Assumption of Command

28 September 2005

Caption Contest Winners

Yes, I'm still here. No, I haven't been ignoring you. Well, yes, I have been ignoring you, but I've had good reason, and regardless, it's nothing personal. Anyway, winners have been posted for both the bonus and regularly scheduled caption contests. Congratulations to me and all the other winners!

25 September 2005

"Think of it as Star Wars, if Han Solo were the main character, and he still shot Greedo first."*

Here's how it is: The Earth got used up, so we moved out and terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths -- some, rich and flush with the new technologies, some, not so much. The central planets, them that formed the Alliance, waged war to bring everyone under their rule. A few idiots tried to fight it, among them, myself. I'm Malcolm Reynolds, captain of Serenity. She's a transport ship, Firefly class. We got a good crew: fighters, pilot, mechanic. We even picked up a preacher, for some reason, and a bona fide Companion. There's a doctor, too -- took his genius sister out of some Alliance camp, so they're keeping a low profile, you understand. You got a job, we can do it. Don't much care what it is."
--Malcolm Reynolds, narrating at the opening of each episode of Firefly

I don't go to the movies very often anymore. I think it has something to do with having worked at a movie theater. You know how people who used to work at, say, Wendy's oftentimes will make a point of never eating at Wendy's? Especially upon finding out how the chili is prepared? It's the same with me -- after having been a bow tie & vest-wearing monkey behind the box office glass at the AMC Ward Parkway, I have a hard time going to a theater without suffering flashbacks:

"I want two adults and three children to 'Striptease'."
"It was too dark in the theater; I want my money back!"
"What do you mean, 'A Mid-Continent Public Library card is not a student ID.'!?"

You people can be really irritating sometimes! You've ruined the allure of the movies for me. Well, you and the fact that I used to be able to get in for free, and have grown averse to paying.

(It wasn't all bad, though. As a twenty-two year old college graduate with a degree in chemical engineering, I got to scare the living hell out of a bunch of teenagers by telling them that if they stayed in school and studied hard, they could end up in the box office, just like me! I take my entertainment where I can get it.)

Anyway, I can count the number of movies I've seen in the theater over the last two years on one hand (and one of those -- Episode 3 -- I wish I could un-see). But, Tuesday night, I'm heading back to the scene of so many nightmares, and will do so happily in order to attend a bloggers-only press screening of Joss Whedon's Serenity!

Why get so excited about a movie based on a television show that was cancelled after only eleven episodes? Because they were a really good eleven episodes, and because I'm convinced that if the programming executives at Fox weren't collectively brain dead (whose idea was it to air the two-hour pilot episode last?), the show would have caught on in a big way. Because those of us who watched the show and made the DVD release of the series a surprise hit worked hard to make such a movie possible. Because I believe that there's a place for smart dialogue, imaginative storytelling, fully-realized characters and settings, and a quirky sensibility in cinema. Because the character of mercenary Jayne Cobb is worth the price of admission.

Regardless, Serenity is the one movie being released this fall that I'm really looking forward to, and thanks to this blogging gig, I get to see it in advance (and for free! Thanks guys!). Actually, thanks to this blogging gig, Em gets to see it in advance, too (the studio is hosting these blogger screenings all over the country). She and I will both be posting our reviews after seeing the film -- me here, and Em at her blog, "Random Musings of a Grammar Nerd.". Until then, check out the movie's web site, read the studio's capsule summary of the film below, and purchase your tickets for the premiere on Friday, Sept. 30!
Joss Whedon, the Oscar® - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family – squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal."

*I can't come up with a better one-sentence description of the much loved, much cancelled television show, Firefly. It's not my one sentence description, of course; I stole it from an M.E. Russell article at The Weekly Standard. But it captures the spirit of the show.

I gotta Break Free!

This is my last post from the Fertile crescent. This is a good thing.

The following must be said:

"That's the news, and I am outta here"

"I'm leaving on a Jet Plane... Don't know when I'll be back again"

"Catch you on the Flip Side"

"Hasta La Vista, Baby!"

"Goin' to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come..."

"I am outie, No Doubtie!"

"Let's break outta here"

Now everyone needs to help me out and identify these quotes.

BTW: Dave will be Judging the Caption Contest.

23 September 2005

Grab hold of this Caption Contest

Image Hosted by

Mmm ... lunch!

(Wait ... wrong caption contest. Let's try again ...)

Steer wrestling is another hobby ... it helps if they have horns to hold onto, but watch this.
Chevy Rose

The "Securing Future Free Lunches" Award
Here I am, plant one on the kisser.
Mustang Mama

The Scooby-Doo Memorial "If it wasn't for you meddling kids!" Award
If I pull off his face mask ... I'll discover ... Howard Dean!
Sue Mitchell

The Non Sequitur Award
Previous comment made by me.
Souldier: Prayer Warrior

The "Don't Forget to Award Something to FCC@V" Award
Awww, aren't old guys so cute!!!

Simpsons Quote Friday

Offered without context or explanation.

Oh, Mr. Pigeon, I'd kiss you if you weren't swimming with disease!"
--Lisa Simpson

21 September 2005

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolves? -- A Bonus Caption Contest

From my personal photo archive, and based on a true story:

Winner (as promised):
Mmm ... lunch!.

The "Moral Victory" Runner-up Award
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death ...


The Originality Award
Mmm ... breakfast!
Mustang 23

The "Truth in Advertising" Award
It looks like a rat on stilts. You nudge it and I'll yell TIMBER!

The "Short Man's Syndrome" Award
In spite of his small stature, the Drill Sergeant was clearly in charge.
Mustang Sarge

19 September 2005

Challenge Issued, Challenge Met

To answer your question, Mustang: Yes, I can.

I got them done on time this week!

The winners in the Caption Contest are up. Once again we had a great turn out and some really good captions.

Make sure to come back next week where we will have even more fun making fun of people!

BTW: I am still stressing about inventories and redeployment junk, but think I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am pretty sure it isn't an oncoming train!

18 September 2005

Can you do this?

Amazingly enough, I got a few minutes of free time. Since I needed a bit of a strees break I tried this little game:

Grow Cube

Can you do this?

I can!

17 September 2005

OK there is a difference

John of Blogotional has some thing to say about my Armadillo... Amarillo... Same Difference.

US Army In Iraq Declares War On Blogotional!...
I will fly myself to Iraq and immediately proceed to paint the entire base yellow, just to remind them of the difference between Amarillo, a lovely city which once housed a huge B-52 wing armed with nuclear weapons built in Amarillo, and a heavily armored rat.
Hey John: those are not American troops. :) It sure does look like a typical FOB.

16 September 2005

Don't Monkey Around, Write a Caption

Image Hosted by
Winners! (It was a tie!)
Now send up the real pictures of the Kansas Board of Education.
Hey hey we're the Senate Judiciary Committee,
People say we monkey around.
But we're to busy preening,
To smack John Roberts down
Charles Austin

The "For Calling Dave a Chimp, but more importantly not calling FCC@V a Chimp" Award
Dave (Middle Chimp): "Hey! I'm tired of waiting for Mustang 23 to get his butt home from Iraq!!!"
Mustang Mama (left chimp) and Mustang Sarge (right chimp): {muttering in agreement} "Mmmm, Hmmmmm!!!!"
Robin in Ohio

The "Change Step... MARCH!" Award
During a strategy session at a nature retreat, Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy and a sulking John Kerry (R to L) are informed that the resort is out of Jack Daniels.
Ma Deuce Gunner
I meant left to right.
Ma Deuce Gunner

The "Nothing to do with the picture award" Award
And for everybody else that says that Ohio has nothing in it I have one word for you: CEDARPOINT!!!!

Simpsons Quote Friday

Offered without context or explanation.

Know ye who read this, there is more to my life than history records. Firstly, I did not tame the legendary buffalo. It was already tame; I merely shot it."
--Jebediah Springfield, famed pioneer and founder of the town of Springfield

15 September 2005

Armadillo... Amarillo... Same Difference

FCC@V sends this link to a funny video of some troops with some extra time on their hands.

Is this the Way to Armadillo?

She also send the Kosovo song that has been getting around as well.

Update: Heh!

Everyone wins!

I just realized that I forgot to post winners to the Caption Contest! UGH! So Everyone wins!

I am buried in an inventory. Can't stay long.

13 September 2005

"Random Dave Stuff," Part 1 -- An Encounter With Warren Buffett

For the past two years, I've been in the MBA program at the University of Kansas. This has afforded me the opportunity to have some very long days (I take classes at night, after work), and to feel the wrath of Mustang 23, who isn't what you'd call a "fan" of the Jayhawks. But it has also allowed me to spend some time -- "hobnob," if you will -- with various fat-cats. And cats don't come much fatter than the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett. He's known as The Oracle of Omaha, The Wizard of Wall Street, That Guy Who Looks Like My Cousin Martin. He's considered to be the greatest investor in history, and, with a net worth of $43 billion, is the second richest person in the world. Through Berkshire, he owns GEICO, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, The Pampered Chef, Nebraska Furniture Mart, 8% of Coca-Cola, 12% of American Express, 10% of Gillette, 21% of the Washington Post, and, just for giggles, ACME Brick.

Otherwise, he's just like you and me.

Through my MBA program, I've had the opportunity to see him twice. The first time was in April, at Berkshire Hathaway's Annual Shareholders Meeting. I am not a shareholder, mind you -- at roughly $83,000 per share, it's a bit outside my pay grade (though they do offer "Class B" shares designed to be affordable for the average investor -- $2,700 per share). However, my Investments professor managed to procure a couple hundred passes, and made attendance 15% of our grade.

"Find a hotel room in Omaha for the night before, because I need you in line at the Qwest Center by 5 am." he said. "When the doors open at seven, run like hell for stage left on the arena floor, and start posting these 'Reserved' signs on as many chairs as you can. I want the entire class together and within ten rows of the stage. Kick the canes out from under the old people, if you have to; just make it happen!"

Good professor. I learned a lot from him.

Anyway, I spent the day listening to Warren Buffett talk about this and that, and got to sit ten yards, one barrier fence, and a glowering bodyguard away from Bill Gates (who is on the Berkshire Hathaway Board of Directors). I roamed the exhibit floor, where various Berkshire-owned companies had set up displays, but was disappointed at the amount and quality of the swag to be had. It was amusing, though, to see some of the wealthiest people in the world (to stereotype the average Berkshire meeting attendee) crawling all over one another to grab armfuls of inexpensive underwear from the Fruit of the Loom kiosk.

That was my first run-in with Mr. Buffett. Fast forward to the end of the semester: my Investments prof again arranged for the class to go to Omaha, this time for a ninety-minute Q&A session with Warren Buffett at Berkshire World Headquarters. This, too, was 15% of my grade, so I took a vacation day, drove to Lawrence on a Friday morning to meet the charter bus, and managed to lock my keys in my car. I learned that day that it is absurdly, frighteningly easy to break into a locked late-model automobile -- all you need is a blood pressure cuff and a fishing pole. Take the blood pressure cuff, insert it into the seam between the door and ...

Wait. I'm getting off track, aren't I? Let's try this again.

So, once again, I found myself going to Omaha for an audience with Cousin Martin. Wait, no ... I mean, with Warren Buffett. Sorry. My Investments professor instructed us to bring questions, as well as a digital camera. I took this picture of Warren Buffett drinking a Coke:

Here's a picture I took of him eating a Dairy Queen sundae in front of us:

Buffett's kinda shameless about product placement.

My professor also advised us to bring a book for Warren Buffett to sign. Now, I don't own any books by or about Warren Buffett, as I lamented to my as-of-then still local girlfriend, Emily. She surprised me by making a beeline for her bookcase and pulling a Buffett book right off the shelf, and suggested that I take it with me to Omaha. I did so, but didn't have an opportunity to have Warren sign it, as we ran out of time. He did, however, have us leave them with his secretary, and promised to sign them and ship them back to Lawrence. He even told us to include a note with instructions on how we would like the autographs personalized.

The semester ended, and months passed. Word came that Em's book had returned from Omaha, but I was unable to find my way to Lawrence to retrieve it. The fall semester started, and, wonder of wonders, one of my classmates who lives in Lawrence was nice enough to ferry it to Kansas City. Check it out!

In case you can't make it out, that says, "To Emily - Warren Buffett." I figured it was her book, after all, so I should have Warren personalize it for her. Of course, by the time I got the book back, she had moved, so I wasn't able to get it to her until Labor Day weekend (when I left Ft. Livingroom to spend three days at FOB Em's Townhouse). She seemed pretty pleased with it.

By now, you might be wondering which Buffett book I had Warren sign. Well, wonder no longer; it was this one:

I'm just disappointed that Warren didn't follow my suggestion and sign it:
"To Emily: Keep searching for that lost shaker of salt. -- Warren Buffett "


I know you haven't heard much from me lately. I have been busy with inventories and hoop jumping that is getting us out of here. So I hope you enjoy the Barn Yard Animals and other random Dave stuff.

12 September 2005

The Barnyard Animal of the Day is ...

... the emu. This is an emu:

Like all worthwhile creatures, emus were named after the sound they make. You'll know you're in the presence of an emu when you hear its majestic call, which goes a bit like this:


(This knowledge proves to be especially useful in later verses of "Old Macdonald Had a Farm.")

10 September 2005

I Remember

I Will Never Forget

Simpsons Quote Fri ... er, Saturday

Offered without context or explanation.
Ah, there's nothing more exciting than science. You get all the fun of sitting still, being quiet, writing down numbers, paying attention. Science has it all."
-- Principal Seymour Skinner

09 September 2005

Caption this Eye-Dee-Ten-Tee (IDIOT)

Blackfive and Confederate Yankee gives us the Back story behind this picture.

1. Write a caption to this picture and place it in the comments.
2. The winning captions will be posted here on Monday.
3. Make me Laugh


Part of the OTB Caption Jam

07 September 2005

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Weightlessness

It is Official! Worlds of Fun just announced its New Roller Coaster, The Patriot.

Check out these Specs!

TOTAL INVESTMENT :: $14 million
TRACK LENGTH :: 3,081 feet
LIFT HEIGHT :: 149 feet
FIRST DROP :: 123 feet
SPEED :: Approximately 60 MPH
RIDE TIME :: 2 minutes 18 seconds
DESIGN MODEL :: Inverted
It's a thing of beauty.

(Click for larger pic)

Go check out the official Site for all kinds of fun stuff, including videos, the layout, and the latest news, a Webcam, and the construction journal.

06 September 2005

W Stands for Weeehaw

And another Caption Contest comes to an end. This one really got the creative juices flowing. The winners are posted.

Once again thank you for everyone who played. And I also want to thank everyone for not beating up on my Commander-in-Chief too badly, which saves me some hassle with FCC@V. ;)

Come back around this Saturday for more Captioning Goodness.

Quick "Plug": Next week is going to be a boat load of fun!

Tribes by Bill Whittle

05 September 2005

Come Together, Right Now!

If I was to talk about a war torn country where three groups of people with long standing hatred are trying to work together to get their country to stand up on it's own, you would probably think I was talking about Iraq. But there is another country that fits this description as well: Bosnia.

Mustang Sarge (My dad) sent me this Article about the Bosnian's that are serving in Iraq and how the Serbs, the Croats and the Bosniacs (They don't like to be called the Muslims because we don't call the Serbs and the Croats by their religion) are working together for the good of another war torn country.

Former Bosnian foes find ethnic unity in Iraq
A platoon of Bosnian soldiers -- Muslims, Croats and Serbs, who were bitter enemies in a vicious sectarian war which ended 10 years ago -- play poker with each other after a hard day's work.

The atmosphere is jovial as the Bosnians, one of more than 20 nationalities within the US-led coalition, joke about their US counterparts.

"When a mortar shell lands near the camp they come round telling us to stay inside," says one with a grin.

"They don't realize we sometimes spent entire days under continuous shelling" during the Bosnian war.

This multi-ethnic unit of ordnance experts from Bosnia's two ethnically-divided armies -- probably among the most war-hardened coalition contingents in the whole of Iraq is making history for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
This makes me proud to be a vet of the Bosnian Peace Keeping Mission. Maybe this is foreseeing how Iraqi units can come together here in the near future. Only time will tell, but I am hopeful.
Note: Due to the Holiday, the Caption contest has been extended a day!

02 September 2005

Play that thing: Caption Style

"C'mon, Cindy! Just a couple of verses of Kumbayah, OK?"
BMG Mike

The "Just Plain Wrong" Award
Row, row, row your boat.... (M23 Adds "right up Bourbon Street") oh nevermind, that won't work right now.

The "there were too many good song lyrics" Awards

So many, I won't post them here!

The Return of the "Sucking up to the Judge" Award
No Mr. President, Mustang 23 can't be at the concert, he's off chasing camels.


The "Sometimes Pres. Bush Says Silly Things, But we love him anyway" Awards
"My baloney has a first name.... "
"One more time . . . Oh, you can't hug a child with nucular arms. . ."
Rodney Dill
"I wanna thank you for this lovely banjo..."

01 September 2005

Simpsons Quote Friday

Offered without context or explanation

Authorities say the phony pope can be recognized by his high-top sneakers and incredibly foul mouth."
-- Local news anchor Kent Brockman