Round the Reader

May 3rd, 2005 by Marcus

Today is my first day for Round the Reader. I would like to welcome all of those who read it every day on all of the sister sites. Feel free to kick your feet up and look through the rest of the site once you finish reading RtR.

We’ll start off today with Our Life and Chris’ run in with a terrorist supporting nut job from the UK. Basit Ali Kahn attends University of Salford and his email address is

Speed of Thought… has the account of a man who woke up after a roof collapsed on him while he was fighting a fire. The kicker? The fire was ten years ago.

For having the biggest balls of them all, Dr. Rusty over at Jawa Report gets a plug. He also has a good point to make about Islofacists.

Powerline is talking about another service member who should have never been allowed to put on the uniform of my country. Stuff like this makes me extremely angry so just go read it.

I am not sure if this blog is true at all, but is definitely an interesting read. Clublife is written by a bouncer who apparently is in the mob.

Life on Mars? Michelle Malkin has the rest.

I love the Firefox browser and I think it is the best ever. Don’t start a fight with me in comments, by the way. Chris Gonyea is talking about what Mozilla should do with the update system in Firefox 1.1. I agree.

Perhaps the most important link you’ll find in RtR today is from Blackfive. No matter what, your Social Security Number and other personal information should never be given out or where people that can scam you will be able to find it. If you know military folks, pass this along.

Why I’m proud of my brother

May 3rd, 2005 by Marcus

I haven’t ever talked about my younger brother Aaron here on the blog and it is about time I do. As the tittle says, I’m very proud of him. He’s a remarkably strong and intelligent young man who never really ceases to amaze me.

A couple of weeks ago, he was in the paper in our hometown for accepting a scholarship to college starting in the fall semester. Dad clipped it out and made sure I got a scanned copy of it. You can check it out in thumb form below and click for the full image.

Aaron Announce

Round the Reader

April 27th, 2005 by Marcus

Scott has struck again. He told me about his Round the Reader linkage and pretty much begged me to join the fun a couple of weeks ago but because of my crazy work schedule, I can’t do one every week.

Well, today he snagged me. He used his old man powers and convinced me to take up every other Tuesday. So this Tuesday, look for me to dose you all with Round the Reader.

Read all about Round the Reader with an almost accurate (I think) schedule at Speed of Thought…

More art?

April 27th, 2005 by Marcus

A couple of folks have commented on some art I posted a few months ago and have been looking for more. If you would like to see everything I have uploaded at the moment, head over to the Gallery. I’ve done a couple more in the last few weeks but they aren’t uploaded just yet. I’ll get around to that and working on some more tomorrow.

Update: I got to wondering why I’ve had so many comments on my art in the last week so I looked at the one that got the most comments and discovered something completely awesome.

Not only did I get 1750 page referers from Google in the last 24 hours to that page, I have the number fifteen image for butterflies on Google Images. Wow.

New focus

April 22nd, 2005 by Marcus

If you read Bummer… from ten days ago you would know that the new hours at work haven’t gone in. Since I’m away so much there is no way I can keep updated posts about everything going on in the world. Starting today, is going to be a MilBlog. I’ve had a MilBlog section up since the beginning, but you should expect more posts there than anywhere else.

In other news, I heard from Al this morning and he has been without Net access for about two weeks. I’ll talk to him some more over the weekend and hopefully I can strong arm him back around to post. If you or someone you know has interest in blogging, feel free to contact me by email at marcus -at- artitumis -dot- com. I am considering adding one more person to the blog to keep things going.

Upgraded Wordpress

April 18th, 2005 by Marcus

I’ve known Wordpress 1.5 has been out for a little bit of time now, but I put off upgrading because I was really afraid that I would end up spending hours getting everything back to where it should be. I have good news, though!

I was able to upgrade in 5 minute with zero problems.

Wow. I mean that is a big wow. I was smart enough to pull the theme folder out of the old version before upgrading so I didn’t have to do a thing to keep the old look.

What does this mean for you the reader? Nothing. Really it doesn’t mean a thing for you.

