Monday, October 31, 2011

Walking Dead..... Shane's Choice (spoiler alert)

I've been a fan of The Walking Dead television series since the very first episode. It's been a love/hate relationship for Season 2, but I enjoyed Sunday nights episode a lot. I still find some of the things that the characters do to be totally idiotic - but over all I enjoy the show.

This post contains spoilers, if you follow the series but haven't seen Sunday's episode yet.

There's been several blog posts elsewhere about something one of the characters did Sunday night. Most of the comments have been along the lines of "What a Douche bag...."  Here's a very brief synopsis of the show and the circumstances surrounding the incident:

Zombie outbreak has occurred. A small group of uninfected people are trying to survive and find someplace safe and secure. The main character is a Sheriff who was in a coma during the beginning of the outbreak and awoke to find the world in turmoil and his wife and child missing. During his coma, his best friend and co-worker, Shane, had an affair with his wife and developed a relationship with his son. They had all given the Sheriff up as dead. They are all reunited in Season 1 and Shane backs off to do the right thing and allow the little family to get back together.

At one point, the Sheriff and his son are in the woods and the boy is accidentally shot by a hunter. The hunter is part of another small group that includes a Vet with medical training. The boy's condition is dire and he needs surgery to live. They decide that if they can get medical supplies from a zombie infested area the boy might have a chance. Without those supplies, the boy will die - Period.

Shane and the hunter who accidentally shot the boy, Otis, go to fetch the supplies and things soon go awry. Shane hurts his leg and is unable to run. Otis is a fat, out of shape guy who can't outrun the zombies either. They have the needed supplies, but the zombie horde is bearing down on them and they are down to their last rounds of ammo.

There is no way out. It looks like the zombies are going to get them. That's when Shane does the deed that is catching him so much flack. He looks at Otis - who is a really likeable guy even though he accidentally caused all this - says "I'm Sorry...." and then he puts a round in Otis' leg. The zombies all dive on the now helpless Otis to gobble him up and Shane is able to hobble away and take the supplies back to the injured boy whose life is saved as a result.

Ok.... did Shane do the right thing?

Some of the comments that I've read paint Shane as a coward for sacrificing Otis to the Zombies and escaping. I think that's ridiculous. If Shane was a coward he would have stayed at the RV or at the Farmhouse with the wounded boy or he would have bailed all togther at the highway and gone off on his own. Other comments seem to stem from people putting themselves in Otis' shoes, and how they wouldn't want someone on their team that would do what Shane did.

I tend to look at scenarios like this and imagine what I would do if I were there.

Fact: There's about 30 zombies gaining on you. They WILL catch you if something doesn't shift the balance.
Fact: You have the medical supplies with you that could make the difference between a young boy you love living or dieing.
Fact: The guy you're with is responsible for the situation you and the boy are in.

Yes, Otis is likeable. Yes, wounding the boy was an accident. Yes, Otis is trying to "make things right".

None of that changes the base fact that if you don't get the medical supplies back to the farmhouse the boy you've come to think of as your son will die.

This isn't even close to a difficult decision for me. I actually made the analysis and the call seconds before Shane shot Otis in the leg. I'd be sorry that it came to that, but given the exact same circumstances that Shane found himself in - I would have made exactly the same call. No bones about it. Change some of the circumstances and a different conclusion would be reached by me. No boy waiting supplies? Then you stick with your partner and fight to the death with the zombies. Find yourself with your Wife or other loved one and you certainly go down together if there's no other choice. Faced with a choice between loved one and stranger where someone definitely has to die, though?.... Otis has to go.

Is it cold? Yep. Would I have wanted to be Otis and have someone sacrifice me to the zombies? Nope.

When it comes to protecting the ones that I love though, there's very little that I wouldn't do. Period. Some may consider Shane a bastard for what he did.... but the boy and his parents probably wouldn't. I don't either. I'm perfectly comfortable being a Bastard if thats what it takes to keep my loved ones safe. People in those circumstances who aren't capable of making hard calls like that need to give up and get eaten or stay at the relative safety of the farmhouse, IMO.

Nature Walk

One of the places that I take Gunny for walks on my days off is an area not far from our house. There's lots of walking paths in the town where I live, which is nice.

At one point on this particular route you cross a creek via a bridge.

10282011 gunny bridge resized

Gunny likes to put his feet up on the railing and look out down the creek whenever we cross. Before long he's going to be tall enough to reach the top rail.

Hit the jump for more pics from the walk...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Window to the past

I love videos like this. It's a compilation of street scenes in London from 1904, originally produced as a travelouge to attract tourists from Australia. The musical track doesn't seem to fit but the images are wonderful....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lifestraw Give Away

Angela, over at Food Storage and Survival, has a review up of the LifeStraw Portable water filter - and a give-away as well! Go check it out....

