Friday, November 30, 2007

Evel Knievel takes his last jump.

The inspiration for countless harebrained BMX bike stunts in the '70s and '80s has passed away at the age of 69.


Worth millions.

Jump on that deal right away. Whatever the guy's asking, it's a steal.

What an amazing pack of scoundrels.

Re-watching the Second Amendment portion of the GOP debate, I have to admit that I'm just stunned that some of these ciphers are actually being considered worthy candidates for the Oval Office. I wouldn't trust half these clowns with the keys to my car, let alone the keys to my country. Just once, I'd like a chance to moderate one of these debates:

Me: "Okay. On to the Second Amendment. Mr. Giuliani, we already know how you feel about it, so I'm not going to give you a chance to lie. Senator McCain? How do you feel about the Second Amendment?"

McCain: "Well, when I was flying over Vietnam..."

Me: "Can you go thirty seconds without mentioning Vietnam? The question was about the Second Amendment."

McCain: "Well, my government-issue .45 I carried when I was a pilot over Vietnam..."

Me: "Shut up. Mr. Huckabee, how about you? How do you feel about the Second Amendment?"

Huckabee: "Jesus."

Me: "Huh?"

Huckabee: "God. Family values."

Me: "Yes, but about the Second Amendment?"

Huckabee: "The Bible. No gay marriage."

Me: "Never mind. Hey, you! The blow-dried tool down towards the end who looks like he just hopped out of a tanning bed! How about you? What do you think about the Second Amendment?"

Romney: (Strikes pose and smiles like an underwear model for the camera.)

Me: "You're an idiot. On to the next question: Taxes. How bad do you think they suck?"

The list keeps growing.

So now they're talking about adding "Working Third Shift" to the list of things that cause cancer.

Wouldn't it be easier to make a short list of things that don't cause cancer?

Overheard in the front yard...

So I'm over at Marko's, helping him pack up his house, and we're taking a break standing in the front yard:

Me: "Yeah, the last time I used the 'Razr, Rizr, Cruzr, Pozr, Luzr,' gag I only had about thirty readers a day, so I figured it was safe to trot it out again."

Marko: "I wonder what the Luzr would look like? It'd probably be like those little kid's phones; it would only have two buttons. One marked "Mom" and the other... would be..."

Me: "'Comic Book Store'."

Marko: "What about the Pozr?"

Me: "Oh, that's easy. It'd look just like an iPhone, but the 'screen' is actually just a stick-on label."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

CNN doesn't like Fred Thompson.

Thompson launches first negative ad amid GOP street fight screams the headline on this morning.

Like anybody trusts anything CNN has to say about politics anymore. Hey, did you know that the reporter was carefully selected beforehand and provided with a script?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dear Diary: I'm tired of washing the Commander's Che t-shirt...

This is rich. This is absolutely beautiful. This is the funniest thing I have ever read.

It seems that the poor little Dutch middle class girl went to college and got her head packed with leftist twaddle and her wardrobe packed with Che shirts. Showing that she had more chutzpah than your average whiny Rage Against The Machine fan, she actually decided to run off to the jungles of Columbia to live communally with the guerrillas and be a terrorist against oppressive capitalism. Unfortunately, once she got there she found out that it actually involved living communally in the jungle and being a terrorist. And their vacation plan sucked. Plus they made her cook. It wasn't romantic, and it sure wasn't like a RATM song.

Or maybe it was, if she'd actually listened.

(H/T to The Philosophical Detective.)

Today In History: Suffragette city.

It was on this day in 1893 that women, even non-uppity ones, were able to vote the parliamentary elections in New Zealand. This was a first in a national election in a modern Western democracy. The United States didn't let us worry our pretty little heads for another twenty-seven years.


Somebody in Michigan is already Googling the name of the Wedding Dress Tango... I wonder...

Because I love you guys...'s a link to the funniest post on the internet.

The giraffe is Moses, the penguin's Jesus...

...and they called the bear Mohammed.

And now their kindly teacher is going to suffer sixty lashes for it.

I am beginning to think that there's nothing wrong with large swathes of this planet that 'round the clock carpet bombing wouldn't fix.

You're still doing it wrong.

They'll let just anybody have a keyboard these days...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On the Origin of Specious.

Dad's Deadpool Blog had a link to a charming article on the evolutionary virtues of patriarchy.

Basically, it claims that when the menfolk are properly in charge and religiously motivated, we wimmen get to breedin' lots of children, especially healthy sons. And everybody knows that big families and a positive population growth rate are important in a post-industrial economy, right? Well, they are if you want to prop up that post-industrial economy with payroll-tax-derived welfare programs. This leads to a delicious irony when you think about it: The under-reproducing Bohemians on the Left are going to need the offspring of the God & Grits Anti-Choice segment of the Right in order to keep the workforce at levels large enough to supply the funding needed for the social programs the Left so loves. It'll be interesting to see how they try to ride that tiger.

He is never going to live that one down.

All the Terrorists in Cell Block D: "BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Haider al-Bahadli: "No, guys, really! It was a good plan!"

All the Terrorists in Cell Block D: "BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Haider al-Bahadli: "Hey, it wasn't my idea anyway!"

All the Terrorists in Cell Block D: "BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Haider al-Bahadli: "Look, stop laughing! I didn't want to wear the wedding dress!"

This guy is going to be eighty years old, running a convenience store in Flint, Michigan, and people will walk by and say "That's old Mr. al-Bahadli. They busted him in Baghdad back in '07 and he was wearing a wedding dress."

Bleg: Phone me.

When my then-roommate and I moved to the cottage in which I now dwell, the decision was made that we'd go with cable internet access and not even bother turning on the phone line. This meant that I finally (this was 2002) had to give in and get a cell phone. Looking for a quick, turn-key solution, I went to Cricket and picked up the cheapest Audiovox cellie they had, and it has served me well for five years.

It's on its second battery now, and the annoyances are starting to stack up. Even with a relatively fresh battery, talk time is barely over an hour. There's no cover for the buttons, and I can either disable them, which requires me to enter a password procedure so complex that I'm afraid I'll launch a strategic nuclear strike every time I try and make a call, or just let them be pushed by any random object in my purse or pocket with occasional hilarious results:
Marko: "Hello?"
Me: "Heh. My butt called you."
Cricket requires you to pre-pay for long distance minutes, which used to be no big deal, as 30 minutes of long-distance talk time would last me for months, but I'm placing more calls long-distance now (and with Marko & family moving to NH, that's only going to get worse,) and last week their automated system decided it didn't like either my Visa or my Master Card.

