Activism Recap

 Posted by on 30 September 2012 at 6:00 pm  Activism Recap
Sep 302012

This week on We Stand FIRM, the blog of FIRM (Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine):

Follow FIRM on Facebook and Twitter.

This week on Politics without God, the blog of the Coalition for Secular Government:

Follow the Coalition for Secular Government on Facebook and Twitter.

This week on The Blog of The Objective Standard:

Follow The Objective Standard on Facebook and Twitter.

This week on The Blog of Modern Paleo:

Follow Modern Paleo on Facebook and Twitter.

Open Thread #362

 Posted by on 30 September 2012 at 12:00 pm  Open Thread
Sep 302012

Sky symphony

For anyone wishing to ask a question, make a observation, or share a link with other NoodleFood readers, I hereby open up the comments on this post to any respectable topic. As always, please refrain from posting inappropriate comments such as personal attacks, pornographic material, copyrighted material, and commercial solicitations.

NoodleFood’s Open Threads feature creative commons photographs from Flickr that I find interesting. I hope that you enjoy them!

Diana Goes Western

 Posted by on 29 September 2012 at 10:40 am  Animals, Personal, Sports
Sep 292012

I’ve always ridden English — and determinedly so. Still, I’ve long been interested in the “natural horsemanship” methods used mostly by Western trainers, and I’ve even been training with a Western rider since this spring. In that time, I’ve learned quite a bit about Western technique — and I’ve come to see just how fabulously fine-tuned it can be.

Given Elsie’s age and history, I don’t think I could ever transition her to an English style of riding: the best that I can do with her is to make her into a quiet little Western horse. With the help of my trainer, I’ve made huge progress on that score. In the process, I’ve found that Elsie does much better in a Western-style shank bit than in a snaffle, so I’ve been learning to ride in her that, which requires teaching her to hold her own frame (Western-style), as opposed to actively holding her together (English-style). That’s been a fun challenge for me, but it’s so gratifying to see her progress.

Just these past few weeks, I decided to take the next step: I want to seriously train Lila to ride in a Western style of riding. I’m going to enjoy the fun challenge of it, and I expect that Lila will enjoy the change of pace too. I’ve already been teaching her how to neck rein, and she’s doing well.

However, to really ride Western, I need the proper equipment — saddle, bridle, saddlepad, breastplate, cinch, etc. On Friday, I took the first step. I found an awfully nice Western saddle at a local used tack shop at a decent price. It’s wide, which Lila needs, but it’s workable for Elsie too. It feels good to me: just the right size and comfortable. I have it on trial now, but if my trainer gives it the thumbs up at Tuesday’s lesson, I’ll buy it. See for yourself:

I felt like such a beginner tacking up Lila in this saddle, because I had no real clue how to secure the cinch. Thankfully, I had my phone with me, so the internet came to my rescue.

I’ll buy Lila and Elsie proper Western bridles next week too, plus some other goodies. (The style of rein really makes a difference in the bridle.) I had a terrible time trying to find a suitable shank bit for Lila: I wanted a Tom Thumb, but with a three-piece mouth (e.g., a French link) so as to avoid the “nutcracker effect” of a two-piece mouth. I found exactly that, but only in a 5.0″ mouthpiece, not the 5.5″ that Lila needs. Ultimately, I ordered this bit, which I hope will be okay. (I ride Lila in a full cheek French snaffle normally, which I really like.)

After I get the horses properly equipped, I’ll need to buy myself some proper Western boots and spurs. That will be fun! I always ride with a protective helmet, so don’t expect to see me in a Western hat anytime soon!


 Posted by on 28 September 2012 at 1:00 pm  Link-O-Rama
Sep 282012

NFL Replacement Referees: My New Favorite Meme

 Posted by on 28 September 2012 at 10:00 am  Funny, Sports
Sep 282012

Here’s my new favorite meme, just perfect for the question I’ll answer on Sunday’s Radio Show about the debacle of the NFL’s replacement referees:

Happily, the NFL has settled with the regular referees, so they’re be back to work this week! Just as The Onion reports, I’m excited to return to bitching about the regular referees… but I might wait until next week for that.

Sep 272012

Some people are friendly and considerate as a matter of cultivated character. They’re consistently pleasant and accommodating toward others — absent some good reason for different behavior, such as knowing that the person is a major asshat. They’re that way to everyone, whatever their social position, including to cab drivers, help desk operators, grocery clerks, strangers on the elevator, receptionists, baristas, janitors, neighbors, and more.

Some people, however, are only pleasant and accommodating to people they deem important — usually, people higher up on their idea of the “food chain,” like their boss. Such people aren’t selectively friendly and considerate; they aren’t friendly and considerate at all. They’re just pretending to be so — and then, when they don’t see any benefit from that, the mask falls away, revealing their true character: self-absorbed, scornful, belligerent, and demanding.

Such people — the self-absorbed, scornful, belligerent, and demanding type — should be avoided whenever possible. They’re manipulative and dishonest. They see the world in terms of dog-eat-dog hierarchies of control and domination, not mutually beneficial trade. They trample on the people they see as beneath them, and they suck up to the people they see as above them. They’re always looking to get the better of others, and they’re happy to hurt people as they claw their way to the top. They’re practiced in their ways, and they always play their manipulative games better than honest traders can.

This recent article in the Wall Street JournalThe Receptionist Is Watching You — reminded me of all that.

Want that job? Better be nice to the receptionist.

Job seekers might not know it, but an interview often begins the moment they walk through the door. Candidates usually save their “best behavior” for the hiring manager and assume administrative assistants are automatons whose opinions don’t matter.

But assistants are not only close to the boss, they’re generally sharp observers who can instantly sense whether someone will fit in with company culture, says Karlena Rannals, president of the International Association of Administrative Professionals, which represents 21,000 members.

It’s just one way companies are filtering candidates in a tight labor market where more applicants are vying for fewer openings, experts say.


Administrative assistants aren’t the only ones watching. Sometimes crucial impressions are formed even earlier than the first meeting, if an applicant has been communicating with administrative staff to make logistical arrangements for, say, an in-person meeting or a videoconference.

“Smart recruiters ask for feedback from the travel agent, the driver from the car service that picked you up at the airport, and the admin that walked you around all day,” says Rusty Rueff, who once headed HR at PepsiCo and Electronic Arts and now is a board director at workplace-review site

Remember, if you’re not friendly and considerate to the security guard, the receptionist, and the barista, then you’re not a friendly and considerate — and people will notice. And, if you see that kind of behavior, beware!

The Revenge of the Sneeze

 Posted by on 27 September 2012 at 8:00 am  Animals, Personal
Sep 272012

Yesterday morning, I suddenly sneezed — by accident, right in Lila’s face. Horse people will understand why I experienced a sweet feeling of justice. Alas, Lila didn’t care.

Lila says, “Who me?”

Sep 262012

Some people say, “How can you post on silly stuff like liquid nitrogen and ping-pong balls when we’re facing global economic collapse and the prospect of concentration camps if Obama is re-elected?!?” (#WAKEUP #ROMEISBURNING, and all that.)

I say, “Why work yourself up about silly stuff like the politics and the election when there’s awesome videos involving liquid nitrogen and ping-pong balls to watch on the internet?!?”

Wasn’t that so much better than watching some ridiculously infuriating interview with Mittens or Obummer?

Update: The video was removed by the user for some reason, but I just found this version.

The Disaster of Mittens

 Posted by on 26 September 2012 at 10:00 am  Election, Mitt Romney, Religious Right
Sep 262012

As folks know, I’m very ho-hum about this election for reasons that I explained in this radio segment. I despise OBummer and Mittens. In fact, the only thing that irritates me more than those statist jackasses are the blowhards who toss off moral condemnations based on nothing more than a person’s planned vote for president. (Undoubtedly, that is the least significant political action that a person can take all year. No wait, posting rants to Facebook is even less significant.)

Nonetheless, I loosely follow the election news, and I was interested to read this analysis by the insightful Doug Mataconis about the flailing of Mittens’ campaign. After talking about how Ann Romney is upset that conservatives are criticizing the campaign, he writes:

The Romney campaign has been blundering its way through the General Election in a manner that seems rather bizarre given the manner in which they operated during the Republican primaries. Granted, running against Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich is in no way like running against a professional campaign organization like Obama For America, but at least in those days people supportive of Romney’s candidacy could point to a campaign that seemed to be operating the way a campaign that wants to win an election operates. Then, something happened after Romney won the election and, for some reason, the Romney campaign seemed wholly unable to either respond to the Obama campaign’s attacks against it and now seems as gaffe prone [as] Rick Perry was a [year] ago.

Is it really any wonder that some of Romney’s fellow Republicans aren’t very happy with the situation right now? While some of them are no doubt acting out of self-interest (and what’s wrong with that?), there are others who are just clearly frustrated by watching yet another Republican campaign blunder its way through an election.

Since the very outset, this election has been the Republican’s to lose. That’s what they seem to be doing — in their usual style. That doesn’t make me happy. I don’t look forward to another four years of Obama. Even worse, I suspect that the GOP will run an even worse crop of candidates in 2016 — meaning, more theocratic and more statist. That seems impossible, I know, but Republicans are capable of amazing feats of idiocy.

Eric Daniels Speaking in Denver

 Posted by on 25 September 2012 at 2:00 pm  Announcements
Sep 252012

Historian Eric Daniels is one of my favorite speakers, and he was a fantastic guest on Philosophy in Action Radio, talking about Progress in American History, just a few weeks ago. So I’m pleased to pass on this announcement from the Hungry Minds Speaker Series:

Hungry Minds Speaker Series presents: The Virtue of Judicial Engagement

Learn why the Supreme Court and lower courts are not doing their job, why the contrast of “activism” and “restraint” is a false alternative, and what can be done to recapture the courts as defenders of rights.

A Dinner and Talk featuring Dr. Eric Daniels, Research Assistant Professor at Clemson’s Institute for the Study of Capitalism
Saturday, October 6th, 2012, 5:00 – 9:00 PM
Landry’s Seafood House, 7209 S. Clinton Street, Englewood, CO 80112

5:00 PM: Happy Hour, Cash Bar
5:45 PM: Dinner Buffet
6:45 PM: “ARI Books for Teachers Presentation”
7:00 PM: Talk with Q/A, Eric Daniels

Cost: $65 per person
Student: $45
Seating at Head Table with Speaker (space limited): $105

Space must be reserved and paid for by October 3rd, payable online. Or you can mail your reservation (include attendee name(s), address, and check), postmarked no later than Sept. 28, to: Hungry Minds, PO Box 412, Larkspur, CO 80118.

About the speaker:

Dr. Eric Daniels is a Research Assistant Professor at Clemson University’s Institute for the Study of Capitalism. He previously served as a postdoctoral fellow and visiting assistant professor at Duke University’s Program on Values and Ethics in the Marketplace. In addition, Daniels has taught at the University of Wisconsin, where he earned his doctorate in American history. He has lectured internationally on the history of American ethics, American business and entrepreneurship, and the American Enlightenment.

For additional information, contact: [email protected]

If you’re local, I hope to see you there!

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