Friday, October 28, 2011

Girl Friday - 10/28/2011 - Suzanne Pleshette

Ok... as she aged, her voice ended up even deeper than mine. When she was young, though, that smokey voice was uber-hot....

Suzanne Pleshette


Hit the jump for more...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Best Dog Costume EVER!!!...

Ok, maybe it's not the best ever, but it's the most original one I've seen so far this year :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Terry Pratchett

Just a quickie post, because this week's been busier than most.

For the Terry Pratchett fans out there, I wanted to remind you that his new book "Snuff" is now available in bookstores. I picked it up last weekend and read it on my lunch breaks this week.


Main character this time around is Sam Vimes - one of my favorite Pratchett characters. Several other Pratchett regulars are there as well. Really good read.  I was afraid that Pratchett's condition might start to show up in his books this time around but reading Snuff was like revisiting an old friend that you haven't seen in a while.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Girl Friday - 10/21/2011 - Natalie Wood

You may not know this week's Girl Friday by her birth name: Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko. I'm pretty sure you'll recognize her professional name, and her beautiful eyes....

Natalie Wood

natalie wood 2

Hit the jump for more.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Gunny, curled up on the floor behind me sleeping while I blogged the range report yesterday.....

gunny sleeping 2 620

Snoring up a storm  :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Range Day

Took the day off from work yesterday. I've had the day off on my birthday before, by accident, but I've never actually taken the day off before. Work is irritating me a lot right now, so I figured what the hell....

Went to the range and shot rifles for the first time since last spring. This summer was such a bear I had no desire at all to sit outside at the gun range and sweat buckets. Beautiful day today, though.


Looks a looooooong way down to the 100 yd targets off in the distance, don't it. Especially when its been a long time between visits to this side of the range. I brought the Swiss K31 and the AK along this trip.

K31, iron sights, 50 yards, 10 rounds:
k31 50 1017

K31, iron sights, 100 yards, 5 rounds:
k31 100 1017

WASR10 (AK), red dot optic, 50 yards, 20 rounds:
ak 50 1017

I dug shooting both these guns. The cheap red dot is holding up fine on the AK. She is sighted high at 50 yards, so she'll be dead on at 100 yards. Probably a bit too high, as a matter of fact. I was going to adjust down a tad and then shoot her at 100 but my battery in the red dot crapped the bed and I didn't have a spare on me - poor planning on my part. I'll keep a couple spares in the hollow of the stock from now on.

The K31 is a wonderful gun. I could feel the one flyer at 100 yds as soon as I pulled the trigger. Still pretty happy to lay down these groups with iron sights after my hiatus from shooting. I'm improving, but she'll probably always shoot better than I am capable of.

Finished up the day by sending 50 rounds down range with the Thunderer on the Pistol side of the range:

thunderer 1017

If they handed out trophies for getting the shots as close as possible to the bullseye, without actually making a bullseye, I would be a champion :) 

I need to get my ass in gear and make a holster for this gun. Before long it will be cold enough to carry it concealed.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Warranty has surely expired by now..

1970 me

Paladin, circa 1970, with stringer of fish on a camping trip. Not sure if I should have marked this NSFW, since I'm topless.

Another year older today. Lets see - I was 6 years old in the photo and the photo was taken 41 years ago. If you do the math that makes me...


Saturday, October 15, 2011

He bays for your soul... Also, dog treats.

Excuse the the shabby state of the rugs in the kitchen. It hasn't rained all summer, which did a number on much of the lawn. 4+ inches of rain in the past week made lots of mud in the backyard. We throw down the old rugs temporarily to catch mud off Gunny's paws when he comes back in from the yard.

Contrary to his behavior in the video, he's actually pretty squared away on "sit" and "stay", unless there's the possibility that treats are forthcoming. He goes nuts for them, which I encourage. I use this particular treat as an intensity builder when we work on mantrailing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Girl Friday - 10/14/2011 - Ryu Ji Hye 5

If this isn't your first time to the show... she needs no introduction:

Ryu Ji Hye

1 ryu ji hye bow

Yeah... go on.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween - Vintage Advertising

antikamnia 1899 1

The Antikamnia (from the Latin "against pain") Chemical Company started up around 1890, in St. Louis, Missouri. They marketed capsules said to relieve "nervousness" and pain. The concoction consisted of mixtures of coal-tar, quinine, and codeine.. among other things. It was addictive, of course, but it probably did mellow people out.

antikamnia 1899 2

These are pictures from promotional calendars produced in 1899 and 1890 to advertise their wonder drug. I'm always surprised by the advertising methods used to promote medicines, cures, and other medical products in the past. I wonder how much traction a modern day ad campaign would manage using Death and Skeletal related images? These days you're far more likely to see happy scenes of people running through fields of daisies with big smiles on their faces while the voice-over guy runs through the list of horrible potential side effects....

antikamnia 1899 3

antikamnia 1899 4

antikamnia 1899 5

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Suburban Macabre

How's this for realistic Halloween Decorations?....


vulture 3

The resident's in this neighborhood were really freaked out by nature's recyclers. The birds are Turkey Vultures. We have two types of vultures commonly seen in Texas. Black Vultures, which are black (duh), and Turkey vultures which have a red head when mature.

vulture 2

Monday, October 10, 2011

Honey... I shrunk the Pitbull

When trying to catch a dog that doesn't want to be caught, especially by yourself, its largely a matter of patience. This is a video condensed down from about 20 minutes I spent the other day working a dog through a neighborhood. We covered 6 or 7 streets and alleys. I would spot it, follow it, loose it, find it again... you get the idea. If a dog isn't going to come up to me immediately and be friendly, I'd rather it make a stand and fight me rather than run around not letting me get close enough to get up to it.

This dog was clipping along at from 12 to 15 miles per hour. The Average human in decent shape can plug along at about 6 miles an hour. You do the math. The idea is to keep the dog in sight and pester it until it either goes home, or makes a mistake and you're able to run it in someplace more confined where you can make a catch.

This odd little dog is a "Pocket Pitbull". This is the first one that I've picked up on the job, but I've seen pictures of them before. Has the body sort of like an English Bulldog and the head of a Pitbull. I'd guess this one at around 50 pounds or so.

shorty pit

Really friendly guy, once we stopped running all over the neighborhood. His owner called the next day and they are reunited.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


On the road today with Mrs. Paladin and Sister #1. We're traveling to Louisiana to meet my Parents and Sister #2 at a family reunion - my Mom's side of the family. 6 hours in the car each way.... with my Sister.... who talks a lot.

Feel my pain.

Yesterday, Mrs. Paladin took the day off work and we went out to my Folks farm to do a little fishing in order to calm ourselves for the chatter-fest to come. We took Gunny along too, of course. It was his first trip "to the country" since we've had him. He wore himself completely out. Before heading down to the farm pond we did a little mantrailing training, which was his first focused intentional track. It was an "intensity" drill where I held him close to me while Mrs. Paladin teased him with a dog treat and got him excited about it. Then she walked away across their yard toward the house, disappeared around the corner, and  circled around the house about 3/4 of the way back toward the front. It was about 100 yards total distance walked including 3 full right angle turns.

Gunny tracked her cleanly. I let him go in front of me on about 10 feet of lead. He hesitated just a few seconds at the 2nd turn... but that was mostly because their donkey was braying up a storm and it distracted him (the donkey HATES even the sight of dogs). He followed her scent right up to where she was hiding and I was really happy with his success. Next time we are adding a "scent article" to the mix so that he starts to associate taking scent from an article of clothing and then tracking down-scent from that point for that specific scent. Before long, I'll have to find another helper to lay scent trails so he doesn't just learn to track Mrs. Paladin. Unless she starts getting lost on a regular basis such a skill would be pretty useless :)

I'll try to remember the hatcam on our next training session so ya'll can see him work.

Fishing was good. The pond is about half capacity due to the drought. Considering a lot of ponds around here are completely dry, though, its holding up fairly well. We fished topwater lures for bass for about an hour to start and then switched to catfishing. Gunny had never seen a fish before, and he got pretty excited....

gunny excited fishing

He soon calmed down, though, when he figured out that it wasn't going to play with him.

gunny fishing

We caught this mess of channel catfish in less than an hour.


The stringer was so heavy my Dad had to hold up one end while Mrs. Paladin snapped a picture :)

I don't normally keep fish, since I hate to clean them. I'd much rather fish catch-and-release and then just go out for catfish at one of the great little restaurants around here. With the water being so low, however, we kept and cleaned all of these to help the fish population in the pond handle the stress. Fewer mouths to feed in the pond makes it easier on the rest of the fish. We split the fillets with my Parents after I cleaned them.

Fried Catfish this week.... YUM!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Girl Friday - 10/07/2011 - Angelique Boyer

This week's Girl Friday comes to us as a wildly successful Mexican TV Actress, who recently won Best Actress from Premios TVyNovelas.

Angelique Boyer


Hit the jump for more...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

What Works and What Doesn't

Kevin Williamson reveals the truth that the anti-capitalist protesters may never grasp....

Once you figure out why your cell phone gets better and cheaper every year but your public schools get more expensive and less effective, you can apply that model to answer a great many questions about public policy. Not all of them, but a great many.

There seems to be a growing trend toward hatred of people who are successful at what they do, or if not hatred then at the least perpetuation of the lie that every rich person or successful business got where it is because of fucking over the "little guy" - and that the fruits of that success flow exclusively upstream to the rich white guy at the top. That sort of thinking is great for motivating hundreds of malcontent drones to disrupt business and shout their demands to anyone who will listen. What is lacking, though, is a basic understanding of what has been proven to work, and what has been proven over and over again to not work.

Mr. Williamson continues...

Mr. Jobs’s contribution to the world is Apple and its products, along with Pixar and his other enterprises, his 338 patented inventions — his work — not some Steve Jobs Memorial Foundation for Giving Stuff to Poor People in Exotic Lands and Making Me Feel Good About Myself. Because he already did that: He gave them better computers, better telephones, better music players, etc. In a lot of cases, he gave them better jobs, too.

Did he do it because he was a nice guy, or because he was greedy, or because he was a maniacally single-minded competitor who got up every morning possessed by an unspeakable rage to strangle his rivals? The beauty of capitalism — the beauty of the iPhone world as opposed to the world of politics — is that that question does not matter one little bit. Whatever drove Jobs, it drove him to create superior products, better stuff at better prices.

Profits are not deductions from the sum of the public good, but the real measure of the social value a firm creates. Those who talk about the horror of putting profits over people make no sense at all. The phrase is without intellectual content. 

The entire piece is over at the National Review. It's a great read.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011



Shy and secretive, the Skupossum is a distant relative of the Chupacabra. A Hybrid abomination between an opossum and a skunk, the Skupossum is irresistibly attracted to partially empty Miller Lite cans.

Hey, if the SyFy channel can have Sharktopus I can have a Skupossum.
I've seen several of the black color variant in the opossums around here, but this is the first that I've come across with a prominent white stripe down its back like a skunk. Pretty weird....

Oh, and don't try this at home. Opossums have lots of very sharp teeth and can whip around and get you a lot faster than you think they are capable of.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Caught part of a show last night when I got home from work on Discovery Channel called iCaveman. I saw most of it, though I was doing other stuff and missed sections. I think the series had run before. Don't know if anyone else watched it, but here's couple of thoughts I had while watching:

1. The idea behind the show is that it would be an "experiment" wherein they would teach rudimentary paleolithic skills to a group of volunteers and then have them live a week or so as hunter/gatherers. Much of the show centered around their quest to bring down an elk for food. It was interesting to watch a few of the people give up on the experiment after a few days of hunger and cold. The first girl to drop out was a pretty brunette who apparently refused to eat some of the less impressive small animals that the group managed to kill in the first couple of days. She became weak and hungry and ended her stint sobbing as she mentally broke down and couldn't handle the scenario any more.

2. The second person to drop out was a healthy, enthusiastic guy who I didn't peg as a quitter. After the second or third unsuccessful attempt to kill an elk, he quit - but not before stating that it wasn't fair for the few active hunters to go out and expend energy every day while some of the women lounged around under the trees sleeping all day and whining about being hungry. "Its not like they are my girlfriends or anything.... why should I provide food for them while they lay around and complain?"

3. Combine #1 and #2, and you see the birth of the Worlds Oldest Profession.

4. I was surprised that there wasn't a more concerted effort on the part of EVERYONE to concentrate on small game and fish. While small groups of hunters tried for an elk, the rest of the crew basically sat around instead of setting snares, deadfalls, or fishtraps.

5. Their first elk hunt was with stabbing type spears, which was doomed to failure. You'll never get close enough to a large animal in modern times to make that work. Then, they were given Atlatls and a brief instruction in their use. The next couple of attempts were failures too - since the elk smelled, heard, and sensed the hunter long before they got close enough to make a throw.

Then... when the group morale was at it's lowest and they needed a successful hunt the most, magically they were able to bring down an elk. For some mysterious reason, the elk just stood there and let them get close. Even after the first spear was thrown and missed its target, the elk - all of which were staring at the fur clad hunters - remained where they were and one of them was speared and killed.

Yeah... really?

I'm of the opinion that being able to hit an elk with an atlatl and bring it down, cut it up, and haul it back to camp is a great achievement for people with little to no experience. It was pretty clearly a "canned hunt", though, with elk that were used to being near people and in no way reflected the skills and abilities needed to stalk and bring down truly wild game.