with wildly different technical, political, or religious views than my own (sometimes, all three at once).

Heck, I even read stuff written by slope-foreheaded mouth-breathers who think that pluto isn't a planet. If that's not tolerance, I don't know what is.

In other words: if you actually manage to tick me off to the point that I want to ignore you, then really - you're a grade-A schmuck.

Just sayin'.

Iron Sharpens Iron

First, Robert Michels formulated the Iron Law of Oligarchy:
All forms of organization, regardless of how democratic or autocratic they may be at the start, will eventually and inevitably develop into oligarchies.
Then Jerry Pournelle constructed the Iron Law of Bureaucracy:
In any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself.
Richard Cowan coined the Iron Law of Prohibition:
The more intense the law enforcement, the more potent the prohibited substance becomes.
Now, from Art Carden, we get the Iron Law of Intervention:
If you want to make a problem worse, pass a law to fix it.
I don't know if I should be depressed, or encouraged. The more I think about it, the more I think that Princess Leia managed to sum it all up...
The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

Teh stoopid is thick today

/. geeks decry military logistical decisions. Because, you know, some pasty-white nerd sitting in an office has more insight into military logistics than thousands of combined man-years of research and planning on the part of people and organizations who make it their jobs to understand these things.

Oh, and government intervention in the pharmaceutical industry is an obvious example of the failure of free markets. Not the point of the article over at TechDirt, but definitely the view of some of the commenters. Couldn't be that government regulation has made it more profitable to focus on marketing instead of research, or more efficient to buy favorable legislation instead of competing in the market, or that the government has given them every stinking incentive to behave the way they do.


First Time For Everything

The first e-book I've ever really been interested in:

Temporary Duty by Ric Locke (found via Dustbury).

Right there with ya

A friend of mine just posted something that says exactly what's been on my mind lately:
5. Life is back in perspective. Several of my friends are dealing with some incredibly difficult trials right now. One has a child facing a third round of cancer, another has some rare complications with a pregnancy that landed her in the hospital for over a week, and another's dad and husband is in the hospital in serious condition. In the face of that, how can I cry about T's relatively minor struggles? I've realized once again how truly blessed I am to have a fairly healthy family, two bright kids, and so what if one of them needs a little nudge in a few areas? I'm so glad my heavenly Father is there to hold and comfort each and every one of us, regardless of the size of our trials.
Yeah. What she said.

Another gentleman said it even more eloquently:
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
-- 1 Peter 3:8-9

Praying For a Horse

My wife and I have a white board in our house, and at one point, we had a list of phrases on it that we referred to as "our list of things we never thought we'd say". Which wasn't actually true, as in order to think that you'd never say something, you'd have to first be able to imagine that you'd ever say something like that. These were things that we not only never thought we'd say, we'd never even think "Oh, I'd never say that" because they were just... odd.

Just to give you some flavor, #1 on the list was "I can't believe that monkey is still inflated." Which phrase, according to the collective knowledge that is Google, has never ever before been uttered in all of human existence.

It's a small claim to fame. Score one for Shari.

I mention this because, last night, I told one of the young ladies in my Sunday School class that I'd be praying for her horse. This definitely falls into the category of "not only did I never thought I'd say it, I never thought that I'd every think of saying it". And yet, I did.

She's a wonderful young lady, beautiful in many ways, and a farm girl to boot - I've got a soft spot in my heart for farm girls :-) Her horse, which she's had for many years and raised from a foal, may be lame. She's expecting to hear from the vet sometime today about what his condition is, and what needs to be done with the horse that's been her companion for years. If you don't think that sort of thing matters to God, then I suggest you go read 2 Samuel 12, and see how David - a man after God's own heart - reacted to the parable of the poor man's lamb.

So, yeah, I'm praying for a horse. Because it means a lot to a young lady who loves the Lord, who serves Him faithfully, who had the courage to organize and lead a Bible study in her public school. A young lady who's in God's will, and who is herself not just praying for her horse, but that her attitude would be right and that she would be at peace with whatever and however God works in her life in this matter.

She's got a lot on the ball. Like I said... she's a wonderful young lady.

And so - I'm praying for a horse.


Prayer works... apparently for horses and the young ladies who love them, as well as you and me.
[He] was in so much pain he almost fell over so I just went to hold his head while mom checked his leg. She found a 4 inch nail sticking out of his left hind hoof. The nail started in his cornnet band and went right down into the back of his frog.

... We got to the vets today and he took all the X-rays. When we went back to look at them I started to cry becuase God has been so good!!!! The nail stopped about 1 to 1/2 inch short of the synovial Sac and the Navicular Bursa which would have caused horrible and possibly unfixable damage. I thank you all for praying but I thank God most of all because I know that he is the one that stopped that nail in its tracks... [he] is still fighting a serious infection in his leg but I know if He chooses God will take care of that as well.


"The advent of low-profile carbonan armored uniforms in the mid-29th century served to underscore the importance of fire discipline in organizations where those uniforms were standard issue. It became entirely too tempting to tap an officer on the shoulder from fifty yards away to get his attention. After all, shouting takes effort, ammo is cheap, and shooting your CO in the back never gets old."