Thursday, March 31, 2011
...or else you could come dang close to blowing your own butt cheek off.
Gear is expendable. It will wear out from use. Do not get married to your magazines, your holster, your belt, your pistol, or any other piece of gear. Inspect it frequently and, if worn or defective, repair or replace. This dude's Galco leather holster was wore slap out, and yet he continued to use it, and is lucky he got off as lightly as he did.
(H/T to Sebastian.)
If the anchordude had started doing it with "meow" or "fnord", I'd have known they were screwing with me.
We then go to a commercial, where a satisfied-looking Cletus says of a local car dealer, by way of a testimonial: "I recommend all my friends to Joe Smith!" causing roomie to come running into the room, wondering why I was frothing "Speak English, you goober!" at the televisor.
Oh, it's going to be one of those days, I can just really tell.
So you're protesting budget cuts, and you want a tuition freeze? I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that none of you are math majors, then.
Any other universal laws you'd like us to repeal while we're at it? Gravity, perhaps?
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
We left when the horse racing was over and they had started a flat track motorcycle race; as we were leaving the stands, I looked over my shoulder and noticed they'd had a tremendous pileup on the back stretch, leaving the winner to wobble down the track on his own, even though his bike kept falling over.
Then we got a ride from Og in his Explorer. Staghounds was sitting up front, talking to Og, and I was riding in back. I noticed that since I was sitting up high, I could look down into the vehicles around me, which is always a novel sensation for me. There was a bronze-colored '64 Pontiac Catalina that kept following us and trying to pace us, but Og kept cutting it off. Looking down into the car, I realized that it was empty; nobody was driving it. "Og, dude, that car is driving itself!"
"I know," he growled, "That's why I'm not letting it pass!"
"Are you sure that's wise?" I asked. (I mean, by my way of thinking, pilotless demon cars have the right-of-way.)
When I looked back at the car, now there was somebody in it. Oh, there was still nobody driving it, but there was an old man in the passenger seat. He smiled and waved at me. And the car wasn't a Pontiac anymore, now it was a cream-and-maroon Austin Mini.
Then I was dropped off at my ex's place, except he lived in a small town now, and we had to go get him registered to vote, at the combination 7-11 and post office. We went back to his house, where an old roomie of mine was waiting, and the three of us played this awesome video game that was like a combination of System Shock and Left 4 Dead.
Then I woke up.
The recent adventure into Libya, or shall I say ‘above Libya,’ is the first time in living memory we’ve seen the will of one man, even an American president, order and carry out an American military mission without even bothering to ask the American congress if it minds his messing about in a foreign country. In essence, one man in one day set in motion the power of the American military without any of the barest of rituals that normally come before....all you can do is mutter "Please stay off my side."
Because, you know, it's not the "first time in living memory", unless you're, like, eleven years old and therefore were born after Operation Desert Fox.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Some posters there, who presumably don't have suppressors on their duck guns, object.
On a related note, if you take the noise suppressor off your car and put it on your gun, you can get a federal prison sentence and a traffic citation!
Someone needs to explain to these Bubbas and Cletii that a can is basic safety equipment, whether it's on your weed-whacker or your Walther.
The whole article proves that it's not about health or "secondhand smoke", it's about control. You can stuff the smokers into a fishbowl with a completely separate ventilation system (in a building surrounded by a haze of JP-4 fumes with rows of idling diesel buses out front,) and it's still not good enough. I guess humans have an inborn urge to control somebody; to feel a righteous and societally-sanctioned hate for somebody; to feel superior to somebody; to make somebody sit at the back of the bus. They've just been forced to shift fire to a new target: Niccers.
(Stop snickering, Fatty; they're coming for you next.)
Oh, sure, there are a few writers I still pay attention to when they write about hardware, but generally I'd rather read articles on training classes, shooting techniques, tactics or some esoteric piece by Pat Rogers on the proper clearance of Type XIIb malfunctions than yet another drooling, fawning review of yet another crappy, defective pistol I wouldn't let my cat pee on. (Or, worse, I could find myself yelling "WRONG!" every couple paragraphs, like for James Tarr's "Retro 1911" piece in the latest Shotgun News.)
This month's SWAT has a review of Todd Green's "Aim Fast Hit Fast" class, which was pretty cool and jibed with my experience at gun skul, as well as my monthly fix of awesome Pat Rogers and Louis Awerbuck content, and Concealed Carry Magazine had the usual lineup of good articles on legal topics and practical drills, plus that witty (and yet modest!) genius they have writing their back page column... But other than those two mags and the occasional Shotgun News, that's pretty much it for my gun periodical reading.
Guns were a lot cooler when I didn't know anything about them or shoot them very much. :(
Monday, March 28, 2011
Incidentally, if thousands of protesters in the streets proves a government isn't legitimate, how long before Barack calls for Cameron to step down and we declare a No-Fly Zone over London?
The guy on the left is gunsmith Ashley Emerson, of Big Dot Express Sight fame, and the guy on the right is Denny Hansen, editor of S.W.A.T. Magazine, and the tasty, tasty gun in the middle is a sweet Novak Custom Browning High Power...
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
The self-defense industry is rife with bad advice. From the strip-mall karate instructor to the guy at the gun shop telling you "And if'n you shoot 'em outside, make sure you drag 'em inside and put a knife in their hands before you call the cops!" when he probably can't even spell 'tampering'.
Still, of all the bad advice I've heard or read over the intertubes, the guy in this video takes the cake. Were I him, I would probably just sell all my guns now, because in this one video, he has handed any future prosecutor a slam-dunk murder conviction in pretty much any conceivable self-defense shooting scenario he could be involved in, short of his house being stormed in broad daylight by a platoon of chainsaw-wielding Hell's Angel zombies. And even then he'd look suspicious.
Friday, March 25, 2011
I'm waiting for one of these tired and frazzled-looking nuke types to tell them that the reactor's dilithium crystals have cracked and, yes, that's a very bad thing.
Unfortunately, without those seaports, Bolivia had no ocean access, and bird crap was its primary export, and so when a tax & tariff squabble erupted with Chile to the south, a full-scale Kinetic Military Action soon followed. Peru tried to intervene for peace, kind of like the US did in Europe in 1915, and with about as much success, getting sucked into the fighting on Bolivia's side.
Because the war was being fought over a desert layered like hell's own bean dip with a geological epoch's worth of bird droppings and saltpeter, most of the first part of the war was fought at sea, and included several early ironclad duels, many featuring the ironclad Huáscar, which started the war as one of the Peruvian navy's most powerful ships but, like often happens to Italy, was occupied and forced to change sides. It ended up the war helping the Chilean navy drive the Peruvians from the ocean and blockade their ports.
The war ended poorly for Bolivia, who lost all their beachfront property, but the Huáscar is still afloat, preserved by the Chilean navy as a museum ship; one of the few pre-Dreadnought era warships still in existence.
What, exactly, the relationship is between bitty little .380s and the United States Marine Corps isn't fully explained, actually.
You don't scare me, Private Joker! Work on it!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Connecticut’s bill is worse than unenforceable; it is unconstitutional. Perhaps realizing that a grandfather clause would make the ban worthless, CT legislators stipulate that anyone who owns large-capacity magazines will have 90 days to turn them over to the government, without compensation, so the magazines can be destroyed. Citizens who fail to hand in their magazines will be guilty of a class D felony.Dude, when your proposed gun law makes California's firearms laws look sensible by comparison, you're so far out in left field that you're actually up in the bleachers.
Even assuming you somehow get it passed, it's going to get shot down in a courtroom faster than the Libyan air force. You couldn't throw a rock at a copy of the Constitution without hitting a part this bill violates. That popping sound you hear? It's Alan Gura cracking his knuckles...
Unfortunately, you cannot lead that way, this is a man whose crisis of leadership is now affecting the future of this nation and national security of this country and putting young Americans in harm's way without anybody authorizing, except the United Nations.You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.
I mean, just the other day, he said something like "I like my president, but I love my Constitution," and I'm sure he meant it, because Dennis, the Ron Paul of the Left, has always struck me as a sincere guy; sincerely wrong, but sincere nonetheless. Still, my first thought on hearing him say that was "Dennis Kucinich wouldn't know the Constitution if it gave him a paper cut on one butt cheek."
"Hey!" he called out, "It's the gal who likes the old guns!" I smiled and nodded, glancing over his wares and remembering how he'd spent time painstakingly explaining to me how a top-break Smith was opened and how the thing on the back was a grip safety and...
"I've got some special ones you might like to see," he said, pulling a big Plano case out from under the table and popping the latches. He lifted the lid to reveal several absolutely gorgeous Model Number One-and-a-Half New Models, that wer...
"Now, these are .32 rimfire Smiths," he said "which are 'tip-ups' instead of 'top breaks', and that means they..." He proceeded to go on and demonstrate the reloading process for a tip-up Smith while I bit my tongue and ogled the absolutely cherry nickel plating on one he wasn't handling, which was... wait; the trigger and hammer were plated as well, rather than case-colored, which meant...
"Now this one," he continued "is the purtiest of the bunch, but you can see that the hammer and this little trigger piece are nickel-plated, too. That means it was refinished, because they're supposed to be blued." I continued to bite my tongue while he went on about grips being numbered to frames and the stamped star mark that would indicate a factory refinishing and lots of other fairly basic antique Smith trivia.
Not seeing anything that I couldn't live without, I nodded my thanks and continued on. Not too much later I ran across a table with a really rough Smith & Wesson Model Number Two (a.k.a. the "Old Army", despite the fact it had never been purchased by, you know, the Army.) This example was missing the leaf spring that doubled as a cylinder stop and rear sight, and was horribly pitted, but the owner had dragged it to almost two years worth of shows and its price had gradually been dropping to where it was practically worth it for parts. "Excuse me," I asked, "may I see that really ugly..."
