2009 Firearm Statistics

– 11.5% of homicides by firearm
– 30 homicide deaths by firearm
– population: 21,262,000
– homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: .14

– 32% of homicides by firearm
– 173 homicide deaths by firearm
– population: 32,731,000
– homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: .53

– 29.9% of homicides by firearm
– 188 homicide deaths by firearm
– population: 81,799,000
– homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: .23

– 1.8% of homicides by firearm
– 11 homicide deaths by firearm
– population: 128,057,000
– homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: .01

United Kingdom
– 6.6% of homicides by firearm
– 41 homicide deaths by firearm
– population: 61,827,000
– homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: .07

United States
– 60% of homicides by firearm
– 9,146 homicide deaths by firearm
– population: 307,007,000
– homicide deaths by firearm per 100,000 population: 2.98

Statistics from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2009 data)

We Can’t Afford Four More?

Driving down the road last Sunday, I saw this…

Chevy Truck With Anti-Obama Sticker On It

If only the truck owner had someone to thank for having the ability to get parts to fix his truck. Chevy is still around producing trucks like his. You know, Romney was against the auto bailout… just sayin.


Finally tonight’s the night! Usually that’s for Dexter but tonight it’s TrueBlood. We’ve been waiting a year for this. WTF is going to happen? Last we left off some serious s**t went down. Obviously they’ve got to continue where they left off.

I’m also very excited to see the sexy Chris Meloni join the cast. I loved him when he was in SVU. It’ll also be great to see Denis O’Hare come back as the evil Russell Edgington.

This season should be awesome.

Brian’s Open Letter To Pepco & The American People

Dear Pepco and the American People,

First off I would like to say I’m sorry for getting solar panels on my house and buying all of those energy saving light bulbs. After three months with virtually no bill I now realize my error of my ways. The hard working people of Pepco no longer need to supply my old energy guzzling house with power. Instead I seem to be feeding them which can only go to reduce their huge quarterly profits. To make up for this I am sure Pepco is now going to charge even higher rates to my friends and neighbors, since they already charge the most for power in the state of Maryland. I now know I am costing Pepco lost revenue and they’ll have more reason to complain about the corporate tax rate which they, like many other companies (GE, BP, Exxon, Verizon, etc), do not actually pay.

Next I would like to send out a special apology to the people of West Virginia. For generations they have ripped up there land destroyed mountain tops and done everything else in the pursuit of coal. For generations they have toiled to provide me with the polluting coal and I so thoughtfully got solar panels not taking into the considerations their feelings or the sacrifices they are willing to make just so I can have unclean power.

Lastly I would like to say sorry to the American people as a whole. After hearing about all the possible clean energy jobs that could be created by going solar I bought into the hype. I now know the truth. Yes I am saving money and yes I did get the government to pay for 60% of my solar panels but at what cost I ask you? At the cost of all those jobs lost in West Virgina ripping up the land to give me unclean coal? At the cost of Pepco’s profits? My solar cost jobs, yes I know it is possible someone will have to come out and service my solar panels at some point but it has a 25 year warranty so you know it is going to last. Yes, I know it took someone to build my panels but think of all the coal I would have used without my solar system! Lastly, as I gazed today at my almost non-existent bill, I realized I am costing the government because I am taxed on my power usage and since I do not use any power, the government does not make any money off of me either. I am not a rich person and I am not exempt from taxes like the rich.

I’m sorry America,
A Maryland Solar Customer

New Adventure 2012

I am ready to embark on another new adventure. I have resigned from my company of whom I’ve been with since July 2010. I regret that I wasn’t able to make it a longer stay. This job was my second since I’ve been out of college.

The experience I’ve gained with this company has been profound. I look back and think I knew very little before coming here. My knowledge in CSS has gone up exponentially. I was just a noob but they threw me in the deep water and now I’m an expert. They also taught me 508 compliancy which is huge right now and fits well with my web background. I learned how to remediate PDFs, learned more about SharePoint administration (though I don’t put that on my resume). I’ve also learned Drupal; which is huge for me. They helped me grow my skill set and experience so much.

