December 25, 2009

Well, This is Embarrassing

Well, no, actually. Not awfully.

Well, Merry Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful time, and my exclusion of...oh, wait! I'll post some pictures now! Enjoy!

Sorry I haven't included any more...I'm kinda having technical difficulties, so my abilities are somewhat limited.


December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas...eve?

Well, well, well. I can't recall whether, last year, I did anything like this, but I decided that, considering how much it's changed over time, a header for the holiday was definitely in order. Anyway. I'll try to get up some pictures of our Christmas Eve breakfast before it no longer exists, post 'em up here, and watch you drool.

Merry Christmas,


December 23, 2009


We were awed, mildly joyous, fairly perplexed, and slightly confused earlier today to find this video uploaded and posted on Islas. We hoped Mr. Bertilson could clear things up for us later. Somehow, his contemplative mood, that day, made us doubt it.

What does it mean? Should we follow him whom we wished for? Should we give Mr. Ahern a chance at a glorious encore? Should we allow his funny, sometimes insulting rule to torture and amuse us a year more? Mr. Bertilson turned thought to word, and informed us of his views.

"I have to say, earlier today, when I watched Mr. Ahern's video, I wasn't horribly impressed or joyous. To be truthful, I was somewhat wary. I have yet to completely justify such reservations, but I have a few reasons, so far. First, a term might tentatively be attributed to him: lame duck. This doesn't quite mean the same as it would for a US president, but I believe Mr. Ahern's thunder was somewhat stolen both by how late he showed himself as a candidate, nay, a potential dictator. He marred the potential effect of his attempts by the way he presented himself. I could only jokingly say this had anything to do with Mr. Ahern's falters in the above video.

"Mr. Ahern has been our first president, and the one we most long after proceeding our second (and likely worst) election of all time. However, he comes back for a second term after all the other campaigns have maligned each other, turned some away, and, as recently happened, determined the winner. Why did he do this? Earlier this year, perhaps last year, Mr. Ahern said, himself, that he was not going to run. Why would he do that? Would he have run had he thought he had enough time? I suggest, as tentatively as one entirely unsure would, that he did it to prove to us that we did not need a president, or one like a president. Could this be why he finally showed his head as a potential future ruler? I am no more sure of this than anyone else, but I suggest it as a possibility.

"I have to admit, the greatest reason for my not ardently and immediately accepting Mr. Ahern's proposition was that I wished to have the same place.

"However, because my main complaint against him is one of jealousy and not reason, I think I am obligated to either continue active support of the Republic, or throw my weight behind Mr. Ahern's efforts. His charisma and sense of humor are enough for the next year. After that, perhaps, we can see what else can be done. John can't always be there for us."


December 18, 2009

A Suggestion

Suggestions and thoughts have been flying in recent days, because, if we're honest, these elections have become a thing to hate. In fact, some have hated it, perhaps to a degree which will never lead them our collective way again. To say this was either sad, bad, or horrible would not convey effectively what they have become. Islas elections were, as someone has recently said, started for fun. We began merely to entertain ourselves. And, to tell the truth, we got more good out of Mr. Ahern than we could have expected. Given the elections this year, and the arguments, discussions, and private thoughts that have more than flown around in recent days, I believe we can all say Mr. Ahern was no bad thing for Islas.

However, unlike my anonymous colleague, I think John might actually positively not want to be president any more. His reasons for this we do not know. If Miss Dage's example is anything to heed, we might do well to either heed his wishes, or to determine whether they are quite as serious.

Even then, I think there might be a better option. My suggestion? Even now, I doubt my own judgement in suggesting this as a reasonable idea for an election system in Islas, but, even so, I will continue.

In all seriousness, how much role did Mr. Embrey play in Mr. Ahern's administration proceeding the elections? For one, I doubt he played much of a significant role. However, that is merely a minor point of my suggestion.

Essentially, I suggest election by blind, write-in ballot. There would be no campaigning, no talk about what would be done by this administration or this administration. The elected would merely be there for our amusement. I think, reasonably speaking, we would have to allow candidates to decide not to accept this position.

Supposing people vote rationally, and don't desire someone in the presidency/ministry/whatever who will be decidedly boring, or worse, nonexistent, we ought to find ourselves electing someone, without trouble, argument, or, if you choose, even knowledge of others' votes (entirely dependent on individuals).

All understood? Any questions? Critique? Insults?



It was earlier yesterday that the Islas final elections begun, mere days after the primaries ended (if any time at all). While Mr. Bertilson's vote was instantly cast for the Hunter-Taylor campaign, he continued to have doubts.

"I believe that Islas elections have obviously become something many of us wish to avoid, perhaps never to happen again. Some of us even look back on the days of John Ahern, when executions were common, and people enraged...but not as they are today. I can honestly say I've doubted more than once whether to vote at all. Both campaigns have provided little or nothing that puts them above their opponents. In short, Islas elections no longer are enjoyable bouts where campaigns bound to the most humorous principles made cheerful jabs at each other, never actually meaning any harm or even offense. Remember the Burns campaign? If not, I suggest you reread his campaign statement. In one sense, he had so much more than we do now. In another, less meaningful way, he had much, much less. I believe Mr. Burns epitomized, to some extent, what an Islas campaign ought to be like.

