May you live in interesting times

  • So the last three days have actually been interesting and different. Last week, I was in Miami, which included spending about 18 hours last weekend trying to setup a firewall. I failed, and someone else managed to get it to work. Not afraid to say I don’t have the best grasp of this stuff.
  • A co-worker died over the weekend as well, and HR spelled his name wrong in the notification e-mail. (I only dealt with him sporadically, so it’s not as hard-hitting as it might have been.)
  • On the plane ride back, had an interesting chat with a girl, centerpieced by…an AutoCAD 2009 presentation she needed to finish for today.

So I got home, about to relax when I hear someone bang on my door. 10 seconds later, I hear “HELP!!!!”. Rushing outside, there was a woman lying on the grass outside my patio, hands over her face bawling. A shirtless male was close-by approaching her, and she told me to call the police.

I ran inside to get my phone, and came back out to make the call to make sure nothing else was going on. As it turns out, Shirtless Guy had two of his friends with him, and as I dialed 911 they all surrounded me, telling me not to call police. (Shirtless Guy was well-muscled, a second guy “T” was significantly larger than me, don’t remember much about the third guy. Yes, I probably should have been scared ****less at this point.)

I told the guys I wouldn’t call police, and walked calmly back inside my apartment. THEN I called 911.

After the call, I ran back outside to see what was going on. The two friends weren’t around, but Shirtless Guy and the woman were across the parking lot. He was restraining her with a bear hug from behind; she was bent over trying to get out. At this point, I ran back inside with the idea of grabbing my cell phone to take pictures or grab video. I started thinking “Should I go back outside? Should I stay inside so they can’t see me?” By the time I went back out, they had separated, the woman walking away towards the gate to the apartment complex, still sobbing.

At this point, “T” came up to me, smoking, and asked if I’d called police. I responded affirmatively, and he went on about how she always exaggerates stuff, and it was a household matter that wasn’t any of my business. And of course, complained that he’d have to deal with police now. (He also referred to me as “nigga” every other sentence, much as a white guy might use “dude”.) I told “T” I had a responsibility to call police in that situation, didn’t really want to deal with them either, and if it was true nothing was going on, he shouldn’t have any problems. He still wasn’t happy, but oh well.

After 5 – 10 minutes of waiting for the police, I decided to go out to the gate by the main road since it’s not that easy to find. On the way, the woman was walking back still upset. I tried talking with her, but very little got through. She started talking about how I’d understand if I had a sister or mom who had to go what she did. It took a while to figure out she was pissed because she thought I didn’t call the police. I had to assure her that I did and was going to wait for them. She seemed to acknowledge, but just kept walking; I told she could wait in front of my apartment or whereever she wanted. Then I stood outside the gate to await police.

The first policeman arrived, and I brought him to the area of the incident. But it was empty, no woman, none of the three guys, none of the neighbors. A second policeman showed up a few minutes later. I explained and described as much as I knew. Then another neighbor came by–he was even driving his truck around the complex to find the woman, with no luck.

The police told me they couldn’t do anything if the woman wasn’t there to press charges, and that was that. I should have stayed with the woman until police arrived, but this whole incident just ended up wasting their time.

(As I side note, I talked with a couple neighbors afterwards who were observing from their balcony. Apparently, my vegetable garden has garnered some notice.)

Please tell me this is fake

(Disclaimer: This story sounds so ridiculous, I’m not sure I believe it.)

Senate reviewing how college football picks No. 1

Things are going along so swimmingly, Congress has time to look into how the NCAA runs its postseason!

At least with the steroid hearings, they could pretend they were looking after kids’ health.

In the House, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, has sponsored legislation that would prevent the NCAA from calling a football game a “national championship” unless the game culminates from a playoff system.

So much for the GOP being against Big Government.

Keep the masses distracted, GG

So the people are crying about $165 million in bonuses to AIG executives. Fine.

AIG has received $183 billion in bailout money. And there’s a lot of other money flying around. Why are we constantly bombarded about a pittance? Is the other trillion plus not that interesting?

Bad reasons to get married

(March Madness starts tomorrow. Get your bracket in before it’s too late!)

Some of you probably have heard of Mukhtar Mai. She is a Pakistani who was gang-raped. Instead of living in shame and without hope or even choosing suicide (which frequently happen), she spoke out and pursued justice, eventually drawing international attention.

Now she’s gotten married, but perhaps on dubious grounds:

[The husband] Gabol said he was so desperate to marry Mai that he threatened to kill himself unless she relented. Fearing he would carry out his threat, Gabol’s first wife met with Mai and persuaded her to marry.

Per Islamic law, Gabol is permitted to have up to four wives, and he didn’t dump the first wife.

(UPDATE: Apparently, Gabol really did try to kill himself.)

Monday Fighter! special

Monday Fighter! was originally designed to help you briefly forget that it’s the beginning of a long work week. At first, it consisted of non-sensical fortune cookies, eventually branching out to examples of poor English from companies that should know better.

For today’s edition, we have two things to keep you potentially occupied:

1. March Madness

This week begins “March Madness”, the annual 65-team college men’s basketball tournament. (There is women’s basketball as well, but not so many people care about that.)

I’ve started a Liquid Egg Product group where you can create brackets and you can lord your superior bracketology over your fellow readers.

What do I get for winning?
Nothing. No cash. No prizes. Just a short post commemorating your victory. And glory and honor among the readership of LEP.

Who won last year?
Tom of The Everyday Christian was last year’s victor. A big Tennessee fan, he will probably not get to see his team make the Sweet 16 this year. Winning the LEP group back-to-back would be some small consolation, I’m sure.

ESPN lets you make 10 entries. Will all of them count?
I suppose, if you really want to put that much effort into it. I toyed with a couple options, like just accepting the first entry or requesting a “gentlemen’s agreement” of no more than 3. But that’s not fun and it’s more work to keep track of things.

What happened to Egg Madness?
Everyone will get tired of looking at brackets by the time March Madness is over. Egg Madness will probably show up in a few months. We still have to work out some things on it.

2. SimpleWar

SimpleWar is a simple wargame still in progress; occasionally, I’ll spend a half hour or so on it. The primary draw is that it just uses a console window (no graphics or sound) so if your boss glances over at your screen, he won’t think you’re playing a game. Notice that I did not list “amazingly fun” or “strategically rich” as features.

I don’t exactly like the gameflow. But it’s better than it was at first, when you could always beat the computer in the first 3 turns. Let me know what you think.

Executable and help file included (the in-game help is insufficient). Windows only.

The in-game help is bad, so there’s a help file as well.

What happened to Jack T. Chick?

Jack T. Chick is a name I’ve not heard for some time. He’s famous for his tracts.

Probably the most famous one is “This is Your Life”, one of his older creations (the website says copyright 2002, but it’s far older than that). It contained a simple story contrasting how two men lived their lives, clearly presenting the basics of Christianity.

Then there’s “The Last Generation”. Even for someone familiar with the theology of the Rapture and Tribulation, it was bizarre, confusing and ridiculous. (If you do go read the whole thing, count the number of digs he takes at Catholicism.)

The story includes a boy wearing a neo-Nazi school uniform who learns how to sacrifice pets in class. Like I said, utterly bizarre.

You know he's evil, 'cause he's bald, dressed like one of the X-Men, and offering free drugs.
You know he's evil, 'cause he's bald, dressed like one of the X-Men, and offering free drugs.
The most frightening dystopias have some connection to reality.  This aspect is not captured here.
The most frightening dystopias have some connection to reality. This aspect is not captured here.

(The boy vaguely resembles me when I was about 6, but in looks only. I wasn’t into cussing and animal sacrifice.)