Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Be Responsible This New Year's Eve

I will be enjoying a nice, quiet New Year's Eve at home with the family tonight. However, if you are going out to celebrate, remember to be responsible. If you see any police, let other people know in advance, like this:

Be responsible and be safe. Happy New Year, y'all.

Monday, December 30, 2013

That's no moon...

It's an ice cube.

Scientists Trapped by Antarctic Sea Ice

Some scientists pushing the global warming climate change theory went on an expedition to the Antarctic to measure the decline of sea ice due to global warming. Guess what happened?

They got stuck in the record levels of sea ice.

The irony here is thick. How thick exactly? About 3 meters thick. The ice is so thick that not even a Russian icebreaker can rescue them, so it looks like they may need to be airlifted out of there.

FYI, it's summer time in the Antarctic. Good thing they didn't go in the winter, amirite?

I'm not a scientist, but it sounds like there is plenty of ice to go around.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Enjoy Your Weekend

Happy Friday.

Not much going on. It seems like everyone is still in holiday-mode.

Enjoy your weekend playing with your new Christmas presents. I know I will.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Dialect Map - I Can't Name the Area Between the Sidewalk and the Road

You see that picture? I have no idea what to call the grass between the road and the sidewalk.

You've probably already taken this quiz from the New York Times. It's exploded across the internet faster than knife fight in a phone booth. Likely, it's gone viral because people love to talk about how they talk.

I don't normally take quizzes (online or otherwise) but since I had plenty of time this Christmas Day, I decided to go for it. It actually doesn't take very long and it pegs you pretty close to where you live. (At least it did for me and Mrs. Permanent Press). I can't show you my map because it's not linkable for some reason. Take my word for it, it's pretty accurate for someone who lives in Columbia, has a father from Augusta, GA and went to college in the Shenandoah valley of Virginia.

To me, the most interesting question was "What do you call the grass strip between the sidewalk and the road?". It just blew my mind. It's so common and everyday, but I've never given that a second thought and I don't have a word for it.  It's not like some weird thing that only exists in Norway.

Anyone got a word for that?

Anyway, I used to think that I had no accent at all, but that changed when I went to Northwestern Indiana for law school. Most of my classmates were from the midwest or the upper midwest. I certainly didn't sound like them. I'd be interested to see their maps. Maybe they have a word for what the grass between the sidewalk and the road is.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Before Christmas - You Got Your Shopping Done?

Make sure to get all the Christmas shopping done, y'all. If you're still trying to decide on what to get your wife/girlfriend, I saw this ad.

I've taken care of everyone except for three people, and they'll all be getting something from Morganelli's.

In other news, today is the last day to sign up for Obamacare!

Enjoy your Christmas. If you get a chance, gather the whole family around, and enjoy the best Christmas movie ever.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Best Eggnog Recipe (Using Bourbon)

I don't normally like alcoholic drinks that are sweet. I avoid White Russians, drinks with excessive fruit, and other overly sweet drinks. However, one exception to this is a little (very little) bit of eggnog at Christmas.

Most eggnog recipes call for rum and/or a blend of alcohols. However, I like Alton Brown's version most, as the only alcohol you add is bourbon.

4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pint whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bourbon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gear for Guys: Christmas Gifts for the Southern Man

For the most part, we guys are easy to shop for. We tend to have hobbies of one sort or another that make for easy gift giving. However, if you have a guy on your Christmas List and are struggling to come up with something, Permanent Press is here to help. All of these gifts are Permanent Press Lifestyle™ approved.

For the Sportsman/Hunter: If you're looking for a gift for a shooter/hunter, you're in luck. There are endless accessories for the Southern Sportsman. Even if this guy already has a pocket-knife or a flashlight, he could always use another. For pocket-knives, I recommend Benchmade. For flashlights, I recommend Mag-Lights.

Also, this guy is always going to need ammunition. You literally can never have enough. So if you're looking for a cheap stocking stuffer, a box or two of ammo will be a big hit. If you don't know what kind to get, look and see what he already has in his gun safe. You can buy it online, and it will ship right to your door. My favorite online ammo retailer is Lucky Gunner, but there are plenty out there.

For the Well-Dressed Gentleman: If the Southern guy in your life dresses up during the workweek, there are accessories he might need. For instance, every guy needs a good shoe-shine kit, but it's not something that we would normally buy for ourselves. Allen Edmonds has a nice kit, but there are plenty of others out there. Don't buy this guy another tie or more cufflinks.

For the College Sports Fan: If the Southern man on your list is a college sports fan (and he likely is) then you can get him something to show his team spirit in the fall. If he's an SEC sports fan, there's always this awesome koozie. But even if he isn't an SEC fan, this link should still probably have you covered.

For the Guy Who Likes a Drink: If the Southern man on your Christmas list is over 21 and enjoys a nice cocktail, bourbon is always a nice gift. Belle Meade Bourbon is an easy-drinking boubon with a smooth finish. It also has a little bit of a horse-racing history, so it would be an appropriate drink this spring when the horse racing gets into full swing.

There you have it. If you have any other ideas, I'd be interested to hear them. Hope this little holiday guide helps!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Columbia City Council members Courted by Individuals Charged with Corruption

The State has the whole piece here. From a cursory reading, it looks like lots of circumstantial evidence without any hard ties between the criminal defendants and Columbia City Council members. However, that aside, it doesn't look good.

Maybe there's something here, and maybe there isn't. All I know is that it doesn't look good.

Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company. -George Washington


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Federal Appeals Court Rules SC Occupy Protesters Have a "Viable Claim"

Remember back when "Occupy" was a thing? It was was back in November of 2011 or so. The protesters who were forcibly removed from the Statehouse grounds back then haven't just gone away. Maybe the Governor should have consulted with Permanent Press first.

Anyway, the Occupy folks have taken their case all the way to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which just decided that the Occupy protesters "have a viable claim" that the State of South Carolina violated their First Amendment rights.

You can read the full text of the opinion here.[PDF]

Here's where I am on this: Let's assume that the State did violate the Occupier's rights by forcibly removing them from the Statehouse Grounds. Ok, so what are the damages? The Occupy protesters want damages for the State violating their First Amendment rights. Well, for you law-geeks out there, there is a whole area of jurisprudence on who to measure such damages. You can read about it at length in this law review article, which just happens to be published by my law school alma mater.

I'm not sure I would award them much money, but I'd be fine with letting them go back to the Statehouse Grounds and protesting as much as they want, as long as they don't fall asleep. Sleeping isn't political speech, it's...well it's sleeping.

All I know is that if Governor Haley had followed my advice and just ignored these people, they'd probably be gone by now.

Monday, December 16, 2013

240th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party

I couldn't let today go by without mentioning that it's the 240th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. Maybe it was an act of lawlessness, but it was certainly a turning point in the relationship between the colonists and the British government.

What would our government have to do to provoke a similar response now?

Peter O'Toole Dead at 81 - Lessons from Lawrence of Arabia

If you haven't seen Lawrence of Arabia, it's a great movie, dealing with certain issues that are  timeless, and other political issues that are still relevant today.

Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia
One theme through the movie is the West's relationship with the Middle-East. In the movie, the relationship is against the larger backdrop of WWII, but the relationship is still fractious and unstable today. The British have the Arabs as a small appendage to their army, but it's not until T.E. Lawrence figures out how to properly use the skills and resources of the Arabs, do they become a serious fighting force.

The movie deals with racial issues, in how the British view the Arabs. In one scene, after walking through the desert, Lawrence and a young Arab boy is picked up and brought into the British Headquarters. Lawrence pushes forward with the young boy and goes into the officer's club demanding a glass of lemonade for each of them, much to the consternation of the British officers there.

The movie also explore how the Arabs themselves struggle to find their place in the world. In the setting of the movie, the Arabs are dealing with the same issues they confront today, perfectly summed up by Lawrence in this line:
Sherif Ali! So long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people, a silly people. Greedy, barbarous and cruel, as you are.
Sound familiar? In 2013, the Middle-East is still dealing with the problem of sectarian, tribe on tribe violence. We know about Shiites fighting the Sunnis, as was made clear in the Iraq War. Much of that issue still plagues the Middle-East today.

Finally, the most over-arching theme is the idea of a man's fate, and how a man can make his own fate through his free will and actions. The idea that nothing is written deals with what is preordained by God, and how man can shape his own destiny.

In one instance, Lawrence sets out against all extreme odds to avert an event (someone's death) that a Muslim companion (Omar Sharif) declares "is written," and has accepted. Lawrence resuces the man and then caps off his act by emphatically declaring, "Nothing is written."

Later, Lawrence even goes so far as to proclaim of his own bold plans, "That is written — in here" (tapping his head). Eventually Sharif is forced to admit, "Truly, for some men, nothing is written, unless they write it."

If you've never seen Lawrence of Arabia, now might would be an appropriate time to do so.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Morning Thread - Test Taking Tips

No, the Obamacare website isn't fixed yet, but I did make you some tasty french toast. Don't worry, french toast makes everything better.

On an unrelated note, here are some funny answers to test questions from what appear to be elementary school and middle school students. A few of my favorites are:

1. Name the quadrilateral.

2. How do you change centimeters to meters.


Study hard, kids.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Go Army, Beat Navy!

One of college football's best games of the year is today. At 3:00PM today, Army and Navy meet for their traditional battle. This game represents everything good in college football: teamwork, sacrifice, and discipline. No one from this game will be going to the NFL next year. No one will be getting a big paycheck and driving a fancy car next year. They'll be going into harm's way.

All the graduating seniors (or first-classmen) will be going into their commissions as officers with either the Army or Navy. These boys play football because they love their school, and they love the game.

It's what college football is all about.

Army-Navy Program from 1945
For over a hundred years, West Point and the US Naval Academy have played each other. However, in the recent years, the series has been one-sided, with Navy winning the last eleven games.

Pretty much everyone in my family comes from the Army side of the military, so I'll be cheering for the Black Knights to break the losing streak today.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Open Thread (Slow News Day)

Happy Friday.

Not much for news out there, other than a "meh" kind of budget deal in Congress.

Not much is new with the complete failure of Obamacare, other than it's still a train-wreck. The most recent news is that HHS is requiring that insurers allow people until December 31 to pay for coverage that would start January 1. How in the world is that going to work? You've got to at least have time for people's checks to clear. Remember, insurance is a contract - you don't get coverage unless you pay.

This is shaping up to be a serious mess come January 1. In other related news that's depressing here are three reasons that today's teenagers can't find jobs. (And why this is really bad for America.)

If you want, you can keep up with my profile on the Farmer's Only dating website.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Devine Night Out is Tonight!

The 2013 Devine Night Out is tonight. About 50 different stores and restaurants will be open late for an evening of shopping, and festive cheer. There will be food, drinks, and an oyster roast at Home Advantage Realty. You can find more details here.

Devine Street is one of the few retail locations in Columbia where pretty much every business is locally owned. If you want to support local business in Columbia while having a great time, come on out and enjoy a Devine evening. It's also a great way to get your Christmas shopping done. Last year, I knocked out about 80% of my shopping in one night.

Mrs. Permanent Press and I will likely take Permanent Press, Jr. out for this event, since he's enchanted by Christmas lights. Also, I believe that Fig Columbia will be there as well.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

365,000 Have Signed Up for Private Insurance through Obamacare

I say "signed up" for insurance rather than "obtained" insurance because I still think it remains to be seen how many people have actually had their information properly transmitted to the private insurance company. I'm not assuming a 100% success rate like the Washington Post seems to be. I'm also not sure this number is requiring that people to have actually mailed a payment.
Remember, an insurance policy is a contract. It doesn't exist until a payment is made. Let's assume everyone's paid though. (Ok, try to suppress your laughter. I'll wait.) I'll tell you what the real problem is.

Done laughing? The real problem is that 803,000 have been enrolled onto Medicaid. That's not exactly the same as private insurance. That means most of the people who have "signed up" aren't paying any premiums at all. They're getting free health insurance from the taxpayers.

Here are also a couple of things to consider. First, millions of people have had their private insurance cancelled because of Obamacare, so the 365,000 number still means that we're in net negative territory for total private plans.

Second, the 365,000 total is still far below what the original estimate of success was. Sure, measured against a total trainwreck of ZERO, it's better. Sure, anything is better than zero. But let's not start congratulating ourselves just yet.

Remember that HHS has a goal of 3.3 million signups by the end of the year. That means we're going to need another three million more people to get the private insurance (not Medicaid option) in the next two weeks. Don't forget, that's what the prices are based on. If they don't hit that total number, the policies are getting re-priced, in the upwards direction.

Finally, there's still no information on the demographics of who has signed up for these plans. Personally, I'm not optimistic that the necessary number of young people have signed up. Don't forget, getting enough premiums from the young, healthy people is one of the necessary conditions to make this whole thing work.

This whole business is going to get out of control. It's going to get out of control, and we'll be lucky to live through it.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

TSA Agent Confiscates Sock Monkey's Gun

As part of our government's ongoing efforts to keep us safe as we fly commercial airlines, the TSA has done us all the favor of disarming rogue sock monkeys of their tiny toy pistols.

Rooster Monkburn: Thwarted by valiant TSA agent
Yes, this desperado, who goes by the outlaw name "Rooster Monkburn" tried to make it through the TSA security checkpoint in St. Louis, but a sharp-eyed TSA agent acted quickly to make sure that the threat was neutralized.
“She said ‘this is a gun,’” said May. “I said no, it’s not a gun it’s a prop for my monkey.”

“She said ‘If I held it up to your neck, you wouldn’t know if it was real or not,’ and I said ‘really?’” said May.

The TSA agent told May she would have to confiscate the tiny gun and was supposed to call the police.
Luckily the ruse didn't work. The TSA agent didn't fall for the ol' Sock Monkey With a Toy Gun ploy. As we all know, that's the oldest trick in the book.

I know, being a TSA agent isn't always safe. There are late nights and dangerous terrorist agents who are ready to pounce upon an unsuspecting public. Only the watchful eye of the highly trained TSA agents stands between the unsuspecting public and evil sock monkeys bent on world domination.

Yes, for the true TSA agent, the reward is knowing that you've made the world a safer place. As true evil never rests, the TSA agent must likewise be on constant guard against Little Army Men with their plastic guns, crayon drawings of cowboys and Indians shooting it out, toy aliens with their highly dangerous toy laser blasters, and all other manner of evil toys.

Luckily, a TSA agent was astride the ramparts of liberty, protecting you. Next time you see a TSA agent, thank them for having the courage to stare down such dangerous toys every day.

Top Hospitals Opting Out of Obamacare

Remember the "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" promise that President Obama made? Yeah, about that. I have some bad news. Well, it's only bad news if your doctor works at a premier hospital. If your doctor works at a podunk hospital in the middle of nowhere, I'm sure you'll be fine.

Amid a drive by insurers to limit costs, the majority of insurance plans being sold on the new healthcare exchanges in New York, Texas, and California, for example, will not offer patients’ access to Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan or MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, two top cancer centres, or Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, one of the top research and teaching hospitals in the country.

Hey, it's just Sloan Kettering and MD Anderson. Those just happen to be the top two cancer treatment hospitals in the world. No biggie, right? You don't really need the best cancer care, right?

This Obamacare thing keeps getting better every day.

So just to recap: You can't necessarily keep your plan, you can't necessarily keep your doctor, and you might not be able to sign up for a new plan because the website is all wonky, and you'll pay a tax if you don't get that new plan that you've been ordered to purchase. And if you do get a new plan, it will cost you more in premiums, if you're young and healthy.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Five Worst Christmas Songs Ever

Happy Monday.

Brad's got the list of worst Christmas songs over at his place, and my only quibble with it is that I like Frank Sinatra's version of Little Dummer Boy. Otherwise, I concur.

On a related note, one of my pet peeves with Christmas music is people who play it before Thanksgiving. There should be a law allowing people to make a citizen's arrest when that occurs.

Anyone got any other Christmas songs they could do without?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Is a South Carolina Sheriff Defying President Obama?

I'm kind of surprised that this story made CNN, but it did. It's seems like a nothing of a story, really. Some guy isn't going to lower his flag for Nelson Mandela. Ok. So what?

And this angle of this county sheriff "defying President Obama's order" is ridiculous. The President can order the military to lower their flags. The President can order the FBI lower their flags. He can even order US embassies and the Agriculture Department to lower their flags.

But Pickens County? They don't take orders from the President of the United States. The President can't order the Pickens County Sheriff to do squat. Seriously. Where does a journalist get off saying crap like this?

You can debate whether or not it's proper to lower the flag for Mandela, but ultimately it's a judgment call, and it doesn't really mean anything. It's a symbolic thing. But I'm sure that this won't stop everyone from saying the guy's a racist or something.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Last College Football Saturday

The college football season always goes by too fast. It seems like just a few weeks ago we were looking at this season with all sorts of anticipation. Gamecock fans were looking at this season with expectations that the SEC East was ours for the taking.

Heck, Clemson fans were thinking that this year could be the one where they take the next step and make it to the national title game. No one was giving Auburn or Missouri a chance, and no one knew how bad Florida would be.

All that's gone now.

The Grove at Ole Miss will see you again next year

There won't be anymore tailgates with all your friends in the shadow of your team's stadium. The tailgates (which you put more planning into than D-Day) are going to be dormant until next fall. Even if you're going to a Bowl Game to support your team, it won't be the same.

Sure, yeah, there are the bowl games. Too many of them in fact. But the last few months of waking up early on a Saturday like a five year old kid on Christmas morning and watching college football all day are over. No more changing between channels and avoiding yard-work all day while you drink beer all day and bask in the glory of college football from noon until midnight. That's all gone.

We bid farewell to the likes of JD Clowney, Connor Shaw, Aaron Murray, Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, and a host of other great players who amazed us with their skill on the field.

Here's to the 2013 college football season, with all it's craziness, drama, and maddening twists and turns that make us all love it so much at times, and make us all hate it so much at times. Your wives and girlfriends will be glad to reclaim Saturday again.

Until next year, that is.

Friday, December 6, 2013

To All the Other States: Bless Your Heart

You know how South Carolina is always at the bottom of the state rankings when it comes to things like poverty, education level, obesity, and other related bad things? 

Well, whenever someone tries to throw that in your face, you can let them know that South Carolina is the top of the class in politeness, among all fifty states. Maybe if the other states were as polite as South Carolina, things would be better here in America. You know, more civil?

That's right, South Carolina is the most polite place in the United Staes. Numero uno. So next time someone tells you that South Carolina is first in heart attacks or something, just politely tell them to shove it.

And can you guess which state ranked at the bottom in politeness? The rudest state in our nation? I'll give you a clue: Lots of people from this impolite state come to Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Prohibition Ended 80 Years Ago Today

Eighty years ago today, everyone decided to end Prohibition. Good thing, too.

Try to celebrate appropriately.

Stolen Radioactive Material Found

If you hadn't heard, some radioactive material went missing in Mexico the other day. The first thing I thought was: Good thing the ol' border with Mexico is secure...

The radioactive material was something called Cobalt-60, and as far as I can tell, it seems to be some pretty scary stuff. You remember the guy who got his face melted in Radiers of the Lost Ark? It's that bad. This is the kind of material that could be used to make a "dirty" bomb. It's wouldn't have a nuclear reaction, but a conventional explosion would scatter radioactive material all over the place. Not a good scenario.

Also, by the way, here's a PROTIP from Permanent Press: Don't open things that have this marking on them. It's the international sign for "Don't touch".

The best news is that the Cobalt-60 was recovered, even though it was removed from it's casing. It seems like the thieves didn't know there was radioactive material there, and they weren't prepared to deal with it. Then they found it and took it out of the container, which was literally a weapons-grade stupid thing to do. So they're probably all going to die.

I'm sure the container had all sorts of scary looking radioactive markings all over it. Even thieves should know not to open radioactive containers, but apparently they decided to take a look. Now, they're probably dead in the desert somewhere.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Strange Development Story of the Original Ford Mustang

There's a really interesting back-story on the development of one of America's most iconic sports cars. We all know the original mustang. Seeing the prototypes and variations in the development stage is like looking at an alternate universe.

For instance, I never gave a serious thought to which direction the emblem faces. Can you see it right now in your mind's eye? Which way does the galloping horse face?

It faces left, like this:

That looks normal, right? Apparently, the horse was made to gallop to the left because it's "going West" like America did. Whatever, right? However, I'm so used to it that looking at it the other way is strangely disturbing:

That top picture just looks wrong, doesn't it? I'm now trying to figure out why that the left-facing horse looks normal, since we Westerners read everything left to right. All I know is that right facing horse really creeps me out. Anyone else feel like that?

If you think that's weird, check out the article to see how really weird the Mustang might have been with other variations.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Child Doesn't Make Me Happy

I have a two year old son, and he's great. We have a lot of fun together, but we also have some tough times. For instance, he was not really able to sit quietly at dinner last night. That's because he's two years old. It certainly would have been less stressful to leave him with a babysitter and have a quiet meal without milk spilling all over the place and constantly getting him to sit still.

Anyway, I saw a post on Matt Walsh's blog, and I think he hits the nail on the head, as he usually does.
All of the pain, sacrifice, and suffering of parenthood dismissed with a shrug and a sigh — “it might be tough sometimes” — and covered up in a layer of rainbows, puppies, sunshine, and gum drops. And lies. Because that what it is when you tell someone that having kids will make them happy: a lie. Kids won’t MAKE you happy. Nothing will MAKE you happy.
My own kids do not, in fact, make me happy. I love them to death. I am a proud father. I am honored that God gave them to me. I am overjoyed. I am in awe. I am in love. I am happy. But my kids do not MAKE me happy.

My kids don’t make my happiness. That isn’t their job. My happiness isn’t a responsibility that falls on their tiny little shoulders.
As usual, Matt is spot on. He goes on to make the point that being happy is a choice. It's a decision that we all make every day, and that's exactly right. The happiest people I know are happy simply because they decide to be.

This isn't to discount the fact that there are some people out there who just aren't "wired" to become parents. There are plenty of people I know who choose not to have children, or even get married. And they're happy people for the most part. The larger lesson is that happiness is a personal decision.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Break's Over; Back to Work

Ok, y'all, everyone back to work. Break's over. So what's going on in the world today?

1. Did healthcare.gov get fixed over the weekend? Well, sort of. If you define "fixed" as a website that still doesn't really work all the time. It's kind of like Sex Panther Cologne. But hey, for the people who don't have to use the website because they're either exempt or already have insurance, the site works perfectly.

2. Abandoned Sites That Would Make Great Super Villain Lairs. In other news, if you have that hard to shop for person on your Christmas list, here are a list of six abandoned sites that would make great super-villain lairs.

3. Speaking of Super Villains, our "strong mayor" referendum is going to be on Tuesday. Here's everything you need to know, courtesy of The State. Funny, I don't see anything about the mayor getting a cool lair. That seems like a requirement, right?

In all seriousness, I don't have too strong of a position on the "strong mayor" thing. If you elect good people to office, they'll mostly do a good job. If you elect corrupt goobers to office, you'll have a poorly run city. Maybe it's easier to find one good person than it is to find a whole council of them. Who knows? All I know is that I doubt this will solve any of Columbia's problems.

4. Global Cooling Returns! The arctic ice cap grew 29% from 2012. Here's a picture:

Al Gore, call your office.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

College Football This Weekend

So....who had Auburn Missouri in the SEC Championship Game? I mean anyone besides Biff Tannen and his sports almanac.

First, the Alabama-Auburn Game ended like this:

Roll Tears.

In other news, South Carolina beat Clemson. The difference in the game was the grindingly sold performance of Connor Shaw vs. the let down performance of Tajh Boyd. Shaw goes down in USC history as probably the best QB in USC history. He's got the most wins, the most rushing yards, and never lost to Clemson. Not bad.

For Tajh Boyd, he's going to have a weird legacy at Clemson. He took them to an ACC Championship, and he's broken all kinds of records, but he's going to have "he never beat South Carolina" grumbled after his name is mentioned.

One problem was that Clemson had last night was that they turned over the ball a few times. Well, more that a few. How many turnovers did Clemson have?

Six.  Six of them. One less than seven. By the way, this would make an excellent Christmas Gift for any Clemson fan on your list.

What a crazy game this is.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope y'all enjoy the holiday. Spend time with your family, and be thankful for the blessings you have.

I'll be hosting the extended family and smoking the turkey on my Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. Beer will be a delicious Cold Mountain Winter Ale from Asheville, NC.

Clemson vs. Carolina Prediction 2013

That's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hateweek 2013 (Day 2: Talking Trash)

Carolina vs. Clemson in the Modern Era

You want it, Clemson?

My favorite Thanksgiving dish? Probably dinner rolls, since like Clemson they're flaky, have two "L"s, and burn like little Christmas trees when you put too much heat on 'em.
[h/t EDSBS]

Also, this would be a good time to highlight the difference between the two head coaches. Clemson's coach likes to model grandma sweatshirts in his spare time not coaching football.

Spurrier spends his spare time being awesome:

I'm not saying that Spurrier is more of a badass than Dabo. Well actually, yes. That's exactly what I'm saying. If you want to see Dabo talking trash, you can see it here.

I guess we'll see what happens on Saturday. Can Clemson re-take the State Title? Prediction tomorrow.

What do I think about the Iran Deal?

The West gets to say they have a "deal", but if you're the Iranians, you're loving the fact that you're getting harsh sanctions lifted in return for....pretty much nothing. Is it "Munich"? Nah. It's not that bad. We're just cutting a deal that makes Iran stronger later down the road.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Crow Uses Lid to Snowboard Down Roof [VIDEO]

Multiple times. He's definitely doing this on purpose - you know - for fun.

A snow boarding crow? Crow-boarding?

One thing to keep in mind is that crows are really smart as far as birds go. Crows have been known to pick up tough nuts and drop them onto a road where they are crushed by traffic, then going down and eating them. They can also distinguish different humans by recognizing human facial features.

Crows. Better keep an eye on them. Creepy suckers.

HateWeek 2013 (Day 1: Warming up the Hate)

Welcome to HateWeek 2013, campers. Everyone take a knee and gather round. It's time to get ready for the South Carolina State Championship.

Just to recap, Clemson has lost the last four games to South Carolina. Dabo Swinney is going to need to get his team ready to play in a hostile environment this Saturday night, because Williams-Brice is going to be rocking, and the HBC and the Gamecocks have a home winning streak on the line.

This year should be a great game, since this will be the first time that both teams will be in the Top 10 going into the game. Pretty safe to assume that one team will not be in the Top 10 afterwards.

Clemson: you might want to bring your A-Game this year, or it's going to be 5 in a row.

We'll have a post each day this week leading up to the game, culminating in a prediction. Tomorrow, we'll look at some trash talk in recent history.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Coastal Carolina's Head Football Coach Followed an Unconventional Path

Today at 1:00PM, my South Carolina Gamecocks host the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. However, the most interesting story of this game doesn't involve a player. It involves the head coach for Coastal Carolina. His name is Joe Mogila, and he's followed an unconventional path to end up coaching college football.

Coastal Carolina's Head Football Coach: Joe Moglia
After being a defensive coordinator for Dartmouth for two years (1981-1983) Moglia took a job with Merrill Lynch, and ended up working his way up through the ranks of the investment bank over the next seventeen years.

In 2001, Mogila left Merrill Lynch to be the CEO of Ameritrade (now TD Ameritrade). In his seven years at the head of Ameritrade, he grew the company through a series of record earnings and mergers and acquisitions. However, being a high-flying wall street banker isn't what he wanted to do.

He wanted to coach college football.

Accordingly, in 2008, he stepped down from the top post at TD Ameritrade and took an unpaid internship with the Nebraska Cornhuskers under head coach Bo Pelini. He then coached some semi pro teams for a few years, before taking the head coaching job with the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.

In his first year leading the Chants, Moglia guided the team to an 8-5 record, and a share of the conference championship. This year, the former Wall Street CEO has the Chants sitting on a 10-1 record, already clinching a share of the conference championship yet again.

In discussing his approach to the game, Moglia is more analytical than emotional, comparing the game of football to chess.
We have to be able to compete at the national level. We’re not quite ready to do that, but we’re making good progress. I’ve never been a wild football fan, but I’ve always loved the strategy of the game. To me, it’s advanced chess with 22 people functioning at once with a lot at stake. The game has changed, but it’s still about having a well-executed plan. Hopefully, one day we’ll win a national championship.”
Now his team comes into Williams-Brice stadium for what is undoubtedly their biggest test of the year. We'll see how well Moglia can match moves with Spurrier across the chessboard.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Friday With a Willys Jeep

Time to hit the road, ladies and gentlemen.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever it takes you.

Over a Thousand Absentee Ballots Were Not Counted in Richland County

Government is just another name for things that we do together massive failure.

Remember the Richland County election debacle in the general election last year? It wasn't that long ago. It was the most recent election we just previously had. You know, last time.

So how did this election go? Oh, swimmingly, except for the fact that over a thousand absentee ballots weren't counted. But that's not the best part.
The best part is that the person most responsible for the 2012 fiasco, Lillian McBride, wasn't fired back then for being incompetent. She was reassigned. Guess where she was reassigned to for this election...

Wait for it....

This is insane, y'all. The person who screwed the pooch last time wasn't fired. She was simply transferred to an easier job. Then she managed to immediately screw the pooch on her first assignment. You would think that a normal person who makes a catastrophic mistake would be kind of on their toes the next time they get any assignment. Not Ms. McBride. Apparently, she cannot coordinate her department to complete the task of tallying an increasing sequence of positive integers.

It's not really that hard. 1, 2, 3.... Anyone seeing a pattern emerging? The numbers increase by one each time. All she has to do is count little pieces of paper. I know 6 year old children who can do this. However, Richland County government cannot seem to perform this basic task in elections.

Is this really the best we can do? How many chances should Ms. McBride be given? Where else can we transfer her? If she cannot count pieces of paper, what assignments can she handle?

The degree of sheer incompetence here is staggering.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In Case of a Snake Bite...

“A man should always carry a small bottle of whisky in case of a snake bite. A man should also carry a snake.” - W.C. Fields

Blonde Girl in a Cute Sun Hat

I'm just trying to be more stylish, you know. She also has some cute sandals and a sundress that goes well with her hat. I'm not sure where she shops, but it appears that she values quality products and coordinates well.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Health Insurance Company Makes Ads Mocking Obamacare

My health insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, is a beneficiary of Obamacare, since the law requires people to buy health insurance.

However, that hasn't stopped Blue Cross Blue Shield from making some ads goofing on the abject failure of the healthcare.gov website. It's actually a good ad, as it takes a soft shot at Obamacare not being able to deliver insurance, then reminding the viewer that they can just go to Blue Cross Blue Shield directly and buy some insurance.

It's actually a series of three ads, and you can see them all here.

You know it's getting bad when health insurance companies are starting to turn on Obamacare because I'm pretty sure that big companies focus-group their ads to make sure the ads aren't offending anyone.

I guess public opinion is fine with making fun of Obamacare now that it's been revealed to be such a train-wreck.

I'll Be Blogging for Fig Columbia!

What's Fig Columbia, you ask? Fig Columbia is a local magazine and social media presence that is dedicated highlighting the great aspects of Columbia, South Carolina. It will be a great place for keeping up with social events, new restaurants, and all the goings-on around Columbia. It's kind of like Garden & Gun, but specifically tailored for Columbia.

