...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

October 31, 2005

Take The Hewitt Poll

Take the Hugh Hewitt poll on Judge Alito.

Posted by annika at 03:51 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

MNF Pick, Week 8

Tonight, Pittsburgh hosts Baltimore. The line started out at 7½ points and is now inflated to 11½ points.

i always have trouble with big spreads on Monday night. Even with a sucky team like Baltimore, you know they don't want to embarrass themselves in front of half the country. But they're missing two key defensive starters, and Roethlisberger is back for Pittsburgh. i expect him to regain his pre-week 6 form tonight.

But will the Steelers cover the big spread? Looking at Baltimore's previous losses, you'll find: a 14 point loss to Indy, a 15 point loss to sucky Tennessee, an 18 point loss to suckier Detroit, and Chicago held them to two field goals last week.

So with the overconfident air that i've adopted this season, i'm absolutely reasonably certain that Pittsburgh will probably cover the spread. Take the Steelers and laugh at the suckers later.

Update: Nobody likes to get embarrassed on MNF. i should always go with my first impulse.

Posted by annika at 03:06 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 30, 2005

Talking About Scooter

i apologize for not blogging much lately. i have been very busy, spending almost all of my waking time trying to care about the whole Scooter indictment. So far i have been unsuccessful.

Yesterday, in a desperate effort to make myself care, i attached this picture to a device i invented, so that i could look at it all day long. That didn't work, and in fact was more of a distraction than i intended.

Later on, i picked up the New York Times and scanned the three stories above the fold. i looked at the first story, which began with something like: Lewis Libby was indicted. Then i went to the second story which said Lewis Libby was indicted. Then i tried the third story, which talked about Lewis Libby being indicted. Then i looked at the... well, you get the picture. i thought, "what the hell?" There was nothing on there about any Scooter! If the New York Times doesn't care enough about the story to put it on their front page, why should i care?

Posted by annika at 08:43 AM | Comments (37) | TrackBack

My Blog Is Worth...

Any takers?

My blog is worth $305,980.68.
How much is your blog worth?

It must be my Sacramento location.

Via Old Skool at Stop the Bleating.

Posted by annika at 07:46 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 27, 2005

Always Thinking Outside The Box

Everybody always talks about building a better mousetrap. Why don't we just build a worse mouse?

Posted by annika at 08:24 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 26, 2005

Invasion Blogging

Swamp fishing for a giant golden spermatozoon?

i gave this show its one chance, and it failed miserably.

Posted by annika at 10:29 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Miers: My End-Game Opinion

Earlier, i posted my preliminary opinion on the Miers nomination. At the time i fully expected the controversy to die down, although i was mildly disappointed with the choice. Or rather, i was more disappointed with the fact that Bush had chosen not to nominate one of my preferred candidates, instead opting for another apparent stealth nominee.

Over three weeks have passed, and i've watched and listened as the controversy refused to die. This story has had "legs," in the news parlance of the day. And the more i learned about Miers, the less willing i have been to close my eyes and hope for the best. Now, i am ready to commit to a side in this debate. It shouldn't be a surprise, given my background as a conservative with a history degree, that i have decided to oppose the confirmation of Harriet Miers as Supreme Court justice. My reasons have little to do with ideology.

Many reasons to oppose her confirmation have been proffered by conservative pundits much more knowledgeable than i am. These reasons seem to fall into a few broad categories. One group is mad because she isn't a big name judge. These folks are mad because they expected Luttig or Brown or Pryor. i can understand this criticism. i wanted McConnell or Brown. i still don't understand why Kozinski's name wasn't batted around more often. But i could have lived with my disappointment if Miers had been a good choice, and i think most conservatives feel the same way.

Another group is mad because Miers lacks a clear "judicial philosophy." The most articulate spokesman for this point of view is Mark R. Levin, who's turned the phrase " . . . but what's her judicial philosophy?" into a kind of mantra. This criticism has a lot of merit, in my view. i think it's fair to suspect that a person who has shown no evidence of having a coherent underlying approach to constitutional issues probably does not have such an underlying approach. At age 60, it's a little late to expect Ms. Miers to start developing a useful judicial philosophy if she hasn't given much thought to it before now.

Still, i'd be willing to give Ms. Miers the benefit of the doubt on the judicial philosophy question if that were my only objection. It's quite possible that despite the scant evidence of any coherent philosophy, she might actually have one. The trouble is, we don't know what it is. Larry Tribe and Erwin Chemerinsky have coherent judicial philosophies, but woe unto us if they were ever placed on the court. At least Tribe's and Chemerinsky's viewpoints are well known, as are their towering intellects. Which brings me to my next point, which is the clincher.

i'm not saying that Harriet Miers is not smart. Her background, education and experience proves to me that she is. But the position of associate justice on today's Supreme Court is not a job for just any smart person. It's a highly specialized occupation, and those who say it's not a place for "on-the-job training" have it absolutely right.

i am certainly no expert on constitutional law, although i have studied it in more detail than most people my age, both as a law student and in undergrad and graduate history courses. i know enough to know what i don't know. It is perhaps the most difficult area of law, not because it surpasses the intricate detail of a subject like tax or securities law, but because it is so malleable and its standards can be so hard to define. Con law is the "big leagues" of the legal profession. And doing con law as a Supreme Court justice is like being in the World Series. You have to be on your game at all times. You have to be the best of the best to do it right, and if you're not, it will become painfully obvious to knowledgeable observers very quickly.

i think that is the problem when non-lawyers like President Bush try to make decisions concerning the legal world. Most non-lawyers i've met seem to think that all lawyers know everything about all fields of law. No one would think to ask a dermatologist questions about spinal surgery. Yet Miers supporters are quick to assume that a corporate lawyer could easily slip into the role of constitutional scholar overnight.

i don't care that Miers has been at the White House for almost five years. That's not the same thing as spending a lifetime thinking about constitutional issues and the development of precedent from year to year and case to case. That's what con law is all about. It's analyzing precedent, history, argument and policy, then trying to extrapolate the potential reverberating effects of a ruling on future transactions, often for generations to come. Con law is to regular legal practice as Chess is to checkers.

Think about a guy like Mike McConnell, for instance. i've spent many hours this semester dissecting his various Establishment Clause articles, most notably his William and Mary Law Review piece (44 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 2105), which is heavily footnoted, dense and unquestionably essential reading no matter what side of the religious argument you are on. i'm nowhere close to getting a handle on the subject. Here's a guy who's thought about this shit for years. He likes thinking about this shit. You could say the same thing about Prof. Tribe, if you're a liberal. Is there any evidence that Ms. Miers is similarly up to speed on even one subject of constitutional law?

So what if she's not up to speed? Why does that matter? i'll tell you why. An effective Supreme Court justice must have the power of persuasion. If the other justices do not have confidence in her mastery of the subject matter, in her authority as an analyst of the case law in question, they will eat her alive. At this point, i see no evidence that Ms. Miers has the kind of background that will give her that kind of persuasive authority. In fact, i have seen discouraging murmurs that she lacks just that.

How many Supreme Court opinions has she read top to bottom, and understood? It's hard to believe, with her busy career, that she's had the time for that kind of recreational study. If she's confirmed, when is she going to find the time then? i remember my first month of law school. In my nightly reading, i came across so many unfamiliar words and concepts that i was constantly going into Black's Dictionary to look things up. It was a nightmare. i've since learned how to skim the cases just to get through the reading, but that's not something i want my Supreme Court justices doing.

Oh sure, she can have her clerks do the heavy lifting. But in this day and age, i don't want unaccountable idealistic twenty year olds who were basically the best ass-kissers in law school leading around the new justice by her nose. There are plenty of historical examples of Supreme Court justices who relied overly much on their law clerks, but that was never a good thing. And today, the scariest issues are much scarier than they ever were back in the day. Terrorists who can blow up entire cities, scientists who can condemn millions more unborn lives to death, those are just two examples. This is a game best left to the pros.

i'm planning to watch the confirmation hearings, assuming she doesn't withdraw before then. i'm willing to keep an open mind, but unfortunately Ms. Miers has an even tougher job than Justice Roberts had. She must be absolutely stellar at the hearings, because she has to change minds. i know the White House has been working hard to prepare her, but i'd be very surprised if she can pull it off. Very surprised.

Update: You're freakin kidding me?! i told you the president reads my blog.

Update 2: i heard Dick Durbin this morning say, "this was not about documents, it was about Dobson." What an ignoramus. Dobson was one of Miers's earliest supporters, you moron.

And Hewitt's afraid we might lose to these guys?!