"I can honestly admit that my main reason for voting for the Islas Republic was for spite, if I know any vocabulary. I originally abhorred the idea of a ministry, as opposed to a presidency. However, eventually, my reasons became even less just. My reasons for voting at all, right now, are few and shallow. I believe many proponents of the Gelenyse-Bertilson campaign could say likewise. If not, I count myself alone in this foolishness.

"I once queried contacts, in a fairly light way, 'What if the reason Islas elections are so not that they're only for fun?' I would honestly hate it if we couldn't continue this in some way, or that we could effectively improve the entire atmosphere of Islas elections. Like the human race, there is something intrinsically and necessarily wrong with them. Perhaps it's that humankind, only, are participating. Perhaps.

"However, I wish to reconsider the purpose of Islas elections. The Gelenyse-Bertilson campaign introduced a potential future policy (call it what you like, if you use it for a campaign platform, you politicize it, and possibly decrease its future effectivity) for Islas, one, without any doubt, that was a reasonable, good proposition. I need not harp on the flaws of this plan, and how it was introduced. I have before. I do, however, believe that it provides no reason to vote Gelenyse-Bertilson. It only proves the mild genius of a well-respected and intelligent group of supporters.

"Likewise, the Hunter-Taylor campaign has provided little reason to vote for them. I can't remember a single valid, non-bribe incentive in all our campaigning and arguing (of which the latter easily overwhelm the former).

"What are the Islas elections for? To have a fun time pretending to have power, but it being thoroughly obvious that we have none? To actually change Islas, the structure of power, and why we exist? I believe Islas should not be changed by the system or systems set up by the elections. I believe they should only be there for our amusement and, occasionally, to varying degrees, our annoyance. I believe John did a fairly good job of this, and we forgot what it was like much, much too quickly.

"I honestly wish I had rejoined the race before the Hunter-Taylor band formed. Either that, or I should have quit, denying all my vote."

Some of us didn't have a taste for long oratories, and had relocated ourselves, and our laptops, under our desks, so as not to insult Mr. Bertilson's abilities.

The election stands at 14-7, HT-GB.


December 13, 2009


It was roughly noon today when Miss Starrett, as well as another unnamed voter, voted, and brought the vote count of the Hunter-Taylor campaign two votes above the Gelenyse-Bertilson's tally, thirteen, which had earned them the lead for a day or so.

Mr. Bertilson didn't seem excited.

"It's bound to happen! The real excitement will be in the finals, when people actually care who wins, and they're going to be half as hyper as I am right now," Bertilson said, without appearing hyper in the least.

"Bottom line, though, we're showing up at the polls...and there's a flippin' good chance we'll win this round, and probably hammer the next, too!"

A mild cheer arose, quickly calming down as people hurried back to their hot chocolate.


December 11, 2009


Around an hour ago, the Gelenyse-Bertilson campaign, by the bugle of Miss Bertilson, announced its "Great Big" plans for Islas' reform and/or livening. An excerpt.

"To intrigue our voters and prove to the opposition that we really have deep things in mind (though perhaps not all the time), the Geleynse campaign has decided to release one of our schemes for the future of ISLAS."

Mr. Bertilson offered point-by-point criticism.

"Well, first of all, as you said, this is the second day the elections have been open. I'd guess that at least a third of all votes are cast at this time. Personally, the idea of releasing information after the polls open seems ridiculous. However, given that this race is merely to eliminate a candidate who will be eliminated, I think we can forgive that. In essence, this election is a minor, unimportant milestone three will come to, and two will pass.

"More importantly, however, this approach, bringing serious, actual action that truly affects real's never happened before. I was there in 2008, and I'm here now. We debated about what the public policy should be, world policy, etc, but never something we would actually be able to do which would take positive action in the world. Don't get me wrong, that's not a bad thing! However, there was nothing to make clear to anyone that this election was to make any actual change in the world. I believe, when announced, everyone believed this was an election merely for the sake of fun. GB is attempting to make it much more than that."

"One of our strongest supporters, Erin Blake made the suggestion that we ISLASers collect money to donate to a charity. It would bring us all together and help us to make a habit of giving. It would help educate us of the evils that are out there and that, as Christians, we need to fight."

Mr. Bertilson offered further comment. "Call me a die-hard senseless opponent of change, but to change the general focus, the main goal of the election to the goal of changing the world in one way or another, however good an idea, should not happen in the middle of the election."

"Either, once we have found a suitable noble charity, we could donate money, or clothes--or maybe make things if the charity accepts non-monetary donations."

"I personally find nothing wrong with this idea. However, I myself have considered myself a miser in varying degrees, throughout my life, not to mention the minute amount of money I usually have in my bank account or in my pocket at any given time.

"I hate to have to say this, in fact, but having government policy that encourages giving, however wise that might be in real life, doesn't seem like a good idea here. I sincerely doubt we'd manage to scrape up a thousand dollars (or objects of similar value) in a single year. That said, if this were to work, if we were to find someone to match our donations, if donations were not made public in any way, even the totals, I think, this might be a good idea that could go forward. And, please, people, if the Republic is elected and we end up initiating a similar or identical plan, you cannot complain. Otherwise, the goal of adding this policy to your ever-vague campaign platform is not for the sole reason of making Islas a more useful, productive, and meaningful organization in the real world. If you complain in that case, your goal is to win the election, first, and to do Islas good, second."

Though some of us had fallen asleep by this time, our eyes were wide open when the stunning silence ensued. Mr. Bertilson tried to look around as if he'd done something anyone could have. Our faces couldn't have portrayed anything but awe for five straight seconds. Then we got back to work.



Around the newsroom today, most people were being rather quiet, mainly because Mr. Bertilson was snoring softly the entire time. It wasn't a particularly pleasant snore, but the guy looked so peaceful.

It was earlier today that we woke up from sleeping on our desks and the floor that we found both Gelenyse-Bertilson and Hunter-Taylor at twelve, while Mr. Denhoed's bandwagon still maintained a single vote.

Mr. Bertilson kept snoring.


December 10, 2009

Header Update (again), Recap of Headers Since Last Count

Ok. I decided I needed to show you what I've been doing since the last time I posted all my headers, some of which I never even used...

In this instance, it's more to show off and, possibly, let someone see one of them they've never seen before. Here goes...

An update to the last of the last post. I added a little creep factor, barely visible to the careless eye. Hah.

The fault is mainly with the original shot, with this one...I was brutally forced by my own thoughtlessness to shrink my header down to an abysmal half its potential size. The shot itself was fine, it's just that I really should have had a wider one. Kept the script from the last one, changed it to white, and added a shadow behind it to make it visible.

This is probably one of the ones I'm most proud of. The photographic opportunities I miss all the time just because I don't want to go out of my way are depressing. This one time, I had the time to, so I did. EPIC, if I may say so. (GAH. Just noticed this is one of the versions that cuts off to black, instead of fading to black. I hate that.)

Updated version. Fades to black fine, but I really liked the contrast better on the other one. Reorganized the words a tad.

Less proud of this one, mostly because of the illegible scrawl I used for it. The two are different, if you'll notice. Daddy took the picture.

The first 9/11 one. Blahish.

The second 9/11 one. Getting there...text visibility was probably decreased from the former, depressingly.

This one is another I'm rather proud of. The occasion, for those who don't remember and/or are new to my blog, was 9/11/09. I got a picture of Manhattan from space around that time, did a bunch in Gimp with it, and then posted it. First time around, I have to admit, I really didn't do a great job of it. To be truthful, that's usually the occasion. I usually make at least two updated versions of a header, and use the last 'til I get new inspiration. In this case, Mr. Denhoed provided constructive criticism, resulting in the above masterpiece of degrees.


This is a new thing. I was moseying along on the Google blog (or was it the Blogger blog? Yeah, I think so.) when I saw a bunch of WORDS organized FANTASTICALLY. I obviously had to figure out how to do it myself, and, within the day, I'd figured the thing out.

The result? A preliminary, fairly boring (in my opinion) header that, being an original version, needed improvement.


This one's using the Microsoft font, Calibri (bold). I also added some shading using Inkscape, which was a fantastic improvement, and increased the readability of the background text significantly. The shading on the blog title font is especially interesting, because I duplicated the original, blurred it, changed it to black, and increased the transparency a bit. The result was pleasing, but a friend thought the Capture It font of the former was its heart and soul, so...

I have to say I'm not fantastically proud of this one...I think the shadow, in specific, is kind of annoyingly far away from its, uh, thing, but, overall, I think it's a good improvement. I think I'll probably update this one again tomorrow or so.

Well, depressingly, that's all for now. I hope you enjoyed it! (if you'd like me to explain what I did in more detail, feel free to ask for it, but I dunno if I'll ever do it...)


Seriously, I just dug this up/remembered it now! These are some of the earliest headers I ever made for CSAM.

Possibly the first ever render for CSAM. I was into fixed-width fonts at that time, and felt like including the accents. Cogito se ad Morti...not sure where I got the original, but Gabriel set me straight a little bit later, and that's how we're here now.

Significantly better. I moved the horizon, for some reason...and changed EVERYTHING to red, except the horizon thingy. Lined up the one thought at a time thing, but the fade to black thing wasn't being kind to Mr. One over on the left. Changed the fonts, fixed the grammar.

Increased the font size on the thinking myself to death bit, and changed things with the heartbeath thing so it wasn't fading to black before it should.