About a month or so ago, I was asked to be a contributing blogger to Fig Columbia and provide a guy's perspective on certain things. Frankly, I was very flattered just to be asked, since I'm not the most stylish person. The Shop Tart will be running Fig Columbia's style side, so if you're familiar with her work, you already know that Fig will be very stylish and wonderfully done.

My pieces for Fig will be along the lines of my "Gear for Guys" posts that I've done and tied into Columbia. You can read my first piece for Fig Columbia here.

All of the content that I create for Fig Columbia will be over there first, but will ultimately be linked back here. I would encourage any of my Columbia readers to go check out Fig Columbia for all sorts of great stuff.

If you don't live in Columbia, don't worry. I'm still going to keep Permanent Press going with all my random rantings, football breakdowns, BBQ musings, political mockery, firearm photos, and all of the otherwise brilliant posts you've come to know and love here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another Obama Website Problem

Ok, it's just starting to get kind of ridiculous now. You know how the healthcare.gov website has been "less than optimal" so far? Well, President Obama decided host a teleconference event for his most ardent supporters (Organizing for Action). Supporters were going to be able to go to a special website and hear the streaming audio of the conference call.

Guess what? That's right.

The website didn't work very well. You can't even make this stuff up. No one would believe you.

So, let's see if I have this right: In response to a failed website, the President sets up a website to encourage his most loyal followers to "keep fighting"(whatever that means) but the message doesn't get through because that website doesn't work.

I'm starting to feel sorry for the Obama at this point. Ok, wait. That moment passed.

Carry on.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hotty Toddy!

With the conference schedule all wrapped up, South Carolina is sitting in the clubhouse at 6-2. The only other team that has a chance to win the SEC East is Missouri, who is currently 5-1, with two games left to play.

The two games for Missouri are: (1) on the road Ole Miss this weekend; and (2) a home game against Texas A&M the following week. The Rebels are on a great roll right now, and TAMU is always dangerous with Johnny Football at the controls.

Right now it feels like like Missouri needs to birdie their last two holes to win. I'm feeling pretty confident that Missouri isn't going to win both games. However, I'd like to see Ole Miss go ahead and take care of Missouri now, so I don't have to watch the scoreboard during the Clemson game.

To that end:

That is all. Carry on.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

College Football Is Kinda Silly

Because things like this happen and will have massive implications.

Seriously. Auburn won the game because of this. I still can't believe it.

I'm sorry, Georgia. No one should lose a game like this. That's just cruel. It's also proof that the football gods have a sense of humor.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

SEC East Predictions For Week 12

Morning, y'all. Let's do this thing.

Two big games in the SEC East today: The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry (Georgia at Auburn) is the 3:30 CBS game, and the nightcap will be Florida coming to South Carolina at 7:00PM.

Both of these games will go a long way towards deciding the winner of the SEC East this year. Georgia faces a must win situation on the Plains today. If Georgia loses to Auburn, they can pretty much give up home of going to Atlanta.

Auburn faces a similar "must win" situation, as they're trying to keep pace with undefeated Alabama. The Auburn Tigers are hoping they can get into the Iron Bowl with only one loss and try to knock off Bama. Doing so would punch Auburn's ticket to Atlanta. Look for a great game today out on the Plains. Permanent Press Prediction: I'm not a believer in Georgia's defense, so I think Auburn grinds out a close win on the ground. Georgia 20 - Auburn 27

South Carolina concludes conference play tonight against a beat-up Florida team. If South Carolina can start fast, Florida will have no chance to win this game. The only way Florida wins is if the Gamecocks have multiple turnovers to give a totally inept Florida offense a short field. Permanent Press Prediction: South Carolina doesn't turn the ball over and wins comfortably. Florida 13 - South Carolina 38, and Cocky gets a kiss.

If South Carolina wins, they'll finish 6-2 in conference play, which coupled with a Georgia loss to Auburn, would put a lot of pressure on Missouri to win their two remaining games against Ole Miss and Texas A&M. Mizzou is a great team, but those are two tough opponents.

Enjoy your Saturday.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Gear for Guys: Timex Weekender

In our continuing "Gear for Guys" theme, it's time to talk about time. And by that, I mean keeping time. I know, most of y'all keep time on your newfangled iPhones these days. That's great and all, but there's no replacing a solid wristwatch.

This device does not need to be recharged at the end of the day.

Sometimes you go places where you're not going to take your iPhone. Gasp! Yeah, seriously.

You may not want to take your iPhone to the beach, or out on the water, or out on that quail hunt. Your watch isn't going to run out of battery power at the end of the day if you spend all day checking your Tweets. Your watch isn't going to drop out of your hand and crack into a million pieces. Heck, sometimes a quick glance at your wrist is easier and faster than pulling your iPhone out of your pocket, and turning the screen on.

Also, taking your cell phone out of your pocket is easily noticeable, whereas you can much more discreetly glance at your watch. In certain social situations, that can be a big benefit. Guys, you know what I'm talking about.

Accordingly, Permanent Press recommends the Timex Weekender. At $31.96 on Amazon, it's not going to break the bank like a Rolex or an Omega, so you can give it to your 10 year old kid and not worry about what happens to it very much.

Basically, it's a simple and effective way to keep time. It's got a good light for nighttime use, and it even has the military time numbers if you're bad at math.

When you're heading out for the weekend, it's pretty much going to fit in for anything you do unless you're going to the Academy Awards or a State Dinner. Heck, I'd probably wear it to those events, myself, but that's just me. Also, if you're a really fashionable person and you want to change the look of this watch, you can buy different bands for it to suit your needs. I just happen to like this single stripe look, but you can get leather bands, rainbow bands, solid colors...really anything.