So, I stopped by an actual Cricket store the other day to see if I could iron out the long distance glitch and maybe look into upgrading my phone to one that would correct the defects that were bothering me: Battery life and inadvertent button activation. I explained to the salesdroid that their computer was telling me that there was a problem with my card(s) and to please contact my financial institution, but the human I spoke with at my financial institution said my card was fine and that Cricket was smoking crack, so what could we do about it?

Him: "So you want to...?"
Me: "Uh, buy some long distance minutes? Maybe $10 or $20 worth so I don't have to go through this again for a while?"
Him: "Certainly..." (He sees me start to pull out my Visa.) "But we only accept cash here."
Me: *Sigh.* "Is there an ATM around?"
Him: "Just a couple storefronts down, but they will charge you a dollar."
Me: "You know, never mind, I'll fix that later," I didn't want to jog down and back, as I was on a deadline, "But I have one other issue..."

His tone was condescending and supercilious, and only got worse with my next question.

Me: "I'd like to replace this old Audiovox."
Him: "What features do you want on a phone? We have..."
Me: "Cheap. All I want is covered buttons and more talk time. Your cheapest phone should be fine."
Him: "Well, even our cheapest phone is going to be $109."
Me: "That sign says $69.99 and the phone looks like what I want..."
Him: "That's for new customers."

What I Wanted To Say At This Point: "Look, C3P0; hop off the high horse. Money isn't the issue here. If I wanted a damn Razr, Rizr, Cruzr, Pozr, or Luzr, I'd get one, okay? The reason I don't have an iPhone, xPhone, or qPhone is because I don't have a goddam phone fetish. If I want to take pictures, I'll use my camera. If I want to listen to MP3s, I'll use my iPod. If I want to remember phone numbers and appointments, I'll use the same fricking pencil and paper I've been using for thirty years. I realize I'm standing in front of you with a six year old phone and a gas station nametag, but the reason I've been using your service is because I don't want to screw around with minutes and evenings and weekends and contracts and mailing payment checks and crap like that. I want to punch my credit card number into my phone once a month for the same amount of money every month and not have to worry my pretty little head about how long I talk on the phone. If your cheesy phone service comes with a big side helping of attitude these days, then you can shove it. I'm off to find someplace that will treat me like a paying customer, even if they do make me sign a contract. Oh, and sorry about your hairline."

What I actually said was: "Gotta run. Bye."

So, phone geeks, help me out. I'm looking for a company that will give me a bare-bones phone with a bare-bones service plan, preferably unlimited local calls for ~$50ish per month.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fashion advice that will make you cry...

...from laughing so damn hard.

(Ow, my tummy hurts from laughing.)

I, too, don't really see anything to argue against.

Oh, and please note that if you ever see me wearing Crocs, I have been killed and replaced by a pod person and the alien invasion is on, so it's probably safe to shoot me.

(Via Victory Soap 2.0.)

The Monday (s)Myth is up.

I love my 1911s, but nothing gets me weak in the knees quite like a 3" fixed sight HB/RB (that's "Heavy Barrel/Round Butt" for the philistines in the audience) K-frame...

...except maybe the subject of next week's post. Tune in; you'll like it. :)

Yes, but...

Did he actually take the camera out, or did he just damage it? What caliber was he using? Scope brand and magnification?

God, this story leaves out all the important details...

(H/T to Unc.)

That Tribal Leadering sounds like a good gig, if you can get it...

Each of the tribe's almost 3,400 members receives about $120,000 annually in profits from Seminole enterprises, mostly casinos. However, since 2000, Tribal Council members have spent more than $280 million from discretionary funds they control on travel, lavish homes, luxury vehicles, boxing rings, basketball courts and even cosmetic surgery, the newspaper said.
Wrap your head around that one for a moment (I mean, after you get off the phone with the lawyer about suing your parents for not being Seminoles.) These casinos are bringing in enough money to give $120k to every man, woman, and stray dog in the Seminole tribe, reinvest in the business, buy other businesses, and still have the dough left over to embezzle almost $300 million worth of airline tickets and nose jobs. Unglaublich! That, my friends, is a whole lotta Bingo.

Will one of you that enjoys losing money in games of chance explain this? I want in on this racket somehow; there seems to be a lot of money in teaching folks probability and statistics the hard way.

(Yesterday a young man bought something like twenty scratch-off tickets. "With this many, I have to win!" he said. I gently explained to him that if he bought every single scratch-off ticket printed, he would still lose money. "No way!" he replied, "There'd have to be the jackpot ticket in there somewhere!" *Sigh*.)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

That old time religion...

So, in response to accusations that they are letting the arcane tribal proscriptions of a bunch of neolithic goatherds influence modern jurisprudence, the Saudis reply with "But... but... she violated Shariah law!" (Speaking of arcane tribal proscriptions, before we get too self-righteous let us all give thanks for a moment that our jurisprudence is not administered by Brylcreemed good ol' prophets with dog-eared copies of Leviticus.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The real View From The Porch.

Heading out the door this morning at 0630. 27F. Had to run back in and get a camera. I was running behind to get to the store, but I had to take a picture. Sorry about the blur, but this is the best of five exposures; I was in a hurry. Hopefully the magic will repeat again Sunday morning.

"Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the 'Milky Way'.

Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go 'round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth."
-M. Python
Church is where you find it. :)

More than one asterisk? I don't think so.

Columnist DeWayne Wickham says that if Barry Bonds' record gets an asterisk, then everyone that played before baseball was integrated should get asterisks too.

Really, DeWayne?

You mean that Babe Ruth secretly and against the rules of baseball, for his own personal aggrandizement and benefit, kept black players out of the sport in order to better his numbers? Is that what you're saying?

Tools and Toys and Pretty In Pink.

There's been so much talk of pink guns on various gun blogs lately that it has actually leaked into real life. I was perusing the latest Cosmo in the grocery store checkout line and noticed that their little "Sexy vs. Skanky" column has labeled "Guns in girlie colors like pink" to be skanky. I'll have to defer to the experts at Cosmo on the subject of skank, but I have seen pink guns that kind of put me off, and I've had to think about why.

