Sunday, February 28, 2010


I just had pancetta and Swiss on rye. I think if more people did this, and more often, the world would be a better place. I'm fairly certain that the pancetta, which is the platonic ideal of bacon, combines with the cheese to release some sort of endorphins.

(Of course, I understand that I have differing food ideas than most. At the blogmeet, when the waitress came around to take dessert orders, a few people ordered green tea ice cream, and I had another three pieces of white tuna sashimi.)

They like free stuff and they cannot lie...

Billy Beck links to an article pointing out that the cannibal pot is round in shape, and therefore has no "left" or "right" side.

Same planet, different worlds.

Sometimes I'm reminded that not everyone's on the same page as me:
A California sex offender suspected of abducting a girl in 1991 and keeping her captive for 18 years is suffering from "serious mental illness," defense attorneys say in court papers.
Well, no duh, counselor. Healthy, normal people don't abduct little girls and keep them as sex slaves.
"It appears that Phillip Garrido has been hearing [the] voices of angels for years," said documents filed Wednesday in El Dorado County Superior Court.
The "voices of angels"? Is he sure? Why don't we give him a chance to listen to them again and find out if they're the same voices, or different. Sorta 'kill two birds with one stone', as it were.

Save the mullet!

Not trusting his Aquanetted coiffure to the ravages of the tsunami-that-wasn't, Dog fled for the high ground and rhapsodized about the miracles of nature with Larry King. Easily the most surreal thing I've seen all morning...

Donkey, please!

Representative John Linder, from the north Atlanta 'burbs, has announced he's retiring. CNN reports that...
...[a] spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Linder's decision to retire is another blow to House Republicans' aspirations in this midterm election year.
Donkey, please! John Linder, architect of the Fair Tax, has been in office since taking over from his predecessor, Bob Barr. This is the district whose idea of a Democrat was sending wookie-suited John Bircher Larry MacDonald off to Washington until the commies shot him down over the Sea of Japan. The burghers of Gwinnett are suddenly going to... what? Go all Cynthia McKinney on you or something?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wookie Utopias?

Which novels have the best wookie-suiter utopias? My standard proselytizing books have always been The Probability Broach, Alongside Night, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, and Voyage From Yesteryear.

Any others I should keep in stock?

(Kings of the High Frontier is narrow-focus and hard to get, Atlas Shrugged is quite the literary Dagwood and a sure cure for insomnia in non-bibliophiles, and Firefly is neither a book nor particularly Utopian...)

Sometimes I tickle myself...

From here:
Anybody who thinks that 9 .32" caliber pellets are the proper dose for a 3/4-ton carnivore is just asking to be reincarnated as a steaming pile of scat on an ice floe.

Just because I like y'all...

I'm reading Tom Diaz's 1999 bed-wetter, Making A Killing, a shocking expose of the gun industry, so you don't have to. Tom describes the firearms industry as a shadowy and impenetrable world that "makes the tobacco industry look like a model of transparency."

Since I have worked in and around that industry for some sixteen years, anybody got any questions they want answered? I'll even answer Tom's.

The ARs I'm not building.

So, as I mentioned, there were two types of AR that I was definitely not going to build on my stripped lower:

The first was a floating-barrel flat-top varminter. The reason for that is because not only do I not currently engage in any varmint hunting, but I'm also not at the rifle range very often, and when I am, shooting bitty groups from a bench just ain't my bag. (This is not to say that I have any particular problem with varmint hunting, but the opportunity just hasn't presented itself.)

The other was an AR pistol, which I personally think is about the most useless thing this side of a kickstand on a tank. Muzzle blast like a flash-bang grenade, the ballistics of a .22 Hornet, and no butt stock? Plus I have to go find a rifle range to shoot it? Where do I sign up for some of that action? No, thanks.

There's actually a third type I will not be building: When I said I was thinking about an "A2-style service rifle", some folks apparently thought I meant a "Service Rifle", which is a perfectly serviceable weapon that has been fruited up with pinhole sight apertures, heavy barrel, an archaic sling, and six pounds of lead weights inserted into every available orifice to make it better suited for target competition. I will not be building one of those. When I shoot from field positions, I generally do it under the assumption that my targets are not going to give me time to unroll my mat, buckle up my coat, sling up, and set up my spotting scope.

Fool-Proof Risk Management 101:

How To Avoid...

  1. Death from parachute failure: Don't jump out of airplanes.
  2. Death by bungee-jumping accident: Don't jump off of bridges.
  3. Drowning: Avoid large bodies of water; take showers instead of baths.
  4. Cutting your femoral wide open with a chainsaw: Don't use chainsaws.
  5. Getting eaten by Orcinus orca: Stay away from the big fish tank.

Speaking of O. orca, I had no idea that there were both "nomad" and "villager" killer whale cultures, as it were, and the two do not seem to intermingle.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hoosier Gun Owners Shivved In The Liver By House Democrats?

Caleb has the scoop.

As used by Tombstone PD SWAT!

Cowboy Tactical: Now that's funny, right there.

(H/T to Unc.)

Day of the Wookie.

As if the CPAC convention wasn't proof enough that November '10 is shaping up to be the Night Of The Long Bowcasters, now we have this:
Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they think the federal government's become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.
If not even CNN could slant their question enough to get a vote of confidence for

The Health Department has issued a Smug Alert:

Slow Children At Play, Slow Cars In Park:
I drove by a new public building in our county the other night, looking the place over when I had a few minutes to kill. The first TWO ROWS of parking were posted. Not handicap. Not "county vehicles"... but "LEV/Fuel Efficient Vehicle Parking ONLY".
I suppose there has to be some sort of consolation prize for diving the sluggish little penalty boxes, else people wouldn't do it; it must be the big box of finger-wagging self-righteousness that comes with the car.

Sometimes I tickle myself...

From here:
"Speaking of Caligula, I think the Senate today would work better if we had the entire horse in there instead of just its ass."

Today In History: ...but you can't choose your family.

On this date in 364AD, one Flavius Valentinianus, age 42, was proclaimed emperor on the death of the short-lived emperor Jovian.

Valentinian I, as he became known, had impeccable military chops; his dad was a general and he grew up an army brat. He'd been in since he was eighteen and worked his way up through the officer ranks, serving everywhere from Britannia to Africa to Mesopotamia. A senior commander in the armies of Julian the Apostate, he'd been mentored by the best, and when he took the reins of empire, he immediately set about aggressively beating back the barbarian threats on the Rhine and Danube frontiers.

The problem was that the tradition of using co-rulers to help manage the sprawling empire was well underway, and Valentinian needed one to keep an eye on the east while thumped barbarian hordes in the west. He picked his brother, Valens.

While Valentinianus had been off covering himself in blood and glory as a man among men, commanding the legions of Rome, his brother had been... Well, tending the family estates is honest work, nobody's saying it's not, but it probably didn't adequately prepare young Valens for the challenges he was going to face as Official Eastern Imperial Sidekick.

I know you are, but what am I?

Apparently at yesterday's circus, Senator McCain (?-AZ) complained about the emperor's choice of music, saying it didn't go well with the flames.

Barry, like he does whenever his string is pulled, retorted with his usual "The election is over," apparently thinking that the unspoken codicil to that is "...and so I should get to do whatever I want."

