2006/05/31

You can bring a gun to a knife fight.

Five robbers picked the wrong victim in Midtown Atlanta last night and one of them paid with her life.

The victim, Thomas Autry, fought back; killing one robber and wounding another. Three other suspects are in jail.

Autry was walking to his girlfriend's home after getting off work as a waiter at Jocks and Jills.

The five suspects pulled up in a car and confronted the victim in the 500 block of Penn Street just before midnight.

Autry began running down the street yelling for help. Residents who heard him called 911. While he was running, Autry pulled a pocket knife from his backpack.

Two of the robbers jumped from the car. When one of the robbers pointed a shotgun at him, the Autry kicked it out of his hands.

At that point two of the robbers jumped on the victim. During the struggle he stabbed both of them. One, a 17-year-old female who has been identified as Amy Martin, died of her wounds. Officials say Martin was pregnant. A second is in critical condition.

Amy's mother, Alesher Zeigler, says, "She was trying to fit in... and this new boyfriend she was with he just totally changed her, totally changed her." Zeigler says Amy's boyfriend was also involved in the robbery.

Police arrived on the scene and with a description of the car; they quickly arrested the three other suspects.

Other suspects arrested were identified as Christopher Daniel, 19, of Atlanta; Kendall Barksdale, 18, of Atlanta; Christopher Hayes, 18, of Douglasville and a 16-year-old male juvenile. They will all be charged with aggravated assault and armed robbery.

Thomas Autry, who is a former U.S. Marine, will not be charged since police say he was acting in self defense. Officials say Autry is extremely remorseful.

Today Autry told Channel 2 that he was, "...just trying to protect myself. I'm sorry."

The only problem with this scenario is that the victim will probably lose his ass in civil court.

2006/05/30

A firing position I've never seen before.


Hmmmm.... "Don't ask don't tell" policy?

Is that what they call putting your butt on the line?

Obviously, they're Rump Rangers.

Yup, that rifleman is definately a, um......'crack shot'.

I'm pretty sure that these guys are tired of being the butt of all these jokes. We've been riding them pretty hard since the crack of dawn - it's got to be hard for them to just keep turning the other cheek to this sort of abuse.

2006/05/26

Misc. Friday Ramblings...



Friday FIREPOWER!
  • Deactivated Firearms.
    A deactivated weapon is any firearm that has been converted so that it can no longer discharge any shot, bullet or any other missile. Deactivation is intended to be permanent and cannot be reactivated without specialist tools or skills.

    Deactivation work carried out in the UK since 1 July 1989, will generally have been endorsed by a Proof House. The weapon will be proof marked and issued with a deactivation certificate.

    There are stringent requirements before a weapon can be proofed as deactivated and such work should be left to a gunsmith. A registered firearms dealer is the best person to speak to about this.

    Any weapon - including prohibited one such as a machine gun - can be deactivated and will no longer deemed a firearm under the Firearms Act.

    Deactivated weapons may be possessed without a firearm or shotgun certificate and may be displayed in the owner's home without the need for a locked gun cabinet.

    I want to cry now. Not just for the fact that they have taken sterling examples of history firearms and ruined them, but that you have to have a locked cabinet to display your own firearms in your own home.

  • Katana vs. John Moses Browning's Ma-Deuce.
    The Browing wins in the end, but the Katana holds its own very well. Nice addition the Transylvania Horses track from Van Helsing is.

  • Why you shouldn't rack the slide overhand (covering the ejection port).
    What happened is the extractor lost tension & when you rack it back hard, the shell drops from underneth the extractor. The bullet being heavier went down, putting the primer up & it hit the ejector,BANG. As long as you have tenson on the extractor, this will not happen.


  • The Brady campaign doesn't like Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law.
    So, they decided to put up a sign. I think the sign is pretty spot on as it stands (*gasp* *shock* *horror*), but one word makes it the stone-cold truth.
    Before:

    After:

2006/05/25

Don't you hate it when your urinal talks to you about DWI?

