Friday, April 19, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Severe Weather Season is Finally Here!

That means it's time for severe weather bingo!

Personally I prefer the Gary England drinking game...

We're Number One!!

When I say we, I mean Oklahoma City.  And no I don't know mean our fair city has the highest obesity rate in the nation (I think we're number three now).  I mean that the Oklahoma City Thunder are the number one seed in the Western Conference Playoffs this post season in the NBA!  Let's take a look at how quickly the Thunder program has turned around in recent years:

2012-13 Season 60-22  (.732)  ???
2011-12 Season 47-19   (.712)  Lost in the NBA Finals
2010-11 Season 55-27   (.671)  Lost in the Western Conference Finals
2009-10 Season 50-32  (.610)   Lost in the Western Conference 1st Round
2008-09 Season 23-59  (.280)   Did Not Qualify

See a trend here?  It's amazing the team has come so far and is still one of the youngest teams in all of the NBA.

I really hoped we would open the first round this year with the Lakers.  It's always satisfying to send a big market team that spends more money each season packing in the first round.  It wasn't meant to be though.  I'm sure we'll have no trouble, however, dispatching James Harden and the Houston Rockets.  That will get one monkey off our back, as many analysts predicted doom earlier in the season when we traded Harden to the Rockets.

I fully expect the Thunder to make another run to the NBA Finals and face yet again the Miami Heat.  I was sure we would beat them in last year's finals when in fact we ended up making a poor showing.  I'll save a finals prediction for another time, if we even get to the finals, but we're playing very well right now and the team seems to be gelling  with the best offense in the league and one of the best defenses.

Game 1 will be Sunday at 8:30 CT in Oklahoma City.

Thunder up!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Piss on the U.S. Senate

An amendment calling for expanded background checks as part of the doomed gun bill failed today in the U. S. Senate.



"The amendment failed 54 to 46, falling short of the 60-vote threshold needed to break a filibuster of the measure, even as victims of the Sandy Hook shootings and other shooting watched from the Senate gallery and activists at a vigil outside the Capitol read the names of people slain since then, hoping to prompt action."

I hope the Senators listed on the right of the picture above who are up for re-election in 2014 have this vote shoved down their throats!  Unfortunately my two Senators are also part of this gang of thugs who don't care what 90 percent of the American public want.

Why even bring up any bill or amendment up for a vote in the Senate when a super majority is always needed to get anything done?  Fuck those 45 Senators on the right.  Fuck the Senate.  The National Rifle Association owns your government America...   

Capital Added to Oklahoma's Endangered Historic Buildings List


There's an interesting article at the Oklahoma Gazette about endangered buildings in the Oklahoma City area, including the Capital, Gold Dome Building, Stage Center and Villa Teresa.

None of this should be news to anyone who's lived in Oklahoma City for any amount of time, especially when it comes to the capital building.

"Gov. Mary Fallin attended the event, thanking Preservation Oklahoma for including the Capitol on its list. She wants state lawmakers to appropriate $10 million for repairs and renovations with $8 million of it for the outside of the building. The remaining $2 million would be spent on interior priorities.

Pieces of limestone have fallen from the exterior while most of the building’s infrastructure — including sewer, plumbing and electrical systems — are outdated or need repair."

Politics being what they are in the great state of Oklahoma, I guess chances are better that a republican will be hit by falling limestone when trying to do business at the capital.  Always looking for the silver lining!

I don't understand why Oklahoma has let year after year pass by without addressing the issue at the Capital.  Instead it seems all our legislators ever want to do is see how much more they can lower taxes in the state, a battle waged yearly by conservatives in the state legislature.

Oklahoma City has passed a couple of different tax increases over the years for upgrades to the Chesapeake Energy Arena to accommodate NBA standards for the Thunder.  We also payed to have a new practice facility build for the pro basketball team.  Perhaps it's time for a ballot initiative statewide to address some of these buildings, at the very least the building where our government conducts business!  Either appropriations or an increase in revenues should have resolved this issue a long time ago.  Priorities priorities...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fracking Earthquakes!

Five earthquakes near Oklahoma City were reported in the wee hours of the morning today.


"The largest in the series was a 4.7-magnitude quake that rattled about 1:56 a.m. near Luther, preliminary data show.  A 4.6-magnitude quake was also recorded around 5:16 a.m."

Both larger earthquakes woke me from my beauty slip with what sounded like a truck running into my house and then a rumbling feeling for several seconds.  The glass pane on the door to my "laundry room" rattled and some items even fell off a shelf in my kitchen.  Though I'm from Oklahoma and hardly ever feel our earthquakes, I knew immediately what was happening and promptly went back to sleep instead of getting up and logging on to FaceSpace or Twitter to freak out.

What is weird is, like I said, Oklahoma always had earthquakes but I never remember them being so strong or memorable, meaning they were felt.  Just what's causing the uptick in the magnitude of quakes in the region?  Hydraulic fracturing?  The New Madrid fault getting ready for another big one?  I don't know.  I haven't really researched either item to make an educated guess so I'll just stay quiet for the time being.  I know, I'm breaking the unwritten rules of adding content to a blog, don't let your lack of knowledge stop you!  I guess I'll continue to piddle along with my life until I'm swallowed up by a 9.9 mega-earthquake or until my drinking water is flammable.  My money is on Chesapeake Energy destroying the world, or as I call the company, Doucheapeake and Chesadouche.  I've even heard Doucheadouche thrown around.

Beside, it's tornado season.  I'm already walking around with my head between my ass cheeks ready to kiss them goodbye.

Anyone out there live in a light earthquake zone?  When you can feel the minor tremors, do they scare you?  Do you care?  Is the world ending?  Perhaps not quick enough for your liking?    

Monday, April 15, 2013

Books of March 2013

I picked up the slack a little bit in March.  You could say my reading habits came in like a lion...

The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly - Currently my favorite Harry Bosch novel by Connelly.  It ties in a current muder investigation with a previous serial killer case that Bosch worked.  The famous "Dollmaker" case had been alluded to in previous novels by Connelly but never was the full story given until now.  Great police procedural drama with a few twists and humor sprinkled into the mix.  I'm really enjoying this series!  4 out of 5 stars.

Gerald's Game by Stephen King - Another King retread that I bought and read when it was originally published around 1992.  Basically a woman and her husband visit their lake house at the end of the summer season and proceed to engage in some sex play.  A few pages later and we find our heroine handcuffed to the bed posts while her husband lies dead on the floor.  Though a very simple premise, this novel creeped me out big time the first time I read it.  It didn't disappoint the second time around.  What would you do or think if you were handcuffed to a bed, keys out of reach, without the possibility of attaining help?   4 out of 5 stars. 

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan - In anticipation of the new season of "Game of Thrones" on HBO and the fact that George R. R. Martin won't be publishing a new book anytime soon, I decided to check out a new fantasy series.  Yet again I went with a suggestion from the brave circle jerkers on Reddit and came up with "The Wheel of Time" series, starting with "The Eye of the World."  Not knowing anything about the series, I didn't know what to expect.  What I got was a little Tolkien retread, mixed in with some Star Wars elements, add a dash of Greek mythology, and a whole hell of a lot of walking.  It doesn't sound as bad as it seems.  From what I understand it's your basic fantasy fair, lots of characters set in a Middle Ages sort of time, with lots of ground to travel.  Though a bit contrived and and clichéd I actually enjoyed the story and the characters for the most part.  Well enough to give the second book in the series a look.  3 out of 5 stars.

Every Dead Thing by John Connolly - Up to this point I had read only one other John Connolly novel and it was different to say the least.  I was expecting a little bit of the same, that is a mystery with a few supernatural elements thrown in.  As it turns out, "Every Dead Thing" is pretty much your standard mystery novel where Charlie "Bird" Parker, a private detective in New York, begins a missing person investigation that evolves into something a whole lot bigger.  This is Connolly's first novel and throws every possible murder mystery procedural cliché at the wall.  Amazingly most of it sticks and works fairly well.  I look forward to reading more from this author.  Also, Connolly has an exceptional gift with vocabulary.  Maybe it's an Irish thing.  3 out of 5 stars.

The Last Coyote by Michael Connolly - Another good effort from Connolly in the Harry Bosch series.  Harry, on involuntary leave from the force, is required to see a department psychiatrists and come to grips with the ghosts of his past.  I should be writing copy for someone somewhere!  Anyway, the bits with the shink are really well done and it's nice to probe a little deeper into Bosch's childhood and his mother.  3 out of 5 stars.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks - I had been looking forward to reading this book for a while and finally got around to it.  I really wanted to like the collections of stories more than I did but it just wasn't there.  Basically it's a collection of stories from people of all walks of life retelling their experiences of the Zombie War, ten years after its conclusion.  The author deals a deck that's a little heavy handed, turning down his nose on the hubris of mankind and science run amoke, blah blah blah.  Also all of the different people retelling their stories seemed to come from the same voice, the authors, if that makes sense.  Adding spiffy European or Middle Eastern phrases didn't add much a difference from the narrative coming from Herman the bunny wrangler in the next chapter.  But I digress.  Overall the story kep me interested throughout.  I'm thinking this may be one of those times when the movie will be better than the book.  Plus you can never go wrong with Brad Pitt.  3 out of 4 stars.

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather - I read Willa Cather in High School, "My Antonia" to be specific, and I think everyone else should too!  Think about it, how many strong female American voices can you remember reading back in your school days?  To be honest I don't remember very many but I always had a special place in my ticker for Cather.  "O Pioneers!" is a prairie tale about a family of immigrants that move from Eastern Europe to Nebraska to live the American dream and tame the wild land.  While the story is a bit silly you have to appreciate the strong female character that Cather creates in Alexandra.  Through sheer will and determination Alexandra triumphs over many hurdles to obtain her dreams, many of those hurdles being the dumb ass men characterized in the story.  Easy to read given that is was written in 1913, Cather has a very special power when poetically describing the plains.  On the downside, the story doesn't end very happily, but since when does life ever?  3 out of 5 stars.

Cold Fire by Dean Koontz - Ah, the poor mans Stephen King.  I've only actually read one other book by Koontz in my life and it was actually just a pretty normal tale.  This one is pretty crazy.  Guy finds that he has a gift to see the future of specific people and uses that gift to travel around the country to save lives.  Sound cool so far, right?  Turns out the gift is from God.  No wait, it's an alien living at his old farm.  Yet again it might just be his tortured split personality from a childhood trauma.  Very weird, very tiresome.  I only gave an extra star for the great first half of the book.  From there it's all shit creek.  2 out of 5 stars.

The Internet is a Playground by David Thorne - I found out about David Thorne while piddling around on the Internet, I think it was at Bored at Work.  The book is a collection of emails and correspondence and other funny bits of him basically fucking with people.  I laughed until I cried at some of the stories.  What he does is a little mean spirited but I'm down with it.  You've been warned.  4 out of 5 stars.

Trunk Music by Michael Connelly - Yeah I'm really into Michael Connelly this year if you hadn't noticed. Mystery, murder, and mayhem.  Bosch investigates a mob style murder that takes him from L.A. to the underworld of Vegas and into the arms of an old fling!  Yeah, yeah.  Good read though.  3 out of 5 stars.

900th Post Extravaganza!!

I still think Rachael Ray is Satan.  That is all.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Extreme Couponing

So I was watching "Extreme Couponing" earlier today while eating lunch.  Yeah I know, I really need to get a life, but like a train wreck, I had to stop and take a peek.  This woman was loading up on a bunch of shit at the grocery store with the goal of paying little or nothing with the help of coupons and store discounts.  I even saw one women get a credit! 

Kind of a cool concept if you want to load up on a hundred bags of Cheetos, or fifty boxes of cat food, or any other useless garbage to ingest.  What really left me flabbergasted was after one shoppers triumph she commented along the lines of the following:  (I'm paraphrasing) "I just don't understand why anyone would go hungry when I just bought 3,000 dollars worth of groceries for under 50 dollars."

The fuck?

On the very few occasions when I've caught bits and pieces of this show I've hardly ever seen much worthwhile that anyone would need to buy in bulk.  I guess what I'm wondering from anyone out there that takes couponing to the extreme, do you every buy anything that you really want or need?  Even for light couponers, do you tend to buy items that you might otherwise skip because you happened upon a coupon in the Sunday paper? 

I guess on the plus side some people do this in order to donate their haul to local food banks, etc.  An admirable goal but still, I think a soup kitchen would be better served receiving goods with a higher food value.  Admittedly I could be wrong about what kinds of items people are snagging since it's not something I'm want to watch regularly.  Though, I've yet to see an extreme couponer loading up on a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables.


New Blogs I'm Reading

A couple additions to the old blogroll.

Diary of a Javanista - pretty good stuff with a lot of various content.  Video games, books, sports, fashion.  Check it out.

the bitchy waiter - having worked in the restaurant industry for many years, as both a server/bartender and manager, I can totally relate to the content here.  I was searching for an old site I used to visit years ago, Bitter Waitress, and ran into this blog.  Funny and true.

Animal Crossing Meme

I created an Animal Crossing meme over at  Population Growing for anyone interested.

The "What's Your Story" Meme

 From Sunday Stealing again:

1. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten in public?
Fried Snicker on a stick at the state Fair.
2. If you had to go on an adventure, with elves, dwarves, or hobbits, who would you take and why? 
Probably my friend Matt, he looks a lot like Smeagle!
3. You are at a rural retreat lodge somewhere deep in Wisconsin or Canada. You are approached by a taxidermist who hands you a stuffed badger and asks you to put it in your lap. What do you do next? 
Hump it?
4. If you were given biscotti, would you prefer it with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? 
5. In your opinion, who is the funniest man or woman alive today?
That's a difficult question.  I really enjoy Bill Maher, in fact I'm seeing him tonight!

6. If you were given thirty seconds on television to say something, what would it be?
"Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered!"  That or I'd encourage people to worship me and send me money.
7. What is your idea of the most romantic date setting ever?
Why somewhere in Paris of course.
8. If you could go on one date with a movie or television star, who would it be and why?
Chris Pine because he's pretty dreamy and he's Captain Kirk!
9. What is the worst song you have ever heard?
Another difficult one to narrow down but I bet it was made by Toby Keith.
10. If you could live anywhere else, where would it be?
In America definitely Chicago.  Abroad I would have to go with Berlin.
11. Who- in your opinion- was the greatest person to ever live?
Besides myself this is way to hard to determine.  Isaac Newton?  Albert Einstein?  Thomas Jefferson?  Galileo Galilei?  Take your pick.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Books of February 2013

Looking at the list below, I kind of sucked butt in the month of February, though, in my defense I did read the unabridged version of Les Miserables which is at least 8,000 pages long!

From a Buick 8 by Stephen King - Another quirky novel by Stephen King.  Think "Christine" with a science-fiction-time-travel-horror twist.  Yep, what could possible go wrong?  Actually I found this tale intriquing even though it was a little bizarre.  Local bumpkin county mounties find an abandoned old Buick that starts spitting out grotesque aliens from another dimension.  Who else but King could have something like this published, meaning he can get anything published!  3 out of 5 stars.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo - My third reading of Hugo's masterpiece, the second time unabridged, though it has been about 20 years.  What can I say?  Unless you've you were born before the mid 1850s, everyone knows the story, popularized by many movies and a fantastic, albeit bloated musical.  If you're curious about the day-to-day living of an early 19th century Bishop in France, or a complete retelling of the battle of Waterloo where only a paragraph of 50 pages ties into the overall story, or you want to know how nuneries in 1832 worked, or... well you get the picture.  There's a lot of extraneous information to be found in the unabridged version of this classic telling, some of it fascinating, some of it dreadful.  Overall, a wonderful story and one of my favorite reads of all time.  Stick to the abridged version if uninitiated.  5 out of 5 stars.

The Two Minute Rule by Robert Crais - A book by Crais that's not part of the Elvis Cole series.  It's pretty much the story about a couple of bank heists, hence the title, supposedly two minutes is all the time one should take when robbing a bank.  I wonder if that's true for a sperm bank?  Anyway, it's a decent read and well written, I just never found myself getting too attached to the main character.  3 out of 5 stars.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair - Every wanted to become a vegetarian?  Read this book.  It's the story of an immigrant family that comes to Chicago in the early 1900s who are forced to earn a living working in the infamous meat packing district.  What goes on and how the industry is described in the book is truly horrendous.  Not to mention the lugubrious manner in which the "undesirables" of Chicago had to live at that time.  And I thought "Angela's Ashes" was the most depressing book about immigrants I had ever read!  Not for the faint of heart and definitely not a happy read.  The only downside to the story, for me, was toward the end it started to really go over the top.  4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Photo Friday

Me and this little guy are patiently waiting on the release of Animal Crossing New Leaf! 

Books of January 2013

I thought this year instead of writing a recap or review for every book I've read I would just make a monthy posting of books read for each specific month. 

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk - Only the second book I've read by Palahniuk, the other being "Fight Club."  It's basically a collection of stories told from the point of view from varying artists on a writing retreat that turns into a horrifying hostage situation.  Often funny but mostly very dark, some of the stories aren't for the faint of heart.  The first story in the collection, "Guts" is especially grim.  Read at your own risk.  4 out of 5 stars.

Lunar Park by Brent Easton Ellis - With this entry I've offically read everything by Ellis now.  While the story has a lot of the trademark Ellis snark and shock value I've come to expect, it just felt like more of the same from the the author of "Less Than Zero" and "American Psycho."  I did find the fictional autobiographical bits hilarious near the beginning but the story slowly declines from there.  As my mom would say, it ain't love but it ain't bad.  3 out of 5 stars.

Voodoo River by Robert Crais - The fifth entry into Crais' Elvis Cole series about a L.A. private detective.  Elvis Cole is a funny guy and I read probably as much for his sense of humor as I do for his detective skills.  This novel seemed a little fresher than the previous entries as much of the story shifts from L.A. to Louisiana near the Baton Rouge area.  Still, the story is a little dated having been written in the 1990s.  3 out of 5 stars.

The Black Ice by Michael Connelly - The second entry into Connelly's Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch series.  Vietnam veteran and L.A. police detective Bosch has a knack for getting himself in trouble, mostly for doing the right thing when others are unwilling or unable to do so.  Laced with humor and great police procedural storys, the Harry Bosch series are generally very good reads.  Though, like some of Robert Crais' older works, this one is a little outdated as well, having been written in the 1990s.  Each installment in the series through the years become a lot stronger in my opinion. 3 out of 5 stars.

Die Trying by Lee Child - I've just about caught up with Child's series about Jack Reacher, a loner ex-military policeman, who travels from place to place and always finds himself in trouble.  I believe this is the third in his series of around twenty novels based on the Reacher character.  Though entertaining, I've found myself growing a little weary with the series, probably from reading so many of the novels in such a short time.  I've found Child's older works to be on the whole better so "Die Trying" doesn't disappoint too much. Did anyone see the movie "Jack Reacher" based on Child's book "One Shot?"  I've yet to catch it but it was one of the stronger novels in the series.  3 out of 5 stars.

Indigo Slam by Robert Crais - Another Elive Cole dective novel, the seventh in the series I believe.  While the writing continues to get stronger with each book that Crais releases, this particular story is a bit lacking, dealing primarily with counterfeiting.  Not the sexiest of subjects. 3 out of 5 stars.

A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane - What's this?  Yet another mystery series?  I can thank my mom for getting me into Lehane's Kenzie and Gennaro series, as with most of the mysteries I read. I enjoyed the origin tale of Kenzie and Gennaro and especially the setting in and around the Boston area and the politics involved.  I'm looking forward to reading more of the series once I get my hands on them, particularly "Gone Baby Gone."  3 out of 5 stars.

The Passage by Justin Cronin - I became aware of this series from browsing about books on Reddit.  In a nutshell the novel is mostly a post-apocalyptic story with a vampire twist.  Intriqued?  Yeah, so was I.  It was refreshing to find a story in this genre that didn't revolve around angst-filled teenage hipsters.  A nice story in what is supposed to be a trilogy (great, another series I'll have to hunt down!).  The only element that kept me from giving this novel a five star rating was some problems with pacing throughout the story.  Though, when the book takes off and gets going it really is quite fantastic.  4 out of 5 stars.

Firestarter by Stephen King - I have to give props to my friend Che for loaning me this novel, a book I probably wouldn't have otherwise purchased or read.  I'm sure I saw the movie a million years ago but I didn't remember much about it.  I found the story interesting, with quick pacing, and finishing strong (one of King's problems with his novels) despite the fact that the book was written and took place in the very early 1980s.   4 out of 5 stars.

The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy - This book was the bane of my existance my Junior year in High School.  Hate isn't too strong a word in describing how I felt about Hardy's abortion at the time.  I thought:  piss on Egdon Heath!  During my Senior year in High School I was an aide for Mrs. Millard, the school libarian.  I ranted and raved the entire year to her about "The Return of the Native" being required reading the previous year.  As a joke she gave me an old copy of the book that they were throwing out right around graduation time.  Sadly, I destroyed the book in my anti Hardy rage at the time, something I truly regret looking back all these years later.  Fast forward 22 years later, I decided to give Hardy's work another chance.  I actually enjoyed the novel!   The story, though tragic, had some very moden themes for the late 1800s and I can understand now why it's consider to be a "classic."  It is definitely an interesting look at morals and community in Victorian Britain.  4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

From My Cold Dead Hands!

How dare some politician or a government bureaucrat tell me I can't have a surface to air missle!  You know, for duck hunting... 

Of course I'm kidding.  I don't duck hunt.

I see on the news that the gun control legislation in the U.S. Senate has passed cloiture so now our illustrious politicians can do their job:  vote and debate a bill before the body.  It still chaps my ass that it takes 60 votes to get anything moving in the Senate, you know, just as the Constitution lays out.

So finally after a lot of back and forth since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14th of last year, something is going to be done about gun violence in our country!  If anything meaningful comes out of the tragedy it'll hairlip the Pope.  It looks like the best liberals can hope for is some kind of universal background checks on the purchase of firearms.  And that's about it, unfortunately.  I guess it's a brave start considering that only a paltry 90% of American agree with such legislation.  How brave our elected leaders in the Senate are!  I do, however, agree with some conservatives that there should be limits to background checks.  If you're put on a list for mental reasons, are you on that list for the rest of your life?  Is it really necessary to do a background check on your uncle Fred when selling him your shotgun?  These are issues that should and probably will be addressed and I'm okay with that.

So universal background checks are probably going to pass, at least in the Senate.  There's not telling what the House will do.  So what else do gun control advocates want?  A limit to the capacity of bullets that can be held in a firearm you say?  Unfortunately, it looks like that sort of legislation is DOA, at least, according the all the talking heads on FOX, FOX LITE (CNN), and MSNBC.  Why?  Why would a law abiding citizen, hunter, whatever, be opposed to how many bullets they can queeze off from their firearm within a given amount of time?  Is it possible that if the shooter in Connecticut or Colorado had to reload his magazine that maybe a few extra lives would have been saved?  Again, I believe this kind of restriction is supported by a majority in our country.  I guess it just hasn't hit that magical 90% approval rate yet.

A ban on assult type weapons?  Most assuredly DOA, if it even gets a vote.  In all honesty I don't really have a dog in this fight.  But I'm so tired of hearing redneck goobers bitch about the government wanting to take away their guns.  I think everyone is debating gun CONTROL not gun CONFISCATION.  My understanding is that a ban on assult type weapons would mean you couldn't buy them, not that you couldn't already own them.  Still I would like the Senate to at least vote on this issue.  You know, once again, just aking them to to their job:  debate and vote.

I have a couple more ideas that Congress should consider when talking about gun control:

 I like Chris Rock's thoughts on the price of bullets.  Tax the hell out of them.  If a bullet costs 500 dollars people may think twice about what they use them for or some nut job may be priced out of the market.  Of course nothing like this would ever happen, nor should it probably happen; however, maybe a modest tax on ammunition could help fund all these armed guards that the NRA wants to install into places of learning.

An Oklahoma legislator proposed that if Oklahoma teachers are required to carry firearms in public schools then the state should offer a voucher program so citizens could afford to send their children to private schools that are gun free.  I love it!  Liberals get to be a little snarky and conservatives finally get a school voucher program that they've been harping on since time immemorial in Oklahoma.

Finally just limiting who can own a firearm will not eliminate gun violence in this country.  Will it help?  I think so but there is a bigger problem to consider.  America is a violent culture in general.  How do we curb this?  I have no fucking clue.  Maybe the video game and entertainment industies could be more responsible.  But what more could be done legislatively besides a rating system, which is in place, to help parents make resonable choices for their children?  I literally have no clue but a discussion on all aspect of our culture should be had.  And liberals and conservatives should engage in this conversation instead of drawing a line in the sand and then burying their heads in the same sand, or up their asses.  It's a sad democracy when no one is heard over the yelling or through the echo chamber.

I don't like guns.  I don't want to be around them.  I know that being around a firearm increases my chances of being killed by one dramatically.  Recently I was eating at a restaurant where a d-bag in the table next to me was wearing a sidearm, and he wasn't wearing blue or brown with a little badge affixed to his chest.  I don't want to call out the restaurant but it rhymes with Old Chicago and their most popular dish rhymes with pizza.  I should have spoken to the manager about what I saw to get a clarification on their carry policy within their place of business.  I didn't.  I guess my punking out probably just adds to the overall problem...

I apologize for the winding unruliness of this posting but I would genuinely be curious what others think, even if it's something with which I don't necessarily agree.

Books of 2012

Just adding this here more for posterity than any other reason since I haven't been blogging in the last few months.  An asterisk denotes my favorites of the last year.

The Enemy by Lee Child
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
*All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
Faded Coat of Blue by Owen Parry
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
61 Hours by Lee Child
Under the Dome by Stephen King
Worth Dying For by Lee Child
Bite Me by Christopher Moore
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Nothing to Lose by Lee Child
The Whisperers by John Connolly
The Bone Yard by Jefferson Bass
Boys Like Us edited by Patrick Merla
The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
Duma Key by Stephen King
Persuader by Lee Child
Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
Insomnia by Stephen King
Bag of Bones by Stephen King
Desperation by Stephen King
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
The Poet by Michael Connelly
The Lord of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
Hannibal by Thomas Harris
*House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
The Affair by Lee Child
*The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
Killing Floor by Lee Child
Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
L.A. Requiem by Robert Crais
11/22/63 by Stephen King
The Forgotten Many by Robert Crais
The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais
Surviver by J. F. Gonzalez
Alice in Zombieland by Nickloas Cook
*The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The Front Porch Prophet by Raymond L. Atkins
Hell's Corner by David Baldacci
Night of the Living Trekkies by David Anderson
Tripwire by Lee Child
Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Stalking the Angel by Robert Crais
Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End:  The Story of a Crime by Leif G. W. Persson
A Wanted Man by Lee Child
Lullaby Town by Robert Crais
Red Seas Under Read Skies by Scott Lynch
Protector by Laurel Dewey
Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

While I read a little bit more than usual last year, I didn't read as many books that I would consider "five star" reads.  Looking back I read a lot of Stephen King novels for some reason, mostly due to already owning a large number of his books with them being on hand.  I also started to get into some new series as well by Robert Crais (the Elvis Cole series) and Michael Connelly (the Harry Bosch series), both good authors if you're into mysteries or police procedural stories. 

Finally, I crossed over to the dark side and started using a Nook e-Reader my mom got me.  Surprisingly I've found that I really enjoy using the Nook and the convenience of being able to download virtually anything at any time, though I still purchase a lot of books at Barnes and Noble as well as at the local used book store.  A couple of books on the list above were part of Free Book Friday offered by Nook.  Reads that I'm interested in are few and far between but I appreciate the free book I can snag every now and then.

My goal for this year is to read at least 100 books, a daunting task, or so I thought, but I'm actually ahead of schedule so far.   

Monday, April 08, 2013

Headline of the Year?

Fucking Gawker. I laughed until I cried.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Fantasy Novels

Since it's probably going to be another 5 years before George R. R. Martin publishes another "Game of Thrones" novel, I thought I would check out another fantasy series via some research on Reddit. A good amount of people on the boards were really enthusiastic about "The Wheel of Time" series. While not nearly as good as "A Song of Ice and Fire" series I've liked it well enough to move on to the second book, "The Great Hunt."

Is there anyone else out there that thinks fantasy and science fiction novels could maybe sell better if it wasn't for the cheesy cover art? Call me a snot, but I would have totally walked by "The Wheel of Time" series without even a browse simply because of the cover artwork. Example: