Friday, May 3, 2013


Well, It's been awhile. I've had a very busy schedule lately, and have not had the time to get to writing the blog.

I've gotten some reading in, and I'm well past due of turning in a review that I volunteered for. My apologies.

The book, The Wardog's Coin/ Qalabi Dawn by Vox Day is another part of the SF/F genre that Vox has been assaulting the SF/F readers with a blitzkrieg of material.

I'll be honest, this book, good as it may be; was not nearly as rewarding to read as A Throne of Bones, or A Magic Broken. It's good, but just not on the same level.

The Wardog's Coin

So, what's good? The battle. Epic, well played, well written, gives a great visualization. Think Spartacus meets Black Hawk Down. Vox delivers well without fault in this regard.

Weakness? The lead character. He's an roughneck sergeant in a mercenary army in battle. He's character makes you think his life is about war, boozing, and women. My issue is that his character didn't seem *entirely* authentic. During most of the book he seems simple, but in the end he poses an eloquent analogy of life from his perspective. That last notion seemed really out of character, more philosopher than warrior.

It's a small gripe. And it may not bother you at all. I'd give it a 7/10.

Qalabi Dawn

This story is classic Vox. It's out there, starts quickly, floods you with a foreign environment, and just as you move into a territory where you feel like you grasp the situation, the story begins to turn towards the climax. It's a somewhat classic clash of glory blinded officer against a much weaker, and more motivated foe. Maximizing strengths and minimizing weaknesses is what the strategy boils down to. Very much mimicking the Trojan siege of Troy through deception. Interesting characters, and an enjoyable story line. 8.5/10

The price is hard to beat on the two books, and they are short enough to be read in a couple of hours. They provide interesting details into the setting of Selenoth, the environment that A Trone of Bones takes place in. They are worth reading if you enjoyed ATOB, and are looking forward to the next installment. If you haven't yet explored the land of Selenoth but are unsure about tackling ATOB, I'd recommend starting with A Magic Broken.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Who needs enemies

When you can have friends like these?
Tonight, a large crowd gathered to remember Gray, and it apparently became unruly as the crowd walked between the shooting location and the 67th Precinct at Snyder Avenue near Nostrand—there were reports that bottles were thrown at police officers. NBC New York estimated the crowd at 70, and the Post says a crowd looted a Rite Aid. The manager said, "They poured in here like 40 or 50 of them. They pulled the registers off the counters, they flipped over everything. They punched me in the face. Several of them did, not just one [person.] It was insane." City Council Member Jumaane Williams lamented that a "peaceful vigil that devolved into a riot. The youth in this community have no outlets for their anger, no community center."
Yea, Jumaane, I'm sure it's because they didn't have a community center. So who is Gray, and why are they remembering him?
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne had said yesterday, "After the anti-crime sergeant and police officer told the suspect to show his hands, which was heard by witnesses, Gray produced a revolver and pointed it at the officers, who fired a total of 11 rounds, striking Gray several times." Police sources also told the News that "Gray has four prior arrests, including charges of grand larceny, possession of stolen property and inciting a riot." Still, Gray's sister Mahnefah Gray said that a witness told her that Kimani was adjusting for his belt and that even if he had a gun, he wouldn't point it at the police.
So let me get this straight. A 16 year old thug wanna-be with that prior, in possession of an illegal firearm in the grandest city of the world, wouldn't point said weapon at the police? You know, yesterday, I listed a bridge in Brooklyn for sale actually. I really like the part about his prior of inciting riots, in which he is remembered by.

Maybe more telling though.

the officers, who fired a total of 11 rounds, striking Gray several times.
What is several? 2? 3? 4? Out of 11 total shots fired, they hit 18-36%. Although this is higher than the statistical average, it's still a poor performance.

The 5th... Who needs it anyway?

Apparently, you or I won't after this precedent is established.
Defence lawyers have indicated that the former neuroscience graduate might plead not guilty by reason of insanity. If he does, the judge has ruled he might have to submit to a "narcoanalytic interview" - including the use of what some have dubbed a "truth serum" - as part of the evaluation of his mental state. A narcoanalytic interview is a decades-old process in which patients are given drugs to lower their inhibition. The judge said Holmes could also be given a lie detector test as part of the evaluation.
You have a right not to self-incriminate. Seriously, is it even needed at this point?
On July 20, 2012, police arrested an unresisting Holmes next to his car behind the Century 16 theater, moments after the 2012 Aurora shooting, in which Holmes allegedly set off several gas or smoke canisters and then opened fire on the theater audience, killing 12 and wounding 58. The responding officers recovered several guns from inside the car and the theater. According to two federal authorities, Holmes had dyed his hair orange and had called himself "The Joker".[59] Although it should also be noted, that Holmes calling himself "The Joker," was later retracted [60] to news sources such as "Face The Nation," on the CBS News network, by police. Once apprehended, Holmes told the police that he had booby-trapped his apartment with explosive devices before heading to the theater.[13][61][62] Police later confirmed the presence of explosives in the apartment.[63]
What would be infinitely more telling is the prescription medications he was taking at the time. I'd venture that he was on some combination of ADHD and anti-depressant medications, many of which can have serious manic-depressive side effects.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Ok, if that doesn't just confound everyone, I don't know what will. The car looks like an Enzo and 458 created a bastard child, and it went on to get mixed up with a Tesla Roadster. Needless to say it's pretty radical, and anyone who is a die-hard old school Ferrari fan will probably be disgusted. In a way I am. I don't like the idea of it. But I have to admit, the car looks good, and the torque that the electric could provide, instantaneously, could be very advantageous. I would be like a turbo, without the lag, and added back-pressure. I would imagine that when the electric engine is not consuming, and creating power, that it is acting as a generator to recharge the batteries. This would act as a power robbing feature during normal use, until it's disconnected. Assuming a 90% efficiency, it would rob 181bhp from the base 800hp.

Either way, it's 800bhp from the ICE, and 163 from the electric totaling a maximum of 963bhp. That's definitely enough to get the heart rate up.

Check it out here

Friday, March 8, 2013

how very fitting

This is certainly not what the WH wants after Rand Paul filibuster earlier this week.
Vice President Joe Biden swears in CIA Director John Brennan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 8, 2013. Members of Brennan’s family stand with him. Brennan was sworn in with his hand on an original draft of the Constitution, dating from 1787, which has George Washington’s personal handwriting and annotations on it.

That means, when Brennan vowed to protect and defend the Constitution, he was swearing on one that did not include the First, Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendments — or any of the other Amendments now included in our Constitution. The Bill of Rights did not become part of our Constitution until 1791, 4 years after the Constitution that Brennan took his oath on.

It sure will be interesting to see if we get any politicians to stand up and say, "re-oath with the bill of rights, or GTFO"

Thursday, March 7, 2013


There's a lot of talk this morning about Rand Paul's 13 hour filibuster last night. It is a good thing that an elected representative, not a "leader", if finally taking a stand against the White House. However, as many people have found out over the course of history, waiting until the enemy is battle ramming your gates is not the time to loose your archers. This should have been happening after Anwar al-Awlaki and his son were assassinated. They were both American citizens denied due process of law and their right to trial by their peers.

After all, does it really matter the geographical location of the strike carried out on a US citizen?

Friday, March 1, 2013


Consumer spending increases, even as wages decline.

Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, climbed 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent gain the prior month, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 76 economists called for a 0.2 percent advance. Incomes slumped 3.6 percent, sending the saving rate down to the lowest level since November 2007.

Fear not, a minimum wage increase is on the way. That will resolve this minor inconvenience

Today’s report showed a price gauge tied to consumer spending, which are the figures tracked by Federal Reserve policy makers, was little changed in January from the prior month. Over the past 12 months prices rose 1.2, the smallest year-to-year gain since October 2009. The rate compares with the central bank’s goal of 2 percent. Excluding food and energy costs, prices climbed 1.3 percent in January from the same month in 2012, the smallest year-to- year gain since April 2011.

As Denninger likes to point out, stable prices are no change, not a targeted 2%. It is easy to see why they exclude food an energy, as it is a negligible expense, right?

wouldn't a 1.2% inflation rate, and only a .2% advance in consumer household spending, EXCLUDING fuel and food, yield a net decline in consumption? A growing economy should have growth rates exceeding inflation. This is coupled with large decline in savings.

The saving rate dropped to 2.4 percent from 6.4 percent.
Translation: inflation on the rise, people spending less, and still running out of money. If something doesn't change this trajectory, there is going to be some serious issues.

There is an interesting debate shaping up over at VP on money, it's value and inflation.