Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

If you go far enough that way, you can see the back of Alex Jones' head...

Hang out on various internet gun forums, go to gun shows, or spend any time on sites variously described as "conservative" or "libertarian" or what-have-you, and you'll eventually encounter some pretty kooky conspiracy theories. And I don't even necessarily mean kookiness about lizard people and secret FEMA guillotines, just people seeing patterns where there probably aren't any.

It's good to be reminded every now and then that there are folks politically opposite me who are equally susceptible, like this guy, who thinks that the whole outrage at TSA probulations is secretly funded and organized by shadowy right-wing organizations who want to privatize the TSA and keep it from unionizing... He gets bonus points for somehow tying it to Eric Prince and Blackwater, too!

It's another reminder that the political spectrum isn't a line so much as a circle, and no matter which direction you head from 12 o'clock, you eventually wind up on the bottom by the hatch where the cuckoos pop out.

The universe is massively unfair.

There is a long list of celebrities I wake up every morning hoping to hear have shuffled off their mortal coils.

Unfortunately, Leslie Nielsen is not among them.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Paging Charles Darwin...

Via Handgun Podcast, my attention was drawn to this fifty-five seconds of epic fail.

I was going to try to catalog everything wrong with it, from the total absence of trigger finger or muzzle discipline, to the lack of eye and ear protection, to the goobers repeating nonsense about the SKS being banned by the "Geneva Convention", but I ran out of room. Instead, I figured I'd write down everything they did right, and here's what I came up with: Nothing.

That kind of stupid should be painful, and often is, at least briefly...

Same, but Different.

Jay G put up a viddie of one of his favorite tunes.

I like that song, too. Sort of.


Fountain Heads.

I don't think I will ever fully grok the fountain pen aficionado.

I mean, generally when I want to write something down, I want to do so with as little screwing around as possible: 1) Grab nearest writing stick. 2) Make marks on paper. 3) Done.

My roommate, on the other hand, is presently over at her desk engaged in a process full of splashing and clicking noises, somewhere between a Japanese tea ceremony and adjusting the SU carburettors on a British roadster. To get a pen writing. And she seems happy as a clam about it.

Just like last Christmas...

...I'll probably be doing most of gift shopping at Brownells.

It's handy that most folks I know can use stuff from there, because I like the lack of checkout lines and parking lots and so forth...


As usual, the TeeWee cut on to the local news this morning, in time for me to see a picture of some fire blurrily raging in what appeared to be a foreign land; the shot then cut to a picture of a US supercarrier, as the voiceover said something along the lines of
"As the Koreas continue to clash, China gets involved. But first, the scores from the weekend's high school football championships and this week's weather..."
Okay, can I make a couple requests?
  1. Don't show quick jump-cut juxtapositions of fire, an American CVN battlegroup, and say the word "China" before my eyes have focused in the morning, okay? Please? It makes me jittery.
  2. While I'm sure there are people that think the state AAA football championships are more important than a potential shooting war, I'll bet if you took a poll you'd find that... wait, scratch that. Just go back to request #1 and leave it at that.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Getting down to brass tacks...

A leftist scribbler from The Nation whines:
Anytime anyone says anything libertarian, spit on them. Libertarians are by definition enemies of the state:
Why, yes. Yes, I am.
they are against promoting American citizens’ general welfare and against policies that create a perfect union.
You know, for the last hundred years there has been entirely too much Promoting of the General Welfare and Creating a More Perfect Union and way too damned little Securing of the Blessings of Liberty.

Go piss on an electric fence, hippie.

(H/T to Rhymes With Cars & Girls.)

It's like haik

So as part of my new gig, I am forced to learn about this Twitter thing you kids are all doing. It's hard to run out of 140 characters in exactly the right pla


Iggle Crick is closed this weekend. My only other choice for shooting anywhere nearby would be Popguns, but it's halfway across town and their small indoor range is likely to be packed today. I may drive out there tomorrow anyway, because I already missed a week shooting last weekend and I can feel myself getting rusty, but it'll be pistol only; maneuvering a carbine in those confined spaces is more hassle than it's worth. It looks like the M&P15-22 is going to remain unfired for another weekend...

I really should spring for a membership at Marion County Fish & Game. Sure, it's shotgun/pistol/rimfire-only, but it's fairly close and it's a nice facility...

Cue hysteria in 5...4...3...2...

So the headline at CNN.com reads:
Hollywood publicist's killer used hollow-point bullet, report says

A 9mm hollow-point? Well that narrows it down! It must have been Mossad or the CIA!

Or, you know, about a third of the police departments* in the US. Or me. (Don't worry, I've got a rock-solid alibi.) Or... say, doesn't the Beverly Hills Police Department issue 9mm SIG P-226's?

Anyhow, perhaps the killer was, like pretty much every law enforcement agency in America, just worried about the danger to the surrounding community if they'd used full-metal-jacket ammunition that could overpenetrate its target?

*The ones that don't use .40 or .357SIG† or .45 because they don't think 9mm is powerful enough...

†Which, when you think about it, would look just like a 9mm to the coroner, what with them using the same bullets and all...

Today In History: "You'll never get me alive, copper!"

Speaking of Winchester 1907's, it was on this date in 1934 that Baby Face Nelson and John Paul Chase engaged FBI agents Sam Cowley and Herman Hollis in a gun battle on the streets of Barrington, Illinois. In the shootout, Nelson used a Winchester 1907 in .351 WSL that was supposedly converted to fire full auto.

I continue to toy with the idea of buying one. Apparently some outfit named "Load-X Ammunition" offers new ammo for, like, $40/50rds...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Speaking of completely overreacting...

Jay G links to a tale of a Massachusetts schoolteacher who feels so threatened by the weaponization potential of the basic No. 2 pencil that pupils are cautioned to leave them at home on pain of suspension.

That's right: If you need a writing stick at school, one will be provided for you, Junior Citizen.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that if pencils give you the shizzling drits, you should perhaps seek work someplace other than a schoolroom.

Just to help the more easily confused, here's a quick study guide...

Eberhard Faber Mongol Pencils:

Genghis Khan, Mongol conqueror of Asia:

The latter is the one known for causing disruptions in the classroom...

That can't be good for the pavement...

When I woke up yesterday morning, it was just over sixty degrees outside.

When I woke up this morning, it was twenty.


Another step closer to Mad Max?

The latest symptom of the smoking caldera that sits where the California housing market used to be is the Beverly Hillsquatter.

Apparently the people moving into the foreclosed house down the street might not have actually, you know, asked the bank if they'd mind or anything.

And this isn't the 'hood or Modular Housing Acres we're talking about, either.

Be sure to watch the videos. Given the foot-dragging by the authorities reported in the article, you have to wonder if more active neighborhood watches might not increase in popularity...

(H/T to Jay G.)

Have you voted...

...for Outdoor TV's Golden Moose Awards yet?

There's a category for Best New Show, where your choices are Yet Another Bubba Catching Fish or Rob Pincus and S.W.A.T. Magazine TV.

I think you know which one I think you think should win.

On a totally unrelated topic, (unless you're the FTC, I guess...) guess which blogger whose name rhymes with "camera" took a gig with SWAT Magazine?

Things I've been reading.

I had not, up until now, ever read With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa.

People had told me that it was one of the best memoirs of infantry combat ever, and they were right.

The prose is clear and direct. The recollection is straightforward, with no side trips into autobiography, dream sequences, poetry, or pontification. Two thumbs up.

In an interesting note to me as a shooter, during his description of marksmanship training at MCRD San Diego, he notes as an aside that all the way through the campaigns on Peleliu and Okinawa, he never once saw anybody shoot from the "sitting position"...

Having finished it, I'm now about halfway through The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000.


Robb Allen brings the big funny.

Just go look. I'm not going to spoil it.

These are not my people.

So the local TeeWee station was covering the annual 0mygod30 stampede at the gates of the local temples of commerce, as people poured though the doors, crowded into the aisles, and herded into shuffling checkout lines so long that their ends were lost in the distant haze. News chopper footage gleefully covered the tangled snarl of traffic around the big mall and its environs. A TV crew directed their lens and mic at some guy in the crowd and asked him a question and his response was "Well, I'm gonna save 'bout a hunnert bucks so, yeah, it's worth it."

And I thought to myself "I would gladly pay a hundred dollars to avoid that mess."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Last weekend...

...I went to the gun show in Lafayette, IN. It's a cozy little show; maybe half to a third the size of one back in K-town and a tenth the size of the monstrous Indy 1500s to which I've grown accustomed, but the variety is good and the guns-to-beanie-babies ratio is stellar.

There were a few interesting items on offer. A guy had a beautiful Mannlicher-stocked Ruger No.1 "International" in 7x57mm; I was tempted, but it was a bit rich for my blood. Another table had a brace of reasonably-priced Winchester 1907s, and if the guy who usually sets up with rare & collectible ammunition and magazines had been there, I might have grabbed one. But alas, there wasn't a single round of .351 Winchester Self-Loading to be had at the show, so I demurred.

I wound up doing the practical thing and picked up a Smith & Wesson M&P-15/22 and more rimfire ammo. Since the nearest places for me to shoot my centerfire AR are the better part of an hour's drive, this will allow me to get short-range carbine practice in at Iggle Crick. I mounted my Bushnell FACOG on it, and I'll fit it with an VLTOR stock and Magpul MBUIS so that it will handle as much like the real gun as possible.

Rubles and yuan and greenbacks, oh my!

The other day, China and Russia reached an agreement to stop using the US Dollar for poker chips at their weekly card games. Panic ensued in the more panic-prone corners of the intertubes.

Zero Hedge counters with the fact that both nations are still sitting on mattresses full of greenbacks, which they have no desire to turn into toilet paper yet, and that China does quite a bit less business with Vladimir Putin than it does with Mike Duke, so the sky's hardly falling here. Yet.

(H/T to Mr. B.)


Slow start on Turkey Day here at Roseholme Cottage.

Roomie has plans to commit cookery; rumor has it that we'll be repeating last year's wildly successful turducken feast. With Shootin' Buddy not being here, I will be able to drink the bacon-mushroom gravy straight from the bowl. I picked up an Argentine Malbec while getting the last minute ingredients at the store yesterday, and I'm looking forward to a very unproductive afternoon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The ____ loves the ____.

Oh, cool! Somebody put my favorite old commercial for my car on YouTube!

Debra J. Saunders is dumber than a stump.

She writes:
Yes, I've been through body scans. Yes, I've been patted down, not just at airports, but also covering political events. Yes, I've had to contend with the rare overbearing TSA worker who let the power go to his head. Are these searches intrusive? Sure, but they beat crossing the country in a covered wagon.
Don't give me that "covered wagon" crap, you naïf; the Concorde supersonic jetliner was retired in 2003, partly due to the slump in air travel cause by the brand-new-and-already-a-pain-in-the-ass TSA.

You obviously wouldn't know a "false dichotomy" if a security guard probulated you with one.

What did she expect, going to the airport dressed like that?

Quote of the Day regarding the sudden spectacle of feminists writing "Grope me, baby!" columns:
Geezle, what is it with these more-or-less feminist writers? Are there suddenly piscine bicyclists when it comes time to kill a spider?

I've no doubt that there is a certain subset of people who are busily inking their "Naughty TSA Agent" fantasies to True Confessions Monthly...

Speaking of random culture...

Check out this video of a guy playing Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor on a glass harp. (Or, as you and I would call his instrument, water-filled crystal goblets.)

Victims of generic history.

A BBC reporter who is apparently unfamiliar with the Hussite Wars seems amazed at the discovery of hand-cannon fragments at the site of the Battle of Towton.

Yes, Mr. Reporter, they had hand-gonnes much earlier than you think they did. What makes the find interesting is that, even as late as the mid-15th Century, England was something of a military backwater, so the surprise comes not from finding medieval hand-cannon, but from finding them in England.

(H/T to The Maddened Fowl.)

I dreamed I was in the Twilight Zone...

I had a dream that involved me being a novelist writing gritty '30s detective stories, and I was staying out in the woods and having writer's block. I just couldn't finish the novel I was working on.

So I was driving down these muddy dirt roads, trying to clear my head, when I saw a bunch of paperback books laying in this puddle on the side of the road. I pulled over and picked up the waterlogged books, and it was one each of all the novels in my hard-boiled detective series, including the novel I was currently stuck writing, with my name on it and everything, and the copyright date was this year. I had no idea where this book came from or how it got printed or what it was doing on the side of the road.

So I called a friend of mine (a generic dream friend, nobody I know from real life) and we met on this disused railroad trestle and were discussing the possible implications of the book. Should I just transcribe it and send the finished product to the publisher? Can you plagiarize yourself? Or at least your "self" from some alternate universe?

My imaginary dream friend was giving me his ideas. Then Lady Gaga came flying down the road under the trestle on which we were standing in a Porsche 550RS Spyder and very deliberately steered it right into a bridge abutment, going up in a spectacular ball of magnesium-and-gasoline flames. Then I woke up.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bullets on a Plane!

Apparently some federal law enforcement officer left his spare magazine on Southwest Airlines plane today.

It was almost found by a little child, but an alert flight attendant noticed it and scooped it up before the child could come to harm.

I mean, if he hadn't swooped in to the rescue, the tot could have... could have... well, maybe if his little toddler fingers could have pried some rounds out of the mag, he could have choked on one. Or maybe dropped one into the aisle, causing a flight attendant to slip and twist an ankle during drinks service. Other than that, I can't really think of too many ways you could use a loaded magazine to cause any real injury without having the, you know, rest of the gun.

Jeez, people treat even gun parts now as though they're made out of flaming radioactive kryptonite rattlesnakes or something. Good work, hysterical media!

Try to keep up, Mike.

Governor Cornpone challenges Barry to send the First Family through the porn-scanners and the crotchal-area gropers.

Boy, that's original.

EDIT: Et tu, Unc?


Cool Things You Can Buy!

My friend Kathy has a new book out, based on her totally useful website: The Cornered Cat: A Woman's Guide To Concealed Carry. You can pre-order copies at the link, and even request autographed ones!

Meanwhile, thanks to popular demand, the pistol-training.com targets are now available commercially. They're all set up to let you shoot drills like the F.A.S.T., Dot Torture, 3-Two-1, and more, all on the same target.

What are the odds?

So I'm doing the part of the laundry that includes socks. The dryer buzzes, and I start reaching in and pulling socks out one at a time without looking.

There are five pairs of insulated winter-type socks and my two pairs of fluffy fleecy purple sock things (one striped and one polka-dotted) that I like wearing around the house in the mornings because they keep the floor from sucking the warm right out the soles of my feet, they're all happy and Dr. Seuss-looking, and they're awesome for sliding around on hardwood floors.

As I grab a sock, I lay it flat atop the washer so that when its mate comes out, I can stack them and fold them together.

Today, the washer top was too small for this chore because, in defiance of mathematical probability, I somehow managed to blindly extract one sock from each pair before getting my first duplicate. I'm tempted to try and figure the odds on that.

Home Security...

SayUncle linked to a developing story on a home invasion in south Knoxville (for those not knowledgeable about the K-town metro area, that's the "You Can't Get There From Here" part of town.)

It seems that a pair of ne'er-do-wells busted up into a house, scuffling with the husband and shooting him, before the missus scooped up a .357 and rather comprehensively aired one of the goblins out, causing the other to flee into the night.

One sentence in the story stood out to me:
DeBusk said two suspects knocked on the door of the home and "then kicked in the door."
Up here in far-off frozen cold north Yankee land, most houses have a thing called a "storm door", which is much like the screen doors you'd sometimes see back home, but with glass instead mesh.

Roseholme Cottage does not have a regular storm door. It has an ornamental-looking-but-extremely-sturdy barred door, set into a beefy frame. This door opens outward. It is not going to get "kicked in". This makes me a lot happier when answering the door.

Random linkage...

Overheard in the Kitchen:

Me: "'Scuse me..."

RX: "Sorry, I don't mean to be in your way."

Me: "No, I was going to sneak behind you so I wouldn't be in yours. Ah, the graceful ballet of the galley-style kitchen..."

RX: (instantly thrown into free-association mode) "The Spandau Ballet of the Galley Kitchen... The Galley Kitchen Goes To War... The Galley Kitchen Sees A Ghost... It could be a series of children's books!"

Ever had a crazy neighbor?

Well South Korea does, and he's started shooting his shotgun randomly out the windows again.

How does one deal with this constant (and make no mistake, it is constant,) series of "incidents"? Does one decide that a dozen or so casualties a year to random provocations are cheaper than the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of casualties that would surely happen in an all out war?

And what's up with North Korea, anyway? I mean, we know that the guy on top is nuttier than squirrel poop, but does the crazy run true all the way down to the lowest cannon cocker?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Flash choir...

ASM286 linked to this Random Act Of Culture that took place at the downtown Macy's in Philadelphia, with its historic Wanamaker Organ:

Miss Manners Trivia Question:
Q: Why do we stand for the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel's Messiah?

A: Because we just frickin' do, you ignorant savage!
Seriously, if I had to talk the aliens out of blowing us up, and the only tool I had was a CD player, and Ludwig Van's 9th was unavailable, Handel's Messiah would be my second choice.

The world's smallest record player...

...is playing "Here's For The TSA Agents."

Apparently, after a hard day of turning people into amateur porno models and groping crotches for God, Mom, Apple Pie, and Freedom they go home and cry themselves to sleep because people say unkind things to them.

I swear, it's like the punchline to that awful old joke: "No, he broke his neck when he fell out of a guard tower, drunk."

Overheard in the Hallway:

Okay, this was collaborative, with roomie hollering strange stuff from the shower and me hollering back from the hallway and I can't exactly remember who did what, but it started with a discussion of why we liked Canada (America's hat! It keeps our forehead warm,) ballistic missile defense, where Russkie short rounds were likely to land, and Canadian geography, and got progressively more off-topic from there, winding up with...
From the Star Trek episode "The Laurentian Shield"

Kirk: "They've stolen Spock's brain and hidden it in Canada and our phasers can't penetrate the Laurentian Shield! Scotty! I need more power!"

Scotty: "Ye're already a starship captain! Wha more do ye wan', ye narcissistic sassenach madman? Ye're barely holdin' together as it is!"
It gets mighty weird around these parts at times...

If at first you don't succeed, lie, lie again.

Bill Holda, president of Kilgore College in Kilgore, TX, apparently lives in a fantasy alternate universe where, during the Luby's Cafeteria Massacre in 1991...
"...multiple shooters and innocent people were killed by other people who had concealed licensed handguns because they weren't sure who was the shooter and who was the defender,"
and thus he opposed the recent Campus Carry bill introduced in the Texas legislature.

The only problem with that is that there was no legal, licensed CCW in Texas in 1991, and even if there had been, none of the victims of the nutcase in Kileen were shot by anybody other than the wacko who perpetrated the massacre.

So either Holda lives in a parallel universe and is only visiting ours to give statements to the press, or he's a big fat liar. Which do you think is more likely?

Also, note how the TeeWee station has been perfectly content to let the blatantly counterfactual statement stand unchallenged and uncorrected.

(Via email.)

Korean spaghetti is called "jajangmyeon"...

Watched a really cool movie over the weekend: The Good, the Bad, the Weird.

It's kind of like the title would imply: An homage to the famous Sergio Leone spaghetti western, but set in Manchuria during the 1930s rather than the American Southwest during the 1860s. There are Mausers and Japanese army troops and Walthers and horseback bandits and Webleys and train robberies and motorcycles with sidecars and explosions and they don't spare the ammunition either, let me tell you. Plus, it never takes itself too seriously; it's a fun movie, like a more violent Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Unless you just absolutely cannot handle subtitles, you have got to see this.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Well, Paul?

But understand, the finger-twitch variation is not enough to reduce the bloody heaps of bodies that keep piling up in communities across our fruited plains.
I realize that, being stuck back here in Indiana, I probably don't have the same bird's eye view of the violence-wracked "fruited plains" that you do, now that you've been spirited off on wings made of George Soros' greenbacks, but I drove all over our fair state today looking for those "bloody heaps of bodies" and never found them. Help me out here, Paul?

(H/T to Snowflakes in Hell.)

Step up and show some leadership, Mr. President.

In response to the public outcry over the latest TSA nonsense, the Dear Reader responded "Let them eat cake while getting their crotches grabbed."

Well, not in so many words, actually; instead, the man who breezes on and off Air Force One with a smile and a wave mumbled some nonsense about how this "tough situation" was necessary for our safety and said
"One of the most frustrating aspects of this fight against terrorism is that it has created a whole security apparatus around us that causes huge inconvenience for all of us,"


What you mean "us", Kemosabe?

The day you're standing there watching while some anonymous McDonald's washout of a rent-a-cop is giving Michelle and the girls a full TSA probulation at Andrews AFB before y'all jet off to Martha's Vineyard or Madrid is the day you will show a shred of leadership on this issue.

Until then, you can put a sock in it. Until the Presidential Junk gets a fondlin', you're just talking out your teleprompter.

You first, Barry; you first.

Friday, November 19, 2010

All linky, no thinky...

I have been feeling weird and light-headed all day, and can't concentrate at all. Seriously, composing sentences is a challenge and paragraphs are right out. I can't even focus enough to read. It's after two in the afternoon, and I have accomplished precisely zilch. Probably some kind of exotic brain parasite or something.

Here's some links in lieu of actual content:
I hope I snap out of this. I need my brain for work and stuff. I'd even considered going to the doctor, but I'm not sure I trust myself to concentrate enough to drive.

Slow start this morning...

I'm actually replying to some emails, just to see what it feels like.

More in a bit...

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Since yesterday afternoon, I've been nose-down in a copy of The Gun. Given the fact that my entire adult life has been spent immersed in the world of firearms, both as a business and as a hobby, and that I have more books on firearms than most people have books, period, I was prepared to be disappointed.

I am not.

Chivers did his homework; it's like James Burke decided to do a tome on the history of the Avtomat Kalashnikov... (Interesting that Firefox's spellchecker knows "Kalashnikov"...)

Now I want to do a book on the Smith & Wesson Hand Ejector entitled The Other Gun...

Srsly, if you're a gun nut, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

One of our...

USAF F-22 Raptor goes missing yesterday, causing Billy Beck to comment and my roomie to start singing Thomas Dolby lyrics...

The wreckage has apparently been found, but still no word on whether the pilot punched out or not.

Steak and eggs and books.

I just had steak and eggs for breakfast. Yum!

And they were cooked by an author! (Well, a budding author.)

Y'know, they warned me the future would be like this.

Okay, go back in time to, say, the mid-1980s...

Grab some random stranger on the street and tell them that, in the future, a former vice presidential candidate's daughter was going to be on a celebrity dance contest show, and when she won, accusations would be flung that it was somehow rigged by her mom's political party, and one guy would be so outraged that he'd blow away his television with a shotgun and take his family hostage, causing his house to be surrounded by machinegun-toting cops in armored vehicles for a tense standoff that would attract national media attention.

They'd think you were pimping a sequel to Escape From New York or The Running Man, not describing some random November weekday in Wisconsin. I mean, female vice presidential candidate? That's the second oldest "near-future" science fiction trope in the book. (A black president is the oldest.)

*Howls and shakes bowcaster*

Claire Wolfe linked to my blog. Awesome!

My wookie-suiter chops are now impeccable.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chuck Schumer to outlaw Jack & Coke!

Because the whole point of getting elected is so you can get your knickers in a twist about dumb stuff, certain .gov hirelings are apparently directing the FDA to take a break from their current ceaseless hounding of niccers and go after the evil people putting caffeine in alcoholic beverages:
Schumer said in the release that the ruling, when it occurs, "should be the nail in the coffin of these dangerous toxic drinks."
And by "toxic drinks", he means "drinks that contain both alcohol and caffeine". You know, like that senatorial favorite, the Bacardi & Coke, or the Bailey's & coffee I enjoyed on the flight from Philly to Indianapolis...

Nothing personal, Chuck, but I hope you and everybody at the FDA die in a fire. Screaming.

I'd rather deal with jihadis than the TSA, and I'd rather deal with trichinosis than the FDA. This whole damned government is way the hell out of control.

...and a pony!

Og lays out his Firearms Wish List.

I've never really given mine any organized thought. As a collector, there are certain guns I would buy on reflex if I found them and I could afford them, but it's not like there's any real method to the madness.

There are a few that don't fit the pattern, however, that I still lust after. For example, at some point, I'm going to buy a Remington Model 8. And not a minty one, either, but an honest shooter, preferably in .35 Remington.

I'll own another Ruger No.1 RSI someday, too, but this one will be in 7x57mm instead of .243 Win. like the last one was.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Books on shelves, slings on long guns, and pistols in holsters.

Apparently, the dude was carrying his Glock rattling around loose in his pocket, along with other assorted pocket impedimenta, and not a holster in sight.

Pistols. Belong. In. Holsters.

(H/T to Sebastian.)

I had a dream... no, wait... it was a nightmare.

In my dream, Bobbi came home from work all bubbling with the inside scoop that there was going to be a big media announcement from the .gov that night, announcing first contact with intelligent aliens! There was an alien ship in orbit right now!

So the announcement was made, and the series of let-downs began.

Sure, there was a multi-species interstellar culture, but it really wasn't any more technologically advanced than our own (and less advanced in many ways), with the exception that they'd figured out how to pop a spaceship from Point A to Point B by putting enough electric power into their gizmotron. Other than that, the spaceships were not really any more advanced than a nuclear sub, right down to the fission power plants and archaic monochrome CRT monitors.

And the way they got organized enough to build the things was that most of the alien races had huge, planet-wide bureaucratic World Governments. Sure, you could travel to other star systems, but all you'd wind up finding was New Jersey with green skies, or Belgium with funny-looking trees, and the Space United Nations was everywhere. The whole universe was out there, and most of it was deadly dull and required going through the TSA to get to.

I woke up with the most awful sense of ennui that I have ever felt.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Strange cravings, Part II

I did something the other day that I haven't done in too long a while...

I was doing some straightening up in the basement, and while I was down there I pulled out my FN-49.

It's an Egyptian contract gun in 8mm Mauser. You may have seen it, since its picture is on Wikipedia; I got it from my friend Oleg.

I examined the intricate forgings and wondered what history had been soaked into the steel and walnut. I dusted it off and oiled down all the exposed metal. I worked the action a few times and threw it to my shoulder, peering through the sights at a spot on the brick wall of the basement...

I really want another one. There's nothing wrong with 8x57, but one from Belgium or Luxembourg in .30-'06 would be sweet. A Venezuelan contract gun in 7x57 would be sweetest 'cause, you know, a gas-operated autochucker in .275 Rigby with receiver-mounted aperture sights and a ten-round mag would be the berries.


From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, on the quashing of the New Black Panthers voting rights case:
The e-mails lend additional credence to the long-held suspicion that politics drove Justice's decision-making in this case. They also go a long way toward answering a key question: What is Attorney General Eric Holder hiding with his stonewalling against the commission's investigation?
Well, that's a mighty good question...

(H/T to Insty.)

"...no, he broke his neck when he fell out of a guard tower drunk!"

Ah, the frisky humor of the masters' hounds. See their tongues loll as they smile!

Are they trying to start a fight?

If that image is real and not 'shopped, I hope whoever set that as the desktop wallpaper dies in a fire. Screaming.

More TSA snark...

In comments at Snowflakes In Hell, someone said “Why don’t we just admit that this war against terrorism is over and we’ve lost. ”

I replied "I know. I’d type more, but I have to go decapitate myself on camera and send the video to Al Jazeera."

Detroit's government faces an Humungus task...

For years it was the all-but-official policy of the newspapers to ignore the black city, since the majority of readers lived in the predominantly white suburbs. And now that the papers do cover Detroit, boosters complain about a lack of balance. To me, that's like writing about the surf conditions in the Gaza Strip.
So I was reading yet another cheery article about life in Detroit, America's leading producer of abandoned factories, vacant lots, and juvenile gunshot fatalities, when I realized that what the city is lacking is visionary leadership. They need a mayor with a solid plan; a plan like:
There has been too much violence. Too much pain. But I have an honorable compromise. Just walk away. Give me your pump, the oil, the gasoline, and the whole compound, and I'll spare your lives. Just walk away and we'll give you a safe passageway in the wastelands. Just walk away and there will be an end to the horror.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Strange cravings, Part I

Blue Steel at Point Blank Range posted about his deer rifle the other day, and I kinda felt lust in my heart for that gun: A Browning BLR in .358 Winchester.

I've always liked the lines of the Browning BLRs; I came really close to buying one in .243 many years ago. They point well, the action is smooth and the lever throw is short, and the box magazine lets you use spitzer-type bullets, unlike conventional tube-fed leverguns. Yes, you're unlikely to win any benchrest competitions with one, but they're plenty accurate to fill a freezer.

And then there's that cartridge. Several friends of mine are loyal fans of the .35 Whelen, and the .358 Winchester is very similar, only using .308 Win for a parent cartridge instead of .30-'06. With the right loads, it'd be good for anything you'd care to shoot at on this continent.

I don't know why, but I kinda sorta want one now.

Lame duck's first quack.

From Politico.com:
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) will meet with President Barack Obama Tuesday afternoon to talk about the chances of getting comprehensive immigration reform or the DREAM Act passed in the lame duck session, a House Democratic source said.
Quelle surprise.

They hate us for our freedoms.

Meanwhile, from the "Worth At Least A Thousand Words" Department, comes this photo.

I am, for once, at a complete loss for words.

_____ like me.

Brian Micklethwait at Samizdata.net gives the all-too-obvious answer to Unc's oft-asked rhetorical question "Why are anti-gun activists so violent?"

And he's right in stating that the assumption that everyone is more or less just like us is a huge factor in a wide range of behaviors: It's why the office gossip believes everyone is talking about them and why chronic fabulists assume everyone else is a BS artist, too...

He was no Clyde Barrow...

...but thankfully the KC po-po were no Frank Hamers, either:
“I’m just an ordinary guy,” he said. “I go to work every day.”

Fortunately he was not hit. At least three bullets hit the van. Ransom said he did not know how many shots were fired.

“I wasn’t counting,” he said. “But it sounded like a lot.”
Apparently, as his van backfired to a shuddering halt near his home, one of his neighbors heard the backfires and called the police. A pair of Keystone Kansas City Kops showed up and promptly went cyclic on the van and its unarmed occupant, connecting with their barn-door-sized target three times (and their own squad car a few times as well) before someone realized that the van's occupant was standing with his hands raised, yelling "Don't shoot!"

Good work, men! Expect a call from an IMPD talent scout any ol' day now, because you've obviously got what it takes to work in this town.

(H/T to Old Grouch in comments here.)

Because I'm occasionally all stats-geeky...

The top ten referring blogs to VFTP over the past month have been:
  1. Say Uncle
  2. The Lawdog Files
  3. SurvivalBlog
  4. The Adventures of Roberta X
  5. Snowflakes In Hell
  6. Instapundit
  7. The Smallest Minority
  8. The View From North Central Idaho
  9. Pistol-Training.com
  10. Gun Nuts Media

Thank you!


Since I took all those smarts out of my head by reading a half-dozen pages of comments over at the WaPo, it's good to know that I have a way to put some back in.

Yesterday I picked up my roomie's copy of The Evolution of Useful Things: How Everyday Artifacts-From Forks and Pins to Paper Clips and Zippers-Came to be as They are and was immediately engrossed. I'm looking forward to finishing it today.

I had previously never given any thought to the optimal number of tines on a fork...

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

So the WaPo runs an op-ed piece from some Democrat who wants Barry to claim his greatness by forgoing hopes for reelection and making the hard and unpopular choices now.

By asking The One to not walk across the reflecting pool a second time, a firestorm was unleashed in the comments section that rivals anything to be found on YouTube in its capacity to Hoover the IQ points right out your optic nerve. Seriously, the thought of these people left alone in a voting booth for thirty seconds scares me positively spitless.
"One accomplishment of the Obama administration is that this year there is no flu vaccine shortage."

"I rather like the idea of "hand to hand combat" with the Republicans."

"Plagarized excrement. This "idea" was taken, nearly word-for-word, from a Tea-Bagger document that was written last year. In addition to being "anything for anyone with a buck" political prostitutes, Caddell and Schoen are now in the employ of the most dangerous and deadly political group this nation has ever seen."
Oy, veh! My brain is all hurty now.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

If you have to fly...

...and thus can't avoid the gropers, what do you do?
1) When the groper approaches, shake your head, point at the most attractive member of the checkpoint staff and say in a dreamy voice "No, I want them to do it!"

2) Ask the groper's name so that you can shout it out for added verisimilitude: "Oh, yes! Oh, [groper's name here]! Oh, God, yes!"

3) Get a panicky look on your face and mutter "Two by two, hands of blue. Two by two, hands of blue..." over and over.

4) If you're a male, turn your head and cough.
(This assuming we can't all just stop flying and let them freeze in the dark...)

Oh, please let it be true...

I have fallen into the internets this morning, reading the series of reports from the alleged anonymous Democratic Party insider portraying an Obama White House that is coming apart so fast that people are being hit by the shrapnel.

True? Who knows? But eminently plausible, given that it seems to indicate that the biggest criticism of both the Clinton and McCain camps is coming true: Barry is a great campaigner whose actual executive planning skills are only slightly more sophisticated than those of the Underpants Gnomes:
  1. Get Elected.
  2. ??????
  3. Hope and Change!

Hints are also dropped that the most valuable employee of soon-to-be-ex-Mayor Daley is not going to be able to avoid getting splattered with Chicago muck indefinitely...

"We are gathered here today to remember the daughter of Baroness Munchausen..."

Plumbing new depths of tacky, a Hoosier woman held a church funeral for her teenage daughter who, she said, had been raped and murdered by her father in far-off Iowa. There was an urn full of ashes and a donation box for the Autism Society and a moving eulogy and sobbing mourners...

...and then the girl's uncle bum-rushed the mic and announced that the girl was not, in fact, deceased and that the whole thing was a sham. At that point, the mother scurried for the nearest exit, leaving a baffled crowd of now-ex-mourners, as well as the donation box, behind.

Speculation abounds as to what she was planning on doing with the money, although "dope" and "legal fees" seem to be the leading contenders. The ashes in the urn were apparently her mom's, although I was kinda hoping that gas chromatography would reveal that they actually came from 27 packs of menthol Misty 120's, because that would be the cherry on the icing of the cake of the story.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"It's three yards! How hard could it be?"

Harder than it looks, actually.

Fred at Guns & Coffee talks about "Dot Torture", which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite handgun shooting drills...

Reasons to own a bunch of guns...

One of my all-time favorite threads at TFL was entitled "Reasons to own a buncha guns..." One of the reasons on the list was:
12. Because if time travel is ever perfected, and you can bring all of them back to the Alamo, Davy Crockett, Bill Travis and Jim Bowie are going to think YOU THE MAN!
Oh, admit it. Like you've never read a time travel story and thought "Dang, now if I had been there..."

In this spirit, I just finished re-reading Eric Flint's 1632 and, like always, came away thinking that the town of Grantville's biggest problem was that I didn't live there. "Okay, you five guys take these rifles in 8mm Mauser, and you five get these Mosins. You four get the .30-'06's, and make sure that the best shooter gets the Garand. K-frames for everybody!"

Standing athwart history yelling "Slow down!"

Driving down the interstate the other day, I passed an early Dodge Viper. It occurred to me that the first model year Vipers will be eligible for "Classic Car" license plates in some states in a couple years. And that they are about as old now as the original 427 Cobras were when I was in high school...

And the hits just keep on coming!

The Greater Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department: When they're not driving drunk, they're robbing strippers!

I don't know what we're going to do here. I'm starting to think that the solution may be to just fire the lot of 'em, from Frank Straub down to the lowliest meter maid, and start over from scratch, 'cause the current setup just isn't working out so hot.

It's really beginning to feel like 80% of the IMPD's officers are giving the other 20% a bad name...

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Tiimmberr...oh, hell!"

Before you decide to get the winner of the local school's "Why I think the smokestack should be blowed up" essay contest to flip the switch, you should probably make sure that the thing's going to fall in the right direction...

I'm just sayin'.

(H/T to Unc.)

Your daily Dada:

I have no idea...

You're welcome.

Trunk Gun in the Zed Drei: Paranoia or Preparedness?

For some reason, as winter comes around again, the idea of tossing a long gun in the trunk of the car has resurfaced in my head. I'm not entirely sure why, either.

I mean, it's not like the car's going to slide into a snow bank here in Broad Ripple and I'll be forced to live off squirrels and fend off feral hippies until a search party can find me after the first snow melt of spring. The largest patch of woods around here is barely a good pistol shot across and even then you're likely to hit some guy huddled behind a tree, trying to get out of the wind so his doob won't burn down too fast.

Still, I'm back-and-forth between Lafayette or Knoxville fairly often... But even then it's by relatively well-traveled interstate highways; again, I'm having trouble imagining a scenario that would both A) require a long gun, and B) allow me to retrieve one from the trunk.

I'll probably wind up putting something in there, but it'll honestly be for no better reason than "Because I can..."

The skinny part of the book...

Marko Twittered something (Tweeted? Whatever you kids today call it...) yesterday that really struck a chord with me:
"There needs to be a word for that ennui you feel right after reading a great novel...awe and loss in equal measure."
I know I'm reading a really, really good story when, as the book gets thin in my right hand and the plot builds to its denouement, I find myself consciously reading more slowly, trying to draw the experience out as long as possible.

Have you ever walked out of a movie theater completely disoriented as to time and place, so caught up had you been in on-screen events for the last couple hours? I distinctly remember that feeling after watching Inception; also the first time I saw The Matrix. Have you ever looked up after reading "finis" and closing the covers and had the same sensation, needing a moment to realize that you were back here on planet Earth?


Tango Juliet agreed to be a role-player in some force-on-force training with his local police.

Madcap hijinks ensue...


Thursday, November 11, 2010


While I'm being controversial, may I suggest that the reason US Airways Flight 808's contrail was so spectacular was because the exhaust was seeded with nanothermite?

Relax: If you feel you are lacking missile-based drama in your life, just remember that even if the ChiComs didn't pickle off an SL-2 war shot from a Jin-class SSBN in LA harbor the other day, there are still plenty of nuclear warheads pointed right at you. And the best part is that our jillion-dollar Defense Department replied "Duh?" instead of "USA808. Idjit."

This is obviously some strange usage of the word "safe" that I hadn't previously been aware of.

So a bunch of folks are doing some kind of an open-carry thing in downtown Indianapolis, getting together for lunch or singing Hari Krishna chants, or whatever it is people do at those OC gatherings.

Anyhow, apparently the heat showed up, and the OC types somehow managed to get moderately cross-threaded with the po-po, allegedly because one of the police got queasy at the sight of a cocked, holstered pistol, and... well... here's the money quote:
The rest of the folks began to arrive, and the police mad [sic] them all draw, unload, and unload the mags, for the "officer's safety."
Great job, Deputy Fife! Because that's how I define safety: Making a bunch of people unholster their heaters and jack around with them in the middle of a major city.

Look, Officer Friendly, has your gun ever just jumped up out of your holster and gotten up to mischief of its own accord? No, it hasn't. The only place loud noises occur down at the cop shop is in sally ports and bathrooms, where somebody's got their gat out of the holster and is screwing with it. If you're concerned about safety, let's not go touching the guns, okay?

(And to the guy who brought the slung HK SBR: Ten out of ten for chutzpah, but minus several thousand for thinking ahead.)

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month...

...the guns fell silent.

November 11th, now Veteran's Day in the US, was originally remembered as Armistice Day, the day that the worst mass mechanized bloodletting the world had ever seen finally came to a halt after four long years. One blogger recently discovered the story of his grandfather's unit in the Great War. You should read it.

Dear Mr. or Ms. Royalty:

While monitoring enemy radio traffic this morning, I heard...
It was two years ago, at 4 a.m. at her apartment in Maryland, that Peggielene Bartels got the news from West Africa. A relative called from Ghana to say that her uncle, the king of the fishing village of Otuam, had died.
...and I blurted out "I get two or three of those emails a week!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

That's kinda cool.

Barrett's new Lego-like multi-caliber sniper rifle, now with 50% more cowbell.

(How come US defense industry promo videos use the same cheesy quasi-rock music? Vickers Defense used Holst to pimp the Challenger 2...)

(H/T to Unc.)

Wonder no longer...

Brian J. Noggle has solved the mystery of the Unidentified SoCal SLBM Launch, which the government is claiming was a flock of birds towing a weather balloon through a cloud of swamp gas back-lit by the planet Venus.

We are grateful that our slumbering galactic overlords are still keeping one slit-pupiled eye half-open watching out for us, their tasty and nutritious charges.

Happy Birthday, USMC!

On this date in 1775, the first guy to sign on the dotted line in Tun Tavern in Philadelphia turned, looked at the second guy in line, and said "Things were different in the old Corps!"

Happy Birthday, Devil Dogs!

Stop me if you've heard this one...

So a Greater Indianapolis Metropolitan Police officer gets all lit up on (alcohol/oxycontin), hops in his squad car, and weaves off down the road, mowing over a (motorcyclist/mailbox) and landing himself in court and the IMPD on the front page...

Look, I'm not asking that every Johnny Law out there be some kind of plaster saint, but if your job entails getting intoxicated motorists off the street, don't you think it's a little hypocritical to be 'faced while you're doing it?

Wait, what?

So the voice-over on the TeeWee commercial in the other room said "Have you been seriously injured in an accident?" but I heard it "Have you been seriously injured by an axe murderer?" and I wondered just how a personal injury attorney was going to help if I've been messed up by some maniac, unless he was one of those rare wealthy psychos swinging a high-end Gransfors Bruks tree-felling implement.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

QotD: What is best in life? Edition

From Alan:
If you need a grief counselor because you lost an election then perhaps politics isn’t your thing. Maybe you can coach those soccer games where everyone wins?
"...and to hear the lamentation of their women!"

Seriously, is there any wine as sweet as the tears of a hippie?

Durable artifacts.

Marko finding that 90+ year-old shotgun made me think of this post by friend JPG, the difference between obsolete and obsolescent, and just how long a good gun can last.

When I went out to New Hampshire, I left the Springer Pro and the brand-new CCA Custom at home and took my Colt, figuring it'd be the one I'd shed the fewest tears over should it get pinched. It's a little rattly and nowhere near the tackdriver the other two are, but it runs just fine. And it's two years older than I am; how many folks have a CCW or home defense gun with a birthday that antedates their own?

Guns are pretty durable artifacts; they don't just wither away. A quality firearm, given even moderate protection from the elements, will last for many lifetimes. I have rifles that are nearing their 140th birthday for which you can still purchase commercially-loaded ammunition...

...and she already has more friends than William the Conqueror!

I'm not certain, but this strikes me as a sign that either Facebook or the English monarchy has jumped the shark.

Did Henry V take time out before Agincourt to update his status? Did Henry VII unfriend Richard III? No. They didn't have time for any of that "social networking" stuff, unless it was being done with a sword.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Compare and Contrast, Part II

The last time I flew was in 1994.

International flights still had a smoking section. A very few passengers in Business or First Class had laptops or cell phones, since laptop computers cost a thousand dollars and more, and it took good credit to get a cellie. When I finished my book, I played Tetris on a Game Boy after listening to the two CDs I'd brought for my Discman. Security consisted of strolling through a metal detector while your purse got x-rayed; your friends could accompany you to the gate.

This time, I was admonished by the stern voice over the speakers that the entire airport grounds of Indianapolis International Airport was a no-smoking zone, parking lots and all; please help us keep Indy healthy! (Burning tobacco apparently being injurious to your health in a way that burning kerosene isn't.)

At the gate, a full third of the passengers were using laptops, and another third had smartphones of some sort; I counted. And the hippie chick with the "COEXIST" sticker on her MacBook and the ring in her eyebrow didn't look like she was going to be sitting in Business Class. The cell phone I used to call my roommate when I landed cost me $15.99 at Target.

When I finished my book, I played Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on my Nintendo DS; my iPod had I-have-no-idea how many hundred songs on it, but I never used it, except as a clock.

Security stopped just short, but only just, of full probulation. My driver's license was scrutinized under UV light and compared to my boarding pass. I received one of the shiny new pat-downs at Manchester from a polite and apologetic, but earnest, TSA agent young enough to be my daughter. "Why are you wearing two fleeces?", she asked with a puzzled glance.
"It's New Hampshire out there and I forgot to pack my coat."

Sixteen years ago, Demolition Man was funny-ha-ha. Now it's funny-hmmm.

I'm not going to complain about the little Embraer or the flight experience itself, though, because...

Reading room in the sky.

For reading on the flight home, I picked up a copy of Robert Kaplan's Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I didn't stop to think about the fact that it would cause the prune-faced harpy across the aisle to stare uncomfortably at the cover of my reading material from climb-out to short final. (Or maybe it was the business card with the silhouette of a pistol that I was using for a book mark...)

Back during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Kaplan, an expat American Jewish reporter, went "inside" more than once, running around the hills with the muj, listening to their stories and getting dysentery. And some fascinating stories they were, too.

Excellent book to have handy the next time someone starts up with the old "America created the Taliban to fight the Soviets" nonsense. Not that they'll listen to what you say, but it fills the hand nicely and could be used for an impromptu beat-down.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Artificial productivity.

For a few days after the autumnal changing of the clocks, I always feel so productive. I'm all bouncing out of bed and ready to take on the world at an hour where I'm normally groggily contemplating my second cup of coffee.

My body will realize it has been cruelly tricked before too long, but I oughta be churning work out like crazy in the mornings 'til then.

Rusty trigger fingers, Shotguns, and Other miscellania...

I brought along not only my CCW piece, but also my Ruger 22/45 trainer, with the best intentions of getting at least a little bit of trigger time while in New Hamster. I even picked up a couple boxes of .22 at Marko's local gun dealer on the way in, since I hadn't had any rimfire other than the loose stuff in my ammo can, which is a little verboten for air travel.

As it turned out, a combination of either rain, sleet, or cold, plus a bad case of vacationitis slackissmus prevented me from so much as stepping out the door into the back yard and busting a single cap. So I'll be headed to Iggle Crick with one of my new Pistol-Training.com targets here in a minute to make sure I still remember from which end the bullet emerges.

Incidentally, we stopped at Marko's local gun shop again on the way back, where he found a good deal on a very solid early Remington Model 11, one of the ones with the safety inside the trigger guard instead of a crossbolt, so probably made in the nineteen-teens. The barrel showed signs of having been re-blued, but long enough ago that the re-bluing had started to brown nicely. Thanks to the Blue Book being a little unrealistically soft on those, it was priced cheap enough that if Marko hadn't put it on layaway, it would have been worth it for me to have had it shipped back. And the guy behind the counter was awful friendly, plus it was the first shop I've been in in eons that I didn't get the compulsive urge to start tidying merchandise; everything was all squared away. You should buy stuff from them if you're in the area.

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig...

Actually, the flight landed a good 40 minutes early.

I took a cab home from the airport and had pizza and now I am going to sleep.

Catch y'all in the AyEm.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Compare and Contrast, Part I

Manchester, NH has a cute, tidy little airport. Nothing's too far away from anything else, and the people are so friendly that when I checked my gats, one of the agents at the check-in counter mentioned that her husband worked at the firing range just down the road from the airport, and had I gone there? Not this visit, unfortunately.

Philadelphia's airport, where this missive is being typed, is not like that. It's a teeming, seething mass of aberrant humanity; a rat warren of kiosks and bars and restaurants and newsstands with a floorplan apparently designed by M.C. Escher. And unlike my flight up, where I didn't even have to deplane in DC, here I had to schlep to another gate clean across this place like a crowded shopping mall reeking of burnt JP-4. I'm ready to get home. I hope they didn't lose my bags.

Boarding another little Embraer soon...

What a coincidence...

I'm sitting here at the airport and checking my email on my Eee.

I just got one from my dad. He forwarded me a piece that had been forwarded to him, about Reason and Force and "Why The Gun Is Civilization"...

I emailed him back and told him that, in a stroke of coincidence, I had just left Major Caudill's house. :)


With someone else here to feed the dogs, I cheerfully overslept this morning.

More later...

Friday, November 05, 2010

We Like Mike.

Michael Bane is in the running for Fan Favorite -Host/Personality award. You should vote for him. I've met him; he's a nice guy. Moreover, unlike the probable favorite, he has never quoted Major Caudill in a book.

Air Quality Alert: Heavy Smug.

Commenting on my comment on Barry's speech the other day, Charles Hill notes:
I suspect they’re required to keep John Kerry — who, by the way, served in Vietnam — at a safe distance from [Obama], lest there develop a singularity of self-absorption so powerful it might actually disrupt a taping of Oprah, half a continent away.
...which darn near made me spray Diet Coke out my nose.

Which isn't necessarily fair, because I'd say that probably fully nine in ten people who make politics a career do so because they are so self-absorbed that the rest of the world is merely a shiny surface to reflect their own light back on themselves. In their world, it really is All About Them. And, having a bit of a messiah complex to start with, nothing about a life with 'round-the-clock Secret Service protection is going to improve the condition...

It takes a special kind of hubris to wake up one morning and decide that what this world is lacking is your visionary leadership, and an even more perfectly-distilled narcissism to think that if millions of people don't like you, the problem is with all of them.

Wild Kingdom.

Driving back from town yesterday, I slowed the car for a couple of wild turkeys crossing the road in the rain. Now, I'm no stranger to having to brake for turkeys, but I still find them interesting to watch.

I halted the car and rolled down the window, and sure enough, these guys were just stragglers. There were a couple more in there... no... more than a couple. There had to be, like, ten of them. And then I saw movement in the rear view mirror and realized that the... flock? herd? stream? of turkeys was continuing to cross behind me. I stopped counting at fifteen, but there had to be at least twenty of the things standing there staring at me in the rain before I rolled up the window and drove on.

Wow, a whole box of shotgun shells of turkeys all in one place!

Stop me if you've heard this one...

"Three men are out in a boat..."
Gordon R. Durand brings the Quote of the Day.

I LOL'ed.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The question contains the answer, grasshopper...

(T)his year's midterm election that delivered a stinging rebuke to the Obama agenda has many Europeans at a loss over why Americans are not as smitten with Mr. Obama, who is seen here as cool, articulate, and almost European, as they are.
Gosh, how could I not be smitten with somebody who's "almost European"?

Hey, Pierre and Helmut? Get over yourselves.

Man, the utter tone-deafness just leaves you shaking your head in wonder, doesn't it? It's like some international version of the Democrat party's constant demand of "Why won't you stupid, cousin-humping rednecks vote for us?"

(H/T to RobertaX.)


Some readers might remember me confessing my secret love for Patio frozen burritos some time back.

For whatever reason, I thought about them tonight, and realized "Hey! Amazon sells groceries!"

So I typed in "Patio Frozen Burritos" and sat back. No dice. Some mondo bizarro returns on my query, though.

Smuggler's Blues.

Three guys, including an active duty SEAL, have supposedly been busted trying to sell machine guns smuggled back from the sandbox to an undercover cop.

I'm kinda curious in regards to whom they thought they were selling the weapons. Who did the cop claim to be? A doper? Some militia dude? Just some random shooter hoping to get around the insanely inflated, artificially high prices on NFA stuff caused by the Hughes Amendment?

Bad with math...

I sure hope the subroutine in the gas company's software that calculates the bill at Roseholme Cottage is a lot more accurate than the one that calculates the temperature.

"Here at Local Gas Co., Quality is Job #0.9999999799979!"

Lame Ducks Can Still Quack.

He called for the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress, in which Democrats will still hold majorities in both chambers until the end of the year, to address significant issues such as extending Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, extending unemployment benefits for jobless Americans and repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bans openly gay and lesbian soldiers.
Oh, please, Shiva, let them get all bogged down in what is, ultimately, an irrelevant sideshow like DADT.

I know it's a divisive topic. Personally, I think that gay people should be able to get all blowed up for their country just like anybody else and get visited in the hospital by whoever they want, but ultimately, that's not the kind of issue that's going to break the republic in the next fifteen minutes no matter which way it gets decided.

There are lots of really, really horrible things a bitter, defeated bunch of ideologues with access to the controls could do to trash this place before leaving to go work as lobbyists, so let's all hope they find something to occupy their time that won't have us using Ben Franklins for toilet paper...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Down the hill from mighty Castle Frostbite is the main hamlet of the Duchy of Upper Cryogenica. I went down there today to take my lunch in their little village tavern because I was nursing a mighty craving for a bowl of French onion soup.

Apparently this was where all the villagers took their lunch, too, for the place was packed full at 1:30, yet not so full that I couldn't get a corner booth in which to curl up with my reading material (Thomas Sowell's The Vision of the Anointed).

I couldn't help but overhear the gentleman in the next booth describe to the manager how his uncle had been born 'way back in nineteen and aught nine in the house that was located on the very spot where this tavern now stood, how his great uncle had attended high school across the street every day after driving the family cow to pasture up the road, and how his family had dwelt in the village of Upper Cryogenica since 1760. It was a glimpse into a universe very different from the rootless one in which I dwell...

Anyhow, over the bar was a television, muted so that the soft rock radio station could be heard, with its Police and its Beatles. And on this television was President Barack Obama, apparently mouthing a speech about the events of last night, the night upon which his jackass party was beaten like the proverbial rented mule.

Now, the party that has retaken power in Congress may do nothing. At best I fear yesterday's election was a band-aid on a sucking chest wound, and at worst they'll go right back to getting all knotted up in rearranging the "family values" and "law'n'order" deck chairs while the USS Dollar continues to slip beneath the waves... But while I was eating lunch I watched the Brat Prince keep trying to strike his favorite chin-uplifted Mussolini pose, with its haughty "Who farted?" moue of confident disdain, but it wouldn't stick, and his facial expression kept drifting back to one that looked like a man chewing on a cat turd.

Rarely have I felt so warm inside, and yesterday's vote was totally worth it, if for nothing other than seeing that look on the face of "The Won". Sure, it's the politics of schadenfreude, but I'm only human after all.

Strange habit.

I don't know why, but whenever I'm driving down a lonely dirt road, way out past where the buses don't run, and I pass another vehicle coming in the opposite direction, I wave. I have no idea why. I mean, I don't know the other driver from Adam's house cat. Maybe it's a holdover from the old place in Knoxville, where the only people I'd encounter on the windy lane leading down onto the peninsula were friends or neighbors.

Anyhow, even when you don't know them from Adam's house cat, you know what? They wave back. It's probably just confused reflex on their part, but it makes me smile.

Getting Spicoli out from behind the wheel...

Referring to the failed Proposition 19 in California, CNN noted:
Opponents also said that driving under the influence of marijuana would be a public threat.
Because, since it's against the law, nobody tokes and drives nowadays. In SoCal, they usually do a few lines of blow, instead.

Like a kickstand on a tank...

Apparently a company called Center Balance Systems will sell you an aluminum bullpup stock assembly for your old surplus Mosin-Nagant rifle. They cost $270, and enable you to... well, do something bullpup-ish, I guess.

I'm wondering if there's a special hardened area around the action for when I'm having to knock the bolt handle open with a chunk of 2x4 because I was shooting cheap surplus 7.62x54R ammo.

I'm also wondering if somebody is going to try putting an M38 or M44 carbine in there? Because that'd put the muzzle blast, like, a foot in front of your face...

(H/T to Unc.)

The morning after...

Blogger Bruce MacMahon of No Looking Backwards (née "Mass Backwards") hung up his blog last June to run for state representative in New Hampshire.

Reading Lissa this morning, I discovered that he won. Awesome!

*howls and shakes bowcaster*

Meanwhile, my roomie has the recap from Hoosierville.


"So, Tam," you ask, "what's the weather like up there in New Hamster?"

Well, I'm glad you asked. It's cold. Frickin' cold. A good ten degrees colder than it is back in the flatlands to the west.

Inside, it's not bad. The pellet stove does a surprisingly good job of keeping things reasonably temperate.

The dachshunds, of course, have all burrowed under the blankets on the couch. But then, burrowing is what they do; it's their raison d'être, however you say that in Jerry. A dachshund could burrow between a sheet of paper and the floor; it's why they're all long and pointy and dirtodynamic.

The new season...

Now that Campaign Season is over, I guess it's time for Contested Election Season to begin.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I just don't remember that being as big a feature of the American political scene before the huge fuss of 2000.

I mean, I understand that there were messed-up elections in America's past, dating clean back to the Jefferson-Burr dogfight, but from the earliest I started paying attention... call it the mid '80s... I don't remember the whole Banana Republic drama of recounts and lost ballots and hanging chads and lawsuits occupying the media eye until the Bush v. Gore mess, and now it seems we can't pick a dogcatcher without more skullduggery than a Chicago mayoral election.

Meet the electorate.

So, Stewart and Colbert invited the young, educated hipsters of America to gather in Washington and mock the elderly, white, racist, ignorant fuddy-duddies of that ridiculous Republican Tea Party thing. And so they gathered, and oh did they mock my ignorance:

Meanwhile, forty-some years ago, Reagan was quoting Plutarch in speeches. I'll wait a minute while Stewart goes and looks up "Plutarch" on Wikipedia...

(H/T to TJIC.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

It'll be interesting to see...

...how the Wookies did today, both those giving battle under their own colors and the ones flying Tea Party flags as "Republicans".

I predicted "The Night Of The Long Bowcasters" back in February. C'mon, America, and get your Wookie on! You know you want to...

Incumbents Delenda Est.

Tangled-up tubes!

You know those people who write gun legislation to eliminate the scourge of drive-by bayonetings and ban the shoulder thing that goes up?

Well, they're at least that savvy about this great big series of internet tubes, too. But do they let that stop them from legislatin'? Heck, no!

Incumbents Delenda Est.

(H/T to War On Guns.)

Embarrassing admission...

No, not that I used "principles" instead of "principals" in this morning's post.

The embarrassing admission is that I didn't learn to touch-type until only a few years ago. Oh, I took typing in high school, but instead of doing my work, I was using that big ol' Selectric to hunt'n'peck out some glurgy SF and Fantasy stories and got, like, a D or an F for my lack of effort.

I never used a typing tutor program and I don't touch type properly to this day, with "home keys" and whatnot, but somehow over the course of who-knows-how-many hundreds of thousands of words spewed into the internet, I realized some three years back that I wasn't really looking at the keyboard much anymore.

And that's when the homonyms attacked.

I don't have a problem with, say, "flaunt" and "flout", because they're different words, and my brain would never tell my fingers to type "he flaunted the law". And actual misspellings are pretty easy because they stood out to my eye long before computers started putting red squiggly lines under them. (Seriously, I've been known to turn a page in a book and a misspelled word in the middle of the page will leap into focus before my eyes can go start reading in the top left corner where they belong. I think that just comes from reading a lot.) But the verdammt homonym thing cropped up once my fingers could type without being watched constantly.

The brain tells the fingers to type "capitol" or "principal", and they wind up typing the much more frequently-used "capital" or "principle", and the brain never notices because it's halfway into the next sentence. I usually catch this in proof-reading, but sometimes it's early and you haven't had any caffeine and you just want to get something up on the blog before you're off to do other, more chore-like things, and you walk away from the keyboard leaving a hanging curve belt-high over the plate. Sigh.

Quote of the Day: Monster Edition.

Larry Correia has an "interview" on his blog with some of the principals of Monster Hunter International, including this gem from Julie Shackleford:
Listen, girls. I know you like that whole ‘bad-boy-but-I-can-change-him’ thing, but real life vampires aren’t sensitive, they aren’t sparkly, and they don’t want to be your boyfriend. They want to eat you. Sucking your blood is not a euphemism, they literally want to suck your blood… out of your body. You kind of need that to, oh, not die...

Vampires love you about as much as you love a Big Mac, honey. Deal with it.
Go read it, if you're someplace you won't get in trouble for laughing out loud.