Update 3: The Anchoress, who correctly predicted the Miers nomination ahead of time, now turns her clairvoyant powers toward Ted Olsen. i see one problem that should prevent an Olsen nomination: a little case for which he represented the president once upon a time. Bush v. Gore. An Olsen nomination would be spun as a belated quid pro quo, fairly or not. Who needs that aggravation on top of everything else?

Let me go on record now and reiterate that McConnell is my first choice, J.R. Brown my second.

[cross-posted at A Western Heart]

Posted by annika at 06:50 PM | Comments (43) | TrackBack

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

By Rita Dove, here's a timely poem:


How she sat there,
the time right inside a place
so wrong it was ready.

That trim name with
its dream of a bench
to rest on. Her sensible coat.

Doing nothing was the doing:
the clean flame of her gaze
carved by a camera flash.

How she stood up
when they bent down to retrieve
her purse. That courtesy.

Posted by annika at 09:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 25, 2005

Breaking News



With a collective sigh of orgasmic release, the US Media today celebrated the 2000th military death since the beggining of the Iraq War. In the past week or so, you could almost feel the tension mounting as various anti-American news outlets such as CNN, CBS, NBC and ABC finalized their preparations for today's festivities.

Media hopes are high for a multi-orgasmic week, with many journalists openly speculating that Karl Rove may be indicted before the weekend.

"I haven't felt this good since we hit 1000 dead guys," said one giddy newsanchor, who chose to remain anonymous. "People around the newsroom are positively glowing today. And if Rove gets it, man, I'm gonna need a cigarette. Whew."

In a related story, something or other happened with some election they had over there recently.

Developing . . .

Posted by annika at 04:20 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

If WWII Had Had A Chat Room

On this blog, i once lamented the way we teach history in this country. i haven't figured out a solution, but i think it should probably include a chat room.

Click on the link, it's funny. Here's an excerpt, which explains the origins of the Cold War in teen friendly language:

*tru_m4n has joined the game.*
tru_m4n: hi all
T0J0: hey
Stalin: sup
Churchill: hi
tru_m4n: OMG OMG OMG i got all his stuff!
tru_m4n: NUKES! HOLY **** I GOT NUKES
Stalin: d00d gimmie some plz
tru_m4n: no way i only got like a couple
Stalin: omg dont be gay gimmie nuculer secrets
T0J0: wtf is nukes?
T0J0: holy ****holy****hoyl****!
*T0J0 has been eliminated.*
*The Allied team has won the game!*
Eisenhower: awesome!
Churchill: gg noobs no re
T0J0: thats bull**** u fockin suck
*T0J0 has left the game.*
*Eisenhower has left the game.*
Stalin: next game im not going to be on ur team, u guys didnt help me for ****
Churchill: wutever, we didnt need ur help neway dumbarss
tru_m4n: l8r all
benny~tow: bye
Churchill: l8r
Stalin: fock u all
tru_m4n: shut up commie lol
Isn't that pretty close to the way it happened?

Via Rocket Jones &c.

Posted by annika at 03:45 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 24, 2005

MNF Pick, Week 7

Last week was my bye week, so i'm coming back well rested and with a sure thing, no brainer pick.

Tonight, the Falcons, who i hate, are playing the Jets, who i kind of like even though their quarterback is my least favorite QB of all time, Vinnie "INT" Testaverde. The Falcons are at home and favored by 7½ points.

The Falcons are overrated. They survived with a win over the Saints last week, but they should really be a 3-3 team. The Jets however, are not overrated. Everyone knows they suck. It should be a rout tonight, so take the Falcons minus the points and laugh at the suckers later.

Posted by annika at 11:39 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Greenspan Successor Prediction

On Mondays, it's customary for me to make predictions. Bush is about to name Alan Greenspan's successor today, so here's my prediction:

Bush will name Zahira Zahir as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

Posted by annika at 09:08 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

October 20, 2005

Apprentice Blogging

Is it me, or does Zenthrura sound like the stupidest fucking idea for a movie you've ever heard?

And it got made?! My rabbits in space idea is like ten times better.

Posted by annika at 09:44 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Things A Law Student Knows

Vibrators are illegal in eight states.

(Hey, i'm a law student. i'm supposed to know all about laws and shit.)

Posted by annika at 08:49 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

If Dogs Wrote Haiku

woof woof woof woof woof
woof woof woof woof woof woof woof
woof woof woof woof woof

Think about it.

Posted by annika at 06:40 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

annika's journal Exclusive



Okay stay with me on this. Harriet Miers was on some lottery commission, right? And pretty soon she'll need a bunch of senators to vote for her so she can get on the Supreme Court, right? And some people who are against her nomination are Republicans, right? And yesterday, a Republican senator won $853,492 in the Powerball lottery, right? See where i'm going with this?

i demand an investigation. i'm not saying there's been any wrongdoing, i'm just saying that these facts raise questions.

Developing . . .

Posted by annika at 06:18 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 19, 2005

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

Here's a classic American poem from 1888, which you all should know.

Casey At The Bat

by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought if only Casey could but get a whack at that–
We'd put up even money now with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Johnnie safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped–
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted some one on the stand;
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the sphereoid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two."

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville ― mighty Casey has struck out.

Go Astros!

Posted by annika at 09:49 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Idea For Martha

How about letting the teams re-design Martha's bangs?

Posted by annika at 09:25 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

My New Least Favorite Commercial

Ameriprise Financial.

Oooh look at the old hippie-turned-yuppie. He still surfs and drives a VW bus. Groovy.

Buncha freakin clueless narcissistic hypocrites. i guess they don't want my business.

Update: Am i alone? i don't think so. Here's another.

Posted by annika at 08:21 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

October 18, 2005

MLBloggers Fantasy League Final Results

mlbresults.gifWell, the baseball season is now weeks over, and the Fall Classic is almost ready to start. i think sufficient time has passed and my embarrassment has waned enough for me to post about the final standings in my own fantasy baseball league, MLBloggers.

i started the league last spring and nine other fine bloggers signed up to play. i quickly plummeted to the bottom of the standings, where i stayed pretty much from wire to wire. But here are the final results:

Greg of The End Zone had Hank's Homey's, and finished in first place. Congratulations Greg! You now win the coveted annika's journal fantasy baseball memorial stein. As soon as i design and manufacture it. This is Greg's second annika's journal contest win. You might remember that he won the infamous Joe Don Baker haiku contest back in September '04. Interestingly, Greg says he had no experience in haiku or fantasy baseball before entering either contest. Greg, you might want to try tackling world hunger next. Give it a shot.

The Maximum Leader of Nakedvillainy came in second.

Paul of the now defunct Sanity's Edge came in third. He has returned to blogging, by the way.

Munuviana's elder statesman, Ted of Rocket Jones finished in fourth place, even though he's not a baseball fan.

Dawn Summers of Clareified came in fifth place with her East Coco Beach Metropolitans.

The Biloxi Turds of Matt from Irreverent Probity came in sixth.

Victor's Windbreakers finished seventh.

Resurrection Song's Zombyboy finished eighth with his Zombyesque Zombies.

And Physics Geek of Physics Geek finished ninth with his Physics Geeks;

And finally, there's my own annika's A's in last place.

Thanks to everyone for playing.

Posted by annika at 09:39 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

October 17, 2005

The Colbert Report

First episode: strong.

Second episode: inspired.

Posted by annika at 11:52 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Monster Name

Abhorrent Nun-Nabbing Investigator-Kidnapping Abomination

Via Bobo Blogger

Posted by annika at 09:11 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 14, 2005

Second Term Stumbling Block

Clinton had Monica, Reagan had Iran-Contra, Nixon had Watergate. Eisenhower had, uh i don't know, golf i guess. Second terms always contain a stumbling block, either real or imagined. When the history books are written, what will they say about Bush's second term?

Free polls from Pollhost.com
When the history books are written, what will be the stumbling block in Bush's second term?



Plamegate (Rove)

The fake press conference



Something that hasn't happened yet

None of the above, the history books will say the second term went perfectly

Posted by annika at 07:24 AM | Comments (45) | TrackBack

October 13, 2005

Pinter Gets The Nobel

Playwright Harold Pinter has won the Nobel Prize for literature. i saw a production of his most famous play The Birthday Party years ago. It was as advertised: tense, absurdist, deeply psychological and disturbing. i recommend it. i have also seen The Caretaker, which i didn't like as much.

But Pinter is as anti-American as they come, which says something about the Nobel committee, since i don't think Pinter's done anything noteworthy since he wrote The French Lieutenant's Woman.

Here's a sampling of his poetry:


There's no escape.
The big pricks are out.
They'll fuck everything in sight.
Watch your back.

That's not even good poetry. Its more like a piece of dialogue at some snooty Brit cocktail party where every one wears black sportcoats over black turtlenecks. Its easy to sneer at Democracy when your life is spent hobnobbing with celebs in Mayfair and the Upper East Side and you never have to deal with real people.

God Bless America

Here they go again,
The Yanks in their armoured parade
Chanting their ballads of joy
As they gallop across the big world
Praising America's God.

The gutters are clogged with the dead
The ones who couldn't join in
The others refusing to sing
The ones who are losing their voice
The ones who've forgotten the tune.

The riders have whips which cut.
Your head rolls onto the sand
Your head is a pool in the dirt
Your head is a stain in the dust
Your eyes have gone out and your nose
Sniffs only the pong of the dead
And all the dead air is alive
With the smell of America's God.

Nice. Sounds like he has a problem with religion too. It would be a shock if even one of these celebrity anti-war libs ever strayed from that template.

Update: More at The New Criterion. Hat tip to K-Lo at The Corner.

Posted by annika at 07:50 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

October 12, 2005

Subconscious IM Conversations

id: i want to begin drinking beer as soon as i get home.
superego: i don't want to begin drinking beer as soon as i get home.

. . .

id: i want to throttle that idiot in front of the line who can't decide which scratcher to buy.
superego: i want to wait patiently like a good person.
id: i want to smash a 2 liter bottle of cola on that idiot's head while he cashes in his $2 scratcher so he can play again while i'm waiting.
superego: i am a good person.

. . .

id: i need new boots.
superego: i need to pay rent.

. . .

id: Martha's show is a must see on Wednesday nights.
superego: i have homework.
id: You are weak. Embrace your weakness.
superego: i am a responsible person.
id: Fuck you. You're weak and you know it.

. . .

id: Light beer is for sissies. It tastes bad.
superego: i can always do an extra set of stairmaster tomorrow.
id: That's my girl.

. . .

id: Leftover pizza tastes great with a beer.
superego: i believe it does. But still.

. . .

ego: Can't we all just get along? i suggest a compromise. i was good, and didn't smash a 2 liter bottle of cola on that idiot's head, therefore i deserve to reward myself by drinking a beer and watching Martha.
id: What about the pizza?

. . .

id: i need new boots.
superego: mmm boots.

Posted by annika at 07:03 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

The Next George Lazenby?

The rumor now is that Daniel Craig may be the next James Bond. i thought Pierce Brosnan had a few more movies left in him, but what do i know. Daniel Craig is not someone whose name i recognize and in this article he appears blonde. IMDb says he played Ted Hughes in Sylvia, that depressing Sylvia Plath biography with Gwynneth Paltrow. i thought he was good in that role, and Hughes being such a controversial figure he must have had to walk a fine line. Craig was also in the first Tomb Raider, but i can't remember his character.

i say again, what was wrong with Pierce Brosnan?

Posted by annika at 10:21 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Wednesday Is Poetry Day

Poetry Wednesday is like Desmond's crappy 80's Apple II on Lost. What would happen if i didn't enter the code and push the button every week?

Update: i chickened out.


by Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
To-morrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
To-morrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow,
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know;
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away;
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

Posted by annika at 07:06 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 10, 2005

MNF Pick, Week 5

i'm late, but you'll just have to trust me. i got SD to win minus 3 points.

Posted by annika at 07:21 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

October 09, 2005


You are LaFawnduh. Why are you so sweaty?

Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by annika at 07:50 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

October 06, 2005

Quick Note On The Speech

Bravo, at long last, thank you.

Posted by annika at 07:32 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

The Becker Stance

Wherein i toot my own horn and pretend like i'm an expert, just a little.

progress report

i'm ready to say it now. After only eight week's experience shooting pistols, i'm pretty confident that i can take down any assailant at 25 yards, given a quality firearm, and assuming i don't freak out when the time comes.

i was uncomfortable making that boast before now, because i'm basically a self-taught shooter. But everytime i go to the range i'm amazed at how much other people suck at pistols. i look around at the other targets and the holes are shotgunned all over the place. Many of these guys are law enforcement types, too. i consistently outshoot my boyfriend, who learned how to shoot in the military. At the ranges i go to, i've noticed most guys like to shoot at 7 yards predominately. i've gotten to the point where 7 yards is no challenge for me anymore, and i shoot that range with my prescription glasses off.

Am i that good or are other people just that bad? i have no idea. i'm not going to go tap a stranger on the shoulder and say "hey, why do you suck so bad?" Especially if that other guy is armed. So i'm left only with my theories.

My first theory is that people look at aiming and pulling the trigger as two separate and sequential actions. i think that's my boyfriend's problem. He takes aim, then he pulls the trigger. In my humble novice's opinion, i think you have to concentrate on aiming the whole time, and the trigger pull should be slow and almost unconscious.

i read somewhere that you should be surprised when the gun fires. i also harken back to a book i read long ago, called Zen in the Art of Archery. In that book the Zen master constantly harped on letting the arrow go only as a natural unconscious act. Like snow falling from a bamboo leaf, the arrow should fly when it's ready, no sooner and no later.

i think the same philosophy can be applied to trigger pulls. So i take aim and concentrate on lining up the sights properly, keeping the gun as steady as i can. As i'm doing this, i begin pulling back on the trigger. Once i begin that action i try not to think about it anymore. i especially try not to anticipate the shot. i keep my mind focused on the sight picture and when the shot happens, it happens. That's one reason why i hated the Glock. i need a heavier trigger pull because my squeeze is so slow.

Another theory is my stance. i've done some research about the Weaver stance, but i never really felt comfortable using it. i think it allows for too much movement in the elbows, especially since it requires the muscles of both arms to be working against each other. Here's a good site that describes the various stances.

My stance is more like the modified Weaver described as the Chapman in that website. First i take a 45° stance with my left foot forward (i'm right handed.) i lock the elbow of my gun arm and point the elbow down. Using my left hand, i then pull the gun arm toward my body until it lines up on the target. i also pull my right shoulder blade rearward until it stops.

The main difference in my stance is that i place my left hand under the grip, palm up. The fingers of my left hand go around the outside of my right hand, instead of covering the fingers of my gun hand. i think this allows my left hand to support the weight of the gun better, and also makes it easier to pull my right arm against my body.

Another advantage to my hold is that it gets my left thumb out of the way. Using the conventional hold, i once noticed a temptation to use my left thumb to assist my trigger finger as i got tired. My new method eliminated that temptation.

So does it work? i'll let you be the judge. Last weekend, i shot the target on the right using a Sig Sauer P226 in .40 S&W. The cartridges were Magtech 180 gr. FMC, which have a muzzle velocity of 990 feet per second. As you can see, i was least accurate at 25 yards, aiming at the head. Actually, i'm better with the HK at that range. i like to leave a target like that out there for a while so the other suckers at my range can see it and be properly impressed, before i swagger out of there.

Posted by annika at 06:23 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

October 05, 2005

Lying Is A Nasty Habit

One of the central characteristics of the left is the ease with which they lie. A website whose purpose is to direct trolls to right wing blogs had this to say about me:

Annika’s Journal - This lovely lady says Al Gore is “fat” and “tacky” Possibly her body is thin, but her brain spews nothing but vile bile. I’m confident that she is as tacky as it gets.
i once called Gore a "fashion disaster," but i never called him tacky. If you do a search using the search function at the bottom of my sidebar, you will easily find that the word "tacky" has never appeared on this blog before today.

Why lie, when the truth is so easy to find out? Because lefties know that most people won't go to the trouble to research things. This "tacky" lie is just a small example, but if you've been listening to the news lately you'll find many more examples of lefty lies that are much more disturbing.

It's also funny that my blog has been pigeonholed as a "right wing" blog. Sure i'm proudly conservative, but i don't blog about politics exclusively. Lately, i don't even think politics makes up half of what i write about. And how many right wing bloggers can say that they have turned over their blogs to left wing guest bloggers for a whole week, as i have. Twice.

You may also notice that it takes a heck of a lot for me to ban any troll, or to interfere in the comments section at all. Sometimes i think i should be more strict, but i truly believe in Ronald Reagan's precious ideal, "the marketplace of ideas." It's ironic that the one website which exhorts lefty trolls to go forth and comment, does not itself allow comments.

i like to think i do things differently here, but you wouldn't know it by reading what that lefty troll clearing-house blog says about me.

Hat tip to Six Meat Buffet.

Posted by annika at 10:33 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

The End Of An Era

It saddens me to report the end of the "All the way with Tim Rattay" era for the San Francisco 49ers.

Okay, i'm not really sad.

On a related sports note, has anyone noticed that ESPN.com has basically become a pay site this year. Useless for anything but statistics, and maddeningly slow to load too.

Posted by annika at 01:13 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Wednesday Is Poetry Day: More O'Hara

Typically Frank O'Hara. The setting for this poem starts out in bed and ends up in the street.


That's not a cross look it's a sign of life
but I'm glad you care how I look at you
this morning (after I got up) I was thinking
of President Warren G. Harding and Horace S.
Warren, father of the little blonde girl
across the street and another blonde Agnes
Hedlund (this was in the 6th grade!)        what

now the day has begun in a soft grey way
with elephantine traffic trudging along Fifth
and two packages of Camels in my pocket
I can't think of one interesting thing Warren
G. Harding did, I guess I was passing notes
to Sally and Agnes at the time he came up
in our elephantine history course everything

seems slow suddenly and boring except
for my insatiable thinking towards you
as you lie asleep completely plotzed and
gracious as a hillock in the mist from one
small window, sunless and only slightly open
as is your mouth and presently your quiet eyes
your breathing is like that history lesson

Posted by annika at 06:40 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 04, 2005

Just A Little Pet Peeve

i was listening to Hugh Hewitt's show on the way home tonight and i heard a conservative caller from San Francisco say something that really bothered me. The caller paraphrased Bush the Elder's response to criticism that he had flip-flopped on his famous "voodoo economics" quote after Reagan selected him for VP. Supposedly, G.H.W. Bush said something to the effect that "Before Reagan picked me I owed him my discretion, afterwards I owed him my loyalty." The gist of the caller's analogy was that we conservatives owe the president our loyalty, i.e. our trust.

We owe him no such thing. i voted for president Bush twice. He serves at my pleasure and at the pleasure of the American voter. i don't owe him or any other politician my loyalty. On the contrary, they owe me. That is our system of government. i just want this to be clear, because i think most Americans suffer from a fundamental misunderstanding of the most basic philosophy by which our nation was founded. It's not just a cute little theory that some old guys in powdered wigs made up. I believe it is Truth.

Do these words sound familiar?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. [emphasis added]
In other words, they work for us. If any loyalty is owed, it is owed by the government, including the executive, to the people. We hold all the cards because we have rights, which come from God Almighty. The government has no rights, only powers, which come from us.

So anyone who says i owe my loyalty, or my trust to any government official, evan a president whom i like a lot, is simply mistaken and needs to take a refresher course in American History, preferably by a professor who knows what he's talking about.

Now i'm just taking the long way around, to make a minor semantic point. But these things do piss me off because i often wonder how people can be so dense.

Posted by annika at 06:39 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 03, 2005

Supreme Court Pick

i know everybody's been patiently waiting for my opinion on this chick Bush picked for Supreme Court. i wanted to read a little bit about her and listen to some other opinions before i weighed in.

i am a little disappointed that Bush did not take my advice. i have a pretty good idea that he or one of his aides reads this blog. My advice was to pick an in-your-face conservative. My personal choice would have been either Mike McConnell or Janice Rogers Brown. i like McConnell because he's a historian, and i like Brown because she's a Californian.

Of course, if i had my way, and i could give the Supreme Court an extreme makeover, things would be way different. i imagine there would be a huge exodus of liberals from this country, and that wouldn't be such a bad thing. Except for Canada and France, that is.

If i had my way, Roe would be overturned. Kelo would be gone. The Lemon test: gone. Oregon v. Smith: gone. Fifty years of establishment clause jurisprudence: gone. i wouldn't stop there either. The exclusionary rule? History. Miranda? Toast. 1A protection for Child Porn? Dead. The Second Amendment? Reborn. Federalism? Hell yah.

Regarding Miers, i'm adopting the wait and see approach. Maybe she'll be okay. Maybe not. The whole idea about wanting a known conservative is so that members of the Republican base, like me, won't have to worry. Now we have reason to worry. Two reasons, if you count Roberts.

