Thursday, February 28, 2013

Homeward bound...

Now departing Upper Cryogenica, leaving Castle Frostbite to return to Roseholme Cottage. I enjoy travel, and the very best part of traveling is heading home.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sometimes the jokes write themselves...

Via NC Gun Blog comes news that New York, the state that has deemed deadly "assault weapons" such a threat to public order that they can only be entrusted to people who are supposed to be upholding public order, is hosting the 2013 Tactical Expo.

The best part? The three-day event will even have a "Comedy Night"!

Those jokes ought to be hilarious:
"Knock, knock."

"Who's there?"

"Breacher up! *K-BLAAMMM!* Freeze, police! Get on the ground! Don't move! Lemme see your hands! I said don't you $*#!ing MOVE! *BANGBANGBANG!*"

"Oh, God, they shot Lassie!"

I hate going Godwin this early in the morning...

I don't normally engage in the silliness of referring to politicians as "Kommisar" or "Reichsfuhrer" or any of that. It's simplistic and I can do better than that, but sometimes someone makes it really, really hard to not go there...
"The mothers, the women, the men of America have to make a decision as to whether their personal pleasure is more important than the general welfare," - Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (NSDAP-CA)
You listen to me, you meddling harpy, you jumped-up refugee from a zoning board: You don't get to pick and choose which of my constitutional rights are "personal pleasures" and further, while your job does entail a certain amount of promoting the general welfare, you don't get to compel whatever definition du jour of the "general welfare" you please.

My personal welfare, and the welfare of millions of my fellow Americans, is generally promoted by the possession of effective weapons of self-defense: trying to take them away would be very harmful to the general welfare and practically the opposite of ensuring domestic tranquility. Stop.

I keep trying to think but nothing happens.

"Knock knock!"

"Who's there?"


"I, who?"

"I haven't got a clue what I'm going to write about this morning."
Sorry for the slow start, y'all...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I nearly broke my laptop screen trying to give my friend Brigid a simpatico fistbump when I read these lines:
Nothing for me is worse than being in the back of an airplane or at a hotel with nothing to read. When in one mountainous far off place, I had to downsize a bag as the little airplane being piloted by what I believe was a Yeti, was weight restricted and my books were left behind for materials I had to have for the mission. I almost would have given up my tools, my poncho and my hiking boots than my little collection of paperbacks, of Earth Abides and Stranger in a Strange Land and a small leather bound book of Shakespeare sonnets.
If Bobbi and I are leaving the house to go eat at a sit-down-type restaurant, the phrase "Do you have a book?" usually comes immediately before or after "Do you have your keys?" on exiting Roseholme Cottage.

While I still generally prefer books of the paper variety, I will admit that reading electronic books, first on the Kindle Fire and then the iPad, has largely replaced them for out-of-the-house duties. Due to the unique properties of the tablet, whether I am currently reading a hardback or paperback book no longer dictates where I go eat or what I order when I get there anymore.

There was still a final book frontier, though... There were those times when I'd leave the house for what was maybe intended to be a quick errand and, since I was only going to be gone for a few minutes, I'd leave my turse at home and, one thing leading to another, find myself grabbing lunch in a restaurant across town hours later with nothing to read, or I'd be in an airplane seat and the snoring 300+ lb. sprawler in the seat next to me made accessing the laptop bag fully stowed under the seat in front of me a choice between waking them up and asking them to shift their carcass, or the WWF main event.

I may have mentioned before how handy I quickly found my first smartphone, an LG Optimus V? It was billed as a great entry-level smartphone. Little did I realize that they meant that in the same way that the Reefer Madness crowd calls marijuana an "entry-level drug". It was cool and it was handy but... it... was... so... sloooowww. And the screen was a bitty 3.2-inch one, which was fine for checking email or reading blogs that were mobile-friendly, but marginal for regular internet use.

Then, shortly after Samsung released their newest and greatest model, my no-contract cell carrier put last year's newest and greatest model, the Galaxy SII, on sale. Yeah, yeah, faster processor, better camera, lots of slick little features, rave reviews, but! The big difference is that 4.5" screen which, while pushing the limits of pocketability, is easily big enough to turn the Kindle Android app from a cute gimmick to a viable reading option. I've since found myself reading off it on planes, in the dentist's chair, at the BMV...

I may sometimes not have a book or tablet, but I never leave the house without the phone, and now that means I always have a library at my fingertips. I am loving your future world! Show me more!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Snippets from elsewhere...

  • In reference to yet another dumb proposed law, the question was asked "How are we going to pay for it?" My answer: "Get the Chinese to loan us more money so the Treasury can buy more paper & ink."

  • Yesterday I mentioned the Califorming* effect on the rest of the nation caused by allowing West Coast Real Estate Monopoly Money to be exchanged on a one-for-one basis with US greenbacks, but had to concede to a California reader on Facebook that it wasn't the only influence: "It happens from the other coast, too, of course. Some national TV program featured an Edwardian manse on Pennsylvania Ave just blocks from our governor's mansion on a "Look How Much House You Can Get In Some Places For Only $500k!" Yeah, Gothamite, that's because in America, half a million bucks is a lot of money for a house, not a good deal on a condo made from a windowless broom closet... "
*Totally stolen from BobG.

QotD: Misdirection Edition

While an Assault Weapons Ban pounds loudly on the front door, keep an eye out for de facto Registration trying to jimmy the lock out back.

As Robb Allen writes:
Registration is confiscation. No criminal is going to register their guns, and they’re not going to report that they stole them either. I’ve yet to see a proposed law that will target criminals. Well, technically they’ll turn us all into criminals, so there’s that.
Actual criminals are hard to catch, but threatening to turn honest people into bogus paperwork "criminals" is easy.

Without some form of registration, a requirement for background checks on private transfers turns into a capriciously and randomly-enforced farce. Indiana apparently had a requirement that all handgun transfers had to go through an FFL from the mid-'80s through the mid-'90s and by all accounts the law was flouted left and right by good guys and bad guys alike; not so when a registration requirement ups the ante of good guys getting caught.

The bad guys? Well, they're going to break the law anyway, so what do they care?

Good reading.

Remember that dude whose blog I linked to the other day? Chris Hernandez? If you're like me, you pretty much read his whole blog already and has a sad because there's no more to read, but that's okay! Because he has a book!

It's a novel about the war in Afghanistan that is practically unique in A) being written by someone who's been there and 2) written very well and iii) not being about SOF ninjas helicoptering around with knives in their teeth, but rather a platoon of TX National Guard dudes.

Unfortunately, I downloaded it Saturday afternoon and finished it yesterday evening, so now I'm stuck waiting for him to put more free ice cream on his blog.

Speaking of which, I need to go plug the ice cream machine in, too...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tab Clearing...



That totally wasn't what I was going to write about this morning, but that Magpul balloon picture was still atop my Facebook wall when I woke the computer up, sending me off on a little rant.

Now I can't for the life of me remember what it was I had actually planned to say when I sat down...

Part of the problem we have...

Any Californians reading this, please don't take it personally; I'm sure you're not part of the problem.

As some of you may know, California is the state where a Tijuana drug mule can take a break in LA to get that disc he herniated while hauling bales of Sinaloa dope treated and send his kid to school on the taxpayer dime, while the state government vigilantly mans the ramparts at the Nevada border, ever alert for invasive avocados. This demonstrates a shocking lack of a sense of proportion when it comes to threats to the state's economic viability.

Meanwhile, during the first decade of this century, we in the rest of the country allowed Californians to sell their 1br/1ba 750sq ft cinder block cracker boxes to each other for $1,000,000 and then come spend that Monopoly money on the housing market in the rest of the country like it was real cash.

California has border checkpoints because they're worried about invasive species? How do you think Coloradans are feeling about "invasive species" right about now? A generation's unfettered immigration has almost finished waxing Colorado's hairy chest and is about to start on giving the old mountain man a mountain mani-pedi; you have to flee to the far corners of the state to get away from the latte fumes emanating from the statehouse these days.

I think the rest of the nation would take it as a kindness if Nevada, Arizona, and Oregon were to seize those California Department of Food and Agriculture border checkpoints and turn their guns the other way and start shaking cars down for signs of dangerous invasive species, like voter's registration cards and real estate brochures.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

QotD: This Pizza Ain't Worth Your Life Edition

It appears that a couple of thugs in the Circle City made a serious mistake in the victim selection process, attempting to jack up a pizza delivery driver who promptly skinned his own smokewagon and aired out the young hoodlum brandishing the gun, causing young hoodlum's partner to drop the pizza and take to his heels.

While this is a heartwarming tale in its own right, the cherry on the icing of the cake of the whole thing is that it inspired my genius roomie to rewrite the lyrics to BÖC's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" as "(Don't Steal) The Pizza":
Piiiizzzza time has come
With pepperoni please have some
But please don't steal the pizza
No the drinks or the car or the tip
(Just don't be like they are)
You should go and read the whole thing because it's awesome.

I hope that Roseholme Cottage is within their delivery radius... (EDIT: Whoah! Just checked the location. Hella glad that Roseholme Cottage is not in that delivery radius!)

The Nineties called. They want their "Look! A Girl! With A Gun!™" back.

"Hey, Tam!"


"I said 'Hey, Tam!'"


"Did you hear that Piers Morgan had Paxton Quigley on last night?"

"Hang on, I can't hear you. Let me turn down my Wayne's World soundtrack here... Now, that pompous Limey sphincter had who on last night, again?"

"Paxton Quigley."

"Wow, that takes a girl back..."
It has been brought to my attention that some people may not be aware who Paxton Quigley is, but I've heard a rumor on a firearms forum that she went on CNN and "agreed that nobody needs an AR 15 asssault rifle and that Biden was right when he said a shotgun was a better choice for defending yourself."

The response from most anyone under thirty was "Paxton who?" Some folks googled her and found her website and yes, she's carrying on the good work still, but they were calling out photos of her with a revolver in the half Sabrina, booger hook firmly on bang switch... Why was this Rule Three violatin' chick being lauded as some kind of "self-defense expert"?

Their bafflement was a little understandable, especially in a mostly-dude crowd: Other than a brief trip around the talk show circuit promoting a new book in '05, she's largely been out of the mainstream media eye since the early '90s, when her book Armed & Female came out, well-timed for the ramp-up of the Shall Issue movement.

She cleaned up well, was an effective speaker and self-promoter, a fierce advocate of a woman's right to stick a .38 in her purse and shoot attempted rapists, and those talk show appearances probably sold a lot of Ladysmiths (there was even a "Paxton Quigley" edition of the Smith 640,) but she never really struck me as a serious shooter or a gun nut, just an empowerment and security moto speaker who was okay with guns. But back then, if a talk show needed a woman panelist who was ardent about women carrying firearms, it was pretty much Paxton or nobody.

In the years since, of course, there are a lot more women in the field with a lot better credentials when it comes to guns, shooting, and self-defense (*cough* buymyfriendKathy'sbook *cough*) but Paxton's still out there too, apparently, spreading the good word, if not as high-profile as before.

So Piers needed a woman for a "Women & Guns" spot, got her on his show and, in the middle of making a bunch of good points about a woman's right to carry a handgun, we get this:
QUIGLEY: Well, I agree with him that I think an AR-15 is not something that the normal, average citizen should have. And indeed, he is right that if you had a shotgun and you pull the trigger, it's going to -- it's going to scare somebody. There's no doubt about that.
Jesus, Paxton, et tu?

It only takes one awshit to erase a dozen attagirls. I'm washing my hands of her. Let the Zumboing commence.

Meanwhile, all this sudden mentioning of her name again after all these years makes me want to hop into a Supra Turbo and crank up "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and drive down to the store to buy a big-ass sweater and some stirrup pants...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tab clearing...

  • Great blog I was steered to today. Dude can write.

  • Speaking of "dude can write", this made me cry.

  • Some stories you just can't improve on, no matter how you dress them up, like the Indianapolis guy who jacked one of those Walmart Li'l Rascal scooters, which have a top speed of 6mph, and was pulled over in the oncoming lanes of a street six miles away, at 0400 on an 18°F night. It will not come as a surprise to find out that he got an F on his field sobriety test.

Speaking of that gun-grabbing busybody midget...

Now that "Faces of Meth" has scared the snot out of pretty people and pyrotechnic trailer park follies make the stuff seem déclassée, apparently prescription drug abuse is the new "drug of choice" among the fiscally solvent and melanin-deprived kids. It's been a long time since I set foot in a night club, and I'm having a hard time picturing how one would manage 150 BPM with Percocet coming out one's ears, but, you know, kids these days...

Anyway, selling stuff that is hard to get, addictive, and illegal tends to attract criminal activity, and prescription drugs are no different, and Mayor Bloomberg, America's Busybody, is going to put a stop to that, just you watch!

