Wednesday, April 30, 2008


At just over 53k hits, April of '08 will be VFTP's biggest month ever without an Instalanche. (March's Instalanche helped nudge its total just over 56k.)

Go Team Me!

I'm so proud of me.

For all my dabbling around with computers for lo these many years, I am hardly what one could call a supergeek. Therefore the success of my latest experiment has me nearly dislocating my shoulder trying to pat myself on the back...

Speaking of barbaric customs...

The headline read Girl thrown on fire for being 'low class', and before I clicked on it, I thought "Well, that's it for Britney..."

The Dr. is out.

NRAhab has the skinny on Dr. John McGoff, who is attempting to challenge for the GOP nomination in Indiana's 5th District, and his involvement with Joyce Foundation-funded and Brady-affiliated anti-gun organization "Indiana Partnership to Prevent Firearm Violence", which makes him even less of a Republican than John McCain.

Fortunately, 5th District Republicans won't have to hold their nose in this primary like they will in the national race, because McGoff's opponent, Dan Burton, Votes Freedom First.

Today In History: "They are not men; they are devils!"

Camarone Day.

Sixty-five Legionnaires against three battalions of Mexican troops. When the last five Legionnaires standing ran out of ammunition, they fixed bayonets and charged the Mexican lines rather than surrender.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gun Lust.

ColtCCO is selling his Remington 600-based .308 Scout Rifle built by the oft-referenced-here-at-VFTP Gunsmith Bob.

I have handled this rifle. I have lusted over this rifle. The only reason ColtCCO even has this rifle is because I didn't know Gunsmith Bob was selling it, and by the time I was aware that it was on the block, the sale was a fait accompli. I have offered the lad serious bucks for the rifle in the past and been turned down.

It is now up for sale. The asking price is less than I had offered in the past, back in the day when I was defecating in high cotton. The person who has the money and does not buy this rifle is a fool. I would climb over a pile of factory Steyr Scouts to get at this thing. I am putting my Bimmer on the block as soon as I can get it washed and pictures taken and if this rifle remains unsold when I have the ducats in hand, I will buy it.

I was an idjit once. Do not be an idjit like me. Do not let this rifle go past without buying it.


Ma Nature has forgotten that it's supposed to be Spring, the sun is playing peek-a-boo behind clouds, and the mercury's struggling to top 50 degrees. As a result, I have given up weeding in the flower beds today as a Bad Idea and am going to finish laundry and write some more. I need to take the defibrillator paddles to The Arms Room next.

In other news, this week's column is up at Low End Mac.

Things I'd like to hear...

At a news conference:

Q: "Mr. President! Mr. President! Do you think we're winning in Afghanistan?"

A: "I don't know, lady; it's not like there's a f^&#ing scoreboard. What do you think this is? A basketball game? Like 'They're committing more fouls than we are and I think we can beat them from the free throw line'?"

More Indy blogger meetup stuff.

RobertaX is the chair of the prom decorating committee now. Organization of date, time, and place is occurring here.

Misunderstanding the concept.

So the heat is on here in Indy. Both campaigns are showing how green they are by filling mailboxes with metric tons of ads printed on the pulped carcasses of dead trees. The airwaves are jammed with promises that Barack will heal the sick and the blind, Hillary will get you a gold house and a rocket car, and both of them are promising they'll not only slash gas prices and punish rich fat cats, but they'll also get you a great-paying job and your own personal physician to live at your house and fix what ails you for free, Free, FREE!

One woman wrote in to the Indy Star to say that she was pulling for Hillary, because Hillary would fix the economy, Hillary would get jobs for Hoosiers, and Hillary really understood that It Takes A Village. What the woman thought it took a village to do, she didn't actually explain. Meanwhile, the Man from Hope and Change promises in his flyers that Indiana jobs are his number one priority.

To read and listen to all this, you'd think that we were democratically electing a Priest-King (or -Queen, as the case may be) to reign over every aspect of our daily lives. Let's turn to the instruction manual and see what it says about this godlike being's chores: Hmmm... Commander-in-Chief of armed forces... reprieves and pardons... can make treaties and appoint ambassadors & judges if the Senate (representing the individual States) signs off on them...

Wow. The section's actually pretty short, and there's damn-all in there about jobs or gas prices or the economy. As a matter of fact, if I didn't know better, it looks like the President is just supposed to be the executive of the small amount of interstate bureaucracy required in a confederation of sovereign states, and that he's supposed to be the interface of said confederation with foreign governments. Provided that the Senate (representing the individual State governments) approves of almost all interactions.

Of course, considering how few Americans have actually read the Constitution or would know where in it to look for the President's job description, it's little wonder we're in the mess we are today, looking for Priest-Kings to save us from all ills...

An analogy that is made of funny.

So there's a kerfuffle in Marko's comments regarding whether or not teh gayz are going to burn in hell, and if so, for how long.

Commenter A said:
In the real world, you can see it for yourself at the so-called Gay Pride events and demonstrations.
To which Commenter B (who happened to be RobertaX) replied:
...but tell me, what would be our opinion of Americans of Irish descent if we judged them on the basis of participants in St. Paddy’s Day parades?
...which for some reason just kicked my gigglebox over.

Damn Irish! You've seen what they do, shoving their Irishness up in my face at those parades! Pouring green beer in the river and peeing on lamp posts. Dyeing their hair green! And I've seen 'em infiltrating the schools, too! Hanging up their harmless little "St. Patrick's Day" decorations so that our children will grow up thinking it's normal to believe in leprechauns and vomit in the street. Why, last March, little Freddy came home from school and actually said "Faith and Begorrah!" Now, I don't have anything against the Irish myself, mind you. But they should keep it to themselves. I mean, even my husband and I enjoy a Guinness every now and again, but we wait 'til the kids are asleep!..
And yes, I was cackling like mad as I typed that.

If you want to see some sick and depraved crap, a public party is the place to go see it, be it a gay pride parade, Freaknik in Atlanta, St. Paddy's day in Boston, Mardi Gras, Sturgis, or spring break in Panama City Beach. Which is why I generally stay away from places like that.

Today In History: Burn, baby, burn.

On this date in 1992, following the announcement of the verdict in the trial of the LAPD officers who put a beat down on Rodney King, Los Angeles burned. Well, actually only parts of it did. Mostly just the parts where the mob doing the burning lived, really.

In Atlanta, we had sort of a riot-ette. I rode around in it in a friend's car and we took photos all night.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Random Stuff From The Web:

More fascinating crap than you ever wanted to know about Japanese bathrooms.

Just in case you want to try this at home, kids: The Intimist.


So, when are we Indy-area gunbloggers going to do some kind of feed 'n' chug? Maybe y'all could pretend to be yuppie trendoids and we could meet up someplace in Broad Ripple? (Admit it: It may be overrun with yuppie trendoid poseurs and knee-deep in hair salons, but the food & beer is teh awesome...)

Thanks, but...

To all the well-meaning commenters, emailers, and folks in meatspace who suggested alleviating my suffering with the miraculous Neti Pot:

Folks, I still to this day plug my nose when jumping in a pool. I can't submerge my head under water without blowing a vigorous stream of bubbles through my nose. The very thought of water getting up my nose... Well, let's say that if I was waterboarded, they'd barely have time to get the wet cloth over my face before I was selling out my own blood kin and screaming "Do it to Julia!"