In their continuing efforts to get the word out that drunk driving won't be tolerated, Nassau Country police have initiated a pilot program featuring talking urinals, WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reports.

The Wizmark Urinal Communicator is a plastic cover that that rests just above the urinal's drain. It boasts a 3.5-inch plastic screen that displays lenticular images -- digital files that have been specially prepared and then printed onto the back of a thin transparent lens material.

According to its manufacturer, "The device automatically recognizes the presence of a 'Visitor' and after a brief delay allowing the viewer to get properly positioned, proceeds to emit a very audible pre-recorded 15 second message stating "Hey you Yea You, having a few drinks? Then listen up!

"Think you had one to many then it's time to call a cab or call a sober friend for a ride home. It sure is safer and a hell of a lot cheaper than a DWI. Make the smart choice tonight, don't drink and drive," the message continues.

Sometimes it is hard enough relaxing to pee when other folks are present. How the hell are you supposed to do that when the damn urinal is talking to you. Besides, last time I checked, DWI wasn't just a male issue. So, what goes into the women's facilities? Remember, don't eat the white mint.

2006/05/24

What pisses you off?



Especially the ones that go off right after you've sat down, and spray your ass. Dont'cha just hate that?


What pisses you off?

Created by ptocheia

2006/05/23

Want Superpowers? Try Savage, not Scientology.

The Church of Scientology is reportedly about to unveil a center in Clearwater, Florida specializing in their "Super Power" training program, which trains you in, well, super powers. Shhh! It's secret, and scientific, too:

A key aim of Super Power is to enhance one's perceptions - and not just the five senses we all know - hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell.... Super Power uses machines, apparatus and specially designed rooms to exercise and enhance a person's so-called perceptics. Those machines include an antigravity simulator and a gyroscope-like apparatus that spins a person around while blindfolded to improve perception of compass direction, said the former Scientologists.

A video screen that moves forward and backward while flashing images is used to hone a viewer's ability to identify subliminal messages, they said.

This sounds strangely familiar. Wait! My inhumanly acute powers of memory are tingling...throbbing...yes, it's all coming back to me now—Doc Savage's exercises!

Doc Savage was the hero of a series of pulp novels in the 30's and 40's. He was a sort of proto-Superman, trained from childhood by his father to nearly superhuman heights of strength, intelligence, and a dozen other abilities he kept constantly honed by a constant regimen of extraordinary exercises.

Xenu won't be happy now that his secret is out. Maybe this is the reason that Tom Cruise is "super" in the box office.

2006/05/22

Mr. Kibbles comes home after a trip to the Everglades.

Maybe Mr. Kibbles will know better the next time he's looking for a litter box.

Christopher Cortes, 33, and wife, Iris Zuckerman, 33, were sentenced Thursday to 100 hours and 50 hours of community service, respectively, for snatching the black cat from their neighbor's home and leaving him in the Everglades in February 2005.

Police said Cortes was upset the cat used the back of his new pickup truck as a litter box.

Cortes, a firefighter, and his wife had pleaded no contest to petty theft and declined comment after the hearing.

"That's what they get for taking an innocent cat," said the cat's owner, 12-year-old Maggie Leonard.

Leonard said Mr. Kibbles made his way back to his home two weeks later. She said she's disappointed in the couple, who were close friends of the family, adding that firefighters should be saving cats from trees, not stealing them.

Maybe this cat owner should have kept their pet from crapping on other people's property. A call to animal control could have settled this in a much more civil fashion. So would a .22.

2006/05/19

Misc. Friday Ramblings...



Friday FIREPOWER!
  • A DIY Cruise Missile
    Some time ago I wrote an article in which I suggested that it would not be difficult for terrorists to build their own relatively sophisticated cruise missiles using off-the-shelf components and materials.

    Not surprisingly, that piece has produced a significant amount of feedback from the tens of thousands of people who have read it so far.

    Included in this feedback, I've received quite a number of emails from former and currently serving US military personnel who acknowledge that the threat is one they are very much aware of and for which there is little in the way of an effective defense available.

