Tuesday, January 31, 2012

DIY Party Barn

Inexpensive and wonderfully done. This may inspire me to work on a backyard project of my own.

Who Do Your Twitter Followers Belong To?

There is a Federal District Court case pending here in South Carolina between a former employee and his former employer over his Twitter followers.
The Mount Pleasant company reviews mobile devices like phones and tablets. PhoneDog sued Kravitz in July, saying for the former writer owes them $340,000 for taking 17,000 Twitter followers with him when he left in 2010.

The company says that, when Kravitz resigned, he changed his Twitter name from PhoneDog_Noah to noahkravitz and kept his 17,000 followers. The company says the followers should be treated like a customer list, and therefore PhoneDog's property.
I don't know any of the details involving this, but if the Twitter account he had (PhoneDog_Noah) was something he did for the company, as part of his employment, I think the Plaintiff has a solid case. If the Twitter account was simply something he did on his own time, then I think it's a shakier case.

All in all, I'm really surprised that 17k followers is worth $340k. Maybe I should work on upping my Twitter following some.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Attention Kindle and other E-Reader Owners!

According to this guy, you're not a "serious reader".
I think, for serious readers, a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience. Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change. … 
Someone worked really hard to make the language just right, just the way they wanted it. They were so sure of it that they printed it in ink, on paper. A screen always feels like we could delete that, change that, move it around. So for a literature-crazed person like me, it’s just not permanent enough.
In other news, Jonathan Franzen has come out against word-processing in favor of the traditional moveable type on the ol' Guttenburg press.
High-Tech Publishing

Zac Brown Band Coming to Columbia

I rarely go see live music, unless it's a festival and there's more going on, but the Zac Brown Band is a group that I might actually go see when they come to Columbia, SC on March 23.

At least we can be confident they won't cancel due to health issues like Merle Haggard did.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Don't Try to Rob a Waffle House in Spartanburg, SC

I don't want to make too much of a generalization here, but I'm going to anyway. If you don't like it, start your own blog. There are different kinds of people out there.

I'm thinking about the differences between people who go to...say an expensive French restaurant and a Waffle House.

The folks who go to an expensive French restaurant are probably likely to be wealthy, have lived a mostly insulated life, like to go to the symphony, and are members of the local country club. They are not very likely to be carrying concealed weapons because they have lived mostly insulated lives, and are content to call the authorities from their iPhone when needed.

The folks who go to a Waffle House are probably likely to be people who have been working all day at the factory/shop, or doing some other sort of actual labor. They don't put up with much crap, since their boss has probably been riding them all day, and they just want to eat their food without having to pay very much for "atmosphere". They're likely to have a bit of an "independent" streak.

Accordingly, if I'm going to rob a restaurant, I'm probably not going to rob a place where there are some Alpha-Males hanging out. However, someone hadn't done the proper analysis.
A Roebuck man - less than two hours into his 19th birthday - entered the Waffle House on Chesnee Highway with a gun and attempted to rob the restaurant before a customer fired his weapon, killing the teen, authorities said Saturday.
 A customer, who is a concealed weapons permit holder, thwarted the robbery by pulling his gun and attempting to hold the men until deputies arrived. When one of the men pointed his gun at the customer, the patron fired, killing the teenager.
 As you can see, the CWP holder, was probably just sitting there, eating his hash-browns when some punk kid rolls up to the Waffle House and tries to rob the place. It sounds like the CWP holder, rather than just blasting the would-be robber, simply attempted to hold the guy there. Unfortunately for would-be robber, the CWP holder didn't want to die. If you're holding a gun on a bad guy, and he turns his gun to bear at you, it's pretty much game over for someone.

Moral of the story: Don't rob places. However, if you have to rob a place, don't do it in Spartanburg, SC. The good guys are everywhere, and the local sheriff encourages the good guys to carry.

Alternate moral of the story, per the Spartanburg Sheriff:“The way you get shot by a concealed weapons permit holder is you point a gun at him,”

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Walking Dead (Might Be Voting)

The SC DMV says the people are dead. The SC State Election Commission says they're not. You think this would be fairly easy to figure out, right?

In any event, SC House Rep Rick Quinn pretty much captures my thoughts on the matter:
“You guys have got to fix whatever is going on, communication-wise,” said state Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington. “Otherwise, I’m going to start assigning blame. It’s very troubling. We have to have belief in the process. If not, it’s going to hurt voter confidence.”
Also, if there are zombies out there. I may need to stock up on some ammo. If you're looking for something to do the job on the undead, I recommend Hornady Zombie Max. Yeah, you heard me right.
May I see your Voter Registration Card, please?

Alldkfjdmore here: dhttp://www.thestate.com/2012/01/26/2128459/charge-of-dead-voters-disputed.html#storylink=cpy

Dreaming of the Beach

It's only January....and I'm already thinking about going to the beach. Instead of being at my desk, I would rather be here:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

USS Laffey Returns to Charleston

She's back. If you haven't heard the story of "The Ship That Would Not Die", you should read the whole thing, but here's a selection below the jump:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012 State of The Union

Another State of the Union Address tonight. I heard that Justice Alito was going to show up with a vuvuzela and get some payback. Personally, I'd rather watch an hour long DVD of Chicago Cubs fielding errors. However, if you do want to watch, here's your bingo card.

Booby Traps of the Vietnam War

Pretty amazing/scary stuff. Going down those tunnels had to be about the worst thing you could possibly be ordered to do. At least the guys storming Omaha Beach didn't have to do it in the pitch black dark with only a flashlight and a sidearm.
[Via: Uncle]

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why Newt Won SC

Everyone in the media has been trying to figure out why Newt won South Carolina. They've been grasping for something to explain the surge. For the most part, the main "reason" all the pundits have been fixating on is Newt's attack on "the media".

The John King and Juan Williams fireworks were showy, but I don't think that's what resonated. The media has been contorting themselves into knots trying to square the circle of the "Open Marriage" attack with what they stereotype South Carolina as: evangelical, redneck, parochial dummies.

The media, always so self-fixated, went with the "Newt attacks the media" line to explain the surge. That wasn't what won the primary. What won the primary was Newt's fierce defense and advocacy of the value of work. He very clearly drew the distinction between the Democrats as the party who will give you a hand-out, and the Republicans as the party that's going to find you a job and tell you to work for it.

It's the difference between the dignity of work, earning money from the sweat of your brow - and the person who is always acting as a victim, and looking for an easy path.
"I'm going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job, and learn someday to own the job."
That was what resonated. This is America. Most people want to work. Most people want to have the dignity that comes from standing on their own two feet and not take government charity, assistance, or whatever you want to call it. People want to be able to look back and say: I did that.

Newt articulated the argument and drew the distinction clearly, succinctly, and did so with fire. He's the only guy up there with any fire. That plays a role as well. People want their candidate to be fired up.

Also, don't underestimate the frustration that most conservatives have a being told their candidates are stupid, sound like hicks, can't be nuanced, are rednecks, and are just generally hicks. Newt is the guy that Republicans can vote for and be fairly confident that these attacks (attacks they have suffered through for at least 12 years) will not score against Newt. Say what you will about him, he's no dummy, and he doesn't sound like ol' Billy Bob the Cowboy when he speaks. That goes a long way.

We'll see how Florida goes. This thing is a long way from over.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Happy Hour

The Old Fashioned:
1 large and uneven slice of lemon peel
1 rough-cut brown sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 dash Regan’s Orange 
Bitters No. 6
No more than 1 oz. water
2 large ice cubes
2 oz.  bourbon
Small triangle of orange slice for garnish

Add the lemon peel, sugar cube, and both bitters into the bottom of an old-fashioned glass. Using a wooden muddler, begin to muddle the ingredients firmly but not violently in the bottom of the glass, working the muddler in a circle. The tapered shape of the glass allows you to perform this task with ease.

Add the water, and continue to muddle for a bit longer. Add the ice and then the bourbon. Stir with a spoon. Float the thinly sliced orange on top of the drink (not wedged onto the side of the glass), and serve.

Best Oyster Bars in the South

It's that time of year. It's nice and chilly, football is over, and there's miles and miles to travel before the sweetness of spring brings baseball back to us.

It's time to find some oysters and get your boys together. However, if you don't want to host an oyster roast yourself, Garden & Gun has put together a list of the best oyster bars in the South.

Note: The list does not have any South Carolina places, as it mainly focuses on the Gulf-area.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We Didn't Really Need Jobs or Oil Anyway

Yeah, I guess this was pretty predictable. Instead of having the oil go through the Great Plains, the Canadians are going to have to pipe it over the Canadian Rockies, load it onto super-tankers, with ship captains who probably like to drink too much and like to play "slalom" with the icebergs (See video below), and refine the oil in China.

Yeah, great move. 

