Books for Soldiers

As anyone would realize were they to stumble across this blog, it’s practically defunct these days. That makes it exactly like the vast majority of blogs, but there is a big difference. The primary reason for the inactivity here is that my brother, the co-writer, has joined the Army. He’s currently waiting out a 3-week holding period between Basic Training and Officer Candidate School. The three weeks are marked by boredom it seems, and one of the few authorized outlets is reading. Unfortunately, the common bookshelves are inadequately stocked.

That’s why I’m posting here today. We’re hoping we can get some books donated to the OCS Headquarters Company at Fort Benning. There is no official process for donating books. It’s not like it’s a library. Just two bookshelves full of field manuals and the like with a lone row devoted to leisure reading. (more…)

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Published in: on February 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Why Komen?

I just read this article on some HS football refs who may be suspended for using pink whistles in a football game. I support their cause (breast cancer) and I appreciate their willingness to risk suspension and the loss of three paychecks. My only question is why Susan G. Komen? It’s hard to assess which charities are great and which are not, but I’ve generally understood Komen to be one of those charities which became a brand and lost sight of it’s goals. The comments on Charity Navigator, while unscientific, support my general opinion of the charity. (more…)

Published in: on October 24, 2010 at 1:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Count the Contradictions

I saw this comment in an article which stated Wal-Mart is going to start selling iPads. The comments after a news article are generally a source for some of the most inane, ignorant thoughts ever contributed to the Internet. They’re especially bad following articles relating to crime, but this one stood out because the article hardly covers a controversial topic. The crime related ones are just to easy to hate.

Wal-Mart single-handedly killed small town USA. They truly are “too big to fail” Stop and think what will happen if Wal-Mart suddenly went under.
It’s time to start pulling back and let them die a slow death.

(more…)

Published in: on October 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Hire This Man

Now I’m writing this blog post based on one online newspaper article, so it could be that some facts are omitted which would cause me to change my stance. That being said “Sgt. Osvaldo Hernandez has been trying to join the NYPD since 2008, but was blocked because of a 2002 gun arrest.”
When he young Hernandez was caught with a gun in his car and did 8 months in jail before joining the Army. Since then he has proven himself in combat, both as a leader and as a subordinate. (more…)

What the Zeus Virus Looks Like

I thought I knew about all the phishing techniques, and they all sounded pretty avoidable. How in the hell had I never heard of this? It’s a beauty and it’s called a Zeus Virus.

Zeus is a financial malware. It infects consumer PCs, waits for them to log onto a list of targeted banks and financial institutions, and then steals their credentials and sends them to a remote server in real time. Additionally, it may inject HTML into the pages rendered by the browser, so that its own content is displayed together (or instead of) the genuine pages from the bank’s web server. Thus, it is able to ask the user to divulge more personal information, such as payment card number and PIN, one time passwords and TANs, etc.

Not only can most virus software not detect it, but you can be looking right at the effects of it and fail to see it yourself. (more…)

Less of a Shotgun Wedding, More of a Handgun Wedding

I just read a story about this 21 year old, Indian male, Pankaj Kishore Karotia who had just got married. His uncle decided to fire a celebratory gunshot in the air. Sadly, (or “naturally”) “As he was loading it, it fired accidentally and hit his newly-wed nephew in the head.” First of all, while I buy the part that shooting the nephew was an accident, I don’t buy “As he was loading it, it fired accidentally”. Maybe, I would accept “Shortly after loading it, he accidentally fired the gun” or (more…)

January 2010 Link Round-up; Highlights and Lowlights

Well due to the success of my 2009 link round-up I decided to make it a monthly think. So again, this link dump will feature content created in January 2010 and some older content which I just happened to come across this month.

The case against 5 former Blackwater guards was dropped after it was horribly mishandled by the prosecuting team. And I do mean horribly. <The Wall Street Journal>

The Mets were weird when they were good. <The Big Lead>

Avatar almost had to raise their MPAA rating. What I am a talking about? Why a deleted Na’avi sex scene involving those tentacles of theirs. <Filmdrunk> (more…)

Donations To Haiti Relief – What’s Real? What’s Efficient?

I got it in my mind to make a small donation to Haiti relief efforts, but I didn’t want to simply find the nearest paypal button associated with the word “Haiti” and send off my money. I wanted to avoid a scam, obviously but more than that I wanted to put the money in hands who would use it wisely in relief efforts and not see it swallowed up by administrative or fund-raising costs. I personally don’t want to pay for a TV spot asking for more money. I also figure a few other people might find themselves in my situation so I decided to provide highlights of my research. (more…)

eBay Gift Cards on eBay

I just noticed that if you search eBay for eBay gift cards you’ll find them going for a dollar or two above their value. I looked and you can buy them on eBay with free shipping. You can even get them personalize and customized. But people would rather pay a slight premium to get them from other sources. Can anyone explain this to me? Frankly it seems stupid. Take this one for instance $100 in gift cards. Currently at $103.53 and the seller only has a feedback score of 28. What gives?

2009 Oxford Word of The Year!

Unfriend v. – “To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.”

There’s your 2009 Oxford word of the year. I like it. It certainly has slipped into my vocabulary and when I use the word, unfriend, everyone know what I mean. It is certainly a better choice than it’s twitter-related fellow finalist, “hashtag” or the political “birther”. I mean really… Who knew that was a way of describing someone who doesn’t believe Obama was born in the US? Also, according to Oxford lexicographer Christine Lindberg, the word has “real lex appeal”… Whatever that means. (more…)