What does it mean for me? Hopefully, better spam protection. I was at work this weekend and came back to four hundred emails concerning spam comments. That is a ton over three days. I am getting enough notification about spam prevention that it is eating a ton of my bandwidth. That isn’t cool at all. Let’s hope this new version of Wordpress can help that.

Here is to you, Wordpress and the ease of the upgrade.

Let Iran have nukes?

April 13th, 2005 by Marcus

Thats what our buddy Chirac is saying over in Paris.

VIENNA, April 13 (Reuters) - French President Jacques Chirac has been pushing the EU to drop its refusal to consider letting Iran enrich uranium, despite U.S. and European fears Iran could use enrichment technology for weapons, EU diplomats say.

Sharing U.S. suspicions that Iran may have atom bomb ambitions, the European Union’s three biggest powers — France, Britain and Germany — have demanded Iran give up its nuclear fuel programme in exchange for economic and political benefits. …

The Iran-EU talks had been deadlocked over the issue of “objective guarantees” that Iran’s atomic programme will not be used to make weapons, with the Europeans insisting that the only acceptable guarantee was a permanent cessation of enrichment.

But the talks took a new turn last month when negotiators from the EU’s “big three” (EU3) and the office of EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana agreed in Paris to consider an Iranian proposal that it keep a small-scale enrichment programme that would be closely monitored by the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

Several diplomats said this shift — which came just after Washington bolstered the EU position by offering its own incentives if Tehran scrapped enrichment — was mainly the result of pressure by Chirac, who pushed the French Foreign Ministry to drop its refusal to consider Iran’s plan.

“Jacques Chirac … is the one who’s taking the Iranian proposal under consideration,” said an EU3 diplomat, adding the French president had the final say on foreign policy matters.

Can we get France labeled in the Axis of Evil?

Via LGF.

The baggage handler and his camel

April 13th, 2005 by Marcus

It isn’t what you think. No really. It isn’t what you think.

SYDNEY (AP) — Qantas Airways on Friday suspended a baggage handler who was caught on video opening a passenger’s bag which contained a camel costume, donning the head and wandering around the airport tarmac.

The costume’s owner, David Cox, said he was waiting inside the terminal at Sydney Airport earlier this week when he glanced outside and saw the baggage handler wearing his camel head.

This guy is genius. I would have loved to be that handler. I would have taken the entire costume and ran around the airport in it. Imagine the looks from people heading to flights. It would have been priceless. Sadly, and perhaps he should have been, our friend was punished.

He said the baggage handler had been suspended and could be fired pending further investigation.

Funny stuff in airports is so rare these days.

Via Fark.

Last couple of days

April 13th, 2005 by Marcus

Since I don’t have the nice work schedule just yet, I couldn’t blog like I normally would. So, here are some things I found interesting from other bloggers.

Jeff Quinton has a quickie about the new China and India alliance of sorts. The Clancy novel is Executive Orders and is a must read.

LGF has a letter from a Marine that was sent to Ohio University’s Post Online. If any of my left wing friends that are about my age are reading this, go read the letter. Please.

Chris (who may not be aware that I’m back so here is your notice, bro) has good views about a race card being played in the NBA.

Scott has word about Mac’s new OS upgrade. It once again has me wanting a Mac. And he has something about our furry friends that have served along side our service members.

From Spoons:

Edit: The form stuff doesn’t work right so vist the page to see my blog monster.

And by the way, I beat you Spoons.

Thats all I have to offer. Check back often today and let’s see how my blogging works out.

Bummer. . .

April 12th, 2005 by Marcus

Well, the new hours aren’t in yet. I had to come back super quick to grab my cell phone charger which I left so it looks like I won’t be catching up until tomorrow morning. I’m going to try real hard to make blogging work while still being gone for up to seventy-two hours at a time. Wish me luck!

Blog Wars: The Return of the Blogger

April 11th, 2005 by Marcus

First off I just want to take note of how long it has been since I blogged. The last entry was on my birthday and that was almost two months ago. Over that time not much has changed in my life. I still work on the guard force but more about that later. I haven’t been able to keep up with much of anything aside from the computer games I throw myself into and I have really missed blogging. So I guess I should get to the point.