Now, people, don't complain I put up too many intermittent steps. There are a lot more, and I don't complain at all! Anywho, I hope you enjoyed that.

(EDIT) the edges of the three last pictures are a complete fluke. I seriously have no idea how that happened. Then again, that was more than a year ago.



No more than ten minutes ago Hunter-Taylor took the lead by one vote, placing the vote count at eleven, one, ten, HT, DD, and GB, respectively. Mr. Bertilson was literally hitting the ceiling one out of every two minutes.

"This is just what we're going to be seeing for the rest of the week," he said, managing to go one minute and six point two seconds without doing all necessary to render himself seriously injured in the head, "the HT campaign has always seemed so promising. I have to confess, though, that I thought of the consul thing probably within a week of when Mr. Jaramillo did. Mildly unbelievable, if you ask me."

Our sources also told us, today, that Miss Roorda's non-participation in this election so far is because of a much more drastic action. We were told by a creditable source, today, that Miss Roorda has "retired" the Islas forum and will, essentially, not appear there any longer.

"I honestly don't know why one would do that! She may be a good deal older than most of us, and she may have more in life to do than pontificate wildly about the differences between lemonade and orange juice, but, still! Aren't we worth the few hours a day she spends obsessively reloading the main page of Islas? Even better reason to stay, if she doesn't!"

Our hearts rent asunder, we contemplated the loss in silence until the next vote came in.




I realized, within the last sixty seconds, that I hadn't posted this on my blog. Uh, this blog. Whatever. Anyway.


Edition One, unrevised

This 3-step guide to Hanging Over is concise, quick, and helpful to the everyday Hangoverer-wannabe! With this guide, most humans learn to Hangover within an hour, some even in minutes!

This guide comes to you free of any charge, and is not copyrighted in any way, shape or form!

The Hangeverer's Guide to Hanging Over!

Hangovering is a new way that assures maximum hangover potential, ranging, in the worst cases, from an indescribable desire to wed an orangutan, to the best case, in which Caps Lock stays on 24/7, and your voice becomes not unlike the noise which one might hear upon droping lead sheets on gravel. This effect has been desired for ages, and the way is now shown, free of charge, and has a warranty unlike any before it!

Step 1: Before you Hang.
First, you must compose yourself and not panic. This is, of course, a very unusual and complicated step, but it is necessary.

Step 2: Drink the Milk.
Pour at least ten (10) ounces of good, fresh, cold milk into an everyday generic glass. It doesn't have to be glass, though. And, yes, goblets do ruin the effect. Drink the milk. Don't worry about the milk, getting drunk doesn't hurt. Also, remember that glasses oughtn't be thrown across a room, especially after they've been Drunk out of.

Step 3: Get Drunk.
This step is obviously directed toward the Milk, and will usually be followed naturally. In rare cases, the Milk refuses, in which instance scolding on the part of the Hangoverer towards the Milk might become necessary, which has, in all living memory, solved the problem.

The result is a fine combination of the inability to turn off Caps Lock, and the type of voice Death is credited for. These effects usually last for more than six hours, and are potent except for the last ten seconds!


In the case of a Hangover, non-caps letters indicate emphasis, meaning that such things as "lol" would be the Caps'd equivolent of "LOL". This is often referred to as the Reverse Case Effect, for reasons not obvious to the sane mind.

This is a written production by Twiddling Thumbs Studios

I wrote this sometime last year, I think...and, obviously, I'm somewhat proud of it. Otherwise, you wouldn't see it here. *wonders if he posted MFWG...not without trepidation...*



Amazingly, when Gelenyse-Bertilson pulled ahead to seven votes, today, Mr. Bertilson didn't seem all too amazed, let alone worried. Hunter-Taylor was at five, and Denhoed-Denhoed still had a mere one vote.

"I have to say, I think the voters of the GB campaign are probably, in general, more active Islas members--I have no doubt we'll see the HT vote count much, much higher by the time the seventh day comes around," he said, looking mildly contemplative, and slightly pensive, too.

"It perplexes me, though, that Denhoed doesn't have more than one vote right now. I expected him to have two, perhaps three, but he's only got one so far. Miss Roorda isn't the sort of lady you'd expect to vote this late. Perhaps she thought she might rethink her decision. Who knows?"

Our whitened fingers hung to the last moment from his words, not giving up until the last echo had died.




About twelve minutes after the hour, Hunter-Taylor gained itself another two votes, brightening up Mr. Bertilson.

"I knew it would happen! Hunter-Taylor's got much more support than the few dozen minutes would have had us believe. I have little doubt we'll win!"

Mr. Bertilson's optimism and exuberance couldn't be missed. The Macbook was still undamaged, but the speed with which he ran around with it, jumping, occasionally, would worry anyone.

Stay tuned! We might have to finish up this commentary sometime for the day...I don't feel like doing this allll week long, for some reason.




Gelenyse-Bertilson's vote count increased by two minutes ago, making the total votes cast six. A detail to be remembered, though, is that this poll will be open for seven whole days, so hopefully everyone will have plenty of time to get the votes they need.