Suggesting that I pour water up my nose, even a small amount of warm, beneficial water from a happy-looking little mystic clay pot, is like telling the arachnophobe that she should eat the live spider because it's small and furry and full of vitamins. It ain't gonna happen.

The blind policing the blind...

Breda alerted us to an article on (surprise!) even more malfeasance, corruption, and violence by UN Peacekeeping troops. Malfeasance, corruption, and violence largely financed by that ripe suck which is the U.S. Taxpayer.

My first thought was "Pakistani and Indian troops? In the same country? To keep the peace?!? Whose bright idea was that?"

That depends on what your definition of "divisive" is...

Rev. Wright continues to backpedal, while simultaneously spewing new gaffes. I like this part:

In Wright's lengthy, colorful address, he delineated what he felt the differences were between African-Americans and white Americans, including those in music, linguistics and education.

"Different does not mean deficient," he emphasized.

Is anybody else reminded of Reggie White's widely-publicized goofy remarks? When you find yourself in a hole, Reverend, the first thing to do is to stop digging...

Today In History: Sic Semper Chubby Tyrannis.

On this day in 1945, Benito Mussolini got his, stood up against a wall by Italian partisans.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

History of hokum.

When did the History Channel turn into an endless glurge-a-thon of "documentaries" about Sasquatch and UFOs and the Knights Templar guarding Jesus' grandkids? Since when did this crap become "history" outside of the history of building an entire economy on fricken' tulip bulbs? How can people so amazingly and astoundingly credulous afford cable TeeVee after paying for their homeopathy bills and their annual subscription to the National Enquirer?

Overheard in front of the TV...

...during a DR lawn gizmos commercial:

R: "'Scarifying' the dirt?"

T: "Yeah. There are little monster faces on the bottom of the mower deck that go 'Boogity-boogity-boogity!' and the dirt goes 'Eeek!'"

Today In History: The final frontier.

On this date in 2002, the last successful telemetry was received from the Pioneer 10 space probe as it hurtled towards the Oort cloud. We will not communicate with it again until the 23rd Century when it returns as the godlike entity P'ner and attempts to destroy the human race in a fit of childlike misunderstanding, as NASA space probes are wont to do.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Just kidding. Claritin works.

Mowing's done. Time for a frosty adult beverage and the last couple dozen pages of At The Mountains of Madness on the front porch. Believe it or not, this is the first H.P. Lovecraft I've ever read. I got to the point last night, just after midnight, where the narrator had flown over the mountains. I was reading it in bed, feeling a little toasty and sweaty, no doubt running a bit of a fever from my sudden bizarro allergies.

As my eyelids got almost as heavy as the weight of knowing I had to be up early, I turned off the light. I tossed and turned under the covers, peeling the blanket back and sticking a leg or two out into the air for cooling... no sooner had I drifted off to slumberland than I heard this weird keening and a skritch-skritch-skritch noise. Then a cold draft blew across my legs and the flapping shade over the open window flashed white from the thunderstorm brewing outside. Perfect!

I am... I am... I am whoever the Greek goddess of making stuff grow was.

My necro... nemato... nemophila has sprouted.

That is all. You may go about your business.

Sigh. I'm going to feel awful doing this...

It's time to drag out the ol' acoustic lawnmower (it's not a power mower, it's a folk mower) and finish what I started...

Early in the week I mowed the bit between the sidewalk and the street, as well as the back yard and a little token strip down each side of the front. I couldn't bear to mow the actual front yard because it was full of pretty purple and white flowers. It needs to get done today, though, because the grass is getting a little shaggy and unkempt looking amongst the flowers. Necessity isn't enough to keep me from feeling a little sad at having to chop all the pretty flowers down, though. :(

Friday, April 25, 2008

Boy, talk about politics too much...

...even Indiana Nazis, and you wind up with the most boring stream of context-sensitive ads. So, uh...

SEX. Sex, sex, sex. Sexity-sex-sex. Sexy!

Let's see if that helps. (Although what ads might pop up from a search that turns up five or six references to sex and a dozen each to Hillary and Obama is anybody's guess, and kinda creepy if you think about it too much...)

Overheard In The Office...

T: "Boy, by Friday it gets hard to choke this stuff down. 'Yay! Gruel again!'"

R: "Yes, that's why I so look forward to weekends. But hey, it's quick energy and it's good for your cholesterol..."

T: "I know, I know... And my blood pressure and my bowels and all the other stuff we're supposed to worry about now that we're freakin' old. But still... I'll say this, though: It's good stomach ballast. You don't finish a big bowl of oatmeal and go 'Man, I'm still hungry!'"

Y'know, Rev, some things aren't very context-dependent.

Rev. Wright is explaining what he really meant by "Kill Whitey!"

Why they call it the "Silly Season".

Just when you thing things can't possibly get any sillier, the CPUSA starts stumping for the Democrats and a Hoosier GOP wannabe congresscritter gets busted gracing the podium at a birthday shindig for Herr Schickelgruber. So in case you wanted to know who the commies and the Indiana Nazis were pulling for in this election cycle, there you go.

Have NAMBLA and the Satanists announced their official candidate endorsements yet?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The importance of communication...

It is important to have an easily understood, mutually-agreed-upon means of communicating with one's housemates...

"We are so very immature."

"Are not."

"Are too."

"Not not not!"

"Too to the infinity!"

Anyhow, I was very proud of myself for getting VFTP Command Central all converted over to the old Macs.

I have snot where my brains should be.

It is so hard to be creative when your nose feels like it's been inflated to 80psi.

Look! A book meme!

Even though I wasn't tagged, I'll just boost it anyway...
1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

Here's the three sentences:
The first is a standard date with "ac" over "43". It has an early frame and extractor cut. The second variation has the late frame and extractor cut.
Exciting reading, no? I'm not tagging anyone. You're on your own 'til the Benadryl kicks in.


If I want to buy more than 80 pounds of rice at Sam's Club, I'd need to drive to Idaho or New Mexico to do it.

Since A) I can't see what I'd do with 81 pounds of rice, and B) I wouldn't buy it from WalMart even if I did, I remain undisturbed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

While I'm blowing my nose...

...amuse yourselves by ogling a turbojet-powered, twin-tail, agricultural biplane.

I don't get this.

In the place where I lived my whole life, everything had flowers on it at this time of year. All the trees. All the bushes. The place smelled like a French cathouse of a warm Spring evening. There was so much pine pollen on the ground that you could just about clear it with a shovel. Out of twenty-nine years spent in the South, I think I got a runny nose in Springtime once. Once.

Right now? My eyes... do you read me? Are you copying this five-by-five? My eyes are itching. What in sweet suffering Shiva's name are you people growing here in Hoosierville? Is Indiana not a signatory to the BWC?

Imagine that.

Obama's "Insult the Voters" tactic backfired massively, as bitter cousin-marriers turned out for Hill-Rod, who is trying on her War Face in a manner to please Gunnery Sergeant Hartman.

So, what's the official term for Barry's blunder? Pennsaquiddick? Bittergate? What are we going with here?

And how about the WWE commercial? I mean, I guess you have to court the mouth-breathing couch potato vote to win an election for dogcatcher these days, but has this clown show not been farcical enough already? It's getting to the point where, ideology aside, I'd be embarrassed to vote for any of these cretins.

Overheard at my desk...

I was checking out the date at Wikipedia for my Today in History post and scrolled down through the list of birthdays...

Me: "Huh. Well, happy birthday Max Planck!"

RobertaX: "Are you sure?"

Geek humor. Gotta love it.

That's odd, because...

...Ben Stein doesn't look like Michael Moore.

(H/T to the Mad Rocket Scientist.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Low End Mac has been around since the intarw3bz were run on abacii connected by tin cans and string. Having been a collector accumulator of low-end Macs since I bought a used SE/30 back in '94, I've been a faithful reader for as long as I've owned a modem.

Now I'm no longer just a reader.

My first real writing gig. It's a big day for me. :)

Don't miss blog posts.

Jeffro wrote a winner.

JPG on a very important date in history.

Boy, you can really tell when someone truly loves the topic about which they're writing, no?


Earth Day = Lenin's birthday. Coincidence? Doubtful.

I wonder how much CO2 is emitted by a couple pecks of burning hippie?

I think I'll drive to the nearest army-navy surplus store and buy something distinctly warlike, and preferably harmful or fatal if swallowed, to be kept out of reach of children, and full of PCBs.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Today In History: Vita brevis.

On this day in 1918, a young fighter pilot got a case of target fixation, swooping low over the enemy trenches to bag a kill that was making a break for it. Totally focussed on his prey, he was oblivious to the tracers arcing up from below and the Sopwith Camel on his tail.

He paid for his mistake with his life. His foes buried him with full military honors.

In less than two weeks, Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen would have celebrated his 26th birthday.

Blast from the past.

Luftwaffe Phantoms in da house!

Found here.

Y'know who won't be voting for Obama?

These cats, that's who.

No guns allowed.

With 32 people getting caps busted in their, er... butts in gun-free Chicago over the weekend, Don Gwinn has gone into the travel poster business.

File under "Duh".

Of course we're happier. We own guns. And everyone knows that happiness is a warm gun.

What's funny is that there is a large demographic slice who will read the preceding and shake their head like I'm nuts, and I'd be lying if I said I never uttered stuff like it for the shock value alone, but it bears closer examination.

There are folks out there who are absolutely convinced that claiming to enjoy ownership of a gun; to use the word "love", however metaphorically, in relation to an inanimate object is a sign of mental illness, and yet will then prattle on about their new iPod, cell phone, chain saw or whatever. You have to admire them for being utterly guileless in their irony.

These same people are convinced that owning a gun must be a sign of anger, and it's only a matter of time before it gets used in that state. I find that an especially interesting insight into their minds. For what it's worth, most workdays between 1993 and 2007, I spent in the presence of coworkers with loaded guns on their hips. These were normal workplaces, with normal workplace dramas; rivalries, office gossip, disagreements... I have witnessed more than one red-faced, in-your-face, shouting match, and both participants were gunned down where they stood, along with me and everyone else in the room... no, wait, that's not how it happened. The argument ended, and both parties walked off, and everybody was buddy-buddy again the next day. You know, the way sane people do it in offices full of letter openers and blunt objects every day.

Why, you'd have to be crazy to even think of solving personal disputes with violence. Some people's kids, I swear...

For the umpteenth time...

Yet another poll in a sidebar on a website (this time AOL) asked "Is America ready to elect an African-American or a woman President?" to which I can only respond with "Honey, this American is ready to elect an African-American woman, but the GOP won't run her and she's too smart for the job anyway."

I'm not sure I can make it to November. This Affirmative Action race is grinding me to a halt. The reason I loathe the Dem's candidates is because of their politics, not their genetics. I judge them by the content of their character and the vacuums in their heads (or souls, in Clinton's case) and not by the color of their skin or which bathroom they use.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

You find the most disturbing ads online these days.

"Can you believe that in the Soviet Union they need special papers just to travel in their own country? Thank heavens that will never happen here."

Made of Win.

Danica Patrick became the first woman to win an Indy Car race at the Twin Ring Motegi track in Japan yesterday. I don't even remember what I was doing at age 26, but whatever it was, it was positively slacker-like by comparison.

It's not often I'm struck absolutely speechless...

...but I'm at an utter loss when trying to picture the household that would purchase a copy of "Why Mommy Is Getting A Boob Job".

I'll bet the conversation around that dinner table those TV trays is absolutely scintillating.

Today In History: Giving compound-dwellers a bad name...

On this date in 1985, Federal agents laid siege to the Arkansas compound of The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord, who had been using the "Hogan's Alley"-type ranges at their camp to practice the assassination of the agents of the "Zionist Occupation Government" with illegally-converted NFA weapons.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Trying to break the curse.

Having been gifted with an amazing case of Brown Thumb most of my life, I am attempting to break the curse and do some gardening. If all goes well, my Nemophila will soon be joined by some garlic in the back yard and Delphinium (Black Knight) in the flowerbed out front.

???? !!!!!!!

...and in the category of "Things for which you don't want to be the number one Google result", we have the following:

To which I can only add:

April 19th, 1775.

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

Happy Patriot's Day to each and every one of y'all. :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

A day in the life...

Things to do today:

  1. Water the Korri... necro... Nemophila I planted out front.
  2. Study up on herb gardening. Finish weeding spot in back yard to be herb garden. Turn dirt over to annoy worms.
  3. Do Laundry.
  4. Find my Benadryl. (I grew up in Atlanta and spent the last eight years in Knoxville; botany hell is in my blood. My first spring in Indy and my nose is running like a fire hydrant. Go figure.)
  5. Take trash cans from curb back to the back yard.
  6. Write a couple of bio paragraphs and an introduction for my next writing project. Watch this space.

Scooter Trash.

RobertaX wanted to scooter down to Hogshead's BBQ for dinner. I'm all about the barbecue, so I went and got my riding gear.

This meant that there I was, in my Joe Rocket armored leather jacket and gloves and matching helmet, astride 49cc's of fury. Not just 49cc's of fury, but 49cc's of fury that refuses to idle, so I have to keep blipping the throttle at stop lights in downtown Broad Ripple so that everyone can look over and see what a complete twink I look, all togged up for MotoGP in racy red, white, and black leathers and sitting on a hyperthyroidal weed whacker.

Having not ridden a step-through scooter since... oh, 1989 or so, my feet kept trying to find the footpegs under my butt. Disappointed, they would then wander to the floorboards, only to begin a complicated tapdance of looking for shifters and rear brake pedals that weren't there every time I had to turn or stop. It was interesting, in an amusing way. Thankfully, it's hard to get too out of control on a vehicle that requires a long, slightly downhill, straightaway, a heavy throttle hand, and a brisk tailwind to overtop 30 mph by any significant amount.

It was my first time with my knees in the breeze in almost two years. I'll say this, though: It's really hard not to get a big, stupid grin on your face riding the thing. Thank gawd my very serious full-face helmet covered it up.

Did the earth move for you, too?

The Great Indiana Earthquake of 2008, and I slept right through it.

I've looked outside, but there's no zombie activity to report. I fear the whole thing is a wet firecracker and not, in fact, The End Of The World As We Know It. Besides, I'm pretty sure that TEOTWAWKI would involve an interruption of broadband intarw3bz connectivity.

(Coincidentally, it's 106 102 [D'oh! Thanks, Mark!] years to the day since the Great Quake of '06 in San Francisco. They did lose broadband connectivity on that one, and possibly had some zombies.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

You want the cute? You want the cute?

You can't handle the cute!

And the Nation of Riflemenpersons grows by one.

The gag that just won't die... matter how Obama's handlers wish it would.

Found this one over at Are We Lumberjacks?:

Like I said elsewhere, Obama's greatest strength was his Aikido campaign. As long as he just stood there and waved and mouthed "Hopey! Changey! Hopey! Changey!" he was golden. If his handlers could have kept him from actually trying to talk about his views of anything, he'd have the nomination sewn up by now because Hillary would have stroked out trying to attack an empty shirt.

Strictly... mid-bore?

Matt has a review up of Buffalo Bore's stout .38 Special +P loads. If you haven't looked into the offerings of the "Strictly Big Bore. Strictly Business." company in a while, you should. I know I'm a very satisfied customer.

The jury didn't buy it, and neither do I...

One Jean Pierre Orlewicz, a callow youth of 18, claimed he killed his partner in an extortion scheme in self-defense. This is because his lawyer explained that the jury probably wouldn't buy a story about the victim, Daniel Sorenson, slipping and falling over backwards on a knife 13 times and then somehow accidentally beheading himself and setting his hands on fire. As it turns out, the jury didn't buy Orlewicz's story about stabbing a man in the back 13 times in self defense, either. Go figure.

Outrage for the victim is tempered by the fact that he was armed and preparing to rob a man of $40,000 at the time of his death. In light of that fact, I'm only really sorry that Mr. Orlewicz didn't stab himself a half-dozen or so times while he was about his grisly task.

"Self Defense"... Boy, that just about defines "chutzpah", doesn't it?

Today In History: There he stood, he could do no other.

On this date in 1521, Martin Luther spoke in his defense in front of the Diet of Worms, an assemblage that would forevermore reduce schoolchildren to helpless giggling fits by its name alone.

Inspired by his brave stand in the face of rampant popery, Europeans spent the next hundred years slaughtering each other in general (and depopulating Germany in specific) over the question of the proper way to worship the Prince of Peace.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Speaking of pie charts...

GeekWithA.45 has one for April 15th.

Are you pissed yet?

Dumb Moves in Computing History #275,492

Microsoft has decided it's about time to stop supporting what operating system, again?

...and can you blame them?

Photos recently distributed by the press show that the heat was all ninjaed up for the raid on Polygamist Ranch, including woodland pattern cammies that made AR-15-toting deputies stand out like sore thumbs against the West Texas dust and an obsolete M-113 armored personnel carrier painted a festive hue of toilet-bowl white and stuffed to the gills with balaclava-wearing ninjas. (WTF is Midland County doing with an armored personnel carrier? And more importantly, what is it doing in Schleicher County a couple of hundred miles from home? Did Midland County SWAT get likkered up one night, go joyriding in the APC, and get lost?)

The seriously outgunned (by a ratio of several hundred to zero) religious weirdos in the facility, which has been downgraded from "compound" to "ranch" to "retreat", claimed they were terrified that they were going to be attacked. And given the track record (no pun intended) of mechanized law enforcement against nut-fudge religious types in Texas, can you really blame them?

UPDATE: The FLDS types apparently tried to document the whole thing in writing and video, but got a bunch of their evidence confiscated by the coppers. Curtis Lowe responds with the money quote:
Like they always say to us, if you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn’t be worried, right? Seems to me that honorable men who were proud of their work would welcome cameras and eye-witnesses so that the FLDS members couldn’t accuse them of something they didn’t do.
Cheap video technology has cut both ways for law enforcement. Honest cops seem to welcome the dash cams that help show that they were within the bounds of the law. Only the bad ones have anything to fear from being taped.

Random Internet Weirdness...

This one's just for Breda: The Great Octopus-Potato War of the late Edo period.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"The mask has slipped..."

Remember when the Democrats were the party of the little guy? The blue collar stiff? The salt of the Earth? (Back before half the populists migrated to the GOP in a Carter-hating tiff? Note to Republicans: these guys are stinking up the caviar buffet line in the Big Tent with their Eau de William Jennings Bryan.)

RobertaX writes about how Obama's episode of foot-munching in Pennsylvania shows the Democrat's national candidates really do still care about the little guy, in much the same way that a dairy farmer cares about cattle or the guys in Brokeback Mountain cared about sheep.


Headline problems...

The article at was titled "Women return to Texas polygamist ranch", which I have to admit threw me for a loop for a second. I mean, cattle ranches raise cattle and chicken ranches raise chickens, so...

I commented aloud "It sounds like they're raising polygamists..."

"Well, they are," said The Roomie.

"Yes, but for market?"

"I dunno. You can clean 'em and dress 'em... but you can't take them anywhere."

Today In History: Boom!

On this day in 1986, I walked into class to see that someone had written on the chalkboard:
Good morning, Qaddafi,
Care to make any threats?
Go right ahead
We have plenty more jets.
We hope you learned your lesson,
Only time will tell.
But do keep in mind,
Payback is hell.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Marko's excellent "Why The Gun Is Civilization" essay has been ripped off all over the intarwebz, and even mis-attributed on the air by Neal Boortz.

Now it's being used as ad copy by noted Four Weapons Combat Master®©™ and gun school impresario Iggy Piazza.

Were I Marko, I'd lawyer up. I'm just sayin'.

Now _that's_ funny.

I consider myself something of an enthusiastic reader of P.J. O'Rourke. Actually, "hopeless fangirl" would be closer to the truth. There's not a book of his I haven't read two or three times, and I've read Republican Party Reptile, Holidays In Hell, Parliament Of Whores, and Give War A Chance so many times that I have inadvertently memorized vast swathes.

I have to say that Parliament Of Whores is probably the funniest, though. Last week, when my roomie was working the wee-dark-thirty shift to cover for a vacationing cow-orker, the alarm went off at midnight. This meant that one day last week I was sitting on the porch at, oh, six o'clock in the A.M., complete with all my porch-sitting accoutrement, and trying (with only moderate success) to stifle big girly squeals of laughter while reading a description of the S&L crisis.

I mentioned this to RobertaX, saying "I didn't want anybody to see me sitting there reading a book and drinking a beer at six in the morning."
To which she replied "This is Broad Ripple. You'll have to work a lot harder than that if you want to be weird."

Today In History: Assassination.

"But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Breda wins the internet!

"The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more." -Michelle Obama

Breda is less than enthused about the government boosting her piece of the pie.

UPDATE: Sebastian gets into the spirit of things with an entry that is made of win!

Good blog alert.

There are lots and lots of people who write, just like there are lots and lots of people who drive.

Very few people drive well enough to stay out of the oncoming lane, let alone get paid for their driving skill. Likewise, lots of people write who probably won't ever turn a profit at it.

Smart people who write well enough to get paid are not terribly common in the blogosphere. Here's one of them.

Beautiful obsession.

So I mentioned the film Better Off Dead in a previous post, which is a favorite '80s movie of lots of folks. Then TD mentioned primered Camaros.

That led to Google, which led to a man with a dream...

Ugly as the backside of a mud fence on a rainy day...

Today's Ugly Gun Lesson at Xavier's is: "Just because a trigger guard spur looks good on a No.3 Russian doesn't necessarily mean it looks good on anything else."

I'm hearing the voice of David Ogden Stiers' character from Better Off Dead saying: "Yes, I know it's a 1911, but what have you done to it?"

Pop quiz: Coffee Time

Sunday morning coffee time at Roseholme Cottage. Pop quiz: Which coffee mug goes with which blogger? (Click to embiggen if necessary.)

Sunday Funnies.

A man walks into a bar with a duck on his head...

The bartender says "What can I get you?"

And the duck says "Nothing, just get this lawyer off my ass."

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Welcome to the future.

We may be griping about automobile exhaust, but it beats heck out of stepping in horse and buggy exhaust. And we can gripe about it faster than ever, to anyone in the world.

This guy is right. The future rocks.

(H/T to Stephen Bodio.)

Writing about writing...

...and the things on which I write, over at the other other blog.

Barry comes over all elitist...

...Bloggers are less than amused.

Watch as the Great Uniter manages to piss off a Southwestern male retired military vet and an East Coast female liberal arts professor with the very same sentence. That's some powerful unitin' you got goin' on there, Barack.

Getting hazed by mother nature.

This is all some "mess with the new girl" joke, isn't it? I mean, for the last several days it has been in the sixties and the Bimmer was parked in the garage with the top down. Right now it's 41 and sleeting, and it's supposed to frickin' snow tonight.

Y'all are just short-sheeting my bed here. Tell me you are. This can't be normal.

Today In History: To the stars.

Today marks the 47th anniversary of manned spaceflight, with Yuri Gagarin's successful orbit taking place on this date in 1961.

On this date in 1981, John Young and Robert Crippen launched from Cape Canaveral in the shuttle Columbia, beginning shuttle mission STS-1, the maiden voyage of both the Columbia and the shuttle program.

Note that a ten year old who was dazzled by Gagarin's flight would have been thirty when Columbia launched. And if he'd been a particularly insightful thirty year-old, he would have plowed every penny he could into satellite communications investments. And if he'd done that twenty-seven years ago, he could be doing this today.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Jobs Addiction: Stepping out of the bunker... blinking

The Agony of Victory.

The late 1970s and early 1980s were the Permian Era of the personal computer. Fern-filled forests were crowded with darting Timexes, lumbering TRS-80s, and roaring Commodore 64s. Weird evolutionary dead ends like the lungfish Mattel Aquarius and the fur-bearing, egg-laying Coleco ADAM slithered through the undergrowth. From the mass extinctions of the early '80s emerged two survivors.

The first to market was the PC, from IBM. It's easy to fault an old DOS machine for its command-line interface if you're a whippersnapper, but back in the early '80s, everything had a command-line interface. Looking at the almost-suitcase-size bunker-shaped beige sheet metal box, one can almost hear some guy in a blue suit and a buzzcut saying "Those hippies in Cupertino are making a mint shipping little home computers. We need a slice of this pie. Whip something up." and three guys in identical blue suits and buzz cuts replying "We're on it, chief!"

Meanwhile, one of those hippies in Cupertino was obsessively pushing for an "appliance computer"; a computer with a transparent Graphical User Interface (GUI, pronounced like bubblegum on hot blacktop) that required no memorization of arcane commands; one that was cute and non-threatening. He wanted a computer that would have a place in every home. Thus was born the Apple Macintosh.

The problem was, there was nothing to do with a computer in every home. Mom didn't need a simple GUI to sort recipes, because she still had index cards and a pen. Dad didn't need some hippie computer that smiled at him when he started it up to work on spreadsheets from the office. And the kids didn't need a mouse to play Oregon Trail, especially when that mouse was attached to a machine that cost more than a two year old Honda Accord. (The original Mac cost $2,495. If you were making minimum wage in 1984, you would have had to work for five months to buy a Mac. If you didn't pay taxes. Or eat.) Lacking a killer application left the "appliance computer" wandering in the market wilderness. Steve Jobs, the hippie behind it all, was run out of Apple on a metaphorical rail.

Meanwhile, the clunky PC had two things going for it. First, IBM opened the architecture to anyone with opposable thumbs and a lemonade stand. With its BIOS painted on billboards, it took clone makers six months to reverse engineer the PC and six years to darn near knock IBM out of the home computer market with a deluge of better, cheaper clones. Second, the vast, beige case was nothing but a hollow box of expansion slots. If dad brought one home from work and turned his back for fifteen minutes, junior would hot-rod the thing with better graphics cards, sound cards, a joystick, and a modem, and be swapping pirated games on dial-up bulletin boards faster than you could say "Killer App".

For the next decade or so, tech geeks (read "gamers") flocked to the PC platform. Meanwhile, Macintosh was number one in the fields dominated by people who didn't want to have to use a computer in the first place: Artists, musicians, educators, writers... in short, hippies. They loved their machines, anthropomorphized them, and the more market share Apple lost, the more fiercely loyal they became.

In the early '90s, after mildly successful ripoffs of Apple's GUI, Microsoft went whole hog and launched Windows 95, which was a blatant enough copy of the Mac OS experience that even Stevie Wonder could see that Redmond had just moved the task bar to the bottom of the screen and the icons to the left side. One of those icons was very nearly the end of Apple, because the launch of the new Windows and its bundled Internet Explorer software coincided with the Killer App that the "appliance computer" had needed all along: The World Wide Web.

Now everyone had a use for a computer: Mom could forward glurge email spam to the whole family tree. Junior could play Quake against other nose-pierced losers around the globe. Dad could download porn 'til his right hand fell off at the wrist. Apple was on the ropes.

Mac loyalists became deranged. Why were these people buying Wintel machines? Couldn't they see that the OS was just a bad ripoff of their beloved Mac? Mac newsgroups paused their incessant font-swapping to paint a picture of "Windoze" users that was as bizarrely schizophrenic and mutually contradictory as the one Democratic Underground posters paint of Dubya. On the one hand they were pocket protector-wearing tech geeks who didn't care about the soul, the gestalt, the experience of using a computer and only worried about cold hard specs and benchmarks. At the same time, they were technically-illiterate bubbas and bubbettes, blind to the obvious hardware and software superiority of the Mac in every way that counted.

Just as the end seemed nigh for Apple, the chief hippie was brought back to Cupertino to see if he could work that old magic one more time. Boy howdy. From the iMac to OS X to iTunes to the iPod to the iPhone, Apple has moved from strength to strength since then. Lured in by a really neat looking box, or a Walkman with a hard drive, or the slickest-looking cell phone to inspire gadget lust since Maxwell Smart dialed his shoe, folks came for the flash, and stayed for the computers. Apple has finally become... mainstream.

