October 23, 2005

Hurricanes Blow

While I`m not afraid of hurricanes the advent of Wilma has made me decide to leave for a few days.

It`s not fear of getting blown away or flooded that makes me leave, it`s simply that I`m Sooo tired riding them out, Every Month!

There are a lot of thing to do in order to be prepared for a hurricane. Shutters and such can stay up all season, but you still have to get "emergency gear" set up and ready.

I`m tired of it. Every freaking month some blowhard hurricane comes sashaying through here to pay a visit.

I`m going to Orlando or Jacksonville, on your dime because I have "Official Orders".
I have them during every hurricane but I figured I`d save you, the American taxpayer, a few bucks.

Not this time. This time I`m going to take it easy up north and not worry about a thing till I get back.

A free vacation if you will, paid for by you. So let her blow, I don`t care anymore.

Thanx for ponying up the cash for my trip.
See ya when I get back.

- Joatmoaf -

October 23, 2005 at 03:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 10, 2005

Ouch!

This is a computer generated graphic.
When she stops just refresh the page.
See how far you can make her fall.

- Joatmoaf -

October 10, 2005 at 08:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 25, 2005

The Joys Of Spam

Ah Spam, not Hormel brand Spam but the weblog, e-mail and general internet kind.
I hate spam and I seem to get a lot every once in a while. It never comes in a steady stream, 2 or 3 or 20 a day, every day. No, it comes in spurts.
I can go a month without any and then I get 10 or 15 a day, so I got to thinking, "What`s the pattern?"

I`ve said before that everything has some kind of pattern to it, a central identifier, or critical link that ties it together in a way that allows you to examine the whole. So what`s the pattern on this sporadic spam-alanche?

It turns out there`s a simple explaination for it - Weblogs! Not yours or mine or any REAL weblog, but weblogs that spammers themselves have set up.

Spammers, corporations, marketing companies or more likely, just some loser scam artist who`s too lazy or stupid to find a real job.

What they do is, they start a weblog, tell all their spammer friends, and then they do a trackback ping to your, or my site on some supposedly forgotten topic, then their spammer loser friends visit their site, look at the "Topics" then they click the conveniently provided link and begin dropping Spam Bombs.

The pattern is the same, Always.

You own a blog and are a little too busy to check and clean up comments on a constant basis -

They check up on your diligence first by posting one comment, usually in some old archives. The comment may be a spam link, but not always. It`s more often either a general comment of agreement or, more likely, a non-sensical comment. The point is that it`s only a test comment, posted to see if your comments are accessable to spammers and to see if you`re paying attention.
The spammer comes back within the next 24 hours and if the comment is still there, they post a "Topic" about your site on their blog. After that, every spammer in the known universe will shortly know who to spam.

My most recent "Spam Scout" came in this comment. The spam scout left it but when he came back to check he didn`t actually bother to see if it was changed, he only looked at the list of comments on the left.
Had he bothered to look, he would have noticed that what he had written is not the same as what is written now.

I changed it and banned him the same day and on the same day I get this Trackback ping which is, in my opinion, totally non-sensical because it is non-comparative to anything except my site.

The same day, I start getting spam, so I go check out this "Weblog" to see what it`s about.
What do I find? Trackback pings to various and sundry websites, with short comments but relatively no comparative commentary.
Click the "Main" tab and look at the "Topics". There are no topics just links to other sites posted in a sentence.
Notice how the "Topic" sentences all have the same general air about them. Standard Issue Spam Comment type sentences. I wouldn`t doubt that it`s nothing more than a 'Bot run blog, with the only human contribution being the monthly payments.

This is not the only such site, it`s just the one that caused me to be sure that I`m right about this. It`s happened many times before and the M.O. is always the same as this, that`s why I waited until now, I wanted to be sure.

Whoever you folks are with websites like that, I don`t want your Trackbacks, and if you do ping me, I`ll delete it and ban your IP.

Also, spammers be warned, I`ve been compiling a list of every spam comment, where it came from (IP),
fake e-mail addresses and most importantly, the messeges themselves.

You might think that you`re invisible and anonomous because of the nature of the internet but you`d be wrong. I`ve already tracked down and identified 3 "anonomous" spammers and the rest of you aren`t far behind.

The thing is, this is MY site, not some little lazy, loser spammers. NOT Propecia's, Viagra's, or some porn site`s weblog. Any advertising done on this site will be approved be me and NO advertising will be done on this site without my being PAID!

Since you retarded losers don`t see any advertising on my sidebars it probably occured to you that I don`t WANT advertising, so who the hell do you losers think you are?

Well, that`s O.K. Eat, Drink and Be Merry, because the Piper WILL be paid!

I`ve been compiling this spammer list from a year and a half ago. Since I don`t delete anything without saving the info first I`ve got everything I need.
When time permits I`ve been linking spammer to IP to product with the ultimate goal of proving that it`s a corporate marketing scheme for the various different products being hawked as spam.
Once I have enough verifyable evidence of corporate management, I intend to sue.
Actually, the more the merrier. A class action lawsuit against those responsible for spam is way overdue anyway.

We bloggers are the ones who pay the price for this scam, not the IPs, not our server sites and certainly not the companies who's products are continually being hawked on our sites for free.
We have to spend time and effort to scan comments, then delete and ban offending spam, and we are the ones who have to put the screws down so tight on comment settings that it`s becoming more trouble than it`s worth for a reader to even post a comment anymore.

I did not get this site so that some fat lazy bastard can make free money off of it while I have to clean up after him.
It`s stealing. They are stealing my bandwidth to sell their products and they think there`s nothing I (or you) can do about it.
It`s also a denial of service, especially when it gets to the point that your weblog settings are totally screwed up because you haven`t had time to do anything but clean up and try to prevent spam.
It`s also denial of service when they get so bad that it causes you to either close comments altogether or tweek your settings to such an extent that readers get dis-interested due to the inability to post a comment.

There are a LOT of blogs that I don`t go to much anymore simply because I have to run the gauntlet to post a comment.
FYI comments are where the action is, not the topic itself. If you can`t have comments you might as well just start sending "Letters To The Editor" of your local paper. You`ll get the same results.

This blog was started from some comments over at ScrappleFace.
The Great Cheeto Eater had declared that some (not mine) comments were far to long and off topic and were hogging his bandwidth and that some commenters (again not me) could start their own blog since they had so much off topic stuff to say, and then he supplied links on how to start a blog.

The people from the comment section of ScrappleFace were the first ones to come here regularly and from those same commenters a (not so) shy young lady was coaxed into trying her hand at posting "Topics" and now she keeps her own Villianous Company and has become a force to be reconned with.

Spammers and Marketing people, I`m tired of you intruding on my turf. I`m tired of you stealing from me. I`m tired of your cavalier attitudes about how much trouble you cause me just so you can try to get a sale.

I`ve been documenting, compiling, tracking and linking together all the spam you`ve been sending my way. It`s already making a coherent picture of your active involvement.
Once this tapistry is woven together, I`m coming after you to make you pay, IN CASH MONEY!

Since the All Mighty Dollar is the only thing you seem to understand, the All Mighty Dollar is what I`m going to take away from you.

Can you say, "Lawsuit"? Better yet, can you say, "Class Action Lawsuit"?


- Joatmoaf -


September 25, 2005 at 09:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

December 09, 2004

C-130 Carrier Quals

Way back in the old days when dinosaurs ruled the earth, I did a Mediterranean cruise on the USS Sarratoga (CV-60). O.K. it was 1980.  Maybe not dinosaur days but close. Anyway, one of the rumors that immediately impressed me was that our Skipper had once landed a C-130 on an Aircraft Carrier and taken off.

If you`re familiar with the military you know that most of the scuttlebutt (rumors) that make their rounds are mainly intended to impress the gullible. The first thing a shop will do to a brand new, fresh out of boot camp newbie is send them on a search for the elusive 10 foot of bulkhead or to find a bulkhead stretcher or in the case of airmen, a search for a pad eye wrench or the keys to a particular aircraft, none of which ever existed.

I say that from a Navy jet engine mechanic perspective, but each branch and rate has their own non existant item that they simply must have, RIGHT NOW !

I fell for the "keys to the aircraft" trick but nothing else after that, so when I heard that our C.O. had landed and launched a C-130 off a Carrier of course I was skeptical.

A Carrier is a huge beast of a ship with enough flight deck area to hold 3 simultaneous football games on, but a C-130 is a beast in its own right. With a wingspan of 132 ft. and a takeoff weight of 85,000 lbs. empty. Common sense would tell you that an Aircraft Carrier is the last place you want to land and takeoff on in a C-130.

This was 1980 when I heard the rumor, so Al Gore hadn`t invented the internet yet and Google was just a number with 64 zeros behind it. The only kind of computer that we had access to were P.E.T. 64Ks ( I think ) with a cassette drive. So with no way of backing up this absurd claim you can understand why I was skeptical...at first.

After serving a little time on the Sara I got to know a little more about our Skipper, James H. Flatley III ( Capt. at the time ) who's father was an Admiral and I believe his grandfather was also. I was more inclined to believe that it could have happened, but I wouldn`t say it openly.

Jump to the future 24 years where, thanks to Al Gore we have the internet, and since Google has gotten out of the numbers racket, the fact or fiction of a rumor is just a click away.

Lo and Behold he actually DID land and take off on a Carrier. Not only that but he did it 21 times under varying circumstances including under a maximum load of 121,000 lbs.

"The initial sea-born landings on 30 October 1963 were made into a 40-knot wind. Altogether, the crew successfully negotiated 29 touch-and-go landings, 21 unarrested full-stop landings, and 21 unassisted takeoffs at gross weights of 85,000 pounds up to 121,000 pounds. At 85,000 pounds, the KC-130F came to a complete stop within 267 feet, about twice the aircraft's wing span!"

Read all about it HERE.  After you read it, download and view the 2 short videos of a landing and a takeoff at the bottom of the page.

I had never seen any confirmation of this rumor until today and the only reason I have it now is because I told the guys at Arresting Gear about it a couple of times and one of them finally decided to check the facts.

Landing on an Aircraft Carrier is the most stressful thing a pilot can do. Navy and Marine pilots have said that Carrier landings cause their Pucker Factor to go to maximum like nothing else, and medical studies through monitors have indicated consistently that it is more stressful than actual combat and those are much smaller aircraft than a C-130, so imagine the finesse, not to mention the Pucker Factor, needed to land a beast like that on a Carrier.

Simply amazing is all I can say and.....Navy pilots RULE !

Fly Navy

Thanks to Bart and Scott

- Joatmoaf -

December 9, 2004 at 07:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack

May 23, 2004

Links `n Stuff

Since the entire world seems to be against the U.S. I suggest that we begin a policy of Total World Domination to eventually create The United States Of Earth.
To consolidate our power base we need to start close to home, so why not Invade Canada first?
After a slow, determined and methodical campaign of conquest, we will finally be able to declare to the world that, "All Your Base Are Belong To Us" (Click the "Local Copy" link)

Who would win in a fight between Dubya and JoKe? Enquiring minds want to know.
To pretend you are Dubya and beat the living daylights out of John Kerry Go Here.

Have you ever wondered where the media, politicians and activists get the numbers for their statistics and why they are consistantly wrong? Well, if you have some time on your hands check out the The Glossary of Mathematical Mistakes.
It`s chock full of all kinds of cool info and links to un-boggle the mind.

When you visit weblog comments sections, do you ever get just a teensy bit jealous when some of the commenters show off by using cool HTML tags that you know nothing about? Now you can show them that you too, can be cool. Use the HTML Cheatsheet.

This next, and last link, has been on here before but I`ll put it up again because I like it. French Horns

-joatmoaf-

May 23, 2004 at 04:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 07, 2004

She`s Baaack!!

When I first started reading blogs I had 3 or 4 favorites that I visited a lot. One of those bloggers decided to quit blogging and I got a little depressed, then she decided to start blogging again and I perked up again, then she quit again.
After the last time I thought to myself `uh-huh, right, it`s in the blood so it`s only a matter of time`.
Now that some time has passed, and after a little persuasion from Misha and Tuning Spork she`s back.

Go read Rachel Lucas

May 7, 2004 at 02:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 03, 2004

Things n Stuff

It`s that time again folks, time for me to post something, but to be honest I`ve been busy and haven`t paid much attention to current affairs lately so I`m out of the loop temporarily. Oh well...I`ll catch up eventually.
Anyway I have some cool links from one of my all time favorite sites, The Braden Files ,to enlighten and entertain you with.

In this day and age, what with almost every general worth his star being PC and dabbling in politics in hopes of some form of future in the political arena, it makes me wonder what happened to generals like This.