Then McCain said "Neener neener neener."

And Barry replied "Nuh-uh, I'm rubber, you're glue. What bounces off me, sticks to you!"

High school student government debates were models of maturity compared to these clowns.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

QotD: Ain't nobody's business edition.

Seen at Joe Huffman's:
As a friend of mine in the cell phone manufacturing business once told me, "I don't know exactly what's in the phone software. But I do know the phone only has one battery."
If you don't want Big Brother knowing where you are, leave the verdammt thing at home. I'm assuming that everyone knows not to say anything on one that they wouldn't want played back for a judge.

We are so screwed.

Ready for some health care? 'Cause you're about to get you some.

Next up: Cap 'n' Tax!

We'll kill this economy if it's the last thing we do!

While we're talking about strange vehicle mishaps...'re a couple of my more interesting tales of underway woe:

1) The Pontiac Fiero was an almost entirely parts-bin car. Except for the body and the large visible chunks of the interior, nearly everything was sourced from extant GM vehicles: The front suspension came from the T-bodies (think "Chevette") and the rear suspension and drivetrain was basically the FWD X-body's (think "Citation") turned 180°. The parking brake handle came from the C4 Corvette, and was sandwiched between the driver's seat and the door.

To operate the parking brake, you'd raise the handle, which would ratchet the brakes on, and then lower it again so you could exit the vehicle without fouling your undercarriage on the brake lever. To take the parking brake off again, you'd pull the lever up, push the button on the end, and lower it. In other words, whether the brake was on or off, the lever was down; your only indication of the different status was the "BRAKE" idiot light on the dash.

You can see where I'm going with this, right?

I never actually used the parking brake, what with my car having the V-6 engine and a granny gearchanger. But apparently I messed around with it one day... Did you know that it was possible to disengage a Fiero's parking brake enough to turn the light off, but still have the brake slightly engaged? And that if you drive half a dozen miles or so down I-85 in Atlanta with a caliper dragging, you'll boil the brake fluid and be rewarded with an horrific smell and a pedal that goes to the floor?

Luckily I noticed on the interchange before my off-ramp, and between there and the Armour Drive traffic light at the bottom of the ramp, I was able to pump some life back into the system, but it was a pretty hair-raising experience.

2) The Honda 700 Interceptor had a hydraulic clutch. The lever was only attached to the bike by the pivot screw, since it just operated a piston on the master cylinder. Once upon a time, immortal in the way that only 20-year-olds can be, I was riding home from work at about... oh... 100mph or so, northbound on GA400 (easy to do during morning rush hour, since the northbound lanes were deserted and the southbound ones were a parking lot.) Tooling blissfully along, something twinkled briefly in my peripheral vision as it fell off the handlebar. It was the screw from the clutch lever.

Followed almost immediately by the departure of the lever itself.



In what remains to this day one of my more virtuoso performances at the helm of a motor vehicle, I somehow managed to drift across three lanes of light traffic, downshifting from 5th to Neutral without the clutch, and bring the bike to a halt on the shoulder of the road. I then had to detach myself from the bike, walk back, and dodge traffic to get my clutch lever, laying in the road out by the median. It was more of a hike than I expected; it takes a bit of road to coast down from the far side of the Ton.

A crude pivot was MacGyvered from a small twig of Georgia pine lying by the side of the road, and using this and a deathgrip to hold the lever on the bar, I rode to the Honda dealership for a replacement part, and all was well as ended well.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Human ingenuity knows no bounds...

I've been present for the launch of a saboted blueberry muffin, but I ain't never seen a Wiener Cannon before.

Do a search on "NHTSA" and "Pedal Misapplication".

When the Audi 5000 story ("I was pressing the brake as hard as I could and the car hurtled demonically through a playground full of orphans and right into a nunnery!") hit 60 Minutes back in the day, I demonstrated its basic fallacy to friends by climbing behind the wheel of my Dodge Coronet, pointing right into the apartment, and flooring the gas pedal with the brakes pressed to the floor. The Mopar V-8, which had a starter motor more potent than the Audi five-banger, was easily held stationary by the pathetic drum brakes that possessed a mere fraction of the braking power provided by the 4-wheel discs on the Kraut sedan.

If I’d screwed up behind the wheel, I’d like to think I'd have the integrity to admit it, rather than go play “pin-the-tail-on-the-scapegoat”, which the owner of this ‘96 Camry, (equipped with neither ECB nor ECT,) is obviously trying to do.

I’m sure he’s found a lawyer who doesn’t know a master cylinder from a throttle position sensor to take his case, though.

(H/T to Unc.)

Maybe for thee, but not for me.

Both JayG and Carteach0 have reviews of Lasermax guide rods up. While I agree with both of them about the quality of the product, I'm skeptical of its utility for me on a carry gun.

I've had Lasermaxes in a couple of guns, the last one being a G23C back in... '01? '02? I gave up on the concept myself, at least for CCW, because of the need to operate an extra button to get the laser dot up and running. I'd imagine a real-life incident with my Glock would have run something like:

"Holy $#!+!!!"



Oh, wait... *click* ...and on comes the laser.

Still, a useful training aid, or maybe on a housegun where one would presumably have more warning before use.

I probably shouldn't...

...but sometimes I can't resist.

A "commenter" at Marko's munchkin ranch this AM:
I am very interested in a sugar-free living. I currently have a sweet-tooth, and am finding it difficult to find meal plans, what to eat for snacks, etc. While diabetes is not something that runs in my family, I am still concerned and would like to be smart and take a proactive approach to my health. Any tips or advice?
Finding myself with an extra few minutes on my hands, I tried to pretend that I was a drone in a Chongqing spam sweatshop:
I am very interested in a spam-free living. I currently have an ad fetish, and am finding it difficult to find pop-up windows, Chicom trojans, and malware-infested Lithuanian porn sites. While identity theft is not something that runs in my family, I am still concerned and would like to be smart and take a proactive approach to not falling prey to 419 scammers. Any tips or advice?
My context-sensitive Google ads should be interesting for a couple of days...

The strange knowledge I have...

Bobbi walks into the office this morning and looks over to see Slinky, the three-pound geriatricat, sitting in her litterbox, looking dejected.

"Oh, what's wrong, Slinky?"

"Performance anxiety," I supplied helpfully, "She just had her butt positioned in the litterbox, and she was kinda tentative about the whole peeing thing to begin with..."

"So she's just waiting in there 'til the feeling comes again?"

"Yup, pretty much. Do you know, it's sad that I've become a leading authority on your cat peeing. I've watched her so many times in the past two years to make sure she didn't pee over the edge, I could write a book: On The Micturitions of Slinky."

QotD: Civics 101.

From Marko:
The Constitution doesn’t grant rights, period. The Constitution lays out what government may do, and the Bill of Rights lays out what government may not ever do, under any circumstances. Nowhere in there does it “grant” any rights to the citizenry…not even in the Bill of Rights, which merely recognizes certain individual rights.
Eloquently stated. I think a huge mistake was made by calling it the "Bill of Rights" in the first place, rather than the "Bill of Restrictions" or the "List Of Stuff That Means We Break Out The Torches And Pitchforks".

A puzzler, and no mistake...

This morning, upon awakening, I blurted out "Zombie robot clowns!" rather loudly and for no immediately discernible reason.

This has now got me stumped, because where exactly would zombie robot clowns fit in the Taxonomy of Modern Dangers? Both the zombies and the Killer Space Robots are independents, like the Face-Eating Monkeys, and not tied in with the ninja-vampire faction or the loose pirate-hippie-werewolf collective, but the whole "clown" thing throws an x factor into the calculation...

Also, what gun for zombie robot clowns?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


While on the eMac, I let a tremendous amount of computer chores slide. For instance, I'm even behinder than usual on email. Seeing as how it's beddy-bye time at Roseholme, I'll take a snow shovel to the inbox first thing in the AM, as soon as I'm done using it on the sidewalks, (if the TeeWee Weather Gnomes are to be believed.)

Uncrippled. Sort of.

I have successfully installed the new power supply in the old PC, and am off the eMac.

The hard drive is definitely making noise. I hope to have the situation rectified soon.

PDW Pr0n:

Frank James has a pretty cool post up on the trendy "Personal Defense Weapons": The FN P90 and HK MP7.

Dodging the herd.

On the way downtown to have breakfast with Shootin' Buddy, my cellie rang.


"Hi! Where are you?"

"Just crossing... Just crossing 10th Street."

If I sounded frazzled, it was because I was hurtling through the predawn pogonip down Meridian, cheek-by-jowl in a herd of the fifth most dangerous species of driver: the Precaffeinated Yuppie Commuter. (One lane to a customer, pal! Hey, it's the long skinny one on the right! We only get the one shade of green! You can't take your half out of the middle!)

Fortunately, I made it to Le Peep without experiencing any idiot-induced drama of the type Breda did on her recent commute.

Interestingly, two tables away at the restaurant was Former Democrat Mayor Bart Peterson. I'm not sure if my subsequent "Wah-wah-wah-waaahhh" was audible or not. (Of course, his GOP successor is doing his best to join him in ignominy by hanging out with the yellow lines and dead 'possums. Remember: "Bipartisan" is Latin for "Disliked by Everybody.")

Charlie don't surf, Spartans don't ice dance.

The original Olympics were a celebration of military virtues, with events directly relating to warfighting skills like spear-throwing, running away, sword fighting, and beating the crap out of people with your bare hands. There was no "synchronized swimming" in Ancient Greece.

Putting aside the fact that the entire concept of the Winter Olympics is suspect, with the exception of the Simo Hayha Memorial Biathlon (which should use Bolshevik silhouettes as targets for the sake of authenticity,) what the heck is up with an event that includes a "kiss and cry" area? Not even the Theban Sacred Band would be caught dead in a "kiss and cry" area.

In the name of science!

Wired magazine tests some ballistic vests because, hey, shooting stuff!

Every now and then, I've considered getting a vest, but so far the fact that I really don't need one for anything has stopped me (for a change.)


Off to meet Shootin' Buddy for breakfast. I'm going to order huevos rancheros, because it's so much fun to say.

Monday, February 22, 2010

As it turns out...

...the thermostat was hunky-dory.

The flammensensen/sparkenmacher gizmo, on the other hand, had macht mit der kaputten.

All is fixed, and the denizens of Roseholme Cottage are slowly thawing.

What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin' on out there?

Already having a publicly-accessible list of sex offenders, a couple of California lawmakers have decided that it would be swell if their state had one for dog-kickers, too.

Next up, a publicly accessible list of people who don't separate the clear glass from the colored glass in their recycling bins.

(And, yes, I am well aware that one of the best signs of a budding monster is torturing animals as a child, but being juvenile offenses, one would presume that these would not make the list...)

An important message...

...from the Please, Please, Pleese Get An iLife Foundation:
The officiant wore a black turtleneck. The rings were brought in attached to a first-generation iPod. And the bride and groom both said iDo. What more could you hope for from an Apple store wedding?
I predict it will be buggy and missing a few crucial features, and will probably only last until one of them discovers Spouse G2.

The single worst thing about using Apple products is that people might think you're one of these iBorgs.

You can tell it's Monday.

Overslept. Woke up to a very chilly house, thanks to a thermostat which apparently expired quietly in the night. Feelin' cranky.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Things are tough all over.

Apparently the current steep unemployment rate beats the stuffin' out of Egg McMuffin.

I find this easy to believe due to my observations while working at the outpost of the Vast Petroleum Conspiracy, which was co-located with an outpost of the Vast Fast Food Conspiracy. On weekdays, lunch and dinner business at Mickey D's was best described as "steady", but breakfast was a madhouse, with people four or five deep at the registers and a line of cars snaking around the building as though they were giving dollar bills away at the drive-thru window. This entire crowd would evaporate at 9:00AM sharp, which would seem to correlate strongly with the customers being in a "going to work" condition.

Now let us praise Lethargia, the goddess of slack.

The snow is melting, I have a tummy full of sushi, and it very much feels like the tag end of a Sunday, where it just doesn't seem worth it to spin up any fresh projects before calling it a night.

As annoying as the snow was, I feel sad watching it melt. This is probably the residue of childhood, where the sight of the melting snow meant it was back to school in the morning.

The Blogmeet was fun, and we even had a surprise attendee in the person of PA State Cop, talented raconteur and easy winner of this month's Cup of Turonistan.


Sitting on the porch, reading a shiny new copy of Starving the Monkeys: Fight Back Smarter, and waiting for Shootin' Buddy to show up so we can head to the Blogmeet.

I've got extra proselytizing copies of Eat the Rich, Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut, Give War a Chance, and Holidays in Hell to hand out when I get there. 

Don't be square, be there.

Fundamentally Unserious.

In the tradition of great statesmen like Sonny Bono, Al Franken, the Governator, and Jesse "The Body" Ventura, The Nation (whose editorial board looks like a cross between the Legion of Doom and the Island of Misfit Toys*) is apparently all aboard the John Cougar Mellencamp for Senator train.

*Srsly. Lani Guinier, Toni Morrison, and Tom Hayden? All they need is Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy and the dude that bites the heads off chickens, and they'd have the complete collection.


I was supposed to be writing something, but first I had to go to the grocery store, and then my little "news" tab in this strange Mac browser served up the bizarro saga of Amy Bishop.

This isn't crazy: This is merely the result of a life of never being told "no"; a life full of self-esteem boosting, where everybody else is sent over from central casting to be extras in The Great Life Of Dr. Bishop. This is what happens when the culture of Everybody's A Winner spends forty years enabling a pure-t sociopath.


I have a blister on my thumb from loading Ruger mags yesterday. It had been way too long since I'd last been to the range.

EDIT: Incidentally, we went shooting yesterday at the new Applied Ballistics indoor range in Lafayette. I was very, very impressed with the facility, which was well-lit, well-ventilated, clean and had a friendly and helpful staff. If you're in the Lafayette area, check them out.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Infinite (or nearly so) possibilities.

Hardly anything presents such a challenge to the imagination as a stripped AR lower sitting on the desk in front of you. About the only things I know I won't build on it are a heavy-barrel varminter or a pistol.

Here's what I'm torn between:
  1. Another M4gery; to serve as a backup to my current carbine and a more-or-less permanent home for my rimfire kit.
  2. A 9mm dedicated indoor/pistol range carbine.
  3. A 20" M16A2-style service rifle.
Most likely it'll be the first one, but I can't make up my mind...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Per Sedunum Ad Astra

Frank has a post up announcing the news that the Spanish gunmaker Astra is back, or at least its name is. And now it's Swiss. And it makes AR-15s and 1911s, because there just aren't enough people making AR and 1911 clones on this planet, apparently.

Couldn't they have done something original and Swiss, like Stgw.57 and P210 clones? Or brought back the Astra SIG knock-offs?


Roomie scored me a power supply the day before yesterday, but I haven't gotten around to bolting it into the old machine. I'm still doing all my blogging and web-surfing on the eMac, which is holding up pretty well, considering that it was a low-end machine when it was introduced six years ago. 

Still, not being able to boot up my old tower makes me realize how much stuff I had free-floating in my "My Documents" file just waiting to be used. I need to get that power supply installed this afternoon.

Our nanny marches on.

Raise your hand if you think sticking a paper tube full of shredded leaves into your face and setting it on fire is a perfectly safe thing to do. Nobody?

Okay, how about if I write "light" on the side of the tube before you set it on fire. Still nobody?

Well, the .gov thinks you're too dumb to figure it out without their help. and passed sweeping legislation last summer, complete with all kinds of new regulations about labeling and packaging. But apparently just complying with the regulations isn't enough. Cigarette packs won't say "light" on them anymore, but they will still come in different-colored packs, and your betters are positively incontinent about it:
“They’re circumventing the law,” said Gregory N. Connolly, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. “They’re using color coding to perpetuate one of the biggest public health myths into the next century.”
Oh. Emm. Gee. Greg. Whatever shall we do? Let's pass more laws!

Posting delay.

Roomie caught me off guard by frying up some bacon and eggs this AM.

Posting will resume after I put them in my face.

Holster pr0n:

Michael Bane shows off his 1911 rig for Wild Bunch class SASS shooting.

That's pretty cool right there.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The purpose of the Internet.

Thanks to Atom Smasher, I have discovered the reason Al Gore invented the intarw3bz: Because if he hadn't, we never would have seen the adventures of Axe Cop.

No pretentious hipster can do Dada like a five-year-old kid. 

I think the intertubes better start warming up its acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize.

Almost as good as the "Twinkie Defense"...

The whackjob professor in Alabama allegedly failed her saving throw vs. Crazy.

Whatever. As long as they keep her in a +3 Cell of Holding until they get around to juicing her up with a Potion of Executing.

Barney Fife goes Federal.

In all, 243 firearms were lost in both agencies during that period, according to the January report from Inspector General Richard Skinner. Of those, 36 were lost because of circumstances beyond officers' control -- for instance, ICE lost a firearm during an assault on an officer. Another 28 were lost even though officers had stored them in lockboxes or safes.

But 74 percent, or 179 guns, were lost "because officers did not properly secure them," the report said.
Nice work, Barney Fife.

Leaving your heater in a public restroom should be an automatic crash-landing. I don't care if you stopped to pee on the way to your retirement party: Leave the public's pistol lying around where any hoodlum or toddler can get their grubby paws on it, and you should exit the doors with enough velocity to bounce when you hit pavement.

This is one of many things that stems from the "Only Ones" mentality so rightly derided in parts of the blogosphere. People who don't even like guns, who have been culturally conditioned to actively dislike them, are issued one and expected to suddenly embrace it and care for it.

You know how come I don't leave my gat in the bathroom? Because I had to pay my own hard-earned dough for it, I'm packing it because I want to and not because my boss makes me, and most importantly, I don't have a powerful .gov employee's union to cover my arse from legal responsibility if I leave it lying around.

The plight of the Na'vistinians.

Look for a lot more protesters painting themselves blue and trying to link their cause to sympathetic cartoon savages in the future.
The villagers have compared their situation to the popular film "Avatar" because of the barrier's proximity to their village.
Yeah, except for the part where the Na'vi didn't stuff their drawers full of semtex and auto-destruct in pizza parlors and you aren't nine feet tall with USB plugs at the end of your ponytails; other than that, there's no difference.

The things I learn on the intertubes...

I had no idea that there was a British spinoff of Law & Order.

I went and looked at the actual Crown Prosecution Services website, and there was, indeed, a sort of FAQ section. The question I most wanted answered wasn't covered, however: "What's up with the funny wigs, anyway?"

Deep night.

Roomie is off tuning stardrives, and I find myself staring at a part of the clock which I rarely see, thanks to a poorly-timed coffee-drinking decision. Oh well, in for a penny, up 'til dawn, or something like that. Maybe I'll get some writing done...

(And this second pot of coffee I just made is positively the lamest ever. I must have undercounted the scoops or something. Blech.)

"You can't let the little pricks generation-gap you."

Larry Correia asks "Prithee, doest thou thinketh that the language changeth over time?"

Considering that whole novels have been written in the vernacular before, and that the piece of slang in question is right in the target audience's wheelhouse, I don't see why there was even a question...

Writing for an internet audience is different than writing for dead tree stuff in one crucial respect: I used to be extra-cautious with using hyperlinks to explain technical terms or obscure historical or pop-culture references, but I stopped doing that only a few months into the blog, figuring "Anybody reading this is, by definition, hooked up to the repository of the sum total of human knowledge as well as weird anime pr0n. If they don't catch a reference, they can damned well Google up an answer."

Has this been thought all the way through?

Like a hyperevolved descendant of The Clapper, the devices will let television viewers navigate menus and control volume by moving their arms in a predefined patterns.
Sit real still when your team scores that come-from-behind game-tying touchdown, or you'll suddenly find yourself watching This Old House reruns with the volume turned to eleven and you'll have to do the Macarena really quick to get back in time for the extra point.

Dog bites man again.

Apparently having gotten used to IEDs, the NYT reporter seems vaguely surprised when the Taliban actually shoots back.

The story took me a little aback. I mean, reporting shootings in a war zone is like noting that they sometimes drive a little fast at Le Mans. "People getting shot" is generally how you tell War Zones apart from Not War Zones.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Try to remember not to forget...

(Image courtesy of Old Grouch.)

The Duh-Lympics.

Nobody in their right mind would dream of holding a Winter Olympics in Seattle, but, hey, Vancouver's in Canada, and we know Canada's all cold and stuff, eh?

My favorite part thus far has been the local TeeWee weather folk chirping "...and, wow! It's colder here then it is in Vancouver!" Well, no duh, Skippy; it usually is about this time of year.

Double standards?

So a judge has ruled that the Founding Dads could envision

Which is cool and all, but what I'd like to know is how many people cheering that decision also believe that the same Founding Dads couldn't envision the cheap Romanian SKS?

Screw that! We won't VAT!

So, in yet another hair-shirted NYT piece in which the writer bemoans "gridlock" in "ungovernable" America (without explaining how a federal government controlled entirely by one party is "gridlocked") we get to the meat of the issue, which is this: Europeans are cool. Europeans have a VAT. All cool Americans really wish they were European, but don't want to move there and learn a foreign language, so instead, we'll just get a VAT here, which will make us feel more European every time we look at a bloated receipt.
Yet economists, including veterans of past Republican administrations, are vocal in insisting that the debt problem is too great to be solved without increasing revenues somehow and perhaps moving to a new consumption tax system like Europe’s.
Fine. Do away with the income tax and we'll talk sales tax. And not "consumption", but one-time "point-of-sale". Go talk to Boortz; he'll explain it and explain it and explain it until you beg him to shut up.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Overheard in the Office:

RX: "Haiti's bankrupt. The quake damage was twice the value of their whole economy."