"It's just the primary, anyway. Two of the candidates will go on, and, no matter what, Denhoed's campaign still can't have more than five votes, let alone what it would take to defeat GB in the finals. His reasons for staying in the race are very hard to imagine," said Mr. Bertilson, having been mildly calmed by toast and some fried eggs.

Keep reloading this page! More news will be here soon!



Around six thirty, Mr. Bertilson's repetetive reloading paid off. Gelenyse-Bertilson had another vote. Mr. Bertilson increased altitude rapidly, and landed on one of the desks. One could hardly blame him. He was in such a frightful way. He grasped the laptop with a grip that would be done injustice to be called merely iron, or even steel. In fact, one could reasonably say, at that time, that the MacBook Pro's aluminum casing was bending!

Mr. Bertilson sat back in the chair, and hunched up his shoulders, and reloaded the page another twenty times. Still no change.

We were honestly worried for his health, and checked the temperature of the room, just in case the cold might be the cause of his constant vibrations.




Our regular commentator and general all-around mentor, Mr. Bertilson, had come to a state where we were somewhat worried for his sanity. His shakings and bouncings were enough to worry anyone. His obsessive reloadings of the election page might frighten Rambo.

"PEOPLE, VOTE," he suddenly bellowed, instigating chaos in the newsroom. Papers flew into the air from the noise, and several people blinked and swallowed some, to make sure their ears were still working.

After perhaps the ten thousandth reload, Mr. Bertilson put down the laptop not at all gently, and started pacing at an astounding rate. His face became fantastically pensive, and his features were wrinkled by the intensity of his thoughts. The laptop beeped, and he jumped the whole nine yards to the computer, whipped it up into his hands, and scowled. Still no more votes.




No more than ten minutes ago, the Islas polls opened! There was originally some confusion about it, being that only Gelenyse-Bertilson and DenHoed-DenHoed showed up.

"I forgot to click Add Option after I had added ISLAS Republic," said Miss Hunter.

Our regular commentator, Noah Bertilson, then burst into the studio, yelled, "TIS THE SEASON TO BE MERRY," and grabbed the nearest laptop from an intern to watch the election.

As it started out, Denhoed-Denhoed and Hunter-Taylor took the lead with a vote each.

"We can hardly say that means GB has no chance, though," said Mr. Bertilson, wisdom flying from his mouth like a mountain spring spews fresh, cold water, "In truth, Gelenyse has truly put up a fight that makes this election one thing that might go either way, at this stage."

Just then, Mr. Bertilson's obsessive reloading revealed a vote for GB! Our intern was temporarily worried for the safety of his laptop, as Mr. Bertilson agitatedly bounced up and down and generally shook.

Tune not away! Updates will come as the votes come! CSAM, your source for the NEWS that makes ISLAS tick!


Gun Control

I thought all you happy people would SO love to see my recent issue paper on Gun Control...well, here it is.

Gun Control


America's Founding Fathers understood the critcal importance of the right to keep and bear arms. Today, however, varying forces are attempting to eliminate this constitutional right. As a matter of constitutionalism and common sense, average law abiding citizens should be guaranteed their right to own firearms, but the government should have the right to require that they pass safety training.

There are mountains of evidence and reasons to oppose gun control--for starters, our founding fathers thought it right.  Because the law is a means by which government discourages and punishes law breakers and, since human nature hasn't changed for the more than two-hundred years since our country was founded, we can reasonably conclude that the second amendment applies no more firmly and truly now than it did then.

On the other hand, there have been studies that prove that guns in any hands when a crime is committed increase the chance of injury from a gun. While these studies can hardly be refuted, one can argue that it makes total sense and, in the end, is one of the worse reasons to advocate gun control. Quite simply, guns are dangerous. Wherever they are, greater danger is.

However, it has been proven in studies that not only do citizens with guns use them more frequently, but they use them more effectively and safely--than police! While about eleven percent of police shootings kill an innocent person, about two percent of shootings by citizens kill an innocent person. (1) By this reasoning, one would have a good reason not to increase the police force, but to allow greater freedom with guns, while still ensuring that guns bought legally don't get into the wrong hands.

Another common statement is that guns simply cause violence. However, according to FBI Uniform Crime Reports from 1991, states with loose gun control laws, such as Maine, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, and Montana, the homicide rates are below three, compared to Washington DC, which has the strictest gun control laws of almost anywhere, where the rate was over 80, a rate of more than five times any other area in the entire country. (2)

Furthermore, proponents of gun control would have us believe that a homeowner is more likely--by a huge margin, 43 times--to kill a family member or be killed by a family member than they are to kill an intruder. (3) First, only one in a thousand defensive gun usages result in the intruder's death. Second, the originator of this fallacy, Dr. Kellerman himself, downgraded the rate to a tiny 2.7 times. (4) Third, Dr. Kellerman uses science in a way that could easily affirm that diet coke is the sole cause of obesity, merely because diet coke is consumed, more than frequently, by people who are obese. The connection between cause and effect has been broken, to say the least.

