Alligator Meat

Do you have a hankering for alligator meat?
Does it speak to your soul?
Are you a python?

University of Florida researchers hold up 162-pound Burmese python, right after the snake ate a 6-foot alligator.

In this November 14, 2009 photo provided by the University of Florida, University of Florida researchers hold a 162-pound Burmese python captured in Everglades National Park, Fla.

Therese Walters, left, Alex Wolf and Michael R. Rochford, right, are holding the 15-foot snake shortly after the python ate a six-foot American alligator.

The National Academy of Science report released Monday, Jan. 30, 2012, indicates that the proliferation of pythons coincides with a sharp decrease of mammals in the park.

If the above picture grosses you out, whatever you do, do NOT go to this link here. You can see the alligator and everything. (Although, I can’t make heads or tails of it. I just know there is an alligator inside that snake.) You have been warned.

Marine Captain, Lego Warrior

I wish I worked with more Marines. Not only are they always good for a little rivalry, there are moments when I discover certain facts that absolutely require some good/bad-natured goofing.

Mention Marines and Legos and what comes to mind? Yes, Marine Captains:

One ardent Marine has been collecting Lego sets from the age of five and has now accrued – and built – a staggering 1,091 Lego sets, which are proudly displayed in his home.

The meticulous hobby has earned Captain Kyle Ugone the title of world champion for the most completed Lego sets in a private collection.

But now that Capt. Ugone has the Guinness world record, he says he’ll slowly begin taking down the sets, which are eating up a large area in his Yuma, Arizona home.

Marine Captain Kyle Ugone and his Blue Millennium Falcon

Dayum, Shipmate! In uniform, no less. You know all his Devil Dogs are piling on. I just loved the comments:

-I notice a distinct lack of feminine decor in his home.
-This guy has got to be a REMF
-my little boy would love his room like that,he is only 7 and has 2 tables made into a town like that. No one dares touch it.
-I feel jealous of this guy!!!!
-Shhhhhhh I play with our Legos more than my 2 kids do
-there is no pain quite like standing on a lego piece.

Uh oh. The old REMF label. The RE is Rear Echelon. Guess the rest. . .

Act of Valor: SEAL Movie

How does this work, they filmed a movie with real SEALs? I am surprised the Navy allowed the flick to continue. The few guys I have known on the teams seemed far too mission-focused to take a break to film a movie. Not to mention the OPSEC issues involved.

Searching on-line for info. . . Ah, this was initiated by the Spec-War community itself:

In 2008, Navy Special Warfare invited a handful of production companies to submit proposals for a film project, possibly a documentary, that would flesh out the role of the SEALs.

The goals: bolster recruiting efforts, honor fallen team members and offer a corrective to misleading fare such as “Navy Seals,” the 1990 shoot-em-up starring Charlie Sheen as a cocky lone wolf. ”

In the SEAL ethos, the superman myth does not apply. It’s a lifestyle of teamwork, hard work and academic discipline,” said Capt. Duncan Smith, a SEAL who initiated the project and essentially served as producer within the military.

Good advertising so far, like the poster below. And the trailer is here.

Act of Valor, SEAL Movie

Act of Valor takes audiences deep into the secretive world of the most elite, highly trained group of warriors in the modern world. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the U.S., a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt.

As the valiant men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that could kill and wound thousands of American civilians, they must balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home.

 Mike McCoy , Scott Waugh.  Kurt Johnstad

February 24th? Yeah, I’ll see the thing. I’ve paid $8.50 for far worse. Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda II, and my pre-purchased Kung Fu Panda III tickets (2014 release date) come to mind. . .

Anna Watson: One Swole Cheerleader

Look, it is pretty easy. If you go around saying things like this:

“I know that my identity is not in working out,”
Anna Watson said.
“It’s not who I am.
It’s not what I want people to see me as.”

You probably should not be popping buff poses like this:

Anna Watson, UGA Cheerleader, Future Navy Sailor?

Heck, with those guns,
Anna should be an Ordie (an Ordnanceman),
loading and unloading missiles onto an F-18:

Aviation Ordnancemen unload ordnance from an F/A-18 Hornet on the flight deck aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75.) Anna Watson, UGA Cheerleader, is an Ordie?

She’s already got the red shirt, right?

Update: Welcome curious readers. Yes, I am in the Navy and still active-duty. For some light reading, please read this on my sole SEAL deployment. (I was a test-subject.) Or, how about some stories of when I worked as a bike messenger? Make yourself at home.

Riding the Long Bus

Do you have 300 close friends? I don’t, but if I did, I could fit ‘em all into this bus, a Youngman JNP6250G:

Given that the current population of China, according to a 2010 census report, sits comfortably at just over 1.3 billion people, it makes sense that the world’s most populous country would seek to make inroads in regards to the country’s public transportation.

Youngman JNP6250G, a bus capable of carrying 300 passengers

One such advancement is the unveiling of the world’s largest bus. The Youngman JNP6250G measures in at over 82 feet long, is 13 meters longer than average buses, and can carry up to 300 passengers. A fleet of Youngmans will soon begin operation in China’s Bus Rapid Transit service in Beijing and Hangzhou, two of China’s most populous urban living centers.

The threat in Navy Boot Camp was: you were gonna get kicked out and have to ride the short bus out the gates. I guess I have nothing to fear from the really long bus.

Royal Navy’s Sea Ceptor Missiles

This entry is entirely an excuse to post this picture:

A Royal Navy Sea Ceptor missile

An elite supersonic missile system which can bring down multiple enemy rockets up to 500 miles away is being developed for the Royal Navy.

The cutting-edge £485 million Sea Ceptor will be fitted to a new fleet of warships. Travelling at Mach 3 – three times the speed of sound – it will provide potent air defence for the Falklands or the Gulf.

Remind me to be nicer to our Britty friends. No more jokes on soggy fish or grey peas.

Crabbe, Kamp Beat Trees

I could not resist the title after today’s earlier post on golf and cricket. Alan Crabbe and Harper Kamp helped the Cal Bears whup the Stanford trees:

Allen Crabbe had 18 points and seven rebounds and Harper Kamp scored 15 points to lead California past rival Stanford 69-59 on Sunday in front of its first home sellout in almost two years.

Jorge Gutierrez added 11 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to propel the Golden Bears (17-5, 7-2 Pac-12) to their fifth win in the last six meetings against Stanford. The announced crowd of 11,877 at rowdy Haas Pavilion cheered Cal to a perfect 14-0 start at home this season.

Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins & Cal coach Mike Montgomery

I forgot old Johnny Dawkins was coaching Stanford B-ball. I remember him as a 76er, but wikipedia promises me he played for the Spurs and the Detroit Pistons too. A class act.

Thanks Council!

The Council’s brilliant offerings this week:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

Triggers

Visual art has not completely been ruined by the non-talents that think their brilliant irony is more important than either talent or honing their craft. I saw this great painting by Robert Hendrickson:

Robert Hendrickson

and the body langauge of the poor woman triggered in me recognition of some other famous work. Oh, yes, Dorothea Lange:

Dorothea Lange, Woman of the High Plains “If You Die, You’re Dead–That’s All.” Texas Panhandle, 1938

Ms. Lange titled her painting “If You Die, You’re Dead–That’s All.” Is that a trace of anti-religion bitterness? Her photos hung in a Berkeley museum I used to poke through. And she married a UC Berkeley professor. So she may have that: you stupid person, heaven is made-up place anger that I have seen before from the unwashed elite. Is that not an oxymoron, unwashed elite? But it fits, no?

The Butler Who Lives Like a King

Architectural Digest is featuring celebrity kitchens in its latest issue.
And I am pleased to announce that butlers are no longer relegated to the broom closet.
It is 2012, and they proudly feature one Butler who lives like a king.
(Which is not surprising, considering his past.)

Gerard Butler’s Kitchen, New York City; neither King Leonidas, nor Spartan-like

That man-cave looks like the perfect place to cook up some mean hot-pockets!

Gerard Butler was the actor who portrayed the Spartan King Leonidas, in the movie 300. But his kitchen is anything but Spartan. . .

300, Gerard Butler, King Leonidas, Then we will fight in the shade, Persian cowards!

King Leonidas: Children, gather round!
No retreat, no surrender; that is Spartan law.
And by Spartan law we will stand and fight… and die.
A new age has begun.
An age of freedom, and all will know, that 300 Spartans gave their last breath to defend it!

And we will cook our hot-pockets in luxury. . .

Flag Burning in Oakland at Occupy Protest

Notice the flag below. It has an eagle at the top, as if it were stolen from some respectable establishment. Probably city hall. (Checking caption. Yup, the Oakland City Hall!) And then notice the woman. She is, according to the same caption, pleading with the protesters not to burn the flag.

And lastly notice the protesters, with bandanas covering their faces. You would think that they would be proudly standing, in the clear, against “injustice.” Destroy more public property there, punks. And hide like thieves; try occupying a job. . .

Whoever you are, woman in the blue-and-red shawl, thanks. You were probably at the protest because you believe in the Occupy movement. But did not want to see your friends get arrested. Or were you there as a counter-protester? And you were angered at our flag being burned? Either way, thank you.

Rock Beats Woods, Pakistan Beats Flowers

Am I talking about a vicious game of Rock, Paper, Scissors? Is the title a weird nod at a new sport sweeping some Middle Eastern city? No and no. But both events occurred over there, in Dubai. The first was a golf tournament:

A Rock?

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The steady, solid play that marked Tiger Woods’ golf through his first three rounds of the year in the Middle East suddenly and surprisingly left him Sunday.

Attempting to win an official event for the first time in 26 months, Woods instead finished third to unheralded Robert Rock, an Englishman who won for just the second time in his European Tour career by capturing the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Rory McIlroy finished second, a shot behind Rock, who bogeyed the 18th hole to win by a shot over the Northern Irishman.

Good to see Rory McIlroy, ol’ Wozzilroy, up on the leader board. The second title, Pakistan Beats Flowers, is also a sport. Pakistan did indeed beat Flowers, in cricket. An exotic sport with wickets and bats:

A Flower?

England coach Andy Flower said on Sunday Pakistan’s series-clinching Test win would be a huge boost to the country, but called on his team to show their mettle on subsequent matches in the subcontinent.

Pakistan thumped England by 72 runs in the second Test here on Saturday, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. They won the first Test by ten wickets in Dubai.

The third and final Test begins in Dubai from February 3.

Under Flower England had been unbeaten in their last nine Test series, which saw them rise to number one in rankings last year.

Vegetation had a rough go of it in Dubai yesterday. Woods and Flowers lost to Rocks and Pakistanis. . .

USS Ponce: From Mothballs to SEAL Mothership

There is talk of making the USS Ponce a sort of SEAL super-ship. Where the very special operator types, the extremely special warriors, camp out waiting for wabbits:

The Pentagon is rushing to send a large floating base for commando teams to the Middle East as tensions rise with Iran, al-Qaeda in Yemen and Somali pirates, among other threats.

In response to requests from U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, the Navy is converting an aging warship it had planned to decommission into a makeshift staging base for the commandos.

Unofficially dubbed a “mothership,” the floating base could accommodate smaller high-speed boats and helicopters commonly used by Navy SEALs, procurement documents show.

The USS Ponce (LPD-15) was scheduled to be mothballed, to be sent up to Philly to be part of the ghost fleet. Its namesake is Ponce de Leon; its long life makes sense, no?

Real Estate Is Money

Paying off a home earns equity, right? And once you own the property outright, you have something of value. Here is another idea, build your house out of money:

The Dublin artist Frank Buckley has been building a house out of decommissioned euro notes from the Central Bank’s mint, €1.4 billion all told, which is slightly more than the amount unsecured bondholders in the former Anglo Irish Bank are to receive this week.

While originally built as a gallery to house his series of mixed-media artwork Expressions of Recession, the house quickly drew attention for its own sake.

Artist Frank Buckley’s house made from shredded euro worth €1.4.billion. It can be seen at the Glass House, Coke Lane, Smithfield, Dublin.

Is that a toilet below the lamp? What, they don’t have bathroom doors in Dublin?