Sunday, December 30, 2007

First Night, Last Night? Stupid

So it's time for my annual anti-New Years' rant.

This time I'm going to pick on a relatively new event called "First Night", which occurs on the nigth of December 31st.

I don't have a problem with the various events conducted on said night, but I do have a problem with the name. December 31st is not the "first night" of the year...since night begins at sundown, it is actually the "last night". The first night isn't until the night of January 1st, and everyone is pretty much finished with celebrating by then.

But I still have a problem with the whole concept of New Years'. As I have said many times, I don't see why people make such a big deal out it. It is just an arbitrary day when the number on the calendar changes. Nothing else changes. Life it still full of the same old crap. The same wars are still ongoing. A large part of the world's population is still in poverty or without adequate food. I don't know about anyone else but my life has gotten worse, financially at least, every year since the turn of the century. Between higher prices for gas and everything else, and some large medical bills, which will get larger during the coming year, my financial outlook is dismal. So BAH HUMBUG to New Years' !!!! Screw It!!!!!!!!!! What's there to celebrate? It's just another excuse to get drunk for most people. Maybe that's what I should so.

So Sayeth The Shack


They Start Early In New Jersey

Apparently criminal activity starts at an early age in New Jersey. Read Below:

Police: Little kids take gifts out of home on Christmas Eve
by South Jersey News Online
Friday December 28, 2007, 4:05 PM

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- Local police said it was a classic holiday Grinch tale: A home broken into on Christmas Eve, and wrapped presents stolen off a kitchen table.
But police now say the Grinch was two little kids: a 9-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy.
South Brunswick police Detective Jim Ryan said Friday that the kids used a Blockbuster gift card to pick the lock on the back door of a home a block away.
They then took about $200 in wrapped presents that were located on a kitchen table, including Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers CDs.
The couple who lived in the home returned from some Christmas Eve shopping to find the house broken into, and the presents, intended for a niece, gone, Ryan said.
Eventually, one of the children's relatives, who also lived in the neighborhood, spoke with the couple and realized the gifts that had been taken matched some mysterious extra presents that the children appeared to received on Christmas.
The relative contacted the children's mother, who got the truth out of them on Wednesday, and then contacted police.
Ryan said he didn't immediately know why the young children would go to such lengths to get presents. He said charges weren't planned against the kids.
"A 9- and 5-year-old would never be on our suspect list. For a burglary? Maybe for taking a bike or something like that, but not for a burglary," Ryan said.
The names of the children were not released since they are underage.

So Sayeth The Shack


Friday, December 21, 2007

Local Man Plays Cop

Kudos to this guy, who after his store was robbed at gunpoint, chased down the robber on foot and by vehicle, eventually getting the money back and bringing the robber back to the store were the cops were waiting.

The cops in this area are pretty much worthless at solving real crimes, but woe be unto anyone who goes 2 mph over the speed limit or doesn't come to a complete stop at a stop the middle of the night when there is no one else on the will get a ticket in no time!

So Sayeth The Shack


Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Reason For The Season

Commentary: You can't take Christ out of Christmas

Yes the Christians probably "stole" the holiday from the Pagans and Jesus probably wasn't born in the middle of winter, but...

It seems to me that the holiday is all about the spirit of loving and giving, and not spending, getting and mass consumption.

So from The Shack Family, have a safe, happy and joyous (fill in whatever it is celebrate at this time of year). And if you don't celebrate anything in particular, we hope that your life has nonetheless been touched by the spirit of love and giving.

So Sayeth The Shack


You Just Can't Please These People

It's amazing that no matter what we do to try to produce cleaner energy, the environmentalists are never happy. Today's paper has an article about a proposed wind farm in part of Centre and Blair Counties, including some complaints from environmentalists.

"But environmentalists already have voiced concerns about what they say are the negative effects of fragmenting the forestland. Stan Kotala, president of the Juniata Valley Audubon Society, said Ice Mountain in Blair County, where part of the project would be built, is unique because it has a large expanse of unbroken forest. That interior forest is favored by some species including the bobcat, fisher and scarlet tanager, Kotala said. The county Planning Commission’s Natural Heritage Inventory designated the area a natural heritage area, he said.
“We just feel that it should be protected"

Ya know...we're not talking about a big strip mine or a coal-fired electric generating plant belching out sulfur, soot and whatever (personally I always liked the smell of burning coal.) We're talking about one of the cleanest and most renewable sources of power there is. BUT THEY'RE STILL NOT HAPPY! The windmills might kill some birds. Wow. I'd really rather have a few dead birds than a $1000 electric bill...or no electricity at all. I'm willing to bet that fewer animals will die or be displaced in the long run as the result of a wind farm than as the result of a strip mine or coal-fired power plant. Other people are afraid of noise. Again, I'll bet that a wind farm is quieter than a strip mine (with all the equipment and trucks coming and going) or a conventonal power plant.

Nothing is perfect, but I think wind power is a lot better than some other alternatives.

So Sayeth The Shack


Monday, December 03, 2007

Here's Some Great Irony For Your

(From the internet; not original material)

As hunting season was approaching, I too noticed an increasingly large number of similar vehicles (big 4-wheel drive trucks) on the roads. Aside of having to sell several kidneys in order to afford to fill the gas tanks, I find the usual reason given for hunting rather amusing. Bare with me for a second:

Brand new 4x4 Truck: $60,000 plus
ATV(s): around $10,000 each (decked out for hunting, usually two or more on trailer)
Trailer to pull it all: $15,000 plus
Hunting Blind/Tree stand: $10,000 (top of the line)
Guns & Ammo: $10,000 (depending on # and type of rifles/bows)
Hunting Cloths: $2,000 (fleece lined, top of the line, multiple sets)

Total: Over $115,000
(prices are based on what I could look up quickly and what I saw at the Sportsmen's Outdoor Show in Harrisburg last year. I've never priced high quality guns and ammo. Actual total may be much higher.)

I parked next to a couple of guys at a restaurant last weekend, they had a setup similar to what I described above, though the truck they were driving had to be closer to the $75,000 price range - it had a high lift kit for the 4wd, brush guards and off-road lighting, and chicken lights all around the rockers and bed. (chicken lights are exorbitant numbers of running lights, usually reserved for big rigs.)

I was talking to the driver for a few minutes and finally ended up asking him why he liked to go hunting. His answer, "I can't afford to buy meat for my family."

So Sayeth The Shack