Monthly Archives: January 2010

My Bad Attitude Towards the World is Vindicated by Science!

H/T to BMEWS for this little gem:

Grumpiness is a sign of advanced civilisation

Researchers now believe that being aggressive, intolerant and short-tempered could be a sign of a more advanced nature.

A more childlike attitude to behaviour such as tolerance and sharing, could, in contrast, be an indication of not being as developed, the new study suggests.

 The news will be welcomed by those who are known to operate on a short fuse, such as talented but foul-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay and businessman Sir Alan Sugar. It could also provide scientific weight to the writer George Bernhard Shaw’s famous saying that “all progress depends on the unreasonable man”.

Researchers looked at two different kinds of monkey – the familiar chimpanzee and the less evolved but much more easy going bonobo, two of the closest living relatives to human beings. Chimpanzees are accepted as more evolved than bonobos in terms of physical appearance, behaviour and social structure. But chimps are also much more aggressive, particularly as they get older, when they become less tolerant of each other, share less and show more signs of violence to others.

Adult bonobos, on the other hand, are more Peter Pan-like. They retain the same levels of playfulness and behaviour they showed as juveniles, said the research by Harvard University for the online journal Current Biology. The two types of ape are very close to each other, genetically, but the clear differences are believed to be down to simple evolution, said lead researcher Victoria Wobber.

Her team put both chimps and bonobos through a variety of skill tests with rewards for those who completed various tasks the quickest. They included a sharing exercise and a begging exercise in which they had to work out which of their keeper’s was most generous. In all cases the chimps learnt the tasks fastest and to their better advantage. She believes that the ability to “restrain” their sociability was one of the reasons they were more intelligent and more civilised.

She said: “Bonobos took longer to develop the same skill level shown even among the youngest of the chimpanzees that were tested. “It seemed as if adult chimpanzees were able to exhibit more social restraint than adult bonobos.” She believes that humans being even more advanced are likely to exhibit even more adult like behaviour.

“If we can understand the evolutionary processes by which developmental changes occurred in bonobos, perhaps inferences can be made about our own species’ evolution,” he said.

If this is correct, I must be some sort of freakin’ SuperFutureMan. Yay me!
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Martial Arts Rankings

A recent post by Slideyfoot got me thinking about this perennial topic. Upon reflection I’ve found that my position hasn’t changed – belts don’t mean anything in the objective sense.

That isn’t to say that belt rankings serve no purpose – much like training in general, they can serve a variety of purposes that have nothing to do with fighting. But the only real use of a belt is to hold your pants up. Training will tell you if you can perform or not; the mat (or the ring the or octagon or teh de@dly streetz or the range or whatever) is a great place to find out what you can and can’t do. I point everyone again to Matt Thornton’s aliveness concept.

I have seldom found a formal martial arts ranking system that reliably tells me what high rank holders are capable of, which you would think is the entire reason for a ranking system. The fellows over at Bullshido are always good for some perspective on performance vs. rank – they’re a bit of a wild bunch but always entertaining.

Oh, and I am in no way trying to denigrate the time and effort that goes into achieving high rank in any martial art. But I don’t see that high rank= fighting ability automatically, and I’m one of the the-point-of-martial-arts-is-to-learn-to-fight guys. YMMV. This is probably why I am a paid member of the International Hoplology Society.


How I Arrived on a Name For This Blog

I recently saw this posted on a message board I frequent. It doesn’t quite mirror my own spiraling journey into loathing for my fellow human beings (I really, really don’t like most of them) but the root cause is similar and I like that he has been able to isolate the major underlying component.

“However, human beings often times baffle me. It’s taken me nearly 40 years on this planet to learn that often times people don’t think like me at all. Not only are they merely different, they are unfathomable. There may be no such thing as a “common thread of humanity”. I have been surprised by people my whole entire life doing things for motives and reasons that I absolutely cannot understand.”

Truth, right there. I understand that every person I see has a story – a life that matters to them, influences them, and is what defines them just as much as my life does me.

And I Really Don’t Care. Because they irritate me and waste my time, which I only have so much of and have chosen not to waste any more of it on random idiots.

This is probably why I wear shirts that say things such as “I Hate People Like You”, “You Can’t Have Manslaughter Without Laughter” and “I Know Violence Isn’t the Answer – I Got it Wrong On Purpose”.


Gunny Stuff

Finally got to the range last week, though just for a bit. Worked over the Sig P239 I picked up for my wife a while back, works like a charm.

Cleaned and re-assembled the AR’s that had been living on the kitchen table for waaayyyy too long, need to take them out probably next week and run a few hundred rounds through them (looking to sell the Bushmaster to a friend’s fiancee and I never finished breaking in the one I built).

Put together a spreadsheet of my range ammo so I can track when I’m getting dangerously low (e.g. less than 500 rounds) on any caliber.

Found out J&G has S&W Model 15 LE turn-ins starting at $220 – need to trek up there soon.

I picked up some NRA training materials to use in helping a friend get comfortable shooting (she’ll feel better if there’s homework and a lesson plan I can show her – it’s cute). I am unimpressed. They do a good job on the “this is how guns work” stuff but handling, storage and safety info is inferior to what my dad taught me 35+ years ago. There will be much adapting.

I *think* I found a decent leather pancake holster with a thumb break that will actually fi the XD .45 4″, if it ever gets made and sent here. The Minotaur or a paddle work, but I carry the 9mm more because the Galco Fletch I use for it is just so darned comfortable. Plus, I’ve taken the advice – I forget if it was Tam or Roberta who said it – about OC’ing n a nice looking leather holster, which I’ve found is also more comfortable (and why I use them) That reminds me – must purge drawer-o-spare-holsters again.

Oh, and I want an FN AR.


Chili Goodness

So, Brigid had a recipe for chili and I printed it off and it lived in the stack of “stuff I haven’t made yet”. Then I saw Lissa had tried it and thought quite highly of it, so I figured to make up a batch (1/2 batch actually, since the Beloved Wife is allergic to tomatoes and I can only eat so much).

Awesomeness ensued. It is very, very tasty.

I am pleased.


Kalashnakitty is Back!

Just saw this on the local gunnie forum:

Hello to all my former (and hopefully some new future) customers! As some of you may recall, my last run of the Kalashnikitty shirts got cancelled after delays and then fraud by my long-time shirt-maker against me. Luckily, VISA stepped in and got my money back that I had paid him. I’ve spent the last few weeks searching out a good, RELIABLE vendor locally and found one that I think is going to work out great. I have also LOWERED prices for everyone as a “mea culpa” and incentive to earn back your trust and business. And I’m also going to be offering shirts in grey, pink and black, as well as long-sleeve and sweatshirt designs in all three colors. I’m also able to offer sizes from Child’s Small to Child’s XL, as well as all colors and designs from Adult Small to Adult 2XL, and some colors and styles up to 5XL.

To customers who ordered last time around, I trust that you have received your refunds many weeks ago. If you would like to reorder with me, please email me back with your sizes, styles, colors, and preferred method of payment along with your address. For new customers, please do the same!

I will be taking orders until Sunday, January 24 and the order with my shirt maker will go in on Monday January 25. I should have the shirts in my hands and shipping out by the middle of the second week of February and they will ship out immediately by Priority Mail. The new shirt-maker says 2 weeks is normal turn-around, and hopefully this is the case.

Here’s the procedure for getting the shirts (this makes it a LOT easier for me to track and ship these things ASAP)

Email me (erickelly1@verizon.net) with the following:

1 – Number, color, style (short-sleeve, long-sleeve, or sweatshirt) and sizes you want –

2 – Your name and address

3 – How you would like to pay for them (Check, Money Order, Paypal)

Colors, Styles, and Sizes:

Shirts now come in THREE colors – an ash grey (very nice), a light pink, and black – shirts are high-quality, long lasting, very soft. I’ve never gotten an email from any of my previous customers saying, “The shirt shrunk, faded, looks horrible after 3 months, etc.” – these really are quite nice shirts.

Shirts come in THREE styles – short-sleeve, long-sleeve, and sweatshirt. Necks are normal round, not V. Sizes are a little large, so if ordering for a woman, or a “slight” framed person, or for a tighter fit, go one size smaller.

Many sizes to choose from – all shirt styles and colors come in Children’s Small up to Children’s XL, and Adult Small up to Adult 2XL. Sizes above 2XL are limited.

Short Sleeve Ash and Black go up to 5XL, Pink only up to 2XL
Long Sleeve Black go up to 5XL, Ash up to 3XL, and Pink up to 2XL
Sweatshirt Black go up to 5XL, Ash up to 3XL, Pink up to 2XL

PRICING – The most exciting thing about this new shirt-maker is the pricing – MUCH better pricing than before, and so many of you will notice a reduction in the prices vs. your last order.

Any size (short-sleeve) up to XL is $20.00, 2XL is $22.00, 3XL is $23.00, 4XL and 5XL is $24.00

Long-sleeve shirts – up to XL is $24.00, 2XL is $25.00, 3XL is $26.00, 4XL and 5XL is $27.00

Sweatshirts – to XL is $25.00, 2XL is $27.00, 3XL is $28.00, 4XL and 5XL is $29.00

There is NO extra charge for black or pink – used to be an extra $2.50 per shirt but not anymore!

Shipping via 2-3 day Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation is $6.00 for 1 shirt, and an extra $2.50 per shirt after that.

Check, MO, or Paypal is good for payments. If using Paypal, add 4% to the total payment, including the shipping.

** When you email me your order, include your full name and mailing address. I will email you back with the total.

Thanks again for this opportunity to provide these for you. Depending on the success and quality of the shirt-maker, I see good things in the future. I have the ability to possible offer caps, coffee mugs, mouse pads, different styles of shirts (hoodies, baby-doll tees, women’s sizes, shirts with pockets for you smokers out there, etc.)

erickelly1@verizon.net

PS – for some reason I can’t get GMAIL mail to the above email – no one can figure out why. If you have GMAIL, send to my alternate email, ericfield@hotmail.com – thanks!

I have no connection to Eric other than having bought several of these shirts and liking them quite a lot.


Never Take Your Pets For Granted

Xavier has a post about why you should spend some time with your pets every day. I’ve rescued enough and lost enough of them over the years that this hits home.

Remember – they are the only ones in this world that absolutely love you without conditions. They’re even happy to see you when you just come back into the room. I wish I could be the person my dogs think I am…