Friday, February 29, 2008

In case you were wondering...

...what ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ means.

Once more out of the breach, dear friends.

Despite retraining as a forward air controller for an opportunity to get into the fight, Prince Henry of Wales is being denied the chance to emulate his eponymous forebear and remain in the company of his band of brothers. Crowns for convoy have been placed in his purse, and he is being whisked back to England, where gentlemen now abed hold their manhoods cheap and fear for his safety because some asshat in the media couldn't keep his damned mouth shut.

Today In History: History Lite.

February 29th has 75% less history than your average day.


Glenn Reynolds received the following bit of argumentum ad moronum in his in-box yesterday:
no shit Mccain leads democrats in TN. Like that is even a question.

Its a fucking southern red neck state. Obama or Hilary would never win that backwater hole.

we in nyc laugh at the south and think you people are pathetic.

It must be tough to think of yourself as so cosmo and still live in hell.

And when you visit NYC we sense your backwaterness. We can smell it a mile away.
And yet you can't smell your shift key from less than two feet. Oh, and "Hillary" has two "l"s.

Makes you wonder where that awful stereotype of the Rude New Yawker comes from, no?

PS: Y'all can keep Al.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Joke corner:

Q: How many Dadaists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Plaid steamshovel.

A polite suggestion:

If someone wishes me to take their posts seriously, they should avoid the use of the following terms:

Comrade Klinton
Chimpy McHitlerburton
Moose Limbs
...and many, many more.

I ask this favor for the following reasons:

1) I don't receive the latest crypto decoder sheets in the mail from your particular political faction. I might get so bored trying to decode your message in order to figure out who the heck you're talking about that I give up and go read something else.

2) Rhyming name-calling is SO 3rd Grade Playground.

The scariest thing I've read all week...

When interviewed regarding yesterday's BATFE raid on neighboring CavArms, Arizona small business owner Brandon Hepworth said:
"They had to done something. I mean there's got to be something going on. Otherwise they probably wouldn't be seizing the guns. It's just crazy."
After all, if they weren't guilty, they wouldn't be suspects, right? And the lord knows that the BATFE has never botched an investigation.

Do it to Julia, baby; do it to Julia...

Today In History: Operation Showtime.

On this date in 1993, the BATF raided the facilities of a fringe religious group outside of Waco, Texas on the suspicion that some of the 150 firearms on the premises might fire more than one round with a single action of the trigger without having first paid the appropriate $200/gun federal tax.

(As a PS: Only 150 guns and 8,000 rounds of ammo? I thought those folks were supposed to have an arsenal or something.)

This just in from the Department of Irony:

The U.S. Secretary of Defense has appealed to Turkey to make its ground incursion into Iraq, and I quote, "short and focussed."

I am not making this up.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Turkey refuses to commit to a timetable to withdrawing its troops.

I am not making that up, either. Sometimes real life is a heck of a lot funnier than anything I could make up.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

"The covers of this book were too far apart."

A book review by Brian J. Noggle.

I don't think he liked it.

So it goes.

Via Billy Beck, I got the word that William F. Buckley has died.

He wasn't necessarily my cup of political tea but I'll probably miss him more than Mr. Beck, mainly because he was good at making chowderheads feel the pain of their ignorance, plus the very mention of his name could cause a hippie's head to explode if dropped into the conversation at just the right moment. Good entertainment that doesn't insult my intelligence is going to be harder to come by from now on.

(EDIT: Speaking of punching hippies...)

If you're not careful, you might learn something.

John has a great essay on the hidden messages in The Hobbit.

(Of course, in the latest New Zealand printings of the tale, the dwarves and elves and hobbits will all dine on muesli and bottled water rather than wine and roast mutton, and the tavern where they meet Bard the Bowman will only serve non-alcoholic lite beer, according to an alert provided by Hazel Stone.)

Whom the gods would destroy, they must first make Inevitable.

Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign got underway before most of the other ones; eight years ago, as a matter of fact. Only the most hopeless naifs saw her carpetbagging senatorial campaign as anything other than a prelude to a run for the big brass ring. She spent her time in the Senate trying to establish her bona fides as someone distinct from Mrs. Bill Clinton, the First Lady that had been viewed by much of America as an evil-tempered harpy, and putting together an image of thoughtful statesmanship designed to carry her into the Oval Office.

As the current campaign got underway, it seemed that her work had paid off. The word "inevitable" was bandied about, and early primaries seemed to support that conclusion. But the wheels on the wagon started to wobble...

No sooner had Obama's campaign turned things into a horse race, than the carefully cultivated image of the Kinder, Gentler Hillary began to slip. The Illinois senator had stumbled across the perfect weapon against Hillary's inevitability: Nothing. Faced with punching air, Hillary began flailing wildly. With no positions to attack, she was left no choice but to go after Obama himself, and Mr. & Mrs. Middle America are reminded of the termagant they spent the eight years of the Clinton administration loving to hate.

In a matter of months we have gone from a Hillary campaign that was a juggernaut of inevitability to a Hillary that looks like a Limbaugh parody of First Lady Clinton, lashing out in snide personal attacks and quibbling over the definitions of "denounce" and "reject". Left hitting smoke, Clinton looks less the polished senator and more the character of a Barbara Olson nightmare, complete with staff shakeups and circular firing squads of insider finger-pointing. Make fun of Barack's empty rhetoric of Change and Hope all you want, but it was the perfect iceberg to put in the path of the unsinkable Clinton.

EDITED TO ADD: Incidentally, McCain is plagued by almost identical personality handicaps, but was saved from them by the fact that A) He started at the back of the pack, B) His opponents folded quickly, and C) The "Will The Real Conservative Please Stand Up" theme of the GOP debates provided him something to talk about other than what a bunch of poopie-heads he thought his opponents were.

Today In History: A metaphor is born.

On this date in 1933, the Reichstag in Berlin burned to the waterline under circumstances that you didn't have to be Mulder & Scully to find fishy. This provided tinfoil hatters and internet flame war participants with a handy metaphor for generations to come.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Geekery and factoids.

Top ten blog referrers to VFTP from 1/26/08 to 2/25/08:

  1. The LawDog Files: 2,744 hits.
  2. Say Uncle: 2,342 hits.
  3. The Other Side of Kim du Toit: 2,334 hits.
  4. Xavier Thoughts: 1,349 hits.
  5. Better and Better: 799 hits.
  6. The Adventures of Roberta X: 618 hits.
  7. The Smallest Minority: 559 hits.
  8. The Munchkin Wrangler: 483 hits.
  9. The Revolver Liberation Alliance: 354 hits.
  10. Call me Ahab: 318 hits.

Thanks y'all! :)

Another cheery forecast.

This time from Unc:
They want Free Federal Moneytm for pork projects in their district, they want free health care, they want social security, they actually think the $600 rebate they’re getting in a couple months is a good thing, they want the .gov to write a big check and bail out their mortgage company, they want a puppy, they want to suckle at the .gov tit. It’s true. Deal with it. We’re the minority and that is that. Put on your big boy pants and deal with it.
It echoes what Kit wrote earlier:
America does not want what I want out of government. America loves big government. They don’t care about taxes and punishing producers and the non-scalability of things like health care and school systems. America wants Big Brother to make them feel safe. America wants Nanny Government to give them money, food, health care, and whatever else America thinks it’s entitled to loot, courtesy of the producers.

Overheard around the house...

Me: "Maybe I'll vote for Frank Zappa."

RobertaX: "Um, I'm pretty sure he's dead."

Me: "Yup."

RobertaX: "Was he frozen, buried, or cremated? 'Cause if we could reanimate him, maybe I'd vote for him too."

Me: "I think for that job I'd prefer him to stay dead. Dead guys are less likely to do something to disillusion me."

Paging William Gibson...

Watching video on your own skin. No doubt the Apple version will be called the iBorg.

(H/T to Mark at E-Ramblings.)

I wish my name was Gallup...

...because I think it would be interesting to ask the proverbial Man On The Street the following:

"The Two-Party System of Government is outlined in which document: The Constitution or the Declaration of Independence?"

The answers would probably be humorous, once you got past your initial queasiness.

Danger seeker!

So, say you wanted to see some sharks. You'd hop in your car and drive to the nearest aquarium, right? Okay, but suppose you wanted a more thrilling experience? Well, you could maybe hook up with some folks who had a shark cage or one of those funky mesh shark suits. Or you could answer an ad that read like this:
The company's Web site says it offers the opportunity to get "face to face" with sharks. The site explains that its hammerhead and tiger shark expeditions in the Bahamas are "unique shark trips ... run exclusively for shark enthusiasts and photographers."

To ensure "the best results we will be 'chumming' the water with fish and fish parts," the Web site explains. "Consequently, there will be food in the water at the same time as the divers. Please be aware that these are not 'cage' dives, they are open water experiences."
Let me get this straight: They toss a bunch of fish heads and guts into the water to assure the presence of riled-up hammerheads and tiger sharks while you, the idiot paying guest, are in the water with them, protected by naught but your swimsuit? I am a little offended that the Coast Guard actually responded to this call; after all, those were my tax dollars in the cutter's gas tank. "Uh, roger Shear Water. We read you. You say you have one wounded aboard who was bitten by a shark while doing what, again?"

Today In History: War on a Noun.

On this date in 1993, a van full of explosives detonated in the parking garage under the World Trade Center. It killed six, and over one thousand were injured, most during the subsequent evacuation. The blast blew a four-story deep crater in the underground parking garage, as well as igniting a firestorm of finger-pointing, posturing, and legislation-proposing as far away as Washington, DC. In the end, some Arabs were jailed, some bills were passed and others were shot down, some Americans were inconvenienced, and we all lived happily ever after. Well, at least for eight more years...

Monday, February 25, 2008

New draft pick.

The Good Guys have added a new draft pick to the roster. Mr. & Mrs. PDB, personal trainers for the sprog, are working hard to ensure that he'll be ready to punch hippies in time for the 2026 season.


A trip to Wally World fixed the last shortcoming of the new Batcave.

The front porch now sports a comfy chair and a little table of perfect beer-holding height.

Aaahhhhhh. Contentment.

Today In History: Resolver.

On this date in 1836, 26 year-old Connecticut native Samuel Colt was awarded a patent for his "revolving gun". Supposedly inspired by the wheel of a ship on which he'd been sailing, Colt's percussion revolver was the first really practical repeating handgun.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oh, the shame...

...and I'm the first result, to boot.

I have no comment.

An important public service announcement:

Mark Alger would like to remind you that when Hills goes after the money of those eeeevil big corporations, those eeeevil big corporations are going to need to get it from someplace. See, they can't just print their own money on flimsy IOU's, like a certain other large organization can.


The Sunday Smith is up at the other place. I had a lot of fun writing this one; I hope it's informative.

Election news...

Ralph Nader announces plan to let his write-in votes cancel out Ron Paul's.

"We felt it was unfair that the GOP should be the only party to have votes siphoned off by a Quixotic idealist," said the famous Corvair basher.


Still looking for the camera with the pictures required for Sunday Smithery to occur.

UPDATE: Found it! God is in his heaven and all is right with the world. They weren't kidding when they said this 'moving' thing was stressful. I had never moved on this scale before: When I moved in with my Ex in Atlanta back in 1/93, everything I owned fit into a two-door Ford Granada. When I moved to K-town in 11/00, it took one trip each with an '84 Trans Am, a rented Impala, and my Ex's Dakota. This is the first time I'd ever had to move this much stuff (and I blew the furniture in place, saving only a few folding tables and desks). I hope RobertaX doesn't mind me never, ever moving again, because I ain't doing it.

Today In History: Judicial activism.

On this date in 1803, the Supremes gave themselves a promotion.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mausers and Mosins and Smiths, Oh My!

My apologies for the vast expanse of nothing on my blog today. I will be spending the day huffing Butch's Gun Oil fumes and wiping everything in the museum down. They'd gotten a lick and a promise during unloading, but they need a good slathering for storage. You don't realize how much stuff there is until you have to oil it...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Drive me crazy.

There are two stop signs visible from the front porch of the new Batcave. In the last 48 hours I have discovered that all that bologna you Yankees have been feeding me about your 1337 snow-driving skillz is just propaganda.

License to ill...

Scuttlebutt about the intarw3b is that some people in The Place Where Great Britain Used To Be are floating the idea of a ~$20/year licence for the priviledge of smoking. No word on what other forms of self-indulgence are being considered for the same licensing scheme, but I can imagine some pretty dreadful uses for the UK's newfound love of CCTV cameras.

Even Winston Smith didn't need a smoking license.

Don't pee on my leg...

...and tell me it's McCaining.

RobertaX feels the same way.

UPDATE: Marko chimes in.

Empire, my butt.

It seems some wogs got out of hand and torched buildings on our sovereign soil the other day. Once upon a time this would have been considered casus belli and occasioned parking a dreadnought in the nearest harbor, shelling some buildings, and offloading some marines with Maxim guns to sort the natives out. Instead we'll wring our hands and ask why they don't like us.

What good is being an imperialistic hegemon if you can't act like one?

A belated entry into the SW Asia wargames.

Another NATO country has put boots on the ground in Iraq, only not in a way that gives CENTCOM the warm'n'fuzzies.

Of course, fair is fair; if we couldn't stop PKK guerillas from shooting up southern Turkey and then slinking back across the Iraqi border, we couldn't very well expect the Turks to just stand and take it on the chin and then let the perpetrators tag up safe at home base. Unfortunately this is taking place in the Kurdish part of Iraq, which was the unsuckiest part of the country.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

...and that's how it gets done.

3 wiry young guys who've never heard the words "back strain" + 70 minutes = 1 empty truck.

(PS: Dear Roomie,

If you read this at work, you'll be pleased to know that the dining room ceiling is the same distance from the floor as it was this morning. No book-related seismic activity has occurred.


UPDATE: ...and with the return of the truck to U-Haul, the _Burning Money_ light (as Matt so eloquently phrased it) has gone out and my blood pressure can begin its slow spiral back down to normal. Despite my fears, the truck we rented was new-ish, clean, and un-busted. Plus, they let me slide on a day's worth of overage fees because of the weather and the fact that I looked very Southern and bewildered in the snow. Mad props to U-Haul in both Lenoir City, TN, and Indy, as well as All The Right Moves movers for helping keep the unavoidable suckage of moving to an absolute minimum. Thanks, y'all! :)


"Ya know, with no legislative accomplishments, he could be pandering to the Libertarian vote?" -Unc on Obama

To translate the current meme...

"I love my country so much that I'll screw it by encouraging the GOP to keep nominating tools like John McCain."

If you'll excuse the geeky metaphor, we've come to the Kobayashi Maru election scenario.

It's election years like this that make me wonder why we ever gave up gills, much less left the trees...

Today in History: Warmongers and commies.

On this date in 1440 the Prussian Confederation was formed. France promptly surrendered.

On this date in 1848, Marx (the un-funny one*) and Engels published the Communist Manifesto. IQ's of college PoliSci departments began a decline that has not reversed to this day**.

* Imagine how much better the world would be if it was the ideals of Harpo Marx, rather than boring ol' Karl, that caught on. It's hard to massacre people with bicycle horns.

** The nadir was almost reached at the start of the 2007-08 academic year, when UC Berkely considered offering a faculty gig to a head of cabbage. They'd have done it, too, if protesting vegans hadn't pointed out that being required to teach undergrads was unfair oppression of a vegetable.

The rich history of humanity...

...was brought to mind last night while watching the lunar eclipse. Every time I see one, I'm reminded of P.J. O'Rourke's line about shamans back in the old days; something along the lines of "Oh no, look! Sky Dragon is eating Moon Woman! Give me silver and I will make him spit her back out again."

Come to think of it, politicians use that one a lot these days, too.

In international news...

East Timor's president has come out of his coma.

Obama denies laying on hands.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The international language.

A rear-wheel drive roadster with fat summer high-performance tires and Tennessee plates apparently says "Stay back a hundred feet, Edna, god only knows what that hillbilly's going to try to do next!" loud and clear in Hoosierese.

(For what it's worth, the traction control light only lit up twice and I only felt the antilock kick in once. Although that last was at the shopping center exit with a really busy street ahead, which made for an exciting half second or so...)

Note To Self:

Get paint markers and mark 6.8 AR mags so that they can be told apart from 5.56 mags at a glance. You know, like you promised yourself you'd do about a year ago...

Arianna Huffington, comedienne extraordinaire.

In a demonstration of how you can be a big time political pundit yet Just Not Get It At All, Ms. Huffington wrote:
Despite an avalanche of evidence showing that McCain the Maverick has long ago been replaced by McCain the Pandering Pawn of the Party's Right Wing...

Arianna, honey, McCain is only "Right Wing" when compared with, say, Dennis Kucinich. Compared to even milquetoast RINOs like Mitt Romney, the man looks like a slightly more liberal version of Tip O'Neal.

Secondly, if you could stop your Progressive Sack Dance over the crumpled remains of 'limited government' for a moment, I'd like to point out that the two candidates jousting for the Oval Office are supposed to offer alternatives for the voting public to choose between. The election isn't supposed to be Arianna Nirvana where bi-coastal big city libs like you can close your eyes and pull the lever, any ol' lever, comfortable in the knowledge that you're going to get a Center-Left Democrat or a Center-Left Republican. It isn't supposed to be, but this time it looks like it will.

Alert the Irony Police.

The back is feeling better; only a little stiff and sore as opposed to immobile like it was yesterday. I'm still moving gingerly and doing a lot more bending at the knees than the waist, however. I still need to be productive while waiting for the Brunt Brothers to show up and offload the truck, though, so...

I got the Tower of Power that is VFTP Command Central all cleaned off and up'n'running. I figured I'd get all proactive and set up the wireless router while I was at it. Only I've been using Cable-propelled intarw3bz these last few years and the new crib is all DSL. I'm hesitant, and that makes me want to wait 'till RobertaX gets home in case some help desk drone at the Service Provider needs to speak with someone named "RobertaX" when/if the connection gets hosed.

The irony part? My big thick three ring binder of helpful destructions from my brief stint as a DSL call center help desk drone is sitting in a trash can two states away, where I tossed it on Friday after thinking "Well, I won't be needing this ever again..."

"Thank you for calling BellSouth Fast Access DSL! My name is Tamara and I won't be helping you today since I binned my instructions because I am a moron!"

How very dignified.

So I'm standing in line at the local Pharm-O-Rama waiting to pay for my purchases when I notice the latest issue of Cosmo. There on the cover are bold letters announcing an article inside on the topic of, and I quote, "Your Va-Jay-Jay". The infantilization of America proceeds apace, I see. I couldn't find a current issue of Men's Health to see if it had an accompanying article on "Mister Winky".

Intelligence failure.

No wonder the Russkies managed to slip so much stuff past us during the dark days of the Cold War. We were groping in the dark, intelligence-wise, by the Carter Era. How was America supposed to discover secret Russian satellite launches when we couldn't even figure out that the Village People were gay?


So I moved, and Fidel Castro slunk off under a porch somewhere to die. Maybe rather than unloading the truck I should move again and see what happens to Kim Jong Il...


There were lots more itsy bitsy snowflings on the ground this morning. I got to sweep the front walk and the back walk. Hooray. I could make a snowman if I didn't have to finish unloading the truck, and if my back wasn't still sore, and if I didn't mind a snowman that was all of maybe a foot tall...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A whole new kind of ouch.

I have never before had any kind of trouble from my back. I hope I never do again. Sitting down or laying down is a gingerly-executed, several minute procedure. Objects on the floor and up to about knee level might as well be on the moon for all my chances of grabbing them.

Thankfully there was a menu from a sandwich delivery joint hanging at eye level on the fridge. Face now fed, I'm going to try to put a hot pad back under my kidneys and whimper for a bit.

...and now comes the bad part.

Icy metal U-Haul ramp.

Heavy iMac.

There goes my footing, and my back.

I'm typing this standing up.

At least the computer was okay...

Now we commence with teh sucky part.

For Marko... honor of his recent lament:
"Not long ago I moved from New York City to a small town in New Hampshire. I didn't know much about country life, but I was in love with New England scenery. I wanted to do my writing in an atmosphere of pastoral serenity. And I felt a need for a healthier life. Also, I'd never had a roof repaired so I thought New York was the most expensive place on earth to live." -P.J. O'Rourke, "Moving To New Hampshire"


There were itsy bitsy snowflings on the ground this morning! I got to sweep the front walk! Hooray! I could make a snowman if I didn't have to finish unloading the truck, and if I didn't mind a snowman that was all of maybe 6 inches tall...

Monday, February 18, 2008


First, mad props to Gunsmith Bob, Dr. Strangegun, pward, RobertaX, and Les Jones, without whom all my stuff would still be in my old crib.

Additional repeat mad props to RobertaX, without whose mad 1337 skillz I'd still be sitting in the passenger seat of a big ol' U-Haul in Knoxville, staring out the windshield and wondering why it wasn't moving.

We hit Indy at 0mygawd30 Monday AM, thanks to a late start and vile-tempered weather gods. That, and the fact that a 17 foot truck burdened with a few tons of books and BMW gets passed on uphill grades by Yugos running on three cylinders, overweight children on Big Wheels, and Stephen Hawking.

Got the expensive and/or weather-sensitive stuff off-loaded, and it looks like my tomorrow will be spent schlepping a hojillion tons of books. With any luck VFTP Command Central and its associated wireless router will be up and running by tomorrow afternoon, but I'm bracing myself for disappointment.

The only downside of the trip so far is that Rannie the Borderline Psychotic Calico seems to be not so borderline anymore. Among the things I seem to have forgotten to pack is her sanity. Right now she's yowling at Mittens, hissing and spitting at me when I walk past, and trying to pick a fight with the couch she's hiding under. If any of y'all back in Tennessee find her marbles, get in touch with me and I'll give you an address to which they can be FedExed.

Re: The Sunday Smith. I thoughtfully took pictures of the remaining Smiths on the Official Railing, but those pics are in the camera. Which is in a box. Somewhere in the house. It will maybe be next Sunday... Sorry!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

News from the front...

iTunes playing.

Go pick up the truck at noon.

VFTP will probably go off the air around 4 or 5 PM.

Signal will resume on this frequency tomorrow evening or Monday morning.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Says it all, really...

The gunman paused to reload his shotgun after opening fire on a crowd of terrified students...

Nobody really has a choice.

MattG has a post up on the possibilities of various means of human interstellar travel without using magic wands. One of the things he mentioned was generation ships. I felt my usual quasi-libertarian objection about generation ships start to twinge. You know, the one about condemning your offspring to being born into a ship on a mission in the interstellar void. Then it hit me: Nobody asked me if I wanted to be born in Chicago, did they?

Launch the ship, then.

Best V-day card...


Rather than tiring my fingers...

...typing about the latest nutcase, let me direct you to Mr. Kloos, who has already said everything I was going to say, but better.

Once again we have been reminded that the big difference between H. sapiens and M. sphinx is that we have to paint our butts bright colors.

Mars needs women.

Lending further credence to the tales that the Great Helmsman, Chairman Mao, was more or less completely off his nut with dementia towards his latter days comes this tale of his attempt at trade negotiations with Henry Kissinger:

"You know, China is a very poor country," Mao said, according to a document released by the State Department's historian office.

"We don't have much. What we have in excess is women. So if you want them we can give a few of those to you, some tens of thousands."

A few minutes later, Mao circled back to the offer. "Do you want our Chinese women?" he asked. "We can give you 10 million."

No mention is made in official documents as to whether or not Superkraut asked for a sample to take home and show President Nixon.

Be a good feminist: Next hippie you see wearing a Mao button? Deck him.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Us vs. Them

Good work, Officer Doughboy. Way to serve and protect, there.

I'd be pissed off if they made me dress like John Belushi in a Killer Bees sketch and then gave me some fruity scooter-with-doors to drive, too, but I think I could refrain from venting my frustration by beating up children.

Nothing personal, but I hope you take a physical ass whuppin' for this, Officer Cupcake.

(H/T to Unc.)

Desk jetsam.

The stuff you find when you're packing...

  • I had no idea I still had so many games on 5.25" floppies.
  • Wow. Critical Path. Did FMV games suck hard, or what?
  • Look, Paul: Outpost!
  • 250 rounds of .38 Super, including an unopened bag of Georgia Arms 147gr Gold Dots.
  • Meticulous repair records for my '84 Trans Am. Which I sold seven years ago.
  • An Apple Personal Modem. 1200 baud, all at once.

Overheard on the porch...

Me: "And do you know what they have in Indianapolis?"

Gunsmith Bob: "Millions of Yankees?"

Me: "I was going to say 'A really whamdidgeous gun show'."

It's Valentine's Day!

Don't forget to give your sweetie a card to commemorate the machine gun slaying of six gangsters in Prohibition-era Chicago!

It's all so clear now...

Remember yesterday's YouTube crazy? Here's his less wacky friend:

McCain's trouble on the right reminds one of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here you have someone at odds with members of his own party who are eager to school him on how to be a real conservative -- on guns, gays, health care, immigration, abortion, and other issues where Schwarzenegger is too liberal for their taste.

And California Republicans have plenty of time to teach class because many don't have jobs. They've been voted out of office. And when they run for new offices, they get wiped out.

Apparently I'm out of touch with my country and should vote Democrat. Well, I would, but Sam Nunn isn't running this year...

Note to self:

If you spend all day washing chocolate-covered espresso beans down with Diet Mountain Dew, it can cause trouble when trying to fall asleep.

Whew! Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

My inner geek just said...


A real geek store! Right near my new home!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Moving out.

When I visited Indianapolis for the first time, I got mugged. By the city.

RobertaX's house was in the Broad Ripple neighborhood, which reminded me a lot of my old haunts in the Virginia-Highlands area of Atlanta, except flat and with the streets all running at right angles to each other. The same gentrified old houses on quiet, tree-lined streets; the same mix of pubs, restaurants, boutiques, and galleries. On top of that, Christmas lights were up and the whole place was covered in a blanket of snow. It was almost hopelessly twee. I was smitten. Further, I hit it off amazingly well with my hostess. It was one of those experiences that happens only a few times in your life, where within five minutes of talking with someone you realize "Wow. I have a new best friend."

Driving back to Knoxville, the first exit I passed coming into the city was the one that led to Marko's house. Marko's old house, as he'd left for New Hampshire a week or two earlier. And Kaylee was gone to Alaska. And my old downstairs neighbor, "rennaissancemann", had gotten all married up and moved across town. And I didn't work at the Armory anymore... I suddenly realized that I had pretty much nothing left rooting me in K-town. So when RobertaX mentioned in a phone conversation that she was open to the possibility of a roommate, I was barely off the phone before I started pricing U-Hauls.

Saturday I'll be backing a 17-footer into the driveway of the place I've called home for the last six years, longer than anyplace that didn't have my parents' name on the mailbox, and Sunday I'll be setting out on my next great adventure. Knoxville's been fun; I showed up almost eight years ago without a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of, and proceeded to make this town my own, but it's time to head for new horizons. I'm excited, a little nervous, and buzzing with anticipation. (That last bit might just be because of the chocolate-covered espresso beans, though...)

Wagons ho! :)

Riddle me this...

How come Tom Cruise is a placenta-munching freak, but Will Smith gets a total pass even though he too believes in Cylons or Leptons or whatever the hell it is you can get out of your system by holding an electric soup can?

(Personally, I think it's because Will is, by all reports, a nice guy, and it's easy to tolerate an eccentric belief or two in a nice guy. Tom, however, is somewhat short on redeeming characteristics to make up for his belief in extraterrestrial Boeings.)

I have seen crazy.

Inspired by that video I saw yesterday, I decided to take a stroll through the far left end of the internet. It had been a while since I had looked in on the opposition, so to speak, and I wondered if they were still as entertaining as they used to be despite pretty much having the Oval Office sewn up for '08.


I was not disappointed. They are still selling ten different kinds of crazy out there. For instance, I was unaware that the evil patriarchy seems to have decided that even though Barack Hussein Obama has a furrin' sounding middle name and is obviously of a rich, dark hue, he at least pees standing up and is therefore preferable to Hils. Wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago that Bill "Whitey" Clinton had directed the Democrat Machine to keep Obama down? I'm losing track. I do know this, though: The politics of victimhood are still hilarious.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Today In History: Monkey's nephew.

Happy birthday, Charles Darwin.

Forget Mexico...

We obviously need to put concertina wire along the border with the Freak Mountains. With land mines. And the U.S. Army. Quickly.

This is the kind of wind I don't mind...

It's blowing at a good 20-30mph, but (as it so rarely does) out of the SSW. My little crow's nest of a reading nook is on the northern side of the house, so I can sit in a bubble of relatively still air and watch the trees whip back and forth overhead... It's pretty neat.

Books are why we work...

See, housing costs money, and you need a house to keep your books in so that they don't get wet or blow around too much. If it weren't for books you wouldn't need a house and could just live under a bridge someplace, which is a lot cheaper and would therefore allow you to retire now.

In an homage to the spirit of books, I'll take up this meme from Phlegmmie via RobertaX:

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
I avoid lots of probably perfectly good modern fiction because it bores me to tears. Like I've said elsewhere on this blog: "Look, if I want to read about failed relationships, career problems, family struggles, and substance abuse, I'll write a friggin' diary. The characters in the books I like to read have problems, too, but they usually solve them with laser beams or tactical nuclear warheads. I read these books because I wish I could solve my problems that way, too. This is called "escapism", and is why most folks seek entertainment in the first place." I just can't find interest in tales of finding a boyfriend or fixing a flat tire when there are books about rescuing a boyfriend from the Valley of the Trolls or fixing a busted stardrive out there to be read.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
I've actually pondered this one before. I'd like an evening of dinner and drinks with two of my favorite fictional bad boys, Dr. Lecter and Lestat, as they were before their respective authors ruined them. (After Silence of the Lambs and Queen of the Damned, respectively, both these characters were put in, to use Dr. Lecter's brilliant phrase, "moral dignity pants".) The third character's a toughie, because I've always envisioned just the two. Let's occupy the open place setting with... Hmm... Perhaps Woodrow Wilson Smith? He ought to have quite a fund of good stories.

You are told you can't die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it's past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
While The Fountainhead is a strong contender for "Most Efficient Conversion of Wood Pulp to Sominex", I am forced here to admit that I have a beautiful hardbound copy of Don Quixote given me by a friend of my father's back in... oh... ninth grade? The bookmark has advanced all of perhaps seventy-five pages in the intervening twenty-five years. At an average clip of three pages per year, I'll be dust and bones long before I'm finished.

Come on, we've all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you've read, when in fact you've been nowhere near it?
I'm pretty honest when it comes to what I've read and what I haven't. Tower of ego that I am, I'm not worried about people thinking less of me for not having read something.

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to 'reread' it that you haven't? Which book?
Y'know, this has never happened to me. The closest approach was when I re-read Anthem a couple of years ago for the first time since the eighth grade. It was not at all the story I remembered. Which was a pleasant surprise, actually, because I remembered it being positively awful and as dull as watching paint dry.

You've been appointed Book Advisor to a VIP (who's not a big reader). What's the first book you'd recommend and why? (if you feel like you'd have to know the person, go ahead of personalise the VIP.
If my VIP has not actually sat down and read 1984, he's about to.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?
Latin. Definitely. I want to read Tacitus and Caesar and Cicero and Polybius and the rest in the original. It pains me, when reading older works in history (and especially military history), to come across a quotation in Latin or Greek that is left untranslated, because it reminds me how woefully uneducated I am.

A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
Hah! Don't throw me in that briar patch! The list of books I already re-read at least once a year is long enough that if it gets much longer, I won't have time to read new books. LOTR is the ceremonial one, though. I've made it a point to re-read it once a year since I was about twelve.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What's one bookish thing you 'discovered' from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?
Were it not for my imaginary friends on teh intarw3bz, I never would have discovered Terry Pratchett and his wonder-full Discworld. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she's granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.
Y'know, I was going to do something elaborate here when I realized that I'm looking at a wall of boxes twenty-five feet long by four feet high by two feet deep. If I can find someplace to park them that has a sheltered porch with a comfortable chair, a place to set a beer, and a good friend or two who can enjoy an afternoon spent in the companionable silence of reading, I'm golden. "A good read, a bottle of Ruination, and thou. O, Wilderness were Paradise enow!"

Welcome to Europe.

Conservatives are grieving. If they had to identify what they are grieving over, many would probably say either the death of the Republican Party or the end of conservative influence. I am grieving the end of the "specialness" that has been the United States.

Read the whole thing.

(H/T to staghounds)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Overheard in a car...

...somewhere between Calhoun's and McKay's:

Gunsmith Bob: "Have you ever been down partying on The Strip the whole time you've lived in Knoxville?"

Me: "Yeah, that's what I want to do; spend an evening surrounded by thousands of drunken, screaming college kids. We should go do that. Wait, I can think of something I'd rather do instead! Gouge out my own eyeballs with a broken beer bottle."

Gunsmith Bob: "I've never been, either."

One less gunlike object.

In Oakland, one of the scarier parts of the Californian S.S.R., anonymous criminals were assisted by police in the destruction of evidence, and paid to do it, too. The no-questions-asked "One Less Gun" evidence destruction program gave each person $250 per firearm. Judging by the looks of things, they lost money on nearly every one...


So there are some sixty boxes labeled "Books", two labeled "Brass", two labeled "Reloading", two labeled "AR-15/misc. rifle stuff", one labeled "Revolver holsters & spdldrs/moonclps", and one labeled "Curl. irns. & other hair crap"...

(Incidentally, there seems to be some manner of related contest up at Atomic Nerds...)

Pugsley pitches a snit.

When President Pugsley of Venezuela engaged in a bit of thievery, he figured he'd get away with it. See, he was a president, representing a government, so what you and I call thievery, he calls "nationalization".

Unfortunately for Pugsley his victim didn't take it lying down, but went to the cops. Who promptly froze about twelve billion dollars of Pugsley's ill-gotten assets. (When you're picking victims for a mugging, avoid the world's largest publicly-traded oil company. They can afford good lawyers.)

Now Pugs is stomping his foot, threatening to hold his breath until he turns blue... and threatening to cut off his own nose to spite his face the export of oil to the U.S.A. (despite most of the legal fun taking place in the UK and the Netherlands. Nobody ever said dictators were sane.) No word yet if shadowy multinationals are threatening to cut off the export of coup agitators and assassins to Venezuela.

Random 'net finds of the morning:

1) Brilliant (if salty) commentary on the joys of intarw3bz fora.

2) The Critical Bookworm discovers the geekier-than-thou world of... *shudder* fanfic, and properly recoils in horror. (If you ever see me reading fanfic, it's safe to just start shooting, as I've been replaced by an alien pod person.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

With apologies to that Bryan Adams git...

Larry has all that you want
When you're starin' at all those small arms
You're findin' it hard to believe
You're in heaven...

FBMG's new digs are frickin' impressive, and I don't impress easily.

Overheard at a restaurant...

At the local Texas Roadhouse:

Me: "Jeez, could they please shut that child up?"

Gunsmith Bob: "Look around you. There are animal heads on the wall. They're playing country music. Is the screaming kid destroying the ambiance for you or something?"

(Incidentally, I'd never had subprime rib before. Tam does not recommend.)

Under the weather.

To look out the window, it's a beautiful day. Blue sky, sunny, low 50s. And yet days like today make me surlier than any other kind of weather. Cold you can dress up for. Heat can be mitigated by shade and a cool drink. Rain can be kept off by sitting under the roof overhang.

But there's absolutely no way to sit comfortably outside with a book and a smoke when the wind has been howling off the lake at a steady 20mph for three hours straight. You don't even worry about having your hair mussed when the occasional 40mph gust is snatching the hat from your head and playing hob with the patio furniture.

UPDATE: 4:10PM. Still blowing. It's the relentless, water-torture nature of it that gets to me.

UPDATE: 6:40PM. Still blowing. I may have mentioned that I live on the second floor of a drafty, converted cabin, surrounded by trees. So there's the steady c-clunk, c-clunk of the front door shifting back and forth in its jamb, the skritch-skritch of branches against the roof, and the keening wail (with low, oscillating undertones) of the wind in the eaves so loud that it sounds like someone running a shop vac in the next room. For. Seven. Hours. Straight.

Sunday Smithery has been perpetrated.

Check it out (you may not see another one like it.)

Today In History: Superweapon.

By the opening years of the 20th Century, the battleship had become an increasingly baroque creature. In the fifty years since steel and steam replaced wood and canvas, designers of battleships had crammed them as chock full of guns of all different calibers as they could, mounted in a bewildering array of turrets, casemates, barbettes, and holes cut in the hull. Needless to say, this made something of a hash out of shooting, since every gun crew was more or less on their own; there was no point in even trying to coordinate the ranging efforts of two guns of two different calibers mounted at two different elevations on the ship. Meanwhile, the entire creaky edifice was powered through the ocean blue by an engine only marginally more sophisticated than the one used to push old Number 9 down the tracks.

On this date in 1906, every battleship then afloat became instantly obsolete when the British Royal Navy launched HMS Dreadnought. Powered by high-tech steam turbines, the Dreadnought had only one caliber of main armament. Her twelve-inch main guns, mounted in pairs in powered turrets, were directed by mast-mounted spotting stations that could observe the splashes caused by the fall of shot and transmit corrections to a central control station over the first electric fire direction system used in a capital ship.

Of course, every nation in the world immediately wanted one. Pretty soon, you were nobody if you didn't have a "dreadnought". Banana republics mortgaged the national wealth to have British shipyards make one just for them. They became too valuable to risk, such was the amount of money and national prestige tied up in them. Whole battlefleets would spend whole wars mouldering away in harbor, lest they actually be exposed to the risk of being sunk. In the forty years between their invention and their ultimate eclipse by the aircraft carrier and submarine, dreadnoughts squared off in high seas combat only a handful of times, and usually with fairly inconclusive results.

But they sure do look cool.

I hate it when that happens...

Don't you hate it when the cat has an attack of charge-around-the-house crazies at zero dark thirty and knocks something over, waking you up, so you decide to toddle off to the restroom while you're awake, and when you're headed back towards the bedroom you think "I wonder what's shakin' on teh intarw3bz?" and so you check and now you realize that the alarm clock is going off in twenty minutes, so there's not much point in going back to bed...

Yeah, I hate that too.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Scenes from work...

1) Found a 1956 silver dime in the change today! w00t!

2) My weekend morning routine for the past months has been doing paperwork in the office while the part-timer mans the register. Now that I'm leaving, she's training to assume my assistant-managerial role.

There's a camera on the wall above the register, complete with a microphone, so that the cashier can chatter at the person back in the office, but there's no way for the person in the office to reciprocate. For the last several months, every time I'd hear "Hey, wanna go outside for a smoke?", I was unable to say "Wait! Hang on! I'm in the middle of sorting the closing paperwork for yesterday!" Even worse would be when she started holding conversations with her "Imaginary Friend", knowing that I couldn't respond. It was as bad as when the dentist starts chatting you up when he's up to his elbows in your bicuspids... But now I could get my revenge. See, the camera's kind of over everyone else's head, but I'm tall, so if I got up on tippytoe while she was back there sweating over learning how to do the paperwork, she could hear...

"Hey! Wanna see my boogers?" And there, in 19 inches of glorious fisheye Trinitron color in the office, would be the nostril I had parked an inch in front of the camera lens. "EEEEWW! Stop that!" Vengeance is sweet.

Today In History: President-Select.

You know why the whiners of Election '00 never impressed me? Because they'd obviously slept through American History 101, else they'd have known about a real "President-Select".

On this date in 1825, The House of Representatives did its Constitutional duty and stiffed bumptious populist Andy Jackson in favor of Boston establishment politician, J.Q. Adams.


Once more unto the donut-making breach. But just once. After this weekend, no more.

I'm sure I'll look back on it fondly some day. Or not.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Sometimes you just want to listen to the music.

"When The Levee Breaks" off Led Zeppelin's eponymous album, with the volume turned to '11'.

Mutant blues destruction. Maybe the best thing they ever recorded. Can't get enough of it...

"They were both poisoned..."

"I used to write about politics all the time. That was back when I thought my “side” could win.” I still keep up with the issues, but I’ve come to the same realization that Jayman has - America does not want what I want out of government. America loves big government." -Kit on voting.

Fudds in the crosshairs.

The VPC is making noise about wanting to bring "intermediate sniper rifles" under the regulation of the National Firearms Act of 1934. You know, like machineguns and suppressors.

What's an "intermediate sniper rifle"? Apparently anything with a scope and a shoulder stock that's not a .22, if you read it broadly enough. Certainly your .338 WinMag elk rifle is a goner.

Remember: Whether it's too big, too small, too powerful, not powerful enough, too cheap, or too expensive, they want your gun gone.

And then there were two...

...or two and a half, as the case may be.

With Mitt Romney taking his ball and going home we're left with the Manchurian Candidate and what's left of Huckabee's campaign, plus Ron Paul, who is stubbornly clinging to Rosinante's saddle. McCain is desperately trying to convince everyone that he is really a conservative, and that while he may have kissed the Kerry campaign back in '04, he didn't actually slip it any tongue. The Huck is hoping that everyone is paying more attention to his support of the Fair Tax than they are to the fact that he'd use those fair taxes to send illegal aliens to school on the taxpayer's dime.

It's a sad day when I find myself muttering "Remember when the GOP had real candidates, like Bob Dole?"

Today In History: Royal pain.

On this date in 1587, Mary I was beheaded for Scottish Queenery in the First Degree and Aggravated Catholicism.

(It never paid to get cross-threaded with Liz the First, who in her zeal for power and her hard-nosed grasp of realpolitik, makes the current junior Senator from New York look like Mother Theresa.)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Google as a second language...

Reading foreign translations of your own webpage can be interesting at times. I'm pretty sure that "I'm just sayin'" does not directly parse to "Je suis juste sayin '."

It's so hard for software to handle idiom. As every geek knows, if the Redshirt says "Your mother wore army boots," the Klingon's translator spits out "Your maternal parent wore the footgear of a soldier," and he takes it as a compliment.

Children should be seen and not heard.

I read, with growing shock and horror, Dr. Helen's piece "Pinky-Swear You'll Vote for the Guy on YouTube!" In a day and age when actual grownups with rocket scientist IQs are displaying such muzzy-headed grasps of the issues, there are people who are trusting the exercise of their sacred franchise to mopey zit factories who can't tell Justin Timberlake from a real performing artist? No wonder the hadjis think they've got our number. This is the land of King Kid, after all; make American children unhappy enough and the nation will do anything to stop their little tantrum (e.g. '68-'72)

I think Florence King had the right idea:
If we want to regain the respect of the world, we should begin by announcing that children have no business expressing opinions on anything except "Do you have enough room in the toes?" -Florence King

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Catch 22nd Street bridge.

What happens when the state turns someone out of prison, won't let them live anywhere near anyplace children might be, but doesn't want them living under a bridge, either?

Look, if they're such a danger to society, leave them in the pokey. If they're safe to be turned loose, leave them the hell alone. But please make up your mind, because now every time I drive over a bridge, I'm going to wonder if it has real-life trolls underneath.


Huh. UHaul rentals are a lot cheaper than I thought.

More later...

Big Sister is watching...

This Google Analytics thing is the shizznit. It's got more graphs than a Congressional subcommittee hearing and more buttons than a waiter at TGI Friday's. I even know what some of them do.

According to this, you are probably an American (and living in Texas), using a cable connection and Internet Explorer, on a machine running WinXP with a screen resolution of 1024x768. You're most likely a white male between the ages of 35 and 45, make $40k-$80k/yr, and could stand to lose a few pounds, or so your doctor says. You're a Capricorn, and you forgot to take the trash out last night. Yes, that was the garbage truck that just went by. Too late.

How does Google know all this stuff? Beats me. I'd wonder more about why webcams and microphones have become such popular PC peripherals lately, though.

Apocalypse now.

Now I lay me down to sleep...

Looks like Someone isn't pleased with TN turning out for Huckabee.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Which one more effectively delivers the "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" message: Voting for already-bailed Thompson or for not-a-snowball's-chance-in-hell Paul?

Attention faceless designer in Dearborn:

Putting a big chromed oval shroud on the exhaust tip of the Lincoln Landmass when you can see the actual rusty drinking straw of a tail pipe lurking only a half inch inside is dorky at best. At worst, it makes people think you may have issues.

Is it just me...

...or did the Patriots vs. the Giants have deeper philosophical overtones and more starkly contrasting opponents than the Democrats vs. the Republicans?

Although your average NFL team could learn something about inculcating blind, inarticulate, pompom-waving, face-painting loyalty from observing the party machines in action...

"Party Training"?

I see kids are never too young to be canalized into the binary party system that ate American politics:
Nate's dad, Jeff Moore, uses the "Weepublican" shirts as an introduction to politics. "When we see the big elephant, what does it stand for?" he says he asks his kids.
Jesus and wiretaps, these days.
Jackie Kaplan, who runs a consulting firm for social justice and community-based nonprofits, says her son David may not choose his activist duds, but he's aware of what they say. He has been marching in Washington, D.C., protests and canvassing neighborhoods for causes since he was 3. Kaplan, a lesbian, also dresses him in shirts supporting gay rights, one of which reads "Let My Parents Marry."
Hopefully the back reads "...and please don't beat me up."

Great Debate.

Fantastic (by which I mean intelligent and civil) discussion on Property Rights v. CCW going on here. Continued here. Jed makes his big post here.

Good stuff.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Since when is it a Right?

The harsh reality for millions of families is that despite declining prices in many cities, homeownership remains unaffordable in a majority of cities for service workers in the fastest-growing occupations: nurses, retail salespeople, customer-service representatives, food-preparation workers and office clerks, according to research released Tuesday by the Center for Housing Policy. (Emphasis mine.)
They should have farmed this study out to the Department of the Obvious, who could have done it much cheaper. If they wanted to run with the theme, they could have pointed out that home ownership is also out of reach of the incarcerated, minor children, and the deceased.

Isn't trying to get people who couldn't frickin' afford it into home ownership one of the reasons we wound up in our current pickle? Look, people, while owning your own home may be part of the American Dream, it's not part of the Bill of Rights, okay?


Here's hoping the dead don't rise and walk the earth in search of human brains for the next two weeks, as I've just boxed up all my spare AR mags...

More later.

Oh. My. Gawd!

Unc posted up the link to this upcoming firearms auction.

All those Colts. All those Lugers. One of the Japanese Garand knockoffs machined from a billet of pure unobtainium .

For the first time in my life I find myself wishing I had a wealthy relative I could poison.

That's entertainment.

I'm thinking that if you can't make it to your custody hearing because they won't let you out of the nut hut, the judge might take that into account when evaluating your fitness as a parent.

Ot-nay oo-tay ight-bray, if you know what I mean...

If you are going to steal the identity of another person in order to boost their transcripts so you can get into Harvard, you probably don't want to use someone who is missing and is actively being sought by their family and law enforcement. I'm just sayin'.

A jog around the blogs.

NRAhab, freshman SHOT Show reporter, is doing a bang-up job. Lots of pictures. Plenty of news. Video and audio bits. Some cool name-dropping. Go check it out.

J.R. Shirley's brother and sister-in-law try to do the right thing by the INS and are treated to a dazzling display of raw bureaucratic ineptitude. Your government inaction.

Lawdog has teh funnies on the new obstacle course that the City of Berkeley (yes, the same Berkeley referred to on my "Nuke Berkeley" tee shirt) has installed out front of their local USMC recruiting office. Complete with a patchouli-scented hippie version of Whack-A-Mole.

International hour.

The International Hour here at VFTP is always neat to look at, but some are even neater than others. Oakleigh, Australia, keep it real! Baku, Azerbaijan, represent! A shout out to my peeps in Zadar, Croatia!

(Oh, and you know you've arrived when you're cited as a source on the Greek Wikipedia.)

Okay, that's a little creepy...

Apparently John Browning and his wife Tamara were murdered by their own son.

(Discovered it here.)


That after-dinner nap lasted a little longer than intended...

Anyhow, the Sunday Smith is up, (it's still Sunday in California, right?) bringing you more snubnosed N-frame goodness.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

In a perfect world...

How the Lane Bryant stickup should have gone down...
Quantrell, 26, told reporters "Everybody knows that the place they are taking you to is the murder scene. I waited until his back was turned and no one else was in danger. No way was I going to just let him kill us. United 93, motherf*cker."

Patting myself on the back...

I already took the picture for the Sunday Smith, so now it's just a matter of coming home from work and typing the actual words part. How clever am I?

(Don't answer that.)

Can't help myself.

The morning snark.

Groundhog Day II.

So, I poked my head out from under the covers to find that some nut in gun-free Chicago has herded patrons and clerks at a Lane Bryant into the back room and mowed them down, I guess with a sharp stick or something; Indians trading in their mopeds for little econoboxes mean that $3/gal gas will soon be a wistful memory; and my next President is still going to be one of three Democrats or the Manchurian Candidate. This means there will be six more weeks of winter. Unlike Punxsutawney Phil, however, I can't retreat into my burrow, for the donuts beckon.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Dirty pool.

Both cats were dozing immobilized in a puddle of sunshine on the floor. I stealthily crept up with the hairbrush...

I'm now sitting smugly at my desk with two sleepily blinking, freshly de-undercoated cats staring at me like... well... let's just say that if looks could maim, I'd be typing this from a wicker basket.

Today, with steely determination...

...and clear-eyed, firm-jawed resolution, I take my fate in my hands and set off to make the best donuts I can make. I do it totally un-self-consciously, for it is the only way I know how to be. In fact, I hold a slight, sneering internal contempt for the substandard donut maker across the street who demands that his donuts be recognized as equal with mine by the faceless bureaucrats of the donut commission. Looters!

Oh, and happy birthday, Ayn Rand.

Friday, February 01, 2008

"Columbia, you are Go for throttle-up..."


Space Shuttle Columbia
Heroes all...

The sweet smell of failure.

w00t! TN got seven points, tying us for 35th place!

SEVEN points, bitches! w00t!

Somewhere in Nashville, a hippie is crying.

I guess this makes sense to somebody...

Maybe Yahoo was getting stomped by Google because it wasn't stagnant and reactionary enough.

C2H5OH + C6H8(NO2)2O5 = E.R.

Because there's nothing more slapstick than a good story containing rednecks, beer, modular housing, tow trucks, and self-inflicted gunshot wounds... (If the tow truck had been dragging the protagonist's ex-girlfriend's primered '78 Camaro the whole time, the story would actually be the Platonic Ideal of Country-Western song material.)

Why days off traditionally come in pairs...

Because I managed to more-or-less completely avoid doing anything remotely productive yesterday, I have my chores cut out for me today. It's off to the wash-'n'-fold with me.

But first: steak and eggs, medium rare and up, hash browns scattered, smothered, covered, peppered, and cooked crispy. (Did you know that Waffle House serves 21,000 miles of bacon strips a year, yet they won't sell it to me by the foot?)

Today In History: Calendar whirl.

On this date in 1918, Russia finally switched to the Gregorian calendar. Up to then, they had been using the quaint Julian one, guaranteeing that future students would be forever perplexed as to why a dustup that began in November was called "The October Revolution".

Cute cat pic...

"liek keybrd. iz warm."