    However, there have also been a number of people who claim I'm overstating the case and that it's not possible to build a real cruise missile without access to sophisticated gear, specialist tools and information not readily available outside the military.

    So, in order to prove my case, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and build a cruise missile in my own garage, on a budget of just US$5,000
    .

    If his goal was to raise awareness, it worked too well. Now, he has the government of NZ shutting him down by any means necessary. A disgruntled engineer is someone that you don't want to mess with, because they usually know how stuff works.

  • Stryker Ramps Up Mobile Gun System
    The newest version of the Stryker vehicle, designed to provide fire power to Infantry units, will be unveiled May 15 at Fort Knox's Armor Warfighting Symposium.

    The development of the Mobile Gun System is being managed by Fort Benning's Training and Doctrine Command System Manager-Stryker/Bradley.

    The system was developed to meet the infantry’s need for a highly mobile support vehicle to supply rapid, direct fire, specifically during close assaults, said Dave Rogers, a TSM-Stryker senior analyst. The Mobile Gun System will eventually be integrated into Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.

    "The Mobile Gun System brings a tremendous battlefield capability to the Stryker formation, providing direct fire support to infantrymen in close, complex terrain," said Col. Donald Sando, the director of the TSM Stryker/Bradley.

    The Mobile Gun System's firepower includes a turret-mounted 105 mm cannon, a mounted M-240C machine gun and a pedestal-mounted M-2.50 caliber machine gun for the vehicle commander.

    The cannon can blast holes through reinforced concrete walls creating a breach point for infantry, and destroy bunkers and machine-gun nests that typically pin down infantry squads and platoons.

    The 105 mm cannon can also take out snipers, Rogers said, because with one shot, it can destroy the entire area where a sniper is firing from. The cannon also fires canister rounds, which are used when confronting large groups of combatants. The canister round sends out a spray of titanium balls, similar to the pellets from a shotgun, which can impact several targets at once.

    As long as it won't be pressed into something it wasn't designed to do, it sounds like a good idea on paper. A Hellcat it isn't, but then again, who needs a dedicated tank killer anymore in the missile era.

  • 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel. How things come back around again.
    I don't think that either round is "barking up the wrong tree" - they're just different answers to the same tactical problem. Let's look at the problem, rather than one particular solution, and then consider the answers.

    The problem is that during WW2 and Korea, studies showed that the vast majority of effective shots by infantrymen were at relatively short ranges (less than 200 yards in something like 90% of cases, IIRC). Furthermore, many infantrymen, under the stress of combat, couldn't reliably hit their targets at even close range. Longer-range shots were the province of trained marksmen and those few infantrymen who could keep their cool under fire - a very small percentage.

    This meant that the standard .30-caliber battle rifle round (and its foreign equivalents such as 7.92x57mm. Mauser, 6.5mm. Swedish, .303 British, etc.) were over-powered for the "average" shooter, being accurate out to several hundred yards, in rifles designed and equipped with sights for shots out to 1,000 yards or more. Also, these rounds were relatively heavy, limiting the amount of ammo a soldier could carry. The development of the 7.62x51mm. NATO round as a "compact" .30-caliber helped a little, but not much.

    So, armies looked for ways to solve the problem. One solution was the German "short Mauser" round - a full-caliber 7.92mm. bullet in a shortened case, with lower velocity, recoil, etc. This was extraordinarly effective, particularly in the StG44 assault rifle. The Russians followed suit with their 7.62x39mm. round for the SKS and AK rifles. These rounds were much lower in recoil than the full-house stuff, and more controllable (particularly in full-auto fire), but still almost as heavy as the bigger rounds, so that not much more ammo could be carried.