Another disappointment is the likelihood that we won't get rid of that stupid filibuster rule now. i wanted a fight, because i wanted the nuclear option. But it's easy to forget that Bush is at heart a conciliatory kind of guy. All this talk about him being an evil warmonger has obscured that fact. It really should be no surprise that if Bush sees a way to do something without a fight, he'll do it. Again, if it were up to me, i'd have liked to see the Senate Democrats get straight-armed on this nominee, and losing the filibuster would have been gravy.

i'm not as worried as some people are about Miers having been a Democrat. Reagan was a Democrat once too. So was my dad. Still, neither of them would have ever given money to a freak like Gore. But the real problem is that Miers is not an idealogue. And the Court can change a person; i believe that. Unless a justice has a strong belief system, i'm afraid the pressure to get along can lead to a leftward drift over time.

So, should we trust Bush's judgment on this one as Professor Hewitt counsels us to do? Well, what choice do i have? Miers will probably be confirmed easily and i will have to hope for the best. But i can't help thinking this was a wasted opportunity.

Posted by annika at 07:57 PM | Comments (33) | TrackBack

MNF Pick, Week 4

Week 4? Is that right? i guess so. It seems like the season just started. But it's been going on long enough for one thing to be clear: both Green Bay and Carolina suck this year.

Carolina, at home, is favored by a big 7½ points. Will they cover? i been burned by Brett Favre and the Packers on Monday Night before, but i've also won too.

The Packers and 7½ points is too tempting to pass up. i'll go against conventional wisdom and say that Carolina will not cover. Bet Green Bay, take the points and laugh at the suckers later. ha-ha.

Update: i'm now 1 and 2.

Update 2: What? No "congratulations annika on your amazing prognosticative powers?" No "annika you're so awesome?" No "annika, we're sorry we ever doubted you?"

Posted by annika at 02:30 PM | Comments (29) | TrackBack


Yah, sure. But what does she know about Arabian horses?

Posted by annika at 02:23 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 02, 2005

My Top Five Bookstores, Plus A Few Others

  1. The Upper West Side B&N. On Broadway in the 60's, i think. Three floors. Even on Saturday night it's packed with people not just browsing, but actually reading. You have to wade through readers just to walk upstairs. i'm confident that if i asked any patron or employee "would you recommend Turgenev?" i'd get a lucid answer. i'll bet Tom Hanks' megastore in You've Got Mail was based on this B&N.
  2. Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon. They simply have everything. i found an old astronomy book that we had when i was a kid, but got lost in one of my family's moves. i found an original play by Edna St. Vincent Millay. They had a vintage copy of Grover's The Monster at the End of This Book, which i loved as a kid.
  3. Strand Books, Downtown Manhattan. World famous. i aspire to buy something here. i was there once, but didn't buy anything because i was traveling with carry on bags only, and didn't want to pack a book back. The next time i was in NY, i looked and looked but couldn't find the store. i thought it was by the Library. i asked one of those dudes that sells books on the sidewalk and he, quite predictably, told me he'd never heard of the place.
  4. The Fisherman's Wharf B&N, next to the original Cost Plus World Market (which Callahan staked out in the first Dirty Harry.). i spent so many wonderful hours browsing in this B&N. It's light and airy and comfortable. Nothing bad can ever happen there. The store has good karma.
  5. The Calabasas B&N, on the outskirts of the Valley. Two stories. Not the greatest selection, but the weather was always perfect whenever i went there. All the shoppers seem rich. There's a pretty good fish restaurant in the shopping center. Anne of Straight From The Hip used to blog about working there.
  6. Vroman's near Cal Tech. Pleasant. Has a nice card selection and a decent cafe, and sells lots of pen stuff. Nice gifts too. You can sign up so that a portion of each purchase goes to charity. Good local interest section.
  7. B&N in Twin Falls, Idaho. That and the Evel Knievel jump site are the only interesting things to see in that town. i bought something by Thomas Merton there on a Good Friday. Ironically, i read it while eating a steak at a local greasy spoon. Don't ask me what the fuck i was doing in Twin Falls, Idaho.
  8. City Lights, on Columbus in North Beach. i always stop in there even though i never buy anything. Ferlinghetti owns it. Afterwards, you can drink a Guinness next door at Vesuvio's. If you do, sit upstairs, look down at the store and imagine Kerouac walking in the alleyway. He probably did once.

Posted by annika at 10:07 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack