Weird things I notice

Carnival cruise lines took some hits recently with ships that had power problems. I figured they’d overcome those issues, but didn’t know how.

Now I know. On both of the Carnival boats we saw on a recent cruise, there’s this:

So it’s easier to see, here’s a cropped one:

Yep, it’s a Caterpillar generator. There was one in the same place on both boats, which seems a pretty clever way to provide emergency power. Kudos.

Jay Leno interviews Obama

Every Presidential conference should be as good as this was.

I get why people voted for him. Were his words deeds, I’d have voted for him.


Feel good story of the Month

Semper Fi.

A marine who gallantly dropped back in a race to help a nine-year-old boy finish has become an internet sensation.Lance Corporal Myles Kerr was competing in the annual run while home on leave in Charlevoix, Michigan when he spotted Boden Fuchs struggling to keep up.The boy reportedly asked 19-year-old Kerr: ‘Sir, will you please run with me?’, after losing the group he was running with.

via Marine Myles Kerr who slowed down to help a nine-year-old boy finish a 5k race goes viral | Mail Online.

There’s a great picture at the link.

Professor accused of poisoning wife with cyanide to face extradition –

I do not understand killing a spouse. Divorce I get, but not this. (FTR, I’m not saying this individual is guilty, it’s just another in a string of spouses/lovers killing one another; more human behavior that’s a total mystery to me).

A University of Pittsburgh research professor faces an extradition hearing in West Virginia on Monday as authorities seek his return to Pennsylvania, where he’s accused of killing his wife with a lethal dose of cyanide.

via Professor accused of poisoning wife with cyanide to face extradition –

The latest Russian asteriod

First, thank goodness no-one was killed outright, though I did read someone had a spine injury. Recovery hopes for all.

Second, the whole town could have been immolated from the force of the explosion, but the detonation happened just high enough only some came to the surface.

Lastly, had that happened, and we didn’t have dash-cam video to explain it, would Islamists have been the first blamed? Russia has had a bad time with them (though the US led war has seemed to concentrate their attention on us), but there’s no love lost. Nobody predicted this asteroid, so there wouldn’t have been an extraterrestrial source to blame. A million dead (Russians, sorry I’m not good at current old-USSR nomenclature) would be motivation for reprisal…

The curse about living in interesting times has landed on us, and we dodged a bullet this time.


Update: this is at least somewhat because I have read Tom Clancy’s Sum of All Fears

Fort Worth Officer Shot by Drug Suspect Released From Hospital | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

A Hero to me

A Fort Worth officer who was shot three times last week in Haltom City by a drug suspect left the hospital Thursday afternoon.

Officer John Bell was shot in the right eye socket, right hip joint and left hand on Jan. 29 while assisting Haltom City police.

Dozens of Bell’s colleagues stood at attention outside Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital and clapped and cheered as he got into his car with his wife, Barbara.

“A whole lot’s been made out of this, and I’m really humbled by it,” Bell said minutes after he was discharged. “Everybody’s so nice and saying, ‘You’re a hero.’ I don’t really consider myself that.”

via Fort Worth Officer Shot by Drug Suspect Released From Hospital | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth.

Want to know how Fort Worth cops approach life? Watch the video.

Costa Concordia and its refloating (The Parbuckle Project)

I thought it must be a made-up word, but no (The Free Dictionary):

par·buck·le (pärbkl)
1. A rope sling for rolling cylindrical objects up or down an inclined plane.
2. A sling for raising or lowering an object vertically.
tr.v. par·buck·led, par·buck·ling, par·buck·les
To raise or lower with such a sling.

The Parbuckling Project is a consortium of engineering talent with a truly vast (and challenging) task: remove the sunken Costa Concordia safely and cleanly. I had a look and marvel at the ingenuity.

Now let’s hope it works.

TEA Commissioner Strips El Paso ISD Board of Authority — Public Education | The Texas Tribune

Credit where it’s due, this guy was a very imaginative organizer; too bad it was to fraudulently get money from the Government (us).

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced Thursday that he will strip the trustees of the El Paso Independent School District of their authority and that he is appointing a five-member board of managers to oversee the district for up to two years.The move comes in the wake of accusations that the trustees failed to catch a scheme tied to former Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia that either removed or advanced students who were not passing. Garcia is in federal prison serving a three-and-a-half-year term related to the scandal.

via TEA Commissioner Strips El Paso ISD Board of Authority — Public Education | The Texas Tribune.

Best of luck to that appointed board. Plenty of others were involved in this, and they’re going to have to be dismissed.

Needed killin’ defense

SHINER, TX — Hearing his 5-year-old daughter crying from behind a barn, a father ran and discovered the unthinkable: A man molesting her. The father pulled the man off his daughter, authorities say, and started pummeling him to death with his fists.

via No charges for Shiner, Texas dad who killed daughter’s alleged attacker |

In the early 80’s (1980’s, funny people) your humble correspondent worked as an EMT in an ED full time while going to school and getting a Paramedic registration (there was no licensure for Paramedics in Texas then). I was the 7P-7A guy on the 2on, 2off, 3on, 2off, 2on, 3off schedule we worked, and yeah, I can still say it quickly. Weird what we remember.

We had a couple of Detectives who liked to hang out in the ED after hours, never asked why. Neither was interested in the nurses (rare) and there were probably more appealing places for them to be, but when they were on and not actually working they were in the ED. In retrospect I’m of the opinion they were voluntarily pulling security for us, as we had no dedicated hospital security. And they were armed, we liked that in an unarmed ED.

They were funny fellows, I learned a lot vicariously through them about how the world works (and had no reason to doubt them, as my ED experience was educational and either entertaining or horrifying daily); they had a saying I remember to this day. It was a joke, but still.

“Well, we’ll write it up as ‘Needed Killin’, which is a misdemeanor, and give you a ticket”.

I thought of those guys, and that statement, immediately on hearing about this assault/death. Assuming the story as told is correct the no-bill from the Grand Jury makes sense and is correct. The family of the victim already has enough punishment (assaulted child and grief from the death, plus a Grand Jury); I have no idea how the family of the deceased deals with this. I hope constructively.

Nobody else needs killin’ over this. But maybe a ticket would be in order, just because.


[This is Humor. If you don’t get it, don’t write.]

Idiot quote of the Year

You cannot make this up.

While police and medics were clearing up that disaster, 27-year-old Matthew Mitchell attempted to navigate his Chevy Impala through the swirling sea of flashing lights of the fleet of police cruisers and ambulances on the scene. Unfortunately, he plowed into the life-flight chopper’s tail fin. (Damages to the chopper were minor and it was apparently able to whisk an injured woman to a local hospital.)

A DPS trooper on the scene quoted Mitchell thusly:

“Why was the helicopter flying so low?”

via East Texas DWI Mayhem Kills One, Injures Three, Damages MedEvac Chopper, Spawns Stupid Quote of Year – Houston News – Hair Balls.

Condolences to the family of the deceased.

via @Skepticscalpel on twitter.

€gads! | The Weekly Standard

A remarkably well written and approachable look at the Eurozone financial problems, and ours.

Merkel cannot say no. She leads the country whose arrogant un-neighborliness the European Union was set up to abolish. But she cannot say yes without violating the law and colluding in the looting of the people who voted her into office. So she and her government are in the position of a man who yearns to get divorced but has religious scruples against it.

via €gads! | The Weekly Standard.

Coked up: Man had 72 drug bags in belly – World news – Americas –

First, a startling CT image at their site, and after you see that, a little Emergency Medicine:

Brazilian police have released X-ray images of an Irishman they allege swallowed dozens of cocaine capsules in an attempt to smuggle the drug out of Sao Paolo….

The medical images show 72 bags packed with the drug in his gastrointestinal tract.

via Coked up: Man had 72 drug bags in belly – World news – Americas –

From the CT image (which is cool, go see it) this represents the forethought-involved “Packer”, as opposed to the ‘cheese it, it’s the cops, swallow the drugs’ “Stuffer”.

Packers think ahead, carry a lot of drugs, and (if memory serves) are more likely to die if their packaging ruptures. Stuffers, though, are much more likely to show symptoms, get brought to ED’s (via the cops), and live to stuff another day.

I wonder what 2 pounds of cocaine sells for in Ireland…  (It’s not enough to spend the rest of your life in a Brazilian prison).

I have differences with this President, but this is the best thing he’s done so far.

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama enjoyed a beer with Dakota Meyer on the patio outside the Oval Office Wednesday. The president will present Meyer with the Medal of Honor Thursday during a ceremony at the White House.

“Meyer asked the staffer if he could have a beer with the President,” Carney said.

“POTUS invited Dakota to come by the White House this afternoon.”

via President pauses for beer with future Medal of Honor recipient – CNN Political Ticker – Blogs.

Good for you, Mr. President.

Operation Feeding Freedom | A Soldier’s Perspective

This is the kind of thing I really like:

Nine years ago, an idea was hatched at Outback headquarters to send meals to troops in combat, starting with Afghanistan in 2002.

Outback co-founder, Trudy Cooper, told me that it was a natural thing to do since their headquarters is so close to MacDill Air Force Base.

“We already serve meals to our military, how hard could it be to take them meals where they fight?” she asked.

via Operation Feeding Freedom | A Soldier’s Perspective.

How hard, indeed.

Go, and read about their efforts, and this years’.

Then patronize Outback. They deserve it.

9/11 ten years later

I try not to think about this, as it makes me sad and deeply angry. Neither is good for me in the long run. Embarrassingly, I have yet to watch United 93. I need to, but I don’t want to. I know I won’t be happy with my reaction. Tears and rage are a bad mix.

Yeah, lotta I’s in that paragraph. Others died, many were amazingly heroic, most were innocent victims. Life is like that, deeply unfair.

My post last year on this says most of what I have to say from a personal perspective. Nothing profound.

Since then a few friends, and a zillion people I’ve never met but owe a huge debt of gratitude to have literally gone to war to do their duty, and hopefully prevent a recurrence of a cowardly attack on the US. I think some luck and a lot of skill is why we haven’t been hit again. Thank Yous to all our men and women in uniform, then and now. I need to buy a lifetime of beers…

And, My First Haiku:

Never Forgive
and Never Forget.
Bin Laden is fishfood
I’m happy ’bout that.

Eternal Vigilance is the price of Freedom. Note: not giving away our rights in a vain plea for safety and security. Don’t let that happen.