As much as the hysterics at the Brady Center for Dis-empowering Crime Victims, as well as the "Sgt. Combat" types among our own ranks, would have you believe otherwise, most guns are either not weapons or at least not used as such. A Perazzi trap gun is beautifully made for the purpose of blowing clay pigeons out of the sky, but its single-shot action, 34" barrel, and stratospheric price tag make it suited for little else. It could be pressed into service as a weapon, I suppose, but so could a rolling pin or a cast iron skillet. Likewise, a free pistol from Hammerli or Pardini is built for a narrow purpose; putting .22 holes right in the same place every time to win competitions. Their size and shape and the fact that they are single shot .22's make them singularly unsuited for practical use as a weapon.

Likewise are the countless "plinker" .22 rifles sold in the US, not to mention various guns that are heavily mutated from their original form to meet various competition needs; benchrest rifles, Open Class IPSC race guns and the like. These are guns that you will see done in every color of the rainbow; I have seen benchrest rifles with flame jobs painted on their unwieldy slablike stocks, and if I had a dollar for every pink Ruger 10/22 I've seen, I'd use them to go buy one myself. And that is cool, because these are toys.

It's when I see a gun clearly meant for use as a tool, a weapon, done up in some garish color that I feel a little weird. Like seeing a hammer with a rhinestone-studded handle, or a fur-trimmed power drill, it just throws me a bit off kilter. It's a free country and people can do with their stuff what they want, but I'm not sure I'd want a pink revolver with "The Pink Bitch" laser-etched on the barrel entered as Exhibit A in a civil case following a self-defense shooting; I think of the arguments I could build around that and I shudder, and I don't have post-grad training in making someone look like a deranged psycho in front of a jury.

So, are pink guns skanky? I don't think so. Usually they're kinda kewt, although I think that in some cases they may not be good ideas.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Lead-free crib toys.

Hillary has a plan on how to make kiddie toys safe. Unsurprisingly, it involves lots of my money, hiring gobs more government workers, and maybe forming a whole new bureau of something or other.

Hils, if government was the answer to this, there wouldn't be a problem in the first place; those toys are made in China, and if there's one thing China doesn't have a shortage of, it's government. Hell, they got government coming out their ears and they still can't keep the PCBs out of Tickle-Me Elmo.

Boy, did I need that.

Slept the whole day away. First time I've done that in years.

Anything interesting happening?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Are your cats bothering you?

Empirical research has just determined that the pipes and drums of the Chicago PD's Emerald Society playing "Scotland The Brave" and "Danny Boy" at 110dB will chase any felines in the house under the nearest piece of furniture.

If you'll excuse me now, I have to go kill some Sassenach, whatever those are. I'm not sure why.

Isn't it Ironic?

"It's a free ride when you've already paid..." -A. Morissette
It always feels like kind of a gyp when a holiday comes on your regular day off...

(On the other hand, I've checked ahead and noted that my rapidly looming birthday falls on a Thursday as well, so it all balances out.)

This _I_ believe:

I believe my friend Marko has so much damn writing talent that reading a post of his can sometimes leave me tongue-tied for days, unable to type much beyond "Yeah! What he said!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Today In History: Son Tay.

On this day 37 years ago, US Army Special Forces soldiers and USAF aircrew conducted one of the boldest special operations missions in military history; the raid on the North Vietnamese prison camp at Son Tay. Opening the ball by deliberately crashing a helicopter smack in the middle of the prison compound, the Special Forces troops blew up guard towers, breached cell blocks, shot up the NVA guards by the hundred, searched the prison from top to bottom...

...and found no prisoners, as they had been moved to a nearby location a few months earlier.

Despite this, the raid has gone down as a textbook example of a SpecOps mission; US forces suffered no KIA and only two wounded despite being severely outnumbered and far behind enemy lines. The raid caused the North Vietnamese to move POWs to centrally located prisons, rather than the scattered camps that were now shown to be vulnerable.

We're from the government, and we're here to...

...misplace all your private data.


Well, what do you expect from people who can't get a letter across town in a week?

Three Linkings and a Funeral.

A bit of blogroll maintenance has been in order for a while. Plugging the qabalistic formulae into the blogroll computer, I find I need to add three links:

JPG at The Expert Witness: Real-life friend and father of my bro Matt, JPG has been there and done that and has the gift for describing it.

Breda of The Breda Fallacy: I'm insanely jealous of her, because she has my dream job. But me in a library would be like an alcoholic tending bar; I'm not sure how much work I'd actually get done...

Roberta at The Adventures of Roberta X: Geeky as she wantsta be. "You like Blade Runner? No way! That's my fave! You're a Heinlein fan, too? Get outta here!" Must be my sister from another mother.

I was planning to add another one of my favorite reads, but Scully from Skywritings has allegedly realized that, as much as we enjoyed reading her stuff on the small screen, we'd really rather read it in a big fat dead-tree book, and so she has pulled her blog to focus on writing an actual, you know, book-type-book. Here's hoping I can get my copy autographed. If you're reading this, Scully, know that you've been an inspiration.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


TStahl linked to an old thread at THR that I'd forgotten about. I'd even posted in it, saying:
"Did you Californians know that if you bury an environmentalist under the foundations of a nuclear power plant, it will appease the gods and ward off earthquakes? "
It was interesting to read a pre-Iraq, pre-Katrina speculation on the possible comming horrors of $2.00/gal gasoline!

The Last Temptation Of Mohammed.

Not surprisingly, even artists whose bread and butter is, for lack of a better term, "Shock Art" are afraid of shocking one group of people. It's easy to see why, though. I mean, Martin Scorsese made a movie that featured Jesus hopping off the cross and gettin' jiggy with Mary Magdalene, and he didn't so much as get kicked in the shins by an irate Methodist Sunday school teacher. Theo Van Gogh made a movie suggesting that, well, maybe Islam wasn't too hip with gender equality, and he got shot full of more holes than a Putt-Putt course and had an explanatory letter post-it-noted to his chest with a bowie knife explaining that it was because he had offended Islam. (I guess the note was for the thicker bystanders who didn't get the significance of the fact that the guy was shouting "Allah this" and "Allah that" while pumping bullets into him.)

Really though, if you're going to shock people, which is the safer bet? Episcopalians who are too stuffy to notice your existence? Baptists who might picket your business after church bowling league on alternate Thursdays (although Bubba might beat you up if he catches you at the bar he doesn't go to)? Or a religion that has, to put it as charitably as possible, some Very Serious anger management issues?

I'll take "Esoteric" for $500, Alex...

