Category Archives: Uncategorized

Gun Control? Stop Fooling Yourself!

Gun control! Gun control! Ok, fine, let’s increase the gun laws. We can at least make operating a firearm as regulated as driving a car. We could implement a licensing system and track sales and purchases. I actually believe there is a number of ways we can control the use and sale of firearms without actually limiting the civil liberties of Americans or being unconstitutional. But you cannot tell me that today’s tragedy was purely a result of loose gun laws. A contributing factor? Yes. But the number one cause? I’m not convinced.
 
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Where is the call for mental health reform? Where is the demand for budget increases for health-care professionals working with at-risk individuals and families or education for the public on finding help for those in need? What about studying the effects of violence in media or the breakdown in families? You want to create some real change in society, try looking there.
 
And foreigners, stop pretending like you know what it’s like in the US and stop demanding everyone be like you (which the world was so quick to condemn the US for doing). You talk of gun control like its a magic bullet. Maybe 50 years ago it might have been, but we are living in today. Try coming up with a plan that is aligned with the constitution and makes me believe my family will be safe from criminals. You bandy about terms like assault weapons and gun control, but do you actually know what it means or are we just throwing around emotions? (Assault weapons, by the way, are in fact banned by federal law, but this shooting didn’t involve assault weapons, so it’s beside the point anyway). So write me a law that makes my family safer tomorrow and you’ll have my full support, but remember that we are living in the real world. There are literally millions of guns scattered throughout America. Creating a law that tightens the control of firearms will only affect firearms that are sold tomorrow. It will have no affect on the weapons already proliferated throughout the country, nor those who intend to use them for evil. You write me a law that convinces me that my family will be safe at home or at school and that there is nothing a criminal can bring against my family that I cannot protect them against and I will shout it from the rooftops. But don’t think it is that easy!
 
Don’t talk of gun control as though it’s some kind of utopian society where guns don’t exist. Don’t compare America today to Australia where the government clamped down on guns nearly 20 years ago and say it should do the same. It is simply not the same. The numbers don’t add up. We can all say what should have happened 20, 50 or 100 years ago but that time has come and gone. To state what should happen tomorrow is a completely different story.
 
When I was in school, we practiced fire drills. That was the extent of the expected emergencies. Yesterday (I kid you not. The day before this tragedy) my 7 year old daughter practiced a drill with her class mates. Not a fire drill, like in my day, but a “Lock-down Drill” or “what to do if a bad man with a weapon” (I quote my daughter) entered her school. I’m sure my well-meaning foreign friends think they know what’s best when they scatter their advice, but unless you have kids who LITERALLY practice what to do if what happened in Connecticut were to happen in their school, or LITERALLY live in an area where dozens of people were gunned down while watching movie, you will not understand why the future of gun control will involve the ownership and stewardship of firearms. Besides, this is not a case of gun control alone. Stop fooling yourself.
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The Best Overview of StarWars

Maybe I was just in the right mood at the right time, but this made me laugh so I decided to repost it.

I found this overview while on the forums of XKCD about a random Star Wars post. Credit (as far as I can tell) goes to a guy named ‘CurruptUser’. I’ve simply copied it as it was, spelling and grammar intact.

Enjoy.

 

Episode IV:

Evil Mooks slaughter Rebel Mooks, Angry Badass captures Hotty Hotterson, but not before Gaybot and Trashbot escape, Gaybot and Trashbot get captured and sold to Crybaby, Crybaby teams up with the bots to find Old Dude, then recruit Captain McAwesome and McGruff, all get captured by Angry Badass and the Sphere of Doom, they rescue Hotty Hotterson but Old Dude sacrifices himself so the others can escape, but sacrifice is wasted anyway because Crybaby and crew didn’t run, they escape anyway while the Sphere of Doom tracks them, team up with Rebel Mooks, Rebel Mooks and Crybaby take on the Sphere of Doom, and Crybaby destroys the Sphere of Doom because of Old Dude and Captain McAwesome.

 

Episode V:

Life in Planet Alaska, Crybaby gets lost and fights a yeti, then gets shoved into a corpse, rebels lose Battle of Awesome and must flee, Crybaby goes to Swamp Planet to train under Weirdo and becomes Crybaby-monk, Captain McAwesome, McGruff, Gaybot, Trashbot, and Hotty Hotterson go into hiding, Angry Badass sends Silent McBadass to search for that Group, Group hides in Gas Planet only to be betrayed by Weasel to Angry Badass and Silent McBadass, Angry Badass freezes Captain McAwesome and gives him to Silent McBadass, Weasel’s heart grows 3 sizes that day and saves Group, Crybaby-monk shows up to save the day but gets mutilated by Angry Badass, Crybaby-monk, McGruff, Gaybot, Trashbot and Hotty Hotterson escape to plot revenge.

 

Episode VI:

Crybaby-monk’s testicles finally grew in, he and his friends team up to save Captain McAwesome from the Giant Goober, Giant Goober escapes with most of Crybaby-monk’s friends including Hotty Hotterson at her hottest, fight breaks out and Giant Goobers dies while Silent McBadass falls into a pit, Crybaby-monk’s friends all join up with the Rebel Mooks again to stop the Sphere of Doomtoo, Weasel takes Captain McAwesome’s ship to fight the Sphere of Doomtoo in space, Captain McAwesome and Hotty Hotterson recruit some Merkin Mooks to take on Evil Mooks, Crybaby-monk fights Angry Badass while Evil Emperor taunts them both, Evil Emperor defeats Crybaby-monk but Angry Badass sacrifices himself to stop Evil Emperor, Merkin Mooks defeat Evil Mooks, and Weasel destroys the Sphere of Doomtoo.

 

Episode I:

Something about pod racing and slavery and something? Also, there was Badass Supreme but for only like 30 seconds.

 

Episode II:

Whiney McAngsty falls in love with a different Hotty Hotterson or something, or maybe the Supreme Evil tricks them into loving each other, somehow they end up in an arena or something like that. I honestly can’t remember if there WAS a plot.

 

Episode III:

There was some kind of fight in Lava World, but I can’t remember how that fight started.


we’re back

I decided to resurrect my blog.

For some reason, I kept thinking up good posts, but would complain to myself about not having a decent place to put them. One day I realised I was an idiot!

So bradcrabtree.wordpress.com is back!

(and thanks to @iambersee for the inspiration!)


Value is the new Black

Nowadays, we are all looking for added value and if we can’t see it, we’re walking away. More and more store owners a closing their doors early because they can’t find ways to drive more sales. Starbucks stores in Seattle (yes, Seattle…the birthplace of Starbucks!) are closing earlier each day because people just are not buying coffee. The answer is staring them in their face. Add value. You don’t even have to lower the price of something to add value to it. Here is five things I would do before resorting to shutting the doors early. 1. Rewards. Buy 5 coffees, get one free. That’s essentially taking about 35 cents off each drink but will actually drive more sales than simply lowering your prices. Why? Added value. 2. Live jazz nights. If your store has to close at a certain time because you have no customers…make that time THE time to be there. Find some local, undiscovered talent and let them play in your cafe. They get the free play time and can sell their garage-band album and you get to give your customers the awesome atmosphere. It’ll sell. Why? Added Value 3. Education and Diversification. Don’t forget your other products.Teach your customer’s how to make Starbucks-Style Caramel Macchiatos in their own home and then you can sell them the machines, beans and syrups. When they realize they can make their favorite drink at half the price, they’ll love you. Why? Added Value 4. Fun Friday, Cheap Tuesday, Mad Monday…call it what you want. If you really want to lower your prices, this is the only time a sale will add value to a product. You pick a day, give it a fancy name and create an event out of it. Put up streamers if you feel like it and get your staff to wear a funny hat. You could also do this as a ‘After 6pm’ deal, too. 5. Finally, combine them all. On Tuesday night, after 6pm, drinks are half price and you can enjoy the music of local band XYZ while we teach you how to make cappuccinos. Buy five drinks on the night and get one for free. The moral? If you’re a customer, keep looking for that added value and if you can’t see it, ask for it. If you’re a store owner, make your competition irrelevant by adding more value and giving your customers an excuse to buy from you and not the next guy.


Don’t Be Evil

Google’s unofficial motto, “Don’t be Evil,” seems to shine as a light in the darkness of an otherwise seflish and…well, ‘evil’ world.

It is interesting to note that in a time when moral values seems to take on a more personal (read: ‘postmodern,’ read: ‘bias’) meaning, the word ‘evil’ could have several different definitions.

One thing is for sure; almost everyone is against it. At least, everyone is against their own view of evil. If only we could agree on what that is.


If I Can Do It Better…

During the winter holidays, I spent some time in what would probably be considered one of the best ski resorts in Australia. I use that term loosely because I would also suggest the title ‘best ski resort in Australia’ would have more to do with the lack of ski resorts and less to do with how good this resort actually is. Every building I saw could be aptly described as a claustrophobic, 70’s rerun and gave me an overwhelming sense that I was getting dirty just looking at it…and this was the best Australia had to offer? The only thing of any quality came from the hand of God and that was the mountain itself.

I wondered why no one else seemed to notice. Have we become so desperate that we are willing to accept the first offer we are given with no thought to what we are actually paying for (or if it is even worth it)? 

I am not talking about haggling with a shopkeeper to get the best price for a pair of shoes or that nice purse that you would buy right now if it were only $5 cheaper. This is about raising the bar across the board and letting the owners and proprietors of shops, hotels, cafes, restaurants and ski resorts know that we are not going to settle for paying a high premium for lower than average products and services. I don’t expect everywhere I go to charge obscenely cheap prices but I would like to see some value equal to the price that I am paying. 

 

By the end of my aforementioned ski holiday, I came to one conclusion and I would like to challenge you with this question: If you walk into a café, hotel, or ski resort and think to yourself, ‘I could have done this better.’ Why the hell would you give them your money? After all, these guys are supposed to be the pro’s!

 

I know what you’re thinking; you may not have a choice. I didn’t have too much choice of where to ski after driving for six hours to get there, but I DO have a choice of where I will go next year! 

I would like to think of myself as a down-to-earth kind of person and as such I appreciate good value and I hate that feeling you get when you are dealing with cash mongering, money grabbers who care for nothing other than their own profit margin.

 

Out of a sense of duty, I will shop elsewhere.