Saturday, April 30, 2011

You know you're in Indiana when...

From a local TV station's web page today:

Well, at least he was sober, I guess...

An IMPD officer, a 23 year veteran of the force, is on the other side of the law. Officer David Butler has been charged with robbery and official misconduct after police say he robbed people during traffic stops. And investigators say more victims could come forward.
I'll bet there's a sign hanging in the break room at the cop shop that reads "Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department: Over __ Days Since Our Last Public Relations Disaster!"

...and that zero in the tens digit is noticeably faded and dusty.

That was weird.

I dreamed that I had made a really stupid, whiny post with an emo poem and all kinds of needy, glurgy stuff like that.

I came into the office this morning half expecting I was going to have to shut down the blog and start a LiveJournal account.

You can't imagine my relief to discover that it was, in fact, a dream. What a bizarre variant on the "naked in the classroom and forgot my homework" dream...

Friday, April 29, 2011

By way of explanation...

When I was eight years old, this was in heavy rotation on Saturday morning TeeWee:

(And to this day, I can't remember the preamble to the Constitution without singing it...)

Econ 101 in tha house, fools! 2011 style, suckaz!

It appears that the other Keynes v. Hayek video was, in fact, actually round two. Here's round one:

(H/T to Les.)

Meanwhile, in Bizarroland... Part III

So, yesterday I'm driving home from the grocery store and the iPod indicates its little battery is low. So I shut it off and punched the "FM" button on the car's head unit and NPR came on and almost caused me to drive into a ditch by announcing that:
The former US President, Jimmy Carter, has accused the United States of committing human rights abuses by withholding food aid from North Korea.
He accused the who of the what?

Ah, good ol' Jimmy One-Note. The world can be coming apart at the seams, chaos everywhere, and he's constant as the northern star. If he'd gone to Auschwitz in 1941 he'd have condemned the United States' for committing human rights abuses by not feeding the inmates.

Is it just me, or did his cheese slide off his cracker at some point and leave him a bitter, crazy old dude, instead of the doofy, naive idealist he used to be?

The Eagle has landed...

So, instead of the TV in roomie's bedroom cutting on at 0600 with the blaring noise of the local TV weatherdude cranked up to 11, it was organ music. Crap. Check the other networks... same thing.

CNN? Yup. Well, certainly CNN Headline News won't... nope, they're covering it too. Of course FOX is. And MSNBC is Leaning Royalward. Even The Weather Channel is discussing the forecast over Westminster Abbey.

Sweet Buddha on a bicycle, what is this? "One small step for a groom; one giant leap for all bridekind?"

I left the TV on CSPAN, which thankfully couldn't find an angle on the wedding and was re-airing old congressional committee footage, and went to make coffee.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

By ancient custom...

Roomie, ever since learning that a protocol manual was being distributed to invitees to Will & Kate's nuptials, has been throwing out random "Royal Wedding Facts" around the house at odd intervals. Some highlights:
  • It is a little-known fact that Kate Middleton has the largest collection of pressed stoats in Britain.
  • In fact, she is widely credited with the invention of the modern lightweight, folding, portable stoat press.
  • The bride and groom will each walk up the aisle with one foot encased in a block of wax. At the conclusion of the ceremony, a heated sword blade will be used to melt the blocks together.
  • Guests are requested to remain in their boxes for the duration of the ceremony, as live alligators will be turned loose to roam the aisles of Westminster Abbey following the bridal procession.
  • Each guest will be required to have in their pocket a paper sack containing a live mouse. At the end of the ceremony, these are to be dropped into the aisle to feed the alligators.
  • There will be three days of ceremonial bear-baiting before the wedding. This is why the import of foreign bears into the United Kingdom is traditionally barred for the month before a royal wedding; to ensure that all bears baited are British bears and free of disease.
Which is, of course, all meant in good fun, but it does underline a good point...

For Vishnu's sake, people! Royalty? Hereditary nobility? In the 21st Century? Seriously?!? Can there be any belief more retarded (and I mean that in the most literal sense of the term: the opposite of "advanced") than that someone is an extra-special snowflake because they won the Mommy and Daddy lottery? Have you looked at, say, the Habsburg family photo album?

What other charming ancient custom would you like to see them do for a warm-up act? Hold a slave auction? Expel the Catholics and Jews? Stuff a bunch of virgins in a giant wicker man and set it alight? Hey, I have an idea! Let's make sure there's a black bean in the groom's first slice of wedding cake!

The switch to digital television broadcasting happened just in time; I'd hate to think a bunch of advanced aliens were watching NBC's Meredith Vieira gushing her way through this period piece.

QotD: There Is No Fairy Godmother Edition

From Robb Allen in the comments section of his blog:
...[O]ur neighbors are constantly granting powers to the gov't that they were never allowed to have. Too many people traded in their freedom for the illusion of safety and, in the deal, traded in yours as well.

You can get rid of Obama. Do it today because his birth certificate didn't have an 'i' dotted correctly or whatever, but the fact remains that Barack Hussein Obama is not the sole source of the problem that you can take out with a single strike. The rot runs
deep, and there's no birth certificate that will magically clear all that up.
The whole birth certificate thing is just the flip side to the Magical Thinking coin that got us into this mess in the first place.

Whether it be a magical government that will care for them in their old age at little cost to them, or a magical piece of paper that will make the Bad Man go away and all the bad stuff unhappen, or a magical Day of the Wookie when suddenly the clock is turned back to some never-happened Golden Age (let's not forget that the ink was barely dry on the Constitution before federal troops were marching against tax-protesting militia kooks,) people want some Magical Solution to hard, real-world problems, and all it winds up doing is making the problems worse.

Oh. My. Gawd.

If you only watch one video this week...

Found Here.

(H/T to TJIC via Twitter.)

Overheard in the Office:

Me: "But what really never made any sense to me when I was little was antisemitism. At least a garden variety racist could point out that somebody was a different color than they were, but Jews? I mean, except for the taste in hats, they're the exact same as you. For all bubba knows he might be Jewish himself..."

RX: "Oh they swore they could tell. It was 'the nose'. You know, that's what 'a nose for business' originally meant..."

Me: "...heck, I could be Jewish..."

RX: "...and that's why the Ferengi in Star Trek were supposed to be space Jews. And not the good kind of space Jews like the Vulcans, either."

Me: "Well, the Starfleet officer corps was riddled with closeted Jews..."

RX: "And xenosexuals!"
...and don't even get me started on how farcical intramural scrums like Catholic v. Protestant or Orthodox v. Catholic look from here, especially when they take place in countries where half of nobody even goes to church in the first place.

But I don't even like long pig!

Because I own guns, it generally is assumed by a certain (thankfully demographically impotent) subset of the population that I'm an illiterate hillbilly; a Jew-fearin', woman-hatin' (?), gay-bashin', Negro-lynchin', people-who-talk-funny-mistrustin' yahoo.

But a cannibal?

That's a new one on me.

What do you call it when you're so afraid that somebody might be a bigot that you concoct a sort of Protocols of the Elders of Macon view of them?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


So Obama birth certificate theories have now officially moved from "probably wrong" to "alien sasquatches built the pyramids". As it turns out, Barry was exercising his American right to say "None of your business." (Too bad he doesn't seem to think everybody has that right...)

I think Iowahawk said it best in Twitter a few minutes ago:
After years of useful service to Obama, birthers get thrown under the bus.

