The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

Archive for the ‘Stuff’ Category

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Thoughts on this bowl season

Posted by David Leslie on January 8, 2009

As a Bama fan, losing to Utah in the Sugar Bowl was tough. It was a no win for the Tide. You’re expected to win and if you lose, no matter how, you choked. But living in Columbus Ohio, I have to put up with Buckeye fan so I have to follow them via osmosis.

Yet losing as the Buckeye’s did because of a busted coverage with less than 30 seconds to go has got to hurt more than losing as Bama did.

With Bama’s loss, about all you can do tip the hat to the Utes and say ‘Dang it!” under your breath. You came in, got thumped early, fought back but fell way short as they thump you again for good measure. Nothing is really changes this. There isn’t that one play that shifted the game. It time to pull the cleat they shoved up ya hind end out and start getting ready for next season.

With OSU’s loss, it’s coulda, shoulda, woulda hell time. Winning with less than 30 sec to play; Then it comes undone, the spot (face it, he made the progress) then that slant and poof you just lost. Now you’re looking at every play wondering if this had happened or that had happened, would the outcome been different.

At least me and my fellow Tide fans had a whole quarter to let the lost sink in with the welcoming arms of the Big Easy and a long weekend to comfort our pain. Buckeye fan had 10 seconds and a late night plane ride to go back to work.


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Book Review: How to Break a Terrorist

Posted by David Leslie on January 7, 2009

4 out of 5 stars

What worked:

  • Great examples of how interrogation approaches work
  • Quick read
  • Gets you involved in the fate of the subjects
  • the Randy-isms

What didn’t work:

  • Too short
  • Only discussed the hunt for al-Zaraqwi from the point of view of his unit

2 years ago I was having breakfast with some friends of my uncle’s before a Christmas tree hunt. On the TV a story popped on discussing waterboarding and its use in interrogations. One of the fellas at the table popped off that waterboarding isn’t torture and was the best way to “get them to talk”.

When I tried to interject that waterboarding was great for scaring the crap out of someone but it does little to get real information, I got what I call the “Jack Bauer argument”. You know, <play some really tense music please and read this with a gravely voice of Don LaFontaine> you have a bomber in custody who knows where a nuclear bomb is planted. There is only one way to get him to talk before it is too late <end with a close up of Jack who has the GUTS to do what must be done>.

How to break a Terrorist by Matthew Alexander with John R. Bruning details Alexander’s role in using the ‘new school’ of interrogations techniques based on rapport, respect of culture and approaches that play on the subject’s hope that proved invaluable in the hunt for al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The book is a quick read (finished in about 2 nights) and discusses in very understandable prose how these techniques and approaches arose from ones used in criminal investigations and car sales (ever have a sales person go ‘get their boss’ before you leave? This is an approach), how rapport is built using doppelgangers regardless of what the subject has done, and the frustrations with those who still believe that harsh interrogations are the way to go.

It also talks about the dilemma faced when you have built rapport with the subject and have offered them hope as a way to get them to cooperate but know that in reality the subject’s crimes has sealed their fate.

Yet even with this book detailing how more information was pulled out of a subject in 6 hours using the new techniques than was extracted in a month of the old techniques of fear and control, you still get the believers of the Jack Bauer arguments like Sean Hannity shooting their mouth’s off in this interview with Alexander. If it wasn’t for Ollie North blabbering about al Zarqawi at the opening of the interview, I would have loved to seen Alexander look at Hannity and say “I broke a senior Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader in the 6 hours using rapport! You still thing torturing someone who is expecting it is going to get information faster than that?” when Hannity cut him off for time at the end.

Sad that a comedy show did a better interview with him than a news show.

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Yes We Can

Posted by David Leslie on November 5, 2008

It’s been a long but good day. At the staging area at 5:45, to the poll by 6.

Worked with some great folks to get out the vote for our next President.

Numbers from the machines at my ward looked bleak but many voted early.

So while the team leads headed downtown to watch results, I went home and was stunned by the results:

Obama = winner

I get to tell my son that those door hangers we hung Monday night together helped get Obama elected.

Nancy Garland = Beat Jim MacGregor. I got 8 pieces of mail from Jim in the last week. That’s tells you how much money went into this race to come up short.

Pat Tiberi (a man called Igor by Esquire to John Boehner’s Dr. Frankenstein) goes down to David Robinson who never even mail dropped my ward. Given that Pat took over the seat from his boss John Kasich who held it before him, I thought he would step down on his own before he’d ever lose an election for this seat.

Heading to bed now but more tomorrow as it sinks in..

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My Halloween Idea

Posted by David Leslie on October 31, 2008

If you wanted to know where I’m with the election; let me give you this exchange with my wife.


Me; I’ve got an idea for Halloween

Jean: No, you are not handing “Vote Obama” with the mini Play-Doh cans

Me: Is that overkill?

Jean: You have the Obama – Biden sign in the front yard already. Besides kids can’t vote.

Me: How about a Democratic voter guide for their parents?

Jean: No

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Back from Summer hiatus

Posted by David Leslie on October 2, 2008

It’s been a long summer in the Leslie household. From our family trip to Cedar Point to the great wind storm thanks to Hurricane Ike, its been memorable.

Here are a few highlights

– John got glasses

– My cousin Caitlin graduated high school, competed in the state track finals on the hottest (thus far) day of the year, gave the commencement speech  at the graduation on the 2nd hottest day of the year and started school at Davidson.

– Thanks to the Red Cross, we got free Cedar Point tickets for giving blood and took a vacation to the north coast. We stayed in a dive, found a great restaurant that was in an old boat factory and hung out with our friend who lives in Amish country.

– Jean started working more hours at work so John got to spend time hanging out with some of the other kids in the neighborhood.

– I got a new tablet pc and a home server

– I went to the last 2 games at Cooper Stadium, home of the Columbus Clippers.

– John started kindergarten


I’ll post more on these over the next few weeks.

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Oh how I love Hulu, let me count the ways

Posted by David Leslie on May 13, 2008

If you are a TV fan, you really need to head over to A joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp (think Fox), Hulu features a great mix of current and classic TV shows plus movies using Adobe’s Flash player. Even better is it’s ability to let you take a whole show or part of a show that you like and embed it on your favorite social software outlet.


Speaking of the social, you can rate episodes plus add reviews to the shows for other Hulu users to read. For those RSS addicts like me, you can even subscribe to RSS feeds for the shows you like so that you can know when new content for that show is posted to the site.

Now you will see ads, one at each act break for the episodes but that’s little price to pay for the ability to watch online.


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CAPA’s Summer Movie Slate

Posted by David Leslie on April 24, 2008

I so love going to the Ohio Theater for the Summer Movies. They really don’t make these types of theaters anymore.

Here is my list of “Must See” Flicks.


Thunderball (1965)
Friday, June 6, 7:30pm & Sunday, June 8, 2 pm & 7:30 pm
Sean Connery, Claudine Auger, Adolfo Celi
– Coming out strong with this one. My all time favorite Bond flick. I love the card game with Claudine Auger looking on as Bond schools Adolfo Celi in Baccarat.

Planet of the Apes (1968)
Wednesday-Friday, June 18-20, 7:30 pm daily
Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter
– I loved General Urko when I was a kid. So much so I can still remember the looks I got when I said his name in my speech therapy when asked for our favorite character…at 5.

Cartoon Capers
Saturday, June 21, 10 am
Enjoy a dozen classic cartoons from the ‘40s and ‘50s featuring many of the Warner Brothers superstars including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Pepe LePew, and Yosemite Sam!

– Gotta go. No questions

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Saturday, July 19, 10 am
Michael Caine, Frank Oz, Kermit the Frog, The Great Gonzo, Miss Piggy
– Little guy is going to love this

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Wednesday & Thursday, July 23-24, 7:30 pm daily
Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson
This frontier epic has nearly 3 hours of everything you could ever want from a western—spectacular vistas, gunslinging shoot outs, a shadowy stranger, an infamous desperado, a beautiful widow, and a ruthless villain.
– Gotta see this on the big screen

The Third Man (1949)
Friday, July 25, 7:30 pm
Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, Orson Welles
In this Oscar-winning Carol Reed film noir thriller, an American writer steps off the train in post-WWII Vienna to learn that the friend who invited him has mysteriously died. As he begins to question the inconsistencies of his friend’s accident, he becomes unwittingly caught up in a plot much larger and dangerous than he realized.
– Going to be tough to get out to see this but I’ve been wanting to for a long time

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Its been awhile

Posted by David Leslie on March 31, 2008

Ok, the blog needs a bit of tending. So I’m working on it.

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Billy G’s last day at MS

Posted by David Leslie on January 7, 2008

Could you see Steve Jobs doing a video like this….

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I’m getting the feeling…Maybe the best videogame ad of the year

Posted by David Leslie on December 17, 2007

The voice reminds me a bit of Josh Homes from Microsoft

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