I’m leaving behind a few people of which I’ve grown quite fond; although I’m in the middle of four people who have left or are leaving our small company. I hate leaving people that I like and who understand me. We work very well together here. It’s hard to leave them.

I’m trading in my Prius for the metro and a much longer commute into the trenches of DC.

So I guess this makes Fourteen years of my life in four places.

I haven’t cried here yet about leaving.

When I first got this job I didn’t like it very much but I did grow to love it. It was a very quiet place but I soon made friends and livened things up. I regret leaving after only a year and 9 months or so. I also hate the fact that I’m leaving two months before a new project is deployed, a project that I’ve worked very hard on and that I loved doing.

I also think I’m happy because I’m leaving my company a better company. I hope they thrive and succeed in what they’re doing and I wish them all the best.

Here’s to a week and a half off before I start my new job! Another new journey awaits.

Bad Omens Or Something

Not sure what it is about this week but something’s either pushing me out the door of my current job or else I’m having really REALLY bad luck.

Let’s start with the “bad things happen in threes” that happened to the Prius:

  1. Starting last week (around April 18th, when I gave my two week notice) I noticed that my tire pressure was low since the indicator light was on. No biggie, just put air in the tires. A day later it came on again. Come to find out there’s a hole in the tire. Okay. Luckily we went over Uncle George’s on Sunday where he was able to repair it.
  2. Monday morning, on my way to work, I get hit by a rock. I know because I heard it. It sounded like a big rock. Since it was raining I wasn’t able to see any cracks in the windshield. However Tuesday I noticed it. Called Geico Tuesday to fix it. They came yesterday (Wednesday) and repaired it.
  3. When I leave work yesterday (Wednesday), my car doesn’t start. WTF? The battery was dead. Called a tow truck since I didn’t think it was the battery. Bri arrived before the tow truck and we were able to jump it. I didn’t make it to yoga last night due to the dead Prius battery.

I forget to mention the fact that my scooter also decided to die. It too needed a new battery as it kept needing to be recharged.

The Camaro needs to be fixed again. Nothing out of the usual there.

Last night I accidentally poured hot wax all over my left hand. Worst pain ever.

My websites got hacked or something. When I go to any of them on any mobile device or in IE, I get redirected to sweepstakesandcontestsdo.com… I emailed Dreamhost but haven’t heard anything… I noticed this issue last night.

Then this morning my hair brush breaks! What are the odds?

Tell me, is this just bad luck?

What We’ve Learned From Titanic

The story of Titanic has always fascinated me, as it has most of America, I think. After its tragedy we as a people quickly leaped into action demanding answers and requiring regulations from our government so catastrophes like this can’t happen again.

Here are some of the lessons we learned from Titanic and regulations we put in place:

  • Have lifeboat drills
  • Ensure that there are enough lifeboats for all aboard
  • Always have a wireless operator on duty 24/7
  • A special patrol was set up to look out for icebergs and report them
  • Other safety regulations managed through SOLAS
  • Man is fallible

I also think about the Triangle fire that happened a little over a hundred years ago and the lessons we learned from that.

I have to wonder about other incidents that occurred somewhat recently like Virginia Tech and the 2011 Tuscan shootings. What lessons did we learn from them? I’m sure we learned something but the problem is regulations were not put in place to prevent anything like that happening again.

That’s the great thing about what came from Titanic. All those lives were lost but because of their sacrifice, so many more have been saved.

Why can’t we always learn from our mistakes?

How Obama Is Like Reagan

This is a new post from an earlier post which I delete to refresh. I sometimes misplace my notes. This updated blog post has even more information (evidence) of how Obama is like Reagan.

Sometimes it astounds me how much Republicans hate Obama. Have they any clue that the left in this country has actually moved to the right? The right have moved so far to the right that the middle (“common ground”, “bipartisanship”) is no longer the middle anymore.