The hardest of the hardcore, the ones who have based their life around this for the last three years, are not going to change their mind, but they wouldn't if you could take them in a time machine to the delivery room and let them witness the Blessed Event. They'd claim it was a hoax.

When you've built your life around a belief, it can be hard to admit you were wrong; I mean, what's somebody do whose whole identity these last three years has been running I mean, when their claim to fame is being the moderator at the forum there, and all their friends are people that they meet at the monthly BirtherForums get-togethers, are they just going to say "Whoops. Guess we were wrong."?

No, they're going to call me an easily-duped sheeple in 5... 4... 3...

(PS: The timing is what's bugging me. This was a big hole card that Barry had been sitting on for a while. Why now?)

Everything old is new again...

So, two land wars in Asia ago, our Air Force decided that supersonic missile-armed fighter aircraft with the ability to deliver nuclear weapons but without a single gun on board, not even a Daisy Red Ryder, were maybe not the ideal aircraft for shooting up guys in pajamas and sandals.

There was a sudden interest in "counter insurgency" aircraft, ranging from WWII medium bombers rescued from the boneyard to jet trainers fitted with rocket pods and miniguns. These were cool for about fifteen minutes, but when we got bored and left Vietnam, they were pretty quickly neglected in favor of sexy supersonic jet fighters.

Since we're engaged in another land war in Asia against guys in pajamas and sandals, interest has cropped up again in another "counter insurgency" aircraft. Our national arteriosclerosis having greatly worsened in the intervening years, it's taken the better part of a decade to get around to announcing the competition, and we'll have been long-since bored with the war before any examples get bought.

The competitors this time around are a variant of the Hawker Beechcraft T-6 Texan II and the Brazilian Embraer Super Tucano. I wonder if the Brazilians, if they win, will be required to produce the aircraft in the US?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Why health care has become so expensive that only the indigent can afford it.

Yet another horror story from the bowels of the health care industry:
Apparently he woke up on a Sunday evening feeling constipated. Rather than doing the obvious and just buying a laxative somewhere, he had his girlfriend drive him to the Emergency Room...
It's a fairly innocuous start to a blog post that was pressure-testing my cerebral arteries by the time I was finished.

Proof of an afterlife?

Either these spambots are using strange sentence-generating algorithms, or there's a guy in a Shanghai spam factory using a Ouija board to channel James Joyce:
A zenith was the adjoining replica – to the distant rolex in suspect watches the most surprising din from the features into delgado – and he must impatiently fold and sleep, relatively focus columns.
Or perhaps Umberto Eco has taken a night gig...

"You must chop down the largest tree in the forest wiiiith... a herring!"

Proposed changes to passport regulations are raising a bit of a stir. Apparently certain applicants will need to provide a personal history far more detailed and rigorous than needed to get a security clearance (or a job in the Oval Office, for that matter.) Like, listing every address you've ever had and every employer and the name of your supervisor there.

Now, I understand that to a GS-whatever, who didn’t have a job until they interned with a congressman while they were at Yale and then were hired straight from there to their current gig at State, and had only the two addresses growing up, plus their college dorm, plus their first apartment in DC and now their condo in Georgetown, this is a no-brainer.

What they don't seem to understand is that there are people out there (myself among them) who couldn't even tell you to the nearest ten how many employers or addresses they've had. I was pretty rootless in my twenties, living la vie bohème, and I can understand if that precludes me from getting, oh, say, the nuclear launch codes, but I'll be damned if I'll let it stop me from going to see Pompeii.

These stricter regulations are apparently only supposed to apply to people who weren't born in hospitals or got a birth certificate issued more than a year after they were born, but you know how the government is: you hand 'em a hammer and you never know when they're going to stop pounding nails and turn around and whack you in the head with it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Lone Ranger is a very wealthy man.

Jim at The Travis McGee Reader thought about silver bullets for a .45, checked today's spot price, noodled with the calculator, and came to this conclusion:
It is cheaper to feed the werewolves.
Thanks, Helicopter Ben!

Failure to think things through...

So, right there in the job description it says that routine daily tasks will include looking at computer images of nekkid people and groping the crotchal areas of small children. What could possibly go wrong with that?

Indy Blogmeet Recap.

I was going to write one, but it's been done elsewhere.

Mmmm... saganaki...

(UPDATE: The mystery of the Falling Hippie is solved!)

Okay, you're giving the game away.

I heard a newscaster use the term "third-hand smoke" the other day, and I thought to myself "Surely this is a joke." So I went to the Google, and no, apparently it's not.

Not having made filthy tobacco completely illegal by telling people that it harms them, they went to the tactic of pointing out that second-hand smoke harms others. While I question the actual physical risk of second-hand smoke in a world full of diesel fumes and UV rays, I can coexist with a world of smoke-free facilities and designated smoking sections; heck, I step outside to smoke at home out of courtesy to my roommate. But that's not really what the do-gooders want: They want to stamp out tobacco. To make it as inaccessible for your average Joe or Jane as marijuana and as shunned and unfashionable among the beautiful people as cocaine and heroin.

So now comes Third Hand Smoke. See, there are special poisons in the devil's weed that will cling to the clothing of a smoker for weeks or months like fallout from Chernobyl, until they find a pregnant woman. And then they will leap off the smoker, shoulder past the environmental residue from dry-cleaning chemicals and toilet bowl cleaners, jump on the mom-to-be and worm their way into the unborn baby's lungs, causing who-knows-what havoc. Why, it's a wonder we were born with any lungs at all back when everybody smoked!

The more I learn how fragile these unborn babies are, the more I wonder that there were any live births at all on this planet before about 1998.

Pardon me, doc, your agenda is showing.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Y'know what's cool about our brave new digital world?

Way out there in the darkness of the binary savanna there can be little knots of people, the existence of whom you were heretofore unaware, huddled around little campfires of zeros and ones, hatin' on you.

I mean, that's kinda awesome when you think about it.

Okay, it's not much of a "little knot"; just the one blogger, about whom I had completely forgotten since our little kerfuffle three frickin' years ago, and his one commenter. But that commenter has actually wasted neural processor cycles hating me! L'il ol' me! And I don't know him from Adam's housecat! That is cool!

Anyhow, what I really like is how the original poster, who is a peace-loving and progressive kind of dude, set out to demolish Ayn Rand's philosophy by proving that she wasn't hot. Because, really, if you wouldn't jump a woman's bones, how can you possibly respect anything she says, amirite?
"She's hot! Don't you think?
Lank hair, crooked teeth and no lips whatsover.
With the accent she's the entire package.
I mean, by his standard, Sarah Palin is ten times the thinker that ol' Strident Ayn ever was (not to mention wayyyy smarter than Hillary Clinton) and Kate Beckinsale is like Hobbes, Locke, and Adam Smith all rolled up in one latex-suited ball.

The blogger is, of course, entitled to these thoughts, since I'm sure he's a regular Adonis who has to beat the flocks of nubile cheerleaders off with a nine iron every time he sets foot in public.

Remember, kids: It's not ______ when we do it!

(The big irony here is that one of the things I find most annoying about Rand's generally ham-handed fiction is the fact that the good guys are all Beautiful People and if anyone appears in the dialogue who is described as unattractive, well, you know they're going to turn out to be some moral cripple. Read that dude's post while rolling that thought around in your head...)

Sorry 'bout this...

Can't brain today. Have the dumbs.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Feelin' kinda Millennial around here, lately.

So, Barry's out there appointing a special commission to look into the shadowy forces and conspiracies behind high gas prices. Historically, this is when the Jews would start getting pogrommed, but ever since the Germans got a little carried away with that in the '30s, it's become seen as terribly déclassée among right-thinking people. Instead, we have media commentators with six- and seven-figure salaries and investment portfolios blaming wealthy speculators, which just makes me glad that my television doesn't have an irony circuit, because electrical fires smell awful.

Ironically, nobody is investigating the shadowy cabal who is actually responsible, which is sad, because it'd be a very eco-friendly investigation, since most of the conspirators are in easy Nissan Leaf-range of the Justice Department offices.

See, when you churn out freshly-printed dollars at a brisker clip than P&G churns out Charmin, then those dollars become worth less, eventually reaching the point where the space between those two words is no longer needed:
It's not just gas prices, it's everything. Things aren't actually getting more expensive, the dollar is just losing value. It never ceases to amaze me how many people simply do not understand this.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Complaining about rising prices is like standing on the deck of the Titanic and yelling that the sea level is rising. The sheer, staggering amount of debt and the astonishing rate at which we are racking up more is making the situation different not just quantitatively, but qualitatively than anything ever experienced by this country before. (And don't give me that "corporate welfare" and "tax the rich" class warfare nonsense: You could seize every penny of profit from every corporation in the US and siphon every millionaire's bank account dry and it wouldn't cover our bar tab for a year, not to mention pay the bills of all the incipient geezers who'll be sticking their hands out in the next decade.)

Meanwhile, China has bought more new cars than the U.S. for the second year running, and more and more Indians can afford cars, so there's more competition for oil and other raw materials from people in countries that aren't actively hostile to business and industry. Finally, there's always the chance of disruptions in the Middle East spreading to someplace where we actually do buy oil, rather than just Libya, whose oil mostly goes in the gas tanks of Renaults and Fiats. Interesting times indeed...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Flyweight fly-apart.

Saw some creepy-looking pictures of a S&W Model 329 Night Guard that suffered a catastrophic frame failure.

Note that this had bupkis to do with the ammunition being improperly loaded: This was not a "ka-BOOM". The cylinder and barrel are quite intact.

This was apparently with Remington's 180gr load, which is to the .44 what the high-velocity 125gr loads are to the .357 Magnum. It is a very high velocity projectile, in excess of 1600fps at the muzzle, which means it's probably hitting the forcing cone at over 1,000fps.

If I had to pull a guess out of a hat, the barrel was improperly torqued, putting the frame under stress, and it just fractured under the pounding. The failure mode is almost identical to the one suffered by Will's S&W PC625 (another alloy N-frame, which gave up the ghost firing comparatively tame 185gr .45ACP.)

Both my daily carry revolvers are alloy-framed guns with the two-piece barrel, and to give Smith their due, the failure rate is awfully low for the volume they sell, but this is bad PR.

It's not _______ when we do it!

Sexism is bad, h'mkay? Go to any good Progressive website and you will find out that Conservatives are so ate up with sexism that they have actually declared a "war on women". (Seriously. I'm not kidding. Apparently you Conservatives only vote for us because you hate us or something. Anyhow...)

Further, anybody well-versed with feminism can tell you that a very basic tenet thereof is that assigning "genders" to things like jobs or hobbies is bad and wrong: One should no more need to describe someone as a "male nurse" than as a "female doctor". Gender Mainstreaming is practically the cultural norm in the demographic that makes up the Media Class today.

Unless, of course, you're talking about guns. Or facials. Then all the nicey-nice of egalitarianism is off the table and it is on like Donkey Kong, sister.

I was gonna rip this guy a new one, but after the virtual curb-stompings he took here, here, here, and here, I really don't have the heart.

Hey, Eric? You just got your ass kicked by a girl.

Now he's running around various comments sections, writing things along the lines of "Gosh, you people are just too dumb to understand satire."

Of course. If I were Eric Heyl, I’d be all butthurt, too.

Imagine getting made fun of by so many people who were so much funnier than you when your entire self worth thus far has largely been tied up in being the funniest guy at the Mudville Picayune office Christmas party…

Five gets you ten they find him in the mop closet at the office, hanged by his keyboard cable, with a tear-stained, Liquid Paper-smudged suicide note pinned to his sweater-vest.

The Three Stooges Go To War.

Been watching any of the recent video from Libya?


Hey, Achmed! Those funny little metal things on top of your gun are there for a reason. You're not supposed to just spray randomly with the gun held at chest height and wonder if, inshallah, the bullets will hit anything.

I also liked the technical with what looked to be a jury-rigged Russian UB-16 pod for launching 57mm air-to-ground rockets mounted in the back, with a dude standing behind it holding onto what looked for all the world like a set of spade grips: Mad Max meets Rat Patrol meets The Human Torch...

From the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources.

Gas prices exceeding $4 per gallon or higher are "tough" for most Americans, President Barack Obama told an audience in Reno, Nevada. "We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of American consumers for their own short-term gain."
Boy, they are working overtime to give Atlas Shrugged that whole "ripped from today's headlines" feel, aren't they?

And what does Eric Holder have to do with this? I swear, the man is increasingly proving himself incompetent to operate anything more complex than a glass of water; I wouldn't trust him with a burnt-out match, let alone a whole Justice Department. He's gotta have juicy pictures of Obama doing something awful or he'd have been under the bus long ago.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tunnel in the sky.

Yesterday's wikiwander was too meandering to trace in its entirety, but I remember it went from The Fountainhead to the Chrysler Building, and through the Peachtree Plaza, past John Portman, and into the atrium of Atlanta's Marriott Marquis, (or as I call it, the Marriott De Sade,) which is apparently designed with the solitary purpose of reducing acrophobes to gibbering wrecks. I've been there, and the photo of it at Wikipedia is still enough to make my palms sweat.


...all my troubles seemed so far away...


Anyhow, yesterday morning I went to the almost-a-dentist, having my screening appointment at IUPUI's Dental School. It was shockingly pleasant. My almost-a-dentist, Mandy, must have gotten straight A's in the classes on beds... er... chairside manner.

Afterward I had brunch at Cafe Pretenchou. I'd been craving one of their "Overachiever" omelets (bacon, cheddar, sour cream, horseradish) for a couple weeks, but every time I'd swung by, the parking lot had been brim-lippin' full and I didn't feel like trolling nearby side streets looking for a spot.

When I got home the intertubes were running sluggishly, and they still are kinda slow. Maybe they got flooded out during the big storm, or there's a kink in one of the tubes or something.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The ghost of Carrie Nation.

Colt 45 has released a new malt beverage, and is under fire because they apparently made it taste good:
"Colt 45 makers are raising the alcohol level from the already high 6% to the even higher 12%, and enticing young people with hip hop themes and lollipop flavors," said Paul Porter of Industry Ears, a think tank that promotes justice in the media.
("Justice in the media"? What the heck does that mean? Anyhow...)

So now putting alcohol in an alcoholic beverage and making it taste like something other than burnt coffee is an obvious ploy to "entice young people". What do you recommend, Paul? An independent commission of prune-faced busybodies who will sign off on new beverage flavors provided they taste awful enough?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19th, 1993...

"People like the militia have a whole bunch of crazy ideas... However, they have two pieces of truth in all the craziness. One is 'Look at what happened at Waco. And the government hid its mistakes and concealed its misdeeds.' And the other piece of truth is that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms made this attack on Waco because Koresh's followers had guns. And the militias have guns. So the militias have these two kernels of truth in all their craziness about our government: Waco, and the fear that the government will come after them because they have guns." -Dr. Alan Stone

April 19th, 1775...

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world."

Happy Patriot's Day, y'all.

Overheard in Roomie's Bedroom:

The talking head on the TeeWee was stating that Indiana was having an "Earthquake Drill" today:
RX: "'Earthquake drill'? Didn't the villain in one of the James Bond movies threaten the world with an 'earthquake drill'?"

Me: "Yeah, but he was boring."

RX: "He couldn't help that he was stuck in a crack!"

Me: "Oh, sure! I suppose it wasn't his fault?"

The puns got even worse from there...

It's like that around here a lot.

Target demographic.

Saw excerpts of the NBC interview with Trump. Short form:
  • No defense budget cuts. Big armies and stealth fighters are cool.
  • No Medicare cuts. Donald says old folks are the "lifeblood of the country". (Plus, they vote with a vengeance.)
  • Say no to tax increases.
  • Our problems are caused by swarthy OPEC foreigners making oil too expensive and the Chinese playing games with their checkbook.
  • Tariffs are good. Bring American jobs back to America.
  • He's holding fast to the birther thing.
Basically it's a Buchanan-esque populist conservatism with most of the Jesus trimmed off. In other words, Trump is aiming at what he thinks is the bullseye of the Tea Party: Flag-waving xenophobic National Enquirer subscribers who like the F-15 flyovers before football games and want lots of free stuff from the government but hate them some taxes.

I'm underwhelmed.

Overheard in the Kitchen:

Me: (reaching into spice cabinet for Tabasco) "Huh. There's 'Jamaican jerk' in here."

RX: "There sure is."

Me: "Hey, I don't be callin' you names, mon."

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's not _______ when we do it!

You know you've arrived when The Village Voice is snarking about you!

What amazes me is the willful tone-deafness of the normally social-justice- and identity-politics-obsessed Left. Apparently ageism, class-based snobbery, and misogyny are all peachy keen if done for a nobler purpose.

Remember how it was fair game to mock the differently-abled, as long as the mocking was of Stockdale's hearing aid or Dole's gimpy arm?

You can see the edge of the world from here.

I've been on a bit of a Robert Kaplan jag recently. I've just finished Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus and now I'm about two-thirds done with The Ends of the Earth: From Togo to Turkmenistan, from Iran to Cambodia, a Journey to the Frontiers of Anarchy.

Kaplan is an intelligent and descriptive writer who is obviously fascinated by the history and the culture of wherever he happens to be standing, plus it's hard not to like a guy who, during his visit to Qom in Iran in the mid-'90s, tells about the time he was visiting with a couple of Shi'ite seminary students in their apartment and they asked him a question:
"You are so interested in us, but what about you? What is your religious background? Americans can be many things, we have heard."

"I am Jewish."

Whether he's hanging with Mujaheddin in Afghanistan back during the Russian invasion or fast-talking drunken AK-wielding Ivoirian soldiers off the aid truck on which he's hitchhiking in western Africa, it's the kind of travel writing that constantly reminds you that the definition of "adventure" is "Godawful and uncomfortable things happening to other people thousands of miles away from me."

Imagine if a GOP administration did this...

So, with the current drumbeats in Libya, I thought "Well, at least we're well out of that and only conducting aerial refueling ops and providing reconnaissance data to the suddenly pro-war Euros." Only not, as it seems.

From on April 11th, 2011:
American forces are not conducting strike missions in Libya. U.S. forces are supporting NATO with air-to-air refueling, reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities and unmanned aerial vehicle support.
From Voice Of America on April 14th, 2011:
The Pentagon confirmed Wednesday that 11 U.S. fighter jets have been transferred to NATO command to conduct airstrikes as assigned. U.S. military officials said the planes have flown 97 sorties since the transition to NATO command, firing weapons during three of those missions. Washington had announced earlier that the U.S. role in Libya had become one of support rather than active combat.
Wow. That was a quick one-eighty! Good thing I used Google, because otherwise I wouldn't have noticed the total policy reversal that the hard-nosed investigative reporters of our watchdog media have been uninvestigating as hard as they can.


So with rebels and government troops often closely intermingled, NATO airstrikes have turned out to not be the Kha... Qa... Gadhafi-removin' magic wand that the rebels wanted.

(Wait... Airstrikes? Wasn't it just supposed to be a "no-fly zone"? I'm no Curtis LeMay, but I know that "Air Superiority" and "Close Air Support" are not the same mission. Anyhow...)

Anyhow, NATO appears to be unable or unwilling to effect the kind of "no-drive zone" that the rebels seem to want, and they're getting increasingly whiny. In what strikes me as a veiled call to get NATO boots on Libyan ground, Mad Moammar is being accused of genocide and worse:
Earlier, an opposition member said loyalists were using bombs that look like perfume bottles.

Photographs indicated they were shells fired from a grenade launcher that either did not explode on impact or were deliberately masked and placed in populated areas.

The lethal weapons have blown off people's limbs and killed children, the council member said Saturday.

The report came a day after Human Rights Watch reported its members saw three cluster bombs explode Thursday night in a Misrata neighborhood.
Well, heck. Genocide is bad enough, but using cluster bombs? This obviously cannot be allowed to stand! We should get the USAF back in there and cluster bomb them right back! (The US, along with other grown-up countries who actually have militaries that they might need to use, is not a signatory of the Dublin Convention on cluster munitions. It's mostly signed by cheese-eating ex-colonial powers and their ex-colonies; the kind of countries that worry more about winning Miss Congeniality than winning wars...)

I'm taking bets: How long before NATO troops are in ground combat?

Sunday, April 17, 2011


We seem to have inadvertently scheduled the April Indy Blogmeet for Easter Sunday (which is also the next-to-last day of Passover, and beer contains yeast. D'oh!)

This will no doubt cause scheduling problems, and we totally apologize for this gaffe.

Luckily, the gentle Christ epitomizes forgiveness, which will prevent mishaps like the ones that occurred the time we accidentally held it on the Feast Day of The Drowning of R'lyeh and that guy who drove all the way from Wisconsin got his mind devoured by an Old One...

If Wayne (not The Other Wayne) hadn't brought along that heavily-dog-eared and annotated paperback copy of The Necronomicon, we'd have been boned for sure.

Overheard in the Movie Theater:

The trailers are showing before the start of Atlas Shrugged:
Movie Screen: "Disneynature proudly presents: The next great Earth Day adventure!"

Me: *snort* "Wow! Target marketing fail!"

People Inadvertently In Earshot: *laughter*

Actually, the movie in question looked pretty cool, what with it being about big kitties and all. I refuse to go see it on Lenin's birthday, however, lest I inadvertently contribute statistically to the propaganda effort. (Conversely, I planted my butt in a theater seat for Atlas Shrugged two days in a row, for just the same reason.)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Overheard in the Office:

RX: (From Down The Hall) "Huh. The *mumbleumble* pencil was invented by a gentleman from Indiana."

Me: "The 'demonic pencil'?"

RX: "The PNEUMATIC pencil."

Me: "'The graphite in this stylus came from the very bowels of Beelzebub himself!'"

Friday, April 15, 2011

There are grownups talking, here...