"This is a Smith & Wesson No. 2," he replied, reaching for it. "It's sometimes called the Old Army, even though the Army never adopted it. Now, it's what's called a 'tip-up' Smith, which means it opens like..."
I found that I didn't even have to bite my tongue. Finally, after almost twenty years of snapping back and correcting blatant errors made in patronizing tones, I not only didn't have the energy, but didn't even want to any more. I just smiled pleasantly and let him talk. I had won the victory over myself. I loved Big Brother.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
"I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet," Chavez said in speech to mark World Water Day.So basically Adam Smith wiped out the little green men. Alrighty, then.
He goes on to talk about how capitalism has destroyed forests and rivers on Earth, unlike the careful stewardship of socialism, which nurtures and preserves lush natural gardens like the Black Triangle in Eastern Europe and China's growing western deserts.
(H/T to RobertaX.)
Seriously, the news media has always had the attention span of a hyperactive Pekingese in desperate need of a Ritalin MilkBone, but it's more noticeable at some times than others, and lately it's been very... hey! Let's go ride our bikes!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Wow, there sure are a lot of them...
The list contains everything from "Jewish anarchism" to "Ecofeminism" to "Islamic feminism" to "Queer nationalism" to "Christian communism" to "Libertarian socialism".
Each one of those dozens and dozens of links leads to its own Wikipedia article, no doubt assiduously maintained and argued over and edited and re-edited by people who consider themselves devotees of the purest form of said ideology and who denounce each other as "Splitters!" and each and every one of them sure that they have decoded the message on the back of the cosmic cereal box.
I think it might be simultaneously the funniest and most depressing thing I've stumbled across on the interwebs so far this week.
You know, except in those places where the populist Islamists are trying to overthrow a government that, while undoubtedly corrupt, repressive, and autocratic, is the only thing standing between the status quo and another terrorist haven of a failed state.
I would like to think that we pick which dictators and oligarchs we'll prop up and which we'll topple using a selection process at least as involved as the one by which we pick our college basketball teams, and which doesn't involve a dart board or a Magic 8 Ball, but I get less and less certain about that as time goes by.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Awww, who's the sad clown? Who's the sad clown?
Is there any wine sweeter than the tears of a hippie?
- I've never particularly wanted a 10-rd single-stack magazine feeding sharply-tapered rimmed cartridges, but it's interesting to see what can be done by the determined.
- Frank James talks about the whys and wherefores of food prices from the end of the production line where the dirt is.
- A state-mandated basic concealed carry class is not the place to be teaching people your elite Navy SEAL ninja-fu, okay? Seriously, Rambo, that's how people get killed. Just switching a loaded handgun from one hand to the other is dangerous enough to get you bounced from some Handgun I classes.
Unfortunately, there were... issues.
Think about this the next time you hear someone say "I trust Brand X enough to just take one out of the box, load it up, and put it in my holster."
Imagine the howls of outrage if this was some conservative commentator using that term to describe, say, Hillary or Michelle. For that matter, imagine a crowd full of arugula-deprived Dittohead squares reacting with approval to the use of the word "twat" in public.
Way to keep the discourse elevated, there, Bill. You wouldn't know the high ground if the quaestores ordered you hurled off of it.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
"From the start we requested only that a no-fly zone be set up to protect Libyan civilians and avert any other developments or additional measures," Mussa added.Apparently they flipped out when cruise missiles, anti-radiation missiles, and laser-guided bombs started pounding Libyan ADA sites, airfields, and command & control facilities.
"We didn't mean that kind of no-fly zone!" comes the Arab League response. What did you think we were going to use to ground the Libyan air force? Drum circles and folk songs?
You know what? Screw these people. While all our armed forces are in the neighborhood, we should just seize the oil fields and the pumping facilities, and let them go back to arguing about which one of Mohammed's cousin-in-law's nephew's brothers is the real Caliph out in the desert someplace.
Meanwhile, apparently Kha... Qa... Gaddafi has rolled out footage of gurneys full of dead human shields, which the media vampires (who, let's not forget, "Remember the Maine!"-ed us into this in the first place) are gleefully rebroadcasting, since Libyan State Propaganda TV doesn't have the signal strength to get its message out unaided. Thanks to advanced seeker technology, our bombs seem to home in unerringly on women, children, and Imam O'Flanagan from the Needy Orphans' Ministry.
Hey, CNN, since this war was half your idea in the first place, can't you at least go 72 hours before switching sides?
(H/T to Borepatch.)
Saturday, March 19, 2011
RX: "Winston Churchill did not win WWII! He was on the winning side, sure, but..."
Me: "Nonsense! He went down into Hitler's bunker with nothing but a knife in his teeth and a grenade!"
RX: "All the leaders back then were too old for that stuff. And you certainly wouldn't send Roosevelt in..."
I did not know, however, that he had an NSN. Apparently he is a milspec cat, perhaps for use in clearing bunker complexes.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Sorry, we've toppled our quota of genocidal Arab dictators for the decade and have had to listen to everybody tell us what jerks we were for doing it. Let Sarkozy show Kha... Qa... Gaddafi some choc et effroi.
As a side note, I was completely unaware that whether a government is "legitimate" or not is up to the UN Security Council...
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Instead of spending money on potassium iodide tablets, how's about writing a check to the relief fund of your choice to help the folks on the other side of the Pacific who have no electricity, no food, no water, no shelter, and need to get their lives back on an even keel after witnessing so much death and destruction? You'll feel better, honest.
Meanwhile, in an editorial at CNN, one Patrick Doherty, director of the Smart Strategy Initiative at the New America Foundation, says that the Deepwater Horizon and Fukushima I incidents prove that we should move away from our dependence on oil and nukes and build our infrastructure in a way that is dependent on toxic heavy metals controlled by foreign powers with all the environmental concern of the old Warsaw Pact, and which doesn't work on still and cloudy days. Mr. Doherty's engineering credentials for designing this new infrastructure are impressive:
Before returning to Washington, Mr. Doherty spent ten years in the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans and the Caucuses working at the intersection of conflict and development. He served as Catholic Relief Services' European Regional Advisor for Peacebuilding, as a consultant to the Organization of African Unity, and advised the Israeli and the Palestinian Authority's education ministries. He also taught African politics at the University of the Witwatersrand. Mr. Doherty holds a master's degree in security studies from the Fletcher School, Tufts University, where he co-founded the Institute for Human Security, and a bachelor's degree from the School of International Service at American University.You know, if he'd had a fine arts degree, I could at least think he'd operated something as technical as a kiln or had maybe gotten a rudimentary knowledge of chemistry by mixing pigments...
Meanwhile, in comments to an earlier post, reader docjim505 asks:
My grandfather ... worked at Oak Ridge during World War II and was exposed to beryllium and perhaps other things. He died of cancer at the age of 86. Did his exposures from forty years earlier cause the cancer? Or was it that he smoked most of his life AND worked variously as a coal miner and textile mill worker? Or did his heart disease, diabetes and plain old age do him in? How does one make that determination?Well, that depends. Who are you getting your grant money from?
I caught the last half of CNN World 1. Things were bad for the rebels in Libya, efforts were still ongoing to try and get things under control at the Fukushima plant, and rescue efforts in northern Japan were being hampered by a snowstorm that was making life miserable for the survivors. A camera crew hiked into the wreckage of a village that was cut off by the tsunami and hadn't been reached by SAR teams yet; it was eerie. The talking heads were some Indian chick out of London and a generically swarthy dude out of Abu Dhabi, both with the sort of English accent that causes my American-raised subconscious to automatically add 10 IQ points to the speaker.
The show ended, there was a commercial break, and then CNN American Morning came on. The IQ in the room dropped like the water level in a Japanese harbor at five minutes to three on Friday afternoon. The screen was instantly full of pneumatic blondes, all chattering "zomg! Teh nukes!!!1!one!" I walked off in disgust after about five minutes. I can hear the TV in the other room and, 37 minutes later, they are still on this story.
What kills me is that this is the same network, just two different shows with two different target demographics: One that gets its weather report in degrees Celcius and the other of which is apparently a herd of easily-panicked morons who like cleavage.
God help me, the older I get, the righter I think they are.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
An Airweight revolver is a handy little gun. I've kept one in a coat or Shoot-Me vest pocket for years. It's light enough to not drag one side of the coat down noticeably, and I shoot it a lot more accurately than I do any of the dinky "credit card with a trigger" .32/.380 double-action autos. There are other advantages that I'm not going to bother with here, because they're immaterial to the point of this post which is that I shoot it well because I've done a lot of double-action revolver shooting.
And I do very little of that revolver shooting with that dinky Airweight snubbie. It hurts. The old-style hard plastic LaserGrips leave the backstrap exposed; the corner of the hump-back frame barks against the knuckle at the base of my thumb because I choke my grip up for better recoil control, so that after twenty-five or thirty rounds of full-house loads, I'm sporting a bruised knuckle.
"Put better grips on it! I put Hogues on mine, and..." I can hear someone typing it now. No, what's important about the gun is that it fits in my pocket and doesn't bind on the fabric inside, not whether or not it hurts my hand during long range sessions. I have an all-steel .22 Kit Gun that I can shoot for hours and get all the double-action J-frame trigger time I need; it's actually fun to shoot.
Why do people recommend Airweight J-frames to people, women or men, as a first, and possibly only, gun? It's about as narrow-purpose as a handgun can be, and tricky to shoot well: the sights are hard to see, not to mention the basic physics problem of trying to hold a sub-1lb. object steady with two fingers while pulling a 10+ lb. trigger, all the while knowing it's going to smack your hand like a ball bat when it does go off? I mean, if you were trying to frustrate a new shooter and turn them off on shooting as a pastime, could there be a better gun to give him or her?
Yeah. Exactly. So shut up with the panic already.
(And Lester Holt of Today? Stop being such a big girl's blouse.)