Me: "Huh. So the country's basically totalled, then. Just write it off."

RX: "What do they do then? Saw it off the Dominican Republic and tow it to the island junkyard?"

Me: "I think Haiti is the island junkyard."

Fear and Self-Loathing in Vancouver.

Jay Mariotti is apparently an American journalist who lives in Chicago. Like any good American journalist, especially one in Mordor-on-Lake-Michigan, he is vaguely embarrassed to be an American. Imagine his horror when he went to Canada for the current festivities and found them acting all... all... well, I'll let him tell you:
You've sacrificed your sound sensibilities, your lighthearted ways and your minimum-stress comfort zone to become, well, a pocket version of the United States of America...
Horrors! That's almost like being a pocket version of, well, Hitler! Or worse, George Bush!

Damn those people for not acting quaintly foreign enough to suit the reporter!

Here comes the snow again.

Understand that my adult life has been spent in Atlanta and Knoxville up until very recently. Snow is something that happens in any quantity only every other year or so, and disappears a day or two after it's fallen. Maybe once every ten years you'd see a snowfall significant enough to shut things down for two or three days, but it was a rare thing.

My first two winters in Indy didn't disabuse me of these notions I had of snow being an intermittent thing. Now comes the winter of '09-'10...

The average daily high for February in the Circle City is in the low 40s; average snowfall for the month is ~6". This year, we haven't seen the far side of freezing for more than fifteen minutes or so this month, and the airport saw enough snow last night to do us for an average February, just in one night. It's been nigh on two weeks since I last saw the lawn.

And they're calling for more tonight. And more this weekend.

This morning, I used a snow shovel to free the Zed Drei from the garage where it's been cocooned since the Friday before last so I could make it to the bank. Slithering the couple blocks to the nearest cleared road on steamroller rear tires with a summer tread pattern, I found myself wondering if a set of snow tires for my little Nazi slot car might not be a wise investment after all...

Back in Mac.

From March through November of '08, I did all my computing on old Macs as an experiment: a G4/500 tower as my main machine, a G3/466 iBook for a laptop, and a G3/400 iMac as an iTunes server. The experiment ended when I got tired of the G4 bogging down on web graphics.

As things turned out, it was cheaper to just drag my P4 Wintel box back down from the attic than it was to upgrade the G4 tower, the iBook got largely sidelined in favor of my handy little Eee for mobile use, and the only Mac I still used at all was an eMac I'd picked up to replace the iMac as an iTunes server.

So here we are, on a Mac again for the first time in well over a year. And this one doesn't have that "lived-in" feel, either. The software is just what came already loaded on the machine, with a generic desktop background and not a single icon. The only browser is Safari, which I never used much before, having preferred Camino.

Much like Vincent told Jules, it's the little differences that are weird ("You know what Mac users call a cheeseburger?" asks Bobbi.) A half-dozen times this morning, I've unconsciously gone to check the time by sliding my mouse pointer to the bottom right-hand corner of the screen in order to make my hidden menu bar pop up, only to stare stupidly for a second or two before realizing that, duh, the clock on the Mac is in the top right corner...

In what world... Evan Bayh a "centrist"?

I mean, other than the weird world of journalists, the one where John McCain is a "right-winger".

Just what I needed this morning.

I'm typing this on the eMac that I use mostly for an iTunes server because I woke up to a dead power supply on my old P4 tower. Just yesterday I remarked to Bobbi that it was a minor miracle that, given its 7 years of being powered on pretty much 24/7, the old box hadn't suffered any major component failures. I was worried about the hard drive at the time I said that, but it looks like the P/S beat it to the punch.

Well, just festive. I could replace the power supply, but I'm wondering if that's even worth doing on a 7-y.o. box with a Socket 478 AGP mobo. I mean, the hard drive needs replacing, too...

The smart thing to do would be to replace the whole box, or at least all the guts. The CD and DVD drives are obviously salvageable and I can recycle the case, but we're looking at a new mobo, video card, and at least one hard drive, at a minimum, and that's an expense I just can't afford right now, at least without conducting another impromptu yard sale. 


So, watch this space, I guess.

Anyway, how was your morning?

(EDIT: As I am reminded in comments,  I shouldn't bitch too much. I mean, you've got to be a decadent Westerner to wake up; note "Dammit, my computer's dead"; unplug the mouse and keyboard from it and plug them into the spare computer sitting on the desk right next to it because you couldn't be bothered to go find your netbook and power it up and then whine wirelessly to all your friends on the intertubes about how much your life sucks).

Monday, February 15, 2010

I was Tea Partying when Tea Partying wasn't cool.

Remember how much cooler U2 was before The Unforgettable Fire came out and all the princesses and jocks started listening to them?

Survivor Type.

Having read Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, I was intrigued when I saw a copy of The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life at the book store. I took it home to read, and I wasn't disappointed. In amongst the anecdotes (which are unfortunately occasionally treated as the plural of "data") are such topics as:
  • Why, if you have to go into cardiac arrest, a Vegas casino is a great place to do so.
  • Why it's important to listen to the flight attendant's safety briefing.
  • Things you shouldn't do when your conveyance leaves you floating in the ocean.
  • Why "Losing Your Religion" in a crisis can actually have a deleterious effect on your chances of seeing your next birthday.
Worth reading.

Gettin' my geek on.

Borepatch touches on Percival Lowell, General Eisenhower, the Domesday Book, and John Carter of Mars, all in one fabulous post, immediately vaulting way the heck up my list of "Bloggers With Whom I'd Like To Have A Beer."

First came "MTV Unplugged"; now we have "CNN Unhinged".

So, I went to peruse the article on the latest round of snow and ice being deposited south of the Mason-Dixon and made the mistake of reading the comments. Oh boy.
All you eastern people are overreacting. here in the north like northern illinois. we get several feet of snow and everything goes smoothly after the first day. its just snow! its not acid people. really!
Well, that's because in northern Illinois, you have the infrastructure to deal with it. In Atlanta or Birmingham, it wouldn't make sense to spend money on salt trucks and plows that rust away between uses. It's cheaper to just let folks deal with it. Besides, it all melts off in a couple days, anyway.
Living here in the almost deep south, I can't help but think that a good, l-o-n-g, h-a-r-d, freeze of say 10- to 20-years might do the "deep South" some good. At least it would drive out all the crazies and bigots, and spread 'em around the country.
I know you think that you're terribly cosmopolitan compared to the rubes which surround you, but when you finally get your dream job busing tables in the Central Perk coffee house, you are going to be bitterly disappointed to find that bigots and crazies are pretty evenly geographically distributed throughout the US. (Also, if you carefully parse your comment, you'll realize that the nearest one is in the mirror.)
Ever see The Day After Tomorrow?
Please go play Kiss The Locomotive.


I appear to have overslept.

Sorry 'bout that.

Content shortly.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Overheard in the Office:

Me: " Huh. They do sell mayo packets in bulk online."

RX: "Relish, too?"

Me: "I'm sure."

RX: "So there will be tuna salad after the apocalypse. I like tuna salad. How much?"

Me: "Twenty-five bucks for, like, 200 two-ounce packets. Wow, four hundred ounces of mayo..."

RX: "How much space will that take up?"

Me: "I dunno. It only says 'Shipping Size: 0.29'."

RX: "Yeah, but 0.29 what?"

Me: "You got me; it doesn't say. Point-two-nine elephants? Point-two-nine breadboxes?"

It's not what you know, it's who you know. And how you cry.

Apparently, the crazy 'Bama prof who smoked a roomful of fellow educators recently had settled personal disagreements with a heater before. But, like most people who spark a family member and then cry a lot, it was dismissed as an accident. Allegations of string-pulling and marker-calling seem to swirl around the incident, too.

It's like two tablets of Euphoridol™.

AnotherGunChick on the effect of a sudden outbreak of sunshine in the winter gloom:
The snow is still here. The roads are not iced over and the sun is shining full and bright. The SUN is shining. The weatherman said cold, breezy and cloudy. It is cold and there is a slight breeze but the Sun is shining. Did I mention the sun is shining.
When Mr. Sun finally made his appearance here in Indy late last week, the sunlight was almost drug-strength, amplified as it was by the blanket of white on the ground.

(Oh, and now they're calling for more snow tonight and tomorrow, another 5" or so. You know, to freshen our drink, so to speak, just in case the sun had melted any off...)

Crazy, but just a little bit.

Some people are pointing out that the whacko arrested for... um... something or other in Massachusetts was, in fact, a whacko.

In fact, someone has called him a "paranoid loon". Assuming that the press has been more accurate with his paranoia than they have with his gun collection, I'll grant that this may be true. Certainly some of the statements released thus far would indicate that his Reynold's Wrap yarmulke was a bit too tight.

However, I'm sure that cherry-picking my posts here since 2005, one could no doubt come up with a pastiche of gems that made me sound like I was a pathological goober about to saddle up and bust caps, too.

And where does "being a paranoid loon" fall in the penal code, anyway? Is that state, or federal? I mean, there’s a whole web forum full of people that believe Dick Cheney blew up the WTC so he could steal Iraq’s oil, and nobody’s arresting them.

(You can check it out if you don’t believe me; the URL is… er, “”.)

All coiled up and ready to go.

Seen at Borepatch's place:

Yup. That's a working Gauss pistol. More or less.

Do want!

Not enough machine guns and dead Nazis.

Everybody's talking about the opening ceremonies in Canuckistan, which I didn't watch because I was pretty sure it didn't involve Uzis.

I think a wide variety of entertainments, from halftime marching bands to Olympic opening ceremonies to Cirque du Soleil to most any Broadway musical, would be greatly livened up by random explosions, rabid wolverines loose on the field, drunken Shriners chasing each other around the track in Miatas, and midgets in clown suits that popped out of trap doors on stage and ran up and headbutted the occasional performer right in the junk. That would be just the most awesome spectacle on television; I'd wear Depends rather than risk tearing myself away from the screen for a minute.

Midnight snack.

Chicken of the Sea sells little foil packets of pink salmon, and the local grocer frequently has them on sale at 10/$10. They keep forever (sell-by dates are usually 3 or 4 years down the road,) and so I keep plenty on hand.

When combined in a bowl with dollops of honey mustard, mayo, and relish, and then spooned onto saltines, they're perfect for a little midnight snack. I have a happy feeling in my tummy now.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I don't get it...

What's the fascination with Really Big Trucks?

Hey, you know what's really big and gets lousy gas mileage? A school bus. But do you see folks lining up to buy one of those? I mean, other than the Partridge Family?

I don't care about cargo space; the only thing I need my vehicles to haul is ass.

Winter wonderland.

There could be snow on the ground in all 50 states simultaneously by the end of the week in what would be a weather oddity.
When was the last time they had sticking snow in the Florida panhandle? I remember that St. Simon's Island in Georgia got enough to close the causeway back in... 1989?

(H/T to SondraK via Firehand.)

Watch it all burn.

Billy Beck on the Scott Brown win:
You had to hear me laughing during that Scott Brown flail over in Massachusetts. Everywhere around me, conservatives and Republicans were just about shooting guns off in the streets in celebration.
Mostly what I experienced over the Scott Brown thing was a sense of schadenfreude. I mean, if me and Ted Kennedy had both fallen off a cliff and he'd hit the ground first, I'd have cratered in laughing, know what I mean?

The sight of all the gloomy hangdog mugs in front of network cameras and the gaffed-fish backing and filling from Barry as his plans screeched to a very public, if temporary, halt was chucklesome, too. When one is going to hell in a bucket, one enjoys the ride however one can.

A regular Nostradamus...

Bill Gates is playing Technological Visionary again:
"What we're going to have to do at a global scale is create a new system," Gates said in a speech at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. "So we need energy miracles."
...he then went on to predict that no home would ever need more than 640 in² of solar panels.

If the pants fit, wet them.

I know I'm late to this story, but here's the synopsis if you are, like me, just tuning in:

Apparently some guy in Massachusetts owns fewer guns in total than I own, say, Mausers. And the po-po and media just absolutely lose their collective bladder control about it.

My favorite part of the charges is this: "Girard faces four counts of possession of an infernal device..." Infernal devices? What, the guy had three bootleg copies of The Necronomicon and a Hand of Glory?

Okay, the guy was a little loopy, and the handcuffs and stun batons are kinda mall-ninja-y, but he wasn't hurting anyone, and bad taste isn't a crime, else half of Hollywood would be in leg irons. Further, all the guns appear to have been purchased legally (although the wife is apparently going to fix that with a restraining order,) which makes all the hysteria look a little overblown. It's high-handed crap like this that makes people get their Wookie suit on.

(H/T to SurvivalBlog.)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Overheard in the Office:

Me: "It's a little known fact that there was a Welsh seaborne raid on the eastern shore of the Baltic back in the Middle Ages. The Welsh raiders were last seen piling back into their boats on the beach near Helsinki, great big sacks stuffed full of vowels over their shoulders, and bloody severed W's and Y's hanging from their belts. The Finnish language never fully recovered; it was more than two generations before they could name their children anything other than Kktt and Ppjj."

I did not know that...

Did you ever stop and wonder about the various triviata involved in launching a weather balloon? Me, neither.

Apparently, though, there is quite a bit more to it than "1) Put helium in balloon. 2) Let go of balloon."


c u in court, kthxbye

The Florida Supreme Court has said that it's not okay for judges and lawyers to be Facebook friends. Whether they are still allowed to refer to each other as "bff" when texting is unclear.

(H/T to Unc.)


You know what's cooler than a bulldozer? An armored bulldozer with a belt-fed 40mm grenade launcher, that's what.

Dog Bites Man, and other unshocking news...

Some of today's headlines at are real headscratchers. Here are a couple of the best:

Bound bodies found in Afghanistan

"Bodies found in Afghanistan"? Isn't that kind of like "Corn found in Nebraska" or "Eminem fans found in suburban high school parking lot"?

Iran resumes nuclear weapon work, U.S. report expected to say

Okay, c'mon, raise your hand if you really believe they stopped. Pull the other one, Mahmoud; it's got bells on it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Positively 54th Street...

I went for a walk yesterday. I figured I'd use the Monon Trail, since it usually gets cleared pretty quickly after a snowfall, in case anybody wants to risk pneumonia jogging through the arctic wastes. Surprisingly, it hadn't been touched. I took my camera along with me and snapped some pictures down near 54th Street.

54th Street is sort of a demarcation line. North of 54th, the Monon Trail is sheltered by trees and runs through gentrified neighborhoods to the shops and bars and parks of Broad Ripple proper.

South of 54th, there are alternating patches of half-abandoned light industrial zones and run-down residential districts.

Between 54th and 52nd, there is a stretch of wall that has been brightened by an officially sanctioned mural...

...although some walls show traces of where, er... "unofficial" murals have been recently removed.

It can look pretty bleak in the wintertime, with the leaves off the trees.

Still, there is interesting wildlife if you know where to look.

Along the north side of 54th are some of my favorite little shops in Broad Ripple. On the left you can see Locally Grown Gardens. The bright yellow storefront is Nicole-Talyor's Pasta & Market. Down at the right end is the fabulous eatery, Zest.

It was as cold as it looks. Even though I was bundled up nicely and warmed by the exercise, it still felt good to get home.

(EDIT: Contrast the photos above with the photos from the May '09 Blogmeet, held at Locally Grown Gardens...)

Okay, that is pretty cool...

...and the 3D effect is neat, too.

Thankfully, this is not a need-based economy.

What’s “need” got to do, got to do with it?
What’s “need” but a fig leaf for desire?

Embarrassing admissions:

There has been discussion around the gunblogosphere on the topic of the "Call of Duty Effect". Herewith are some of my own embarrassing admissions, from before First Person Shooters had even been invented:
  • When I was 18 or 19, I thought the coolest pistol in the world was the VP70z, because it had an "18 shot clip".
  • Since there wasn't much difference in Top Secret between 9mm and .45, I knew that the Luger was obviously a much better pistol than the 1911, because it had a "bigger clip". Plus, it looked tough.
  • One time, back when I still knew everything, I was standing in the gun store on whose showcases I routinely left noseprints, and I interrupted a conversation between a customer and the counter guy to correct the customer on some trivial datum or terminology regarding SMG's and "silencers", only to be coldly informed that the customer in question worked down the road at Sionics and I should shut my piehole.

In retrospect, it would have been nice to have something as cool as Counterstrike to blame for my damnfoolishness.

A new level of highbrow political discourse:

Roland Martin says:
Obama's critics keep blasting him for Chicago-style politics. So, fine. Channel your inner Al Capone and go gangsta against your foes.

To which I can only reply:

Stupid Kills.

There was a fratricidal shooting in the northern Indy 'burbs the other day. Apparently 14 year-old Cain slew 16 year-old Abel with a 20 gauge scattergun in the family garage. Allegedly the older brother was pelting the younger with snowballs when the kid picked up the fowling piece, "jokingly" pointed it at his older brother, and... well, I'll let the local cops, since everyone know that the police are gun experts, say it:
Police say the gun went off when the boy jokingly pointed it at his older brother, hitting him in the chest. Carson later died at an Indianapolis hospital.

Bowen says the shooting "was clearly an accident" and he doesn't expect any charges to be filed against the boy.
I'm sorry, officer, but that's wrong; well meant, but wrong. I know you want to spare the parents and, for some reason, the shooter, but you know and I know and, sure as God made little green apples, the shooter knows that his finger pulled that trigger. Guns don't just "go off" by themselves.
According to neighbors, the young men were familiar with guns and firearm safety.

"The boys hunt all the time. They've always used guns. They know how to handle guns," said Wiles.
If the boys were familiar with the firearms safety, then why did the younger one act like he was a contestant in a "How Many Of The Four Rules Can You Break At Once" shoot-off?

Let's review the Four Rules:
  1. All guns are always loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your $%^&@#$ booger hook off the &*%$#@& bang switch.
  4. Be sure of your target and what's beyond it.
Sounds like Junior managed to break all four, with the usual consequences.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You know you're on teh intarw3bz too much when...

...every time you see this "Godwin Roofing" sign, you think "They're the Shingle Nazis!"

The Green Police want me to drive an Audi?


I'll take this one, please. I even promise to sing their little commercial jingle while doing great big smoky burnouts with all four tires.

(If you're low on those, I'll settle for one of these. kthxbye!)

Misleading titles.

Broad Ripple has a little local freebie weekly paper, named The Broad Ripple Gazette. (You'd think a place with this many art galleries, hair salons, and chi-chi eateries could scare up a better title, but anyway...)

It has a column titled "Gettin' Ripped In Ripple".

Given the reputation of our fair burg, it might surprise you to know that the column is about Biff and Muffy working out at Cardinal Fitness on weekday mornings, not Seth and Jared blowing chunks in the back seat of a squad car in the alley behind Chumley's at 2AM on Sunday.

Food, Fun, and Fabulous Prizes:

The Indiana Trappers Association and Furbearers Unlimited are having their annual fund-raising banquet in Lafayette this month.
Who: Furbearers Unlimited in conjunction with the Indiana Trappers Association, Inc.

When: Saturday, February 27, 2010, doors open at 5PM

Where: Outpost Banquet Hall, 2501 U.S. 231 South, Lafayette, Indiana

Contact: Mr. Stu Grell, Attica, Indiana
(765) 572-2207
(765) 363-2207

Tickets: Contact Stu, $25 a piece

What: Meal, silent auction, live auction, 20 firearms, knives, artwork.

Attention, Alanis Morissette:

In case you were wondering, this is "ironic".

A "black fly in your chardonnay" is just gross.

Were I Sarah Palin...

...I'd doodle a little teleprompter in the palm of my hand before my next speech.

Just sayin'...

When the only tool you have is legislation...

...every problem apparently requires a law.

Jim at The Travis McGee Reader notes:
There is some logic to not feeding wild animals, but I object to imprisoning barefoot boy with cheek of tan for the heinous crime of fishing with an angleworm.
I'm going to have to take a firm stand and say that any crime that can be committed with a string, a bent pin, and a worm, and without touching a single other person or their property, is no crime at all.
The bill says feeding and baiting wildlife would be unlawful in Iowa, except in a few specific situations. The aim is to keep animals from gathering in large numbers, which increases the likelihood that a diseased animal will infect others.


The bill would allow for exceptions, such as if Iowans want to place feed within 50 yards of their home for the purpose of observing wildlife.
Perhaps another exception could be made for feeding or baiting the wildlife with state legislators.

This is turning into a regular feature...

The Indianapolis Red Star has engaged in (quelle surprise!) a bit of selective "Letters to the Editor" publishing in continued pursuit of the zomg guns! bedwettery it has by way of an editorial agenda. RobertaX takes them to task.

Triumph of the will...

If you want a gun bad enough (and have access to a few simple machine tools,) you'll find a way to get one.

Me and my shovel are getting to be close friends.

I'll be clearing a path from the back door to the garage again this morning and sweeping the roomie's car clear of snow, but I'll do this with a smile on my face every day from now 'til the Fourth of July if it keeps all those bloodsucking midgets in DC from doing any more legislatin'.