A website devoted to excruciatingly detailed 3D renderings of a World War One Austro-Hungarian dreadnought, the Viribus Unitis. It doesn't get much geekier.

(Incidentally, the bell of her sister ship, the Tegethoff, was presented by the Italians to the Jerries, who installed it on the heavy cruiser KMS Prinz Eugen. Demonstrating the toughness typical of the capital ships of that time, during WWII the Prinz Eugen was variously bombed by the RAF, had her stern shot away by a torpedo from HMS Trident, and survived a collision with an 8,400 ton light cruiser. Presumably the bell was irradiated along with the rest of the then-USS Prinz Eugen during the two atomic bomb tests she survived at Bikini Atoll. Too radioactive to be of further use, she was finally towed to Kwajalein and sunk.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Took the photo yesterday... my heart was obviously in the right place.

It languished all night in "Save As Draft" mode, though.

Model 38 Bodyguard Airweight.

Mmmmmm... Breakfast.

The toaster oven here at VFTP Command Central is hard at work on a couple of onion bagels, and the cream cheese, smoked salmon, and capers are standing by. They say that it's okay to eat fish because they don't have feelings, but with the way that smoked salmon tastes, I wouldn't care if it screamed all the way to the table and struggled going down. If people tasted liked smoked salmon, I'd be Hannibal frickin' Lecter.

Maybe my favorite sandwich after the divine reuben. It's too bad that the best examples of both are probably to be found in a city that physically causes me to break out in hives.

(Pulled pork BBQ would be third in my sandwich pantheon.)

Back home where he belongs.

Does this mean I have to stop calling him "That Traitor Glavine"?


So my buddy JRShirley opens his post with
So, despite having lots of stuff to do, I went to Atlanta Tuesday. With Jordy. To see Ani DiFranco.
...and my first thought, all involuntary-like, is "Oh, this is gonna be good." :)

Forget advertising budgets; forget debates...

When the Mainstream Media has decided that the race is going to be between Clinton and Giuliani, should we even bother with the formality of primaries?

Edwards and Obama could strip naked and sing a duet and would only get a one sentence mention in an article on how mean the menfolk were being to poor Hils. Thompson could fill a stadium with thousands of chanting, underwear-flinging fans and Ron Paul could raise a bazillion dollars, and both events would be one paragraph footnotes in a TIME magazine whose cover story showed a pensive Rudy and asked "Is America's Mayor Ready To Be America's President?"

Edited to Add: "You can't spell Clinton without CNN." *Snerk!* Now that's funny.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Where do you draw the line?

I've been accused of being a mean girl before. I mean, I throw out snark on a regular basis here and I've been known to be sarcastic, and even occasionally catty, in real life. Suppose someone takes it the wrong way? Or, to be more specific, suppose they can't take it the wrong way?

Suppose they get all upset and run off and throw a necktie party for one?

In school every day, kids hear insults that would make our sensitive adult toes curl, delivered with the casual cruelty of which only children and hyenas are really capable. Suppose someone pretends to befriend Bobby or Suzy in real life, only to turn on them and torment them; suppose Bobby or Suzy then opens a vein at home. Is the tormentor charged with anything? Why does adding a computer to the equation change everything?

I'm honestly interested in exploring this; please discuss amongst yourselves.

I can finally die in peace...

...for I have actually had someone say to me, in the dulcet tones of the Bronx, "Where you from? You don't tawk funny like dese udder peeple around here."

There was a whole tribe of them, calling back and forth to each other across the store in their native tongue. I think if I was exposed to those mellifluous sounds for ten minutes more, I'd have flipped out and killed everyone in the room. I don't see how Noo Yawkers live with it; I guess you get used to it, but damn if it isn't like fingernails on a blackboard to us poor hicks.

(For those imagining I have some sort of magnolia blossom accent from living in the South, unfortunately I do not. My early years in the midwest have permanently scarred my diction, so that while I use Southern grammar and slang, it all comes right out my nose in tall-corn style.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Read into that what you will...

Don Henley: "[A] lot of our fans are customers of Wal-Mart"
What are you trying to say, Don?

In his defense, when asked why there was a new album he knew he had an interview to fill up and didn't just say "Royalties from Hotel California aren't covering the Hummer payments anymore." Instead, he nattered at length about how much he hated Bush (thereby keeping his 'Boomer street cred,) how green Wally World is (they only buy Chinese cribs with minimal mercury in the paint,) and how hip and liberal Nashville is (he must be talking about Nashville, California, because the one just down the road is about as liberal as, say, Birmingham.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Alarming issues.

LiberalCCW writes about glitches in his home alarm system. Hilarious.

Don't you hate reruns?

Me, too. And yet here one is from the very early days of the blog. Someone hit on it through Google today and I re-read it. I thought it was funny, and back then I think I had like two daily readers, so I figure it might be new for some of y'all:

Politics: First Person non-Shooter, from the Brady Bunch..

The bedwetters at The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence have launched their *ahem* way cool online FP(n)S game to teach kids that guns are bad, h'mkay?

This cutting edge video game, with its hip and in-touch text and edgy graphics, was obviously designed by socially maladroit types, who left it oozing with an odd mix of Leave It To Beaver-type obsequiousness towards adults not seen in real kids in living memory, and a gawky attempt at modern coolness: By making "right decisions" every time you are confronted with a gun in the story, you get a token to use in the virtual video games at the mall. Said virtual video games compare unfavorably with Pong in the entertainment and sophistication departments, which is a sad way to reward the few kids (or masochistic bloggers) with attention spans long enough to slog through all the improbable situations it takes to get to the arcade in the first place.

At least they didn't force my first-person avatar to be some faintly-homoerotic, square-jawed guy with a craggy chin and Polish surname. Oh, no, I got to pick from a whole rainbow of little boy and girl homunculi (none of which had blond hair and blue eyes, so I couldn't actually pick one that looked like me.) I went to virtual school, finked on my virtual friend Juan for the gun in his locker (young Juan was, oddly, chided for his heater by the principal, rather than being proned out by a SWAT team), wandered to the mall to meet my differently-abled friend, where we found a gun and properly alerted the nearest Mall Ninja. For making these two "Correct Decisions", I got to play two video games so dull they made me wish we hadn't forked over the gun to the rent-a-cop so I could turn it on myself.

The absolute best part? The Brady Center has wasted all this time and effort on this corny game to teach kids Three Things to Do when they see a gun. Can you guess what those three things are? That's right: Stop, don't touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult. Where have we heard that before? Well, I suppose that, when trying to come up with gun safety instructions for kids, one could do worse than ripping them off from someone who knows about guns.

Anyway, my verdict? This is positively the dumbest, most tedious video game since Sierra's mega-flop, Outpost. Anybody who thinks that the kiddies are going to tear their eyes away from Halo, Medal of Honor, or Day of Defeat long enough to listen to this drek should have their cranium examined to make sure it still contains anything."

Meanwhile, I'll just be putting the final polish to today's natterings...

I'm sorry for the slow start...

...but today is my Sunday, and I've been spending it worshiping Lethargia, She of the Heavy Eyelids and Goddess of Slack.

I woke up, surfed teh w3bz for a bit, gave it up for a bad idea and went back to bed with the alarm set for 10:00 and still wound up hitting the snooze button three or four times.

Do your homework...

Neal Boortz supposedly read my buddy Marko's "Why The Gun Is Civilization" essay on the air...

...and attributed it to "Maj. Caudill". What makes this extra funny is that it says right on the front page of Boortz's website:
Don't believe anything you read on this web page, or, for that matter, anything you hear on The Neal Boortz Show, unless it is consistent with what you already know to be true, or unless you have taken the time to research the matter to prove its accuracy to your satisfaction. This is known as "doing your homework."
Didn't do you homework on this one, Neal, did you?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Duelling speakers...

It's a battle of the '80s!

Downstairs, the neighbors are going with Pink Floyd's The Wall. Upstairs at VFTP Command Central, tonight's selection is G&R's Appetite for Destruction.

On the one hand, I have an advantage in that my subwoofer is sitting on their ceiling, thereby using their whole apartment as a resonance chamber. In their corner is the fact that I have half a mind to kill my stereo and kick back and listen to "Mother"...

When in doubt, make stuff up...

8. "Spray-firing" from the hip, a widely recognized technique for the use of assault weapons in certain combat situations,
"Widely recognized"? Really? On what planet?

I can see that somebody got their tactical training from watching Starship Troopers.

In the real world we like our bullets to hit the stuff we're aiming at so that it stops trying to kill us, and therefore we use those funny metal widgets atop the gun called "sights".

(H/T to NRAhab)

I'm not much on Huckabee...

...but I think I'd get along just fine with his wife.

[Janet] Huckabee, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, said in an interview that she once shot a grenade launcher at a National Guard training camp in Arkansas.

"I have fired a grenade launcher and hit the target two out of three times, so I think that's pretty good odds for me," she said, noting that she had a special interest in military matters and has also jumped out of an airplane, flown in an F-16 and shot an MP5 submachine gun.

Today In History: Go figure.

On this date in 1941, SS head honcho Heinrich Himmler signed an order that all homosexuals be rounded up and sent to the concentration camps. Somehow Reichsmarshal Herman Goering escaped the er, dragnet, so to speak.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

You're doing it wrong. Again.




Waterboarding. Wiretapping. Rectal probes at the airport.

In my brief lifetime, the popular icon of the American law enforcement officer has gone from Sheriff Andy Taylor to Special Agent Jack Bauer.

Where the f___ did we go wrong?


WASHINGTON (AP) -- As Congress debates new rules for government eavesdropping, a top intelligence official says it is time that people in the United States change their definition of privacy.
This much is true. Technology has changed privacy from what it once was. Twenty years ago, when I bought a book I usually handed a human being a crumpled wad of green paper and wandered off with my new purchase. These days, likely as not, I'll give an anonymous computer in an undetermined location my credit card number, my name, and my address, and therefore pretty much the keys to my life. We are having to renegotiate our privacy in ways our grandparents never thought about when they were reading the Sears & Roebuck catalog while sitting in the three-holer.
Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguard people's private communications and financial information.
Oh, wait! Whoah there, buddy! I was talking about civil privacy in modern business transactions over the 'net. That's what we're going to have to rethink and carefully negotiate via mutually agreed contracts and so on. Privacy from the government, on the other hand, we already negotiated 'way back in 1787. Here's how my privacy with the government works: "Nunya."

As in "Nunya business, Mister Government Man."

We worked this one out a long time ago, and it pains me to think that I need to remind you of this, what with your education and everything, but maybe you fell asleep in Civics 101. Basically, you have no business at all in my house, papers, effects, credit card bills, phone conversations, phone bills, letters, FedEx packages, garbage can contents, et fricking cetera, unless you have a nice shiny warrant based on probable cause complete with some Oath or affirmation, Mister Government Man. I don't care if you think I've been sending love letters to Osama Bin Laden; you want to read 'em, you go find yourself a judge.

You don't tell me what I need to rethink, Mister Government Man. I am an American Citizen. I am your boss. You work for me, pal, not the other way around. Don't make me come remind you.

To the nice lady in the red Maxima...

...who seemed to have such difficulty with the funny red octagonal signs:

I realize that I was just sent over from central casting to play "Other Driver" in the movie of Your Life, but I'm anxious to know something: Did I do well? I mean, did I convincingly display annoyance, frustration, a bit of condescending pique? Did I emote?

I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille...

I did not know that.

Today is the birthday of my hero (and the biggest influence on my snark) P.J. O'Rourke.

Some girls locked themselves in their bedrooms and sulked when Brad Pitt got married; I pouted when a humorist old enough to be my father did.

The Birds.

"Oh, feral cats are bad! They kill songbirds!"

Not e-damn-nough of them, in my opinion. For instance, there are still enough songbirds to fill the branches of the cedar tree next to my house for a few weeks every Autumn, where they cheerfully dine on the berries and cover my car in a tapenade-like paste so thick that it sounds like a gentle rain as it falls.

When I run the universe, first things I'm doing away with are songbirds and cedar trees.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Artful dodging.

Who didn't see this coming?

With the punch of a high-profile Second Amendment case coming right at them, the Supremes use a little bit of that funky Aikido stuff, dodge, and *whoosh!* it goes right past 'em.

No decision for you!

Their kung-fu is strong.

Yes, we have no bananas.

