I'm Done

That's it. That's it. I'm done. It's over. From now on I'm eating and drinking what the hell I like, and the food science industry can kiss my arse.

What? You hadn't heard?

Vitamin supplements can shorten your life.

Yeah, it's over. We're done. Pass the bacon.


Cheney Survives Bomb

Vice President Dick Cheney was at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan when a suicide bomber walked up to the outermost gate and detonated an explosive device. The Taleban are claiming responsibility and say that Cheney was the target. Conflicting reports say around eleven people died and around twenty people were wounded.

Whatever your personal opinion of the man - and I believe you'd probably need a crucifix and a stake to keep him down - this kind of stuff is deplorable. Suicide bombings give a clear indication of just the kind of people you're dealing with. There really can be no negotiation with someone who is prepared to commit such an act.

At the very least you have to give the IRA credit for some intelligence. They set their bombs and left. Sure, they were murdering arseholes, but at least they were smart murdering arseholes.

What's also disturbing to me is how I found out. I was at work, outside having a quick smoke, when a co-worker came out from the break room, where one or other of the 24-hour news channels is usually playing. She explained to us that the bomb had been positively linked to Iran. As it turned out, this was pure rubbish.

Now, I have no idea which news channel she'd been watching, or even if she had been watching one or if she'd got this information second- or third-hand, but this kind of uninformed commentary is typical.

Either it was wild speculation or deliberate misinformation. I rank it alongside those that still believe Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and that Iraq had WMDs. Must we muddle the story with inaccurate editorialising?


More Wanted Stuff

To add to the wish list I posted the other day, Forge World has come out with a new Death Korps Of Kreig model, the Centaur artillery tractor and various bits and pieces it can tow.

During my childhood, my favourite military vehicle was always the Universal Carrier or, as it was more popularly known, the Bren Gun Carrier, and the Centaur is obviously based on this plucky little vehicle. Hell, the heavy stubber mounted on top even looks like a Bren Gun.

I don't care whether I can use this in a game or not, I want one.

It's $75 on its own, $106 with a heavy mortar or $109 with a thudd gun, $304 for a squadron of three with heavy mortars or $314 for a squadron of three with thudd guns.



Ghost Rider

There were two people inside my head when I was watching this movie.

The first was prepared to pretend that he'd never read any of the GR comics, and he thoroughly enjoyed this movie.

The second was going to judge the movie against the comics, and he was utterly nonplussed.

As a stand-alone movie, Ghost Rider is great. Absorbing storyline, good characters, excellent special effects.

Against the comics? Not so much.

The first guy thinks this may be one of Nicholas Cage's best movies, and probably the best out of the recent spate of comic conversions.

The second guy wonders why Cage dyed his hair black to play a blonde-haired character.

Guy number 1 loved the whole deal-with-the-devil origin of Ghost Rider.

Guy number 2 kept waiting for Zarathos to put in an appearance, and wondering when Mephisto was promoted to Satan.

Guy A loved the effects.

Guy B was pissed that Ghost Rider was rumbling around on Vengeance's bike.

Both guys agreed that Eva Mendez was hot.

Look: If you're gonna judge this against the comics (and it's almost unavoidable, given how long I've been a fan), the movie is pants. If you just watch it for itself, it's amazing.

Doombreed A rating: * * * * 1/2

Doombreed B rating: * * *

Supernova 1987A

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first time modern humans had been able to observe a supernova. Supernova 1987A actually occurred around 168,000 years beforehand, that's how long it took the light to reach us, but the remnant dust cloud is, today, one of the most studied astronomical objects.

Okay, enough of the plagiarising from Wikipedia.

Whilst searching for pics (there's a ton of cool pics here), I found this site.

Wow. Grasping for straws, much?

The site starts out promising, then devolves into a desperate attempt to find some way - any way - in which this hugely important event was predicted by The Bible or other "ancient texts".


Matthew 6:22 " If your eye be single your body will fill with light.

.. is somehow is a prediction of 1987A. As is:

Genesis 32:30 " I have seen God face to face and I will call the place Peniel.

I have to say, on behalf of the thinking audience, "What in the square root of bloody fuck are you talking about?"

Read the site. Watch out for the "perfect" fit between a picture of the "Hour Glass Nebula" and an old geometric pattern, and look closely, because it's not that much of a fit at all. Also notice the gross misrepresentation of the function of the pineal gland. And then marvel as it spirals out of control into areas where connections just become all the more insubstantial until we conclude, apparently, that 1987A is some form of divine hormone producer.

Or something.

Then join me in giving up long before you reach the bottom, but before you do, scroll down a ways and marvel at the nerve of a person including a quote from Carl Sagan in such gibberish.

What an insult to the man's memory.