Dr. Kellerman's research and reputation would be further diminished, I think, if one were to hear this; that, when interviewed, Kellerman affirmed that, if his wife were attacked, he would want her to have a handgun for protection. While this could be seen as common sense, to anyone, Dr. Kellerman has distorted his research to such a degree that one would think he believed what he said. (5)

Some even propose that second amendment rights should be absolute, allowing, therefore, citizen ownership of anything from a hand pistol to a fully capable and loaded tank, to nuclear weapons. We can safely assume, I think, that the founders would have at least put heavier restrictions on weapons of such great size or power, a cannon being a reasonable example.

While the second amendment isn't absolute, it is no less applicable today than it was in 1776. We have numerous examples of people being gunned down by people who should never have had guns--Columbine, Virginia Tech--these are merely the most memorable examples of the effects of strict gun control. Without these laws, teachers, perhaps even college students would have guns, and could have ended these massacres before they began. The way it is now, one might be fined or incarcerated merely for doing so, depending on the state.

Currently, Minnesota allows possession of handguns, shotguns, and rifles. In the case of regular handguns, one must have a permit to purchase it, as well as a permit to carry it, concealed only, in public. Shotguns and rifles, on the other hand, do not require a permit to purchase, nor a permit to carry in public. To carry a concealed handgun, one must be 21, and have obtained a permit from a sheriff.

    [ 1 ] Kleck G. Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. New York: Aldine de Gruyter. 1991. ||| Cramer C and Kopel D. "Shall Issue¾: The New Wave of Concealed Handgun  Permit Laws. Golden CO: Independence Institute Issue Paper. October 17,  1994.
    [ 2 ] Fingerhut LA, Ingram DD, Feldman JJ. "Firearm Homicide Among Black Teenage Males in Metropolitan Counties: Comparison of Death Rates in Two Periods, 1983 through 1985 and 1987 through 1989." JAMA. 1992; 267:3054-8.
    [ 3 ] Kellermann AL. and Reay DT. "Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearms-Related Deaths in the Home.¾ N Engl J. Med 1986. 314: 1557-60.
    [ 4 ] Kellermann AL, Rivara FP, Rushforth NB et al. "Gun ownership as a risk  factor for homicide in the home.¾ N Engl J Med. 1993; 329(15): 1084-91.. 
    [ 5 ] Japenga A. "Gun Crazy.¾ San Francisco Examiner. This World supplement.  April 3, 1994. p. 7-13 at 11. 
    [ 6 ] NRA/ILA Firearm Laws for Minnesota (as of July 2005) A synopsis of State Laws on Purchase, Possession, and Carrying of Firearms.

YES, I know there's an extra footnote. I was tired, ok?


December 09, 2009


No, that is not a coincidental title. I really love that song, and its title and main theme can be applied to this. Vaguely.

Seriously. I'm moseying along, all week long, doing nothing, having the time of my life, sorta, and, all of a sudden, this assignment hits me in the middle of the face! What do I do? Hit it back!? No! I do it! And I do it in MINUTE periods of time! Seriously! What's up with me?

Procrastination, you say?





You may think I'm just spazzing, and letting off steam. (whatever that means)

NO. I really mean it. A little bit, anyway. Pretty tiny, actually. BUT SERIOUSLY. I make all the wrong decisions and end up (reasonably) on top anyway!


Doubt it.

Why can I do this, and still manage to get a good score? I don't deserve it! What's wrong with me? Am I superhuman or something?  Do I suddenly enter a universe where time has no meaning, finish my essay or whatever, and return to this world, Pulitzer in hand?

Doubt it.



December 07, 2009

New Header...and WEIRD AL!

Yeah, well. Anywho. I found website, somehow,, and have been playing around with it (way too much). I did a little messing up with it in GIMP, and I ended up with this. I hope you like it!

EDIT: For posterity.

EDIT: New and (hopefully!) improved!

WEIRD AL. Too funny. Seriously, go around Youtube and find one or two of these songs.

When I Was Your Age

Why Does This Always Happen to Me

For your convenience. (this is the best example of lipsyncing I've ever seen, let alone by KIDS!)

The Saga Begins

White and Nerdy


One More Minute (add on Hillary Clinton for extra laughs)

Don't Download This Song

Achy Breaky Song

Amish Paradise

Hardware Store

It's All About the Pentiums (may not want to watch the video)

Eat It

EDIT: Bob (this one had me laughing for two whole minutes)

So, yeah. He's got a lot of songs, a lot of which are funny.


December 02, 2009

An Excuse

Ok, man. Seriously, there are too many in my life right now! I need to get my schoolwork done. And I'm not doing a good job of it. The semester's winding up/down, and I need to put my foot down, and...STUFF!

So, yeah. I'm not posting mainly because I've got so much reason to do schoolwork, and I'm not DOING any. Feel free to bash me over the head with a broken 4.7 GB hard drive, and make sure it's a double-sized one from a decade or so ago. Please, people. I need to do this.

This is also the reason why the Republic will have to wait a while for my official endorsement. I have to use all my writing skill on what I HAVE to do, so I can rest and be happy and fulfilled.

Oh, and anyone want to join the ISH club?


November 25, 2009


Ok. This is my assignment from a week ago, I think...anywho. I've piled up enough of them that I can probably occasionally insert one in here to make up for my horrendous ineptitude to keep up with things. Or whatever.

The Choosing of the King (UNEDITED)

It was a hot day, like so many others, in Israel, and David was watching his sheep, as was his duty. The sun shone down on the slightly brown-colored grass, and, occasionally, sparkled off one of the few remaining dewdrops hanging, nearly motionless, from the tips of greener blades of grass. One might wonder if the dew had made the grass greener, or if the greener grass better attracted dew.
David scanned the surrounding countryside, shielding his eyes when he turned to the east. Nothing. These days were rather boring. Still, it was his duty, and he had much of the day left. He took a look at his sheep. In truth, credibility couldn't be lent to any claim that sheep are decidedly and necessarily cute, for his seldom seemed to show any emotion at all. The methodical, extremely boring jaw movements of a cow could be compared fairly to the movements the sheep made. On the other hand, cows do have something distinctly more boring than sheep.
Far away, a man called Samuel was sleeping in his rather primitive cot, sucking his thumb and snoring in a way that couldn't accurately be described as either softly or deeply. In truth, it was more of both. It was deep and rumbling, but also almost mute. Just in time to stop me from describing it, a voice called out, somewhat quietly, "Samuel!"
Samuel's reaction to this wasn't an entirely surprised one. He whipped his thumb out of his mouth, managing somehow not to wet the whole room, and sat up with almost ridiculous speed. He immediately began attempting to yawn in a convincing way, in order to replace the reality of surprise on his face with something less revealing and embarrassing.
"Yes, Lord?" he queried, still stretching, yawning at an annoying rate, and doing generally waking up type things.
"Fill your horn with oil, and go on down to Jesse the Bethlehemite's, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons."
"How am I to go?" Samuel queried, not particularly inclined to do this task anyway, let alone in a time your head would be in imminent danger of abandoning the rest of your body without notice while in Saul's vicinity. By this time, Samuel had managed to get over the fact that he had nearly been scared out of two and a half of the three dimensions when God spoke to him first that day.
"Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.' And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me who I shall declare to you."
It was somewhat later when Samuel was going about sacrificing the heifer when Jesse and his sons came along. Samuel consecrated them all, and they joined him.
Well into the afternoon, Samuel looked at Eliab, and thought, "Hah! This guy's got to be the one."
God said, however, "Nope, Samuel, I'm not really looking for the tallest or strongest man among his sons."
Ten more of Jesse's sons went past Samuel without avail. By this time, Samuel had become slightly bored. This wasn't entirely abnormal. He figured that there had to be at least one or two things about him that the Lord was trying to fix up in putting him through eleven sons.
Suddenly, he noticed that there weren't any more. This mildly troubled him. Usually, God accomplished his purpose when he sent Samuel around.
"Have you no other sons, Jesse," Samuel said, looking genuinely puzzled and scanning the surroundings a bit, just to make sure he wasn't missing anyone.
"Well, there's David, but he's out keeping the sheep."
"Go get him, for I will not sit down until he is here," Samuel said, trying to assume the rigid, decided expression that his words ought to have been accompanied by.
Jesse came back, eventually, leading David behind him. Samuel thought, for a second, how well-formed his features were, his face and eyes admirable to a mildly spectacular degree.
"Arise, anoint him, for this is he," the Lord said. Samuel anointed him, hoping he wouldn't be killed too soon for this.
And, in truth, the Spirit of the Lord came into David in following days. He couldn't exactly grab the crown form Saul and shove him off the throne. It'd mean war, eventually. For now, David would have to go under cover, waiting until the Lord should choose a time for him to finally take over from Saul, and lead Israel as the Lord commanded. Samuel never did get over that thumb-sucking problem, though.



November 23, 2009

CSAM? Favicon? What the Spork Does That Mean?

Yeah, yeah. The whole favicon terminology thing didn't really, uh, happify me at all either. Weird. Anywho. Yeah. I've made myself a tiny little icon thingy that, so far, has only annoyed me. I really liked the freaky-looking B icon thingy better anyway. Maybe I should polish it or something.

Thoughts? Insults? Philosophical treatises? Advice? Meaningless statements? Post 'em all. Hopefully pertaining to the icon. Otherwise, find some aspect of my blog to criticize or something. I can always use stuff like that.



November 18, 2009

Because I've Said I'm a Photographer of Sorts...

I decided to give you the best examples I have of my photography...I think I'll start with the most ancient.
I'd like it to be known that I've got significantly more pictures than I'll EVER post here. Most likely, those I really like are probably a minute fraction of all of them. (I may have taken as many as twenty thousand photos since I got my Canon SD1000, which was in mid-2008, I think.)

Bleeding Heart
This picture, though grainy, comparatively tiny, and, to my photographing eye of today, rather distasteful, won me fifty dollars in a kids' photography contest. Nikon Coolpix 2300. (To put this in perspective, this is the highest resolution that this camera could do. Mine can do more than twice the dimensions...even greater shock? The Coolpix could do video...but no audio. That ticked me off.)

This picture has graced Mommy's laptop for years. It is not mine to say whether that's because she didn't have the time to, didn't care, or liked it so much. Same camera.

This encompassed merely the earliest best attempts I made at photography...from this point on, chronology will shatter.

A picture of a leaf I actually still have now...I was bored, after Government class, or something, and started taking pictures of stuff. That's the best way to do things...I managed to get a nice shadow from the early sunlight, which gave a slight, yet nice effect. (This, and pictures following, except when mentioned, were taken with Sparks, my new(er) Canon Powershot SD780.)

A leaf. Not particularly beautiful, but it's nicely focused.

The cap of a manhole, also after Government class (if I was right the first time). I really like the color of rust in pictures like this...the shadows also give it a cool quality.

Not quite as green as I'd like it, even after Picasa's "Feeling Lucky?" function. Still, it brought out some reds that weren't so obvious before. Almost looks like Christmas. (I've done this function on a majority of these pictures...only a few not, in fact.)

Another leaf following some class.

Another leaf, this time, though, probably within twenty feet of our house. (pretty sure about that, anyway) One of my best dewy pictures.

Gah. I wish I could tell you what all these are, but I can't. Another leaf, mainly on here because of the good focus. (Actually, that's probably one of the greatest reasons you'd see a picture in this bunch...that's probably one of the qualities I value most in pictures, except when you're I'm trying to make it blurry. )

That leaf again. Aside from "I'm Feeling Lucky," this picture is entirely unedited. (I thought this might be unclear...the tip of the leaf looks distinctly unnatural.)

Dew on a leaf. Not sure what the plant is. I'll bet Gabriel will be quite willing to oblige, if you want to know.

More dew on a different leaf. This one's of a quality I seldom achieve, and I really like it. Kind of a dark background with a decidedly light subject.

A flower...taken, again, after a class.

I'm mildly surprised how sharp this picture is. You can actually see reflections on the right of the droplet. Amazing.

Dew by the dozen. One of my best, when it comes to dew and focus.

Not sure if this one's fantastically focused, but it's one of my favorite flowers, though it be milkweed.

Another great dew picture. *loves it*

Another leaf. Kinda different. Again, I really like how focused it is.

Nice reflections and foreground/background blur.

A flower...this is one of my best pictures of flowers that I know of.

Next to dew on grass is, obviously, frost on grass. Not sure if it's better or slightly worse, but it's close.

Again, different view.

Bark of a tree. One of the angles/compositions I've done more often.

A leaf with the sun showing through...

More frost, this time on a leaf.

Another of my better flower photos.

Another fantastic photo of a leaf, I think...

Grass thingy. Epic.

Not sure where this was taken...

(This one I think I may have done "I'm Feeling Lucky" twice on...not bad, if you want that look, but not exactly what I wanted here...)

Yahoo, something disgusting, finally!

Another flower...I think I haven't done "I'm Feeling Lucky" on it...

Again, these are only pictures from, say, the last two months. I have WAY more to show. Enjoy!

*EDIT* Hah, yeah. I guess Sparks is the only camera I used for that last bunch.


November 16, 2009

Old Stuff

Ok. I've been rifling through a bunch of my old drawings/writings/incomprehensible scribbles. I just decided to post a few of the things I found...
What's long division, again?

For some reason, I want to make it clear, no, I did not write this poem. No idea why, though.

However, this poem I DID write. It's probably from less than two years ago. If I thought really hard and looked at surrounding writings/drawings, I'd probably conclude it was within a year from now. Anywho...

There Is A Writer

There is a writer, who is so great
that there's not a thing his pen not touched
There's not a valley, hill nor mount
which his great ink hasn't wet

His long pen, wet with ink
reached beyond our flesh and bones,
Reached so far, t'was but a wonder
when he stopped to observe our woe

When he looked, he looked with pity, love and grace
on we, but rebellious, worthless waste
And he, on paper so blotched with ill,
penned a turn in his great tale

This turn, this change, in his great yarn

HAH! *merciless cackle*

Yeah, I don't have any more, actually.

This is just about the only poem I've written to any long extent, except for that awful bunch of woes.

*EDIT* CLARIFICATION! I did not WRITE the former poem, I PENNED it. Almost assuredly. *grins, imagining how happy he must have been...*

*EDIT2!* A few errors cleared up in the text, and the bit in the poem written. Hopefully I'll get down to writing the rest eventually...