Saturday, May 12th, 2012


  • Slightly confusing, but what the headline really means is “there are many instances where police used more bullets against 1 person than Germany used in an entire year against all criminals in the country”.

    Now, if you extrapolate out the fact that the U.S. population is almost 4 times that of Germany’s, the real number to compare is not 85 shots, but about 340 shots.

    Contrast to America, where *to stop a reckless driver* last year, police fired over 110 shots, including shooting 7 innocent bystanders. We routinely shoot unarmed people 40-90 times.

    Yeah…. It’s not just our larger population at work. When our police use more bullets in a single incident than a country previously associated with fascism does all year — it gives one major pause at how fucked up and broken our system is, and how piss-poor our over-militarized, trigger-happy police operate. 

    Not making assumptions here. I’ve worked them them, eaten lunch with them, and heard them talk about how they want someone to cause them to have a chance to shoot them. It’s sickening.

    tags: politics AbuseOfAuthority police brutality PoliceBrutality shootings bullets comparison compared Germany 85 2011 RT news articles triggerHappy government freedom policeState violence deaths

  • Here’s what happens if someone takes the darkest 25% or so of My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic episodes, and makes a serious movie trailer out of them.

    I gotta say… this is fucking awesome. Deal with it.

    tags: media video videos cartoons TV shows MyLittlePony MyLittlePony:FriendshipIsMagic trailer trailers fan-made fanmade YouTube

  • But anyway, here’s a story of a Jewish person who turned in the person raping his child, and was shunned by his community, harassed, and kicked out of his residence.

    Hasidic Jews, that is. These are the hardcore orthodox types. People who take their supernatural beliefs way too seriously, and then inflict them on other people.

    Religion has got to be one of the top enemies for children.

    (Islam is even worse in that they don’t need to worry about covering up chid rape quite as much as the other religions, because Mohamad set the awesome example of marrying a six year old while he was in his 50s, and Sharia says you execute the rape victim, not the rapist, so what’s left to cover up?)

    In general, fuck religious people. Even the ones that do no wrong help prop up communities like this by passing on supernatural beliefs that have nothing to do with the modern-day world. If you don’t like my attitude, here is a cup of I don’t give a fuck that you can drink.

    This is basically looking like the same bullshit the pope and various bishops have pulled repeatedly.

    tags: politics religion Judaism Jews childMolesters molesters rape rapists pedophiles shunned Hasidic HasidicJews MordechaiJungreis Brooklyn NewYorkCity NewYork children PearlEngelman NYTimes news articles mesirah YonaWeinberg KiryasJoel OrangeCounty sex Joseph

  • Freshly released: Actual video of police killing a homeless man. The video is FORTY MINUTES IN LENGTH, with TWENTY MINUTES OF BRUTALITY.

    If 6 officers couldn’t take this guy down in less than 20 minutes, none of them deserve to keep their job.

    For once, the pigs are actually charged with murder and manslaughter. But wait. Only 2 of the 6 officers were actually charged. Seems to be that if you mindlessly dogpile onto an existing situation, you’re just fine. They never charge everyone who actually did it.

    “I just started smashing his face to hell” -one of the officers

    tags: politics AbuseOfAuthority PoliceBrutality tasers police brutality CaughtOnVideo beatings deaths murders violence government freedom KellyThomas LaTimes blog posts ManuelRamos JayCicinelli JoeWolf St.JudeMedicalCenter Fullerton

  • 7.6/10 from both of us (imdb avg is 6.5/10).
    4/5 stars from Carolyn, 3.6/5 stars from me
    (avg Netflix is 3.9/5 stars, with a guess of 4.1 for us)

    I call this Underworld 3 because it’s the 3rd non-prequel movie in the 4-movie franchise. We now have 0 through 3.

    Anyway, this was an improvement over the 3rd movie, Underworld 0:Rise Of The Lycans. Kate Beckinsale is back, since she was barely in the prequel movie (though it’s easy enough to mistake Rhona Mitra for Kate, if you forget the eye color difference).

     It’s been too long since the first two Underworld movies for me to really say whether this was any better or worse than 1-2.

    The main twist here is that vampires and werewolves are now known to exist by the general public.

    For the most part, this just feels like a Resident Evil movie. Moreso than any of the previous Underworld movies. Whether that is good or bad is your choice.

    This had some good action, as expected — but the story could use a bit of work. The movie was kind of short. Not too much happened. There needs to be more movies in the franchise, because this one created more new issues than it resolved.