Meantime, this is the longest the Bimmer has been garage-bound since I moved here. I've no doubt I could slither to the nearest cleared main artery if I had to, but why risk it when I can walk where I need to go?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Pick a weather pattern and stick with it!

So far, the zomg snow! that they were predicting last night and this morning has not happened. Instead we got snow this morning followed by more snow this afternoon. And before, they were saying no snow tomorrow. Now they're saying yes snow tomorrow. And maybe more snow this weekend, too.

I'm not deaf, I'm ignoring you.

Well, actually, I'm not ignoring you; I'm just learning about Savage pistols. I've got the great big book of Savage Pistols open, as well as the NRA's Firearms Assembly: Pistols and Revolvers, and both of my roomie's Savages to poke and prod at.

I'm hoping to get an Arms Room piece on them in detail, including some of the cool advertisements they ran back then. I mean, dig this ad copy from the Saturday Evening Post, circa 1910:
Woman's Turn Has Come

Ten women of Noroton, Conn., on April 15th, tried shooting a Savage Automatic. Eight of them had never handled a fire arm before. They shot at a man-shaped target thirty feet away. Eight women made vital hits, each with her first shot. The other two made vital hits with their second shots. Thus, with the first trigger pull, those women novices found that they were dead shots.

First shots are the shots that count.

Next they tried a common revolver, one of the finest built. Not one made a hit with her first shot; only one scored on the second.

Could there be any better proof that the Savage does not require practice? Anyone can shoot this wonderful arm accurately, because it points instinctively, as you point your forefinger.

This was a full page ad in a national, mainstream general-interest magazine. Interested readers could put $15 in cash or cheque in an envelope and receive a brand-new Savage 10-shot .32 caliber semiautomatic pistol in the mail. It was a different world.

Tonight on Gun Nuts Radio:

Michael from The Holster Site (aka EvylRobot) will be the guest to talk about skinning that smokewagon. Be there!

This makes my head hurt...

If you look on ahead of us down the identity politics turnpike, you can see Sweden, currently pulled over to the side of the road with its hood up...
STOCKHOLM (AP) - Sweden's unemployment agency has been found guilty of discrimination for expelling a Muslim man from a job training program because he refused to shake hands with a woman.
So, apparently in largely atheist, egalitarian Sweden, religious discrimination is worserer than sex discrimination. Check.

I am all out of shape for the Oppression Olympics, too; I'd better get my "Oh, my rights are being trampled!" game face on before next season.

All you White Christian Hetero Males are playing with a slight handicap differently-abled score modifier, but you shouldn't let that stop you! Anybody can find their inner Identity and go get someone to Oppress it! Judging from the comments I've seen elsewhere on the internets, some of you have already figured out how to sound like stands-to-pee versions of Germaine Greer. Sack up, already.

(H/T to The Shekel.)

A functioning perpetual motion machine!

From the department of "WTF are they thinking?" comes this tidbit:
NEW YORK ( -- Employers are getting hit with a massive tax hike at a time when they can least afford it.

Companies in at least 35 states will have to fork over more in unemployment insurance taxes this year, according to the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.

The median increase will be 27.5%. And employers in places such as Hawaii and Florida could see levies skyrocket more than ten-fold.
Gosh, what could higher taxes on employers lead to? Class? Anyone? Bueller?

"We have too many people drawing unemployment! The system is drained! We need to raise taxes on employers that are already laying people off!" Jesus wept, Skippy, are you trying to get everybody on the dole? No, wait... Don't answer that.

Thank goodness I remembered... fetch the snow shovel back in from the garage last night. It will make tunneling out this morning ever so much easier.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Legionary's Guide: FM VII-XXI.XIII

Just finishing up a fascinating little read: Legionary: The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual.

Written like a Field Manual for someone intent on joining the army circa 99AD, it's a clever little grunt's-eye view of the imperial war machine, with sections on selecting the best gear, preparing for arduous training, how to get a coveted immunis slot so as to get out of shovel work, and proper salary management to ensure a good pension.

A novel addition to the library of any Roman military buff.

It's spinal reflex now.

Winston's heart sank. That was doublethink. He had a feeling of deadly helplessness. If he could have been certain that O'Brien was lying, it would not have seemed to matter. But it was perfectly possible that O'Brien had really forgotten the photograph. And if so, then already he would have forgotten his denial of remembering it, and forgotten the act of forgetting. How could one be sure that it was simple trickery? Perhaps that lunatic dislocation in the mind could really happen: that was the thought that defeated him.
I know that it's blatant argumentum ad MCMLXXXIV to go here, but after eight years of going after the previous Maximum Leader by describing him as a cunning, buffoonish, Machiavellian, moronic, imperious puppet of a loose cannon who was out of control and carefully steered by various éminences grise, there are some who can now engage in effortless doublethink even faster than their eyes can focus.

QotD: At least waste my money on something cool.

As a conservative, I feel outraged enough that the government profligately wasted Chinese bondholder money on an ad in the Superbowl. -Brian J. Noggle
It's like finding out that not only have you been robbed, but the burglar used your money to buy a baggie of oregano and lawn clippings

Today In History: A little off the top, please.

On this day in 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was barbered to the collarbone for getting cross-threaded with her relative, Elizabeth.

The Parable of the Stick:

Once upon a time, the chief caveman of the Ug tribe decided that his guys didn't have effective enough sticks. They just didn't have that authoritative *thwack!* he was looking for when whopped over the head of neighboring Thog warriors, and some of their womenfolk even struggled while they were being dragged off by the hair.

So Chief Ug put out a contract for a million new sticks for his guys. His chief stick contractor put his head together with his chief R&D guy, and announced they could deliver the new Fifth Generation sticks, made of superstickium and guaranteed to have 50% greater *thwack!* than any forseeable enemy stick, for fifty-one clams each. Chief Ug was delighted, and the program got underway.

Unfortunately, the clam harvest was bad that year, plus a new peace treaty and trade agreement was signed with the Thog tribe, and suddenly the chief realized that maybe he didn't need a million shiny new sticks, and so he cut the order to 100.

"Sorry, Chief," said the guys at Stick Dynamics, "But a lot of this program is sunk costs already: engineering the superstickium, planting the superstickium orchards, training guys to whittle superstickium, cleaning up the superstickium waste in a way that won't piss off the Cave Protection Agency... Those are gonna be some mighty expensive sticks."

The Stick Dynamics accountant started counting on his toes, always a bad sign. "For a hundred-stick production run, you're looking at... um... carry the little toe... About five hundred thousand and one clams per stick."

The chief was apoplectic. "You promised me fifty-one clams a stick! The shamans are going to go ballistic when they hear this; they'll be joking about gold-plated sticks and hundred-thousand clam stick whittlers from now 'til when the moon is eaten by the night dragon!"

"That was based on a million stick contract, Chief. Actual production costs are only about a clam per stick, the rest is amortizing the R&D and developm..."

Nobody heard the rest because the chief whacked him over the noggin with the sole prototype stick and stalked off. It did *thwack!* just as promised.

The Chief never used the stick in war again, though: A stick that cost fifty-million-and-one clams is just too valuable to risk in combat. If it broke, the bad press would be horrible.