I never considered Obama a progressive. He was always just a liberal to me. I even got into a debate one time about how “liberal” Obama really is. He’s not really, when you look at it. He’s more moderate. In fact, one could even argue that he’s what used to be called a moderate Republican.

Obama and Reagan actually share a lot of the same things. Reflecting on a few we can see:

  • Both wanted to disarm nuclear weapons
  • Both lowered taxes
  • Both increased military spending
  • Both increased the national debt (by a lot)
  • Both wanted a raise in capital gains tax
  • Reagan appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court; Obama appointed two women
  • Both tried to find a bipartisan consensus with Congress on simplifying the tax code
  • Both ran on hope and optimism
  • Both faced economic turmoil and high unemployment
  • Both had midterm setbacks

I’ve blogged before on my Politics Notes how Reagan should be considered liberal by today’s standards. In fact, Reagan is further to the left than Obama on a few issues:

  • Reagan raised taxes
  • Reagan increased the size of government while Obama has decreased it
  • Obama has been harder on immigration where as Reagan gave amnesty to millions of undocumented workers
  • Reagan helped create Osama bin Laden where as under Obama he was destroyed

Contrary to republican belief, Obama has NOT raised taxes, expanded illegal immigration, nor has he increased the size of government. Their idol, Reagan, did all of these.

It’s just kind of shocking how much Obama is hated by the right, yet their hero and him shared a lot of the same ideology and we could argue, Reagan was to the left of Obama.

Quote From Bill Maher IV

Not trying to quote Bill Maher so much but he had another good rant on Overtime this week. The panel was talking about Michelle Duggar and her campaigning with Rick Santorum and how overpopulation is a lie. Bill Maher said it pretty well.

You know what it is? I hear this from people all the time. They say have you ever flown over the country and when you look down, there’s a lot of nothing? That’s true but that’s not the issue. It’s about resources. It’s true we could actually fit on the planet a lot more people but there’s not enough food and water for them. Especially now that China and India are eating meat and getting cars. We just can’t do it. We would need to like triple the population, we’d need like five more earths. Again this comes from scientists, it’s not in the Bible, it’s probably bull s**t.

Is it so bad that I think that the Duggars are sick and selfish? When people have so many kids, it makes me not want to have kids even more to try to decrease the population and make up for them being so selfish and procreating in such abundance. The earth can only handle so much.

Totally Harassed By Unknown Numbers Update I

After my previous post, this harassment didn’t stop. I received calls again at 2:51, 5:22, 6:37, and 8:23; with another call today at 11:40.

As I explained, I had spoke to Verizon yesterday and blocked a few of these numbers. I got this app on my phone, Call Control, which lets you block three numbers for free (then you have to pay for the pro). I also blocked another number with Verizon.

All those numbers again, plus a new one:

  • 561-463-5521
  • 443-419-2016
  • 443-816-1645
  • 216-282-5522
  • 877-874-5811
  • Restricted

Bri was actually able to call them yesterday. They are some education service that finds a school for you (for a fee)… much like Education Connection. Bri was able to get their location and a persons name (just in case we need to file a restraining order). Their PO box (if you’d like to spam them, please), is the following:

PO Box 515381-67004
Los Angeles, CA 90051-6681

We’re compiling all the information (when they call, what numbers, what’s said, etc) and will be filing a law suit if this does not stop.

Totally Harassed By Unknown Numbers

I don’t know what really to do about this issue. It started yesterday afternoon, I got a call from a 443 number that I didn’t recognize. I decided not to answer it. They called twice but didn’t leave a message. I basically ignored it.

Then starting at 8:03 this morning, I get a call asking for a “Vanessa”. I said they have the wrong number and hung up. It wouldn’t stop after that. They called again at 10:17, 10:23, 10:31, 10:42, 11:24, 11:31, 11:35, 11:58, 12:06, and 1:50.

They call from various numbers and sometimes their number is blocked. Two of the numbers I looked up. It seems they’re some company asking if people want to go back to school or something. It’s a total scam and complete bull shit.

Around 11:30 I texted Bri about it. He said that I should call the police. He did for me and they said to call Verizon, my carrier. They weren’t really helpful as they suggesting downloading an app that blocks numbers and blocking them with Verizon. I did both and haven’t gotten a call yet.

Here are the numbers that they call from (besides unavailable):

  • 561-463-5521
  • 443-419-2016
  • 443-816-1645
  • 216-282-5522

I’ve tried several times to speak to these people. I asked them to please stop calling and remove me from their list… the other times, they just hang up on me.

Regarding Rush Limbaugh

I’m not a fan of Rush Limbaugh. (Surprise, surprise.)

I think that Rush should NOT be booted off the air. It’s free speech even though what he said was slander. He could and should be sued for it.

In order for justice to be served in this, his advertisers should pull out and so should his listeners. Giving Rush any more attention from this indecent will only straighten him.

People love to hate and they’ll start listening to Rush and start following Rush on Twitter because they hate him. That only gives him strength.

Americans should stop listening to Rush. The media should stop covering Rush. Sooner or later he will fade away.

That’s the problem with the media. They pay so much attention to these “Sarah Palin’s”, “Rush Limbaugh’s”, “Lindsay Loehan’s”, they get away from the real topics and issues and only give these fake phonies more popularity and power. If they were to stop covering Rush and Sarah, their popularity would plummet and they would go away.

On another note: Sad, sad news that Dennis Kucinich lost his primary. America has lost one of its true progressives and representatives of the poor. Dennis Kucinich is a man of integrity and, I believe, one of the few members of Congress that people could actually trust. I hope he considers running for senator or something else later. We need people like Kucinich who can walk the walk, stand up for his beliefs and do what is right for this country.

I really hope this year is not another 2010.

Intentionally Left Mostly Blank

This post intentionally left mostly blank since I can’t really say what’s really on my mind since religion isn’t something kosher to talk about.

That health care law requiring insurance companies to pay for contraception would do a lot of good. I am one of the women who would benefit from it. I want to live in THAT country where the government does good things for people.

Slavery for example (and there are many more examples) is condoned and practiced in the Bible yet it’s illegal in America; how come no one’s complaining about that?

Let’s just leave it at the fact that it’s entire bull shit that religion gets in the way of state and federal regulations that can do good things for people.

What I Learned From Fantasy Football 2011

I’ve been doing fantasy football for the past two years now. I did one league last year. This year, I had three leagues.

I have to say NFL.com has the best fantasy football I’ve seen. Its interface is very easy to understand and does a great job of doing head-to-head matchup analysis. However, their estimations aren’t as accurate. Their predictions update throughout the game, which is really nice.

Yahoo has a good one as well. Though, the estimations don’t update throughout the game. There’s also not a graph like NFL has. But they do a good job. The interface as a commissioner is kind of confusing.

ESPN is the worst. It does head-to-head matchup but it’s hard to find. Their point system counts in whole numbers (at least the league I was in), which doesn’t make any sense. The interface is hard to follow. It’s just generally hard to find what you’re looking for.

Anyway, I wanted to blog about some of the things I’ve learned from fantasy football over these past two years:

  1. It may be worth NOT downloading the apps for your phone. It might be worth for you to use the online interfaces for your league. I say this because the apps make it really easy to make last minute changes. I did that a lot last year. Since the app was right there and it was so easy, I switched them last minute and it turns out the player I benched did better than the player I put in.
  2. Don’t listen to blogs as much. Do your own research but don’t get too carried away with it. A lot of the time the blogs are wrong. Your best bet is always to guess. Fantasy is about gambling on which player you think will do well. I benched Cruz for Moss since a blog said the Vikings had a bad secondary thinking Moss is going to have an awesome game. Cruz got 25 points where Moss had 8.
  3. Running backs, running backs, running backs (most of the time). Though if you’re in a PPR (points per reception league), wide receivers.
  4. Be weary about last minute “reports” on players. They may have a “Q” or “P” right next to their names, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to have an awesome game. Make sure you know the player isn’t going that Sunday before you bench them.
  5. Don’t put up players who have huge projections. Take the projections with a grain of salt. If a top running back is out and his backup is only projected to get 3 points, put in the backup. Where are they getting those numbers?

Fantasy is just a game of luck. And most of it’s dumb luck.

I’ve had a blast these last two years with fantasy and I can’t wait for next year. And by the way, go RAVENS!

2011 Resolutions Update I

Here’s my progress from 2011 Resolutions:

  • Eat a lot less meat, including less seafood (I’ve been really good about this however it’s difficult sometimes when eating over other people’s houses)
  • Ride the scooter when I can (Yep, I’ve been riding it, it’s put away for winter now)
  • Host more parties and get togethers (Nope, you kinda have to have friends for that)
  • See far away friends more (I see them when I can)
  • Snowboarding, master the bunny slope and the lift, turn left (Not snowboarding now, but maybe this winter)
  • Go on at least two fun trips and a vacation (check, went camping and to OC, more fun stuff to follow)
  • Make more friends (I just suck at life)
  • Work on my Wiki (making progress)
  • Don’t shop at Walmart (haven’t shopped there all year and I intend to keep it that way)
  • Get into better shape (I do yoga and I feel great)

I guess in conclusion, the big thing for me is to make friends. It’s killing me not hanging out with people. It gets very lonely.

National Defense Authorization Act

Why the hell is the so called “liberal media” not talking about this? This bill gives the military the ability to detain and arrest US citizens indefinitely who are suspected of terrorism… on US SOIL and WITHOUT TRIAL.

Obama, veto this bill. This bill is sick. How many more liberties do we have to give away in the name of terrorism? Especially when we’ve killed bin Laden and seem to have the whole “terrorism” thing under control.

If we keep taking away the rights of our citizens, there will be no country to protect. And let us not forget the wise words of Benjamin Franklin: “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”

Is The Left Right?

I’m surprised this story hasn’t gotten more traction in the “liberal media”. A report from Galveston Bay, Texas shows that climate change is the reason why the sea level in the area is changing. However, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and good ol’ Rick Perry didn’t believe the report and said that couldn’t be right, so they edited it.

There is good news, though. More and more scientists who are skeptics are starting to “believe” in climate change. Even ones that were bought off by big oil. It seems they get the same numbers as other scientists that our Earth is warming.

So the left is right. Makes you wonder what else they’re right on? Maybe that tax cuts don’t stimulate the economy nor do they pay for themselves?

Is China The New US?

Interesting articles this morning. Three years ago, 16% of Chinese said there in the past year that they couldn’t provide food for themselves or their family, compared with Americans at 9%.

Now it’s the complete opposite. 6% of Chinese say they couldn’t feed their family in the past year, where as 19% of Americans said it.

Also the news has it that GAP is closing stores in the US in order to expand to China.

What the hell is going on? Is the United States not a first world country anymore?

How I’ll Get Through Dexter Season 6 +

Warning: Spoilers for those who haven’t seen Dexter season 4… none about season 6 episode 1 (aired last night).

I hated Dexter season 5 with a passion. The first episode of the season was alright it was just not the closure I was looking for. The end of season 4 left such a void and depression with Rita dying. Season 5 did little to nothing to bridge the gap of Dexter without Rita.

Therefore, I will convince myself that Dexter season 5 never happened. He never met that bitch, Lumen, or got tangled up in anything in that crazy, stupid season.

Here’s what I’m going to convince myself happened during the very end of season 4 to now:

  1. Rita didn’t die. Rita got tired of Dexter’s sneaking around and his not being a proper father to the kids.
  2. Rita decides to leave Dexter and take Astor and Cody (of whom we’ll probably never see again). She decides to let Dexter have Harrison in order for him to become a better father. Maybe she saw something evil in him?
  3. Dexter sells the house and moves back into his apartment.

Oh, and here’s a prediction that I’ve been saying all summer: Deb will find out about Dexter this season. There are subtle clues hidden among the previews that make me point to this happening.

Let’s hope it’s a great season. Yay! Dexter’s back!

It’s The Year 2011

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for quite some time. You ever just think about life or be in a situation where technology just lacks? And you think to yourself, why haven’t they done that or fixed that?

I have been in these situations quite a few times throughout the years and I have to say each time… It’s the year 2011!

Here’s a list of stuff that needs to just catch up…

  • Vending machines – Take my stupid, folded up, ripped, and wrinkled dollar… in ANY direction. Why should I still need to have that crisp, perfect, straight from the mint dollar bill in order to get my soda???
  • Toll Roads – Yes, they have EZ pass and that’s great. But what about the people who don’t have EZ pass and carry around credit cards? What about instances when it’s 3 in the morning and there’s no dudes there? I still need to have the exact change to put in the thing. (I’m looking at you, VA-267.)
  • Digital Radio – Why aren’t all stereos in cars digital? And how come when they are, they’re always so delayed it displays the song name three songs later? And why does it take forever to scroll and see what the station name is?
  • Crutches – Why haven’t we come up with something more advanced than crutches? They make your life hard. I don’t understand why they don’t come up with an iron boot or something so you can walk without those awful things under your arms.
  • Food – How come it’s the future and we still have fattening food? How come we don’t have food that tastes good and that is good? And why the hell is fruit so expensive? Furthermore, shouldn’t all food be available 365 days a year? Why do I need to wait for my strawberries and zucchini to be in season?
  • 24/7 – How rare is it that any place is open 24 hours? It’s the future. Almost all places should be 24/7 including BANKS. I hate time limits on food and clothing and shopping.
  • Hoverboard – Because I had to put it in here!
  • Baldness & Other Cures – Shouldn’t we have cures for obvious things? There should be no bald people. You shouldn’t have to take a few days to get better from a cold. There should be easy solutions to these problems.
  • Simulation – How come you have to learn how to ride a bike the same way people learned 100 years ago? When learning to ride a motorcycle or a manual car, it’s real. How come there’s no simulated thing that you could easily learn how to shift? They had simulations for the space shuttle back before 1969! Why do I need to learn by really doing it?
  • Automatic Transmissions – Why is it that everything isn’t automatic? It’s the future, you know. We should get away from this “manual” because we invented machines to do it for us. And they can do it better than us. Why do more when a machine can do it for you?
  • Pennies – How come in the US we still have pennies? Inflation is so high right now, there isn’t a need. Our country can’t afford to make them anyway. Making a penny costs two cents, which makes no sense.
  • Shoe Laces – Why do we still have these again? Isn’t the future supposed to be shoes that adjust to your feet? You shouldn’t have to manually adjust your shoes to fit.
  • Pens – Is it so much to ask for a pen to actually work? Sure if you buy the really expensive pens, maybe. But this is the future. All pens should work without you having to draw 2,139,482 circles to get more ink or putting a lighter to the tip to melt the dried ink. Work!
  • Lights On – Why isn’t it a requirement for cars to have their lights on when the windshield wipers are on. It’s a law in some states. Some cars do it but it should be a requirement.
  • Lasting Batteries – Why do we have problems with charging things? It’s the year 2011. I’d expect our devices to run by themselves without a charge or have little requirement for charge. My phone needs to be placed on the charger like once every 15 hours (depending on usage). Seriously, create better batteries.
  • Doors – Isn’t there a way to digitalize the doors already? Make it use a fingerprint or something or a card. Keys are so old and they’re so bulky!
  • Adapters – Why is it that I need 3,428 different cords to power my different electronic devices? Why isn’t just one adapter fits all? (Thanks to @travey for this one.)