    But it was still good. High-budget, polished action.

    tags: media videos movies reviews Clint Carolyn Underworld Underworld3 Underworld:Awakening 2012

  • Both of us: 7/10 (IMDB average:4.1/10).
    Clint: 4/5 stars, Carolyn: 3/5 stars, Netflix: 2.7/5 stars, with a 3.1/5 guess for us.

    So yea, we liked this better than the general public, which is true for most movies.

     I’m still trying to figure out why the general public — who spends more money on porn than all non-porn movies combined — tends to rate sex comedies so low. Are they upset they aren’t actual pornos? 

    This is a movie about cougars, and stars such older women as Fayne Dunaway, Carrie Fisher, Loretta Devine, and other 40-55 year old cougars. But it’s not a porno. There’s barely even nudity in it. The marketeers marketed toward the sex angle to capture peoples’ money, and I think that is what they are angry about. If you watch it not expecting much sex, the sex is simply a pleasant surprise instead of a disappointment.

    We found it to be a fun movie. Nothing great, but a good testament about scenesters and creating scenes, and with some fun eroticism to boot. The Cougar Club in this movie could just as easily be ANY self-aggrandizing, private sex-themed party-throwing organization. The parallels were obvious.  And the two bros that were main characters had a good comedic chemistry with each other, even if there was nothing uniuque about it.

    But Amanda? God…The Amanda character was SOOOOOOO annoying. The filmmarkers did this on purpose, I think, to highlight the maturity of older women by showing how annoying a younger woman can be. 

    I did not realize one of the main characters had been in 8 episodes of 24! Weird. 

    Anyway… I’m glad we finally got around to watching this.

    tags: media video movies reviews Clint Carolyn CougarClub 2007

  • 4/5 stars, 8/10 from both of us, though the general public only rated it 2.7/5 stars (Netflix guessed 2.6 for us!) and 5.5/10.

    This is the closest film I’ve ever seen to the movie Hardware (1990).

    There are a few scenes that seem to be in DIRECT homage to Hardware. It lacks some of the comedy and psychedelia in Hardware, as well as the amazing cameos…

    But in terms of cinematography, subject matter, style, and even character appearance (including the “villain”), this is simply a Poor Man’s Hardware. It even has William Hootkins (“we all sing, the wibbery-wobberly..walk!”), though he’s playing a suit instead of a perf.

     Despite this being a poor man’s Hardware, it’s still better than 95% of scifi horror movies from the 1990s. So it gets 4/5 stars and 8/10, instead of the 5/5 stars and 9/10 rating that Hardware received.

    Brad Dourif is pretty fricking crazy in this, and a lot of people are saying Heath Ledger must have watched this film at some point as inspiration for his insane portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight.

    We watched the 111-minute (PAL/Europe) cut, though I would have preferred to get the 128 or 120-minute cut. Stay away from the 99-minute Netflix cut. You’ll be sorry. Get the PAL (europe) DVD if at all possible.

    This movie also gets a very special LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for having THE STRANGEST MARIJUANA JOINTS TO BE FEATURED IN ALL OF FILMDOM.

    tags: media videos movies reviews Clint Carolyn DeathMachine 1994 scifi horror BradDourif WilliamHootkins

  • Clint & Carolyn: 3/5 stars (Netflix avg=3.6, guess for us=3.3).
    Clint: 6.4/10 (high 6)
    Carolyn: 6.6/10 (low 7)
    IMDB: 5.3/10.

    There is so much wrong with this, but could I really refuse to watch a Smurfs movie because I think it MIGHT be lame? No, I could not. Especially with Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays (Hiro’s perfect match from Heroes), and Sofia Vergara.

    And was it lame? Yes, in some ways.

    Of course, the original 80′s cartoon is pretty goddamn lame if you sit down and watch an episode of it in 2012, so one could argue that this movie was actually an improvement. The problem is peoples’ rose-tinted nostalgia that causes them to reject everything made on an old idea. But The Smurfs WERE ALREADY AN OLD IDEA when they came to American television. The Smurfs as a franchise are 50 years old; the cartoon is only 30 years old. It was already an adaptation before it was adapted for this movie. So get over it. The movie was fun.

    They went into the real world, which is a cheesy plot device used in so many cartoon movies, as well as an excuse to cheap out on the animation budget by using live-action people.

    But there was also a real charm in seeing Gargamel as a ridiculous live-action person caught in a world he doesn’t belong to. He assumes homeless people are other wizards. It’s funny, in a 3rd Rock From the Sun Season 1 kind of way, to see someone try to figure out a world they don’t belong in.
    And the CGI on Azrael was really cute.

    When all is said and done, we have to admit to liking this movie, even if it wasn’t great.

    tags: media videos movies reviews Clint Carolyn cartoons Smurfs TheSmurfs 2011 HankAzaria NeilPatrickHarris JaymaMays SofiaVergara

  • 4/5 stars, 7/10.
    Native ratings: 3.4/5 stars (Netflix’s guess for us=3.9), 6.3/10 IMDB.

    We definitely had to read the wikipedia summaries of the last 3 movies, because it has been soooo long since the first 3 Scream movies came out. Plus, the 2nd and 3rd ones weren’t as good.

    Fortunately, Scream 4 seems to be continuing the trend of resurrecting old horror franchises with a sequel better than the last few sequels.

    Final Destination 5 was better than FD3, 4, and maybe 2. And Scream 4 is better than S3 & S2.

    Horray for fixing broken franchises!

    tags: media videos movies reviews Clint Carolyn Scream Scream4 2011

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POLICE BRUTALITY: 85 shots: US cops use more ammo per man than Germans per year

Slightly confusing, but what the headline really means is “there are many instances where police used more bullets against 1 person than Germany used in an entire year against all criminals in the country”.

Now, if you extrapolate out the fact that the U.S. population is almost 4 times that of Germany’s, the real number to compare is not 85 shots, but about 340 shots.

Contrast to America, where *to stop a reckless driver* last year, police fired over 110 shots, including shooting 7 innocent bystanders. We routinely shoot unarmed people 40-90 times.

Yeah…. It’s not just our larger population at work. When our police use more bullets in a single incident than a country previously associated with fascism does all year — it gives one major pause at how fucked up and broken our system is, and how piss-poor our over-militarized, trigger-happy police operate. 

Not making assumptions here. I’ve worked them them, eaten lunch with them, and heard them talk about how they want someone to cause them to have a chance to shoot them. It’s sickening.

LINK URL: http://rt.com/usa/news/us-germany-85-shots-022

/yard sale sign/

SUMMARY:

Got up around 8:07AM, made it out driving by 8:22AM (yes, we leave quick!), and went out until Noonish, for a total of about 3 hours, 40 minutes.

Spent $25.25 plus ~$8.07 gas for 24.9 miles of driving (~12 mpg @ $3.89/G), for a total cost of $33.32.

We bought 22 items – 27 if you count the ice trays/floodlights/scissors separately – for a total estimated value of $213.18, leading to a profit/savings of $179.86 (which is $197 before taxes, for us).

Anyway, this works out to a *post-tax* “wage” of $49.05/hr as a couple or $24.53/hr per person.

COMMENTARY:

Met Rogelio again, after meeting him the first time during our yard sale double date with Matthew & Julie last year. We were waiting for a tow truck under a pavilion set up by these nice people throwing a yard sale. They fed us too. He was obsessing over this HUGE belt-buckle, like a wrestler belt. He went back at least twice wondering if he should buy it. One of these last times I noticed his comic-book-themed black t-shirt, and remembered: I’d seen this guy before. He was social then, too. We had talked to him and shown him some of our stuff last year when we met him, and he had a comic-book-themed black t-shirt then, too. He showed me this neat accordion-style-pump mechanical organ, which has a built-in wooden case that it folds back into. I showed him some of my stuff.  I actually got his email address… Why not be friendly to people with multiple similar interests? Got no response upon mailing it, though. Maybe I was too friendly?

As it turned out, the car wasn’t even broken. Disarming the alarm fixed it. I kinda want to disable my alarm at this point, it’s old and doesn’t protect any value and only causes nuisance. But using a key to get into your car is so ghetto ;) This is the car with remote start, so I definitely want the system (remote start/alarms/subwoofers all installed at the same time/together for $1200 in 1997) the keep working. At this point the system has cost less than $100/mo. Of course, all the remote start in the world doesn’t mean your car is actually dry in the winter, when you have a broken moisture seal. This car would best be owned by someone who lives in a desert, or who has a garage. Hmm.

But anyway… free towing, nothing to repair, all we really lost is time, and a bit of gas. I’ll count it in my yearly stats as a breakdown that cost $0.

We rode the tow truck up to Carolyn’s uncle’s shop in Takoma Park, MD (NationWide has $300 free towing), and then drove my Chrysler — which broke during last week’s yardsaleing — back to Virginia. So we had the weird process of moving yard sale booty from one car to another in a different state than the state we got the booty in. Last week, we did this in a shopping mall parking lot. Our yard sale experiences keep getting weirder and weirder!

20120505 - yardsale booty - 0 - misc stuff - IMG_4121

THE BOOTY:

  • $5.00: floodlights (3), 65W (1 soft light/indoor) (EV:$$3.99) – been meaning to buy one at Home Depot for forever! Carolyn said these were $5 each so we thought it was a good deal, but no, they are $1.33/ea.

    one of ours was stupid-frosted like this, but the other 2 weren’t

  • $5.00: boots, leather, black, size 6.5, 17″ tall x 3.5″ heel, White Mountain (Brazil) (EV:the lady said they cost $75 when she got them, close to these $43.19 on ebay) – for Sexy Carolyn
  • $3.00: step stool, 12.5×15.5×9.25″, beige, Rubbermaid Roughneck, No.4200, (EV:$14.99) – for short Carolyn

    when your wife is 5’2″, you need about 4X as many of these as you think you would.

  • $1.00: tape recorder, voice-activated – WITH ‘REM’ jack (I NEED THAT!), Optimus CTR-115, cat#14-1121 (sadly, people just can’t sell these, not even for $5 … However, a brand-new voice-activated cassette player costs $10, so we will estimate a $10 value for this one) – Years ago I got a telephone-cord-to-minijack interface that allows you to record the audio of your phone calls to a cassette recorder. It was $15, and works with cassette recorders that have a “REM” jack – a slightly-smaller-than-headphone jack that is used exclusively for signaling when to record. So after years of occasionally recording my phone calls manually, they will now be automatically recorded. Only caveat: A red light is always on. This will wear the battery down. I will have to check The Graveyard Of Abandoned Power Supply Blocks (i.e. our crawlspace) to see if I haver a 3V DC 300MA tip-positive adapter. Then I could plug this recorder into DC power and never have to change the 2 AA batteries again. It’s also cool that this one uses ACTUAL cassettes (not micro-cassettes), because my decades-old microcassette tapes are kind of worn. I had the opportunity to break open a sealed, TDK 90 minute extra-expensive blank cassette. It suddenly felt like the 1980s again.

    finally, my phone calls now record themself automatically!

  • $1.00: cone, orange, 27.5″ tall, 14×14″base (EV:$9.98) – I always want more cones. They come in handy in the most surprising ways.

    for my broken-step walkway, to further discourage people from using it

  • $1.00: table, corner, plastic, white, 15x15x15″ (EV:$5, probably sells for more, but it’s REALLY cheap/lightweight) – A nice corner table with 90-degree angle on one side, semi-circle on the other.
  • $1.00: hair stick with leather sun decoration from Ecuador, green and brown (EV:$3.86) – for Carolyn. Same physical shape as this, but brightly-colored

    not black

  • $1.00: skull-trident-thing (plastic), cool-ass apocalyptic, like the one Clint found in Pritchard Hall in 1994, 17×8″ (EV:no fricking clue! it’s such a weird thing! I’ll say $5, randomly) – I NEVER thought I’d see one of these again. I didn’t even know it was a mass-produced thing. I need to re-unite the two of them together and take a picture.
20120505 - yardsale booty - 1 - skull trident thing - IMG_4132

If i ever started a post-apocalyptic biker gang, this would be the required hood ornament .

  • $1.00: steel wool pads (16), Rhodes American, medium-coarse #2 (EV:$1.88) – Handy stuff. Recently put most of ours in the walls (mice hate it) and need more.

    if only i’d found this 3 months ago i could have saved myself from paying full price at Home Depot

  • $1.00: metal container, cylindrical, 10″Wx11.25″H, red (EV:no clue here; these are what holiday popcorn often comes in. Holiday popcorn is ridiculously expensive, and I’ve always thought a big part of that is the huge metal tin, so I’ll say $5 again) – for storing diatomaceous earth
  • $1.00: action figure, Juggernaut, X-Men Classics Light-Up Weapons Series, 1996 Toy Biz, 5.25″, removable helmet, bendable arms/legs/knees/head, accesories other than helmet lost (EV:$2 if you’re selling it at a comic store, but it’s gonna cost ya $at least 7to actually find this on Ebay and have it sent to your house, so I’ll call it $5) – I almost didn’t buy him because his helmet fell off. Some woman was like “I think I saw it at the top of the stairs”. This is a very non-descript 1-inch brown piece of plastic! We asked her how she possibly could have noticed such a thing, and apparently she has kids, so she’s used to having to check stairs for toys so as to not die and stuff.
    20120505 - yardsale booty - 2 - I'm The Juggarnaut, bitch - IMG_4139-diptych-IMG_4141

    we just got figure + helmet, not box/weapon/other stuff

  • $1.00: game, Cranium Zigity (2004), shrink-wrapped, 4-in-1 card game, A Starbucks Exclusive ($12.95) – I like Cranium. And I know they make special editions that can’t be bought after seeing a previous Cranium version we’d bought for $2 going for around $100 on Ebay. So of course I’ll get this for $1!
    20120505 - yardsale booty - 6 - Cranium Zigity - IMG_4129
  • $0.75: scissors (3), my personal favorite government issue ALL-METAL scissors that cannot be bought anymore — NO STUPID PLASTIC HANDLE, 2 9″ long, 1 10″ long (3 @ $0.25/ea) (EV:$5/ea) – In memory of the Voldo scissors.

20120505 - yardsale booty - 3 - scissors, hair stick, pez, halogen lights - IMG_4127

requiem for voldo scissors, RIP

  • $0.50: drum, toy, 8×6.5″, First Acts Discovery, blue argyle, very much like a real drum, but smaller & quieter (the whole set is $30, but we did not get a harmonica, or the drumsticks, so we will say: EV:$$23) – auxillary drum for my ghetto drum ‘kit’
    20120505 - yardsale booty - 4 - toy drum & psuedo drum - IMG_4142

    we only got the drum and tambourine

  • $0.50: tamborine, 6″, First Acts Discovery, white, round, 4 tines (EV:counted in the above item) – can never have enough tambourines
  • $0.50: kitty wipes, instant pet bath, Petkin, unscented, 15 jumbo size 8×10″ wipes (EV:$$4.82) – Carolyn said she may use this when Oranjello gets poop on his butt hair (which she now regularly shaves)
  • $0.50: Pez dispenser, Happy Valentine’s Day (EV:$1.58) – ate the pez, will gift the dispenser to someone who has a collection
  • $0.25: toy, My Little Pony, G1, Moondancer, 6×5″ (EV:$$5[knocked half off due to poor quality/fadedness]) – Thought it was Twilight… The markings reminded me of one of the ones my little sister used to have.

    Here’s one in better condition

    20120505 - yardsale booty - 5 - My Little Pony - Moonlight Dancer - IMG_4138

    the most hilarious purchase of the week, Carolyn is now going to get her other My Little Pony G1 from the attic

  • $0.25: socks, baby, Mickey Mouse running (EV:$2.95)

20120505 - yardsale booty - 7 - baby socks - IMG_4145

  • $FREE: drum, toy (baby), 7.25″x6.5, plastic, like baby toy; not like a real drum at all (EV:10.99)

    20120505 - yardsale booty - 4 - toy drum & psuedo drum - IMG_4142

    (the one on the left)

  • $FREE: ice trays (2),green (EV:$2) – OMFG we really “got into” ice in the last 2 yrs, and these 2 new ice trays are possibly the best yet. We have about 7 pairs of diff kinds of ice trays. There is a definite hierarchy regarding which are better. We lucked out, the best ones we ever got we got in the first year of yardsaling in our new house in 1999. These are the first ones almost as good as those. Every other one has been worse. We’ll probably keep getting them, too. Eventually we can get rid of the ones we don’t like as much, and sort of have an ice-cube-tray-eugenics-program going

    couldn’t find a picture of a green one like that. i really thought it would be common enough to find on google images.

Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings.

* EV stands for “Estimated Value”, which I estimate by looking things up in Google Shopping/Google/Amazon/Ebay. I don’t always deduct for an item being used, unless it’s actually in worse condition in a way that matters. For example, I estimate books at the cover value. I also try to only count shipping if it’s the type of thing that would need to be shipped, and only if the price isn’t “fixed” (i.e. 1 cent items that cost $10 to ship would not be $10 in person). (more…)

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