In response to esteemed revolver guru Grant Cunningham, who asked:
- Finally, Tam recently posted another in her "Sunday Smith" series: the Model 15. I just wish she'd show equal love to the Colts in her collection. (Uhh, Tam, you DO have non-reciprocating Colts in your safe, don't you? Tam? Hello??)
I have to admit that, no, I don't have any non-flat Colts, nor do I have any non-round Smiths. It's all what you're used to, I guess, and Smith wheelies are what I'm used to. To the eye grown accustomed to Smiths, Ruger double action revolvers look chunky and Colts look lanky. I especially can't get used to the unsupported end of an ejector rod dangling in space; subconsciously my eye interprets the gun as "missing a piece" or "unfinished". And of course to hands that have grown accustomed to Smiths, Colts are especially odd. The cylinder latch works backwards to what one is used to, and you should have seen the time I went to check the timing on a friend's Official Police; I placed my fingertips on the cylinder to apply drag, started to thumb the hammer back, and physically jumped in surprise as the cylinder started to turn the wrong way. Almost like the look you'd get when finding reverse where you thought first would be on a racing pattern shift gate. I imagine that a dedicated Colt fan has the same problem going the other way.

In the past, when I was more an "accumulator" than a "collector", I had Colts (and even a Ruger or two,) just like I had all different kinds of autopistols. These days, however, my non-martial handguns are all Smith revolvers or Colt (read: "John Moses Browning" PBUH) semiautomatics. Over on the martial side of the house, however, I can see myself winding up with a Colt revolver or two someday, should the opportunity present itself.

A request from a good man:

Seen at Carteach0's blog:
As much as I live by the law of true tithing, I am picky in how it's applied. That being so.... why am I willing to dive in on a food drive?

The simple fact is.... I've been there.

When I was young, there was a time my family had very little. How little........ I had a mattress on the floor and that was pretty damn good. Mom figured out how to cook three meals a day in an electric coffee pot and we didn't go hungry, not really. It didn't last forever, but I never forgot.

With this food drive...... I have a scene in my mind.....

I see not just cases of food, but pallet loads. Stacked head high in bay after bay.

I see the folks from the food bank there.... staring at the results with their mouths open.... and I see a few of them with tears in their eyes.

I see the school administrators at a loss for words, and a local reporter taking pictures of what my class has done.

I see my students learning it's possible to pull together and do something so good they'll never forget it. For the rest of their lives they'll talk about the time they....... and they'll remember they can each make a difference if they try.

The canned food drive is over on November 20th.
That gives me only days to make this happen.
I already told my children's mother that 'my' Christmas present will be canned goods, and it will arrive early this year...
As in before the 20th.

Just by chance, if you want to take part in this, I would welcome the help. I'm not good at accepting help for myself, but I'm a whore for my students. To teach them
what they need, or help them out, I'll happily toss my own pride in the gutter if that's what it takes.

Help a brother out.

Because the Air Force has so much free time on its hands...

...and such a large number of personnel with nothing to do, the more credulous souls of the world want to take folks whose job is to kill people and break their stuff, and use my tax dollars to get them running around investigating every farmer who gets snatched from his pickup truck and probulated by little green men.

And their vote counts for as much as yours or mine. (As does the probulated farmer's, for that matter...)

Oh well, as long as they don't bring back that godawful television series.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Okay, Matt, okay...'s up!

Jeez, some people's kids! :D

Pet Peeve #1,765,982

It's not pronounced "kumf'-terb-lee", you dolt.

Blog Stuff: lolcarters.

In light of the recent revelation that noted man of peace Jimmy Carter thought that a 12 bore fowling piece was the right tool for shooing a cat away from the bird feeder, I suppose a bit of revenge on behalf of cats everywhere was inevitable.


My credulity began to wear thin when flashlights became "tactical". Little did I know, but that was just the tip of the camel's nose over the dam. In short order you could clad your feet in tactical boots, wrap your legs in tactical trousers, and have your naughty bits kept at optimum fighting temperature by the insulating and moisture-wicking properties of tactical underwear. Your pocket knife, of course, had to be tactical so that you could access it to engage in rapid letter/envelope extraction ops and your tote bag needed to ooze tacticality so you could use it to deploy Nalgene bottles on tactical re-hydration efforts.

This still left an enormous gap in your lifestyle, however. What about when you were just chilling in the back yard with your friends? Maybe you were slipping into Condition White as the serenity of a summer's evening on the porch in good company lulls you into a false sense of security? No more!

Now you can engage in anterior dwelling lawn protein-patty incendiary attacks with the new Tactical Apron! The ACU digital camouflage allows you to blend in seamlessly with the rhododendron bushes as you infiltrate the elevated wooden cooking platform and the Tactical Spatula Sheath will keep your protein-patty manipulation tool positioned for a speedy, fumble free draw when seconds count! Carbonated Alcohol Resupply ops are reduced with the addition of the Tactical Beer Shingle, which allows you to hump enough supplies to stay in the field three times as long before exfilling to the beverage cooling depot.

How did you live without this stuff?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Armistice Day.

On the eleventh hour
Of the eleventh day
Of the eleventh month
The guns fell silent.

Bleg: Pratchett suggestions...

Okay, I've read Monstrous Regiment, Going Postal, Small Gods, Night Watch, Guards! Guards!, I'm working on Jingo, and Men at Arms is in the on-deck circle...

Suggestions for more? I'm loving this stuff!

Makes Wally World seem tame.

I've been on the periphery of a few pretty serious scrums at the old "Finale On Five" at the Rich's department store in downtown Atlanta, but I don't ever remember anyone getting trampled to death or hospitalized. And the linked incident wasn't over $259.99 flat panel TVs or something, but for the opportunity to buy cooking oil on sale. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that if you have people in your hinterlands trampling each other to buy cooking oil, you're still not quite part of the Prosperous Modern Nation club, but that's just me.

As far as I'm concerned, there's no sale on the planet for which it is worth waiting outside locked doors on a frozen morning in the midst of a dull bovine herd. Not to mention the inevitable checkout lines. God bless teh intarw3bz and

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Happy birthday to you...

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear shock trooper devil dog blood sucking war machines,
Happy birthday to you.

(Historical note: When the second guy signed his "X" on the dotted line at Tun Tavern, the guy in line in front of him turned around and said "Things were different in the Old Corps." ;) )


Don't bogart that duck, my friend.

What's sad is...

...Monday through Wednesday, this is when I'm going to bed.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Five planes.

NRAhab started this...

5) Fokker Dr.I

Manfred fricken Richthofen scored his last kills in one. Painted red. If that's not cool enough for you, go find another hobby.

4) Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

Yeah, other planes have served longer or dropped more bombs or been more common, but the B-17 will forever remain the symbol of the first strategic air campaign. You tell some guy who had his wounded carcass dragged out of one that brought him safely home after having both wings and the tail shot off that it's not the greatest airplane ever...

3) Fairchild A-10 Thunderbolt II Warthog

Strap wings to a cannon and watch it fly.

2) Curtis P-6E Hawk

The best looking biplane fighter ever built... Heck, it's a contender for the best looking plane ever built. If truth = beauty and beauty = truth, this was the truest thing with two wings ever made by mankind.

The next is a tough one... What to put in the #1 slot when there are so many worthy candidates? We'll try, though...

1) Hawker Sea Fury

Okay, this one is the best looking piston engine fighter ever. Clean, slim fuselage. Graceful elliptical wing. Shot down jet-engined MIGs over Korea. Dreadnought still wins air races. Makes the heart race just to look at...

Be careful where you buy your Khlav-khalash...

Via Michael Silence, I learned that the Feebs had their computers crunching through California grocer's receipts looking for unusual sales spikes in falafel purchases, because anywhere that a lot of falafel is getting bought, there are sure to be some islamist tangos, right?

This leaves me all at sea. I don't know whether I think it's absolute genius, because the tangos aren't eating pulled pork BBQ, right? They're eating something chickpea-based based for sure, 'cause that's what them heathen foreigners do, and obviously they put their correct address on their Kroger Plus Card form. Or do I get a vaguely queasy feeling and run my thumb down my pocket Bill O' Rights to find the one that says that the unconstitutional National Police Force can't rummage through the customer tracking data from my local greengrocer's without what must be a very amusing warrant to read?

Obviously, word of this getting out is going to drive Mediterranean food product purchases underground into the black market, or at least to the corner ethnic food store...

Should've guessed...

Your Inner European is Irish!

Sprited and boisterous!
You drink everyone under the table.

So that's why my ancestors invaded the place...

(Found here.)

Thursday, November 08, 2007


PDB has discovered a new blog topic. :)

Yeah, like, whatever.

cash advance

I think you'd need to be a fairly brightish elementary-school kid who was hip with obscure cultural references to really enjoy it, however.

(Found it here.)

Hey, baby, wanna come over and play with my Legos?

What is up with the Chinese?

First they were trying to give kids lead poisoning and now they're slipping rufies to kindergarteners.

Today In History: Putschrified.

On this date in 1923, a heavily-armed mob of parlor revolutionaries, street heavies, and the kind of people you find lurking in the darker corners of the internet (or under rocks) marched on the main cop shop in Bavaria, where they encountered 100 Bavarian state troopers who ordered them to disperse. Not being in a dispersing mood, they were then treated to a whiff of grapeshot by the cops.

Upon realizing that they only outnumbered the polizei by some 20 to 1, the mob suddenly remembered that it had business elsewhere and bravely evaporated, leaving their leader (who had only been winged, more's the pity) to scarper off to a buddy's house where he hid out from the cops and acted all emo for a few days. When the heat showed up to arrest him, he started making whiny suicide threats but was dissuaded (again, more's the pity) and, after serving one year of a five-year felony treason rap, went on to a successful career in politics, proving that people will vote for anyone.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Things that don't go together:

Microwave ovens and frozen shrimp'n'pork egg rolls. The taste is fine, but the texture leaves a lot to be desired...

Quote of the Day:

"The test of character is not 'hanging in' when you expect light at the end of the tunnel, but performance of duty, and persistence of example when you know no light is coming." - Vice Admiral James Stockdale, USN (ret.)
Off the shelf today is Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy behind the Military Mind, by Nancy Sherman. If you are at all of a philosophical bent, I recommend.

Politics: Not such a great deal.

Via Les Jones, we hear of the swell new Knox Co. Sheriff's Dept. pension plan that we seem to have bought into.
The new pension plan for the Knox County Sheriff's Office is going to cost $100 million over 20 years.
That doesn't seem like such a great deal to me. All we get for this are some retired deputies and a term-limited ex-sheriff. While Knox County couldn't have landed A-Rod for a measly $5 Mil per annum, we probably could have gotten Andruw Jones to bite after his sub-par season last year, if only for the security of a 20-year contract. And really, who wouldn't rather have a power hitting center fielder with mad defensive skillz than an ex-sheriff tainted by a whiff of cronyism?

Today In History: Boom!

To protest Americans blowing up various Cubans and Shiites, on this day in 1983 some pinko amateur terrorists blew up a good size chunk of the second floor of the U.S. Capitol building.

To the chagrin of more people than will likely admit it out loud, no actual politicians were harmed in the production of this event.

(You'll note that this occurred 24 years ago and it blew the door clean off Sen. Byrd's office. 24 years and the man still hasn't found honest work.)

Gott in Himmel!

Yikes. Words fail me.


Cold as dammit.

Not a breath of wind.

Severe clear.

Wispy, icy fog on the lake.

Bundled up.

Got a new Terry Pratchett book to read and a shemagh a good friend brought me from the sandbox to keep my ears warm.

Perfect chimenea weather.

Times like this that it must suck not being me. :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Laughter is the best medicine...

...and thanks to something Matt found, I laughed so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks and was gasping for breath.

Having been born about the same time as the Tet offensive, my tender years are thoroughly scarred by images like these. I have allergic reactions to terrycloth to this day. When the crew of the Enterprise took these sartorial cues into space it made me cheer for V'ger, because any planet with fashion sense that paralyzed deserves nothing less than sterilization from orbit.

(Do not click on this link if you are at work and not supposed to be websurfing; your boss will know that no spreadsheet ever generated by Excel is making you laugh like that.)

Better late than never...

So after my terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad Saturday evening, Oleg shows up visiting from Nashville, and we hang out on Sunday after I get home from work, and then go for brunch on Monday morning (Crab Cakes Benedict at Mimi's Cafe. To die for.) And then I had to go to work Monday afternoon, and soooo...

...that's why the Model 15 piece just got posted over at the other blog.

(Get it? "Model 15 piece"? I slay me.)

They don't want my opinion...

CNN is all a-twitter, calling for people's reactions to the writer's strike, with the question asked being: "Tell us -- what would you do without TV?"

Well, CNN, it will take some time for the writer's strike to affect me, since VFTP Command Central is not currently equipped with a functioning idiot box. Actually, that's not entirely true: There's a dinky 13" color set hooked up to my VHS machine, and a bigger 19" tube currently in use as a video game monitor, but neither have so much as a set of rabbit ears hooked to 'em. I found out that the TeeWee writers were striking by reading about it in a dead tree newspaper.