Friday Rodent Blogging

Last night was house-cleaning time again.

Yes, this is Selene, who is Not Talking To US.


22nd Praetorian

A day off today led to a rare painting session, so here's a picture of my army as it now stands. Click for a larger view.

From l-r:

Ratling snipers

Officer - this is the Catachan Lieutenant model. He's going to be either the commander of my second infantry platoon (still unpainted) or the commander of my heavy weapons platoon (see anti-tank squad below).

Sentinel - painted brown. As soon as I get my airbrush working it's going to get tiger stripes.

Command HQ - this is almost exclusively sub or home-made models. The Heroic Senior Officer (Colonel Ironfist) is a Praetorian Commissar, his staff are bits-box jobs, (l-r medic, vox operator, veteran, standard bearer, all just need basing and touch-up), and a random Ogryn as Nork Deddog. Also, in the rear, is an anti-tank support squad which will, eventually, be added to the three lascannon teams I have to make a heavy weapons platoon.

Stormtroopers - these are plastic Cadians. They have a Rhino because I intend using them as Inquisitorial Stormtroopers.

Armoured Fist squad - These are Steel Legion models.

Infantry Platoon - these are, apart from the Ratlings, the Sentinel, the Rhino and the Chimera, the only models in my army which actually are what they're meant to be. So far there's only two infantry squads, but I have another two unpainted, plus a command squad, so I can either have two platoons of two squads or one of four.

Next on the painting block:

My Rough Riders.

After that, I have five more Steel Legion models which, I believe, will make excellent Hardened Veterans, with red trenchcoats instead of gray.

After that, my three Mordian lascannon teams to make my heavy weapons platoon legal. I also have a single Mordian heavy bolter team, so I'll be looking out for two of either heavy bolters or autocannons to make a fire support squad.

After that, the remaining two infantry squads and their command squad.

Wish list:

Another two sentinels.

More Praetorians for another infantry platoon (or to bolster the two I already have), at least two or three squads.

A Chimera for my Command HQ.

Twenty or so Tallarn Desert Raiders to use as a conscript platoon (I think they'll go nicely with the Zulu feel of the Praetorians).

At least three more Ratlings to bolster the sniper squad.


It's Back

American Idol, my guilty pleasure, is back on again. So far there's nobody that's really standing out, especially amongst the guys who are, it has to be said, a mediocre bunch at best this year.

Leslie is cute as a kitten in a boot. Antonella made a big mistake when she tried to take on Aerosmith's "I don't wanna miss a thing".

Big mistake..


Okay, Christmas Over

All the snow's gone. Now it's just bucketing down with rain. Hell truly is 1 degree.

(Okay, 33 for those who are into Fahrenheit)


Some News From Home

Police have arrested a suspect in the recent spate of letterbombings in the UK. Seven devices were posted to various locations, including the DVLA, several businesses and a private home. A primary school caretaker, Miles Cooper, was arrested near Cambridge.

And, of course, people who know him are stepping up with the old "he's so quiet, he's the last person you'd think would do this" lines.

Over a week ago, a man who confessed was cleared of being responsible. And then arrested under the Mental Health Act and given treatment.

A dark chapter, but think on this:

Nine people were injured. That's nine people from seven bombs.

It could have been a hell of a lot worse. Let's just hope that they got the right guy..



Playing "follow the link" from Daylight Atheism, led me to stopsylviabrowne.com (see yesterday's post), which led me to another great site today, called Quackwatch.

Quackwatch is a site dedicated to keeping track of and fighting against pseudo-science, especially in the area of medical pseudo-science. It has a 152-member scientific and technical advisory board, and a 28-member strong legal advisory board. It features a health fraud discussion board and many, many articles dedicated to spotting, avoiding and countering "snake oil" salesmen.

The site has also received numerous awards, to which I would add the Legal Alien "You Must Read This Site" Award.

Daylight Atheism

Daylight Atheism is an excellent blog. Well written, well thought-out, very thought-provoking.

And, for those interested, it led me to stopsylviabrowne.com, a very informative site about one of America's most popular "psychics".


Friday Rodent Blogging

"Okay, Mad Human, put the flashing silver box down and nobody gets hurt.."

Selene delivers an ultimatum.


Storm in a soft drink cup

One of the funniest ads in the Superbowl line-up was Nationwide Insurance's latest "life cames at you fast" series. Last year saw MC Hammer go from top of the pile to having everything repossessed in 5 minutes. This year, Kevin Federline, soon-to-be ex of Britney Spears, is depicted as having lost his rap career and ended up working in a fast-food restaurant.

You can see the ad at YouTube.

Well, as usual, someone's pissed. In this case it's the National Restaurant Association. President and CEO Steven Anderson has even written a letter (pdf) in which he talks about how the ad "gives the impression that working in a restaurant is demeaning and unpleasant."

Yeah, well, this may be news to you, sparky, but working in a fast food restaurant is often demeaning and unpleasant. There's a reason why it's mostly kids, and there's a reason why few stay for long, and there's a reason why almost nobody except that really weird 20-year old whose acne may clear up some day and who desperately covets every gold star on his badge considers it a career.

It's long hours, often for close to or actual minimum wage, where you get treated like shit by most customers and nearly all management. Just check out the experiences of a few ex-fry jockies who wrote the Flame Broiled website (not to mention the people who wrote in with encouragement) to see what I mean.

And the ad wasn't about merely working in Burger Hell, it was about ending up there after having been so much more. Anyone over the age of 25 who ends up flipping burgers for a multi chain has had some real bad luck, and I defy anyone to say different.

I realise that nobody wants their job out there being depicted as rotten, especially when it is rotten, and famously so, but get a sense of humour, please.


Happy Valentine's Day, Mrs Doombreed

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safenow.org is a hilarious site that takes icons from the US Department of Homeland Security's "be informed" leaflets and assigns them - ah - different meanings from those intended.

After exposure to radiation it is important to consider that you may have mutated to gigantic dimensions: watch your head.

If you are trapped under falling debris, conserve oxygen by not farting.


It's Over..

I'm back to work tomorrow, despite still hacking like a V-8 running on three cylinders and having a blown blood vessel in my eye from coughing too hard. Should be miserable fun.

On the plus side, Mrs Doombreed started her new job today, so massive woo-hoo congratulations to She Who Makes My Life Worth Living.


ENViably quiet?

Remember the ENV? Well, apparently it's too quiet for some.

Yep, they're going to be fitting it with an artificial "bike noise".

Wow. This world and sense just get further apart.

Friday Rodent Blogging (Belated)

I was so wiped yesterday (having a fever that spikes so high it causes hallucinations will do that to you) that I completely forgot about Friday Rodent Blogging.

Still, Selene isn't interested in excuses, only results, as you can see by this decidedly nasty look she's giving me..


Yeah, it's confirmed..

I am sick. Chills, fever, coughing, aches, fatigue, ringing in my ears and the attendant loss of balance.


Now I get to sit around here for the next three days and vainly try to catch my lungs as I cough them up.


Sick Sick Sick SICK SICK!

With the cold weather comes, as ever, horrific germs and viruses. I'm feeling like someone just gave me a syringe-full of WTF?

What's annoying me is that I have a high white blood cell count, right? And white blood cells are the things that fight disease, right?

So why aren't all those extra little defenders getting involved and kicking this thing's arse*?

*assuming, of course, that it has an arse to kick..


Ted Haggard "Completely Heterosexual"

The Rev Ted Haggard, he who resigned in disgrace as President of the National Association of Evangelicals and was forced out of his New Life Church last year after it emerged that he'd been sleeping with a male prostitute on-and-off for three years, has emerged after three - count 'em, three - weeks of therapy, a totally changed man, and totally heterosexual.

See, apparently, playing hide the salami with other men does not make one gay, and oral sex only makes one gay when it's the plural - cocks - that you're gobbling. If you ever got your freak on with only one man, it's called "acting-out situations where things took place" and not "a constant thing".

Praise Jesus.

I wonder what other things you can get away with if you're merely "acting-out situations"? I wonder what the various churches would say about the claim that banging a woman other than your wife does not make one an adulterer - merely that "things took place" - as long that as it's just that one woman?

I already know what Mrs Doombreed's position on that excuse would be, and it's not one that could be summed up with any phrase that might include the words "okay", "agree" or "fine".

Is it okay to not keep the sabbath holy, provided that your unholiness always takes place in the same strip club?

Can you disrespect your father or your mother, as long as it's always the same one and never both?

Can you covet your neighbour's oxen, his ass, his maidservant, his manservant, or even his wife, as long as it's always the same guy's stuff you're coveting? Or does it only work if you only covet one of his things, say, his wife, or his ass (or his wife's ass)?

And this guy, Haggard, and these guys who "cured" him, allegedly believe in a book that says, amongst so much else on the subject:

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. (Lev.18:22)

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Lev.20:13)

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. Rom.1:26-27

I don't see anything about "more than with one guy" in there..

Still, what's a little hypocrisy between a man and his God?


It's Beginning To Look A Lot More Like Christmas

This is the sight that greeted me yesterday morning. Snow what fun..

This is our new car, experiencing her first real taste of winter weather.

Are you ENVious?

This is cool. Lancashire-based Intelligent Energy are showing off their prototype hydrogen-powered motorcycles.

The Emissions Neutral Vehicle (ENV - pronounced "envy") will do 50 mph and has a range of 100 miles. It's also, apparently, dead quiet.

The 'bike's engine produces only water as a byproduct. It's expected that by the time of release, the range and top speed with be extended.

The aimed-for release date is somewhere in mid 2007, and price could be anywhere between $6,000 and $8,000.

But that's for a totally non-polluting, utterly silent bike that looks that neat.



Superbowl XLI

4th Quarter - do or die time.

The Bud "crab worship" ad kicked off the 4th. Great stuff.

Stat Attack - Colts' Marvin Harrison is the only player in NFL history with 8 straight seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards and 10+ TDs.

11.44 to go in the 4th. Colts' Kelvin Hayden intercepted and ran back for a TD. 29-17

Stat Attack:

That was the 10th interception for TD in Superbowl history, and this was Hayden's first ever TD.

Stat Attack:

No team in Superbowl history has ever come back from a 10pt+ deficit.

Stat Attack:

Thanks to another interception, this is Rex Grossman's 7th multi-interception game this season.

Stat Attack:

This is the first time in Superbowl history that an officiating team has included a pair of brothers.

We're at the 2 minute warning...

...and it's over.

Colts win 29-17.

This was a very enjoyable game, made all the better for having two such classy and dignified teams playing.

No posturing, no fighting, no cheating. Loved it.

And a special acknowledgement to Mrs Doombreed for producing a truly world-class Superbowl feast. Everything was outstanding.

And, apart from the Pro Bowl, that's American Football done for a few months.

Congratulations to the Colts, commiserations to the Bears.


Superbowl XLI

Stat Alert: Superbowl XLI 1st half miscues:

5 fumbles - all lost;

Manning interception on first possession;

Indianapolis failed PAT and missed field-goal;

Indianapolis allowed 92 yard kick-off return for TD.

The half-time show with Prince was totally pants.

2nd half:

7.21 left in the 3rd, and Vinatieri puts the Colts up 19-14.

Bud Light comes through again with the "Gorillas" spot. Funny.

But Taco Bell hits back with the "Lions" spot.

3.16 left in the 3rd and the Colts go ahead 22-14 on the boot of Adam Vinatieri.

Nationwide's "Kevin Federline" commercial, directly followed by Bud Light's "hitcher" commercial was almost too awesome for words.

1.14 left in the 3rd and Gould puts three more on the board for the Bears, bringing the game to 22-17.

End of 3rd quarter Colts up 22-17.

Superbowl XLI

2nd Quarter.

11.17 to go in the second and Adam Vinatieri slots home a neat field-goal to make it 14-9.

Bud steps up with a cutesy commercial involving a dog.

Incidently, to see the commercials, go to CBS.sportsline.com/superads.

6.09 to go in the 2nd and the Colts go ahead 16-14 thanks to a Rhodes rushing TD.

The Bud Light "slap" commercial is fantastic. Bud Light is winning this by a mile.

Stat Attack: Colts' Joseph Addai is the first rookie Running Back to start in a Superbowl since 1990.

At the end of the half, Vinatieri missed a field-goal, leaving it 16-14 Colts.

Superbowl XLI

Well, we're blogging live from the Superbowl.

Okay, from my couch, watching the Superbowl. I'm on my second beer and the Bears are up 7-0 thanks to an opening kickoff being run back. That's the first time in Superbowl history that an opening kickoff has been returned for a TD.

The ads so far are great, the pick being Blockbuster's petstore "clicking the mouse" spot.

Bud Light's "rock paper scissors" spot was pretty funny, too.

6.50 to go in the 1st and the Colts have pulled back to 7-6, thanks to a trademark Manning pass, and a muffed Point-After.

Ad update: Bud Light's "wedding auction" spot - hilarious.

And the Bears fumble the kickoff return, but the Colts are nice enough to give it right back to them.

4.34 to go in the 1st and the Bears score again, 14-6.

And Bud Light are 3 for 3 with Carlos Mencia in the "translation" spot.

End of the first quarter, Bears up by 8.

See you at the half.

It's Official

FHM.com has the world's greatest game involving a monkey and a football. By far.

My record is 4,444 monkey meters. Just try and beat it.


Friday Rodent Blogging

We at Legal Alien are experiencing temporary technical difficulties with regard to Friday Rodent Blogging*. This week's FRB, therefore, consists of a cute baby picture.

This is Selene, back when she was mostly just head, settling in to her new home.

*I've misplaced my camera. I know it's around here somewhere...



Wow.. today I received the March 2007 issue of FHM US. The last of its kind. Yep, FHM US has now died. And, not that I knew this before, but FHM UK has already died the death.

The reason?

Who cares?

The replacement?


The real question?

What's going to happen to the remainder of the money that paid for my subscription until May of next year, guys?