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Bangle's designs have now been exposed to time and, while I still hate the '02 7-series with a screaming purple passion, I have largely come to terms with the new 6-series, and the Z4 has... Vishnu save me from my fellow Z3 owners ... gotten to the point where I find it kind of attractive (although the unbroken Oldsmobilesque sweep of its dash is still deadly dull.) And, heresy of heresies, I now find myself thinking that the eagle-eyed E60 5-series is a dead-sexy-looking automobile.
Through a decade where a majority of other designers were looting their companies' vaults like Howard Carter with CAD software, here was someone who was at least trying something new. And if every Camry on the road is afflicted with a "me-too" case of Bangle Butt, well, that's hardly his fault, is it?
Personally, I think the government should slash taxes and entirely fund its operations by selling things like this, lottery tickets, and ziploc bags of rocks. Stupidity is the most abundant element in the universe after hydrogen, and it's infinitely renewable; when combined with gullibility, the reaction is phenomenally powerful. Isn't it time we put it to work?
Jesus wept! How about a sense of proportion here? Potentially ten thousand or more dead in an instant from a tidal wave and everybody's worried about a bump in thyroid cancers down the road? (And I'll point out that those '60s-vintage GE reactors compare to the current state of the art in the safety features department like a '60s-vintage Chevy does to the current product.)
Look, kids, it's nukes or nothing.
Solar's a supplement at best, and wind turbines are nothing but prayer wheels for suburbanite Buddhists. In the long term, it's either get comfortable with nukes or continue servicing King Abdullah, your choice.
Monday, March 14, 2011
None of this can go on forever. The Fed can’t print money forever. The U.S. can’t borrow huge fractions of GDP forever. Austerity is coming. The only question in my mind now is whether we’ll have a currency collapse and hyperinflation first.This dour outlook seems to contradict our current official national fiscal policy of "Lalalalalalala! I can't hear you!"
I will note that nowhere in the article does the New York Times mention that the sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan who were belowdecks didn't get any unusual levels of radiation at all. You know, down there with the pair of Westinghouse nuclear reactors that they conveniently forgot to mention powered the ship in question...
Seventy-seven percent of senior officers in the active-duty military are white, while only 8 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic...On the other hand, only 16 percent of officers are women while out here in the broader society, over half of us use the restroom without the urinals.
The reason for this is that combat arms postings are still off-limits to women. Without getting into whether that will ever change or even whether it should ever change, that brings us to the conclusion of this inane report:
The report ordered by Congress in 2009 calls for greater diversity in the military’s leadership so it will better reflect the racial, ethnic and gender mix in the armed forces and in American society.This is ridiculous. The purpose of the armed forces is to kill people and break their stuff. This isn't the frickin' Peace Corps we're running here, it is a warfighting machine. Much like the Los Angeles Lakers, it doesn't get its score at the end of the game graded on a curve based on how well it reflects "the racial, ethnic and gender mix" of America.
(H/T to Ed Rasimus.)
Sunday, March 13, 2011
But this switching back and forth stuff is for the birds...
I took a melatonin tablet last night and had a good night's sleep, didn't set any alarms, forgot to reset the clocks, and now I've effectively overslept and shot my plans for the morning down in flames. (I had been planning on going to the range this morning, but there's no way I'll have time now.) Way to get my day off to a surly start.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Roomie put up a pretty cool post explaining things like the "Double Hop" and the "Amanpour Nod".
Apparently, hearing that the tsunami was approaching and people should get away from low-lying coastal areas, some dude grabbed his camera, went to the the mouth of the Klamath river, and waded right out into the gaping maw of Charles Darwin.
Friday, March 11, 2011
After over a year of torture in communist prisons, including the infamous Lubyanka, he was shipped east to a labor camp in Siberia near Yakutsk. From there, in the spring of 1941, he and a few other prisoners escaped and set out on foot, crossing Siberia, Mongolia, the Gobi Desert, and the Himalayas before winding up in British India in early 1942.
It is a compelling tale of endurance that has apparently been made into a movie. The Russians claim it's a lie, but given the Soviets' track record with captured Polish officers, it's not surprising that they'd want to kick sand over this particular lump in the Russian historical litter box. I believe I'll be ordering the movie...
That is, those of us who aren't SWAT cops in Framingham, MA?
“As he stepped to his left, (Duncan) lost his balance and began to fall over backwards,” the report states. “Officer Duncan realized that his right foot was off the floor and the tactical equipment that he was wearing was making his movements very awkward. While falling, Officer Duncan removed his left hand from his rifle, which was pointing down towards the ground and put his left arm out to try and catch himself. As he did so, he heard a shot.”...and by "heard a shot", he means "pulled the trigger because his finger was inside the trigger guard where it damned well shouldn't have been and everybody knows it".
So this guy violated Rules #2 and #3 and an innocent man is dead because of it. How do you suppose this scenario would play out in Framingham if the shooter had been Joe Homeowner instead of Johnny Law?
(H/T to Unc.)
Kids, be careful when you're performing your voodoo sex ceremonies, okay? Try and keep the candles away from flammable materials, and be sure not to knock them over when you're being ridden by a loa.
At least I've gotten some yuks out of it. For example, check out this caption, from the linked CNN page:
Read that caption aloud. Roll it around on your tongue a bit. Savor the exotic bouquet of the complex layers of paradox and oxymoron... Mm-mmm!
Usually Mother Nature's special effects extravaganzas occur in backward lands full of howling savages, like Haiti or New Zealand. Japan, however, is a modern, technologically-advanced nation; where New Zealand has far more sheep than people, Japan has something like two or three hundred cameras for every human being: In addition to regular old camera-type-cameras, there are traffic-cams, news cams, phone-cams and, knowing the Japanese and their proclivities for both gadgetry and weirdness, you can probably buy an electric loo with a built-in toiletcam. This Argus-eyed array of lenses means that the airwaves and internets are being deluged with dramatic disaster footage that probably caused Jerry Bruckheimer to hurl a brick through his TV screen in a fit of envious pique.
And if it takes a burning oil refinery being hurled through the wreckage of a nuclear power plant to wash Charlie Sheen off the front page, then at least there's an upside.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Are shoe models going to need to wear some kind of special coin receptacle? Is this not really about the money at all, but rather some kind of sneak flank attack from the Legion of Decency?
These people will not rest until they have successfully chased every manufacturing job out of the Rust Belt!
"In their minds, they thought they were doing what was fair for the students..." said the school superintendent, Dr. Tom Warmke, indicating that the guilty teachers were ot-nay oo-tay ight-bray, if you know what I mean.
At least one of the teachers involved is probably going to get fired, which should give them plenty of free time to hang out down at the statehouse and protest education reform.
In the Mexican government's defense, at least their cops are on the take and not doing it as a matter of agency policy.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
The problem with this approach is this: There is a lot of money in selling people a buzz. That will never change. They can synthesize new intoxicating substances faster than you can synthesize new laws, plus the old stuff is still being sold and is now more profitable than ever. The money that flows through the hands of the dope cartels is measured in numbers not usually used outside of astronomical observatories or Bill Gates' accountant's office.
This whole Political-Narcotic complex does nothing but buy machine guns for police departments, encourage idiots to do riskier and riskier things in an attempt to get high, line the pockets of defense attorneys, and make it harder for me to get better when I catch a cold.
Cut it the heck out, already.
You know Forbidden Water: It's the stuff that drips from faucets, or is left in the tub after you take a shower, or sits in a bowl in the kitchen sink. Seriously, turn off the shower at Roseholme Cottage and almost faster than you can open the curtain, there will be a cat up on the edge of the tub, licking the spout. "Mm-mmm! Forbidden water!"
This, of course, makes it doubly important to keep the lid down on the cat jacuzzi...
You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe is a very ambitious book, intending to give the layperson a thumbnail sketch of the current state of everything from astrophysics to the particle zoo to evolutionary biology. It works surprisingly well; I digested it in two big gulps. Too many popular science books are written by a twenty-pound brain who can't write his way out of a sack, assisted by a ghostwriter of dubious talents, whereas Potter is a writer who happens to have a degree in science; the difference this makes in readability is noticeable. Recommend.
"The captain followed the appropriate protocol and authorized an embarked security team to fire warning shots in order for the pirates to turn away," the statement said.Well. It's good to see that common sense appears to be percolating through some skulls out there. I was afraid that, instead of providing armed security for their ships, they'd instead pressure the UN to pass a resolution banning the possession of firearms by pirates.
(And banning pirates from having guns would inevitably lead to a dangerous population explosion among ninjas, without their natural opponents to keep their numbers in check...)
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
RX: "Oh my gawd, they've ruined the Bond franchise! Daniel Craig is appearing in drag to raise awareness for International Women's Day!"
Me: "He's still a better Bond than R..."
RX: "You'd better not say 'Roger Moore'! He was handsome!"
Me: "Daniel Craig in a dress is butcher than Roger Moore in a tux."
- The On-the-Go Woman's Guide To Travel In Pakistan, Part 2: How To Not Get Raped (Probably).
- Historical quibble: The Jomsvikings, a semi-legendary group of Danish mercenaries and freebooters, did not allow women or children in the camp, for which fact some folks think they had an interest in musical theater and decorated their longhouses with Judy Garland posters. However, many other historical groups didn't allow women or children in the camp, including the 1/7 Marines under Chesty Puller, Legio X Fretensis, and the Oakland Raiders, and none of them are known for statistically abnormal levels of buggery.
- To take a page from Glenn Reynolds, "They told me if I voted for McCain that detainees would continue to be tried by military tribunals, and they were right!"
Monday, March 07, 2011
RX: "Exactly two point five Sagans ago..."
Me: "That'd be billions and billions and billions and billions and bill, right? No, wait, it'd be billions and billions and billions and billions and billions."
RX: "You were thinking of two point two-five Sagans."
- Lady Gaga is apparently unaware of the fact that the latter half of her nom de yawp predates her act by a considerable margin and has other meanings beyond "egomaniacal pop star". Perhaps she can use her rock star money to buy a time machine and launch suits against everybody from Hanna-Barbera to the maker of Go GaGa diaper bags.
- Hamid Karzai puts his foot down. There will be no more accidentally killing civilians while trying to kill people who kill civilians on purpose. Or something.
I'll sleep safer in my bed tonight, secure in the knowledge that rough men stand watch in the night, protecting me from cars that haven't had the full battery of NHTSA frontal offset barrier impact tests.
(Incidentally, I first became aware of the Skyline GT-R back in the early '90s when, in a "10 Best Cars You Can't Get Here" piece, Car & Driver described it as "...the only car, howling through the rain-soaked mountains near Nikko, to make our passenger throw up. Twice." I've had a low-level jones for one ever since.)
(H/T to Unc.)
First, I like CFLs for a lot of applications, such as any light you basically want to leave burning. They're the berries for a back porch light. More importantly, though, I like freedom, so I don't like the idea of registering anything. Not guns, not CFLs, not even filthy hippies or nosy statists.
Telling people what kind of light bulbs they have to buy is for commies.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
I don't know what it is about Scandihoovians, even of the transplanted Midwestern variety, that makes them so bipolar: Either they're sailing up your rivers to burn your monasteries, or they're pinkos paddling around Lake Wobegon, there's hardly any middle ground.
Me: "The writer is telling me that I see a dog named Spot running."See?
Chris: "The crazy right-wingers are trying to milk votes from idiots by pandering to their belief that our extremely classy president is secretly a dog."
I'll say this, though: Whoever writes TV programming certainly believes that liberals are smarter than conservatives. As bad as Hardball is at parsing reality, at least Chris uses polysyllabic words in his lies. If you switch the channel over to Fox & Friends, running at the same time, 50 points of IQ gets sucked from the room every time one of those vacuous bubbleheads opens their cakehole to coo over some pointless human interest story. Seriously, the US government is apparently considering deploying military forces to yet another desert full of jerks who hate us, and you're wasting my time telling me about how firefighters saved a cute three-legged doggie by giving it CPR? Apparently the powers-that-be at Fox have decided that their target audience consists of the kind of people who have flocks of plaster ducks hanging on the wall.
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Friday, March 04, 2011
At the time, we had CCW in Georgia, but for an ideal, there was that semi-mythical chimera known as "Vermont carry", whereby anyone who could legally own a gun could tote it, no permit required.
Then in 2003, it suddenly became known as "Vermont-Alaska carry", and then last year "Vermont-Alaska-Arizona carry" became too cumbersome, and so now it's just called "Constitutional carry", which turned out to be just in time, because "Vermont-Alaska-Arizona-Wyoming carry" would be way too much of a mouthful.
(H/T to Unc.)
Anyway, Bobbi had a Ford Taurus, and we were driving Michael Z. Williamson from the airfield to a Science Fiction convention in town. There were a lot of really neat old three- and four-story Victorian houses. Every element of the dream is pretty easily traceable to stuff from yesterday, except Mad Mike; I have no idea how he got in there.
The website was the grimmest thing I've seen in a while. There's hardly any indication that you're on a military webpage at all, except for the occasional people in uniforms, and some of them are in various Euro nations' equivalent of Class A's, which in post-WWII Europe are usually styled to be slightly less martial-looking than your average train conductor. There are no guns, or jet fighters, or Leopard II tanks visible anywhere on the website to remind the locals what will happen if they don't stick to the Dayton Accords, but there is a link in the sidebar to a video on the successful EUFOR Althea Gender Conference.
It's like some strange Eloi vision of what a military is supposed to be; not that they showed any equipment so aggressive-looking as an Armored Personnel Carrier, but if they had, I'll bet it would have had a wheelchair lift.
Can you imagine what this looks like to the barbarians outside the walls?
Thursday, March 03, 2011
The success of the "crossover" car-based SUV-ette at the expense of the traditional truck-based SUV seems to have confused people. "It's not an SUV! It can hardly go off-road! It's just a tall station wagon!"
People buy crossovers exactly because they are “tall wagons”. They want room for stuff, AWD for bad weather, a bit of ground clearance (because they realized when they had that oh-so-fashionable 2WD Explorer or Cherokee a few years back that they liked being able to see over traffic and never having to worry about scraping the air dam on curbs,) and maybe they want enough off-roadability to get the ice chests to the picnic tables at the church picnic once a year.
What I don't get are people who buy full-on body-on-frame SUVs, slap on the Desert Duelers and the Warne winch and the full rack of KC Daylighters, all to get the ice chests to the picnic tables at the church picnic once a year.
Now, if you're actually taking your SUV off-road all the time, your priorities are different, just like mine are. I'm not terribly interested in wagons or SUVs or trucks or even sedans, because I don't care about hauling anything except ass. (Remember, I used a motorcycle for daily transportation for years, so to me, a two-seat roadster has amazing amounts of cargo capacity.) If I decided I needed something with some cargo space, it would be a wagon or a "crossover", because I prioritize on-road handling over off-road capability.
(Expanded from comments here.)
The military was divided into two types of soldiers, one that stayed close to the Emperor and shuttled constantly from trouble-spot to trouble-spot, and another force that was strung all along the frontiers, divided between countless fortlets and watchtowers. These frontier troops spent their time working on fortifications and road maintenance when they weren't engaged in raiding the barbarians across the river or trying to drive off raids from those same tribesmen.
The frontier troops, known as limitanei, never saw much of the empire they were protecting. Since volunteering to spend your life filling potholes and fighting Franks in the chilly swamps of Germania Inferior wasn't the kind of thing that looks good on recruiting brochures, Diocletian simply decreed that if dad was a soldier, you were a soldier: In effect, garrisoning some godforsaken post in the ass end of nowhere became an hereditary life sentence that often as not ended with a retirement as a maimed veteran, eking out a living on the garrison farm, never having seen the Byzantium or Ravenna you'd spent your life protecting.
What got me thinking of this? This:
Me: "So a woman ditching the fam to go be selfish is still controversial enough to rate a TeeWee interview and a book? In 2011? Really?"
Me: "I mean, seriously, if it was a dude? When a guy leaves the wife and kids to go pursue his thing, is that even worth a mention?"
RX: "It'd depend on how he left them."
Me: "Oh, sure, I mean, chopped up and stuffed in a steamer trunk, yeah, that'd get some ink. But otherwise it's just a Billy Joel song."
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
The First Amendment protects jerks the same as it protects normal people. Maybe more, because there's no particular need to protect somebody waving a sign that says "I love mom and apple pie!"
Seriously, a shockingly large percentage of the population has no clue how the part of business that makes it worthwhile, the part where the money changes hands, operates.
"Asking liberals where wages and prices come from is like asking six-year-olds where babies come from." -- Dr. Thomas SowellWhich is a fine and funny quote, except it ain't just liberals. Go to any gun forum and read any discussion on pricing of guns or ammunition at the retail or wholesale levels, the audacity of dealers who charge for transfers, or (my favorite) "That idiot behind the counter who didn't know nothin' about __________!"
Yeah, Enrico Fermi, like it's easy to find ex-SEALs who are not only active in Cowboy Action Shooting, but also lifetime members of the S&W Collector's Association, certified reloading instructors, and have associate's degrees in Gunsmithing who are willing to work for part-time retail clerk wages. Oh, they should pay their help better? And sell you the gun for what you saw it for in that CDNN ad in Shotgun News?
Pop Quiz: "Profits are..."
- "...the money in the till at the end of the day."
- "...the difference between the cost of the gun on the shelf and the one in the Shotgun News ad."
- "...what you have left of the difference between the cost of the gun on the shelf and the one in the Shotgun News ad after you've paid the rent and the utilities and the employees."
You gotta love that kind of chutzpah.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Newt Gingrich says President Obama is trampling the Constitution by refusing to fight for the Defense of Marriage Act in court.Newt Gingrich criticizing Barack Obama's position on the Sanctity of Marriage is like Nick Nolte giving PR advice to Donny Osmond .
(H/T to RobertaX.)
In these arguments, reams of statistics and the outcomes of all manner of surveys get lobbed back and forth, which is one of the reasons I never participate, and rarely even go read. See, I don't really care about the statistics or the efficacy (or lack thereof) of gun control laws. My right to own a gun (or anything else, for that matter) is not contingent on what other people do with that right. It wouldn't matter if everybody else on the planet misused their firearms every day, that doesn't have a thing to do with me or mine; group punishment doesn't belong outside of prison, basic training, or Mrs. Krabapple's third grade classroom.
Rights belong to individuals, not groups: Just because all the other kids jump off the bridge, it doesn't mean you can push me off, too.
I’ve got limited comment- for one, human milk is higher in fat and MUCH higher in milk sugar than cow milk, so this is likely to be a very rich, sweet ice cream, and for two, I don’t get why it’s not disgusting to give a baby but apparently is terrible to give anyone else.Which is a good point, but I'm perfectly comfortable with my irrational prejudices: It's okay for grownups to drink stuff from a cow's boobs but not a human's, we can eat piggies but not horsies, and we stand up for the Allelulia chorus of Handel's Messiah because That's Just How It Is Done.
Charlie Sheen Fact: Where you and I are 70% water, Charlie is 70% Tanqueray. The rest is cocaine.Apparently Charlie Sheen's publicist committed seppuku yesterday. Then Charlie called NBC's Today show back and said "Wait, bring the camera back! The train's still wrecking!"
Charlie Sheen Fact: To make a "Charlie Sheen", add 1 tsp Vermouth to 1 kiddie pool of vodka.When asked about his publicist's departure, Sheen replied with affronted puzzlement. Raising his voice to be heard over the career flameout klaxons, he suggested that perhaps "...it got so gnarly that Stan just went, ‘I'm out.’ That's fine. That's how I roll. And if it's too gnarly for people, then buh-bye. There's the freakin' door, you know?”
Charlie, that wasn't a "freakin' door" he used, it was an ejection seat.