Columbia City Council Decides to Ignore the First Rule of Holes

Rule #1: If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
Columbia City Council decided Tuesday to turn over $618,000 more to stop an impending 65 percent cut in bus service, a move that council members say will keep buses running into mid-summer as normally.
Yay! For a mere $618k more, we can allow the bus system to continue losing money for a few more months! The Columbia City Council are geniuses. It's a good thing they have a money-tree ignorant taxpayers who continually provide the funding for CMRTA.
City Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine said that County Council members “still don’t see their responsibility” to a robust bus system.
 Actual bus riders were unavailable for comment on whether they should pay more.
Columbia City Council voted unanimously to approve the new money with the condition that it can be spent only on maintaining service. “It should not go for lawyers or marketing,” Councilman Daniel Rickenmann said.

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2012/01/18/2118074/city-bus-riders-spared-deep-service.html#storylink=cpy
 Yeah. Heaven forbid we have any lawyers look at the contracts related to the bus system. Just give us more money, and don't pay any lawyers to deal with a $3.8 million bus system. Oh, and we don't want to market the bus system either. That might result in more people riding the bus.
At County Council, seven people implored the body to come up with money to stave off service cuts.
“I’m counting on y’all,” said Jose Carter, who’s been riding the bus the past four months while his car is in the shop.

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2012/01/18/2118074/city-bus-riders-spared-deep-service.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2012/01/18/2118074/city-bus-riders-spared-deep-service.html#storylink=cpy
There, there...you poor baby. The local government is here to take care of you. No personal responsibility required. Just come in and promise to vote for us so we can continue to take care of you. In all seriousness, who has a car "in the shop" for four straight months? I call bullshit on Jose Carter.

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2012/01/18/2118074/city-bus-riders-spared-deep-service.html#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Call the Police

Bill O'Reilly mugged our native son, Dick Harpootlian. It was brutal. You remember the first time Rocky fought Clubber Lang? It was like that. Much like Mr. T, I felt pity for Mr. Harpootlian.

Monday, January 16, 2012

SC Debate Thoughts

Despite having lived in South Carolina my entire life (excepting college and law school) I've never been to Myrtle Beach, but that's another post. Therefore, all five of the remaining candidates have something on me there. Or maybe I have something on them.

In any event, the debate in Myrtle Beach, SC was a wild one. The crowd was so loud with cheers and boos that I think they might have been serving alcohol during the debate. If not, they should start doing so, but maybe not in South Carolina. A quick breakdown:

Newsweek Looks in the Mirror

[H/T JohnnyE]

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The SC GOP Primary is Upon Us (These are my demands)

During my day today, I've heard three different radio ads (all negative) from either candidates or a PAC, my television has been swamped with political ads since last night. Also, I believe most of the candidates are here, and all the national press is in town. There's so much political activity in the air, you can really almost smell the bullshit.

I'm prepared to be pandered to for the short time that everyone is here. These are my demands:
  1. Stop running political ads during sporting events on TV. I watch sports to get away from y'all.
  2. Do not call me on the phone. Ever. (If I want to hear from you, I will go to an event).
  3. Stop talking about social issues. If you get a question about a social issue, tell the questioner that we have bigger problems to deal with and move on.
  4. Quit asking me for money. (I didn't ask you to run for President.)
If any other South Carolinian has demands, feel free to let me know. I'll add the good ones.

$918 Million Surplus Is Less Than It Seems

A few million here, a few million there. Pretty soon, you're talking real money.

I'm confident our legislature will do their best to waste it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Haley Says She Will Veto New Helmet Law

I understand where she's coming from. I really do. I hate people telling me what to do.

On the other hand, I also support seat-belt laws. Everyone, regardless of their age, is required to wear a seatbelt while riding in a car. We've all agreed, as a society, that we're going to do this. I just don't really see a distinction in making motorcycle riders wear helmets from making car riders wear seat-belts. Both are easy things that are proven to make people safer.

I understand the principle of not wanting the government to constantly be your nanny. For instance, the decision on how much salt to put in my food is my own - not Mayor Bloomberg's.

I guess you have to draw the line somewhere between no laws and too many. This is mine. If the legislature (speaking for the people of SC) votes to require motorcycle riders to wear a helmet, Nikki Haley should sign the bill.

Hitler is Told of Clemson's Loss in the Orange Bowl

Monday, January 9, 2012

Chief of Police in Madison, WI Doesn't Understand Why People Want Guns

A few months ago, Wisconsin started allowing it's citizens to start carrying concealed weapons. (Better late than never, but whatever.) Ann Althouse has more on the story of the obstacles being placed in their way. However, the Chief of Police in Madison is less than thrilled. Here's what he had to say:
"What I can't understand is how come we have not evolved beyond the point that the best way to protect ourselves is a gun? How come we cannot come up with something that is less destructive and less permanent."
Wait, what? Yeah, that's the Chief of Police. The guy in charge of the police. Who are supposed to fight crime. With guns. Presumably.

I can't understand why have not "evolved" to the point where there's no crime. And this guy's job is to fight crime. How did he get to be the Chief of Police? He sounds like a hippy-dippy 20 year old in a 2:00AM dorm room smoke session.

Henceforth, in an effort to stop crime in a "less destructive" and "less permanent" way, the Madison police should only carry little yellow flags around. If they see a crime, they can throw a flag on the ground and issue a ticket. I'm sure that will work.
UPDATE: Welcome SayUncle readers!

Father Denied Access to NICU by Jay-Z and Beyonce

I would be furious if this had happened to me. I'd probably also file a lawsuit and try to pick a jury with all parents.
Neil Nash-Coulon of Bedford-Stuyvesant says hospital security kept putting the hallway on lockdown to accommodate Beyonce’s visitors.
“They should have been more strategic with where they put her,” Coulon said. “You can’t cordon off the [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit]. These are small newborns who need care, and you’re just going to take over the hospital like you own it?”
The hospital says because of privacy issues, they can not confirm that Beyonce gave birth there on Saturday. Reports indicate the singer and husband Jay-Z paid the hospital around $1.3 million for an entire floor.
This guy's wife just had premature twins which had to go into the NICU. That's stressful enough. However, to add to this stress, he was denied access to see his wife and kids because Jay-Z and Beyonce were on the same floor. If Lennox Hill sanctioned this in any manner, the hospital should be crucified.
[H/T Insty]

Friday, January 6, 2012

CEO of RyanAir Throws Rocks at the EU Technocrats

You know those silly lecture panels that academicians, bureaucrats, and politicians like to attend so they can pat each other on the back and figure out ways to spend more taxpayer money? Well, the EU had an "Innovation Panel" in Belgium, and someone accidentally invited the guy from RyanAir who is an actual innovator.

The presentation he gives is great, because he essentially tells everyone in the group that they are the problem. It's about 17 minutes, but it's worth watching. He's a very compelling speaker.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Word of the Day (Orange Bowl Edition)

Clemson loses to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl, 70-33
Word of the day to describe how Gamecock Nation is feeling today: schadenfreude

I Don't Think This is Allowed

Our President has determined that he will be the one to determine when the Senate is and is not in recess. According to some document (that Ezra Klein says is very old and confusing) I don't think this is a legitimate move. Here's the relevant part of the Constitution of the United States (Article II, Section 2):
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session. (emphasis mine)
As a necessary condition for the President to make a "Recess Appointment", the Senate has to...you know...actually be in "Recess". What is "Recess" you ask? No, it's not when Chuck Shumer challenges Marco Rubio to a game of tag outside while Joe Liberman plays on the swing-set. It's actually a defined term. Recess is when the Senate is on break, and they aren't holding sessions. The funny thing is...and you're really going to laugh...is that the Senate isn't in recess right now. The Senate is actually holding pro forma sessions.
pro forma session - A brief meeting (sometimes only several seconds) of the Senate in which no business is conducted. It is held usually to satisfy the constitutional obligation that neither chamber can adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other.
However, the Executive Branch has unilaterally decided that pro forma sessions don't really count, so it's going to simply exercise the power to appoint people as if the Senate were in recess. The problem is that this (1) is simply a violation of the Constitutional power granted to the Executive Branch because the Constitution doesn't say anything about being "essentially" in session or not; and (2) despite the Constitutional problem, it sets an extremely bad precedent. I wouldn't want a conservative President to do something like this over the objection of a Democrat-controlled Senate. It's simply an over-reach by the Executive Branch.

I'm sure that even Dick Cheney is amazed at this expansive view of the Executive's power. However, I bet that the Senate will be too chicken to confront the President on this issue. The Democrats may be the party of evil, but the Republicans are the party of dumb.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Light Blogging Day

Not feeling so well today, so it's going to be a light day.

In the news, it looks like Romney won by eight votes in Iowa. Anyone still want to talk about how voter fraud is a "non-existent problem"? A few votes one way or the other can be significant.

In any event, hope you are feeling better than I am.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gamecocks Win 11th Game in Captial One Bowl Victory Over Nebraska

Every year, I tell myself that I am not going to go to a bowl game. Every year, I succumb to the siren song of the warm weather, the holiday weekend, and the prospect of seeing something special.

This year, I received an offer I couldn't refuse. I am lucky enough to know an intrepid pilot willing to fly me to/from Orlando in his Cessna 172 for the Capital One Bowl. All I had to do was get a ticket for him also. Bada bing, I'm going to the Capital One Bowl. Photos below the jump: