Saturday, March 31, 2007

Friday, March 30, 2007

"England, ma'am. It's where Great Britain used to be."

Can you imagine what would have happened if some wide spot in the road had kidnapped a boat full of 'Er Majesty's tars back in the days of Pax Britannia?

HMS Thunderer would have dropped anchor in the harbor of whatever pathetic hamlet they were being held captive. Royal Marines would have been disembarked. Crowds of Wogs would have been mowed down by Gatlings and run through with Martini bayonets. The local rajah would have forked over his prisoners, or he would have found his house burned to the ground and Tommy Atkins pissing on the ashes.

This is what used to be called a casus belli.

Now it's just called a human interest story.

How are the mighty fallen!

Baseball: Can't hardly wait...

84 hours to go.

Blog Stuff: It's 1AM...

...The Cranberries are on iTunes, and some poor angel is without a voice until Dolores O'Riordan is done singing.

Just so you know.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Politics: CNN scooped by Silence.

CNN is groggily noting that there seems to be an increasing infatuation with Fred Thompson. They're only a month or so behind Michael Silence in picking up on that vibe.

I like Thompson. Mind you, he's not the guy I'll vote for, but at least I can understand him. He reminds me of the GOP of my youth, not the mutant hybrid big tent elephant of today that reeks of nothing more than hawkish Great Society fans that have attended a tent revival. Sometimes I think Dubya couldn't spell laissez faire, much less pronounce it, and someone needs to let the current GOP stars know that tax credits, incentives, and vouchers are all, as Florence King put it, "the welfare state in single file."

Blog Stuff: Help a brother out.

TD at The Unforgiving Minute is testing some new anti-spam gizmo. If you are an actual human and not some malevolent spambot, go leave him a comment here.

Slow fuse burning.

It no longer seems radical to say this: There's a crash coming. All manner of behavior is getting excused by the widening political schism in our fair land, and most of it goes without any official censure.

When I first learned to drive, I was terrified of freeways. One of the very first times I attempted to merge into traffic, the driver to my left wouldn't give way. I still remember the crunch of gravel under the tires as my lane gave out and I rolled onto the shoulder, guardrail looming ahead as I got on the brakes. This is the real reason I've always driven fast cars since then; not because I'm some cool speed demon, but because I was never going to get trapped like that again.

It may happen to some kid today because she has the wrong bumper sticker.

Christian Trejbal of the Roanoke Times, whose best-known gaffe thus far was comparing me to a convicted sex offender, has now surpassed himself. In a recent editorial he confessed to a laundry list of mental disorders: passive-aggressive behavior, projection, and serious anger issues among them. You see, that teenage girl grinding to a halt in a spray of gravel on the shoulder of a Virginia highway today may be doing so because the hilariously misnomered "Christian" didn't like her choice of bumperstickers,
If a vehicle sports one of those ironically misguided fish-eating-the-fish-with-feet, forget it.
or maybe he doesn't like the Explorer her parents bought her for graduation because they thought their daughter might be safer in a larger vehicle,
I treat them just like the gas-guzzling, road-hogging sport utility vehicles I find equally morally bankrupt: I don't yield to them.
When a grown man can, in public, describe his snits of politically-motivated road rage and remain not only employed, but insured, then the crack in the body politic is past the fix-it-with-Krazy-Glue stage. The best part is where he states "I assume people of all political persuasions follow similar driving maxims, even if subconsciously." No, Christian, only crazy people do that. Crazy Democrats, crazy Republicans, crazy Greens, crazy Libertarians: If you're out there taking out your political frustrations by playing tag with total strangers in two tons of high-speed steel your sanity is, to put it bluntly, highly questionable.

At least there's one silver lining in this dark cloud: Just remember, Mr. Trejbal, during your next joust with some "morally-bankrupt" SUV, the following bit of doggerel I learned in driver's ed. Maybe they never taught it to you. It goes like this,
"Here lies the body of old John J.
Who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along,
But he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong."


(H/T to Ravenwood.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Blog Stuff: Ah, Spring in the South...

Time to run outside and make pollen angels and get in pollenball fights, while the children sing "Dusty the Pollenman".

I'm dreaming of a yellow Easter...

Boomsticks: One gun a month.

But not the way the scaredy-cats usually mean it.

Me? Milsurp rifles and old Smith wheelguns are going to have to go on hold for a while: The next six to eight months are going to be all about the suppressors and SBR's. I'll be giving the 9mm AR the short-barrel treatment and getting a can for it. I'll also be picking up a .30-cal can for the two Whispers, as well as a 5.56 can for Project Housegun and a Gemtech Outback II because... well... everybody needs a .22 suppressor.

San Francisco to ban convenience.

The plastic grocery sack (aka "t-shirt bag") is one of the most fantastically useful gizmos to have been invented by the human race. Thanks to the magic of its loopy handles, I can drape several over each wrist and schlep a week's worth of groceries up the stairs, yet still have a hand free to operate the knob at the top. But getting the groceries through the front door is only the start of their usefulness.

I have one of the bags hanging on the wall near the kitchen, stuffed full of other bags awaiting all their future tasks. For instance, I keep one by my computer desk to use as a receptacle for soft drink cans, kleenex, and suchlike. When it fills, I take it to the main trash receptacle and replace it with a fresh one. There's a double-bagged pair atop the fridge, serving as a cache for things I don't want to put in the regular trash can, lest they wind up serving as cat bait, such as empty chili cans and whatnot. They let me take books to work in the rain without fear of getting them wet, even bungeed on the back of a bike. They serve as containers for the contents of my coin jar on its monthly emptying. They make great impromptu rain hats. They're effectively free, disposable, fantastically wonderful little items; triumphs of human ingenuity. If they made better bookmarks and were edible, they'd be perfect.

For all these reasons and more, some folks just hate 'em. The hair shirt crowd, those who are convinced that anything fun or useful must be unhealthy or cause global warming, have now succeeded in getting them banned in San Francisco. Supposedly you can replace them with a canvas bag (and how often am I going to have that with me when I spontaneously decide to stop at the grocery store on the way home from work? And will it hold a week's worth of groceries?) or recyclable paper (everyone who's ever heard that sickening tearing sound followed by the clank and thud of beer and Ben & Jerry's hitting the linoleum, raise your hand).

If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to smuggle some plastic grocery sacks.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Democrats listen to their hearts, Republicans listen to Limbaugh...

...and I should have listened to Florence King.

From '91 through about '97, every place I worked had someone who dragged in their copies of National Review. I've never subscribed, being more of a Reason gal myself, but there was always an interesting tidbit or two, plus the magazine's main attraction, which was Miss King's column. When I went to work at the airport, it meant going cold turkey on "The Misanthrope's Corner," save for the occasional newsstand read.

In my current reading of STET, Damnit!, I'm now up into the material I've never read before; specifically, I'm deep into her coverage of the 2000 election. Do you know what Miss King was calling Dubya as far back as August of '00? "Lyndon Baines Bush". How very prescient.

I also empathized with her commentary on Fiasco '96, when Dole went so far out of his way to prove that Bob Dole can be as vaguely nice as Bill Clinton: "I... no longer count myself among Republicans. They're pussyfooting, henpecked invertebrates - all mouth and no gonads - and I'm through with them."

I know I sound like a broken record, but this is good stuff. You should buy a copy.

Now that's just creepy.

93 pounds of underthings. Ninety-three pounds.

Wrap your head around that for a moment. When I schlep two weeks worth of laundry to the wash-'n'-fold, straining at its giant Hefty bag, and they throw it on the scale, it comes out to somewhere between fifteen and twenty pounds, blue jeans and SIGTac cargo pants included. And it doesn't include underthings, thankyouverymuch. I'd rather wash those by hand in the sink than force some poor stranger to handle my unmentionables.

Apparently, though, there are some folks who really enjoy handling stranger's unmentionables; enough so that they run around stealing them from apartment laundromats.
Police found enough underwear in his bedroom to fill five garbage bags, Tennant said.

"He said he had a problem," Tennant said.
No kidding he had a problem.

The thing that creeps me out about it is its very alienness. I mean why...? What...? Just... eewww! All manner of bizarre scenarios pop unbidden into the head. "It puts the Woolite in the sink, and then it puts it in the basket." When someone clipped my favorite Nine Inch Nails tour tee shirt from the laundromat I was simply pissed, but I understood why: It was a cool tee shirt, and some amoral scumbag wanted to wear it. Had it been underthings, though... well, ick.
The underwear will be held as evidence until the case is resolved, after which their disposition is uncertain, Tennant said.

"Would you really want them back?" he asked. "I would say not."
Uh, no thanks. You can keep 'em. Vickie's Secret is always having a sale, so I'll just go get some, er,... untainted ones, 'kay?

What kind of world is it when you have to guard your laundry to keep some perv from making off with your underwear?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Overheard on the porch...

Tam: "Am I easily amused?"

Gunsmith Bob: "Well, you did get awfully worked up over a spork."

Tam: "Yeah, but it was a folding titanium spork."

Gunsmith Bob: "It was still a spork."

Tam: "It's the folding titanium part that's important. Look, a Toyota Camry may be the most boring thing on the planet, but if you had a folding titanium Toyota Camry, that'd be something!"

Gunsmith Bob: "Well, at least it's not a shiny piece of glitter or a feather on a string, but you are pretty easily amused."

Spot the difference there?

Whereas Mrs. dos Santos took all that time to slave in the kitchen, Timothy Wayne Shepherd (being a guy) used the barbecue grill.

HOUSTON, Texas (AP) -- A 19-year-old Texas A&M University student was killed by her ex-boyfriend, who then dismembered and burned her body on a patio grill, authorities said Saturday.

Are there some mind-control rays going around that I'm just not receiving? What's going on here? Is it "Dismember Your Schmoopie In The Kitchen Week" or something?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Okay, that's a little over the top.

Brazilian housewife Rosanita dos Santos was convicted of drugging her husband in his sleep and stabbing him to death, which is all fairly routine and not especially newsworthy. It was what she did next that launched her into the headlines:
She then hacked Jose Raimundo Soares dos Santos' body into more than 100 pieces, which she boiled and fried before hiding in plastic bags beneath a staircase in her house,
If it had just been the drugging and stabbing, I'd guess that he left the seat up one night too many, but all that work in the kitchen? That was working off a pretty serious grudge. Maybe he snored.

Boomsticks: Marko hits another home run.

An eloquent read on "Why The Gun Is Civilization."

Yeah, what he said.

Friday, March 23, 2007

zomg! Great snack food discovery!

Picked up some Sunsweet dried blueberries at Kroger's.

I loves me some strawberries & cranberries, but blueberries are just the top of the berry heap. I would cheerfully murder people in their beds for blueberries, but no longer have to, since I can now get them at the grocery store year 'round in dried form.

MMmmmm. Blueberries.

Boomsticks: Cognitive dissonance.

I once had a friend who was trying to grow out her own fingernails and keep them neatly manicured. Problem was, they were (like mine) brittle, and constantly splintering against some impediment of daily life. This would trigger a rant on how product designers just didn't take people's manicures into account when designing all the knobs, switches, handles, and buttons we encounter in our modern technological lives. (Insert obligatory feminist statement that the whole Patriarchal point of long fingernails, an Oriental import, is that the lady who has them obviously doesn't need to do anything with her hands. Sort of the digital equivalent of bound feet.)

So anyway, today I'm futzing around with Project Whisper, checking for feeding issues from a full mag, and as I went to give the charging handle a brisk cycle, I felt that awful tearing sensation from my left index finger as the nail encountered the GG&G sling loop, letting me know that it was going to be time to look for a nail trimmer and a file. Before I could stop myself, my subconscious launched into "$#^%&# designers! Never taking long fingernails into account!"

I just now stopped laughing at myself long enough to type...

Taxonomy of Modern Dangers: We're screwed.

Apparently Angola has legions of ninjas. Without a countervailing force of pirates, we're screwed.

(Although I am given to understand that Zimbabwe is home to large numbers of face-eating monkeys. With luck, they might put a damper on the ninja menace.)

Blog Stuff: Untortured.

Overheard at Outback on Wednesday night:

Sgt. P.: "Yeah, she was a stripper."

Mr. P.: "Are you still going on about that? Anyhow, did you see th..."

Tam: "Wait! What's that song?"

Mr. P.: "What song? I can't hear anything over all the chatter in here."

Sgt. P.: "I know who that is! It's... it's..."

Tam: "Oh, fergawdssake! Don't torture me like this! Who is that? I need that song."

Waitron: "Can you sing a little bit of it?"

Mr. P.: *Plugs Ears*

Tam: "No."

Sgt. P.: "I know who that was..."

Tam: "Who?"

Sgt. P.: "I can't remember."

Tam: "Great. Now I'm totally f&*#ing tortured."

Mr. P.: "Just look it up on the internet."

Tam: "With what? I don't know the title or the artist!"



Postscript: Thanks to Google, some fruity lyrics site with lots of dancing balogna & spyware, and iTunes, I have uncoolly paid $0.99, and now "The World I Know" by Collective Soul is safely on my hard drive.

Blog Stuff: Things That Should Not Surprise Anyone (But Probably Will)

Memes are what you write about when you don't have anything to write about. ColtCCO was kind enough to provide this one to fill the sucking vacuum that is my creativity this morning. The topic is "Things that should not surprise anyone (but probably will.)" Here's my list:


1) The original of any entertainment form is usually more entertaining than any spinoffs.

If it was originally a novel, the movie probably won't be as good. If it was originally a TV show, the novel probably sucks. If it was originally a game, anyone who signs off on a book or movie project should be shot (cf. Doom: The Movie). The Uncanny X-Men is a series of usually entertaining (if ham-handedly earnest) comic books. X-Men was a special effects-driven summer blockbuster that was at least mildly interesting. If there's a novelization of the X-Men movie, and I'm sure there is, it probably ranks right up there with the New York Times as a primo aid for teaching the parakeet to read. Bladerunner, a movie only slightly based on the novella Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, is the exception that proves the rule.


2) People are dumber than an acre of fungus.

By definition, half the people you meet every day are dumber than average. Thanks to the statistical magic of the bell curve, maybe one in eight qualifies for the appellation "brightish". This goes a long way toward explaining why people are forever engaging in stupid, foolhardy stunts, like pulling out in front of you in traffic, or voting Democrat.


3) Despite containing eight essential vitamins and minerals, Froot Loops are not actually good for you. In fact, they barely qualify as "food".



4) Actors are not their roles, and vice versa.

Mel Gibson has only a nodding acquaintance with Freeedomm!, and doesn't care whether you have any or not. The real Vasily Zaitsev looked like a Mr. Potatohead that had come out on the short end of thirteen rounds with Iron Mike Tyson, not like a metrosexual Brit actor with a sensitive accent.


5) Just because you tore off the mattress tag, it doesn't make you a cell leader in the revolution.

It's actually perfectly legal for you to rip it off, Patrick Henry; the legalese is directed at the retailer.



I am only slightly less loathe to pass on memes than I am communicable diseases, however if this train of thought appeals to your warped sense of humor, feel free to blog on it yourself. I'm sure there are quite a few chuckles left to be milked out of this particular cow...


EDIT: The torch has been taken up by WeerdBeerd and The Hessian.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Boomsticks: An open letter to gun store clerks.

Dear Gun Store Salesdroid,

It's good to have preferences. Preferences are what makes the world go 'round. If it weren't for preferences, we'd all drive gray Toyota Camrys and eat meatloaf every night. It's cool to have preferences in music, clothes, cars... even guns.

Lord knows I have preferences in firearms. For instance, they allegedly make handguns other than S&W revolvers and $1,000+ custom 1911s, but you'd never know it from looking at my collection. If we were to meet socially, and you were to ask my opinion of the Blastomatic 2000, I'd say something along the lines of "It's a wretched, pulsating ball of f&*k, and it's full of toaster parts. You know who didn't design the Blastomatic? John Moses Browning, that's who. If someone had my mom hanging over a volcano and threatened to cut her loose if I didn't buy one, I'd have to say 'Sorry, mom, but you raised me to have standards.'"

But that is my private preference. If I was standing at the sales counter and you said "Hey, can I see that Blastomatic 2000?", I would say "Sure!" and hand it to you. When you followed up with the inevitable "So, what do you think about these Blastomatics?" I would reply, truthfully, with something like the following: "Well, they may not have triggers like a target pistol, but they're accurate, and very durable and reliable. If they fit your hand, I think it would be a fine pistol for you."

And do you know why I would say that? Because, Fellow Gun Store Salesdroid, when we are standing behind that counter, our employers are not paying us to convert people to the Faith Of The One True Pistol (or to give lessons in Tactics 101, recount bogus VietNam stories, or share our dazzling expertise in terminal ballistics), they are paying us to sell guns. Got that? Salesdroid = Sell Guns. Period. Full Stop.

When I walk up to your counter and say "Good sir, I would like to see that Euroshooter 55," I don't want to hear "Damn, honey, you don't want one of those. We had those in the 'Nam, and they got all of us killed. Why, I was killed five times because my Euroshooter jammed, plus the bullets just bounced off Charlie and actually made him stronger when you hit him. They're crap. You want you one of these here Thunderzappers! That there's a real gun!" Aside from the fact that calling me "honey" causes me to have to fight down the urge to shoot you in the kneecap, if the Euroshooter is such a crappy gun, then what in the hell is it doing in your showcase? Does your employer know about your scintillating sales pitch? I know that if I heard that in my shop, you'd be out checking to see if WalMart had any greeter's slots open within the hour.

So please, when you step behind the counter, leave your BS in the breakroom and just sell the guns, okay? It really shouldn't be that tough of a request. After all, that's what you're getting paid to do.

Thanks,
T.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

More "I Lurve Florence King."

After a brief time-out for some Lois McMaster Bujold (Shards of Honor and Barrayar) and a read of Boortz's new book, we're back into the delightfully wicked STET, Damnit!

I had to dog-ear the page with this quote last night:
I'll start with the cheerful news. I've stuck to my Passive Suicide Diet and am thinking of writing a cookbook called This Will Kill You. Here's a sample menu. B: two fried eggs with scrapple; L: chili over rice; D: three martinis, ham steak, creamed corn, and cheese rolls. My object is an obit containing words like "suddenly" and "massive." Before you start chiding me, ask yourselves this: Can you see me in a nursing home, playing bingo, watching soap operas, and being called "honey" by the arts 'n' crafts lady?


So few of us are lucky enough to find true role models in life. I feel blessed.

Nuh-uh. No way. Not for love nor money.


Observe the AP photo to the right. See that "U"-shaped gizmo? Do you know what that is? That, my friend, is a big ol' aluminum catwalk with a glass floor that sticks out over the Grand Canyon. When I say "sticks out", I mean like some seventy feet. And when I say "Grand Canyon", I mean a four-thousand foot deep hole in the ground.


The (Hualapai) tribe will include access to the deck in a variety of tour packages ranging from $49.95 to $199.00. They'll allow up to 120 people at a time to look down to the canyon floor more than 4,000 feet below, a vantage point more than twice as high as the world's tallest buildings.


Nope. No way. Not Mrs. K.'s child. The Hualapai couldn't pay me $49.95 to $199 to get out there. I'm light-headed just looking at that thumbnail on my screen. I'd rather juggle live rattlesnakes, or some other appropriately Southwestern vacation adventure thrill; at least if the rattler bites you, you don't plummet four thousand feet to your doom, screaming the whole way down. For all I know the crafty Hualapai are just waiting for me to get all the way out to the far end before they blow the explosive bolts and send me to the canyon floor for some 19th Century territorial slight that I had nothing to do with.

Brr.

The things some folks find fun...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

An important public service announcement:

For the five readers I have who don't also read LawDog religiously, he has a great post up on the importance of selecting the right handgun instructor.

Blog Stuff: She's crafty!

Displays of handy little talents like this one by Mauser*Girl always leave folks like myself, who have difficulty tying our shoes*, standing in slack-jawed amazement.

(*I always got lost at all the talk about the bunny running around the tree and jumping in the hole. Halfway through the process the bunny usually slipped, fell, concussed herself, and I was looking for scissors to get the knot out of my shoelace.)

Boomsticks: Gratuitous Gun Pr0n No. 40

Christmas in March. W00t!


Look what finally showed up from OlyArms yesterday! After over a year of scheming, the .300 Whisper Project is finally underway. Barrel threading is next.

Overheard At Work...

"It lets you create a Wall of Light."

"A what?"

"A Wall of Light. You use your Wall of Light as a force multiplier to get inside the other guy's OODA* loop and dominate the battlespace."

"Shut up."


Jargon. The bane of any right-thinking individual.


*OODA: Observe, Overreact, Destroy, Apologize.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Bikes: Sigh.


For some reason I'm really, really missing it today...

Thank gawd I don't fly anymore.

I remember the purgatory of waiting for 40 or 50 people whose presence I couldn't stand for one second longer to take their sweet time to empty themselves out of the flying pencil tube of a 727 so I could finally disembark without getting tangled in the herd. If that was purgatory, this is hell:
As a test on Sunday, organizers boarded more than 500 people onto the [Airbus 380] using two jetways with an impressive time of less than 20 minutes. A second test was held shortly after to see if the Lufthansa workers could board it faster.
Once flying became little more than paying to be treated like cattle, I gave it up as a bad thing, and this takes the term to dizzying new heights. If I can't get there by car or boat, they're just going to have to do without me.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Love it!

Loveitloveitloveit!

Thanks, Chris; that was great. :)

Exactly.

pdb's St. Paddy's day post.

Thankfully, they held their protest on a weekend...

The problem with counterprotesting the hippies is that they so often hold their protests between the hours of nine and five on weekdays, when those with opposing views generally have to be at work.

Let them hold one on a Saturday, though, and a few more counterprotestors can turn up.

(H/T to Victory Soap.)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mommy drinks because you cry.

The knee-jerk responses to my post quoting Florence King on smoking couldn't have illustrated her point better had they been scripted. How can you get away from this crap in 21st Century America? Suicide would be pusillanimous and mass homicide would be rude (not to mention a logistic nightmare), but maybe if I keep riding motorcycles, eating undercooked red meat, smoking, and drinking like a fish on weekends, I can get an extra ten or twenty years of blessed peace and quiet without the steady background drone of nagging to drive me nuts.

Perhaps I'll take up skydiving.

Friday, March 16, 2007

zomgbeststeakever!!!!1!one!!1!

A little hobby of mine has been the pursuit of the perfect steak. For the sake of this quest I have dined in steak houses from Texas to Belgium, searching like Diogenes for an honest chunk of dead cowflesh. I've tried everything from chain eateries like Ruth's Chris to bucks-up joints like Atlanta's Prime, and have arrived at this conclusion: To calibrate a steak house, order a nine ounce filet, cooked as rare as possible.

For lunch today I went back to EdisonPark. I've dined there three times before, but always had the prime rib. Today I ordered a nine ounce filet. When asked how I wished it cooked, I responded "As little as legally allowed."

After devouring my bleu cheese-drenched iceberg wedge, I sat back as the entree was placed before me. Noting that it appeared a little shrivelled on the outside, I was initially resigned to the fact that yet another steak house had no clue what "rare" meant. Then I noticed the crimson crescent trailing from the steak along the edge of the plate...

I picked up knife and fork and cut into the chunk of cow and, like a Wes Craven flick, blood ran out to join the trickle already on the plate. Hosanna! Glorioski! I placed the slice in my mouth and it fairly dissolved; the outside was crisply seared to perfection, with a dusting of garlic and sea salt, while the inside tasted like nothing but cool, tender dead cow. Unlike most steak joints, EdisonPark does not overmarinate their cattleflesh in some special homebrewed sauce, but rather lets the cow speak for itself. I floated up in the air like the cartoon dog after he ate the biscuit. Two bites in, and I very nearly decorated my cupcakes right there in the booth. I went through that filet with machine-like precision, and as I leaned back from the now-bloody plate my waitress returned...

"Ma'am, can I get you anything else? Ma'am? Hello?"

"Huh? What? No... uh... Check pl... My god, that was the best steak I have ever eaten in my whole life!! ...ease."

"Thank you; I'll bring the check right out."

If you're in K-town, go to EdisonPark. Try the filet. I give it two thumbs up because I only have two thumbs to give for the perfect rare filet...

Books: Why I lurve Florence King.

Miss King on smoking:
It's this: I think suicide qua suicide is weak and shameful, but maybe, if I just keep smoking, I can hasten my exit from this Walpurgisnacht called America and escape the mephitic cultural collapse that Nice-Nelly conservatism is powerless to stop.

This is probably wishful thinking in view of my family's medical history, but it points up another benefit of cigarettes we no longer hear about: consolation. Even the word is gone from the language now, but it was what came through in World War II newsreels showing weary soldiers and refugees lighting up. In their most despairing moments a cigarette was all they had, and increasingly I feel the same way.

There goes my chance at Keynote 2000, even if I work on my perkiness and arrange to rent a baby.
That, and the fact that anybody who can use "Walpurgisnacht" and "mephitic" in a sentence, spelled correctly, is automatically okay in my book...

Blog Stuff: Coolest. T-shirt. Ever.

Working six days a week, I have come to relish Fridays for their relaxed dress code. Oh, don't get me wrong, I get to wear jeans and tee shirts every day, but in a weird reversal from most of my gun-nut friends, my day off is the one day I get to wear a tee that isn't gun-related.

Saturday through Thursday my wardrobe is an endless parade of EOTech, Magpul, SIG, Beretta, Springfield Armory, and (of course) Coal Creek Armory tee shirts. Friday is when I get to have fun. There're my various beer company tees, a purloined staff tee shirt from a night club in ATL with the motto "We Install And Service Hangovers", a cool tee my neighbor brought me from the Harley Davidson dealership in Hachinohe, Japan (surely a symbol of Capitalism's crushing victory as much as a Moscow 'Hard Rock Cafe' shirt), one that says "Books. Cats. Life is Good.", my Ministry: Jesus Built My Hotrod and Bladerunner tees which are my perpetual faves, and my tee from The Onion with the blurb "Kitten thinks of nothing but murder all day" complete with an adorable picture of the homicidal kitten in question.

The piece de resistance of my tee shirt collection, however, is one from the famous "Body Farm" at the University of Tennessee. There's a grinning skull, white-on-black, on the front amidst the words "National Forensics Academy". On the back, in letters done in the dripping 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' font, is the blurb "The Harvard of Hellish Violence".

If you don't think wearing that will get your waiter at the local fern bar to do the step'n'fetchit to get you fed and out the door with a quickness, get your hands on one and try it for yourself. :)

Boomsticks: Oh, frabjous day!

Guess what's finally en route? My .300 Whisper™ Fireball upper from OlyArms! Since I needed something to park it on, I combined a DPMS parts kit and one of the Spike's Tactical "Infidel"-marked lowers from work with a four-position collapsable stock, an Ergo Grip, and a GG&G receiver end plate sling loop I had at home. Now it's just a matter of anticipating the Big Brown Truck of Happiness showing up. :)

Politics: Quote of the Day.

"He's a politician and a lawyer. He's made of cockroach!" -Gunsmith Bob, on John Edwards.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dream job.

He was standing by the booth in the bar when I first saw him in real life. Call him "Mr. X"; you'd know him if you saw him. We smiled at each other; perfunctory nods of greeting. "Miss K." he said, gesturing me towards my seat; as charming in person as you think he'd be.

"Please, call me Tam." I flagged down the waiter for a Diet Coke with no ice, then slid a bulging folder across the table towards my host. "There's a paper copy of my updated resume in there, plus some extra stuff; a complete list of my current reference library, some written stuff I haven't published yet, things like that."

"Very good," he said with a wry smile, "but you do realize that you already have the job if you want it, right?"

I was still baffled. "I don't get it. Why me?"

"Well, two reasons. One, the catholicism of your interests. I'm not looking for the world's best Luger guy or the world's foremost Garand expert. I want someone who, if I send them haring off to get me one exemplar Type 99 Arisaka from every arsenal that made them, or if I make them take a sudden interest in foreign military Remington Rolling Blocks, won't be feeling like their special expertise is being wasted. The other is that, well, really $18,000 a year plus room and board isn't very much money. Living out in the boonies at the lodge and maintaining the collection is an intangible that most folks have a hard time seeing as a bonus salary enhancement. There's a Mother-in-Law apartment over the garage that will be yours, complete with a private back deck. The view from the porch is nice, all the way out to the 600-yard berm. You'll be able to use the range whenever you want, of course."

"What about travel arrangements?" I asked, still a little light-headed at my good fortune.

"I pay anything business related." he replied firmly "You'll even have the use of one of the trucks at the lodge to run into the FFL in town to pick up acquisitions for the collection that you've made online, so you won't have to put miles on your personal vehicle. If you need to physically travel for research or to examine a potential acquisition, that will be covered as well." He was briefly interrupted as the waiter slid the plate of Scallops Rockefeller between us, then resumed, asking for the sale. "So, Tam, what do you think? You say you've always wanted to be a curator, and here's your shot."

I sat blinking for a second. I'm pretty sure my mouth was hanging open. "I'll take it," I stuttered.

He cocked his head like the RCA dog. "I beg your pardon, I couldn't hear you." A shrill whine started over the bar's speakers.

"I said 'I'll take it'!" raising my voice over the sudden, irritating background noise. I almost had to shout to be heard over it now. "It seems too good to be true!"

The noise was, of course, my alarm clock. I have never, ever tried so hard to go back to sleep in my life.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sic Transit Gloria Monday.

Two days ago, I was engaged in one of my favorite nervous habits while doing paperwork at the shop; fiddling with my ponytail over my shoulder. Something caught my eye...

My first gray hair.

Argh.

It's in a plastic bag in my purse at the moment, along with the expired registration for a motorcycle I no longer own, while I decide how to dispose of it. Maybe if I torture it gruesomely first, its friends will be too scared to come after it.

Not that I'm bitter about this, or anything...

Books: Go Team Me!

Look what I scored on teh w3b! Look what just arrived in the mail!

(Click Here.)

Almost 500 pages of Miss King at her razor-edged best. Friday will be Nirvana, even if the damned weather makes it an indoor Nirvana. Maybe I'll go find someplace that will let me curl up with a book, a bloody steak, and a cigarette in the same room...

How very festive.

According to the weatherfolk, it's supposed to rain Friday. I get one day off per week, and it seems to have rained three out of four Fridays for months, now.

The universe hates me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Blog Stuff: I have a dream...

This month marks twenty years that I've been out on my own. Well, not exactly. See, for the longest time I had roommates or a boyfriend or what-have-you. I loved the idea of having someone under the same roof; the presence of another human being in the house. I guess I had the usual dreams of someday winding up in domestic bliss in a house in the 'burbs someplace.
'He travels fastest who travels alone,' and that goes doubly for she. -Florence King
Back in Summer of '02 I moved into my current crib. This is the first time I've really been On My Own in my life, and the scary part is... I've grown to like it. My own little cave, with nobody to complain if I stay up 'til 3 AM and then fall asleep with the light on from reading, or that I want to hang Smith & Wesson posters on the living room wall and have every horizontal surface covered in ancient Macintosh computers I never use for anything, or to leave my toilet seat in the wrong configuration, or eat the prosciutto I've been saving for a special midnight snack. Bliss.

I guess I still have a secret little dream, though. A dream that someone with the body of Gerard Butler and the wit of P.J. O'Rourke will get down on one knee, stare soulfully into my eyes, and say "Tamara, will you be my... next-door neighbor?"

Blog Stuff: Change Of Address cards.

ColtCCO has moved from Blogger to his own spiffy new domain. Shift your fire accordingly.

Politics: ...and you thought Foggy Bottom was full of weasels.

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel has recalled its ambassador to El Salvador after he was found bound, drunk and nude, a spokeswoman said Monday.

[snip]

Two weeks ago, El Salvador police found Raphael in the yard of his residence, tied up, gagged and drunk, Israeli media reported. He was wearing several sex toys at the time, the media said. After he was untied, Raphael told police he was the ambassador of Israel, the reports said.

[snip]

The embarrassing affair was one of several involving Israeli diplomats in recent years. In 2000, Israel's ambassador to France died of cardiac arrest in a Paris hotel under circumstances the Foreign Ministry refused to publicize. Media reports said he was with a woman who was not his wife at the time.

Last year, Israel replaced its ambassador to Australia, Naftali Tamir, after he said Israel and Australia are "like sisters" because both are located in Asia and their peoples don't have the Asian characteristics of "yellow skin and slanted eyes."

In 2005, Israel canceled the appointment of a diplomat to Australia after it was discovered that he published pictures of nude Brazilian women on the Internet while on a mission in Brazil.

Compared to the Israeli foreign service of late, the US State Department looks like a Jesuit university.

Great Idea, Part II.

You in?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Boomsticks: Get serious.

PDB has an open letter to those who insist on turning their handgun into a handsgun and other inanities. You should read it.

Politics: Two candidates emerge who don't completely suck.

To hear the big media outlets natter, you'd think that the only questions remaining before the '08 election are who is going to headline the Clinton/Obama and Giuliani/McCain tickets, and who's going to be the veep candidate. Almost on the QT, however, two other candidates seem to be stepping forward who have the important benefit of not being complete tools.

Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, comes off as a traditional Democrat, free of the shrill Leftie dogma that hangs over the rest of the Democrat candidates like a cloud. He's come out in favor of tax cuts and income tax reform, is strong on the illegal immigrant issue, and signed New Mexico's CCW law.

Fred Thompson, former Senator from TN, is no libertarian, but compared to McCain or Giuliani (or Dubya, for that matter) he looks like Ronald Reagan. Pro-trade, pro-business, fairly hawkish, and socially conservative; if you liked the Eighties GOP, presumably you could vote for Fred and get seconds.

After the Jerry Springer circus dwarf drag show we've been treated to thus far, these two both look like actual presidential timber...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Nope, no bias there.

"Evil capitalist running dog lackeys attempt to soothe their guilty consciences over the rape of Mother Gaia by setting their Nazi clocks forward one hour. Jewish plot suspected."

Just kidding. The actual opening paragraph from Reuters was
"Energy-guzzling Americans on the lookout for a painless path to conservation can celebrate this weekend when they will cut greenhouse gas emissions by simply pushing forward the hands on their clocks."

Bias, anyone?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Haahahaahahahaa!

For decades I have had to sit and take it as one goofy judicial ruling after another gets handed down affirming that "Freedom of Speech" includes the right to bugger juvenile penguins in the town square at high noon on Sunday or to steal the flag from my front yard and use it as a breechclout at the next Code Pink rally. Now the D.C. Circuit court hands down the ruling that "the People" in the Second Amendment actually means "the People", and what do the lefties have to say about it?
The 2-1 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Parker v. District of Columbia striking down the District of Columbia’s handgun law is judicial activism at its worst."

"Judicial activism", my left foot.

Cry me a river. Suffer, beeotches.


(H/T to Unc.)

Damn straight we do.

And we ain't afraid to use 'em, neither.

(Note nifty CCA product placement in this video, as well as a cameo by the dashing young ColtCCO.)

(H/T to Conservative Scalawag.)

Blog Stuff: Random Friday Cuteness.


From somewhere on teh w3b. Too cute.

It may not technically be a "Drive-Thru Elvis"...

...but it's still the most romantic thing I've read in a long time.

*sniffle*

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Cooler than you.

So there we are; all of us out on a wilderness getaway.

Our first night out in the back country, we get fires built and dinner ready, then we settle down to shoot the breeze and chow down.

Some folks pull out plastic dinnerware. Others have messkit forks & spoons or Cub Scout knives.

Me? I pull out my favorite new gizmo: A folding titanium spork, complete with tactical pocket clip.

You're not worthy.

(Mad props for the übercool belated birthday present to my neighbor rennaissancemann. On a cool-gadget scale of one to ten, this one goes to eleven. :) )

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

We're all syndromes now...

Bit of a twitch in your knee?

That's okay, we have a drug for that now, too.

Makes you wonder how these guys got anything done, what with their legs spasming about under the table and all...



(...and for the record, yeah, I have that whole twitchy leg thing going on. And no, I don't want any dope to make it go away. I've managed to cowboy up this long, so I think I can make it the rest of the way just fine, thanks.)

Politics: I love my country, but...

...its government is full of drooling imbeciles.

Exhibit A:

Some years back, a Navy Chief Warrant Officer at NAS Point Mugu sells off four F-14 Tomcats to a scrap dealer without ensuring that they are completely de-militarized first. An error, sure, but the CWO probably doesn't sweat it too much; after all, they're going to a scrap dealer, right?

The scrap dealer realizes that he has four unflyable but still very sexy-looking fighter jets, and he in turn sells them off intact. Two wind up with the production company that makes the TeeWee show JAG, while the other two land in museums. There they all sit for many years, quietly gathering dust.

Fast forward to the present. The head psycho in charge in Iran is rattling sabers left and right; the UN is threatening to send him to bed without his supper, and the Iranians are trying to buy up F-14 parts to keep their thirty year-old crates at least partially airworthy.

At this point, if you, private citizen Joe Schmoe, realized that you had mislaid four F-14s without de-milling them, what would you do? That's right, you'd call the guy you sold them to and ask what he did with them. That's what my government did, too. Kinda-sorta. Except they told us about it in an official
statement issued Tuesday by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which worked with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in a 17-month investigation.
17 months. Two government agencies. To pick up the phone and ask "Hey, Fred, how's the wife and kids. Say, do you remember those four jet fighters I sold you back in '98? What'd you do with those?" I'm sure the government way involved stakeouts. And expense accounts.

Anyhow, once the government obtained the information that the plane-shaped objects in question were residing in a couple of museums and with the TeeWee company, what do you think they did next? The smart and sane thing would be to round up a couple of Navy wrench jockeys who knew where all the naughty bits were on the Tomcats, go knock on their current owner's doors, and say "Hey sorry about this, but when we sold those to you we might have accidentally forgotten to take off a few hush-hush bits. The Iranians are acting all crazy right now, and for your own protection and national security reasons, we'll just make sure we've removed those parts. Sorry about the mess in the foyer. Here's some taxpayer money, go buy some burgers and a fake threat warning receiver antenna."

That would be the sane thing. The smart thing. The good P.R. thing.

But not the government thing.

The government thing sounds more like this:
The jets will be partially dismantled and taken to the military's Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center in Tucson, Arizona, for storage and final demilitarization.
Imbeciles.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hilarious Bush Derangement Syndrome sighting.

LOS ANGELES (March 5) -- Three weeks ago a handful of reporters at an international press junket here for the Warner Brothers movie “300,” about the battle of Thermopylae some 2,500 years ago, cornered the director Zack Snyder with an unanticipated question.

"Is George Bush Leonidas or Xerxes?" one of them asked.

Neither, you moron.

Proof positive that the brainiacs are all over at the Business desk and that Entertainment writers are barely higher up the evolutionary chain than molluscs or Entertainment Tonight hosts.

Boomsticks: Gun lust.

There's an IBM/IBM M-1 Carbine hanging on the wall at work. No import marks, no bayo lug, park'ed during re-arsenalling, but really nice shape; an old DCM gun. A guy put it on consignment yesterday. The price is $889. I don't have an M-1 Carbine. If y'all really liked me, one of you would buy this thing for yourself before I get paid again and find myself doing something stupid.

Signs of the Apocalypse, part XLVII:

This may officially be The Dumbest Thing I Have Ever Seen.



(H/T to Dustbury.)

Kamikazes? In southern Indiana?

An evil sonafabitch in Indiana didn't take his daughter to school Monday, taking her to the airport instead. Sometime later, he flew a Cessna with the girl aboard right into his ex-Mother-in-Law's house, killing both his daughter and himself.
Authorities will not know for sure whether the crash was intentional until the National Transportation Safety Board completes its investigation,
This makes the Authorities sound a little thick.

Monday, March 05, 2007

*Cringe*

Everybody's getting rightly torqued about the video that shows the two stoners passing the blunt with the tykes they were supposed to be babysitting. (...and why would you let your thug relative alone with your child? How dumb do you have to... never mind.)

Hopefully these two clowns will receive the stomping they so richly deserve...

Way too much TV.

Swept up in a Tom Clancy fantasy, Pugsley now thinks we're using the position of Deputy Secretary of State as a diplomatic cover for a nearly septuagenarian cold-blooded trained killer, whose 37 years of experience in the Foreign Service have, I guess, equipped him to slay people by stuffing canapes down their throats at embassy teas.

Wow.

Pugsley news is now officially frequent and funny enough to rate its own category here at VFTP.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The bubble-wrapped life.

So, as everybody is no doubt painfully aware, a bus driver who was (at least metaphorically) asleep at the switch played Evel Knievel on the Northside Drive exit in Atlanta on Friday, depositing his bus across four lanes of I-75 South and six of its occupants, including himself, on the far side of the pearly gates.

The hand-wringing has now officially kicked into high gear, with fickle fingers of blame looking for somewhere to point. CNN's reporter breathlessly reports that the bus "was not equipped with an electronic data recorder that might have provided more information about the last seconds before the fatal crash". Well no duh, there, Clouseau; this was a Bluebird, not the friggin' Concorde. And just what good would the data recorder do, anyway? It would tell us that the driver went tooling up the off-ramp, blew through the stop sign at the top, didn't hit his brakes, and attempted to set a new record for tour bus jumping off the far side. Your eyes can tell you that with a simple glance at the skidmark-free pavement. No doubt some bright spark of a legislator is going to want to put black boxes in busses now, however.

Attention is also being focussed on the design of the off-ramp. Apparently putting a stop sign at the top and a guard rail between the overpass and the wild blue yonder beyond it isn't enough to protect the unwary or incompetent. Long-suffering Atlanta commuters, despite successfully negotiating the same intersection a bazillion times every day, will probably have to put up with having their commutes re-routed as the intersection is redesigned to be able to thwart a higher grade of idiot.

Okay, fine; I'm on board. No cost is too great, no burden too heavy, no tax too high to keep us all safe from the consequences of our actions. We must not rest until everything is carefully swathed in bubble wrap and blinking safety lights.

Boomsticks: For those who haven't already...

Here's an online petition for you to sign to express your displeasure with H.B. 1022 (this would be the awful, and awfully-written, new "Assault Weapons" Ban, for those of you just emerging from your caves after your long winter nap.)

Put on your nice clothes, wash behind your ears, and go sign it. And if you just can't resist using the "comments" blank, please use a spell checker and avoid four-letter words, death threats, bumper sticker slogans, or incoherent talk about revolution or the sooper-sekret UN invasion. In other words, do your best to appear sane and responsible. Thanks.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Politics: I've looked at warming from both sides now...

So, I was tooling around Amazon today, filling my shopping cart in an out-of-control frenzy like a New Orleans cop in a flooded WalMart, when I happened to get referred towards some of the books expressing skepticism about the current global warming orthodoxy. I noticed that they all seemed to have three-star ratings, and so I nosed into the reader reviews to find out why...

***** "Butch Manly" Redstate, US: This book exposis the pinko liberel scientists. I love to run them over with my SUV. If you dont belive it, your just blinded by the mainstream media.

*○○○○ "GoreFan" Berkeley, CA: Didn't you know that this book was paid for by ExxonMobil, dictated by Karl Rove, and written on a word processor powered by burning the bodies of differently-abled Rwandan-American children? We're all going to drown, thanks to Chimpy McHitlerburton not signing the Kyoto protocols!
Ah. That explains the three-star average.

Look, folks, if you can't keep your biases out of your reviews, go post them at Free Republic or Democratic Underground, okay? Some of us are actually curious about the contents of the book in question. Of course, when you've been given license to see your ideological foes as "The same as Holocaust deniers" or "Anti-Americans who hate their own country and blame everything on us", then it becomes pretty easy to let the spittle fly.

In the spirit of the sentiments expressed above, this is frickin' hilarious.
May 3, 2052

Major traffic snarl on the way home. Two recumbent bicycles got run down by a vintage Prius on the Hugo Chavez motorway, blocking traffic all the way back to that windchime factory near the Al-Qaeda Memorial. They should ban those spark-guzzling monsters.

Snicker.

(H/T to Victory Soap)

Friday, March 02, 2007

A tale of two days off...

Today's day off mission tasking is complex: Get the oil changed in the Beemer. Get the Beemer detailed. Get fresh 5.11 boots at Green's. Get fresh jeans at The Gap. If time allows, eat some prime rib at Edison Park. Write the verdammt Springfield essay for the other blog.

Next Friday's mission tasking is much, much simpler.

Can't resist the joke...

"Boy, these hors d'euvres taste like crap."

Politics: An interesting take.

Mauser*Girl offers an interesting viewpoint on the recent Walter Reed flap.

Now there's a resume for you...

Talk show host, Ph.D. in education from Columbia, studied psychology at the Sorbonne, kindergarten teacher, served as a sniper with Haganah...

(H/T to Kit.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Books: Concentrated awfullness.

One of the gentlemen at T.Stahl's shooting club is an historian. Thorsten thoughtfully sent me an autographed copy of his newest book for my birthday, and I've spent the morning leafing through it.

The book is titled The Face of War, and is a collection of the photos of one Lt. Armin Stäbler. Lt. Stäbler was a regimental staff officer in a German infantry division who happened to be an inveterate photographer. Assigned to one of the hottest areas of the front for several years, he documented his surroundings with an honesty and an eye for art that leaves the viewer more than a little shaken.

World War One remains the single greatest example of long-term, large-scale awfullness in the history of our species. Take a swathe through the heartlands of Western civilization a few hundred miles long by fifty or so wide. Make sure it contains bucolic farms, scenic villages, old churches, and productive factory towns. Then fill it with millions of young men armed to the teeth, and let them go at it with cannon, high explosives, chemical weapons, and every other bit of frightfulness they can lay their hands on, and let them stay in there and keep doing so, over and over, for four years straight. The results are chilling.

The photographer was originally stationed at regimental HQ in a small village behind the front lines. There are pictures of the French civilians being evacuated, the hopelessly twee little village square, the village manor house, the old church, the Lieutenant's comfy quarters in a commandeered townhouse. Unfortunately, the village was right smack in the path of the British Somme offensive, and the slow motion destruction is relentlessly documented over the course of the next year or so. A shell crater here, a hole in the church there... By the time they're transferred, the village is a pile of rubble, only identifiable because the photographer was careful to take his pictures from the same viewpoint.

There are pictures of smiling and hopeful young men at the start of the war, and the grim-faced professional survivors skulking in the cratered landscape towards the end. It's an amazing and fascinating book that should only be read if one is in a thoroughly and unshakeably good mood before one picks it up. But if you're a history buff and can get your hands on a copy, the opportunity should not be passed up.

Remember to wear your sunglasses.

Happy Castle Bravo Day! :)

Despite his shocking gaffe...

...Kenneth Eng can expect TBogg and his readers to line up in support of his First Amendment rights.

Right?

Right?

Any minute now...

(Cue chirping crickets.)

Blog Stuff: Hey! That's me!

I'm bigger than Jesus now...

...Jesus Sanchez, my neighbor's plumber, that is.