Do you want to know the ropes on nautical terms? It won`t overwhelm you to start over with a clean slate and bear down to the bitter end. It`s first rate. Click

The Marines have always been the favorite for other military branches to make fun of, but when push comes to shove, what do they really think? Semper Fi

The Navy answers that age old question: Why did the chicken cross the road?

-joatmoaf-

May 3, 2004 at 10:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 30, 2004

Links!!!

L F Colorado Cat /AKA/ Miss Kitty and UNOME sent me a cool link in support of the troops by Ricky Skaggs.. GO HERE it`s pretty cool.
Do you ever think that your problems are overwhelming and that no one on earth has problems as complex as yours? Usually it`s money, family or relationships and the problems seem huge. I don`t let things like that bother me too much, I just deal with them and move on. After reading This Article last night it put things into perspective for me and I realised that I had never really had any problems.
I`ll leave you with one more link ( I have no idea where I got it ) It`s too short but I love reading stuff like that. This is the most effective way of dealing with terrorism.

-joatmoaf-

March 30, 2004 at 08:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 19, 2004

Toys

Check out this list of cool stuff somebody gave Jennifer Martinez .
I wonder who was so outstandingly cool as to give her all of that excellent stuff?
Hint: The clue is in the hat.

-joatmoaf-

March 19, 2004 at 12:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 08, 2004

It`s about time I posted something

It`s about time I posted something before I forget that I have a blog. Cassandra is so talented that she makes this look easy. For her, I`m sure it is easy because she`s so good at it. For me, it`s not so much hard as time consuming, but, and that`s a big butt, I love a challange. What fun would it be if life held no challanges? So here I is in all my grammatically incorrect Glory.
While working today I was thinking about music. The different types I like and the reasons I like it is hard to explain. For instance, I hate country, rap, and hip-hop. The difference between those three is that I can`t even tolerate rap or hip-hop but country is a different story. While on the one hand I hate it, on the other hand, I really like Honky Tonk bars. The local knife and gun club type honky tonks that decent people would never dream of going to. I like them for the atmosphere and because the people who go there are real and un-pretentious. The girls are cute and friendly and rednecks are my kind of people but the music starts to grate on me and I don`t drink so when people start getting real drunk I have to either leave or get in a fight or two.
The kind of music I like is Heavy Metal and old style Punk. I don`t mean this garage band sounding garbage that the industry is pumping out today I mean the good stuff. Almost exclusively (but not quite) it`s Christian bands that I listen to, not just because I`m a Christian but because some of that stuff is really good. Don`t get me wrong, I like all kinds of music, more non secular than secular. I love the sound of Marilyn Manson and Pantera but when they start praising Satan that`s just too much for me, but that`s the sound I like.
All of this leads to an interesting little bit of trivia I found out about myself today. While I was working I got to wondering.....what is my favorite song. Not band or group of songs or type of music or sound, but song, singular. I know a LOT of songs. Thousands upon thousands of them from all different types of music. Keep in mind that just because I prefer heavy metal doesn`t mean I don`t appreciate Bach or Beethoven or some jazz or blues music.
After going through all the songs I know and comparing them to each other I finally came to the indisputable conclusion that one song stood above all the rest. It suprised me because of the sheer magnitude and variety it had to compete with and it was something that I wasn`t consiencely aware of until I put some serious thought into it.
To me the melody and pace is perfect. The words are perfect.
This song not only speaks to me, but sings to me. It touches me on a deeply personal level and moves me to joy, and the words hold a special significance to me.
By that criteria this song is head and shoulders above all the others to me, which suprised me because I almost never hear it, hum it, or sing it.

AND THE WINNER IS............

Victory in Jesus by Eliza E. Hewitt

The story below is what got me thinking about that, of course it`s written much better than mine. So good in fact that it suddenly posed an introspective question that I had to answer for myself.


The Star Spangled Banner


I have a weakness--I am crazy, absolutely nuts, about our national anthem.
The words are difficult and the tune is almost impossible, but frequently when I'm taking a shower I sing it with as much power and emotion as I can. It shakes me up every time.

I was once asked to speak at a luncheon. Taking my life in my hands, I announced I was going to sing our national anthem--all four stanzas.

This was greeted with loud groans. One man closed the door to the kitchen, where the noise of dishes and cutlery was loud and distracting. "Thanks, Herb," I said.