See, if you don't let the little people put too much soda in a cup, then they won't get fat and gross-looking unhealthy, right? And if you don't let them put too many bullets in their double-barrel shotgun's clip, then they won't do these spree killings, right? So, if you only let them take home three days' worth of narcotics at one time...

Friends and neighbors, this one hits in my wheelhouse. I spent a summer in a wheelchair with 75% of my limbs in casts from major fractures, all of which had required surgical repair. I was in a lot of pain. Every week or two, my ex- had to take time off work, a major hassle for him, to cart my wheelchair-bound carcass to the hospital for physical therapy or some other medical reason. To have expected him to take every third day off just to refill a dope bottle would have been, quite simply, an impossibility.

I was over the prescription stuff and down to a couple of Ibuprofen a day after the first month or so, and I don't think I have any of the old bottles left among my hospital souvenirs. I might still have my little four-footed cane I used to re-learn how to walk. I'd like five minutes alone in a room with me, it, and that smug know-it-all micromanaging finger-wagging putz in Gracie Mansion.

How much longer are you gonna let that cut-price Napoleon stink up your city, Gothamites?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A member of Future Politicians of America!

"But you have campaign contributions all over your face!"

This kid will go far in Washington.

Everything old is new again...

In an older post, WeaponsMan wrote of the parlous state of the Army in the mid-'70s:
Money for training dried up. Ammunition was cut, to the point where even an SF unit had to fight to get its men 40 rounds a year to fire the qualification table and another 10 or so to zero. The conventional Army didn’t even try, conducting rifle qualification with the “M1 Pencil.” Forget about blanks for force-on-force training: they were doled out like rubies, and many exercises ended like childhood games, with both sides standing on the objective after shouting “bang, bang!” during the TOT, arguing about who killed whom. It was not only deleterious to readiness, it was unseemly.
Those were dark days in the U.S. military, much as they were in the nation's 1930s economic crisis, and they look fair to repeat, says OldNFO.

I think I've said before that we can't write bad checks for the military any more than we can for the myriad social programs that weigh on the treasury, that we would have to find a way to trim fat from the defense budget, too. The problem is that they never trim fat. They trim muscle and backbone and leave fat untouched. Budget cuts happen as far away from the flagpole as possible.

Word salad.

The Cylon Hybrids are jabbering in my spam filter again:
The label plug has been proven to be dependable and as cannot punish yourself for something you had no control condition over. Mike Ditka watches from the sidelines during a Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Separate adhesive agent labels are available points are comfortably taken. But they as well have all kinds of is done with such case of labeling and wadding. Feel free to visit my web blog...

Bad Idea...

Over at Free North Carolina* there's a post on the dangers of a Constitutional Convention, something that political true believers of all stripes occasionally invoke as a magic cure-all for whatever they think ails the body politic, despite (or without acknowledging) its inherent riskiness.

Heck, a runaway Con-Con is practically the entire backstory of the third book in the EFAD trilogy.

Anyway, there's a video in there and in the middle of it is about fifteen minutes of Laurence Tribe plainly and engagingly describing exactly why a Constitutional Convention would be a bad thing at this precise point in history, and for once in my life, I found myself agreeing with practically every word he said. (Well, it was the second time, actually. The first was when he warned his fellow progressive pinko lefties that the "collective interpretation" of the Second Amendment was a farce and endangered all those other amendments they love so much.)

Any political issue that makes bedfellows out of Tribe and the Birchers is one worth a moment's pause.

*With purchase of a North Carolina of equal or greater value.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

About those "Armed Macaulay Culkin" targets...

I am reminded of a book I had back during my rottweiler-owning days that counseled against getting any kind of specialized guard-dog training for a rottie kept in the home as it had plenty of natural protective instincts and tools, and it was a bad idea to weaken its inhibitions if you still wanted it to be an indoor family pet.

If Law Enforcement Targets is a real thing and is really selling these targets, I would counsel them to hire an extra person in their accounts receivable department to handle subpoenas of their customer list from attorneys in future wrongful death suits. This looks like the kind of thing that makes liability lawyers need to wash their sheets in the morning. "Have you, or have you not, actually been conditioning, programming even, your officers to shoot small children?"

Today's word: "Metrocon"

New Jovian Thunderbolt is the foremost expert in the field of metrocon field studies, but with all due deference to him, I'm going to stick this definition here so I have it handy for future copypasta use elsewhere:
Metrocon: A large and serious-looking herbivore often found grazing the veldts of National Review, Fox News panels, and the Wall Street Journal editorial page. While hawkish on foreign policy and capable of mouthing all the proper social values shibboleths, they are generally fiscal moderates and only seem opposed to government power when it's Democrats that are wielding it. The easiest way to distinguish them from the carnivorous creatures they mimic and shelter among for protection is to ask them to count to ten. If they say "One, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten," you've cornered yourself a metrocon. Frum and Will are notable examples, and the largest specimen in captivity is Krauthammer. 

The invisible tax...

In a review of a Taurus pistol Carteach talks about moving wealth from paper into metals:
Cash on hand can be a different story, to a person willing to work the angles. Cash loses value minute by minute as well, but often times purchases made with cash bring with them a discount that more than makes up for the inflationary losses. In terms that us shooty folk understand, a little cash in reach can make that snap purchase of a friends old Browning happen, when a credit card won't.
While walking the aisles of a fun show I've commented before to Shootin' Buddy that I could feel the paper in my pocket depreciating, and how I hoped that I could find something to exchange it for that would appreciate instead, or at least hold its value.

(Incidentally, periods of inflation are when almost all "collectible" markets spike, Hemi 'Cudas to Hummel figurines, baseball cards to Beanie Babies, as people try to get out of cash and into something, anything tangible, before the cash devalues even further.)

Since I hate using good material at away games...

So, Alec Balswin... swear to god that was an honest typo, so I'm leaving it... anyway, Alec Baldwin was... well, I was going to say "showing his ass again", but the word "again" would imply that there were intervals of non-ass-showingness in the life of a man whose trousers are pretty much perpetually around his ankles as he walks ass-first through the world...

Like I said, anyway, Alec Baldwin was having a typical day, spouting insults and belittling people he thought were beneath his own barely-polysyllabic self, and one of them had a tape recorder, so some of Baldwin's filth accidentally splashed back on his Guccis, resulting in an investigation by the NYPD.

One of the commenters at asked how what Baldwin did could be construed as an actual, you know, crime-type crime, with cops and charges and whatnot, to which I replied
Dude, it's New York City. They can get busted for salt shakers and 32oz. styrofoam cups. Who the hell knows what else is a crime there?

It's like the gulag, but with Broadway musicals and overpriced restaurants.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

OhGodI'mGettingOld! Moment #325,101

When did People magazine turn into Who Are These People? magazine?

Okay, I know who Tiger Woods and Beyoncé are. I'm assuming that "Jenn" is Jennifer Anniston, she of whose name I am cognizant for reasons that are unclear to me. "Kim" has the slatternly look of one of those Kardashian people, and her name begins with a "K", so that's my guess.

But who are all these other people with whom I am apparently on a first-name basis? I haven't the slightest clue...


All the years of being around guns and shooting has me guilty of a sort of jaded hipster affectation oftentimes these days... ...and then I see this video:

In 22 years in the military, a lot of it doing the highest-speed, lowest-drag jobs there are, Pat Mac has probably spent more time actually engaged in pulling a trigger than I have sleeping, and look how fired up he still is! Look how much fun he's having!

That's a heck of a commercial, actually. Dang, I want to take a class from that dude pretty badly right now.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Tooling down the road today, the winter sun dappling sterile tree shadows across the Subie's hood, the iThingie served up "Goodnight Lover" by Fluke, and suddenly I was racing the Orient Express, on my way to exchange the briefcase full of secret documents for our spy captured by the enemy agency, perhaps being shadowed by the bad guys' helicopters...

Seriously, it's on the short list for perfect soundtrack tunes for a wintertime euro driving montage in a technothriller. When I sell my superawesome action shoot-'em-up spy movie screenplay to Hollywood so I can retirer, I'm going to put my foot down and insist that this tune is in the movie.

As an added bonus, the very next track played was "Headhunter v1.0".

In the meantime...

...while I'm trying to think of something to write, why don't y'all head on over and check out the prize drawing contest raffle thingy that Linoge is holding to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield?


Dry well...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Is it twoo what they say about how you politicians are... gifted?"

There's this guy in the Georgia state legislature who has apparently annoyed one Peach Stater so much that the latter has taken up a new hobby: Photoshopping the politician's head onto pictures of porn stars doing porn star-type stuff, and posting the results on the internet.

State Rep. Earnest Smith, all butthurt by the taunting, probably wanted to pass a bill making it illegal for Andre Walker to make fun of Earnest Smith by 'shopping Smith's head onto porn stars, but with an eye towards that whole pesky "no Bill of Attainder" thing in Article I, Section 10, settled for proposing legislation that would make it illegal for anybody to make fun of anybody by 'shopping their head onto porn stars.

Needless to say the bill, even if by some miracle it were to pass, would likely get shot down in First Amendment flames by pretty much any court in the nation. However it does offer an insight into the kind of petty douchecanoes that tend to be drawn to political office like skeeters to a bug zapper. Someone needs to explain to Smith that he is not royalty, and there's no such crime as lèse majesté in America.

The grandfather conundrum...

With Colorado looking certain to get their 15-round mag limit passed, a poster on raised a question applicable to any state that has a magazine capacity limit and a grandfather exception for old mags:
More than 15 round magazines need to be in your possession as of the effective date (sometime this summer). Since most magazines have no date or number, not sure how you can identify which magazine, of your many, was a pre-July 2013 magazine versus an otherwise undated, identically looking magazine?
I think I can answer this: Your magazines will be obviously pre-ban and legal if you are over thirty, white, clean cut, no priors, valid tags and insurance, polite to the officer, and sober. (And they're not trying to get you for something else at the time, in which case it will be used as a "piling on" charge by the prosecutor.)

A snake! A snake!

So, over at a forum on which I post, someone asked if anybody had fired a 12 gauge pistol-grip shotgun one-handed. My initial thought was "Uh, doesn't everyone who owns one do it at least once, just to see?" but then I was reminded of the most memorable time I did it, back when I was young enough to actually own a pistol-gripped shotgun and appear in public with the thing:

No $#!+, there I was...

I was working at my very first gun store, back in the early '90s, and had just bought a 20" Mossie 500 eight-shooter and, like every twenty-something Mossenberger owner does, I ditched the buttstock for the pistol grip that is handily provided in the box so you can make your gun look cool and yourself like an ignorant dork.

I was renting a room from my boss in his lakefront house at the time, which was awesome because lakefront house, but had its downsides, such as carpooling to work with the boss made it hard to call in sick and go jet-skiing.

So the day I bought the gun, I ride home in the boss's truck, cheerfully coonfingering my shiny new gat in the box in my lap. We arrive home, get out of the truck, boss goes to let the doberman out of the back, when I see it! Right there coiled in the driveway is ten inches of fanged death! And the curious dog was headed right for it...

"Hold Obie!" I yell, "Even the babies are venomous!"

The boss grabbed the dog and pulled it back. I grabbed the Persuader, slid a round of the store's cheapest low-brass #7.5 birdshot into the magazine tube, and then worked the shotgun's action with the sound of doom, the dreaded "ka-CHAK!" which would have sent the snake scurrying for safety, if the snake had the brains of a 200-lb armed robber on crack.

Checking my backstop, I moved around so as to fire in a safe direction and, I guess for heightened dramatic effect plus a reluctance to get too close to the vicious critter which might wake up and attack at any moment, extended the shotgun in one hand until the muzzle, wavering from the firm grip of my pipestem forearm, was maybe two feet from the snake...


The shot column struck the driveway, which was angled downhill away from me and towards the lake, and skipped off in a perpendicular direction as ricochets are wont to do, scooping the snake up more-or-less intact and depositing it in the honeysuckle about eight feet up a tree.

Elation surged through me. I had saved the dog! I'd defended the fort! I'd saved us all from certain scaled death!

I had not even returned the shotgun to its box when a friend of ours, a postman who was both a gun nut and amateur herpetology buff, came strolling down the drive. "Gary!" I hollered, ears still slightly ringing, "Look up in that tree over there! Check out that rattlesnake that Obie found!"

"How did it get up in the tree?" he asked, reasonably.

"I shot it and that's where it landed."

He went to do a postmortem on our antagonist.

It was a corn snake, of course.

I console myself by realizing that Obie probably would have killed the thing anyway.

(Names have been changed to prevent anyone from being associated with my foolishness. Except the dog. She was a willing co-conspirator.)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hey, be careful out there.

I have ridden in a bambalance a couple of times. Once was no big deal; I had a couple broken bones, sure, but I felt chipper enough to threaten to hop up off the gurney and punch the EMT if he tried to cut my beloved leather jacket off me*.

The other time I was in screaming agony from the shattered bone ends of a truly horrific compound fracture grinding together and I wished the ambulance could go faster, maybe fly, and just hurry up and get me to the place where they kept the doctors with the no-kidding painkillers.

But in both instances I was very happy to have that ambulance swoop in in what seemed like no time flat and scrape my carcass off the pavement.

Last weekend, when Shootin' Buddy and I were driving to the range, I turned my head to look out the side window and he exclaimed "Holy...! Did you see that?"

"See what?"

"That ambulance! I've never seen one going that fast on the street! It must have been doing a hundred!"

Apparently, in the time it took me to turn my head 90 degrees to the right, blink, and then look forward again, an ambulance had flashed through the intersection a half block ahead of us. That's movin' right along.

Be careful out there, my friends in the ambos. I worry about y'all.

*We just took the jacket off instead; a scapula fracture isn't that big a deal if it doesn't go completely across the bone, and my thumb wasn't going to get any broker.

What we got here is failure to communicate.

I was unable to read this nice lady's column because of the title.

I say "nice lady" because I'm fairly sure she is. Most people are nice, in a general 'pets-dogs-and-keeps-their-elbows-off-the-table' sort of way, even if I can't stand being around them for more than twenty minutes at a stretch because they're no more capable of holding up their end of a conversation than is a ham sandwich.

Anyway, the title told me everything I needed to know about the difference between the nice lady's worldview and my own:
...and thus, before I could even read the nice lady's column, my mouth was off and running, yelling things at the laptop monitor like "Of course the law is reactive, you drooling moron! This ain't Minority Report! Laws have to be reactive! We can't just lock people up for what we think they might do, you paste-eating simpleton!"

Anyhow, dunno what the column went on to state because I didn't read it. I'm sure the nice lady wrote a nice column, though.

Friday, February 15, 2013

You don't know what you've got until it's gone...

A touching memorial to Ed Rasimus.

Ed and I bounced horns a couple of times, but mostly I was just a dewy-eyed groupie who was tickled he even paid attention to my maunderings. There's one less empty chair in Valhalla, and we who remain are diminished.

Pump up the bass!

Did you ever flush a big ol' handful of Xanax down the toilet, just to see what effect it had on the fish downstream? Me neither. But that's because you and I aren't scientists trolling for those sweet, sweet grant dollars.

That's okay, though, because those twenty-pound brains that are always pushing the frontiers of human knowledge have done it for us!

In a study to find out what effect anti-anxiety drugs had on Sea Kittens, researchers in Sweden exposed fish to levels of benzodiazepine "representing conditions that perch likely experience in streams and rivers" and discovered that they got a little hyper and "less social", I guess going to fewer fish bingo games and piscine PTA meetings or something.

Apparently not finding these results interesting enough, they decided to get the little buggers really stoned, upping the dosage to as much as 500 times higher than what they'd likely experience, perhaps simulating what would happen if the critters were to swim up the sewage outlet pipe at the Pfizer plant, and were stunned to find out that the fish got bolder, as well as getting a raging case of the munchies:
Before exposure, it took a single fish more than 4½ minutes to consume 20 zooplankton. After low levels of exposure to oxazepam, the fish ate faster, shaving about 30 seconds off the pre-exposure time. Fish exposed to the highest level of oxazepam consumed the same amount of zooplankton in less than three minutes. Not only were the exposed fish feeding faster; they also started eating earlier in the trial than they had before being exposed to the drug.
This could be bad, because the things the perch eat are things that eat algae, and too much algae is a bad thing. (No word on whether they repeated the experiment on species of fish that, you know, ate algae, to see if we could maybe get them all geeked up on Xanax and turn them loose on algal blooms...)

This being Sweden, I'm waiting to hear that at least one member of the research team, realizing that he'd gone to school for twenty-plus years only to wind up at the pinnacle of his career standing in a lab getting fish high, went home and locked all the garage doors and left the Volvo running.

So there you have it: Should you find yourself in possession of a large quantity of Xanax, don't flush it down the toilet. Give it to a Swedish scientist instead, because they are obviously too obsessive and high-strung.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

You may want to sit down for this...

...but it looks like the New York Times might have been caught printing lies things that maybe aren't actually 100% factual again.

I know, right? Who could have seen that coming?

Of course, once you get past all the he-said-she-said drama of their alleged Tesla S test, we're still talking about a brand new $60,000 car that I can't even jump in and drive to Knoxville the way I could in a thirteen-year-old sub-$3k Subaru with fifty almost eight* earth circumnavigations already on the odometer.

And you thought little electric urban commuter pods had a small viable market niche! In terms of the breadth of its target demographic, this thing makes the Nissan Leaf look like the Ford F-150.

*Math is hard!

While we're talking about bogus decorations...

What does the ribbon you get for making bitchin' PowerPoint presentations above and beyond the call of duty look like? I'm thinking about getting into reenacting and I don't want my late-period GWOT persona to look all farby.

Enemy moles in the Pentagon!

The hidden moles in the Department of Defense continue to burrow away at their nefarious work of undermining the morale of our troops.

The latest scheme to be uncovered is a plot to institute a Distinguished Warfare Medal, about the size of a '54 Buick hubcap, to be awarded to "pilots of unmanned aircraft, offensive cyber war experts or others who are directly involved in combat operations but who are not physically in theater and facing the physical risks that warfare historically entails."

Now, recognizing that there are people who are pulling their weight in the war effort in a way that has no direct analog in World War Two terms is fine and dandy, but here's the catch: They want to put this new "Thanks For Playing" award higher up the pecking order than the Bronze Star.

That's right: Private Snuffy, who stopped two Taliban AK bullets while dragging his buddy to safety and spraying covering fire from the hip with his SAW one-handed, gets a Bronze Star with a "V" for "Valor", while the pilot of the drone watching the whole thing through a camera overhead is sitting in a cubicle farm in Vegas in danger of nothing more serious than mixing up the regular and decaf pots, and he gets a bigger, shinier, better medal.

Brilliant work, Deep Cover Secret Agent! You sure know how to destroy your enemy's morale and cohesion!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

QotD: Persian Air Force Edition...

"I’ve seen better plane design hanging on refrigerators." -Phil L. in Marko's comment section.
I LOL'ed.

Recoil therapy.

After brunch at the Aristocrat on Sunday, Shootin' Buddy and I went to Beech Grove Firearms to burn some powder on their slammin' new indoor range.

Okay, you can start speeding up a little bit, but watch that low & left.
I've been working on trying to be able to shoot strings of multiple rounds without getting carried away and mashing the trigger to make the gun go off Quick! Now! Because it's time! and instead letting the sight picture control the timing of the trigger press like I'm supposed to. It's hard not to get caught in the metronome of "BANGBANGBANGBANG!", and if you don't believe me, try doing it at the range and listen to the tempo of the people shooting around you.

I used 180 rounds from the Ruger 22/45 to chew the red center out of the target and then went to the Glock 19 and attempted to keep the bullets going through the existing hole, so any distinct 9mm holes you see there are misses (*cough*that tail down and to the left*cough*.) Still lovin' those I-Dot Pros.

After a hundred rounds of 9mm, sixty at three yards fired as quickly as I could get something like an adequate sight picture and press the trigger (that's where the little tail came from) and the other forty at five yards at a pace that let me get a good sight picture before pressing the trigger, the ammo budget for the day was reached and it was time to go.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Well, there's your problem...

I saw the sign, and yelled "Did you see that? Stop! Go back!"

Shootin' Buddy turned the truck around right there in the middle of the 'hood, and went back to the corner of 25th Street and Drive-By Avenue, where I hopped out into the rain to snap this picture.

Click to embiggenate.
I appreciate their efforts in working with prisoners to get them on the straight 'n' narrow, but I kinda hope they are not teaching literacy classes to the inmates...

Okay, I have a plan...

We get Clint Eastwood to go undercover as a businessman into Iran. He steals their ultra-advanced hypersonic stealth prop and its mind-controlled weapons systems and flies it out at low altitude, evading pursuit. On the way back to U.S. territory, he drops bombs that take out the Norks' nukyular weapons program and then lands on the icepack and refuels before flying to safety. (Clint can think in Farsi, right?)

Seriously, who did Mad Mad Ahmadinejad think was going to buy that? The very fact that they were deluded enough to put that dog and pony show on in the first place is a little troubling. There is some seriously insular groupthink going on there to have put that much effort into something that any sane person had to know is going to wind up the laughingstock of the internets.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Automotif VIII...

Whitworth Spanners Required, No Doubt.
Saw this forlorn B while out running errands the other day. It was spitting snow; a tough time for selling a convertible, but maybe a good time for starting a garage project?

I'm sorry, y'all...

I was AFK pretty much all day. Regular service will resume tomorrow.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

In Tingle Veritas

Watched Chris Matthews gather this morning with his usual cast of commentators from across the political spectrum, ranging from the Center Left to the Far Left, to discuss the weighty issues of the day and, more importantly, whether the current president is the greatest we've ever had, or maybe only second or third best. I do this so you don't have to, Gentle Reader.

Anyhow, near the end of the show came this gasper...
Guest: "Americans overwhelmingly support drone strikes..."

Chris Matthews: "...and Liberals do, too!"

Hand-to-God, he really did. To riff off that would be to gild the lily.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

All that hate's gonna burn you up, kid...

One of the downsides of being heartless is that an entirely convection-powered circulatory system isn't very good at keeping me warm in the winter.

As a consequence, I shop for my winter underthings among apparel manufacturers better known for equipping people who are about to assault the north face of the Eiger. But actual climbing generates body heat, so my new favorite buzzword is "Expedition Weight", described thusly:
Expedition weight is ideal for stationary activities in the coldest temperatures.
Okay. If it will keep normal people from turning into corpsicles while sitting around in Camp III on Everest, then it's up to helping me feel only mildly chilly on the porch at Roseholme Cottage at 33°F.

They don't really fly like that...

Long dream last night, years and years passed before I woke up...

Bobbi and I went to visit Brigid, who was staying in a little apartment remarkably similar to the one in which I lived in Virginia Highlands. She was living there for a year because she was doing some TDY secret squirrel thing or another and could hardly wait to get to back out in the country. It was a cute little neighborhood with lots of sidewalk cafés and a climate like Atlanta in the spring. In fact, it was a lot like Atlanta in the spring, what with the magnolias and dogwoods, except flat, and with a canal like Broad Ripple.

Then I was late for a plane flight and was running down the jetway and they had just closed the cabin door and opened it back up for me. The plane was only about 1/3 full, and so everybody was staring at me as I boarded, since it was obvious who held up the departure. This is one of the more esoteric variants of the "giving the book report nekkid" dream I've ever had.

The plane flew a route that would have been more appropriate for an FB-111 trying to penetrate Soviet airspace than a little commuter jet. I was looking out the window at trees flashing past for a lot of the flight, and at one point the pilot was banking over a lake and I was idly wondering if he was going to drag that wingtip and send us cartwheeling.

When we got to Imaginary Generic Dream City Destination, I was at the same hotel as the pilot, and he kept hitting on me, but I was for some reason absolutely oblivious to all the really oblique pickup lines he was using until he practically drew a diagram on a cocktail napkin.

Then I woke up and it was time to go make coffee and feed the cats.

Friday, February 08, 2013

My inner gun nerd...

As you know, I am generally a proponent of practical firearms, although I also collect original antiques of historical provenance and generally look down on modern replicas of ... OH GOD SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

Strange places make for strange dreams...

Normally, in the dentist's chair I clutch the monkey fist on my keychain so I have something to squeeze down on in case of pain. Yesterday I forgot and left my keys in my coat pocket and so I used my teeny flashlight for a worry bead instead.

We got to the point where she was doing the fillings and I nodded off to sleep while she had the big UV gun in my mouth, and I guess my grip must have loosened a little bit on my flashlight, because I remember vividly having a dream where I had just gotten a new laser drill and was watching a Public Service Announcement on the Four Rules of Laser Drill Safety, as formulated by that great laser drill safety pioneer, Mr. T.

Rule Number One was "Don't drop the drill, fool!"

Then I woke up. I had not dropped my flashlight. The drill in the dream was cool, though; it was a big chainsaw-looking thing (only without the cutting bar, of course) that shot out a red beam for as long as you held down the button, or you could use the button as an "on" toggle.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

QotD: OH SNAP! Edition...

From Glenn Reynolds, in re: drones, which are the topic du jour all of a sudden:
" But it’s Nobel Peace Prize shrapnel, so it’s okay. Not like the horrible Bush shrapnel."
Oh, man, I wish I'd wrote that...

A cobbled-together post because I'm in a hurry...

So, yeah, the drone thing is in the news. Apparently the MSM is suddenly finding it kinda interesting, now that we're taking applications for CIA Director.

In a discussion on a web forum about drone strikes and US citizens, someone was talking about what evil dudes radical Islamic terrorists were and how much they hated our guts (and I agree that they're bad news) and how some smelly bearded Al Qaeda guy OCONUS shouldn't get to attack U.S. interests and then yell "Olly-olly-oxen-free!" by waving his American birth certificate around in a completely un-presidential manner.

This led to me spending my blog-posting time there, and so I'll just copypasta it here:
That's it exactly. This kind of stuff deserves the strictest level of scrutiny from an involved citizenry because it's the very definition of the banana peel on the top of the slippery slope.

You pull some guy's charred AK-clutchin' remains out of some smoking van wreckage filled with Taliban corpses in the Hindu Kush somewhere, and I'm not going to shed any tears if you find a blackened passport with a blue cover in his pocket; I wouldn't expect Patton's Third Army to stop the drive on Bastogne and call out the lawyers if one of the Jerries in front of them yelled "Hey, Mac, I'm an American!" either.

Too far down this path, however, and I could win the argument in this thread by calling 1-800-RAT-FINK and tell them I had some rock-solid information that [Other Poster] was a... what was the term he used? a "radical Islamist"? ...and I'd win the thread by default, since he wouldn't be able to respond due to the JDAM through his roof.

If all it takes to sign a death warrant for somebody is to hang a label on them, you want to be very careful about how hard you make it to hang that label.
In the long run, it may well will almost certainly turn out that letting the occasional terrorist set off a bomb or hijack a plane would have done far less damage to the fabric of the Republic than we've done in trying to stop them.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street

Seen today:

In the parking lot of the SoBro Fresh Market was this remarkably un-vandalized pickup truck. (Embiggenate to read the stickers in the rear window.)

Subaru Forester: Now with Hippieflage! (Luna is the local indie record shoppe.)

Speaking of weird calibers...

I was nosing around over at Brownells for some gun parts, and checked on ammo while I was there. The situation was about what you'd expect; it looked like an Iowa cornfield after the locust swarm passed.

They were all out of Winchester White Box in handgun calibers... except for 9x23 Winchester. (Yes, I immediately went looking to see if they had any ramped 9x23 Commander barrels in stock.)

Off The Shelf:

Re-reading The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy.

I'd forgotten what a useful book this is. I mean, it's an easy read, especially for covering a topic that could otherwise be an unholy union of statistics tables with kings'n'dates'n'battles, but it's also full of little factoids that can be useful when somebody pipes up with examples of gun control from Japan or the UK or even Switzerland. There's even a Kindle edition now, which I am considering buying just so I can have a copy handy, just in case.

Volt fiat!

So the federal government tried to will into existence a market where none existed before.

Well, that's not exactly true. There is a market for plug-in pure electric cars, just like there's a market for exotic Italian supercars or 15-passenger vans. And, similarly, you can't wave a magic wand and state that there will be one million Lamborghini Gallardos or Chevy Express 3500s on the road by 2015, and even the reality-insulated current administration has finally had to admit it.

While some people object to electric cars for religious reasons, like they may get excommunicated from their GOP church, I'm pretty agnostic about a car's power source: If it's reliable, reasonably priced, can burn rubber and pass things on the interstate, and can have its fuel tank refilled from empty in about five minutes, I don't care what goes in the tank. You can power it with gasoline or diesel or hydrogen or unicorn farts 'n' moonbeams for all I care.

And pure electrics just aren't there yet. Seriously, a car that could reliably get someone around town and be refilled in their garage every night will always have a niche among urban commuters as a second car, but until costs come down, ranges grow, and performance improves, electrics are going to be stuck in that tiny niche.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

E-Z Post.

I keep a couple of Wikipedia tabs open all the time, one for aimless Wikiwandering and one for dedicated looking-up of stuff. Let's start hitting the "Back" button on the second one and see where it's been!
  1. Louis XIV of France
  2. Pop Goes the World (song)
  3. Surfing
  4. BASE Jumping
  5. Free solo climbing
  6. WNBC
  7. NBC
  8. Mark Wohlers
  9. Talkeetna, Alaska
  10. Monty Python's Life of Brian
  11. Bobby Valentine
  12. Furry fandom
  13. Planck length
  14. Quo vadis?
  15. Quo Vadis (1951 film)
  16. Saturation (album)
I think that gets us back through the weekend...


At the last Indy 1500 fun show, the ammo situation was pretty grim. Those dealers who had 5.56 in bulk quantities had it priced in accordance with its scarcity and desirability (those that didn't found themselves quickly cleaned out and unable to restock.)

I've got a fair amount of 5.56 ammo on hand, enough for a couple classes and a few range trips, if it comes to that, but there was one thing I noticed at the show that had me slapping my forehead and feeling like a maroon.

See, while almost all service rifle calibers, even 7.62x54R, were effected to one extent or another by the hysteria, spam cans of Russian surplus 5.45x39mm were still ubiquitous and extremely reasonably-priced, especially by contemporary standards.

If one had a switch-barrel AR upper from MGI Military, like the one pictured below, one could just swap in one's 5.45 barrel and bolt and be assured of a supply of cheap and readily-available centerfire ammo...

...and it uses standard AR barrels!
...assuming that one was all smart and stuff and had actually procured a 5.45 barrel and bolt ahead of time, because asking around at the show only resulted in vendors looking at me like I was speaking Armenian.

Incidentally, this should have occurred to me much earlier. During the last great ammo panic, smart people were using factory 5.45 ARs from Smith & Wesson to keep their hand in when high-volume shooting with factory 5.56 would have been nearly prohibitive.

With 30% Less Cheerfulness Than Other Cereals.

On the phone with Staghounds yesterday, and somehow the topic of conversation turned to that competitor of breakfast cereal titan General Mills: Dark Satanic Mills.

Yes, Dark Satanic Mills, the breakfast cereal choice of the most cost-effective workhouses everywhere! Their new Castor Oil Flavoured Barley Clumps are guaranteed to contain the absolute minimum USRDA of ten vitamins and minerals required to sustain life and no more insect parts than are allowed by law. (Now with sawdust for fiber!)

Monday, February 04, 2013


So, after the White House chummed the waters by issuing a staged publicity photo of Obama wielding a stack-barrel yuppie gun while shooting a round of skeet at Camp David with Lennay Kekua, complete with a finger-waving "Do Not Photoshop!" admonition*, the Administration's running dogs and lackeys in the press are expressing astonishment that us Bitter Clingers reacted with skepticism and derision, if not outright disbelief.

Let me ask a question: How many of President Mom Jeans' ardent defenders here were the same ones who were in the middle of the pack baying about those photos of the previous holder of the office swaggering across a carrier deck in a nomex poopie suit? I mean, at least in that case everybody actually saw him get out of the plane...

*Sure thing, Louis XIV, we wouldn't dream of defacing a portrait of Le Roi Soleil...

Sunday, February 03, 2013

QotD: Mindless Consumerism Edition

PDB on wisely selecting stuff on a rifle:
It’s tempting to get overly curmudgeonly about these things and shun all modern enhancements and go back to shooting a K-Frame, 870 and a Garand (although you’re certainly not totally unarmed if you choose to do so), but the new hotness will make your life easier if you fit your gear to your requirements and not the other way around. 
It's a good post and worth the read.

There are the people who hang every possible laser, phaser, and windspeed indicator off their rifle, and then there's the opposite extreme that seems to have taken hold, where light weight is pursued as an absolute virtue in and of itself*, and a lack of accessories, rather than a profusion of ditto, is seen as an indicator of seriousness and ninja-like proficiency.

There's a happy medium between the two, but it requires actually using the weapon to find out what works and what doesn't. And what works is going to be different in different environments: A long gun that is absolutely ideal for an NRA high power match is going to be sub-optimal in a dark hallway, and vice versa. The reason that the saying "the mission drives the gear train" has become such a tired old proverb is because it's absolutely true.

*You know what's really light? No gun at all: You just kill them with Zen mind bullets. ;)

In the Land of King Kid...

In the hoary old joke about slanted media coverage, the New York Times headline reads "World To End Tomorrow: Women and Minorities Hardest Hit."

Increasingly, however, women and minorities are forced to shuffle rearward on the bus to make room for the new first class passengers: The Children. Witness the headline below:
Now if, despite the best efforts of our education system, you actually read the story instead of just scrolling through the photo slideshow to look at the twisted piles of carmageddon, you'll also find out that a couple of adults choked on their last cookies in the tangled sheet metal as well but, you know, they're grownups so, like, whatever.

Who ever got a vote by saying "Won't someone please think of the adults?" Our collective cultural obsession with The Children would get any individual one of us locked up, unless we were a Catholic priest or something.

Serious, articulate adults have been bombarding the Legislative and Executive branches with carefully thought-out pleas both for and against gun control, and yet the President drafts a raft of executive orders after consulting the letters of an advisory committee that averages four feet tall and thinks tater tots and Cinnamon Toast Crunch are two of the four main food groups. Of course these waist-high monsters feel entitled to pitch fits in the toy aisle at Wal-Mart; we've all but told them they run the country.

Here's my proposal for reducing school shootings: We never should have let the little savages out of the coal mines in the first place.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Nerf goes the world!

I am not kidding you: At this very moment, that herbivore Lester Holt is on the TeeWee down the hall wringing his hands over whether the X Games have "become too dangerous." First Barry going on about football and now this...

Johnny raced dirtbikes, Jenny jumped BASE.
Name of the sport is The Human Race.
Everybody tell me have you heard?
Nerf goes the world.

Jenny drove rallyes, Johnny did too,
In a Mitsubishi and a Subaru
Everybody tell me have you heard?
Nerf Goes The World.

It goes something like this: (N n n nerf)

Johnny and Jenny had a crazy dream,
See their pictures in a magazine.
Every little boy needs a girl.
Nerf Goes The World.

Jenny and Johnny getting smart (it seems)
Made more money on a Red Bull team.
Every little nest needs a bird.
Nerf Goes The World.

One two three and four is five,
Everybody here is a friend of mine.
Whatever happened to the Duke of Earl?
Nerf Goes The World.

Six seven eight and nine is ten,
Send Jeb Corliss off a cliff again.
Say what planet are we on? The third!
Nerf Goes The World.

And Every time I wonder where the world went wrong,
End up lying on my face going ringy dingy ding dong

And every time I wonder if the world is right,
End up on the YouTube watching wingsuit flights.

Johnny raced dirtbikes, Jenny jumped BASE,
Name of the sport is The Human Race.
Everybody tell me have you heard?
Nerf Goes The World.

Johnny raced dirtbikes, Jenny jumped BASE,
Ain't nobody couldn't take their place.
Everybody tell me have you heard?
Nerf Goes The World...

Friday, February 01, 2013

Like a record, baby, right 'round, 'round, 'round...

Obama's support of school Resource Officers proves to be sound!

See, I was listening to NPR the other day, and one of the commentators was explaining that the Republicans, goaded by that crazy guy Wayne LaPierre and his NRA extremists, wanted to hire armed security for schools, while the more moderate and centrist Democrats, led by Barack, wanted to provide federal funding for school Resource Officers.

I am not kidding. I heard this with my own ears and nearly drove into a telephone pole. The sky really is a different color in that world...

This. This right here is a perfect example...

...of why I hate New York City.

See, by definition, practically everybody in New York City wants to be there.

Either they have lived there all their lives and haven't the intellect required to operate a tollbooth and escape, or they moved there, having been born some hayseed Kansan who dreamed of Broadway for some unknown but no doubt perverted reason.

These people all consider themselves sane, and they all want to be New Yorkers, and so they assume that all other sane people do, too, but we just couldn't scrape up the bus fare or something.

So, since they have control of the TV cameras because we refuse to drop cluster bombs on Rockefeller Plaza for reasons that have yet to be clearly explained to me, we in the rest of the country have to watch them writhe in ritual sackcloth and ashes when one of their former mayors shuffles off his mortal coil, so that we can vicariously share in their Big Appleness.

Dear New York City: If only there were some way I could possibly convey to you how little of a ____ I gave about your dead ex-mayor, I would, but I'm afraid that my amount of concern strays dangerously close to the Planck length, and is therefore so tiny that it's hard to convey to physicists, let alone drama or business majors.

I seem to be having a hard time being funny...

...for more than 140 characters at a lick...

"Quo vadis, mah homies?" Seriously?