The hours that I work are going to change. Instead of me disappearing for two straight days, or three depending on the weekend, I’ll only be gone 12 hours at a time. That means I get to sleep in my room, shower in my shower, and blog when I’m not on post. I am extremely excited to be able to dive back into the sphere.

Starting tomorrow morning, I’ll start reading all the RSS feeds I still have set up and will blog to my little heart’s content.


February 27th, 2005 by Big Al

Anyone who has read this post, knows that I’ve been extremly busy. That guy Joe, whom Dave and I worked together to cover for, has quit. I have decided to take his route and leave the bakery. My boss at the bakery has talked me into staying on as the Saturday baker, but Monday trough Friday, I’ll work full-time days as a vending route driver. Its very good pay. I don’t know how it will affect my schooling, especially since I’ll have to attend classes over the summer (for those of you who don’t know, I was in an auto accident which busted me up pretty good, causing me to miss this semester). I’ll most likely extend my pre-pharmacy schooling one full year (its worth it when you consider how much I’ll now be earning).

Anyway, I am on the second week of my two weeks notice at the bakery, and I am on the second week of full-time vending. I no longer am helping run the route, I am running it all by myself. last week I was up at 2:00 a.m. each day, at the bakery by 4:00, at the vending company by 8:30 and home by 7:00 p.m. I don’t see this week being any different. When I came aboard here at artitumis, I was to post four or five times a week. Being as busy as I am (along with “accident recovery”) has made it somewhat difficult.

This week, however, will end what has turned out to be an extremly busy February. The week starting March 6th should be like a vacation. At that time, you can look foward to seeing new posts at a rate greater than the one or two that Marcus or myself have managed this current month.

I’m still alive, I swear!

February 22nd, 2005 by Marcus

Yes, blood is still pumping through my body and at times rational thought can escape. But that really isn’t the point of this post. The real point is. . .

Today, February 22nd, is my twenty-first birthday. I am fully legal. It is a scary thought, isn’t it?

For those of you that want to buy me presents, send me an email and I’ll tell you where to Pay-Pal the cash to. ;)

Those sneaky Russians

February 16th, 2005 by Big Al

Today, the Kyoto pact, a treaty designed to ease the globes sufferage of mankind through strict reductions of global warming gasses went into effect, although without U.S. involvement. The lack of involvement has caused fourteen U.S. Senators to put foward a bill to force this country to go along with this economic disaster. They accuse President Bush of doing nothing.

The President is simply not interested in the Kyoto agreement. He is far from doing nothing.

“We are still learning about the science of climate change,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Tuesday. In the meantime, McClellan said, “We have made an unprecedented commitment to reduce the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in a way that continues to grow our economy.”

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States is devoting nearly $5.8 billion this year to scientific research, new technology, foreign aid and tax incentives for nonpolluting energy development.

You see, its not that the President is doing nothing, its that this is Repulican President George W. Bush.
Dianne Feinstein, one of the bills co-sponsers, and a first rate “Bush Basher,” is quoted as saying

“More than 140 nations, including all 25 members of the European Union (news - web sites), Russia and China, have ratified the agreement to reduce man-made emissions of greenhouse gases,” Feinstein said, in introducing the bill on the Senate floor

If the U.S. economy takes a nosedive, it is better for Feinstein and the Democrats. As long as things are looking down for the U.S., they are looking up for them. With everyone in this country saying that skyrocketing oil prices are driving inflation and hindering job growth, how can a reduction of an already low supply be good? Also, she said, “the E.U., China and Russia.” Is she not aware of Buenos Aires?

Alan Wood, a writer for the Australian, had this to say

The aim of the European Union and its allies among the green non-government organisations and lobby groups was to use Buenos Aires to both celebrate the coming into force of the Protocol and to prepare the way for its extension beyond 2012

Kyoto will expire in 2012. The countries signing on wanted emerging countries to have stricter regulations seeing as how by that time, they would be “all caught up” so to speak, in their economic developement.

Instead the European Union was isolated and rebuffed by the developing countries, notably India and China

India and China are well aware that if other countries make it difficult for business to operate within those countries’ borders, those bussinesses would flock to them, a pair of countries who would be free of the economically hindering parameters of Kyoto.

wood also points out

So, importantly, did Italy - an EU member. Its environment minister declared there was no point in trying to replace Kyoto with something similar after 2012 when it was unacceptable to the US, India and China

The Italians are well aware that with those three (not one…not two…but three, including China), there is no future for Kyoto. The Italians don’t want their fragile economy to worsen in the name of “European Union.”

And all of this brings us to those sneaky Russians.

The only reason Kyoto was enacted today, is because the Russians agreed to sign on to it. One condition of the Russians signing on, was that they only had to reduce their emissions to 1990 levels. What has happened in Russia since 1990? I’ll tell you. The Russian economy has tanked. Many industries have shutdown. Russia would have to actually grow in order to be at 1990 levels.

Why is this important? It is important because the Russians, whose reluctant agreement allowed Kyoto to come into effect, can sell the excess credits between their 1990 levels and todays (which are below 1990 levels) to countries who find themselves unable to comply with their own obligations to this treaty.


Steve has just commented with some information about the Byrd-Hagel Resolution. I have found this to be an interesting piece and have decided to link to it.

Update on my new job

February 12th, 2005 by Marcus

Those for you that can remember back far enough will know that I’ve left my desk job and headed out to guard the ammo dump. Now, this is definitely a new experience for me and so far, it has ups and downs.

I work two days straight, four hours on, eight hours off, repeat. That is a huge down as I can’t leave to update the blog, relax, or anything of that sort. I end up sitting around the guard house talking, playing Playstation, or sleeping. Those eight hours off are really boring. In fact, the entire two days is really boring. I then get the next two days off to come back to the barracks and do whatever I want. The weekend shifts are different being you work Friday-Sunday or have it off, but during the week it is all two on, two off.

The training I’ve gotten so far is almost interesting but I will never really have the chance to do it. No one is stupid enough to even attempt a break-in over at the dump. If they did, they wouldn’t get very far as they would have the ASP Guard, the MPs, and probably some more people all over them.

I did get lucky and also get Monday off. I’m not sure what the other shift did to get another entire day of work (it’ll make four in a row for them), but its good stuff. I won’t miss Raw and I will get to talk to Anna longer on Valentine’s Day.

Blogging from me is going to be very light. I won’t be posting near as much as I used to but I will try to get some sort of regular schedule laid out once I can fully adjust to my new job.

Do you work? Or not work?

February 10th, 2005 by Big Al

One of my daily routines is check out Doonsebury. Each morning (2:00 a.m. MST), after I feed the cats, start coffee, attend to any laundry and take a shower, I grab a cup of joe, start up the ‘ol computer and head straight to Doonsebury. Don’t ask me why, I just do.

One of the few subplots going on involves good ‘ol Zonker. You see, BD lost his leg in Iraq, which caused the family to fall on some hard times. Zonker now has to do his part and get a job. For two months, we’d visit this little side act to read about Zonks crazy, lazy life and his angst about getting a job. A life practically devoid of any real job experience. Within the last week, Zonker has finally landed himself a job. When we are introduced to his boss, it is with Zonker exclaiming, “you mean you work eight hours?? Per day?!?”

That set my mind into serious motion. Here’s why.

For those who haven’t noticed, the blogging around these parts has been fairly sparse lately. Marcus notwithstanding, what with his guard duty, a crappy job if there ever was one, I’ve been B.U.S.Y. A few weeks ago I fixed my issue laden Caddilac. More to the point, I wrecked it. It was literally a bone shattering occurence. That event activated a week off from any work related duties.

I was supposed to take more time off, but my boss’s solution to the problem was to have Dana come in at 2 a.m. and do her job, then do my job. The only car available for me to drive has a standard transmission. It is somewhat difficult to drive a standard with only one arm, not to mention that the shoulder strap for the seatbelt ran right across my broken collar-bone. I drove it nonetheless. I just didn’t feel right having someone else suffer that badly to cover what was essentially my problem. I was back to work in what my doctor says was two weeks too early.

