The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012

July 11, 2007

Terrorist Metalheads Coming To An Airport Near You!

James Hetfield, lead singer of Metallica, looks suspiciously like a terrorist to the Brits.

I’d describe the full story, but Justin of autoDogmatic has done a much better job. He explains that government is quite capable of dishing out its nonsensical harassment and justice for all:

James Hetfield, lead-singer of Metallica, learned this week that the UK’s Luton airport was not on his list of places he can roam freely. Sad but true, Hetfield was detained due to his “Taliban-like beard” making officials nervous. One wonders if the rock star felt like an outlaw torn or just another victim of the master of puppets, big brother government. But for his devil’s dance, quickly explaining to the officials that he was a rock star, and not a terrorist, Hetfield may have felt a bit … I don’t know … minus human? Though Hetfield escaped relatively unscathed, nay more a hero of the day, I have no doubt that the memory of his detiainment will remain though nothing else matters.

Let this be a lesson: in the land of wolf and man, the bell tolls for us all … until the-thing-that-should-not-be sleeps, that is.

I’d warn those governments about Hetfield, though… He’s been known to fight fire with fire, and may leave you blackened.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 9:03 pm || Permalink || Comments (5) || Trackback URL || Categories: Around The 'Sphere, Humor, News, Pop Culture, Snark, Terrorism

June 27, 2007

The Jaw Has Abandoned The Frontline

…I hate it when that happens!

Arthritic jaw could sideline Japanese eating champ

Japanese eating champion Takeru Kobayashi is being treated for an arthritic jaw that could douse his hopes for taking a seventh straight title at the annual Independence Day hot dog eating competition on Coney Island.

Last year, the 165-pound (75-kilogram) champion won his sixth straight Yellow Mustard Belt at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest by devouring a then-world record 53 3/4 frankfurters in 12 minutes.

A California man broke the record earlier this month by chomping down more than 59 franks in 12 minutes.

But earlier this week, Kobayashi, 29, said on his Web site blog that his “jaw has abandoned the frontline” during his training for this year’s July 4 event.

“Already I can’t open my jaws more than just a little bit,” he wrote. “There’s no pain only if I open my mouth about enough for one finger. More than that is painful and I can’t open it.”

A specialist diagnosed him with arthritis of the jaw, he wrote.

Kobayashi, you must compete! The world needs you!

I think I saw this on an episode of Heroes at one point…

Eat the hot dogs, save the world.

Below The Beltway linked with Not Sure If This Qualifies As A Sports Related Injury
Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 12:15 am || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: Food, News, Pop Culture, YouTube

June 26, 2007

Now I Want It!

At the end of this month, I’m forced to give up my Motorola Q, because I’m no longer a “field” employee… I’ll have to go back to paying for my own cell phone, and looking around, that really means that I won’t have a shot at getting a smartphone with a data plan, because I just don’t get enough utility out of it to spend $45 each month just for data.

But it looks like AT&T’s got my back. If I can find a way to buy an iPhone (perhaps if I win an competition that I’m currently involved in), they’re offering plans that actually have pretty reasonable unlimited data plans:

AT&T’s service plans for the Apple iPhone will cost $59.99 to $99.99 a month, the companies said Tuesday.

The $59.99 monthly plan includes 450 minutes of voice time; a $79.99 plan includes 900 minutes; and a $99.99 plan includes 1,350 minutes. All three offer 200 text messages, unlimited data services, minutes that roll over month-to-month and mobile-to-mobile calls. There also is a $36 activation fee.

I’m not huge for talking on the phone, and the most I talk is to my wife, which would be free mobile-to-mobile minutes, so I could probably get by with the $59.99 plan. I was worried just getting any smartphone that I’d be in the $100/month range. I’m too cheap to pay that much every month for the cool geek factor. I’d rather buy beer. But at $59.99, I’m in my price point…

I can see it now… I’ll be the hip dad with Wyatt wearing his anarchy shirt as I carry him in a Baby Bjorn, while rocking out to tunes on the iPhone. I’ll definitely be the coolest dad at the beach!

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 3:20 pm || Permalink || Comments (3) || Trackback URL || Categories: News, Personal Life, Ponderings, Technology

June 19, 2007

Sad Day In Big Ten

In the Big Ten football family, some coaches have become legends. Coaches like Woody, Bo, and Joe Pa have been fixtures in college football folklore. At the lower tiers of the Big Ten, there aren’t very many legends, but there are some class acts, like Barry Alvarez of Wisconsin, Joe Tiller at Purdue, etc. Unfortunately, last year we lost another class act, Randy Walker, the head coach at Northwestern, to a heart attack. Randy was a coach battling the struggles of a small school in a difficult recruiting area, but was able to field some competitive and well-respected teams even with those difficulties.

Unfortunately, today brings more bad news, as IU coach Terry Hoeppner has finally lost his battle with brain cancer. Coach Hep had only been with the team a few years, but from the beginning he was bringing a buzz to IU football that hasn’t existed for at least a decade or two. Fans and students alike were beginning to even become excited about the team. As a Purdue fan, I never want to see us get beaten by IU, but it seemed like a positive thing for both teams if our rivalry might decide which team gets a 3rd- or 4th-place finish in the Big Ten, instead of the last-place finishes we were battling for 15 years ago. In barely more than two years of coaching, it seemed like Coach Hep was reminding the state of Indiana that there’s something beyond basketball, even for teams not named Notre Dame.

Unlike Walker, this wasn’t unexpected news. Last year, Hep underwent two surgeries due to his cancer. Despite a tough mentality (he missed very little work after each brain surgery) and a positive outlook, the reports have been trickling out all year, revealing a worsening condition. This morning, he died in the hospital with his family around him, a premature end to a story that we all wanted to see continue. I wish his family the best, and– although it pains me to say it– the same wishes extend to the IU community. Today is a sad day for all football fans, regardless of whether they wear Cream and Crimson, or the Old Gold and Black.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:08 am || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: College Football, News, Sports

May 4, 2007

Can I Be A Stay-At-Home Mom?

This sounds like a pretty sweet deal:

If the typical stay-at-home mother in the United States were paid for her work as a housekeeper, cook and psychologist among other roles, she would earn $138,095 a year, according to research released on Wednesday.

This reflected a 3 percent raise from last year’s $134,121, according to Inc, Waltham, Massachusetts-based compensation experts.

The 10 jobs listed as comprising a mother’s work were housekeeper, cook, day care center teacher, laundry machine operator, van driver, facilities manager, janitor, computer operator, chief executive officer and psychologist, it said.

So wants to hire me? I’ll cook and clean, and I’ve got a history of armchair psychology (usually after drinking gin)… I’ll bet I could do this job and still have time to blog on the side…

Plus, that way I could actually start paying my wife to be as stay-at-home mom when she starts being one in August… Right now she’s not making squat.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 1:01 pm || Permalink || Comments (3) || Trackback URL || Categories: Baby, Economics, News, Snark

April 17, 2007

Big Networks Have Jumped The Proverbial Shark

Or, so the WaPo laments:

“Everyone can appreciate the business pressure that the networks are under, but when did they [start] ceding their responsibility to cover these stories?” said Tom Kunkel, the dean of the University of Maryland’s journalism school. “It does kind of make you wonder how big a blood bath there has to be warrant their attention in prime time. How bad does it have to be to supplant ‘Dancing With the Stars’?”

I actually got this story sent to my by my buddy Jim, who gave his own thoughts on it via email, with which I heartily agree.

with this. obviously it was newsworthy, it led every newscast in the country and was on the front page of every newspaper i looked at today from overseas. but how much more did we NEED to know last night? Had things changed? Were we headed to war? How would exploiting the tragic event for an extra three hours of coverage have helped fulfill the networks’ responsibilities to the nation?

Below is my response to his email…


I hear you on this one, Jim… You know what this article is lamenting? Not that the big networks didn’t cover this, but that the big networks are no longer the driver of the news cycle:

“They’d rather run reruns than preempt their regular programming,” Rosenstiel said. “It’s not a surprise, but it is unfortunate. If the networks have lost their role as arbiters of what’s significant in our culture, then they’ve been complicit in that loss.”

They’ve been outdone. They can throw up the local news at 11, but really. If you wanted coverage, where were you going to turn? CNN. Fox News. The internet.

We don’t need the big networks to be the main arbiter of how to handle the news. We’ve got much more specialized avenues of getting that information that do a much better job. Yes, that may mean that Granny Eunice, with her rabbit ears on top of her 19″ Zenith, doesn’t get the same sort of news she got back in the old days. So what? She can wait until the news at 11, or she can catch it on the Paul Harvey show on her hi-fi.

What really gets me, though, is that when you actually watch the constant coverage of cable news, you begin to see that sometimes the news cycle is faster than the actual news:

“Well, although we just talked to him 12 minutes ago, we’re going to go back on scene with John Ondaspot, who is standing outside the Virginia Tech building where this all happened. John?”

“Well, Wolf, if you can see behind me, you’ll see that one of the detectives has moved 6 feet to the left of where he was 12 minutes ago. Other than scratching his ass, he hasn’t really done a whole lot since. No new information has been released on the gunman, of course, and probably won’t for several hours. Back to you, and I’ll check in with you in another 12 minutes.”

Worthless, the whole damn lot of them. Life got much better when I sold my TV.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 5:48 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, News, Ponderings, Snark

April 16, 2007

Inside The Mind Of A College Shooting

By now everyone’s heard the horrific news of what happened at Virginia Tech. And horrifying, it truly is. We live in a world where things like this aren’t supposed to happen. People like this aren’t supposed to exist.

The students at Virginia Tech right now, are quite a bit shell-shocked. They’re asking two questions:

1- How could this happen here?
2- WHY?!

I know what they’re thinking because– unfortunately– I’ve been there. Readers Sober John and Sam will remember this too, we were all residents of Wiley Hall at Purdue University when a student shot his counselor, before turning his gun on himself. That student was Jarrod Eskew, and the counselor, Jay Severson was the RA on his floor at Wiley.

Given that I know the circumstances behind what Eskew did, I’m not going to say that it’s the same thing that happened at Virginia Tech. Eskew’s act was one of despair and escape, not one of a madman. Not that I’m excusing it, of course, but that it appears to have much different motivations than what anyone who would gun down 32 people was doing.

I knew Jarrod’s roommate (who, in retrospect, was a very bad influence on him), and actually played Euchre with Jarrod one night. He lived a floor above me, all the way at the end of the hall. He seemed like a pretty normal kid, and from all the stories I’ve heard about him after the fact, I think that was not an unfair characterization. He came from a small town not far from Purdue, where he was an athlete and general good student. But things took a turn for the worse when he went to college.

Like many college students, he took his newfound freedom too far, getting involved in drugs. I wouldn’t have guessed it the night I met him, but it wasn’t all that long afterwards that his RA (Severson) caught him one night with cocaine. Eskew took off before the cops could show up. The next day, he came back from Crawfordsville, where he’d gotten a shotgun, confronted and shot Severson, and barricaded himself in his room.

I came back from class to see that Wiley Hall was shut down, with police tape all the way out at the street (see the picture midway down the above linked story, I was in that crowd). Nobody really had an idea what was going on. But it’s not usually a very promising thing to look up at the Co-Rec (recreation center), which was across the street from Wiley, and see sharpshooters on the roof. At this point, it’s believed that Eskew had already turned the gun on himself, but the cops hadn’t gone into his room yet.

Later that afternoon, they finally allowed most of us back into the building, and eventually let the third floor residents (where Eskew and Severson had lived) back in (either late that night or the next morning).

After all this happened, the grieving and the healing began. For myself, and the other folks who had met Jarrod, this was an odd time. How could I reconcile people acting as if he was a monster, with my impression that he was someone who just got caught up in something that was way too big for him, and made the worst, most irrational choice in front of him? For almost everyone at Purdue, who had gone through life in towns where this sort of stuff doesn’t happen, it was a bit of a wake-up call, that there are life-and-death problems in the real world. Eventually for most of us, a sense of normalcy returned, but it’s a time in my life that will never be forgotten.

Why am I telling you all about this? Truthfully, I’m not sure I know. I think that there’s still something in my head that tells me that it’s not right, it shouldn’t have happened, and I want an explanation for it. It was 10 years ago, and I still don’t like accepting that it did happen, because it shouldn’t have. Nobody deserves responsibility for what happened except for Jarrod Eskew, but you have to ask whether things like the war on drugs were a factor. Because of the seriousness of being caught with cocaine, he must have felt like his entire life was over, and then he made it so. Jarrod should have sought help; he shouldn’t have given up and taken two lives. I look back on it to this day and just think it was wrong and didn’t have to happen. But it did, and I need to accept it.

I guess that’s the only message I can give to the people at Virginia Tech right now. This wasn’t supposed to happen, and you all know it wasn’t supposed to happen. Everyone wishes they could go back to yesterday, before it occurred. But you can’t. The only thing you can do is try to accept it and get some sense of normalcy back. That’s not an easy thing to do, and I’m sure it will be even harder, since the attack at Virginia Tech seems so much more senseless than the one at Purdue (which already is pretty senseless). You can never make it disappear, you can’t go back to the past and stop it from happening. You can’t get rid of the understanding that stupid, senseless, violent things happen in the world. I wish I could tell you that I had answers to the questions above. But there are no answers that have ever made sense to those questions. As far as I am concerned, the answers don’t exist. All you can do is accept it and move on…

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 3:15 pm || Permalink || Comments (4) || Trackback URL || Categories: News, Personal Life, Purdue

April 15, 2007

Is This Covered Under NAFTA?

Both teams at home in US-Mexico border volleyball

It was never like this at the Olympics.

U.S. and Mexican volleyball teams faced off over the rusted border fence in southern Arizona on Saturday and played as part of a binational goodwill festival.

The scene offered a festive contrast from the usual tensions surrounding the U.S.-Mexican border. Illegal immigration from Mexico and border security have become a potent political issue in both the United States and Mexico.

The game was the centrepiece of a party held occasionally on the border since 1979 by residents of the town of Naco, Arizona, and its namesake in the Mexican state of Sonora.

“For us, it represents the celebration of the union of two countries,” said Jose Lorenzo Villegas, the mayor of Naco, Mexico, as U.S. and Mexican youngsters tapped the ball across a net set up on the dusty international line.

“What’s unusual is that both the Mexican and U.S. teams are playing at home, with the fence as the net,” he added.

Thank god for NAFTA… I’m sure the import/export duties on that volleyball would have racked up quickly!

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 6:49 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: News, Snark, Sports

April 14, 2007

Soaping A Fountain Writ Large

Suds fill streets in Idaho

City streets got an unscheduled cleaning as a sudsy citrus-scented foam erupted from manhole covers like geysers.

The bubbles spewed from a three-block stretch on the city’s east side Thursday after American Linen accidentally released detergent into the municipal sewer lines. The combination of gravity and churning water whipped the soap into a sudsy foam.

“We have never had a situation like this before,” said Vince Trimboli, the public works spokesman.

Officials say the company had a malfunction, caused by human error, in its automated detergent loading device, releasing 167 gallons of a harmless but concentrated detergent.

Crews worked during the day to disperse the suds before they reached the treatment facility, then used soft-spray hoses and yard blowers to reduce foam levels closer to the plant.

Why is it I can’t find any pictures of this?

But I’m sure if I lived in Boise, I would have found this very cool. Of course, if I lived in Boise, I’d probably find grass growing and paint drying to be pretty cool, so the bar is set a bit low :-)

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 4:55 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: News, Snark

Why Tempt Fate?

If anyone is looking for gift ideas, I don’t want one of these…

Pieces of Titanic transformed into luxury watches

Steel and coal from the Titanic have been transformed into a new line of luxury wristwatches that claim to capture the essence of the legendary oceanliner which sank in 1912.

Geneva watchmaker Romain Jerome SA billed its “Titanic-DNA” collection as among the most exclusive pieces showcased this week at Baselworld, the watch and jewellery industry’s largest annual trade fair.

“It is very luxurious and very inaccessible,” said Yvan Arpa, chief executive of the three-year-old company that hopes the limited edition watches will attract both collectors and garrulous luxury goods buyers.

“So many rich people buy incredibly complicated watches without understanding how they work, because they want a story to tell,” he said. “To them we offer a story.”

They want a story? Well, the first time one of the wearers of these watches ends up in a plane crash, I’ll bet they’ll have a story. Even stranger if it’s on the maiden commercial voyage of an Airbus A380…

I’m not a believer in “fate” or “luck”, or any of that stuff. But hey, I’ll hedge my bets when I need to. I’m not getting on an airplane, or a boat, or even a BUS with one of these watches.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 2:08 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: News, Ponderings, Snark

April 10, 2007

Italians & Their Mothers

I saw this…

Mammas pick their sons’ brides on Italy reality TV

Often seen as mommy’s boys, Italian men are now letting their mothers choose their future wives live on television.

Italy’s state TV aired the first episode of a new reality show this week in which the mothers of five single men have to pick out prospective brides from a selection of candidates.

Must.Avoid.The.Joke…. Ah, screw it.

Why do Italian men grow moustaches? (answer below the fold)

Read more of this entry… »

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:30 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: Humor, News

April 3, 2007

In Case You Were Wondering

I’m NOT the father of Anna Nicole’s baby.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:34 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: News, Pop Culture

February 18, 2007

Watching A Person Melt Down

I’ve said before that I’m a big fan of schadenfreude. But as I said then, when a person is actually self-destructing, it’s not funny at all. Which is why I find this to be incredibly sad…


Britney Spears checked into a rehab facility and then abruptly checked out, a source confirms to PEOPLE. And then on Friday, she returned to Southern California – and she shaved her head completely bald.

There’s something wrong in her bald little head. You stick a semi-normal little girl into the celebrity pressure cooker, and eventually it gets to be too much. If anything, I think it might be an issue that nothing in her life is really “hers” any more. No matter where she goes or what she does, she’s in the public eye. No amount of money can give you back your life, when the paparazzi and the celebrity hounds have turned that life into a product, for which their demand is insatiable.

The cult of celebrity in this country is sickening, and Britney Spears is a casualty. She just wasn’t strong enough to own her life when the “fans” (which, of course, is a word short for “fanatic”) tried to take it for themselves.

I’ve often said I want to be rich, but I NEVER want to be famous.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:43 am || Permalink || Comments (11) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, News, Pop Culture, Uncategorized

February 13, 2007

Yeah, Put Him Behind Bars

Connecticut man busted twice for drugs

A Danbury man’s plans to bail himself out after a drug bust went more than a bit awry over the weekend. State police said that a small safe that Nakia Davis, 32, had his aunt bring in to the Southbury barracks not only contained $5,000 in cash for bail, but also drug paraphernalia and 16 grams of cocaine, leading to more charges.

Davis had been pulled over for speeding on Interstate 84 in Southbury. With the help of a police dog, marijuana was seized from the car, and police found 43 baggies of cocaine weighing 48 grams when they patted Davis down, police said.

Davis arranged for his aunt to bring a small safe which Davis claimed contained money for his bail.

State police said when Davis’ aunt opened the safe in front of a state police trooper, inside was the cash, but also drug paraphernalia and 16 grams of cocaine.

As I’ve pointed out before, I’m against the War on (Some) Drugs. But this guy probably needs to be behind bars on charges of general stupidity.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 8:17 pm || Permalink || Comments (5) || Trackback URL || Categories: Libertarianism, News, Snark

January 21, 2007

Busy Times Ahead

I hung my Gadsden Flag above my desk to give me inspiration when I write. Perhaps I should hang this one up too, to give me inspiration to do my best at the job which actually pays the bills?

Read more of this entry… »

Atlas Blogged linked with Can He Lead A Normal Life?
Below The Beltway linked with Congratulations !
Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 8:00 pm || Permalink || Comments (12) || Trackback URL || Categories: News, Personal Life

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