The future belongs to me.
Along with everyone else who's over the age of 30 or so and wasn't raised in the ever encompassing nanny hell we now call home.
Raise your hand if you survived a childhood in the 60s, 70s, and 80s that included one or more of the following, frowned-upon activities (raise both hands if you bear a scar proving your daredevil participation in these dare-devilish events):
1. Riding in the back of an open pick-up truck with a bunch of other kids
2. Leaving the house after breakfast and not returning until the streetlights came on, at which point, you raced home, ASAP so you didn’t get in trouble
3. Eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the school cafeteria
4. Riding your bike without a helmet
5. Riding your bike with a buddy on the handlebars, and neither of you wearing helmets
6. Drinking water from the hose in the yard
7. Swimming in creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes (or what they now call *cough* “wild swimming“)
8. Climbing trees (One park cut the lower branches from a tree on the playground in case some stalwart child dared to climb them)
9. Having snowball fights (and accidentally hitting someone you shouldn’t)
10. Sledding without enough protective equipment to play a game in the NFL
11. Carrying a pocket knife to school (or having a fishing tackle box with sharp things on school property)
13. Throwing rocks at snakes in the river
14. Playing politically incorrect games like Cowboys and Indians
15. Playing Cops and Robbers with *gasp* toy guns
16. Pretending to shoot each other with sticks we imagined were guns
17. Shooting an actual gun or a bow (with *gasp* sharp arrows) at a can on a log, accompanied by our parents who gave us pointers to improve our aim. Heck, there was even a marksmanship club at my high school
18. Saying the words “gun” or “bang” or “pow pow” (there actually a freakin’ CODE about “playing with invisible guns”)
19. Working for your pocket money well before your teen years
20. Taking that money to the store and buying as much penny candy as you could afford, then eating it in one sitting
21. Eating pop rocks candy and drinking soda, just to prove we were exempt from that urban legend that said our stomachs would explode
22. Getting so dirty that your mom washed you off with the hose in the yard before letting you come into the house to have a shower
23. Writing lines for being a jerk at school, either on the board or on paper
24. Playing “dangerous” games like dodgeball, kickball, tag, whiffle ball, and red rover (The Health Department of New York issued a warning about the “significant risk of injury” from these games)
25. Walking to school alone
The way of the future.
I tend to dislike film critics, except when they're clever and hate the same films I hate. Christopher Orr hates Sean Penn's latest venture into self gratification, The Gunman, and you should, too. Much of Orr's review is too good to excerpt, but I can't quite resist this bit:
24. Terry calls Jim’s cell phone. He’s taken both Stanley and Annie hostage, as recommended in the invaluable handbook Villainy For Idiots. While Jim listens, Terry shoots Stanley in the face, because that’s what Secret Villains do to Loyal Friends. He also threatens to kill Annie, unless Jim brings all his evidence against the company to a bullfight in Barcelona. Because, you know: Spain. (Here I feel obligated to point out that bullfighting has in fact been outlawed in Barcelona since 2012.)
Average attempted SSH logins using invalid credentials on any given machine in my network on a given day: ~6,000.
Average attempted SSH logins of the same after blackholing all of China and Korea: 3.
No doubt that'll make me a war criminal in Obama's internet.
posted by Mr. Lion @ 13:07 EST | comments (2)
Doing it right: Cayman GT4
I'd just about given up on Porsche, who has steadily been alienating the hardcore driver crowd with more and more PDK nonsense, even on the purist cars like the 911 GT3. You can't get a manual on any 911 worth buying any longer, or anything like a RWD Turbo. They have their reasons, of course. It's the same decision Ferrari, Lamborghini, and pretty much every sports car maker other than BMW and Ford made: If you build fast cars for idiots who can't drive, those idiots will buy them, and as a bonus you get less warranty claims from said idiots toasting clutches and breaking axles.
It should be noted that this is the same mentality that transformed Toyota from the over-engineered mecca of Japanese performance into Chevy, circa 1985. While more money is always good, if it comes at a cost of your brand and hardcore fans who buy lots of cars, the end game isn't pretty. BMW understands this better than probably anyone in the German fast things market.
For me, that was extremely disheartening. I love Porsche. I've owned many of their cars, and look back to the 60s through the 90s-- when Porsche had cars running in basically every form of motorsport known to man-- and wonder what the hell happened.
Evidently someone in Stuttgart felt the same way, because they made this: The Cayman GT4.
Manual only. 3.8 L engine. Brakes, wheels, and by the look of it many other bits liberated from the GT3. In fact, it has the same 'ring lap time as the previous GT3, which is probably one of the best cars I've ever driven, if not THE best.
So, thank you Porsche for seeing the light. In return, I'm going to give you a bunch of money for one.
posted by Mr. Lion @ 13:38 EST | comments (0)
Of Mice and Heros.
If you're looking for an excuse to go see American Sniper-- and you shouldn't be, as it's the finest film I've seen in a very, very long time-- the shrill, hand-wringing, pants-shitting hysteria bleated about by blithering fools should be plenty good enough.
I honestly never thought I'd see another film since Wahlberg's Lone Survivor capable of honestly portraying the heroism of great Americans like Chris Kyle in an honest, true and respectful manner. I should not have doubted Eastwood nor Cooper, as the two have done just that.
posted by Mr. Lion @ 01:44 EST | comments (0)
Duh, meet Duh.
Apparently the AP has discovered that people who own Apple products like to buy things.
Users of iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches spent nearly $500 million on applications and in-app services during the first week of the year, according to figures released Thursday. That's the highest weekly volume recorded by Apple Inc. since the Cupertino, California, company opened its App Store seven years ago and revolutionized the way people connect with online services and play games.
If sales continue at the same opening-week pace, Apple and the makers of the apps would split up about $25 billion in revenue. Apple's revenue-sharing formula calls for 70 percent of app sales to be paid to the developers with the rest kept by the company.
But the smaller number of people using Apple's devices spends far more money on apps than Android's largest audience, according to AppAnnie and other analysts. That's because Apple's products are higher priced and tend to attract more affluent buyers than the Android product line does.
For future reference, if you're going to ship hard drives via USPS, you may as well just hit them with a large hammer and throw them in the trash instead.
posted by Mr. Lion @ 15:31 EST | comments (0)