The reaction from the faithful, the ones who manned the bunker through the lean years, is actually kind of funny. Like folks who discovered REM or U2 when they were still underground, they're almost resentful of the newfound success of their object of worship. I guess finding out that grandma bought an iPod at the Apple store at the mall is kind of like hearing your favorite college station indie rock group doing tunes for Chevy commercials; suddenly you don't feel very exclusive anymore. And when your whole identity, from your "Think Different" bumper sticker to your Apple tattoo, has been built around being one of the elect, an avant garde rebel, finding yourself suddenly in the mainstream can be something of a... bummer, dude.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Quote of the Day:

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." - P.J. O'Rourke

Anus niveus, stupor mundi.

So, I was reading a post not long ago at Phlegmmie's place, a serious post about the Obama passport kerfuffle, when something she said gave me pause:
Are there different criteria for granting/processing passports for the elite? Do they have to tell whether or not they've had a nose job and anal bleaching? I'm guessing not.
Now there were two words that had, up until this point, gently bumped off my ear and sailed away without really sinking in: "anal bleaching". What the heck was this?

Sure enough, Wikipedia had an article.

I was well and truly down the rabbit hole now, if you'll excuse the metaphor. I clicked on one of the links at the Wiki, and it took me to a column by some chick at the Village Voice who apparently writes on some regular basis... daily, weekly, quarterly, hourly, I'm not sure ...about buttholes. I had no idea that the topic had such variety. (The chick in question, incidentally, is kin to Thomas Pynchon, which explains rather a lot when you think about it.)

Anyhow, after reading the article, what I am gathering is that there are folks who are dissatisfied with the color of their distal sphincters and wish to better their lot in life by making them paler. Hey, it's a free country, I guess.

Of course, the initial reaction to learning this is to head for the history section of the library in search of the appropriate "Decline and Fall of Rome" quote. I mean, what could possibly be more decadent than adjusting the tint knob on one's cornhole?

But that's not really right. The next impulse is to laugh at the vanity of it all. I mean, I don't even really know what color my butthole is for sure, and I've certainly never contemplated dyeing it with an eye towards having it match my shoes.

When all is said and done, however, what I mostly feel is amazement at how totally we have subdued this planet. Once we were freezing to death in caves, worried about becoming lion chow, and now we have so thoroughly conquered the needs of food, shelter, and safety that we are free to lounge about and think "You know, I think life would be about perfect if only my poop chute were a whiter shade of pale."

O brave new world that has such assholes in it.

I did not know that.

According to a link provided over at The Old Coot, the world's oldest living person is just down the road in Shelbyville, IN.

Mrs. Parker was born in April of 18 and 93. Think about that for a moment: She was old enough to vote (21 back then) when Archduke Franz Ferdinand got whacked, except she couldn't because the 19th Amendment wouldn't be passed for another six years. She was fifteen when the first radio program was broadcast, and ten when the Wright Brothers flew.

From now on, every time I feel creaky in the mornings, I am going to remind myself that Mrs. Parker was 75 years old when I was born...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

More thoughts on the 17th.

From comments at Unc's, when asked what would be different without the 17th Amendment:

There would certainly be a whole lot fewer unfunded mandates.

As it is now:
Representative:My constituents want free stuff!
Senator:Yeah! My constituents want free stuff!

As it was supposed to be:
Representative:My constituents want free stuff!
Senator:Whoah, whoah, whoah! How are we supposed to pay for all this crap back in Des Moines?

The Senate’s function as a mini 50 state UN is gone. The senator from Illinois is no longer an ambassador from the Land of Lincoln, he’s a super special long-term representative from the Land of Daley.

Hey hey! Ho ho! Uwe Boll has got to go!

Holy crap, I wish I'd thought of that.

An Uwe Boll resignation petition website will garner ad revenues second only to Google itself...

(H/T to The Critical Bookworm.)

Decline of the Republic Day.

On April 8th in 1913, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution went into effect. To anybody concerned with checks and balances and separation of powers who had actually read the Constitution, it's hard to see how this could be considered a good idea. As a matter of fact, it's hard to see how it could not be seen as undermining the very concept of a federal republic.

I know some of you are clicking for Wikipedia right now, muttering to yourselves "Seventeenth? Is that income tax, or when they let y'all chicks vote? No, it's Prohibition, right?" No, the Seventeenth Amendment is the one that calls for direct election of Senators. What's so bad about that, you ask? (Go on, ask.) Well, let me tell you...

Understand this first: I'm not one of those people who think the Constitution is divinely inspired and the perfect governmental document. However, for setting up a limited federal government with strictly enumerated powers rigidly separated among different branches that acted as brakes on each other, it's really pretty clever. There was a lot of thought put into a careful system of counterweights and oversights, and if you change one bit of it, you can throw something completely unexpected out of kilter. And boy howdy, did the Seventeenth Amendment ever do that in spades.

Firstly, our bicameral legislature originally copied one redeeming feature from the English Parliament. The lower house was composed of representatives directly elected, one per every X number of the population. Because of their (relatively) small constituencies and their two-year terms, representatives had to be very aware of the popular sentiment of "John Q. Public" and respond to it, lest they be replaced. In the English system, the upper house was the House of Lords, with noble members who had a lifetime tenure. Although they couldn't permanently shoot down legislation, they could apply a temporary veto which could be overturned by a determined lower house.

Our upper house was the Senate, whose members served terms three times as long as those of the lower house. Since we had no hereditary nobility (and were prohibited one by the Constitution) each state's two senators were elected by the state government itself. Thus insulated from the constant pressure of needing to worry about re-election and the public whim of the moment, the Senate would serve as a brake against the spasms of popular fads, and prevent asshattery like legislation proclaiming the theme song from Friends as the national anthem or Britney Spears being voted Dictator-for-Life.

The second, even more important, function served by senators, was as representatives of their state or commonwealth government to the federal government in Washington. Whereas a representative from Dubuque or Des Moines would be voting the whims of their respective constituencies, the senator from Iowa was expected to represent the sovereign interests of the Hawkeye State. This has very specific effects on the separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution.

One of the most telling effects comes from the fact that the Constitution specifically delegates the power to ratify treaties to the Senate. This is important both in the nature of our federal system of government and in the nature of foreign treaties at the time the Constitution was written. In the late 18th Century there were no treaties designating United Nations World Heritage Sites or allowable levels of CFC emissions. Treaties involved war and peace, mutual defense, and the setting of national boundaries. By giving the Senate the power to ratify treaties, this was implicitly acknowledging the sovereignty of the individual states. A mutual defense pact with Absurdistan could not be entered into without at least a majority of the states feeling that they had sufficient ties to Absurdistan to make it worth defending. Likewise for treaties setting borders or ending wars; approval by the Senate was the de facto shorthand means of gaining the approval of every statehouse in the federation.

Once senators became directly elected, it effectively demolished the reasons for a bicameral legislature and the division of powers enumerated in the Constitution. The senator was now removed from his or her lofty perch and made as much a weathervane of the public whim as the representative. Further, the senator from certain states, those dominated by a single large city, no longer represented the interests of the state, but rather those of the small portion of the state in which the majority of the populace was concentrated. The Senate, originally a legislative buffer against the popular whim of the moment and the inexorable demographics of urban centers that dominate the House of Representatives, now became the very same thing it was meant to counterbalance, but with a six-year term instead of a two-year one.

In the years since 1913, the effect has become all too obvious. Treaties are ratified based on pressure from the media, not their agreeability to the sovereign states that are bound by them. There is no longer a legislative brake on popular fads or the whim of the moment. We've bounced from New Deal to New Frontier to Great Society to everything short of the Great Leap Forward. Commentators can make mouth noises about "We're not a democracy, we're a Federal Republic" all they want, wingnuts and moonbats can natter about wimmen voters and the Electoral College 'til the cows come home, but this nation became a democracy, for good or ill, with the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment. And we all know what the apocryphal quote says about democracies:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Great Depression.

I've gone through it before and knew what to expect, but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier.

Back in '00, I packed up my life in Atlanta and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. The only person I knew in my new hometown was my roommate. Since I was looking for work at the time and recuperating from a wreck, to boot, I was home alone a lot with nobody to talk to but the cat. It took time to plant new roots and build a new life, but it happened.

So I was braced for what the move to Indy would entail, but that doesn't make the tough part any less tough. Based on my previous experience, this is the nadir. Not quite two months in the new place, still tidying up loose ends from settling into a new state. Still financially tapped out from the move itself, so getting out of the house isn't happening much. Since I haven't really connected with new friends yet, I'm spending my days talking to the cats...

What I wasn't ready for was the effect on my creativity. I'm supposed to be singing for my supper here, and the songs are just so hard to come up with at the moment. I've got half a dozen great ideas for posts and essays swirling in my head, but it's hard to get them out through my fingertips when all I'm doing is sitting and sulking.

Anyhow, I'd like to thank y'all for bearing with me while I get my... um, bearings. I've got the Last Sunday Smith to review (and since it's the last, it's gotta be special) and then it's back to more military rifles at The Arms Room. Things are slowly churning on the rifle book. There's pieces on topics as various as Mausers and... well, butts to write about here. Also there are plans afoot to revive the dormant Digital Archaeology blog with some fresh content.

Stay tuned...

Who's greedy?

The 'Dog notes that when you point a finger, three point back at you.

Like watching paint dry. In real time.

I have been dimly aware that America has gone gaga over the game of poker in the last several years, but that fact didn't really sink in until just now when the TeeWee started playing a show called Poker After Dark. Not actually ever watching TeeWee, this came as something of a shock to me.

They televise poker?

And people watch?

Holy crap, this is so dull and impenetrable that it makes golf look like NASCAR.

Bugout gear.

SayUncle points out that the wider world is gradually becoming aware of the threat of zombie apocalypse.

They're still, however, clueless about face-eating monkeys and killer space robots.

And pirates are way cooler than ninjas.

Monday, April 07, 2008

A Gimme post.

Marko's right. If you're strapped for something to blog about, there's no well that's reliably wetter than your SiteMeter log and a planet full of Googlers:

call me crazy

No way, you loon.

chang kai-shek mauser for sale

First, it's "Chiang". Second, mine's not for sale. Third, have you gotten a really good look at one? Icky-poo. I'm not saying that the bores on those things are nasty or anything, but mine looks like a mineshaft in coal country. The pits aren't even arranged in a spiral fashion. Between the condition of it and that of my Hanyang Type 88, I have a pretty low opinion of Chinese army weapons maintenance.

older bikini


from my cold dead hands

Look, I don't know why Google slapped me in there at number four, but you and all your couple hundred buddies from around the world should go look at the video clip of the actual words from the actual guy on YouTube, okay?

shoulder holster

Too much Miami Vice.

International Houer

Google works better when you can spell.

effectiveness ww1 trenches

The trenches in World War One were very effective at keeping dismembered body parts confined in neat little zigzaggy rows, unless a really big shell landed in them to scatter remains across the countryside. They also gave corpse-eating rats someplace to dine in relative peace.

I'll take "Fatuous Questions" for $500, Alex...

Today's CNN Poll Question: Will today's jury verdict end speculation about how Princess Diana died?

Sure it will. Just like the Warren Commission made folks stop talking out their rear ends about the Kennedy assassination.

Where's the love?

"My buddy, my choice"? C'mon, I chuckled to myself for five minutes after coming up with that post title. Y'all should be throwing flowers or something.

Is this thing on? I know you're out there; I can hear you breathing...

Today In History: Supertarget.

On this day in 1945, USN Helldivers and Avengers from USS Hornet and USS Bennington converted the baddest battleship of them all to the baddest pile of very expensive scrap iron on the floor of the Pacific.

We, of course, waited 'til their battleships were under way and shooting back. Plus, we declared war first.

My buddy, my choice.

So there's apparently a thread up at Democratic Underground talking smack about Oleg Volk, calling him a fascist (*snicker!*) and stuff like that. Someone with a hypertrophied pomposity gland and bulging social indignation muscles bloviated that "[t]he Holocaust [posters] are particularly offensive." As though having had kinfolk exit concentration camps via the chimney left Mr. Volk unqualified to comment on that particular sunny moment in human history.

Where to find better anti-Oleg PSH than on Democratic Underground? LabRat, as part of her ongoing campaign to cause me a cerebral aneurysm, had the answer to that, of course: A good radfem site (if I may be excused the obvious oxymoron.) Thanks to their eschewing patriarchal anti-collectivist artifacts like the author's name and the original publication date, I have no idea at exactly whom I'm laughing over there, but for anyone familiar with guns and Oleg's work on the 'net it's pretty chucklesome. For those who know Oleg in real life, however, there's one real howler in this rich vein of comedy gold:
But in total, after reading all of it, we concluded the guy was a complete wacko, a bully...
Wow. Just... wow. If someone handed me an entire Roget's thesaurus and asked me to select words describing my friend Oleg, "bully" would probably be the absolute last one I picked. I'm not sure I know a more placid, conflict-avoiding, solicitous human being than Oleg Volk. How does our author think Mr. Volk got all those models to pose for his posters? By being a repressive tool of the patriarchy? Oh, puh-leez.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Read carefully.

So, the headline read "India offers firearms permits for vasectomies."

But out of the corner of my eye, I saw "Indiana offers firearms for vasectomies," and I thought "Hell's bells! I'm buying a case of Boone's Farm, renting a van, and going to the bus station right now!"

"Hey, you! Want a bottle of Ripple? Hop in..."

Because John Browning didn't use metric, that's why.

On one of the gun boards I frequent, an ESL member asked:
to a junior member like me the inch system seem to be a peculiarity .in all matters of fire arms.

why this industry has not adopted metric system ?

Obviously, I couldn't resist...
If God wanted us to use the metric system, he'd have given us ten fingers and ten toes.

Besides, it's a lot easier to find a rhyme for "forty-five" in a country-western song than it is to find one for "eleven point two-five millimeter".