    A number of countries experimented with much smaller rounds overall, including Britain, the Netherlands, and the USA. The US 5.56x45mm. round eventually came to dominate the scene. It was so small a round as to be illegal for all but varmint hunting in many areas, but could still inflict a significant wound on a human being - particularly in full-auto fire, where multiple hits magnified the effect. Its extremely light weight also meant that the individual soldier could carry more than twice the ammo of the heavier .30-caliber rounds. However, long-range effectiveness was marginal - not a problem to the designers, or the Army, both of whom wanted a round that would be effective at typical combat distances.

    Today, the 5.56mm. is derided as being ineffective against cover, in comparison to the .30-caliber rounds, which would turn a lot of cover into nothing more than concealment. It's also criticised for being less than effective as a "stopper" in its current military ball round (SS109). This is a valid criticism - the SS109 was specifically developed to give greater penetration at long range, being designed to penetrate a NATO-standard Kevlar helmet at 600 yards. Obviously, if built for deep penetration, its tumbling and fragmentation effect (pretty good in the earlier 55gr. rounds) has had to take second place. However, the overall advantages of the 5.56mm. - lower recoil, greater controllability (particularly in full-auto fire), greater ammo carrying capacity, etc. - still outweigh these disadvantages, and have ensured its survival.

    The 6.5mm. and 6.8mm. rounds are an attempt to find a "happy medium" - a round that will provide better terminal performance in flesh than 5.56mm., penetrate cover better, be accurate and effective at longer ranges, and yet be light enough to permit a significantly higher ammo load than the old .30-caliber rounds. They're trying to be "all things to all men". The approach is admirable, as is the intent, but they have to overcome a supply system filled with perfectly usable rifles, accessories and ammo for the current 5.56mm. systems. Unless the new rounds offer a significant advantage over what they're trying to replace - significant in every way, including cost to implement! - they won't displace the existing round.

    This happened before, with the Garand. It was designed to use a .276-caliber round (6.5 or 6.8, anybody?). MacArthur rejected this, insisting that it be designed to use the .30-'06 round already in use in the Army, so as not to waste the millions of rounds of ammo already in stock. I think the Garand would have been a much better rifle with the .276 cartridge, but the inertia of the system overcame its technical advantages.

2006/05/18

When not to report a theft.

An Iowa man impervious to embarrassment called cops this week to report the theft of a blow-up fashioned to resemble a porn star. According to a Council Bluffs Police Department report (a copy of which you can find below), Trenton Camacho called cops Monday night to report that a "Priority US Mail package" containing his "Jenna Haze Love Doll" had been opened and that the plastic plaything was missing. The box had been left in the common hallway of the apartment complex where the 21-year-old Camacho resides. In a TSG interview, Camacho said that he purchased the $32 item after receiving an e-mail solicitation and did not plan on replacing the stolen goods. Camacho added that he had not previously ordered any blow-up dolls and was not certain what he was going to do with the life-size replica of the popular Haze, who's starred in films like "Big Bottom Sadie" and "Phuk Factor" and was named "Best New Starlet" at the 2003 Adult Video News awards. Online ads describe the Haze doll (click here to see its package) as having "soft, perky breasts" and "sexy silkscreen crotchless panties & she has the tightest holes."

Take the $32 loss and run.

2006/05/17

Spare a coin for a poor game player?

Hey there folks!

Could you spare some change for a Sony PS3??? You heard me...A Sony PS3!

It's going to cost me $599. Once you tack on a video game, an online membership fees and the sales tax , that can add up to be hefty amount almost $700.

Just like many of you. I'm a hard working gamer and i'm wondering how the fuck can I afford such a thing. Let’s take a moment to examine the financials.

$599 for a PS3
$50-60 for a game
$50-70 for online membership.
------------------------------------------
Around $700 or more.

Wait.. we forgot something Taxes! Depending where you live it can be a high amount.

So please be kind, help us out and spare some change for PS3.

I know that this is a joke site, but the message behind it is no joke. To get started with the PS3, you will fork out $600 for the best base unit. Then $50 for the games. So, for launch day, you are gonna pony up at least $650. That is a hell of a lot of change. That is almost two 7800 GTXs in SLI mode for a PC. I really think Sony is gonna be hurting for this price scheme.

2006/05/16

Bears Eat Monkey in Zoo

Bears killed and ate a monkey in a Dutch zoo in front of horrified visitors, witnesses and the zoo said Monday. In the incident Sunday at the Beekse Bergen Safari Park, several Sloth bears chased the Barbary macaque into an electric fence, where it was stunned.

It recovered and fled onto a wooden structure, where one bear pursued and mauled it to death.

The park confirmed the killing in a statement, saying: "In an area where Sloth bears, great apes and Barbary macaques have coexisted peacefully for a long time, the harmony was temporarily disturbed during opening hours on Sunday."

"Of course the habitats here in the safari park are arranged in such a way that one animal almost never kills another, but they are and remain wild animals," it said.


Normally, these animals leave in peace and harmony. Then Bob comes along, teases the bears, and gets his ass killed. Now everyone has to move. Funny how life can imitate nature sometimes.

2006/05/15

Gourmet vs Regular Pizza

What’s the difference between regular pizza and gourmet pizza? It's all in the way you order.

Instead of ordering a sausage and mushroom pie with extra cheese, you ask for the “Shiitake Mushroom, Chicken Sausage with Gorgonzola Neopolitan.” And then you pay $15 more.

Gourmet pizza has been around ever since some guy at a local pizza joint accidentally spilled barbecue sauce on some dough and didn’t want it to go to waste.

“Pizza can be quite a healthy way to eat and it’s something that restaurants are realizing they can have fun with,” said Bradly Frye, student at the Culinary Arts Institute in Napa Valley, Calif. “Pizza is one of those blank canvasses — like omelets — where you have an opportunity to really put your signature on something.”

And it’s just as easy to put your own signature on one. Here’s a little secret: making your own pizza is about one of the easiest things you can do.

Forget fresh dough, there are too many available premade pizza doughs on the market to bother with that — from Pillsbury’s Pizza Crust to Boboli to a number of other products found at your local grocery store.

After you have the crust, it’s all about the right combination of recipes. Then just crank up the oven to 425 degrees and bake for 30 minutes.

Let the recipes begin:

Pesto Pizza With Goat Cheese, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Shrimp

1 Pizza Dough

6 oz. grated mozzarella cheese

3 oz. goat cheese

6 sun dried tomatoes

1/3 cup pesto

1/3 lb. (about 12) shrimp (optional)

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Reconstitute the sun-dried tomatoes by pouring boiling water over them and allowing them to soak for about 15 minutes. Slice reconstituted tomatoes thinly. Peel and wash the shrimp.

Roll out pizza dough. Cover dough evenly with pesto sauce. Spread mozzarella cheese on pizza leaving a 1/2 inch border for crust. Crumble goat cheese over pizza. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty (pizza-making should be fun). Sprinkle sun-dried tomatoes, then evenly spread out the shrimp.

Bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

Grilled Steak and Vegetable

1 pizza dough

1 cup shredded jalapeƱo Monterey Jack cheese, about 4 ounces, divided

1 cup sliced steak and 2 cups grilled vegetables, reserved from grilled steak with harvest vegetables

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Roll out pizza dough according to recipe instructions. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over pizza crust. Cut steak into 1 inch pieces. Top crust with steak and vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake until crust browns and cheese melts, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Greek Pizza

1 pizza dough

1/2 recipe garlic oil sauce

8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup pitted/halved greek olives

6-8 pepperoncini (pickled peppers), sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

1/2 cup fresh mushrooms slices

1 tsp. dried oregano

extra virgin olive oil

Top dough crust with oil sauce, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, olives, pepperoncini, onion, mushroons and oregano. Drizzle with oil. Bake in preheated 500° F oven on pizza stone for 8-10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 2-3 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Nothing like heading down to the local The Loop to snatch up a personal Spicy BBQ Chicken pizza. Of course, some of the big deliver places have jumped on board with specialty pizzas, like the Spinach Alfredo from PapaJohn's.

2006/05/12

Misc. Friday Ramblings...

I gotta go wii.....wiiiiiiiiiiiii.

Friday FIREPOWER!
  • 200000 AK-47s are missing.
    SOME 200,000 guns the US sent to Iraqi security forces may have been smuggled to terrorists, it was feared yesterday.

    The 99-tonne cache of AK47s was to have been secretly flown out from a US base in Bosnia. But the four planeloads of arms have vanished.

    Orders for the deal to go ahead were given by the US Department of Defense. But the work was contracted out via a complex web of private arms traders.

    But air traffic controllers in Baghdad have no record of the flights, which supposedly took off between July 2004 and July 2005. A coalition forces spokesman confirmed they had not received "any weapons from Bosnia" and added they were "not aware of any purchases for Iraq from Bosnia". Nato and US officials have already voiced fears that Bosnian arms - sold by US, British and Swiss firms - are being passed to insurgents. A Nato spokesman said: "There's no tracking mechanism to ensure they don't fall into the wrong hands. There are concerns that some may have been siphoned off." This year a newspaper claimed two UK firms were involved in a deal in which thousands of guns for Iraqi forces were re-routed to al-Qaeda.
    Some times if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Allowing private arms dealers to transport this, while logistically feasible, puts too much temptation on the shipper to do something seedy. Go figure.

  • Never come between a mother and her cub.
    If you have to fight ...Fight like a cornered cat.
    A great site with information for shooters and non-shooters alike, from a female perspective.

  • Ballistic gelatin test results for various ammo.

2006/05/11

Penis reattached after maid cuts it off

Surgeons have reattached the penis of a Saudi man who paid the price for trying to have sex with his Filipina maid and she attacked him with a knife, a hospital source said on Monday.

"This is a sophisticated operation. You are dealing with an organ in a difficult area and you want to try to return to its efficiency," said a spokesman at Riyadh's Takhassusi Hospital.

Earlier this month newspapers reported that the maid removed her employer's manhood when he tried to molest her in the middle of the night as his wife was sleeping. The maid is now in police custody.

Man attacks woman, woman defends self, woman goes to jail. How's that equal-rights movement treating you, eh?

2006/05/10

Exposing college faculty.

A lecturer at the University of Southern California said she started a blog because her students wanted “more of me after our class time has ended,” she wrote. And they got it.

Diana Blaine, who lectures on feminist theory, recently
linked her blog to an online photo album that has topless photos of her near a painting of a topless woman, and at “Burning Man,” an annual weeklong festival in Nevada where clothing is optional.

After a student who has made a habit of criticizing Blaine on his blog,
“ Cardinal Martini,” linked to the photos, an NBC station in Los Angeles reported that the pictures are “causing concern,” bringing Blaine even more exposure.

NBC’s claim of “concern” about the photos, however, seems dubious, as Blaine said she hasn’t heard from any of her colleagues or the university about it. A USC spokesman said that no policies have been violated, so the university is not pursuing the matter.

The undergraduate who blogged about Blaine, under the pseudonym Andrew Winthrop Cunningham III, said that the professor first caught his attention with an editorial she wrote in the student paper last year that called on all men at USC to take responsibility for rapes that occur on campus. “I hold every single male on this campus responsible,” Blaine wrote, “because every single male on this campus has the responsibility for stopping rape.… Because they all rape? Of course not,” she added. “But because only men rape and only men can stop other men from raping.”

With regard to Blaine’s editorial, Cunningham said he finds “it morally abhorrent to hold any person, let alone the entire male student body, responsible for a crime he has not committed.”

Cunningham said that the topless photos are just one part of behavior that “harms the reputation of our school.”

Jonathan Knight, director of the Department of Academic Freedom and Governance at the American Association of University Professors, said that Blaine’s posts are akin to a faculty member writing a newspaper editorial. “It’s the individual who’s speaking, not the institution,” he said.

To that end, Blaine said that part of posting the pictures was “to put them in perspective, they’re just tits,” she said.

When one paints such a broad stroke of the moral paintbrush, they should expect to receive backlash and dirt digging. I like boobs, too bad they are 38 longs.

2006/05/09

It's E3 time!

Every year, the ESA presents the highly acclaimed Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the world's most important show dedicated exclusively to the interactive entertainment industry. Wholly owned by the ESA, E3 attracts tens of thousands of industry professionals from around the world to see the latest in interactive entertainment software and related products, and to participate in three days of thought-provoking workshops and seminars.

More information about games and platforms that I'll never have the time to play. *sigh*

2006/05/05

Misc. Friday Ramblings...

Give me Ham on five, hold the Mayo.

Friday FIREPOWER!
  • Full auto family reunion.
    A family that shoots together, knows not to mess with each other.

  • I want to work for Dillon Aerospace.
    I bet their company picnics are a hoot.

  • It has been a busy week in the Florida Legislature:

    1. No Confiscation of Firearms Bill Passes Florida Legislature.
      A bill supported by the National Rifle Association and Unified Sportsmen of Florida to prohibit confiscation of firearms following hurricanes (such as was done in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina) passed the Florida Legislature Thursday, May 4, and is on its way to Governor Jeb Bush (R) for his signature.

    2. CCW License Renewal/Military bill passes Florida Legislature.
      SB-1290, Sponsored by Senator Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey) in the Senate and Representative Marti Coley (R-Panama City) in the House does the following:
      1. Applies only to men and women serving in the U.S. armed services, who are on active duty away from home.
      2. Provides that concealed weapons and firearms licenses of such service members will not expire while they are serving on military orders that have taken them away from home.
      3. Extends such licenses for an additional 180 days after they return home from active duty assignment so that they may be renewed without late fees or penalties.

    3. No-Net-Loss of Hunting Lands bill passes Florida Legislature.
      HB-265 Sponsored by Representative Don Brown (R-DeFuniak Springs) in the House and Senator Nancy Argenziano (R-Crystal River) in the Senate does the following:
      1. Establishes a baseline number of acres of public hunting lands, equal to the number of acres open for hunting on the effective date of this act.
      2. Requires the Florida Wildlife & Conservation Commission (FWC) to find replacement hunting lands for any public hunting lands that are closed in the future so the number of hunting acres does not fall below the base line.
      3. Requires FWC to try to find replacement hunting lands in the same region as the lost acreage and to the extent possible, allow the same type of hunting as was allowed on the closed land.
      4. Requires state agencies and water management districts to assist and cooperate with FWC and allow hunting on lands they manage if the land is suitable for hunting. However, state parks are excluded from lands that may be used for replacement lands.

2006/05/04

How to fix Hollywood.

Hollywood's in trouble. That seems to be the consensus of filmmakers and filmgoers at the Tribeca Film Festival.

"The economic model of the film business is broken," said Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh during a panel discussion Monday night entitled "Downloading at a Theater Near You."

Soderbergh cited a litany of Hollywood problems: the obscene compensation of A-list talent (top stars routinely receive packages worth $25 million) and a revenue-sharing system that he described as unfair to theaters.

But Soderbergh also expressed hope that digital formats and innovative release strategies will soon revolutionize the way we watch movies, whether Hollywood likes it or not.

He and another panelist, movie mogul Todd Wagner, proposed several cures: a salary cap for actors, a closing of the "windows" between when a film plays in theaters and when it is released on other platforms, simplification of budgets and contracts, increased incentives for movie theater owners and a cessation of pre-film on-screen advertising.

Everyone had stats to quote. Soderbergh cited the 85 percent increase in "negative cost" -- the expense of shooting and editing a film -- and a 110 percent jump in advertising and creation of 35-mm prints, all in a decade.

Panelist and BitTorrent co-founder Ashwin Navin said 700,000 films are downloaded using BitTorrent each day. And Wagner, who with Mark Cuban runs 2929 Entertainment, said movie tickets represent only 13 percent of a Hollywood studio's revenue, the rest coming from DVD, merchandise and other streams.

"That 13 percent tail is wagging the rest of the dog about how (studios) are releasing films," he said, adding that "the vast majority of the people are going to see your movie in some other medium."

"We learned this from the music industry -- you've got to give the people what they want or they'll figure out how to get from other means," Wagner said. "People like Steve Jobs (now the largest shareholder at Disney) will turn one revenue stream into three revenue streams. We need to rethink and get creative about how to exploit revenue streams in the digital (filmmaking) world."

Salary caps and instant showing across multiple media? What is this, the NFL? Well, I'd rather stay home and watch than shell out the mega-bucks it takes to go to either event. Unless something radical and inventive comes along, the day of taking the family to the theater has passed IMHO.

2006/05/03

Would you sell out for $500 million?

The Supreme Court revived former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith’s pursuit of her late husband’s oil fortune, ruling Monday that the one-time stripper deserves another day in court.

Smith won the votes of all nine justices in her feud over the estate of J. Howard Marshall II, the colorful Texas tycoon who died in 1995 at age 90.

The case has had twists and turns. Smith won a $474 million judgment, which was cut to about $89 million and eventually reduced to zero.

Although Monday’s ruling reinstates her claim, there is no guarantee she will collect any money.

Justices said only that federal courts in California could deal with her case despite a Texas state court ruling that Marshall’s youngest son was the sole heir to the estate.

The ruling gives federal courts more authority to resolve disputes that arise out of estates, although state courts still have sole responsibility to probate a will. The Bush administration had supported that outcome.

This will be an interesting case to follow to the conclusion, with almost $500 million on the line. Many people see Anna Nicole as a golddigger, who just happened to land a dying sugar daddy. However, he did live for a year after their marriage. Personally, I say good for him for nailing a then-hot Anna Nicole.

If she wins the money, will she turn out to be one of the highest paid hookers ever? I know a few folks (female and male) who would have sold their body/life for a year for a shot at $500 million. If presented with the same opportunity, what would you do?

2006/05/02

Cockfighting

Police have broken up what they say was a cockfighting ring complete with 214 roosters, performance-enhancing drugs for the birds and spurs and razors that were strapped to their legs to inflict harm on their feathered opponents.

Following an anonymous tip, police responded to the home of Jose Reyes, 32, at 5768 Colbright Rd. in suburban Lantana on Saturday night.

They found Reyes and 19 other men in a clearing of a wooded area beyond the backyard. They also saw roosters kept individually in rows of stalls and a 10-foot-square fighting pit, according to a sheriff's report.

Performance enhancing drugs? Maybe they should be playing baseball.

2006/05/01

Pizza to die for

In what will surely repulse Pennsylvanians, a Domino's delivery man used a car to transport corpses to funeral parlors when he wasn't using the vehicle to bring pies and Cheesy Bread to pizza enthusiasts. Last Friday, a Lower Southampton Township Police Department officer pulled over a 1993 Buick after noticing the vehicle did not have an inspection sticker. Additionally, William Bethel, 24, was driving with a suspended license, so cops informed him that the vehicle was going to be impounded.

According to a police report, a copy of which you'll find below, when officers began taking an inventory of the station wagon, they noticed a stretcher in the rear of the vehicle (along with rubbish and wet clothing) where "pizzas were sitting to be delivered." Asked about the items, Bethel explained that when he finished delivering Domino's pizzas, "he transports deceased bodies in the same vehicle for a funeral home." A police check with local health officials determined that the use of the car for stiffs and slices did not violate county ordinances. Bethel, who was not arrested, is facing $400 in fines for driving with a suspended license and operating a vehicle without an inspection certificate. The station wagon is registered to Carl Delia, owner of a so-called removal service that delivers dead bodies to Philadelphia-area funeral homes.

Tombstone wants their marketing gimmick back. Seriously though, the pizza is in a box. The box is inside a thermal bag. That is two steps removed from dead people cooties.