I know this is going to come as a shock, but Roger Ebert panned Atlas Shrugged, Part 1:
And now I am faced with this movie, the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault.
Hey, look! He didn't like it! Color me shocked...

Look, Roger, I get to make fun of Rand's often ham-handed prose and stilted dialog. I get to make fun of her pacing and the fact that this novel is less suited for a silver screen adaptation than anything this side of Marx's Critique of the Gotha Program. I get to do this because I frickin' understand what she was trying to say.

If your synopsis of Atlas Shrugged... nay, of Objectivism as a philosophy can be shrunk down to "I’m on board; pull up the lifeline," then you have no more business reviewing this movie than a Botswanan air force draftee has reviewing Burt Rutan's designs for Spaceship Two. In fact, you have less business discussing Objectivism than one of the monkeys at the opening of 2001 has critiquing Kubrick's choice of lighting on the monolith.

For all I know, the movie blows goats, but by letting your uneducated, simplistic, ridiculous biases out of the bag in the first paragraph of your review, you have effectively recused yourself from this case, Rog.

Shut the hell up, you useless relic, there are grownups talking here. I understand Shirley MacLaine's on the publicity circuit again for some reason or another; go hump her leg.

Overheard in SayUncle's Comments Section:

Gunmart: "But wait, isnt this what we constantly bemoan the liberals for doing… parading out the children to further their agenda? :D"

Me: "We only parade live children."

The next step:

While complete deregulation would be a tougher sell, we definitely need to at least move suppressors to Title I. It shouldn't be any harder to buy a hearing protection device than it is to buy the .22 target rifle on which you plan to use it.

I think that's sensible and politically salable, no?

This must be an NYC thing...

Unc recently took a trip to the Big Apple on business that came with a Special Exciting Moment at no extra charge:
Once the door shuts, he starts screaming to the top of his lungs to the people in the car about about something, some sort of pre-robbery speech. Then says it’s a robbery and pulls out his hand and it’s in a brown paper bag...
The punchline being that the guy then claimed to be doing some kind of street theater piece and segued into a spiel for donations to some shelter for urban outdoorsman.

Note to theatrically-minded activists in New York City: If you branch your program out to places like Atlanta or Indianapolis, that would be a splendid way to get your ass shot. If you would like a donation from me, then cut your hair, dress up like a respectable citizen (preferably with a shirt that involves buttoning in some way), and ask me politely. If you jump out of the bushes yelling "Boogety-boogety-boo!" with your hand in a paper sack pointing menacingly at me, I might not get the joke in time.

That's not a biological clock, it's a cuckoo clock.

The last I remember Zsa Zsa Gabor popping above the ground clutter on my personal radar screen, she was slapping a cop. As it turns out, that was twenty-odd years ago.

Back then she was just another B-List Hollywood celebrity, past the apogee of her career as well as her best-if-used-by date. Apparently, in the intervening years she's turned into a bit of a recluse, yet, like the Terminator dragging itself into the hydraulic press, she has grimly managed to crawl into the news one more time:
Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband wants his 94-year-old wife to become a mother again using an egg donor, artificial insemination and a surrogate mother, Prince Frederic von Anhalt told CNN Thursday.
I am at a loss for words.

Alert The Irony Police:

"It is unthinkable that someone who has tried to massacre his own people can play a part in their future government," said the article, titled "Libya's Pathway to Peace," by U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "It would be an unconscionable betrayal."

So, Hu Jintao, where were you on the night of June 3rd, 1989?

Mugabe's stacked up a few bodies in his time, too. Why aren't Obama and Sarkozy rescuing the poor long-suffering Zimbabweans? For that matter, nobody's deploying troops to save Darfur. Are you guys racist or something?

How do these guys decide which "betrayals" are "unconscionable" and which are, you know, just business as usual? Throw darts? Is there a Magic 8-Ball in the Oval Office, official dice at 10 Downing Street, and a deck of tarot cards in the Élysée Palace?

Thursday, April 14, 2011


So, in an attempt to... well, frankly I'm not sure what exactly, Chinese authorities have handed out a new set of guidelines tor its TeeWee industry:
“The government says … TV dramas shouldn’t have characters that travel back in time and rewrite history. They say this goes against Chinese heritage,” reports CNN’s Eunice Yoon.
Isn't heritage what has people drinking powdered endangered species like it's some kind of herbal Viagra with a Red Bull chaser? And you're worried about Marty McFly? Get a grip, there, Hu.

Off-tackle left on 3. Ready? Break!

So, how's this year's drive looking so far? Kansas and Washington got suppressors; Arizona got campus carry; it looks like we're going to get a strong preemption law here in Indiana, as well as getting rid of the ridiculous requirement to have a pink card to transport a pistol to the range; the Illinois supreme court ruled that an out-of-state toter's permit works as well as a FOID for non-residents; Florida looks like they might get rid of their onerous concealment requirements; and what used to be called "Vermont Carry" is now "Vermont-Alaska-Arizona-Wyoming Carry".

And the other side...? *crickets*

The organizing... truly grassroots, populist, hydra-headed, leaderless... continues on internet gun forums across the country. Why, I can think of a dozen firearms forums off the top of my head with tens of thousands of members each. How many members does the largest antig... Wait. You know, I can't think of a single dedicated antigun forum?

And it's an easy sell for our side: All the stuff about the Second Amendment or basic rights or self-defense aside, it's fun. You can meet your shooting friends and go to the range and show off your new gun, all of which is a lot less isometric an exercise than going to the antirange and comparing unguns. It's a whole lot easier to give away free beer than free temperance, and a smile's an easier sell than a pickle-faced look of disapproval.

So, nope, no "Hail Marys" again this year. Just a steady trickle of stuff going in our favor again, like last year and the year before that and the... And when's the last time Paul Helmke had a reason to smile?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Some tragedies are politically more useful than others.

As I'm sure everybody with a 'net connection or a TeeWee set has heard, a New York mother killed herself and three of her own children by driving her minivan off a boat ramp and into the Hudson River.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the internets are not full of cries to ban (or at least seriously restrict access to) minivans, boat ramps, the Hudson River, or motherhood, although I'll note that banning these hideous high-capacity murder vehicles and making everyone drive Miatas would force distraught parents to drown their children one at a time instead of taking them wholesale to Davey Jones' Locker.

Mr. & Mrs. Creepy go baby shoppin'...

Somebody turned over a rock in southern Indianapolis and uncovered this delightful foursome and their little transaction in which a baby was being swapped for a month's rent and $300 and she didn't even hold out for a future draft pick to be named at a later date. The money quote is this one, though:
(Debbie) Overby has a child neglect conviction. In 2009 the state removed a 10-year-old boy from her home because of filthy conditions. Michael Overby has a 1984 conviction for child molestation. Police are still trying to learn why the two might want to take in an infant.
This makes the police sound a little thick, if you ask me.

Paw just has that molester-y look about him, don't he? You could probably get a jury to convict him on Conspiracy to Commit Creepy Stuff on the strength of the mug shot alone.

Overheard in the Office:

Me: "No, seriously, supposedly the ATF wanted to do a memorial for their agents fallen in the line of duty serving a lawful warrant..."

RX: "An awful warrant?"

Me: " Waco. Apparently it was going to be a statue of an agent, all jocked up in raid gear because that's how they like to see themselves: as action figures and not cubicle drone tax cops. But anyhow, a statue of this raid gear-wearing agent leading a little boy and girl by the hands. To the afterlife, I guess. If it's true, that is just singularly tone deaf."