In any event, maybe it's time you got a watch.

Friday Morning Firearm Advice

Good morning, campers.

Just some handy firearm advice from Permanent Press this morning: The rounded part of the cartridge  faces forward in the magazine.

[h/t Insty]

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Need a Local Adventure near Columbia?

It's the largest intact expanse of old growth, bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States - and it's about a 25 minute drive from downtown Columbia.

First, it's totally free. No fees for anything. The park is open 24/7, every day of the year, but Saturday is the best day to go. Pretty much every Saturday there's a guided tour of some sort. And yeah, the tours are free, too. Some require reservations, others don't.

If you're not into planning or reservations, you can just show up and walk the boardwalk loop, which is a (roughly) two-mile loop comprised of a raised boardwalk through the swamp that starts and ends at the Visitor's Center. It's great for families, as the boardwalk keeps the children focused on going one direction, rather than wandering off.

During famously hot days in Columbia, you can go on a paddling trip from one part of the Congaree river to another through the National Park. Toss a cooler in the canoe and you've got yourself a whole day on the river. If you're in a Boy Scout troop in Columbia, this is a must do.

If you want to see what South Carolina looked like a couple hundred years ago, go check it out. It's like stepping into a time machine. It's free and it's closer than you think.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Healthcare.gov's Enrollment Numbers

Less than 27,000.

27,000. Let that sink in for a moment.

I know the White House is pushing a higher figure, that figure includes people who "picked a plan" but didn't actually enroll (you know, pay for it). An AP reporter is saying the actual number of people is less than 27,000.

What I really want to know is the breakdown of the number. How many of these less than 27,000 people have pre-existing conditions? How many are low-income and need significant subsidies? How many of the really important "young healthy" people are in this group? Does this include the number of people enrolled in Medicaid through the site?

My little blog here has more pageviews (since October of 2011) than people who have signed up for Obamacare through healthcare.gov. Let's see how long I can keep that streak going.

This is some epic failing that we're witnessing here. I cannot wait for Jay Carney's next press conference.

NFL Logos as European Soccer Badges

Kinda cool, if you're into that sorta thing. It's no Death Star cookie jar, though.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Death Star Cookie Jar

I want this.

Now I'm redoing lines from Star Wars with cookie references:

  1. "Close the cookie jar now? In our moment of triumph?"
  2. "That's no moon(pie) it's a cookie station..."
  3. "You're all clear kid, now let's grab those cookies and go home!"
  4. "These aren't the cookies you're looking for."
  5. "I find your lack of cookies disturbing."
  6. "No! Alderaan is peaceful! We have no cookies there, you can't possibly..."
  7. "I have something here for you. Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle wouldn't allow it. He feared you might follow old Obi-Wan on some damn fool idealistic crusade like your father did. It's a cookie."
  8. "Yes, Greedo. I was just going to see your boss. Tell Jabba I've got his cookie."
I'm just getting warmed up. (More in the comments.)

Kenny Miles Shot Himself Then Lied About It

I don't get this. So Kenny Miles shot himself, and then lied about it, saying that he had been robbed? Does that make sense to anyone?

I get that shooting yourself by accident is embarrassing. I've never shot myself, but if I did, I would be really embarrassed, because that means I was doing something stupid and/or unsafe. Hopefully, that never happens.

However, if I hypothetically do shoot myself, I'm not going to make a false police report and say that someone else shot me in a robbery. That's taking an embarrassing situation and turning it into a criminal act. I just don't understand the thought process here. What in the world would he have done if the police had arrested someone based on his report?

I just don't get it. On the subject of shooting yourself, it can definitely happen. It happened to this guy:

Don't be that guy. Or Kenny Miles.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day Links

Everybody huddle up and take a knee.

It's Veterans Day, today. For those of you who may not know, the hostilities of World War I ended, ninety-five years ago today, on November 11, 1918. The following year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of "Armistice Day". The original idea was that November 11 was to be a celebration of the end of Word War I.

However, in 1954, after World War II and the Korean War were both over, Congress amended the word "Armistice" and inserted the word "Veterans" so all veterans of all wars would be honored. One note of distinction: Veterans day differs from Memorial Day, in that Veterans day honors all who served in the military, while Memorial Day is specifically reserved for those who died.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam
In WWII related remembrance, the Doolittle Raiders had their last toast together. Only four members of the famed Tokyo Raiders are still alive. You can see some photos of yesterday's toast and previous Doolittle gatherings here.

There will be parades throughout the US (and the world today), and the President will be participating in the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

Lest we forget, we will remember them. I don't care if you were a ranger, mechanic, cook, medic, grunt, pilot, or ran the laundry and bath point, you have my thanks for serving our country.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lone Survivor Trailer

Brad had an interesting post on top war movies according to British newspaper, The Guardian. Although the Guardian's list isn't very good, the commentariat came up with a better list.

One that might make the list in the future is Lone Survivor. Lone Survivor is based on the true story of a failed SEAL team mission in Afghanistan to take out a high value Taliban leader. The mission ended up compromised and ultimately the first Medal of Honor of the Afghanistan war was awarded posthumously to one of the SEAL team members. Here's the trailer.

If it's like the book, it's not going to be a rah-rah America movie, but it will show the sacrifice that our soldiers, sailors, and airmen make in war.