Saturday, July 31, 2010

You know what I love? Kitten pie!

PETA has pumped up its colossally moronic "Sea Kittens" ad campaign, a pathetic attempt to antropomorphize homely cold-blooded creatures that suffer the dual handicaps of being both tasty and dumber than most anything else with vertebrae and which are, as a consequence, routinely outwitted by five-year-olds armed with nothing more sophisticated than a string and a worm.

Now they want to use their funds to splash the "Sea Kittens" message all over the side of a fossil-fuel-gulping jet that has a carbon footprint like Shaq's snowshoe and which, as an added bonus, might even serve braised sea kitten as an entree in the first class cabin.

When you become a Gaia-huggin' PETAphile, do they remove your irony gland for free, or do they make you pay to get that done?

Meanwhile, I suddenly have a craving for sushi.

An army of one.

Most everyone knows that "grassroots antigun activist blogs" are run by paid activists who are about as "amateur" as 'Bama football players.

Apparently astroturf is expensive; real grassroots grow by themselves.

Overheard in the Office:

The dangers of using TeeWee news for your alarm clock:
RX: (emerging from her room) "Did a windmill catch fire at Chelsea Clinton's wedding? Like a free-floating windmill they were using to generate power?"

Me: "Huh? No."

RX: "Oh. That part must have been a dream then."

Friday, July 30, 2010

What a hoser, eh?

Some Canadian dude was shooting his M&P-15/22 when it had an out-of-battery event. He wasn't hurt, but the gun was damaged and required repair.

In the virile and manly tradition of lumberjacks, Mounties, and John Candy, he has bravely written a letter to the president of S&W and is, in his own words
"...seeking legal advice to see what my options are and the appropriates actions to take from this point on."
You know, I've had a few out-of-battery incidents with .22 self-loaders before, but I've never had one cause such psychic trauma that I had to whinge to the entire internet about the experience and threaten to hire legal representation.
"I did a quick check on myself...not a scratch!! but that hot gas felt like someone threw sand on my face and hans[sic]."
It sounds like that sand all landed in his underthings.

Always wear eye and ear protection, kids!

And that's the way it wasn't.

Just finished reading a neat little book called Almost America: From the Colonists to Clinton: a "What If" History of the U.S.

It's a collection of various events in American history with short vignettes on what might have happened if they'd gone the other way. What made it most interesting was the author's choice of potential turning points. In addition to the obvious stuff like "What if Wilson had kept the Zimmerman Telegram a secret and actually managed to broker a peace treaty instead of getting the US into the Great War?" and "What if Lee had accepted the offer to command the Union army?" there are a whole bunch of chapters that are off the well-trampled counterfactual path, such as "What if Theodore Roosevelt had seriously pursued putting an end to college football?" and "What if the Twelfth Amendment had never been passed?" (Of special interest to the author, as he's also written a history of the vice presidency called Bland Ambition.)


Shooting on the cheap.

SayUncle sells out again, this time writing up a review on his Brownells .22LR conversion for his AR-15.

Not only are these things wicked cheap to shoot, but they also let you get trigger time with a carbine at your local indoor range.

QotD: "Wish I'd Said That" Edition.

Dustbury on Illinois budget woes:
Perhaps they can blame this on Deficit Inattention Disorder
I haven't heard one that good since "Electile Dysfunction".

It's in the water.

Regarding that whole Charles Rangel thing:
The House ethics committee on Thursday accused veteran Rep. Charles Rangel of 13 violations of House rules involving alleged financial wrongdoing and harming the credibility of Congress.

The charges accused the 20-term Democrat from New York...
You can stop right there.

You couldn't stand in the lobby of the Capitol building for 40 years without becoming a corrupt, influence-peddling, power-hungry oligarch, let alone occupy a chair in a legislative chamber. I swear to Hamilton, even the janitor in that den of thieves probably barks "Do you know who I am?" at grocery clerks.

I submit that twenty consecutive congressional terms is prima facie evidence of pretty much any ethical violation you'd care to throw at somebody.

I'm trying real hard...

Across the wookie-sphere, there's a strong anti-police sentiment, much of which whiffs of guys who are bitter about getting speeding tickets from the same dudes that flushed their heads down the toilet in 8th grade gym class.

I know too many good cops to buy into the whole "JBT" and "Only Ones" meme; it's no more true than is the meme that all gun owners are illiterate redneck bubbas who blindly vote as the NRA and the GOP tell them.

But there are times that it gets really hard.

The only thing that keeps me level is that most cops I know would be more upset by that video than I am.


For your next zombie infestation: The totally-impractical-yet-undeniably-cool tube-launched unguided rocket-propelled chainsaw.

Just saying it brings a smile to my face.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


And by "Unbelievable", I mean a tale so far-fetched that you would be pilloried ruthlessly by every critic in the land if you tried to sell it as fiction:

Apparently, out in Moscow on the Potomac, a guy flipped out and started stabbing his girlfriend and her two children. One of the kids made a screaming 911 call, and the cops showed up...

...and waited on the doorstep for 45 minutes for a responsible adult to show up and tell them it was okay to bust down the door.
"In general, officers should seek the approval of an official prior to making any forcible entry," police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump told The Washington Examiner.
By the time the entire Keystone Cops farce outside had resolved itself, the bad guy had already finished playing Cuisinart with the occupants and turned his knife on himself. Unfortunately, he did a piss-poor job of suicide and put us through all the annoyance and expense of a trial. And now the po-po are being sued, which we'll also get to pay for.

Lessons learned:
  1. You're on your own.
  2. The DC Police Department trusts its officers with less discretion than McDonald's trusts its fry cooks.
  3. No, really: You're on your own.
  4. Door locks are great when the bad guy is on the other side of the door. Otherwise, not so much.
  5. Boy, howdy, aren't you glad you don't live in D.C.?

(H/T to Breda.)

Contact your senator...

Via Unc, we hear that there's a bill in the Senate right now that would reform the Federal Excise Tax on firearm and ammunition manufacturers. It sure would be nice if it passed.

You should probably let your senator know what you think.

Incidentally, the FAET is a ridiculous and unfair tax. Its purpose is to fund wildlife habitat conservation. You know, for hunters. So when a single mom in downtown Metropolis buys a .38 and a box of shells to protect her home, a not insignificant percentage of the purchase price goes to fund duck swamps, or whatever.

Law enforcement firearms are exempt from this tax, because they are obviously not for hunting, but your Kel-Tec P-32? Well, you paid the Bambi Tax.

Further, wasn't firearms ownership just ruled to be an individual right? Why are guns taxed, then? Isn't that as unconstitutional as, say, a special tax on religious accoutrement or newspapers?

Fractious issues of the day...

In terms of conflict between federal and state governments, is illegal immigration going to be to the 21st Century what slavery was to the 19th Century? Does it have that kind of potential divisiveness?

What do you think?

My resistance is crumbling.

The announcement of the new Wi-Fi-Only Kindle, priced at $139, is lowering my resistance. As TJIC points out:
$139 comes pretty close to “oops, looks like I tripped on the way through the bookstore and ended up with these two bags…”, which has happened more than once far more often than I like to admit.
Yeah, me too.

Overheard in the Hallway:

Coming from the bathroom:

RX: "I decided to get clever and light a match, you know, to help out the air freshener. Now it smells like I set a bouquet of flowers on fire in an outhouse."

Me: "I'm sorry, but I have to put that on the internets."

"Every __ in the hands of someone is a potential ___."

Greater Indianapolis Metropolitan Police chief Paul Ciesielski stuffed his foot in his mouth on camera yesterday, stating "Every gun in the hand of -- someone, is a potential homicide."

This is a fun game!

"Every _____ in the hands of someone is a potential ______."

Every match in the hands of someone is a potential arson!

Every camera in the hands of someone is a potential kiddie porn case!

Feel free to play along in comments...

A friendly reminder from Mother Gaia:

When you get far enough out in the boonies in many places on this wonderful planet, you are no longer at the top of the food chain.

Politics trumps logic.

The preliminary injunction, issued Wednesday, means that, at least for now, police are prevented from questioning people's immigration status if there is reason to believe they are in the country illegally.
"If there is reason to believe"? Do you mean articulable suspicion? Like the guy has a Mexican Consular ID card hanging out of his pocket? Or do you mean probable cause, like, oh... say he's actually busy climbing down the U.S. side of the border fence, and the Mexican CID card falls out of his pocket, and you arrest him for littering. Does that mean you can't ask him what he was doing halfway down the fence in the first place?

Does this make any sense to anybody?

The cop has "reason to believe" a crime is being committed right in his face and he's not allowed to ask about it?

Look, nothing is more corrosive to civil order than laws that aren't enforced or, worse, are enforced capriciously and whimsically. Either enforce immigration laws or repeal them, but this halfassery in the middle has got to stop.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Over the event horizon.

The iPod served up a couple of Floyd tracks while I was out running errands, and when I got home, I got to reading through various articles in the massive and labyrinthine Pink Floyd Wing of Wikipedia.

I had forgotten that Roger Waters' body was actually just a tiny fleshy appendage of his own colossal ego. As a matter of fact, I'm surprised that there aren't separate Wikipedia entries for "Roger Waters" and "Roger Waters' Ego". If he were any more self-absorbed, he'd fall through his navel so hard that he'd make a crater on his backbone.

Also, how jinxed is a band to have not one, but two lyricists go completely batshit insane? There's an outfit that needed a shrink on speed-dial...

QotD: Zing!

Apparently there's a bill in Congress that would add firearms to the list of things that creditors couldn't seize in a bankruptcy.

Hysterics erupted from the predictable quarters.

SayUncle shoots and scores:
The Violence Policy Center and The Brady Campaign quickly marched lockstep with the talking point that someone going through bankruptcy is more likely to be stressed and start killing people. There’s no proof of that, they just say it.

Of course, I guess they’d both know a bit about the mindset of someone facing bankruptcy.

You gotta give him credit for chutzpah.

"That is the worst shaving accident I've ever worked. I don't think I've ever before seen a man accidentally cut his own throat to the bone three times with an electric razor."
Suing mob hitmen is a business model that makes that of The Underpants Gnomes look brilliant and well thought-out.

For really big poodles.

Caleb is running the last of his July auctions to benefit Honored American Veterans Afield.

This one is for a DPMS LR-308 and a Leupold Vari-X II 3-9X40 optic.

Here's your chance to pick up a decent rifle and a pretty nice chunk of glass, and help out a good cause all at the same time.

I'm not even going to make any puns involving "ferry" because I'm better than that.

Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank caused a scene when he demanded a $1 senior discount on his ferry fare to Fire Island's popular gay haunt, The Pines, last Friday. Frank was turned down by ticket clerks at the dock in Sayville because he didn't have the required Suffolk County Senior Citizens ID. A witness reports, "Frank made such a drama over the senior rate that I contemplated offering him the dollar to cool down the situation."
How big of a scene do you have to make for the folks on Fire Island to look at you and say "Stop being such a drama queen, Mary!"?

I find it mildly ironic that Rep. Frank, generally a big fan of rules and regulations, got all bent out of shape when some got applied to him as though he were some... some... commoner or something.

On the plus side, he's been pretty foursquare against various national ID proposals, so maybe he was just being ideologically consistent by not having the required documentation on him and standing up to The Man.

And, seriously, Barney... a dollar? All this fuss for a buck? How come you never raise this kind of a stink when it's my money you're spending like a drunken sailor on shore leave in Bangkok?

(H/T to TJIC.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

An elegant weapon for a more civilized age...

Day At The Range has a review of a custom-built 6" SVI Infinity.

A truly bespoke pistol is something a lot of shooters will never experience, and one that is done right is an even rarer beastie.

One common belief is that the money is spent on pretty; cosmetic fripperies that have nothing to do with the function of the heater in question. I suppose it's possible to sink bucks in various styling curlicues and gingerbread, but that's missing the point. Sure, I'll look at things like how well the beavertail is fitted up or how nicely the ass-end of the extractor is blended with the slide, but I only do that as a gauge of the craftsman's attention to detail: If he didn't care enough to handle these visible areas properly, why should I think he spent the time to do a proper relief cut on the sear or make sure that the feed ramp geometry was precisely correct?

Understand this: By comparison to a true custom 1911, even the nicest Kimber is a mass-produced gat that is only distinguished from its more plebeian brethren by its price tag. Sit down with a Brownells catalog and start tallying up the tariff on a high-end gun: Forged frame and slide, Kart barrel, Cylinder & Slide lockwork... You're over a grand before you've even gotten into the nitty-gritty of triggers and sights and slide stops. Pick your choice of everything, sized and shaped to your hand and style of shooting. Make sure it's made of top-shelf materials; no cheap slag on your Excalibur. Select a truly skilled craftsman to assemble it (and that's the hardest part, right there; there are dozens of gun monkeys for every guy who really knows how to make a 1911 sing,) and pay him appropriately... Now you know why these things cost money.

But when they're done right, oh my. When you have sweated and agonized over each part, building exactly the gun you want, fitted to your hand like a glove, well...
...its exactly what I was looking for. It feels great in the hand, balances well, and shoots like a dream. The only problem I have with it is that it makes my Baer look a little crappy...
It makes me happy that pistols like this exist at all. It makes me even happier to see them beat to hell from hard use on the range. No sword, no matter how perfect, is much use if it just hangs over the mantelpiece looking pretty.

For you game geeks out there...

I'm looking for two things for my Nintendo DS:
  1. A classic RPG. (The kind with elves and dwarves and fighters and clerics, and not the kind with manga characters with spiky hair and Margaret Keane eyes.)
  2. A turn-based strategy game of the classic 4X variety.
All suggestions appreciated.

Help me, LazyWebz! You're my only hope!

Tallest midget at the state fair.

"Social Security is the most successful social program in the history of the world," -Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)
I'll take "Damning with faint praise" for $500, Alex.

Of course Harry and I probably have different ideas of what constitutes "success", seeing as how he's had his mouth on the government's teat... er... never done an honest day's work... I mean... been on the public payroll his entire adult life, and not the useful part of the public payroll, either.

(H/T to Cold Fury.)

"Send them around to the tradesman's entrance..."

Coyote Blog called my attention to a piece of the most fantastical news: Congress wants to crack down on people learning a trade.

Here is yet another unintended consequence of the .gov commandeering the entire student loan business. First, by guaranteeing student loans, they caused the price of higher education to balloon crazily (if the .gov did for GMAC what they did for student loans, a Chevy Cobalt would cost like a Ferrari Enzo.) Now they get to sit and ponder which institutions are worthy of receiving their checks:
Under a proposal to be released today, vocational programs in which a large share of students don't earn enough to pay back their loans would be required to disclose debt burdens and could become ineligible for federal financial aid dollars.

The proposal covers training programs of less than two years that provide credentials for careers in fields such as the culinary arts, medical support and automotive technology.
I see. They're worried about people going to school to actually learn how to do something, such as hook up a router, empty a bedpan, or change a timing belt. They're afraid that these won't have a big payoff, since at the end, all you have is an auto mechanic or an IT drone. I can't come up with a better snarky rejoinder than Coyote's:
No word yet on whether they are looking into students who spend four years and $160,000 for Ivy League gender studies degrees, which we all know have simply enormous income-generation potential.
I can't help but feel that it's right after this part that we all die from a plague caused by an unsanitized telephone.

A what-by shooting where?

When the TeeWee news announcer this morning intoned that two teens had been capped in a drive-by shooting in Zionsville, it had about the same effect on the smooth flow of my train of thought as would driving down a highway in North Dakota and running over an alligator.

For those unfamiliar with our metro Naptown geography, Zionsville is a small town in the northern outer 'burbs with a hopelessly twee main street given over to antique shops and old Victorians and the surrounding environs given over to homes ranging from large to ostentatious where one can sleep in bucolic peace and quiet after a hard day of middle managementing in downtown Indy.

I blame that jazz music these kids are listening to these days. It makes them smoke marijuana and hang out with hoodlums and flappers.

UPDATE: The official story now is that Seth & Jared say they drove home to Zionsville from Indy after being capped out of the blue while they were sitting in their car all minding their own business and not doing anything wrong, honest, officer.

Monday, July 26, 2010

QotD: Forward into the Past Edition...

Vandam on Mad Men:
Americans were confident and believed they could get the job done, the job that was in front of them. It wasn’t always true and it didn’t always work, but people were not constantly afraid of eating the wrong food or saying the wrong thing or running into the twerps who had something to say about it.

The opposite of news.

Blogger RobertM sums up the WikiDuh.

If anything in the much-hyped documents comes as a major lose-your-breath-and-have-to-sit-down shock, I'd avoid getting into checkers games with anything much brighter than a Cocker Spaniel, were I you.

Funny, I don't feel like a Yanqui devil...

So Pugsley is threatening to cut off oil shipments to the US if Columbia attacks his country, because that would be America's fault, just like everything else bad that happens in the world. (You'd think that with him and our current President holding a core belief in common like that, our countries could come to a better understanding.) He's also threatening to "eat rocks", and perhaps to hold his breath until he turns blue.
If there is an attack from Colombia, Chavez said Sunday, Venezuela would stop supplying oil to the United States, "even if we have to eat rocks" because of the repercussions.

"That would be a response of dignity and high caliber," Chavez said.
You know, this is proof that these tinpot wog dictators really don't believe the "Evil Satan Imperialist" crap they spout about America; if we were the oil-hungry global hegemon they claim we are, we'd have been going 'round the world and walkin' the dog with Chavez already, just like we did with Saddam.

In between the bright lights and the far unlit unknown...

I spent the first half of my life living in the 'burbs. Subdivisions and garden apartment complexes, strip malls and big box stores; these were the navigation landmarks of youth. They have since grown stale.

In the years since then I have lived far enough out in the country to have a pistol range on the property and livestock in the neighborhood, as well as down in town where I could order Mexican food delivered at 3AM and walk to the nearest brewpub.

Both these latter lifestyles suit me fine. I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to be equally happy whether I can bicycle to the nearest Thai joint or sushi bar or, on the other hand, live far enough out in the sticks that I can shoot in my back yard. It's the boundary layer between those two states that holds no charms for me anymore.

But what I don't get are the people who have a virulent loathing for the 'burbs. The same Coexist-bumper-sticker-havin' Broad Ripple hippie who can be all live-and-let-live one minute can wind up with a Carmel delenda est rant that will make you think he wishes to sow the intersection of Main Street and Rangeline Road with salt.

There's a reason families wind up there, you know: Unlike the Big City, crime is low, and taxes are reasonable, and unlike the Distant Sticks, you don't have to drive ten miles to get diapers and Cap'n Crunch or to get the kid to school.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Inspiration, child-sized, attainable, 1 each.

Apparently some of the guys riding rockets these days are worried about the future of their profession:
But with no set plans of launching astronauts into orbit from U.S. soil after the final trip to the International Space Station slated for February 2011, Ferguson and others in the space world are anxious.

In addition to fretting about funding and jobs, they wonder if the government is losing an initiative that engages the next generation of engineers and mathematicians.

"If we aren't doing things that inspire them, we'll suffer from the creative standpoint," he said.
Help us Obama-wan Kenobi! You're our only hope!

I mean, if it hadn't been for the metric tons of federal tax dollars shoveled into powered flight, not a single barnstormer would have followed in the footsteps of Wilbur and Orville. And we all know that it's the massive tax subsidies that prop up NASCAR and the guys running heads-up for $100 in the office park out at the edge of town that keep young boys drawing cars in study hall and planning for a career spinning wrenches or designing improved headlight bezels.

Why is government automatically the default answer to this question?

You want to see inspiration? Here's inspiration. And here. And here.

There are still rockets that need riding. And there are more to come.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

All night long.

Bobbi and I went to brunch at The Red Eye, a new joint on Broad Ripple Avenue because, you know, there just aren't enough awesome places to eat breakfast here already.

The Red Eye has a twist, though: They not only have a great diner-style menu, but they're open twenty-four diner-style hours, all in a row and stuff..

I had a Red Eye chili omelet, which was a three egg omelet with peppers and onions, slathered with chili and sprinkled with cheese. It was served with home fries, and I ordered a side of bacon because, you know, bacon. The portions are huge, and at $6.99 for the entree, I had to push back from the home fries without cleaning my plate (although the part where the omelet had been was squeaky clean.) Of course, part of that could have been because I was raiding the basket of hand-breaded batter-fried shrooms Bobbi got as her side order.

Everything's fresh, nothing is frozen ("We don't even have a freezer!" is their boast,) and it's all prepped and cooked right there, the way all restaurants used to do it, before they all turned into cookie-cutter franchisees that order frozen pre-packaged crap from chain headquarters to nuke'n'serve.

The best super duper bonus? They deliver anything on the menu all night long. I can see this is going to become a staple of my late night diet.

Overheard in the Hallway:

RX: "Shootin' Buddy called while we were out."

Me: "There's nothing on the answering machine. Wait, my cell phone is beeping. He left voicemail. Why does he leave voicemail? I don't even know how to work it. I hate voicemail. I barely like talking on the phone. I like to see people with my eyes and talk to them with my mouth."

RX: "You spend half your day communicating with people on the internet."

Me: "That's different. That's writing."

RX: "You could text him."

Me: (Getting increasingly red-faced and agitated) "No! If I am going to write to someone, I am going to write to them. In complete sentences. With punctuation. I am going to use the English language like Shakespeare and Milton by-gawd intended for it to be used, and I am damned well going to make it sit up and jump through little flaming hoops while I am at it! I am not going to be reduced to poking at buttons on a cell phone with my thumbs, turning out crap that looks like it was disgorged by an illiterate devolved protosimian fifth grader!" (*pant*pant*)

RX: "That's going on the internet. If you don't put it there, I will."

It's good to be aware of all the dangers.

Doomsday Hysteria... White Men at BP guilty AGAIN... Mother Gaia's flatulence... Government coverup... PANIC on certain parts of the INTERNETS...

The people and property located on the greater expanse of the Gulf Coast are sitting at Ground Zero. They will be the first exposed to poisonous, cancer causing chemical gases. They will be the ones that initially experience the full fury of a methane bubble exploding from the ruptured seabed.
So let me get this straight: After the supersonic tsunami has washed your corpse a hundred miles inland and lightning-ignited methane fireballs have charred the flesh from your bones and set the very atmosphere alight, then the chemicals will give you cancer?!?

Quick! Call the EPA!

Seriously, do these people have any idea at all how ridiculous they sound?

Listen to me you thimble-headed gherkin, you just predicted instant total catastrophic global Armageddon... and cancer! Do you get that? Can you grasp the absurdity of the words coming out of your head?

(H/T to New Jovian Thunderbolt.)

Can't sleep; clowns will eat me.

The four horsemen of the apocalypse are apparently on a rampage in the heartland.

Face-eating monkeys in Indiana. Evil clowns in Wisconsin. Can the killer space robots be far behind?

What shotgun for evil clowns?

(H/T to FatWhiteMan.)

This must be what it feels like to lose the signal from reality.

Bobbi was feeling ill this morning, so when the TeeWee in her room cut on automatically at the usual weekday morning time, I went in to cut it off and let her sleep.

I walked right into crazy.

The news announcer was saying that the Justice Department is proposing revising regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act to require audio descriptions in movie theaters on half of all showings so that blind people can go to the movies.

So. Blind. People. Can. Go. See. A. Moving. Picture. Show.

Now, my apologies to any blind... er, visually challenged... er, differently sighted person that is reading this, but this is insane.

If a theater chain or movie production company wanted to do this on their own stick? Fine. A noble gesture. But for the government to demand it under penalty of law? Madness. The slippery slope to Harrison Bergeron and greasing the skids.

It's also a little futile and even kinda patronizing. It's like having a sighted tour guide at art museums:
"Now, this is da Vinci's Mona Lisa. It looks like... well... you know what a smiling woman looks like? No, wait, you said you've been blind since birth. Anyhow, it's a girl, and she's smiling. And this over here... no, over here... is Van Gogh's Roses and Sunflowers. It's, uh, some flowers. And over here..."

Friday, July 23, 2010

West, by God...

They forgot the apostrophe...

(Sometimes I just crack up at the strangest stuff.)

Defective? It worked exactly as it was designed to work.

Apparently a retired LAPD cop left both his heater and his three-year-old son unsecured in the car. Junior got his hands on the Glock and pulled the trigger. As guns are wont to do under such circumstances, the Glock discharged, and for once, instead of a tragically injured child, the bullet struck the responsible party like a bolt of instant karma.

Now paralyzed from the waist down and looking for someone to blame it on other than the guy in the mirror, the shootee sued everybody under the sun except for himself, which would be pointless, and his toddler, who presumably had shallower pockets than the eventual defendants: Glock, Uncle Mike's, the store where he bought the holster, and the store where he bought the gun.

The judge ruled against him, although for some reason Chavez was not horsewhipped across the town square for bringing a frivolous suit.

Toddlers belong in car seats.

Pistols belong in holsters on your belt.

Here endeth the lesson.

(H/T to Good Hill Press via Unc.)

Meanwhile, in Bizarroworld...

I saw the most amazing thing on TeeWee yesterday morning. The Today Show had a bit featuring experts offering advice to help your kids avoid the "summer reading slump".

The summer what huh? I mean, you get a lot more reading done in summer as a kid, because you don't have to shield The Two Towers or To Your Scattered Bodies Go behind your algebra textbook; you can read them right out in the open while sprawled across your bed like a decent human being.

My favorite part was where they suggested to parents that they might want to bring books along on car trips. This is so bizarre to me; it's like suggesting that you might want to bring along air. Is there some other thing kids do on long highway drives besides read?

The apocalypse is upon me.

Like Nastia Liukin approaching the parallel bars or Lindsay Lohan seeing her first big fluffy line of coke, the moment for which I have prepared all my adult life is finally here:

There's a face-eating monkey loose in Indiana.

This is why we own guns, people.

Well, this and killer space robots. And zombies. And ninjas and pirates, of course. Also, vampires, werewolves, evil clowns, and bears.


I appear to have somewhat overslept...


Thursday, July 22, 2010

On the intertubes... whoah-aoh... radioo!

Just a reminder, B B & Guns kicks off their debut show any minute now...

B there.

Well, now that you put it that way...

They say that the difference between fiction and real life is that fiction has to make sense.

Some dude on LiveJournal called out the History Channel for their totally implausible historical military fiction series, World War II:
Let's start with the bad guys. Battalions of stormtroopers dressed in all black, check. Secret police, check. Determination to brutally kill everyone who doesn't look like them, check. Leader with a tiny villain mustache and a tendency to go into apopleptic rage when he doesn't get his way, check. All this from a country that was ordinary, believable, and dare I say it sometimes even sympathetic in previous seasons.

I wouldn't even mind the lack of originality if they weren't so heavy-handed about it. Apparently we're supposed to believe that in the middle of the war the Germans attacked their allies the Russians, starting an unwinnable conflict on two fronts, just to show how sneaky and untrustworthy they could be? And that they diverted all their resources to use in making ever bigger and scarier death camps, even in the middle of a huge war? Real people just aren't that evil. And that's not even counting the part where as soon as the plot requires it, they instantly forget about all the racism nonsense and become best buddies with the definitely non-Aryan Japanese.
Read the whole thing, as long as you're someplace you won't get in trouble for laughing out loud...

(H/T to Ben Swenson.)

SEAL training exposed.

We now know where NAVSPECWAR conducts the crucial "Sunglasses Selection Phase" of training.

You can't expect just any untrained squid to be able to pick out the right pair of Oakleys.

Dinosaurs tend to thrash about a lot as they die.

Clayton Cramer and The Armed Citizen are apparently being targeted by the Las Vegas Puppy Trainer in a wildly optimistic copyright infringement lawsuit, without so much as a "by-your-leave" or a "cease-and-desist".

Personally, as much as I love an optimist, I think the paper's due for disappointment. Clayton's a bright dude, and well understands Fair Use.

Meanwhile, I reckon I'll not be sending any eyeballs the Puppy Trainer's way. Let 'em advertise to an empty room.

Batteries not included.

Friend Marko recently posted on his experiences with the Sony Reader. I've been kinda wanting a Kindle myself.

Just the other day, Alan pointed out that Amazon sales for their Kindle e-books exceeded hardcover sales for three months running, and stated
It’s all down hill from here. Sooner than you think, dead tree books will be a niche market for collectors and art books. Electronic book readers are already free for all general purpose computing platforms and dedicated readers are nosediving in price.
I've noticed a strong upsurge in e-book sales through the Amazon doohicky in my sidebar in the last several months, so this doesn't actually come as a total surprise.

All this eBookery is fine and dandy, but there's still a few hurdles I'd like to see overcome, at the risk of sounding like some cranky Luddite...

The battery thing is, of course, nearly a non-issue these days, with most readers giving you one to two weeks of reading on a tankful. But only nearly a non issue. How long do the unit's batteries last? Are they sealed internally? Are they proprietary? I guess it's assumed that, by the time the lithium-ion cells have crapped out, I will have already been lured by the shiny, new eReader Plus 360 X and transferred all my material over.

(This material will, hopefully, be transferable to my new eReader Plus 360 X, unlike all those cool games I have in boxes in the attic on 5.25" floppy disks or Atari 5200 cartridges.)

Of course, thanks to the dense nature of electronic storage media, folks point out that you can take your whole library with you; something certainly not possible right now for me, since the last time I took my whole library with me, it used up the larger half of a U-Haul truck. Of course another thing I can't do with my entire library in its current format is leave it on the bus by accident.

And speaking of storage media, we seem to be running into a bit of a crisis here in our shiny new digiworld: The copy of Hell's Angels I was reading the other day is a hardcover first printing from 1966. Assuming that there was a "Book On Tape" version done the same year, and I could find an 8-track player on which to listen to it, how much would the sound quality have degraded? Quite a lot, I'd guess. And of course, that's just sound quality; a missing magnetic particle or two on audio tape isn't going to cause your stereo to crash to a blue screen of death and render the whole album useless.

As it turns out, we're still looking for an electronic form of archival data storage that can come close to rivaling decent, acid-free paper. If you're the kind of person who reads a paperback once and then eventually trades it in or gives it away, that's maybe not such a big deal. If you're me, it is.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go see if the battery in my G3 iBook will still hold a charge...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Immigrant Song.

On the Right Side of the Blogosphere, the refusal of the .gov to move decisively on the illegal immigration issue is painted as an unholy conspiracy of leftist government types trying to secure themselves a new voter base.

On the Left Side of the Blogosphere, the refusal of the .gov to move decisively on the illegal immigration issue is painted as an unholy conspiracy of right-wing government types trying to pander to their corporate paymasters by the securing of cheap labor.

Now, I ain't nobody, and I certainly don't have anything that could be described as an insider's view on things, but it seems to me that the failure of either wing to do anything other than put a fresh coat of lipstick on the amnesty pig is because both sides know that the whole Ponzi scheme of social entitlements is seriously upside-down and both are desperate to kick the can just far enough down the road to make it Somebody Else's Problem by enlarging the tax base however they can.

QotD: Literary edition...

I just finished re-reading Hunter S. Thompson's classic Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, the book that created the gonzo legend, and had to dog-ear this passage:
American law enforcement procedures have never been designed to control large groups of citizens in rebellion, but to protect the social structure against specifically criminal acts, or persons. The underlying assumption has always been that the police and the citizens form a natural alliance against the evil and dangerous crooks, who should certainly be arrested on sight and shot if they resist.

There are indications, however, that this "natural alliance" might be going the way of the Maginot Line. More and more often the police are finding themselves in conflict with whole blocs of the citizenry, none of them criminals in the traditional sense of the word, but many as potentially dangerous - to the police - as any armed felon.
The book was published in 1966, but the mood is uncannily modern. All you need to do to move some of the quotes from various government officials, such as the mayor of Laconia, forty-some years into the future is substitute "terrorists" and "Homeland Security" for "communists" and "Civil Defense"

It can get ugly when trees fight back.

One Joaquin Medina of Chico, CA was out hunting squirrels on his bossman's ranch this past Monday when he opened fire on one directly overhead.

The shotgun blast allegedly dislodged a limb, which plummeted groundward, landed on his noggin, and punted him into the Great Beyond.

This being California, apparently there is some question about whether to bring in CA-OSHA and investigate it as an "industrial accident".

No doubt in the future, people squirrel hunting on the clock in Cali will have to wear safety helmets and neck braces.

(via email.)

The friendly (and quiet) skies.

I had the weirdest dream last night. I was taking a commercial flight (which is strange in and of itself, since I haven't flown in a decade,) and I was allowed to take my firearm and my suppressor on the plane, but there was a ton of Byzantine paperwork that needed to be filled out. And I needed to have the original Form 4 with me; a copy wouldn't do.

For some odd reason, the suppressor was anodized pink.

It was kind of disturbing that I owned a Smith M&P 9 and a pink can.

Overheard in the Kitchen:

Me: "I didn't sleep well at all last night."

RX: "That's because you don't practice."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Deja vu all over again.

Remember in the mid-'90s when Bill Clinton, with the willing cooperation of the media, successfully tied the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building to the rising tide of discontent with the .gov, hanging it like an albatross around the neck of the popular backlash that had triggered the "Republican Revolution" in Congress the previous November?

Get ready for your albatross, Tea Partiers:
No one likes paying taxes. But tonight the FBI is reporting a troubling uptick in violence by some anti-tax groups going to extreme measures to protest government.
The commercials for the local TeeWee station's Special Investigative Report showed, not fringe extremists, but stock footage of Ma and Pa Kettle waving their Tea Party signs on the statehouse lawn, which is practically the same as plotting to target "police officers and judges and Governors," after all.

Little Dutch boy.

So with great fanfare, National Guard troops are being trained up and moved to the southern border:
Arizona will receive most of the forces with 524 troops, while Texas will get 250, California 224 and New Mexico just 72, officials said Monday. Additional troops will perform administrative work.
Stop laughing.

Seriously? Seriously? If all we're going to do is phone it in like this, why even go through the charade?

Monday, July 19, 2010


Had to run some errands earlier today.

I kept the top up on the Zed Drei and didn't feel too bad about it. The thermometer read 87°F, but humidity had to be around 90%, and that will take the starch right out of me. Thankfully, the Bimmer's A/C will let you hang a side of beef in the cockpit with the top raised.

I didn't feel too bad about it when Seth and Jared went by in the late-model Mustang drop-top, but when the enormous chromium Wurlitzer prow of a Seminole Red '59 Cadillac Eldorado wafted past in the oncoming lanes of Broad Ripple Avenue like a one-float parade, I did feel a little guilty about being buttoned under canvas...

Notes from the day yesterday:

  • Breakfast at Good Morning Mama's. I had, instead of my usual Stuffed Burrito Sonoma, the Swiss Bliss omelet: pancetta bacon, spinach, 'shrooms, Swiss cheese, and drizzled with parsley butter. Yum!
  • Gander Mountain had a good selection of ammo. Prices were as expected for Gander Mountain: Not completely outrageous, but not screaming deals, either. I did pick up a carton of Federal .22 and added another box of .45 to the stash I'm trying to build up for class in October.
  • I can't hack the CTC Lasergrips on the Gun Blog 9 in the kind of 90% humidity weather we've been having lately. The rubber is just too slippery when my hands get all sweaty. I haven't used the laser in months anyway, so I'll just dig some conventional checkered grips out of the parts bin until I can shake loose the dough to order some VZ Gatorbacks from Brownells.
  • Out-of-state guests at the Blogmeet! Earl, riding back West after big adventures out East, and Mr. & Mrs. Crucis. And Frank brought sweet corn! It was a largish 'meet; I didn't get a head count, but there had to be close to twenty people. Bobbi has the quasi-offical report.
  • Thanks to a law change in Indiana, we can now finally buy take-home beer from brewpubs on Sundays, although the beer at the grocery or liquor store will still cause eternal damnation if purchased on the Sabbath. I celebrated with a growler of IPA.

Some more thoughts about public ranges.

Getting there early is nice, since it gives you your choice of lanes.

Generally, you want one end or the other, because in an end lane you only need to keep an eye out for sloppy gun handling in one direction.

The far right lane is the one least likely to be downrange of bad gun handling: Your average Cletus is right handed, which means that if he lets one fly down the line while trying to puzzle out a type three malf, it's most likely going to his left. On the other hand, if you take the far left lane, you don't get pelted with brass, and any empties that wind up in your range bag will be in a caliber you shoot.

Since getting set on fire by fellow range attendees really isn't all that common when compared with statistically more frequent occurrences, like getting struck by lightning or bear attacks, I'll usually take the far left if I have a choice and pelt others with my brass, rather than being the peltee. I still keep a weather eye out for errant Cletii, though, in much the same way that I wouldn't stand on a hill in Yellowstone under ominous clouds with a metal rod in one hand and a picnic basket in the other.

It's comforting to hear an older shooter off to your right sharply chastise his younger companion "Now, keep that gun pointed downrange the whole time, even when you're reloading! Don't point it across the line!" It's a lot less comforting to hear it for the fourth or seventh time, because by then it's obvious that Cletus Jr. is not picking up on this particular point of firearms etiquette, but what are you gonna do?

The Wild Blue Yonder...

Patrick at Where Angels Fear To Tread has photos and video from the weekend's air show in Dayton, OH.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Now with practical applications!

How to fix Buyer's Remorse!

I could probably make a mint selling these things here in the O-Zone.

What a day!

Big range day, shopping at Gander Mountain, HUGE and awesome Blogmeet with all kinds of neat out-of-town guests, big thunderstorm...

Wore slap out. Must check eyelids for pinholes briefly. More later.

Behind the veil.

Indiana has no requirement to conceal your pistol. If you have a permit, you can tape the gun to your hat for all that the law cares.

In warmer months, I usually wear a pretty casual "gun burkha", most often in the form of an untucked, unbuttoned, oversized chambray shirt. I know the breeze can waft it open. I also know that because I carry the pistol at about the 4 o'clock position on my belt, if I bend over at the waist, then the drape of the thin, light-colored cloth makes it perfectly obvious to any knowledgeable observer that there's a heater there. It's not a big deal, and nobody's ever said word one about it, even here in the hippie haven of Broad Ripple.

Yesterday morning, I rode my bicycle to Fresh Market right around the time they opened. My cable lock was giving me fits at the bike rack out front, and so I spent some time bent over my Trek trying to get it sorted. When I straightened up to walk inside, the driver of the Brinks truck out front was giving me his absolute, 100%, totally undivided attention. And it took me a second to figure out why.

I hope the guy was thoughtful enough to figure that someone who was intent on jacking up him and his partner was unlikely to lock up their eco-friendly getaway vehicle, but I could have probably saved him a bit of stress if I'd squatted down instead of bending at the waist. And on the gripping hand, he needs to learn to deal with the fact that people carry guns.

It's a toughie. I wonder what Miss Manners would advise: Is it my obligation to strike awkward poses because someone else can't unclench?

Sunday Morning Shooty Goodness...

Off for breakfast and then to Iggle Crick to blow the cobwebs off.

I always feel guilty after I've missed a week. Am I going to remember from which end the bullets come out?

Running way low on zombie targets.

Worse, there were maybe thirty lonely rounds of Federal plated .22LR rolling around on the bottom of my ready ammo can; I totally forgot to stock up during the week. This means I had to dip into my stash, and that means either nasty old un-plated lead "Mohawk" brand stuff, or newer (and equally un-plated) Remington Thunderbolt.

Note To Self: Stop by the Mountain of Geese between the range and this afternoon's Blogmeet. Get more deuce-deuce.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wookie, please!

Dueling cartoon taxonomies.

That's funny, right there.

Early morning pedaling... a lot more tranquil when not accompanied by the sounds of building demolition.

There's a garage near Fresh Market that was getting torn down by pickup truck and chainsaw. If it hadn't been warming up to be such a hot, sticky day, I'd have stuck around to help. It kinda looked like fun.

Le sigh.

VFTP turns five in a month. For a while there, it looked like I might tip 3,000,000 hits at about the same time, which would have been cool, but it doesn't look like that's quite going to happen.

Oh, well. I'll buck up somehow. ;)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Reality Book Report:

Just wrapping up Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon for the first time.

A fast read, but ominous; seriously heavy reading for such a slim tome. Definitely not the feel-good family hit of the summer.

To the committed revolutionary, the individual is nothing and the movement is everything. There is literally an infinite supply of bodies to be thrown under the wheels of the bus to grease its inevitable progress through history.

The title of Billy Beck's blog will now give me chills every time I click on it.

Everyone fights, no one quits.

One can only hope that this infantry exoskeleton project works out more like the book Starship Troopers as opposed to the disaster er... calamity umm... wretched pulsating ball of Hollywood suck and fail movie Starship Troopers.

I'd hate to think that Future Troopers will be lined up shoulder-to-shoulder blazing away from the hip...

You see it at the school board and the libraries...

...and you see it at the police department, too.
The article describes a variant on the usual public services blackmail, in that the police administrators are holding junior, beat officers hostage to protect bloated, unsustainable pensions and benefits for desk drivers.
PDB predicts anarchy in the East Bay. Well, more anarchy than usual.

"Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window."

It's a major award!

Oh, Do Want!

Draw your own conclusions.

Jerry Miculek's open class heater appears to have had the internal lock disabled.

That's a big ol' vote of confidence, there.

The management in Massachusetts can un-lash themselves from the mast any ol' day now and admit that their lock is an aesthetic abomination and mechanically questionable, especially on heavy-recoiling guns. If you just gotta have an integral lock on your heater for legal reasons or whatever, there have to be a million better ways to do it. There's no need to ride this bomb to the ground, Slim Pickens.

Overheard in the Office:

My roommate always has an odd stream-of-consciousness monologue going during her getting-ready-in-the-morning time. I assume it starts in the shower, because when the water cuts off in there, she's usually in mid-punchline. It often goes on for some time thereafter. Just now, wafting from the bathroom, I heard:
RX: "'Chimp. The other white meat!' no, no, wait... 'Chimp: The other long pig!'"
I'm fairly certain she's mostly harmless. Mostly.

The WHAT Czar?!?

It is probably a myth that Gaius Caesar tried to make his favorite horse a consul. (Suetonius and Cassius Dio being about as reliably dispassionate and unbiased about the Julio-Claudians as Andrew Sullivan is about Sarah Palin.)

It is, sadly, not a myth that the White House's short order cook is now "Senior Policy Adviser For Healthy Food Initiatives."

Seeking training?

There's a good article at on getting started in formal firearms training. It covers a variety of topics, such as deciding what your goals are, and has some especially good pointers on selecting instructors.

One point is made regarding class reviews (often called "After Action Reports" online, as though a pistol class were some kind of real-life shootout) from other students:
There is, however, a catch: Whenever you are reading an AAR, be aware that trainers and companies understand the potential marketing value of AAR’s, so don’t necessarily take the AAR at face value. Beware the guy who seems to have trained primarily with one particular trainer or school, as he might be more of a groupie than a customer. The most useful reviews are generally produced by individuals who have a significant training background with a number of different instructors, especially armed professionals who have been at it a while.
Beware the man with one trainer, as he has probably been successfully marketed to.

Just like the conventional punchy-kicky martial arts, there is a tremendous amount of fanboyism and testosterone-by-association in the shooty martial arts. ("Sensei Kliklikbang is an absolute badass, and because I took classes from him, so am I. Wouldn't you like to be a badass, too?")

Additionally, some instructors have rabid cult followings, and many seem to actively encourage this, since it is, at the end of the day, a business, and loyal fanboys are not only repeat customers but also evangelical word-of-mouth advertisements.

Just because an instructor has, or even encourages, groupies doesn't mean they're necessarily a bad instructor, but it's important to take the breadth of someone's training resume into account when reading yet another "my sensei can beat your sensei up" review on the internet.

One immediate turn-off to me is an instructor who has the One True System©®™ and actively discourages pupils from seeking training with other schools or constantly trash-talks other instructors. That's a big ol' red flag in my eyes: It tells me that his business model or his cult of personality is more important to him than is seeing his students become better shooters.

There's no justice.

In a well-run universe, the quake that hit DC would have been a lot stronger than 3.6, know what I'm sayin'?

There just ain't no justice.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tactical eye for the straight guy...

You might be tactical if:
You can, at a glance, tell the difference between Desert Tan, Coyote Brown, and Flat Dark Earth.

Stay alert, stay alive.

So, for the second time in a year, a cyclist has been ambushed on the Monon Trail, danger close to Roseholme Cottage.

This has me seething, mostly because mayor Greg Ballard is determined to keep the Monon Rail Trail as an official Victim Disarmament Zone. Thugs can carry whatever they want, but law-abiding citizens, who have paid a ton of tax money for this pleasant bicycling path, are officially defenseless by decree of city ordinance. I have become a single-issue voter on this: Get me, Greg; either you reach up between your legs and grab your ears and pull hard on the issue of lawfully-carried guns in parks, or you have completely lost me as a voter.

What can we learn from this?
  1. I don't use the Monon alone, as a general rule, even north of the 52nd Street DMZ. Local surface streets offer more room to maneuver should two or three thugs block your path.
  2. In both cases, the attack happened in a nice neighborhood, in broad daylight. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security by the fact that it's a pretty day out. Don't get lost in your iPod or cell phone conversation to the exclusion of the outside world. It amazes me to see people walking around out of doors, lost in some electronic world of their own and oblivious to their surroundings.
  3. In both cases, the attack was launched more or less out of the blue. Urbanus strongarmus is an ambush predator. Your first warning that you are in a life-or-death struggle may come when your face hits the asphalt. How often do you practice drawing and engaging multiple targets from flat on your back?

Carry a gun. Practice getting to it from awkward positions. Stay aware of your surroundings. If something feels wrong, listen to your feelings and turn around and leave: You can recover quickly from embarrassment, but forty stitches in your mouth take a long time to heal,

Chicks with guns and microphones.

Looks like there's going to be a new show on Blogtalk Radio.


Don't believe the hype.

As everyone knows, the definition of "tactical" used to be "black and expensive". But not anymore! Now it can mean "flat dark earth and expensive" or "digital camouflage and expensive"!

And who better to come up with a list of most over-the-top tactical items than the Tactical Gear Blog?

I mean, it's right there in the name.

(H/T to Unc.)

Belated Happy Bastille Day.

Yesterday was the day they put on a big parade-and-fireworks extravaganza in Paris to celebrate my mom's birthday.

Hope it was a good one!

Re: The Iranian Nuke Scientist.

Marko is pondering the whoppers he must be telling now that he's back home.

Me, I'm thinking I've seen this movie before.

The Modern Primitives.

Scooteroi on Stan Cox's calls for life without a/c, including "Shorter summer business hours and month-long closings...":
Yeah, that’ll do wonders for the productivity of the United States, idiot. How about abolishing modern medical care and going back to having a barber bleed you to ‘release the bad spirits’ and occasionally throwing a leech your way. It makes about as much sense. Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and head off to East Timor and give it a whirl, ass.


The other evening, Bobbi was attempting to learn to pedal her "skatebike" out on the sidewalk in front of the house. She was getting the hang of it, managing as much as ten or fifteen yards down the sidewalk before having to step off, and asked me if I'd like to try. "Why not?" I thought.

Sure enough, I got maybe three feet before falling on my butt. Well, not directly on my butt; I caught myself with my right hand. Later that evening, when moving the Zed Drei so Bobbi could do some work in the garage, there was a painful twinge in that shoulder while yanking up on the parking brake. Uh oh.

By the next morning, the upward roll of the shoulder involved in pulling up a pair of jeans caused stabbing pains to knife through the deltoid muscle. Guess what motion is involved in drawing a pistol from a strong side belt holster? Yup.

I went to dig through my box of holsters in the attic, but it seems that not only had I sold the one or two left-handed 1911 holsters I had, but also any OWB ones suitable for cross-draw. Ditto S&W revolver holsters, all except for one pancake rig from Simply Rugged that was sized to fit a J-frame Smith and could be worn crossdraw. (Note To Self: Acquire left-handed IWB for 1911.)

One benefit of wearing my pistol IWB at about the 4 o'clock position on my belt and having arms like an orang-utan is that I can, by leaning forward slightly, reach around behind myself and draw with my weak hand. For the next day or so, I got a fair amount of practice at it, too.

If you CCW every day, what happens if you wind up with your dominant arm in a cast? What's your fallback plan?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Much better.

I have tossed the term "blinding headache" around in the past to describe a bit of pain in the head. No more. This morning I experienced waves of pain that made it hard to see as each one crested and broke.

This is the second time in the past five years that I have had a headache that largely left me curled in a fetal ball and wishing I would die. It was gone by 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon, but I was just absolutely drained by the experience; it was a mighty effort to drive a mile or so to the grocery store and pick up some paper towels and dishwashing detergent, and by the time I got home I was completely drained.

Hopefully it'll be another five years before it happens again. We'll return to our regular blogging schedule in the AM.

Friendly Business Pointer!

The fact that you felt compelled to include the word "legitimate" in your email header of "WOW! ONLINE MONEYMAKING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY! LEGITIMATE!!" tells me that it is not, in fact, probably all that legitimate.


2nd worst headache of my life.

More later.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Kevin brings a blurb from an April '81 Time article on gun control.

How the author of that hit piece must rue the fact that, at a federal level at least, things had pretty much reached their high-water mark by then. They managed to get the Brady law through about a decade later, but after that, they couldn't even get the '94 AWB through a Democrat Congress without an expiration date.

The only thing that hasn't changed since '81 is the rhetoric. It still sounds exactly the same.

Vandalism for Jesus.

It’s like burning a cross — in a bad way.
I need to start reading this Popehat guy; the snark is strong in this one.

And that chick at WorldNetDaily? I want to make fun of her. I want to mock her turgid phrases that proudly display the kind of reasoning ability you don't often encounter outside the bins in the produce section at your local grocery store. But the truth is, she scares me a little. Behind that dull, bovine gaze beats the heart of a fanatic. If she can pretzel her way around to cheering an anonymous vandal for his courageous heroism, there's no telling just what she could rationalize. People like her are part of the reason I own guns, because she's got "Ready-Made, Pre-Fit, Lynch Mob Component #10014317" practically tatooed across her forehead.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Irony now available in size 3XL.

Michael Moore, a man who pays for his twinkies off the income from copyrighted works of fiction documentaries, doesn't seem to have much regard for the copyrighted property of others.

I guess they're just evil capitalists, while he's an honest blue collar multimillionaire workin' stiff. They owe him.

New content at The Arms Room.

Fresh post at the other blog.

More here in a bit.

Not buyin' it...

Martin McPhillips isn't even slightly persuaded by the latest explanation for the Russkie spy gaffe, which is now officially "Oh, we were juuuust about to arrest 'em anyway when that li'l Anna gal kinda rushed us."

Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it.

Have you ever wondered:
  • Why people prefer meat that is 80% lean to meat that is 20% fat?
  • Why you lose your car keys? Or your car?
  • Why folks will drive clear across town to save $25 on a $100 microwave, but will hardly cross the street for a "2.5% Off!" sale on a $1000 flat-screen TV?
  • Why it's so hard to stay on a diet, and so easy to procrastinate?
  • Why eyewitness testimony is about as reliable as a street vendor's "Rolex"?

People people left left.


That was a perfectly grammatical sentence, and made total sense.* Can I help it if our language centers are built out of garage sale leftovers that make it hard to process sentences like that?

If this is the kind of stuff that you find fascinating, may I recommend the book Kluge: The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind?

Witty and written in a conversational tone, it will have you saying "Huh!" and reading passages aloud to friends every few pages. The only thing that kept me from reading it at one sitting was the need to sleep. Pesky sleep.

*People who have been abandoned by other people have also departed.

Brave and crazy.

I'm sure everybody's seen video of insane wingsuit action in the fjords of Norway:

So what do you do when jumping off cliffs and skimming past sheer rock walls at suicidal velocities just isn't delivering the ol' adrenaline rush like it used to?


Strap bladders of JP-4 jet fuel to your body under your clothes, bolt a pair of turbojets to your boots, and jump out of a balloon!

The number of ways that could go horribly, tragically, pyrotechnically wrong literally staggers the imagination. And yet it's kinda cool, too.

Bad Math.

The TeeWee news informed me this morning that the Indiana Pacers, the city's roundball team, has been bribed to remain in Indianapolis for the next three seasons to the tune of better than $10,000,000/annum.

The rationale handed out by the .gov is that area businesses would lose $50M/annum if we didn't have NBA basketball here. This would make fiscal sense if the sales tax rate was, oh, twenty frickin' percent. Otherwise, that's a serious revenue gap you're going to have to make up from somewhere, and I get the feeling it ain't going to be parking tickets.

Go Pacers! Perhaps to Nashville or Louisville. They haven't been kissed by the NBA yet.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lions and tigers...

...and bears!

Oh, my!

(BONUS!: Lions!)

Not ready for prime time.

I have no real dog in the electric car fight. When it comes to cars that I find interesting, I don't much care whether the drive wheels are turned by a gas motor, a diesel, an electric motor, or a hamster in an exercise wheel, just so long as the elapsed time over thirteen hundred and twenty feet is low enough.

There are lots of cars I think are cool that are impractical as all getout: The original Viper had no external door handles, an interior that made a rental Cavalier look plush, and a "top" with less structural rigidity and weatherproofing quality than a Costco umbrella; you could cook hot dogs on the door sills and the sidepipes pumped a ton of decibels right into your ear, and they weren't even cool-sounding decibels, either; the first Vipers had an exhaust note that sounded almost exactly like a flatulent UPS truck . The KTM X-bow is very interesting, and it makes the original Viper look as practical as a minivan.

Electric motors have some good properties for performance applications, such as producing peak torque right from zero RPM. This is very useful if you only need to go 1320 feet at a time. Tesla Motors exploited this with their first model, which was basically a sunny weekend play toy, a hot rod electric rocket designed to appeal to rich speed-freak techno-geeks with a green streak.

Now that they're trying to branch into the broader automotive market, however, the shiny seems to be wearing off their business model.

A rainbow-colored paste.

The gay community finds room in the big tent under the wheels of the Obama bus.

Is there a constituency that the current administration hasn't chucked under the tires yet?

Say what you will about the Shrub on fiscal issues; on social issues he danced with the ones who brung him.

Close the polls.

We have a rock-solid winner for the 2010 Waffenpossenhaft Awards. Barring a minor miracle, I don't see anything else possibly unseating the "Begane": A gun for people who don't like, want, or in any way understand guns.

That's just what we need: Somebody pointing a .38 Special pepperbox loaded with snake shot at somebody and thinking that they are holding a "non-lethal" weapon for "civilized people". Especially if they bought the black & white-trimmed "Pacific Ninja" variant.

I'm not sure I've ever seen so much lose and fail packed into such a small container.

I'm pretty sure that, even if this thing were to hit the market, the BATFEIEIO would rule it an Any Other Weapon, so it would take a pretty determined fool to get themselves into hot water with it. Then again, there's no fool like a determined one...

Random stuff...

Had a weird dream last night. Very "intimations of mortality" stuff. The only thing I really remember about it was telling my aunt that "it's not that I'm scared of dying, it's just that I realized I have so much stuff to do and so little time in which to do it."

Roomie sent me to the grocery store for breakfast fixin's. The grocery store before 8AM of a Sunday is a tranquil place; there's just the staff, a couple other shoppers, and you. I should make a note to do my shopping then more often.

Incidentally, I was reminded of my first "real" job, which was at a grocery store, by seeing the dude driving a broom up and down the aisles. I remember doing that. I also remember we had to empty the little ash cans at the end of every other aisle, a chore that no longer exists. I don't miss the idea of smoking in grocery stores at all; if I owned one in anarchotopia, I'd still post it "No Smoking" just to keep inconsiderate louts from ashing in the produce department.

Not only was the grocery store pleasantly empty, but so were the roads, which made putting the top down on the Bimmer that much more pleasant. 70 degrees, dead calm, and severe clear: If you don't drop the top on a day like today, they'll take your convertible away.

The iPod served up Rush's "Mystic Rhythms" and Cyndi Lauper singing "Time After Time" on the way to the store and, apparently sensing that I was now awake, KMFDM's "Juke Joint Jezebel" for the drive home. And I was grateful, because I am well aware that, no matter how broke I am, there are starving kids in India who didn't get to drive around in a Kraut roadster in perfect weather listening to KMFDM this morning.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Healthcare for nothin'...

I LOL'ed...

I mean, you'd have to be about a satirical genius to mock this administration with a Dire Straits spoof... ;)

(H/T to Nathan.)

Do want...

This tee-shirt is made of twenty different kinds of geeky awesome. Too bad it doesn't come in a gray unisex tee, 'cause the whole pink babydoll tee thing is just so not my speed.

Heisenberg came up with his famous uncertainty principle while house sitting for Schroedinger, who would call on the phone to check on things and ask "Where is my cat, Werner? And how fast is it going?"

Brace yourselves, old hippies...

...for I am about to shatter the great myths of your youth:
  • The 27 8x10" color glossy photographs with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was? They were not in color, they were actually black and white.
  • Arlo's name was not found in the garbage; Alice's husband's was, and he finked on Arlo.
  • And Arlo is now a registered Republican.

Like Dustbury said, OMG.

He says "moat" like it's a bad thing.

Steve Ross on Tennessee Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee McWherter's response to the Arizona kerfuffle:
McWherter stopped short of saying he supported having a similar bill in Tennessee. Further, he didn't place blame on the people who are illegally crossing, but the Federal Government, whose job it is to deal with immigration policy, and the employers who hire illegals.

This is an important distinction. Its one thing to say that the Federal Government has failed in its duty to protect the borders, but quite another to say that we should build a legal moat filled with alligators around the state.

Let me just say right here that, all immigration issues aside, I think a moat filled with alligators around the whole state would be pretty cool. Additionally, digging the moat and stocking it would be a tremendous jobs program, akin to the original TVA, and once you were done, just think of all the sweet, sweet tourist dollars that would pour in when people came to look at the 'gators. Florida has 'gators and look at how much tourist business they get, and they don't even have a moat.

(Cross-posted here, because it's hard coming up with twice the snark every morning.)

Friday, July 09, 2010

Blue about Laws.

Overheard in the office:
Me: Why can't I buy a car on Sunday in Indiana?

RX: Because Jesus never bought a car on Sunday.

Radley Balko compares the Blue Laws in Virginia, from whence he moved, to those in Tennessee, where he fetched up.

Thanks to our system of Government By Sedimentation, most states are layered with quaint, charming relics of an earlier era. Especially when it comes to alcohol.

(H/T to Unc.)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

Backyard drama finished. (For now.)

Now to see to those posts I meant to write today. I had a big one for here and one for The Arms Room; hopefully I can remember what they were...

In case you were wondering why "Shall Issue" is better than "May Issue"...'s because "shall issue" means that the sheriff can't suddenly stop renewing your permit just because y'all aren't BFF's anymore.

I feal so cheapened...

As SayUncle has noted, I agreed to sell out to the MSM for a week or so.

I'm still a rebel at heart and stuff, though.

Crunch time.

I heard a loud *crunch* noise this morning. It seems a pretty good-sized limb fell off the hackberry tree in the back yard, taking out a ham antenna and about three feet of fence.

It just hasn't been a good summer for trees here at Roseholme Cottage.

I'm off to play with a little camper-size bow saw and some lopper thingies. Looks like our tree hippie is going to get some more singing time.

UPDATE: Sawing through a green, 4"+ diameter Celtis occidentalis bough repeatedly with a little one-hand bow saw will take the starch right out of you. I'm taking a breather.

Braiins! Braaiiins!!

The small businessperson's zombie apocalypse (click to embiggenate):

(Found here.)

Push that rock uphill.

I'm not entirely certain what this Lindsay Lohan person is supposed to be famous for, other than racking up an impressive collection of frequent-flier miles in the back seat of LAPD cruisers, but I can't visit an intertubes news site these last couple days without seeing something about her splashed across the headlines.

Anyway, her lawyer has apparently tired of playing "Thoroughly Postmodern Sisyphus" and, really, who can blame her?


Have you ever met a fabulist so caught up in their own fantasy that you wonder if they really believe it? Me too.

That's what made this so fascinating: Al Qaeda's Fantasy Ideology.

(Found here.)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Book report...

So I mentioned a couple days ago that I was going to ration myself two more Terry Pratchett novels before getting back to other reading and asked for suggestions. I wound up going with Small Gods and Night Watch.

Small Gods was good and all, but I had forgotten what a truly wonderful (in the most literal sense of the word) book Night Watch was: Robert Peel meets H.G. Wells in the middle of Les Miserables as done by Terry Pratchett. It's a vanishingly rare writer that can move you from laughter to tears and back again within a couple pages.

Now I'm back to books from the New Business stack, following up Dreadnought with Castles of Steel. Robert Massie is every bit as impressive this time 'round as he was in the first one. I'm going to need to look for some of his other books.

You kids these days with your Tweeting and your Texting and your Friending.

I have a hard enough time answering emails; it's a big victory for me when I hit about a 10% return rate. How some people keep up with all their Facebook accounts and Twitter and chat rooms is beyond me.

zomg i'm at the grocery store

now i'm home again

it's really hot outside

i like pie

I have a hard enough time coming up with material for a couple blog posts a day, and the willpower to actually type them.

The big breakthrough I'm waiting for is antiSocial Media, so I can fit in by not joining.

The Shady Bunch:

Guess which "charity" gets a big ol' downcheck from the Better Business Bureau?

Maybe their accountant was the same person responsible for the head count at the "Million (More or Less) Mom March".

-- . . - / - .... . / -. . .-- / -... --- ... ... / ... .- -- . / .- ... / - .... . / --- .-.. -.. / -... --- ... ...

Remember how people were all worried about the (laughably misnamed) P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, not to mention projects like Total Information Awareness? And remember how upset this stuff made, not only hippies and wookie-suiters, but even plenty of regular old conservatives?

And how Obama ran as the candidate for Change?

Meet "Perfect Citizen", citizen.

*sigh* Remember the good ol' days, when the NSA could only spy on foreigners?

Hope and Change, indeed.