RX: "'Singularly Tone-Deaf' is the ATF's middle name."

That was creepy.

I dreamed I was over in 11th Century Palestine, chillin' with my homies on the First Crusade. At some point, however, the scenery shifted and instead of hanging out with Bohemond and Tancred, I was with Xenophon and Clearchus and we were negotiating with some Achaemenid prince. I guess it may have been Cyrus himself.

Anyway, the Persian dude was wearing this kind of bullet-shaped gold helmet, maybe a foot tall, and in mid-harangue, he pulled it off to wipe sweat off his forehead, and the dude's head was shaped like that. It creeped me out enough that I was just staring at his freakishly deformed noggin and couldn't concentrate on what he was saying. Then I woke up.

(PS: Firefox's spell checker is historically illiterate. I'll cut it slack on Bohemond and Clearchus, but it darned well oughtta know Achaemenid. At least it knows Xenophon.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fort Apache, The 'Burbs.

Indianapolis police have released footage from someone's home security camera in an attempt to catch some daylight burglars.

On first viewing, I was struck by the boldness with which they strolled into the the house in broad daylight after popping the front door open with a swift kick, but on thinking about it, who was likely to see them? Your average subdivision is a pretty quiet place during the day: Mommy and daddy are likely at work and the kids are at school, and the yards are frequently landscaped in such a way to offer a bit of seclusion around the front porch anyway.

That method is a lot less likely to work at Roseholme Cottage thanks to nosy neighbors, a neighborhood that encourages pedestrian traffic, and a steel security door that opens outward.

For the eleventy jillionth time, STOP TOUCHING IT!

One of the things that annoys me about the larger gun culture is the obsession with touching guns in the name of safety.

Our local gun show, the Indy 1500, is one of the larger ones in the nation. The line to get in often stretches around the building and right there at the front of the line, by the doors, is a big orange diamond-shaped sign like you'd find in a construction zone, reading "Unload Guns Here". No backstop. No clearing barrel. Just go 'head and clear your piece 'fore you go into the building, Cletus, so we can zip-tie it. For safety.

There is, of course, a corresponding pile of cut zip-ties by the exit door, where the Cletii have clipped them off in the foyer on the way out. Not much in the way of a backstop in there, either.

Now, given the generally appalling level of gun-handling prowess displayed inside, I can kind of see the logic behind the zip-ties; I mean, if you can't spot each and every one of the Four Rules being violated within ten feet of the front door, then it's time to trade the glasses in on a seeing eye dog, Stevie Wonder. (You have to wonder how much of that is a chicken-and-egg problem, though. Maybe all the Cletii inside feel comfortable wavin' their heaters around because, hey, they ain't loaded, buddy.)

But at the same time, I can't see how safety is enhanced by all the gun fondling around the entrance. I mean, every now and again, the law of averages is going to catch up with you.

(I haven't talked to anybody who was at the Evansville show yet, but from the wording of the article, it sounds like his negligent discharge occurred as he was loading up to leave.)

Monday, April 11, 2011


Errands to run; back in a bit. Meanwhile, just this morning, a lucky Google user stumbled across what I think is the funniest post I've ever written. I don't think it was what he was looking for, though...

Feat of Memory.

In the stack of reading material in Roseholme Cottage's smallest room was a 2010 Taurus catalog. I had idly perused it before, but had never bothered to read the corporate blatherskite on the front page, which turned out to be from company president Bob Morrison. There in bold print, he (or his secretary) had written:
"I remember when Taurus wasn't synonymous with quality."
Me too, Bob. Like it was just yesterday. Yesterday evening, as a matter of fact, right before I went to bed.

Mac Allahu O'Akhbar!

I must confess to a faint sense of surprise when the name of the "Royal Navy Sub Shooter" was released and it was Ryan Donovan and not Amir Khan.

I apologize to any Muslim readers, but you've gotta admit that, here of late, if a troopie goes nuts and starts mowing down his mates, your money's pretty safe if you wager he was yelling "Allahu Akhbar!" while he was doing it.

(As a side note, that HMS Astute is a pretty sexy little attack sub, there...)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Somebody please wake me up.

I thought I overheard one of the talking heads on the TeeWee this morning say that Donald Trump had come in second in a New Hampshire phone poll, and I thought "That can't be right," but it turns out that oh yes it is.

Donald Trump? Donald &*$%ing Trump? Are you $#!*ing me? There are people who look at this character and think "Wow, now that's presidential timber!" Who do you want for his running mate? I'm thinking Paul Reubens could lend a bit of gravitas to the ticket, myself.

Okay, this is all a bad dream, right? This is from watching all those cheesy dystopian SciFi movies and I'm going to flip the channel and Richard frickin' Dawson is going to be telling Arnold Schwarzenegger that "It's time to start running!" Except, oh wait, those vapid jackholes on the left coast actually elected Ahnold to be their real-life governor. Twice.

Please, somebody, give me the pill I take to get out of this madhouse. I don't care if I wake up in a submarine and have to eat reconstituted Cream of Wheat with Keanu Reeves for a dining companion for the rest of my days; it's got to be better than this.

It's a special thing that mommies and daddies do.

When I was little, I thought that part of growing up involved a magical transformation whereby things you previously thought were icky now seemed exciting and thrilling: Things like staying inside of a perfect, sunny weekend morning and watching a bunch of people on the television sit in chairs and talk about politics. Alas, that transformation never happened, and I still find it icky, albeit for different reasons.

Back then, it was icky because it was boring and I couldn't understand half of what they were talking about. Now it's icky because it's boring and I realize that they're a pack of self-important jackanapes and poltroons without the brains God gave a turnip and all the finely honed grasp of ethics and consequences exhibited by your average neighborhood crackhead, but with better clothes.

The televisor cuts on to the local news automagically, since I'm a convertible owner and bicycle rider and I'd like to know if we're planning on having weather of some sort that day, plus I find it reassuring to know that the city did not burn down around my ears the night before. On the weekends, however, once the weatherchick finishes her spiel, morbid curiosity overcomes my self restraint and I click over to CNN or FOX News or, God help me, MSNBC...

The fact that more television sets don't die gruesome, sparking deaths from a .38 or a thrown brick every Sunday morning depresses me no end when I allow myself to think about it.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

That's, like, a million in blog years.

Fifteen years ago, I had a 14.4k modem in a Pentium 133-powered Compaq Deskpro, but no 'net connection at home. The only web surfing I did was occasionally at work; it wasn't 'til a pending layoff coincided with AOL offering flat-rate monthly pricing that I bothered installing the internets on my home machine.

Had I been aware of it, I could have pointed my shiny new Explorer icon at the web log of one Charles G. Hill, which is celebrating its fifteenth birthday today. By way of comparison, my first blog post is so recent that it was typed on the same computer I'm using to type this one.

We are so boned.

So John Q. Public is wheeled in with an arterial bleeder, and Dr. Reid says a bandaid should fix it, while Dr. Boehner wants one of those little 3" gauze squares. They compromised on a 2" gauze pad, but with only one strip of tape.


My neighbor's dog has more foresight than these yahoos; at least it has the sense to bury bones for a rainy day, rather than leaving little "IOU's" in the holes. Of course, my neighbor's dog isn't scared to death of the AARP...

Friday, April 08, 2011

This just in...

As the shutdown approaches, we have received top secret spy-cam footage of a high-level government meeting. Unfortunately, it was unsigned, so I can't tell if it came from the office of Reid, Boehner, or even the Big O himself... Anyhow, here it is: Click to Watch.

There is a fine line between brave and crazy...

...and this guy couldn't see it with a telescope from where he's standing.

He has obviously had his blood replaced with ice water.

(via email.)

"I give. Who are you?"

The link in the sidebar at CNN's front page read "Iverson To Cops: Do You Know Who I Am?"

So I thought to myself, "Iverson... Iverson... Don't know any Iversons. Well, there was Molly Ivins, but she's deader than Elvis and any cops that see her are definitely gonna need shotguns. Iverson... Nope, don't know any Iversons," and clicked on the link to see who it was.

Ah. A basketball dude. An ex-basketball dude at that.

Look, if you're gonna yell "Do you know who I am?" at cops, not only better you hope they answer "Yes", but you'd also better hope that your "who I am?" includes a title like "Mr. Mayor" or "The Honorable" because just being a celebrity is only going to score you a frizzy-haired, wild-eyed mug shot on

Everything was fine until the blue facepaint.

So I dreamed that I was back selling cars again, except this time at a Pontiac dealership, which also had, for some reason, a pistol range in the service bays. Which was kinda cool, actually. For some reason I had one of those early '90s Bonneville SSEi's that was weird in that none of the little chiclet button switches had fallen off the dash or steering wheel.

Anyway, I was going to take a Glock armorer's course there at the shop, except apparently we had scheduled some frickin' special ninja tactical SWAT armorer's course that was being taught by some Austrian ex-snake eater types. Maybe EKO Cobra guys? Anyway, they showed up and they looked like Blue Man Group.

Why, yes, I did have a couple handfuls of soy & wasabi almonds before bed, why do you ask?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

He's got a point.

When your stable of hopefuls makes Ron Paul look seriously electable by comparison, it's not saying anything good for your chances.

Trump? Gingrich? Governor Cornpone?

Jesus wept, it's starting to look like the Island of Misfit Toys from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer over there. You could run the Train With Square Wheels as the vice-presidential candidate for any of those clowns and it would increase their chances.

All we need now is an eccentric billionaire to run as an independent and it'll be 1996 all over again.

About that Red Dawn remake...

Yeah, I hear they've changed the bad guys from Chicoms to North Koreans because they didn't want to piss off the people with the money, and everybody's all butthurt and saying that it's completely unrealistic to show the Norks invading the continental US.

Guess what? It's hardly less realistic than a Soviet Il-76 dropping paratroopers over central Colorado in 1984. Seriously.

It's a fantasy. Enjoy the fantasy.

Put the colander away, there, Humungus.

So Minitru has launched the full-court press on the craven vote-whores in Congress, doing everything but running an "Only __ Hours Until Total Government Shutdown!" countdown timer in the corner of the screen.

"Who will the public blame?" ask the newscasters...

Who cares? They only shut down "non-essential services" anyway, which strikes me as a perfectly cromulent litmus test for the next round of budget cuts. If you can shut the lights off someplace on Friday, and the nation hasn't burned to the waterline because of it come Monday AM, it obviously wasn't crucial to the functioning of the country. Sell it at the next government auction.

"But, but... the national parks!" Look, if having a pretty forest to go look at is really important to you, get together with some friends and go buy one. But stop expecting me and everybody's great-grandkids to chip in; we're tapped out, and we're selling the mineral rights under Yellowstone to cover the grocery bill, okay?

But to the kids on the 'net thinking it means you're going to get to smoke ganja in the streets while the cities burn around you, well, I hate to be a kill-joy, but welfare checks and po-po salaries are not part of any "government shutdown". I know you're dyin' for an apocalypse, but this ain't it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Just because, that's why!

In case you were wondering, CNN had an article patiently explaining "Why Libya 2011 Is Not Iraq 2003." Here, à la Letterman, are the Top Ten Reasons that Libya is not Iraq:
10. Libya's totally on a different continent. Duh!

9. George Bush was dumb.

8. Halliburton is a much eviller company than Agip, and doesn't have as cool a logo, either.

7. Because cool countries like Spain and Italy are doing it too!

6. Errrm... uh....

5. Kha... Qa... Gadhafi supposedly had a nuclear program once, but dropped it for some reason. He might have started it back up!


3. Kha... Qa... Gadhafi was oppressing his citizens and killing them. On TV!

2. We totally have an exit strategy this time. Mission Accomplished!

1. He may be a bumbling warmonger, but he's our bumbling warmonger.

Mission creep.

From the "There's Just No Pleasing Some People" Department:
Rebel leaders have criticized NATO's mission to help protect civilians in recent days, saying residents in Misrata and elsewhere have suffered under hellish attacks from pro-Gadhafi forces with little evidence of NATO air power overhead.
Well, Mr. Rebel Leader, were the pro-Kha... Qa... Gadhafi forces flying? No? Then you've got your No-Fly Zone, right?

Ohhh... by "No-Fly Zone", you actually meant "Come fight our war for us." I see how it is now.

Anyhow, the CNN article also says that some former congresscritters are going to meet with Kha... Qa... Gadhafi. If we're going to send him potential hostages, can't we use current politicians instead?


You know, I thought the video dialogue here was a bit of Glenn Beck-ish, Limbaugh-esque ham-handed agitprop, until I saw the actual comments below, which read like a veritable transcript of the little blond bobble-head's half of the conversation.

I'm tempted now to see if I can't replicate that cartoon with a random coffee shop patron here in Broad Ripple...

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A different breed of cat.

Most of my cat experience over the last decade has been with middle-aged, laid-back female cats.

Huck, on the other hand, is a swaggering, confident pirate of a red tabby tom, barely out of kittenhood and chock full of piss and vinegar.

Normally, I assume that a shouted "Hey!" or "No!", accompanied by a waving of the arm or stomping of the foot, will result in a panicked cat stopping whatever it was doing and scurrying for cover. With Huck, however, it apparently means "Game on!", as he stops what he's doing and comes at me for the fight.

It's hard to remain stern and reproving with a critter who's gallantly willing to challenge something fifteen times his own size...

QotD: You're In Good Hands Edition.

From JayG:
Just imagine calling up your insurance agent and telling them that you got rear-ended by a Supreme Court Justice. I wonder how eager they'd be to settle that one out of court?
Oh, man, I laughed 'til it hurt. Which triggered this discussion:
RX: "What's Scalia doing driving his own car? Isn't he, like, a hundred and something years old?"

Me: "He's 75."

RX: "He's a Supreme Court Justice..."

Me: "Clarence Thomas drives a 'Vette."

RX: "Yeah, but Clarence Thomas is cool! Get Scalia out from behind the wheel. Do you want to give Obama another Supreme Court nomination?"

Overheard in the Office:

Me: "But... but... Minnesotans? A riot of Minnesotans?"

RX: "You have to remember that Mankato is a hotbed of Leftism 'n' entitlement, and..."

Me: "Yeah, but... Minnesotans! Can you picture a mob of Garrison Keillors rampaging smugly down a street, sanctimoniously overturning cars?"

RX: "Absolutely. Flab a-wobblin' the whole way."

You stay classy, East Coasters!

So the college basketball tourney thingy is over. Apparently the Team of Closest Proximity was defeated by a Team of Distant Location. But what strikes me as interesting are the reactions of fans out in far-off East Coastia:

Butler beat VCU in the the semifinals, and Virginia Commonwealth University students rioted in the streets and set stuff on fire.

Butler was beaten by the U. Conn in the finals, and University of Connecticut students set stuff on fire and turned over cars.

What is in the water out there?

I'm, like, ten blocks from the Butler campus, and I can't hear any sirens or smell any smoke. As a matter of fact, it's all pretty quiet out here in arugula-deprived Bitterclingerville; it was a school night, after all.

Monday, April 04, 2011

'Cause I'm all scientific and stuff...

I'd like to propose a quick test: I'll burn a Bible, a Koran, a copy of Chevy Power magazine, a Talmud, a U.S. flag, a Book of Mormon, and a Lakers jersey. We'll see how many UN aid workers each one kills.

A modest proposal:

Looking at QC issues with certain brands of pistol, and the needs and expectations of their buyers, I think that you could drive a half-dozen gun companies to the brink of bankruptcy if you sold a sealed, non-reloadable, disposable, 10-shot pistol with an instruction comic book in a blister pack for $29.99.


Overheard in the Office:

Me: "There's a thing going on Twitter where people are making up gag campaign slogans for Barry in 2012..."

RX: "How about 'At Least Three Wars Saved Or Created!'?"

I'm still chuckling over that one...

No more kings.

I have to confess puzzlement with all the hoopla that a certain spectrum of Americans wastes on the chinless wonders of Buckingham Palace. I mean, didn't we kill redcoats in boxcar lots so that I wouldn't have to be bothered with the social doings of posh welfare recipients and self-propelled tourist attractions?

If George Washington knew you were Tweeting about the British royal wedding, he'd snatch the iPhone from your hand and kick your ass.

Still in the tank.

The morning news programs, especially on MSNBC (a.k.a. OTV), were all extremely bubbly and sunny about the economy over the weekend. It was bizarre, like having the weatherman telling you it was 70 and sunny when you can look out the window and see the snow drifts and leaden overcast for yourself.

"It looks like things have turned the corner!" chirped one talking head. Right. We've "turned" so many "corners" since '09 that we've got to be practically on top of the minotaur by now, but the scat in this labyrinth continues to look like bear droppings.

So food prices are up, oil's up, precious metals are at all-time highs, even mainstream econ types are making scary Weimar noises... What was with the chirpy optimism on the "Lean Forward" network?

It all became clear this morning:

Ah. Still in the tank, I see.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Sadly plausible.

This had me going for a second.

Given everything that's happened to Army uniforms, from the Monica to the current dress uniform that makes them look like a cross between a wing wiper and a Greyhound driver, there's not much in the way of idiocy that I would put past whoever it is who is in charge of dressing our nation's soldiers.

I mean, seriously, they could have announced that dress uniforms would now include a red ball on an elastic string, to be worn centered on the nose, and it would have struck me as plausible.

Slow start.

As that great American philosopher once said "I'm trying to think, but nothing happens!"

I'm poking the creative beastie with a stick this morning, but it won't go to the litterbox and make a post.

Maybe after some breakfast.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Social Engineering...

So, the Inner Party of the EU have once again saddled up their Gulfstreams and flown to Brussels, where they then set forth a policy declaring how many Outer Party Members and Proles will be allowed to take a plane from London or Copenhagen to Majorca for their summer vacation in 2050.

I sure am glad that we spent all that blood and treasure saving Europe from the meddling totalitarianism of Reichsministers and Politburos for the whole last half of the 20th Century!

Aptitude Test:

As most of you already know, Breda picked up a part-time gig as a Merchant of Death, allowing her to collect two out of three legs on the dreaded Triangle of Death!

It's important to find out if she's got what it takes, though. As a veteran of the industry, allow me to offer this handy Gun Sales Aptitude Test:

1. A professionally-dressed woman steps up to the counter. You should:
A. Wait for her husband to come in from parking the car so you can ask him what he needs.

B. Say "What you need here, li'l lady, is this here pink .38 with the pearl grips and gold trim. Ain't it purty?"

C. Keep talking to Cletus the Assistant Manager about that used bass boat you bought.

2. A customer asks "I notice you don't have the Blastomatic 2000x in stock. Can I special order one?" Your answer should be:
A. No.

B. No.

C. Keep talking to Cletus the Assistant Manager about that used bass boat you bought.

3. A customer is examining a used Remchester deer rifle. He looks like he might have a technical question. You immediately:
A. Interrupt him with a long and pointless tale about how you used one just like it as a SEAL sniper in Vietnam.

B. Inform him that those guns are junk and got all your buddies killed when you were a Marine sniper in Vietnam.

C. Keep talking to Cletus the Assistant Manager about that used bass boat you bought.

If Breda fails this test, she's just what the gun industry needs! Go, Breda!

Life-sized Apple fanbois are more plastic and expressionless.

Via Marko, a link to ThinkGeek's April Fool's Day joke: The Playmobil Apple Store play set.

A fun new way to turn children into lifelong customers!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Overheard in the Hallway:

RX: "I love Saturdays! Let's go to the range today!"

Me: "It's not Saturday."

RX: "No, but it is April 1st!"

Me: "Are you looking for my April Fool's joke?"

RX: "No, did you do one?"

Me: "'Cause you'll find it in the box next to my non-existent Halloween costumes and the ridiculous little green plastic bowler you don't see me wearing on St. Patrick's Day."

Say it ain't so, USFA...

Please, in the sainted name of Sam Colt, tell me that this is an April Fool's thing.

It has to be. Right?

Speaking of gun safety...

Everybody knows that trying to catch a dropped knife is a sure way to get cut, right? So what can happen when you try to catch a dropped gun? Nothing good.

Let it fall.

Incidentally, I personally extend this rule to rounds jacked out of an ejection port: I'm all the time seeing people clear their pistol and do one of two things:
  1. Either they try and catch the ejected round in midair, which looks neat and all, but while they're trying to play Joe Cool, with their attention focused on that glittering piece of flying brass, an appalling number of them forget that... Hey! Ken Griffey Jr.! You've still got a pistol in your other hand while you're trying to run down that pop fly!

  2. Or they carefully place their hand over the ejection port so that the precious live round, costlier and more delicate than a Fabergé egg, can be gently cradled. Which is great, but again, too much attention is being focused on the ejected round and not enough on, you know, the gun. Besides, with you trapping it in the ejection port, if your hand on the slide slips, you're going to get a palmful of red-hot brass shards when the primer gets slammed up against something by the closing slide.
Look, gravity works. I know that precious cartridge cost a whole quarter, but just let it fall on the ground while you pay attention to safing and securing the pistol. A little dirt won't hurt it, and it'll still be right there where it landed when you're done, okay?

QotD: Messed-Up Priorities Edition.

That is the dark side of environmentalism, an ugly violent side that emerges easily. The most active non-Muslim domestic terrorist group is environmental. The undercurrent of violence finds easy purchase in environmentalism's creed that the only real problem with the world is the people. No amount of turning off the lights is enough. Eventually you come around to having to turn off the people.
That's really what it boils down to: an ugly undercurrent of nihilism. There's a sense of, not so much a love for nature, but rather a loathing for humanity.

On a related note, how come I never read about these voluntary human extinction types suck-starting a Mossberg? How come it's always everybody else they want to go extinct?

(H/T to Kevin.)