From my cold, dead hands, damn apes!

RIP Charlton Heston.

Alligator mouth and hummingbird butt.

Pretty much every hobby has them. Every hobby that involves flashy gizmos, that is. Kids with plenty of money and underdeveloped social skills who show up and want to belong. They buy all the flashiest toys; try and jump into every discussion; want to be respected.

The internet has potentiated this phenomenon by offering the online forum or bulletin board. With the societal rituals of meeting people face-to-face stripped away, even the most awkward can try and jump right into things. Unfortunately, interactions with other group members that bleed into what is sometimes termed "meatspace" (as opposed to "cyberspace") quickly expose deficiencies in the kid's socialization, responsibility, or ethics, and he receives negative public feedback. He reacts in a way that seems appropriate to his adolescent mind: by hurling insults, and sometimes threats.

If the group he wants to belong to involves collecting comic books or radio-controlled cars, this behaviour will probably just result in ostracism. His failure to follow through with payment on a purchase of Amazing Spiderman #21 might even land him in small claims court. On the other hand, if the group in question collects firearms, well... let's just say that his juvenile histrionics may get taken a bit more seriously.

The computer makes it easy to not realize that somewhere, down the line, there are real people on the other side of that monitor and that, however indirectly, the keyboard is connected to the real world. And as emails and posts scattered across various inboxes and web fora are proving in Mr. Wong's case, the internet never forgets.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Today In History: The most photogenic battle ever...

On this date in 1242, thousands of Novgorodian soldiers commanded by Alexander Nevsky and directed by Sergei Eisenstein thundered across frozen Lake Peipus and cinematographically stomped the holy hell out of the invading hun.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Butt in the chair.

In the interest of actually getting some writing done, I'm stealing a page from the playbook of my pal Marko. I've dragged a PowerBook Duo 280c out of the attic and parked an extension cord behind the futon in the living room where I can prop myself up on some big comfy pillows and type away to my heart's content without the distractions of internet access or even a CD-ROM drive. When I need to get words off the machine, I can hook it to its dock, burn to floppy, and run from there.

We'll start with blocking off an hour a day of self-imposed Non-Intarw3bitude and work our way up from there.

If y'all will excuse me, I'm going to go immerse myself in 19th Century military rifles for a bit. Back later.

Missed by two days...

From email this morning...




This is to bring to your notice that I am delegated
from the United Nations to Ecobank Abuja to pay 100
Nigerian 419 scam victims $80,000USD. each,you are
listed and approved for this payments as one of the
scammed victims,get back to me as soon as possible
for the immediate payments of your $80,000USD.
compensations funds.

The cynical part of my mind says "Cute April Fool's joke". The even cynicaller part of my mind says "What better target than a self-selecting group of proven chumps?"

Their own weapon turned against them.

Make fun of "propaganda" all you want, but all the rational arguments in the world can't pack the visceral punch of a simple image and the right slogan. I've called Oleg Volk the "Minister of Propaganda for Our Team" for years, and the thing I love most about his work is the way it gets the emotion-appealing hand-wringers on the other side to stroke out. I mean, aren't appeals to the heart supposed to be their turf?


Cry me a river.

(H/T to Unc.)

Joke of the Day:

The CNN headline reads: Al Qaeda No. 2: We don't kill innocents.

Yeah, that's some No. 2, all right.

Boy, sometimes they just write themselves...

Overheard around the house...

Me: "At least the nightmare could have been worse. I mean, Obama wouldn't be the worst date in the world if you could keep him from talking about his politics. Like maybe duct tape his mouth shut or something. I mean, it could have been way worse; I could have dreamed it was John McCain in an SS Obersturmbannführer uniform."

RobertaX: "Or Hillary, same outfit."

Me: "Eeeewwwww! You had to go there, didn't you?"

Today In History: That dirty little coward who shot Mr. Howard...

...and laid poor Jesse in his grave did it on this date in 1882.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Knives don't kill people; psychotic felons with knives kill people.

Mr. Issaruh Jackson walked into a mall restroom in Phoenix, AZ on Monday. He did not walk out again. His crime? Breathing air in the same room as a convicted felon who had a history of mental illness and a butcher knife. That he'd just bought. At Macy's.

If only we had tougher background checks on... Wait, that's a cheap shot.

Here's a different idea: How about not letting convicted felons that are known to be crazy as bedbugs wander around in public where they can buy knives. And cars. And gasoline. And matches. And rope. And any other thing they want.

I had the most awful nightmare...

As part of the elaborate system of alarm clocks at Roseholme Cottage, the teevee cuts on at zero dark thirty to one of the local stations, which means local morning news. You don't realize how this stuff gets in your head until something bad happens, like the nightmare I had this morning. The one where I was being seduced by Barack Obama.

Dream Obama was such a nice guy, very sincere in his nanny state beliefs. He was also very informed about local political issues, like why the county road bypass is pissing off the chicken farmers and which high school needed a new gymnasium. This is interesting, because I know damn-all about the local scene. Also, he was real suave. It was hellish; I woke up feeling dirty, mostly because the dream-me never retorted with "You only love me for my vote."

For Vishnu's sake, people, don't let your kids sleep with the teevee running. Lord only knows what ideas could get into their still-softboiled little noggins.

Today In History: Falklands Malvinas Falklands.

On this day in 1982, Argentinean troops occupied the Falkland Islands, asserting that they rightfully belonged to Argentina and that possession was nine tenths of the law anyway.

Margaret Thatcher begged to differ.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Attention fellow Triangle Of Death conspirators:

Here's info on where to pick up your wheelbarrows of cash from the gun industry and get your marching orders from our NRA overlords for the coming year.

Proof that you can't force gentrification.

"Like an ATM for Lowlifes."

Always good for a laugh.

Standing in line with my roomie at the local food-o-mart, I glance at the cover of Cosmo and see an article blurb that says "WHAT IF GUYS EDITED COSMO? You'll laugh your butt off!"

"Well," I say to RobertaX, "for starters they'd probably say "ass"."

Look! Pr0n!

No, not "Gratuitous Gun Pr0n", just regular ol' pr0n pr0n.

Well, okay, it's actually funny social commentary on pr0n. (Although if nobody's explained to you what mommy and daddy did to cause you, or if they did but you find nothing humorous about it, you shouldn't click on the links...)

The Internet Is For Porn. (video)

48 Things To Hate About Porn. (at The Pervocracy)

Today In History: Jumping jet flash.

On April 1st, 1969 the first jet fighter that could take off straight up like a helicopter went into service with the Royal Air Force. Seriously.

Twenty-five years later people still oohed and aahed to see one in a spy action thriller.


France opposes Ukrainian, Georgian NATO membership: Well, Pierre, we weren't real keen on letting you in either, so play nice now.

Foreclosed houses + metals prices = stolen plumbing & wiring: Fifteen states have passed new laws in response, because legislators decided it was important to make laws against breaking into houses and stealing stuff, the sale of stolen goods, and things like that. Oh, wait...

China claims agitating by outsiders and foreigners caused rioting: Maybe we can extradite Richard Gere, a bunch of National Geographic guys, and Nancy Pelosi.