I have another job as well. This is a job I only recently started and it was supposed to only be 10-15 hours per week. Mixed in with my 20 hour per week job at the bakery, I’d have a sitiuation similar to a full time job which was perfectly suited for my schooling (note: I had to drop my classes this semester due to previously mentioned accident). Last week, around the same time I was just getting used to hobling around, one of the full time drivers at my day job (its a vending job, and my bakery job starts at 4 a.m.) slipped and fell and hurt his knee. I was called upon to help cover for him while he’s out.

If no-one has ever vended, let me tell you that soda is a big seller, and its heavy (especially for people with broken bones). At the bakery, I lift 60 pound bags of flour or wheat or bran or anything else we have that is that heavy. The sodas have to be lifted into the truck, which is way above shoulder level. Aside from the lifting, which literally causes my bones to ache each night (as I said, I should be on light to no duty at this point), there are the hours. And thats where Zonker, with his carefree do nothing lifestyle, comes in.

Aside from being in pain, I am working well past the “eight hour day.” My daily routine is the same as always from 2:00-3:30. I get to work by four and spend four hours there. As soon as I get home, around 8:30, I leave a message on Daves cell and he swings by to pick me up. We run Joes route, hit my stop twice (its a very big company) and pick up any service calls Dave gets (he normally does service calls and maintenance). I get home around 5:30. This Saturday, I’ll work eight hours between the two jobs, but Sunday should be light. I’ll only service my account for around three or four hours. Monday, it’ll start all over.

This is not the first time I’ve worked that much. I worked for Sealy as a baler (That is one of the all time most physical jobs out there). I would routinely work twelve hour days. At my age, the joints would stiffen up after a few minutes of idle time (getting out of bed was a chore). I delivered ice one summer back in ‘99. I’d do that from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day. All summer long that went on. I worked as a plater for circuit boards. In ‘97, we worked from the day after Thanksgiving till the day before Christmas. We worked 10-12 hour days. Each of those jobs was physical. I had a severe back spasm at N.T.I. (plating) and was back to work the next day. Granted, it was light duty for a week, but I could have taken two weeks off. Delivering ice, I had the tip of a finger removed. It was sown back on, and I didn’t miss a day. I was back at full duty, even though I could have taken a few days off.

Reading the Doonsebury episode with Zonker got me to thinking. Would anyone choose his path? I’m surely not the only person to be thickheaded and singleminded in my work ethic, but would anyone else have shorted their recovery time off? Or would you have worked?

So, which is it?

February 7th, 2005 by Big Al

The four Egyptions captured yesterday are free. The big question on my mind deals with a pair of contradictory statements. The first is from this ariticle

Kidnappers released four Egyptian engineers who had been abducted in the Iraqi capital 24 hours earlier

and the second comes from this one

U.S. forces stormed a house to free four Egyptian telecommunications engineers kidnapped in Iraq, the head of their Egyptian parent company told Egyptian television on Monday.

What is obvious, is that they are free. That their employers representative gave credit to U.S. troops, or even if U.S. troops were involved, is what has me confused. Especially because

A U.S. military spokesman said he was unable immediately to confirm the report, but the military had heard media reports and were making checks

Hmmmmmmm. Anyone heard anything else? It seems their freedom is less than one half hour old at this point.

Do him a favor

February 6th, 2005 by Big Al

Ward L. Churchill. A man who has found himself at the very center of controversy on many occasions, is now a household name. The Colorado University Board of Regents is considering removeing him from his tenured posistion at CU. Governor Owens wants him gone. My fellow citizens here in Colorado Springs consider him an outright disgrace. Its all about an essay he wrote, some say. To me, its more about lies, fraud and being two-faced.

Mr. Churchill seems ready to fight any attempt to remove him. In his essay, Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, Mr. Churchill decried America for its zeal to become an economic power. Even though he stated that the world trade employees worked at the

very heart of America’s global financial empire

thereby proving their guilt, punishable by death, he now wants to fight to keep his job. This is a job which exists completely because of Americas financial strength. How many of his students are students simply because Uncle Sam (thats you and me, by the way) foots their bill. If he had integrity, he’d teach for free in some field, not as a well paid, tenured college professor.

David Lane, a civil rights attorney representing Churchill, says

Ward is an extremely intelligent man, an advocate of nonviolence

what about the world trade center attacks? What makes that a non-violent event? An event in which Mr. Churchill called the attackers

“combat teams,” not terrorists.

I guess combat is now a non-violent affair. Mr. Lane goes on

“He is very concerned about the underdog, both nationally and internationally. In this case, all he was doing was calling for an analysis on why 9/11 happened. When you are commenting on matters of public opinion, you can say whatever you want. He is blunt, direct and to the point — and that puts a lot of people off.”

He called the innocent victoms Nazis. Blunt, direct and to the point my ass. How about “lieing, deciving and manipulating.”

In a January 27, 2005 essay, which appeared in the Rocky Mountain News, John C. Ensslin stated that Churchil had said

When you kill 500,000 children in order to impose your will

Somebody call I’d personally like to see where this number came from. Does this guy just say anything, without backing?

Maybe so. Ward has called himself an American Indian. He says he was at the occupation of Alcatraz, Wounded Knee and the 1972 takeover at Bureau of Indian Affairs. But Suzan Shown Harjo — president of a Native American rights group called the Morning Star Institute — says otherwise

no one can remember him being there,” she said. “I was at the BIA takeover as a reporter, and I never saw him.”

furthermore, she

has Census data showing Churchill as born to parents listed as white. She said he had not shown up on the rolls of the tribes he said he belonged to.

In the 1980’s, David Bradley championined federal legislation that required those selling their work as Indian art to be able to prove their tribal ties. Churchill then

wrote this slanderous attack about me (Bradley). He tried to impugn my motives

and Churchill attacked

the 1990 Indian Arts and Crafts legislation, saying it gave rise to “witch hunts” among tribes looking for phony Indians

Churchill, whom some would call an artist, was afraid he’d be exposed as a non-indian who claimed to not be such. A “phony Indian,” if you will.

Mr. Churchill is a phony in my opinion. There is enough evidence to prove he is no Indian. He will say anything to stir controversey, even if what he says is an outright lie. He also shows an incredible ability to point out pure evil, even while profiting from such. We here in Colorado should do him a favor and release him from his obligation of earning a living off the most evil, vile economy the world has ever seen.

ASP Guard

February 4th, 2005 by Marcus

I start guard duty tomorrow morning at 0800. I’m really nervous about it, but I know it’ll all be okay. The hours are even worse than I expected. I am not allowed to leave the compound during the two days that I am on duty. After a shift I head from the guard shack to the compound and sleep, eat, relax, etc there. Cell phone reception out there is really bad so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to talk to my family or my friends while I’m there for the two days. After I get off, I have the next two days completely off and I am allowed to leave the compound and come back to the barracks.

Some of the rules that are set forth are pretty bad, but it isn’t anything that I can’t handle.

  • When off duty, I am not allowed to go more than fifty miles from base.
  • There is no drinking, even on the off time, during the tour.
  • While on duty, you are now allowed to leave the compound.
  • There is a possibility I can be called in at any time, but that is very rare.
  • Those are just the main rules. Tomorrow I have classes all day and Sunday I sit in a shift, unarmed for just that one, to learn the ropes. Monday I think I have to start checking in to the battalion as I didn’t do that today.

    This could be real interesting.

    Austin, Jordan, Matt, and the whole damned ’sphere.

    February 3rd, 2005 by Marcus

    I really have no clue what in the world got into everyone over the last two days that I’ve been missing because of work. At this point, I really don’t care. Yes, Austin was wrong not to give credit where do, but he corrected his mistake. Yes, Jordan was wrong for calling the young guy a bastard, and he has apologized. My question for everyone now is very simple.

    Why in the hell are we trying to burn our own at the stake?!

    Apologies have been issued all around and it is time to move on. We have so many things that are so much more important than this. It is very sad that Austin has been forced from the ’sphere, but I’m sure his return will be sooner than later due to the massive support Austin is getting from both sides. Bloggers, control your tempers, give credit where due, and keep your heads in the game.