Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Welcome to Detroit

And y'all wonder why I freak about about Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and their agenda...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Need Your Prayers

I haven't really posted about this before, but if you've been following my blog for the last year or so, you'll remember that my grandmother, who has Alzheimer's, has been living with us for the last year. Her condition deteriorated pretty rapidly over the three months I was in Europe, so it was something of a shock when I got home.

Anyway, to make a long story short, she developed a pretty bad cough over the last few days. Yesterday, she started running a fever and had incontinent diarrhea. so today my parents took her to the hospital this morning. They spent a couple of hours running tests, and it looks like she has pneumonia. They're keeping her overnight, but I get the feeling that she might be there for a while longer still. Either way, it's going to be a rough Christmas for us.

Please keep me and my family in your prayers.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Like Guns...

...but you already knew that.

...I am so jealous of that guy...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Backyard

Yep, that's a good four inches of snow on our back deck. And we're supposed to get upwards of 14 inches total by the time it's all said and done on Sunday night. That's more snow in two days than we've gotten, total, in the last five years!!! The talking heads on TV are already calling this the worst snowstorm in 13 years; remembering the Great Blizzard of 1996, I'm inclined to agree with them. Even better, it typically doesn't start snowing until January or February around here; I can't remember the last time we've seen so much as a flurry in December.

Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, President Obama has pledged 30 Billion Dollars over the next three years and at least 100 Billion Dollars by 2020... to combat Global Warming.

UPDATE, 2:10 PM: As of approx. five minutes ago, the latest forecast from The Weather Channel is calling for between 13 to 20 inches.

Al Gore... Paging Mister Al Gore... Please come to Philadelphia as soon as possible... The people there would like to have a little chat with you about your Global Warming...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Review: Public Enemies

Well, I finally got around to watching Public Enemies, the film about John Dillinger that starred Johnny Depp as Dillinger and Christian Bale as FBI Agent Melvin Purvis. I had high hopes for this film, primarily because Michael Mann directed the film. Mann, in my opinion, is one of if not the best director in the last twenty years.

Sadly, I came away from the film feeling disappointed.

It was not the acting that bothered me. Far from it, both Depp and Bale delivered the stunning performances that you would expect from actors of their caliber. Bale absolutely shines as the dedicated yet way out of his league agent that is Purvis, whilst Depp captures the essence, if not necessarily the soul, of the legendary gangster. My only complaint here is that I don't think Bale's character was given quite enough time on screen.

Mann has recently become controversial for his cinematography techniques in the last few years, primarily because he seems to use a Steadicam less and less often in his films, which leads to a picture that can be quite jerky rough at times. While this doesn't bother me quite as much as it does other people, I do think the technique was overused in this film; previously, Mann had limited it to the action scenes and shootouts that he is famous for, giving them a realistic feeling of chaos and confusion. Here, however, it seems as if most of the film was shot without Steadicam, for no real reason that I can discern.

This leads me to another thing I found lacking in the film; Mann's famous shootouts. Michael Mann is famous for his realistic, heart-stopping action sequences, his two most famous being the infamous bank shootout in Heat and Tom Cruise's gunning down of the two muggers in Collateral. With the exception of the Little Bohemia shootout, this film was virtually devoid of the action that is Mann's trademark.

What bothered me most about the film was the character's. Traditionally, the character's in Michael Mann's films have had an incredible amount of depth to them, with back-stories so detailed and personalities so dynamic that they seem to be real people. Sadly, both Dillinger and Purvis lack this realistic depth. While they are not two-dimensional characters by any stretch, compared to Mann's other works, they feel flat, almost to the point of being uninteresting.

Public Enemies, I would have to say, is overall a good movie. Unfortunately, it is not a great movie, and it nowhere near the usual quality of Michael Mann's films. If you haven't already seen it, I would say maybe give it a watch if you like gangster films or are a fan of either Johnny Depp or Christian Bale, but avoid it if you're a Michael Mann fan, otherwise you will come away, as I did, sorely disappointed with both the film and Mr. Mann.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

For the FTC

Just realized that I've made some plugs for a few people and/or organizations here on Raptor's Nest, which could potentially be viewed as violations of the FTC's new rules regarding endorsements.

Just to be clear, I am in no way affiliated with Larry Correia, Crusader Weaponry, Trinity Airsoft, or any other person/company I may have mentioned in the past. Yes, I own a copy of Correia's novel Monster Hunter International, but I paid for it out of my own pocket from Barnes & Noble (not affiliated with them either; paid full price for it). Likewise, I paid full price, out of my own pocket, for the airsoft gun I bought from Trinity Airsoft. That was over a year ago, I doubt they remember I exist anymore. And no, I don't own anything from Crusader (yet), but when I do buy a Partisan or their new Broadsword, rest assured that I will pay for it, full price, out of my own pocket.

This ends my long-winded, overblown disclaimer. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Wasn't Gone That Long!

  • I found Cherry Dr. Pepper on the shelf in a restaurant today.
  • Allen Iverson is playing for the 76ers. Again.
  • Brett Farve is a Viking.
  • Global Warming has (finally) been exposed as a bunch of bulls***.
  • Obama is actually in favor of a troop surge in Afghanistan.
  • My brother wears jeans on a daily basis.
Geez. Leave the country for three months and everything gets all screwed up!

For The Love Of...!!!!!

Normally, I love Gmail. Say what you will about Google and their politics, but out of all the web-based email providers I have experience with, Gmail is, IMHO, the best.

However, there is one thing about them that drives me crazy.

One of the benefits of Gmail is that it allows you to link to other email accounts and send/receive mail from those accounts. I have such an arrangement set up with an old Verizon E-Mail account that I never use anymore. Thing is, I still get loads of spam sent to that address, and every few six months or so, either Verizon or GMail empties its spam filter into my GMail inbox.

Guess what happened today.

I've spent pretty much all day cleaning out both my GMail inbox and Spam Filter. I swear, I've deleted over 200 spam messages in the last four hours, and they're still coming in!!! [CENSORED]!!!!! As I just typed that last paragraph,another one just popped up in my Inbox! Man, this is such a PITA.

Well, whatever. I guess all I can do is deal with it. Just needed to vent, I guess (God this is annoying.)

Well, Peace (or at least there will be when the flow of Spam stops)