Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A Tale in Three Photos...

The sidewalk in front of Mama Carolla's during yesterday morning's stroll.

The new schedule at Wyliepalooza ice cream shack seen on yesterday morning's stroll.

This morning's forecast from Wunderground.


Monday, September 20, 2021

Shred Like a Marsupial

The United States of Triggered...

Bobbi points out that the Inspiration4 crew has someone to make almost anyone assmad, which has triggered some press coverage that sometimes seems more butthurt than snarky...
"Some of the coverage has been unduly snarky. The crew is about perfectly lined up to trigger everyone: a cheeky billionaire (and amateur jet pilot), a pale and slightly chubby IT guy/space geek, a crewcut female African-American CAP pilot*/analog astronaut/Ph.D. and STEM popularizer, and a bubbly 20-something physician's assistant who knew very little about space travel before she was tapped for the mission. If you were looking for something to be irked by, at least one of them has probably got it."

Automotif CCL...


Spotted at 56th & Illinois yesterday while grocery shopping and grabbing a quick frappacino from the Starbucks there, a 1977-'79 International Harvester Scout II.


The Scout II's can generally be identified by model year according to the grille...up until the '77-'79 models, where the front end trim was the same for three years running. In 1980, they went to rectangular headlamps. In 1981, they were discontinued.


Friend of the blog T. Stahl has commented with amusement on the peculiarly American obsession with specific model years. 

German cars tend to go by generations. For example from the Eighties to the early Aughties, 3-series BMW's went from the E30 to the E36 to the E46. A generation will run for six to ten years, typically, receiving a styling update somewhere in the middle of its lifespan to keep it fresh-looking.

"Model Year" in the US has regulatory implications, but it also used to have a lot more significance as a styling thing.

"The concept of yearly styling updates (a practice adopted from the fashion industry) was introduced to General Motors' range of cars by Alfred P. Sloan in the 1920s. This was an early form of planned obsolescence in the car industry, where yearly styling changes meant consumers could easily discern a car's newness, or lack of it. Other major changes to the model range usually coincided with the launch of the new model year., for example the 1928 model year of the Ford Model A began production in October 1927 and the 1955 model year of the Ford Thunderbird began production in September 1954.

Model year followed with calendar year until the mid 1930s until then president Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order to release vehicle model years in the fall of preceding year in order to standardize employment in the automotive industry. The practice of beginning production of next year's model before the end of the year has become a long standing tradition in America.
"

At its height in postwar America, the new model year launches were a big deal. Dealerships would paper over their windows, the 'longer, lower, wider' new cars would be delivered under tarps and rolled into the showroom by dark of night.

Pretty reliably from the late '40s through to about the early 1980s, enthusiasts of a particular model of American automobile can pinpoint its exact year of manufacture by some sort of cosmetic differences.

This is, of course, a wildly inefficient way to make cars. Post-fuel-crises Detroit, getting clobbered by Japanese imports, generally hewed more closely to the global norm of mid-cycle refreshes on platforms that remained largely unchanged for many years, maybe changing a minor styling detail every couple-three years to keep things fresh.


ETA: If this is correct, the Flame Red color would make it a 1978 model.

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Sunday, September 19, 2021

That doesn't help...

I've been dealing with awful bouts of insomnia for several weeks now, getting by on three or four hours of sleep, and rarely more than an hour or two at a stretch.

It was initially complicated by a lot of pain in my left elbow, which I'd apparently slept on and strained. Yesterday the pain in my left elbow was first joined, then totally drowned out by pain in my left shoulder, which I must have somehow overstressed doing something otherwise innocuous. It wasn't giving me any trouble weed-whacking and edging yesterday afternoon but by dinnertime it had me sitting immobile and occasionally blurting curses.

I haven't hurt like this since I broke my collarbone and, like that time with the broken collarbone, I'm reminded of how there's very little movement the human body makes that doesn't at least slightly jostle a shoulder. Ouch.

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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Saturday Morning Cartoons...

They've gone from the first hour being just Popeye to being the "Popeye and Pink Panther hour"; thirty minutes of each. With Popeye cartoons, I'm pretty set in my ways. Any Popeye cartoon in color is pretty much haram and non-canon in my book. Real Popeye cartoons ended roughly with VJ day.

Pink Panther runs hot and cold. The music is uniformly great. Some are good, but a lot is mediocre, as American animation was in decline by the Sixties. The best of The Inspector and The Ant and the Aardvark are still hilarious. The Roland and Ratfink stuff does absolutely nothing for me, to the point that I'd pretty much forgotten that it was part of the whole DePatie-Freleng oeuvre.

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Friday, September 17, 2021

I'm sure they meant well...

Pills Bottled

Rageporn is seductive...
"Like much of modern media, Twitter shrinks our attention spans while bombarding us with things we might not otherwise have ever known or cared about and on which we have no influence. This is to say nothing of the political slant of Twitter. As Brian Riedl put it (in a tweet; Twitter has its uses), “Twitter users are D+15 — which would tie HI & VT for the most liberal state . . . the 10% of Twitter users who post 92% of all tweets are D+43 — which would make it America’s 2nd most liberal House district.”

This skew can breed, in those who believe it to be representative, a highly agitated and combative posture. It can make them think that America is already lost; this is called a “black pill” (the pill boxes of the redpilled are overflowing). It can make them believe that persuasion and workaday politics are inadequate to the moment, that only desperate action, often involving a departure from the constitutional order necessitated by the one already undertaken by opposing political forces, can bring any hope of salvation. It can make them believe that the political sphere is or should be a source of salvation — if only their enemies can be crushed. And so it can make them believe that only a countervailing force, similarly drawing strength from the online world and sharing many of its opponents’ attributes, can possibly contest it. In this way, the hyperpolarization and acute antagonisms of Twitter feed off each other, require each other, and may in fact reflect each other.
"
If you stay in your shouty bubbles, chugging from the availability cascade, this is what happens. It's because, in narrowly bounded virtual communities organized around common interests, our social capital is based on being even more enthusiastic than the other people in our tribe. 

In a firearms-oriented community social capital comes from shooting gooder or knowing a lot about firearms. In a Star Trek club, it's from being the Trekkiest trivia champ and having the best Spock ears. In Tumblrworld, it's from being the wokest and calling out nano-aggressions while everyone else is still hung up on micro ones. In Righty-ville right now, it comes from being the angriest, making the chest-beatingest calls for boogaloo.

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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Better Guns Than Karate

I can't believe the literally hundreds of times the soft melodies of this song have wafted past my ears over nearly twenty years without me once actually processing the lyrics...



Yoshimi, girl, if you're really gonna defend Wayne from those evil space robots, karate and vitamins aren't going to be as effective as a trusty blaster at your side.

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Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #205...

"Hans, get ze Luger..."


The Instagram filter really makes it look like it's seen some $#!+. In actuality it's in pretty reasonable shape cosmetically, with wear more likely caused by time in a sock drawer than time in trenches.

.30 Luger is still out there, with a few places stocking Prvi Partisan and Fiocchi, according to Ammoseek. Prices are, of course, obscene, which makes me happy to be sitting on near half a case of the stuff. Having only the one magazine keeps consumption rates down. The main purpose of this pistol, for me, is to be able to let people fire a Luger if they never have. (That, and appreciating gradually, since I got it for a good deal. I should be able to trade it for plenty of cat food in my dotage.)

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Automotif CCXLIX...

I've spotted it while out and about before, but this time it was parked out front of The Gallery Pastry Shop when Bobbi and I wandered over the other morning, and it had the top down.

If I'm reading my 'Vette tea leaves right, the trim on the gills and the clear turn signal lenses make this Mille Miglia Red 4-speed 454 convertible an early 1971 model...


I really was pining for a lens hood for my Sony Zeiss 16-70mm f/4. The car was mostly in shadow with early morning light slanting in over the roof of the building behind it.




The angle of the sun made getting a quartering shot from the front almost impossible from glare. (I've since tracked down a lens hood.)