A brief note on the ending of Daylight Savings Time.

They say that moving the ending of DST back one week was to save power, but I think that's a lie. I think it was done after intensive lobbying by the American Psychiatric Association in order to combat a recent downturn in people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. There is just nothing like watching the sun set while you're still stuck in rush hour traffic to make you want to open a vein.

On the bright side, supposedly a lot more pedestrians get bunted into the Great Beyond around this time every year which, depending on the pedestrian, is not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, the pedestrian may have been jogging.

Mmm-mm! Home cookin' at McDonalds!

I tried an experiment yesterday that turned out amazingly well. Order your McRib at Mickey Dee's sans sauce and rehydrated onions and when they give it to you, ask for a container of that smoked chipotle BBQ sauce they have for their chicken McThingies and slather that on the pork patty instead. The result is surprisingly yummy.

(Everybody else has been putting recipes on their blogs, so there's mine. :-D )

Monday, November 05, 2007

Well, there's something you don't see every day...

A swarm of rioting lawyers. In ties.

It's hard to know who to cheer for here; on the one hand you have the corrupt paramilitary police of an oppressive quasi-dictatorship that are quashing free speech and dissent, but on the other hand they're tear-gassing just scads of lawyers and reporters. Tough call.

But the funky part is the well-dressed riot. I think it's so jarring to the senses because in America our fist shaking demonstrators tend to be college students and bohemian slackers, and so we're used to protesters being dressed like fashion-challenged hippies or roadies for Rage Against The Machine. Folks who wear ties usually have jobs and are therefore too busy to get involved in silly things like riots or voting for Ralph Nader, so seeing a crowd of them rioting in the street has that same disorienting feeling of wrongness as seeing an alligator in the middle of an Iowa cornfield.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Well. Here we are.

The photo's been taken for the Sunday Smith, and I'll probably have it up before too late this evening.

Expect light posting in the immediate future, as I'm not having the happiest of lives at the moment, which makes it hard to dish out the snark. If I knew of a good nunnery in the area, I'd swear off cigarettes, beer, and men and be done with it.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I know they're everyday bits...

...and I know I'm stupid for not knowing exactly what they do, but "klystron" and "thyristor" have always sounded so cool to me, like gizmos out of a '50s movie about bug-eyed monsters from Planet Ten. "Quick, Leftenant Johnson! Adjust the klystron and power up the thyristor! The Martians have been spotted by our radio imaging devices!"

For that matter, has anyone else noticed that American automatic transmissions have names that sound like Buck Rogers going to a 25th century laundromat? I mean, "Turbo Hydra-Matic", "Dynaflow", "Powerglide", and "Torque-Flite"? And would someone explain to me how exactly one works? How do you burn rubber by spinning oil with fan blades? It's just wrong.

Decisions, decisions...

1) A long nap, to fix this feeling I have that a giant Electrolux has hoovered the soul out of my body.

2) Fill the tub with hot water and bubble bath and stay in there until I'm Tamara soup.

3) Write out this stuff that's in my head and fix some lunch.

It's too bad you can't get a three-sided coin to flip.


You know it's bad when your alarm clock goes off and birds are yelling "Hey! Wouldja shut that thing up? Some of us are trying to sleep!"

Friday, November 02, 2007

Boomsticks: Stoked.

I'm all excited about this Sunday's Smith. Since I set up the schedule chronologically my hands are tied as to which one I'm going to write about next, and when I checked the date order in my Excel spreadsheet, I was totally stoked to see that one of my (and Xavier's!) favorite ones is in the on-deck circle.

Bleg: Totally tortured.

Has anybody seen a little indie movie made back in the early/mid '90s about a bunch of boneheaded buddies in small town Amer...

Nevah mind! The very act of typing this jogged the title loose: Bottle Rocket. Haven't seen it since I rented it from Movies Worth Seeing back in the day. Now I have the itch to watch it again and I couldn't for the life of me remember the title.

Curse Wikipedia...

You'd think I'd know better than to even start. And yet...

Somehow this morning started off with the International Space Station and wandered through space tourism, Biosphere 2, the godawful Pauly Shore movie Bio-Dome, and via intervening steps I don't seem to recall, I've wound up reading the rules for ice hockey, which I have never watched or cared for and which now confuses me even more than it did before, if such a thing is possible.

Oh, and on this day in 1947, Howard Hughes did his high-altitude taxiing with the Spruce Goose.

I'll take "No Duh" for $500, Alex.

(CNN) -- Saudi Arabia could have helped the United States prevent al Qaeda's 2001 attacks on New York and Washington if American officials had consulted Saudi authorities in a "credible" way, the kingdom's former ambassador said in a documentary aired Thursday.
...and the part that's highlighted is just pure coincidence.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

You can take your village and...

Roberta X on the fundamental flaw underlying SCHIP.

(...and most other social programs, for that matter.)

I prefer a .45, but...

...this has a certain poetic justice about it. It'd be a pyrrhic victory most likely, but it'd take the undertaker hours to get the vengeful grin off my corpse.

(H/T to Will.)

Sticks and stones may break my bones...

...but words might make me money.

When I was little, a common playground chant was "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." I guess I should sue the teacher that taught me that one.

The reaction to the judgment against Reverend Phred in the corners of the Blogosphere that I frequent has surprised me. Conservatives who usually react to PC-speak by reminding folks that they don't have a right to not be offended are applauding. Libertarians who are normally fond of pointing out that "Freedom of Speech" is meaningless if the only speech that is protected is uncontroversial are cheering. I find myself more than a little baffled.

I'm not saying that there's not a part of me that's smiling at the outcome, but it's the guilty pleasure part; the part that smiles when a known scumbag takes a late hit in a police pigpile. And that part of me isn't the part of me that I'm proud of, or even the part of me that's right.

It should hurt to be that vapid.

"I've done extreme things," says the actress, who appears in "American Gangster" this month. "Sometimes I actually want to look harsher or a bit tired. I'll do anything that works for a part."

Case in point: Gugino, 36, recently bleached her hair for a movie.
You wild and crazy chick, you. "Hold me back, Velma! I'm gonna bleach this sucker!"
Life on the bright side is "fascinating," says Gugino,
Not to put too fine a point on it, honey, but coming from you, that's damning by faint praise.