"That's all right," he said. "It was at the request of the kitchen staff."

I explained the background of the anthem and then sang all four stanzas.

Let me tell you, those people had never heard it before--or had never really listened. I got a standing ovation. But it was not me; it was the anthem.

More recently, while conducting a seminar, I told my students the story of the anthem and sang all four stanzas. Again there was a wild ovation and prolonged applause. And again, it was the anthem and not me.

So now let me tell you how it came to be written.

In 1812, the United States went to war with Great Britain, primarily over freedom of the seas. We were in the right. For two years, we held off the British, even though we were still a rather weak country. Great Britain was in a life and death struggle with Napoleon. In fact, just as the United States declared war, Napoleon marched off to invade Russia. If he won, as everyone expected, he would control Europe, and Great Britain would be isolated. It was no time for her to be involved in an American war.

At first, our seamen proved better than the British. After we won a battle on Lake Erie in 1813, the American commander, Oliver Hazard Perry, sent the message "We have met the enemy and they are ours." However, the weight of the British navy beat down our ships eventually. New England, hard-hit by a tightening blockade, threatened secession.

Meanwhile, Napoleon was beaten in Russia and in 1814 was forced to abdicate. Great Britain now turned its attention to the United States, launching a three-pronged attack. The northern prong was to come down Lake Champlain toward New York and seize parts of New England. The southern prong was to go up the Mississippi, take New Orleans and paralyze the west. The central prong was to head for the mid-Atlantic states and then attack Baltimore, the greatest port south of New York. If Baltimore was taken, the nation, which still hugged the Atlantic coast, could be split in two. The fate of the United States, then, rested to a large extent on the success or failure of the central prong.

The British reached the American coast, and on August 24, 1814, took Washington, D. C. Then they moved up the Chesapeake Bay toward Baltimore. On September 12, they arrived and found 1000 men in Fort McHenry, whose guns controlled the harbor. If the British wished to take Baltimore, they would have to take the fort.

On one of the British ships was an aged physician, William Beanes, who had been arrested in Maryland and brought along as a prisoner. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and friend of the physician, had come to the ship to negotiate his release. The British captain was willing, but the two Americans would have to wait. It was now the night of September 13, and the bombardment of Fort McHenry was about to start.

As twilight deepened, Key and Beanes saw the American flag flying over Fort McHenry. Through the night, they heard bombs bursting and saw the red glare of rockets. They knew the fort was resisting and the American flag was still flying. But toward morning the bombardment ceased, and a dread silence fell. Either Fort McHenry had surrendered and the British flag flew above it, or the bombardment had failed and the American flag still flew.

As dawn began to brighten the eastern sky, Key and Beanes stared out at the fort, tyring to see which flag flew over it. He and the physician must have asked each other over and over, "Can you see the flag?"

After it was all finished, Key wrote a four stanza poem telling the events of the night. Called "The Defence of Fort M'Henry," it was published in newspapers and swept the nation. Someone noted that the words fit an old English tune called "To Anacreon in Heaven" --a difficult melody with an uncomfortably large vocal range. For obvious reasons, Key's work became known as "The Star Spangled Banner," and in 1931 Congress declared it the official anthem of the United States.

Now that you know the story, here are the words. Presumably, the old doctor is speaking. This is what he asks Key


Oh! say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
Oh! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

"Ramparts," in case you don't know, are the protective walls or other elevations that surround a fort. The first stanza asks a question. The second gives an answer


On the shore, dimly seen thro' the mist of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep.
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream
'Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

"The towering steep" is again, the ramparts. The bombardment has failed, and the British can do nothing more but sail away, their mission a failure.

In the third stanza, I feel Key allows himself to gloat over the American triumph. In the aftermath of the bombardment, Key probably was in no mood to act otherwise.

During World War II, when the British were our staunchest allies, this third stanza was not sung. However, I know it, so here it is


And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The fourth stanza, a pious hope for the future, should be sung more slowly than the other three and with even deeper feeling.


Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation,
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n - rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,
And this be our motto--"In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

I hope you will look at the national anthem with new eyes. Listen to it, the next time you have a chance, with new ears.

And don't let them ever take it away.

Isaac Asimov
March 1991

-Joatmoaf-


March 8, 2004 at 06:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack