Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kindasortablogmeet Thingy

So, anybody who's going to the Indy 1500 Fun Show on Sunday, howzabout meeting at Plump's Last Shot, home of the famous deep-fried bacon-wrapped hot dog, at 3:00PM Sunday afternoon?

We'll be there. Because bacon.

Overheard in the Office:

RX: (Down the hall, reading aloud.) "'On the spot where Hollywood would someday grow, two vaqueros were crushing a priest to death with his own ώijήеряεςς.' How's that for the opening sentence of a novel?"

Me: "His own what?!?"

RX: "'Wine press'."

Me: "Oh, thank God. I thought you said 'his own wanker.'"

RX: "What did you think I was reading? Although, there'd probably be a market for that on the internet..."

You'll have to answer to the Coca-Cola company.

It occurs to me that Bloomberg has spent all this time harassing nickel and dime operations like gun manufacturers (the average gun maker probably doesn't have that many more employees than your local Super Wal-Mart) but now he's going after bigger fish. Much bigger. For example PepsiCo, a Fortune 50 corporation, has 195 times the annual revenues of Smith & Wesson.

Now, I know Bloomberg's no pauper himself, and not to mix up my comic book universes too much, but I'd like to see Coke and Pepsi's legal departments shout "Wonder Twin powers activate!" and then do to Bloomberg like Hulk did to Loki in that Avengers movie. 'Cause that'd be sweet.

...while Rome burns.

"Your guy said 'Amercia'!"

"Yeah? Well your guy said 'Polish death camps'!"

Yeah, and the seat cushion on this deck chair says RMS Titanci.

♫ If you can take it there, you'll take it any-where! ♫

I'm all the time hearing what a tough town New York is and how tough New Yorkers are, and then I read stuff like this:

If New Yorkers are so tough, how come one of y'all hasn't walked into this clown's office and pimp-slapped him the way he so richly deserves? Seriously, y'all are about to be reduced to trading pre-ban high-cap soda cups with each other until a thriving black market in smuggled New Jersey Big Gulps springs up.
“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’” Bloomberg told The New York Times. “New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something.”
Apparently New York City is about "doing something", if by "something" you mean taking a lot of patronizing lip from nosy busybodies with Napoleon complexes.

Think about it: This is a man who thinks he can tell you what size container you may place sugar water into. That's nuts. That's completely, flat-out, Howard Hughes-meets-Kim Jong Il bugnuts crazy. Are you all going to just sit there and go "Derrr... hokay, boss!" while the rest of us snicker behind our hands at you and tell jokes about pre-ban soft drink cups, or are you going to toss this jackhole in the East River?

Nerf World.

In a ruling yesterday, federal administrative law judge The Honorable Missesthepoint pronounced that henceforth the killer whale shows at Sea World would require a physical barrier between the whales and their trainers. Sadly, the ruling did not touch on whether the killer whale pool would need hydraulic lifts for handicapped access.

Among previous rulings from the same judge:
  • Motorcycles being jumped over a row of flaming buses can only be operated by remote control.
  • All tightrope walkers must be clipped to the tightrope by a safety harness.
  • Lion tamers can not get in the cage with the lions, but must get in a separate cage at least six feet away.
  • Audience members at fireworks shows must be provided with Nomex hoodies.

It's things like this that make me want to go run with scissors, just out of spite.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

As a side note...

I would like to point out to the people at the Chinese consulate criticizing the human rights situation in the US that when it comes to human rights, people vote with their feet, and it has been over two thousand years since you needed a wall to keep people from moving into your country.

The uplifters are at it again...

Unc did some investigative reporting on the handicapable pool lift at his vacation hotel:

Wow. It's like a hydraulically-operated microcosm of government in general.

You have got to be kidding me.

The People's Republic of China, renowned for being the land of imprisoned dissidents, prison labor, and making the next of kin pay for the bullets at their stadium executions, actually has a critique of the United States' human rights record on their consulate's website, which is like having Genghis Khan critique your table manners.

The highlight for me is, of course, this part:
The United States prioritizes the right to keep and bear arms over the protection of citizens' lives and personal security and exercises lax firearm possession control, causing rampant gun ownership. The U.S. people hold between 35 percent and 50 percent of the world' s civilian-owned guns, with every 100 people having 90 guns...
...which means ten of y'all are slackers who need to get with the program.

Apparently, the Chinese think that it's a human rights violation to murder somebody with a firearm, unless they're on their knees with their hands tied behind their back and you shoot them behind the ear, preferably while wearing a snappy uniform.

With all the preachifying we do on human rights, all while incarcerating people at a near-record clip and with a Supreme Court that goes back and forth on the constitutionality of executing retarded kids (current thinking is "no" by a 5-4 squeaker,) it's only to be expected that we'll get some pushback, but China? Seriously? China?

Of all the people at this AA meeting, you're the last one needs to be pointing fingers, Hu. Don't you have some Tibetans you need to be off oppressing or something? Now get your butt back in the kitchen and make me an iPod.

(H/T to David Codrea.)


Zombies to the left of me
Face-eating monkeys to the right
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you...

(Incidentally, the monkeys in the second story are proven bureaucrat killers. I have thus far been unsuccessful in my attempts to start a breeding colony in Indianapolis.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sometimes they're worth several thousand words.

She is woman, hear her bleat.

Sabra at Trailer Park Paradise is as confused as I am by a great big heaping bowl of WTF? that is apparently circulating through the glurge pipes on the internets at the moment.

It's a list of traits "I am this and I am that, I do this and I do that... because I am a woman!" and the list of traits in question is just... bizarre. I get that she was trying to be cutesy and self-deprecating (or, as it's spelled on the internet, "self-depreciating") with some of them, but some of the ones she appears to list as positive are ones that belong in the DSM IV, not a Mother's Day card.

I mean, "I cry a lot more than you think I do. I care about people who don't care about me," describes a bipolar codependent, not Woman of the Year. It's stuff like this that makes me cry a lot more than you think I do, but mostly just tears of frustrated rage that it's illegal to choke the living crap out of people like her.

Anyway, I'll just be over here in the corner with Marie Curie and Grace Hopper, counting on our fingers because math is hard.

They gave us .22's and sent us out to play in traffic!

There's a line of thunder storms rolling into Indy. Just some fairly generic ones; some lightning and a spot of hail here and there, nothing fancy, like tornadoes. The local news has gone wall-to-wall coverage anyway.

I just heard the announcer warn "...and remember, if you hear thunder, go inside!" in an ominous voice.

I don't remember there being quite this much drama over thunderstorms in the past. I certainly don't remember ever being told "if you hear thunder, go inside!" As a matter of fact, when I was little, the newscaster used to come on and say "Hey, kids! There's a storm coming! Why don't you all grab a big ol' bowl of bacon and paint chips and ride your bikes without helmets to the swimmin' hole down at the abandoned quarry and watch the lightning!"

It's gotta be tough being a kid in these hyper-safety conscious times. Why, it was downhill both ways to the swimmin' hole at the abandoned quarry back in those days, and nowadays they've got to walk uphill both ways to get to a lame playground with foam padding instead of dirt.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I figured out the ending for my Neptune Spear movie!

When last we left the lovable misfits of SEAL Team 6, freshly whipped into shape by their new leader, call sign "POTUS" (played by Denzel Washington), they had just assaulted Bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan. The Plucky Female SEAL (played by Demi Moore) proves her courage in the firefight, and then... and then...

I was stuck.

But wait! Hollywood has taught me well! You've got to have the plot twist, right?

The real villains will turn out to be some old corrupt white guys at [the Pentagon/Langley] who [pine for the good old days of the Cold War/are under the thumb of some generic evil US petrocorp] who just used Al Qaeda as cats-paws.

When POTUS and his team discover the evidence in UBL's hideout (discovered by the Troubled Rebel SEAL, played by Charlie Sheen, whose cynicism and acting-out is thus vindicated) they fly back to DC for the final [confrontation with the corrupt senator/assault on the star chamber meeting of the cabal of crooked generals in their secluded mansion on the Potomac]!

I have reached the end of the internet.

Once upon a time, humans developed speech.

From speech came writing.This allowed us to develop our ever-more-fantastic communication technologies, the pinnacle of which is the internet.

I do not think that it would be out of line to suggest, therefore, that the whole mighty sweep of human history was directed for the sole purpose of allowing me to read this headline this morning.

I have envied few people on the planet as much as I do the anonymous msn journalist who got to craft that headline.


Hot. Really, really hot.
It's frickin' hot out there today. Potentially record-breaking hot. Plus there are all those people in town for that little automobile race out on the west side of town, so I'll be staying inside where it's shady and cool and tourist-free, doing busywork, like migrating all the pictures from various digicams and memory cards and the cell phone all onto one thumb drive.

A purse full of kitten

Here's a picture from the zoo gift shop last year. If you have ever heard the expression "gayer than a purse full of kittens" and wondered just exactly how gay that was, well, now you know.

Fun Show Saturday!

There was a Fun Show in Lebanon, Indiana yesterday, and so we went. It was easy enough to find, there at the county fairgrounds, practically next door to the Boone County Sheriff's Department range where I have attended a couple of Louis Awerbuck classes.

Bobbi has a detailed report over at her place of our excellent adventures yesterday, complete with many a photo, and I will suggest you go there and look at them.

Myself, I picked up a few loose rounds of .41 Swiss rimfire, because after plunking down money on the full box at the last show... I find myself reluctant to break up a full box of antique cartridges, yet I still want to shoot the Vetterli. I wonder if I can persuade the guys at Eagle Creek to let me shoot it there? I mean, I know Eagle Creek is pistols and shotguns only, but 10.4x38R has a lot less steam than any shotgun slug. Heck, with a 330gr bullet at ~1400fps, it's out-powered by a fair number of big handgun rounds these days.

I almost got away without purchasing any firearms, but at the last minute succumbed to an extremely reasonably priced S&W .32 Safety Hammerless 2nd Model, circa 1902 or '03, a blued 3 1/2" gun in nicer shape than the somewhat ratty nickel 3" 1st Model I already owned.

In the parking lot? Vespa!

By comparison, the Zed Drei's interior is positively palatial.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

You might be a redneck if...

So Roomie has me quasi-hooked on antique malls. I find them fascinating because I had no idea that if I'd saved all the Fisher-Price toys from my childhood, I'd be one of those millionaires that Chris Hayes hates on MSNBC of a weekend morn.

Anyhow, I saw this statuette in the one in Westfield, IN today. The hanging tag read "Tribute To NYFD Firefighters On 9/11". While the guy's ball cap does indeed say "TRIBUTE" right on the front...

...I had no idea that Dale Earnhardt was a firefighter in NYC on that fateful day.

Yes, that's The Intimidator with angel wings...

Tab Clearing...

Maybe this one will have SEAL sergeants in it, too!

So, allegedly the administration leaked classified info to filmmakers so they could do a movie about Operation Neptune Spear, one which will (purely coincidentally, of course) hit theaters the month before Election Day.

In the wake of the most accurate SEAL movie ever, this Hollywood effort is sure to be a hoot:
The misfits of SEAL Team 6, with the Troubled Rebel played by Charlie Sheen and the Brave Female SEAL played by Demi Moore, are energized by the arrival of a new commander, call sign "POTUS", played by Denzel Washington, who whips them into shape in preparation for leading them all on the mission of their lives.

Terrorists will tremble when they face the wrath of POTUS and SEAL Team 6!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wish fulfillment...

I have been jonesing for a deep-fried bacon-wrapped hot dog for lunch for near a week now. And today...

The view from the porch at Plump's Last Shot in Broad Ripple.

The Butler Dog: A beef frank wrapped in bacon, deep-fried, and slathered with tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos.
Oh, baby... Mission accomplished!

QotD: Anachronism Edition

I write this as someone who lives in a house where more than half of all the non-hallway/bathroom walls are covered with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, there are piles of books on every remotely horizontal surface, boxes more in the garage and basement, and the attic floor's structural integrity is at risk from the tonnage of books it supports. In other words, I love me some books in what most people would consider a strangely excessive and not-quite-appropriate way, and my roommate is, if anything, even more sorely afflicted by the same syndrome than I.

All that is a preface to this sad-but-true line from the Adaptive Curmudgeon:
Then my attention drifted because I’d forgotten book stores still exist. How many are left? Are they located between soda fountains and livery stables? Are they sharing rental space with Blockbusters and the telegraph office?
I miss small private bookstores; they were magic. But they were hunted to extinction sometime during the great cultural revolution during which iDevices with games involving hurled birds supplanted rotary dial phones.
Yeah, I like my Kindle. But I don't have to enjoy liking my Kindle!

That was really tasty.

I forgot that Plump's Last Shot doesn't open 'til 3:00PM on most weekdays. Frustrated yet again in my attempt to get a bacon-wrapped deep-fried hot dog for lunch, I strolled past the Monon Food Company's jam-packed lunch hour deck and across 65th Street to see what was on the specials menu at the BRBP.

And what a good thing I did, too:

Red Miso Flank Steak: Flank steak marinated for days in a Japanese red miso, sake, mirin, and pepper marinade, grilled to order and served with garlic-soy grean beans, organic brown rice and spicy cucumbers.
 So tasty that I even ate my vegetables. Recommend! (Specials change on Wednesdays, so you've got a few days to try it if it sounds like something that would tickle your taste buds, which it will unless you're some kind of mutant or something.)

On the Kindle is Nothing in Reserve: true stories, not war stories, by Jack Lewis. Also recommend.

After lunch I meandered over to Rusted Moon Outfitters and pawed at cool gear I can't afford, bought a water bottle for the Broad Ripple SUV, and then took the long way home with the top down. Also also recommend.

Boldly went.

Huh. The allegedly "unmanned" SpaceX rocket was actually transporting a powdered engineer, in case it had any problems with its dilithium crystals, or whatever.

Weren't we supposed to have permanent orbital colonies at the Lagrangian points by now?

Listen up, you primitive screwheads!

So apparently some of the locals in Dubai are all out of sorts because foreigners in the country have the gall to go places like the mall dressed all immodestly, showing off such lascivious body parts as knees and shoulders. Some expats in the country have even gone quisling on the issue:
Khadija Sali, a journalist from the Philippines, said: "We have to respect the culture and respect ourselves as well. Don't wear anything too short or too tight, it's common sense."
No, Khadija, I do not have to respect the culture. I no more have to respect the culture of those backwards goat-molesting savages than I do the culture at a backwoods Klan cross-burnin'; the only difference is that the Kluxxers aren't sitting atop the world's petroleum reserves, so I don't even have to pretend to respect them.

Any culture that is afraid of women flashing knees in public lest it drive their menfolk into helpless throes of rapeyness is messed up on a fundamental level. If that's the problem, why not make the menfolk wear blindfolds? That'd fix the women not having driver's licenses problem in Saudi, too, neatly killing a pair of birds with a single stone.

It is times like this that I wish there were some way to extract all the oil over there at once and pay them off in one lump sum and then we could ignore the 'eathen wogs and leave them to their teetotalin' burkha-wearin' desert savagery in peace.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

There's no "Well, maybe..." in Libertopia, dammit!

In the whole "Cart You Off To The Rubber Ramada" discussion, Roomie offers the following argument in opposition to my viewpoint:
You don't own other people; you don't get to control what they do. When you threaten to harm someone -- even yourself -- you're initiating force, attempting to extort something from the persons to whom you are expressing your threat.
You know, I don't think I agree with that. And yet it's an angle I had not pondered before. I'm willing to go sit someplace quiet and chew it over for a bit and see if I still disagree. I think I will, but the very fact that I'm willing to do this is apparently proof that I need to scrape off my Ron Paul bumper stickers and burn my Murray Rothbard books. I just got my wookie suit dry-cleaned, too, dammit!

It's funny 'cause it's true...

In comments over at Jay's place, Balloon Goes Up wrote:
Jay, I ran my Glock 19 for a 5 day course and 2600 rounds with out cleaning, lubing, or wiping down at the US Training Center.

The only hiccups were due to me riding the slide stop.
To which my response was
That's because it's a Glock. If you ride the slide stop on a 1911, it's because it's an antiquated POS and you should have bought a Glock. ;)
The CCA 1911 I shot at AFHF came right out of the box and ran through two days of AFHF with no maintenance other than squirting a couple drops of oil into the thing without taking it apart the night before TD1, about five minutes after I'd taken it out of the box.

(...and, yes, I've been carrying a Glock 19 for the last month. Long story. I'll tell you about it sometime.)

Tab Clearing...

  • ToddG's 2012-2013 test gun is going to be a Springfield Armory Custom Shop 1911 in 9mm. This should be interesting, to say the least.

  • His Indian Native American Casino-Owning American name is "Speaks With Headlights". Good on the court for seeing through to do the right thing. If the purpose of speed limits is to slow people down, then the guy flashing his headlights was doing a better job of it than the revenooer skulking in the bushes with the radar gun.

  • I want one of these "Fill Your Hands..." ones real badly. I have no need for one, and I can't even articulate why I want it, but I wants it, my precious, yes I do.

QotD: Shrinking Market Edition

In response to HuffPo's news about CNN's incredible shrinking ratings, KurtP writes:
Can you imagine what their ratings would be if CNN wasn't the default setting on every airport TeeWee and motel lobby in the country?
As FOX and msnbc ratings relative to CNN show, people prefer to do their shots of infotainment straight up, not cut with insipid fake "neutrality" that does nothing to cover the aftertaste of bias.

(As a side note, I've noticed a lot of bar and airport TeeWees tuned to CNBC lately.)

Overheard in the Office:

The TeeWee down the hall had the talking head on the morning news saying "Fire on a nuclear submarine!" in a tone of voice that made it clear that simply uttering the words gave him a little ghoulish journalistic chubby.
Reporter: "The Navy was quick to inform us that the fire was at the opposite end of the submarine from the nuclear reactor."

Me: "Oh, you mean at the end with the torpedoes? The part where there's actually something flammable?"
(...and yes, I know there are stern tubes, and that the forward tubes are actually more sorta midships, and that there's no real good place on a nuclear-powered undersea vessel to have a raging inferno, but the guy's combination of morbid fascination and utter cluelessness just rubbed me the wrong way.)

Why fruity targets? Because racegun!

So in a recent post, ToddG brought up the ghey targets that IPSC shooters use instead of the normal ones used by USPSA (which is the US branch of IPSC.)

They're kind of blobby and I guess they comply with the laws of some of the more enlightened nations where the ruling class get nervous when people practice shooting at anything even slightly bureaucrat-shaped.

So in an effort to be PC, courses of fire are set up where you are running around through doorways and dodging around barriers shooting at... what, some kind of hovering torso-bots from Disney's The Black Hole? Everybody knows what the targets in a course like that are supposed to represent: Movie extras. The ones that play bad guys that the hero mows down in implausible hordes armed with naught but a pistol that only needs reloading for reasons of cinematic tension. Duh.

Using abstract targets to pretend you're shooting anything other than imaginary bad guys makes you look like dorky hypocrites with corporate sponsorship jerseys.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fried Spam Nuggets.

Since turning off word verification, my Spam trap has become some of the best reading on the internet. Between the stuff written by Chinese political prisoners trying to plug the products of the PLA's vast fake designer label knockoff operations, and the stuff churned out by programs that toss a mean word salad in an attempt to slip through the Turing Filters, I am endlessly entertained.
A high level accurate bag lover, then it is certain you know nicely regarding the Gucci carriers.
I can hardly wait to call somebody a "high level accurate bag lover" to their face, just to watch them try to process exactly what I mean by it. Is it a complement? An insult? Who knows? It's like a verbal Rorschach!
I pauperism to introduce you a flagrant movie. Let debate it.
This one irritates me like a piece of popcorn hull between two molars. It almost parses. It almost makes sense. It should make sense. It's like picking up something from Zeta Reticuli on your backyard SETI receiver that is just random electronic noise, only with kinda a pattern to it... What's it saying? "Help! I'm being held prisoner in a Shanghai spam factory?" or
"You humans are a disease. You are a cancer on this planet, and we are the cure?"

Sad news from the the internets.

Karl at sent me an email with some lousy news: Hoosier blogger CrazyUnk passed away this past Saturday.

I'd occasionally see his blog show up in my Sitemeter and go nose around for a bit, just ships passing in the digital night...

Good job, Blogger.

So there's been a bit of a flutter about Blogger deciding to "upgrade" their user interface again. I'm sure there's a reason for it, and I'm sure it has made life easier for somebody, but like any change, it has had plenty of downsides, too.

For instance, while it runs tickety-boo on my shiny new Win 7 laptop, here on creaky old VFTP Command Central ("Single core processors are for low-end cell phones now," as Marko pointed out,) it wheezes.

And if I were doing my blogging on my little Eee PC, I'd have had to just quit; the new interface is just not compatible with the combination of Eeebuntu and Firefox on that machine, as I discovered to my chagrin in the airport last month.

While I don't mind the new interface in general, it's given lots of people fits. My roomie hates it. Joel loathes it. Frank James gave up in disgust.

I see Frank's point, too. Blogging is not something I am willing to pay to do. I enjoy it and it is fun but I have no desire to spend money to register Tamara', so spare me the evangelism in the comments section. And when it stops being fun and turns into work, then I'm not going to pay to keep doing it, either.

Oh, hi!

Don't mind me, I was just in the back room there, working my muse over with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. Wow, is she stubborn; won't divulge a thing so far.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This one's always good for a laugh...

Apparently the police in Colton, California have struck another blow in the never-ending war to rid the streets of the scourge of fiberglass tubes.

I really hate to go into reruns, but it's
[j]ust an inert tube used to carry a missile around. Kind of like the container in which you get posters mailed to you, only olive green with some numbers stenciled on it and it once upon a time held something even cooler than a Kill Bill poster. The only way it could possibly be dangerous is if you beat somebody with it, but it would take a fair amount of beating to get anything done since it has the density and drag coefficient of one of those big kiddie whiffle bats, only more awkward to hold. Actually, if you wanted to kill someone with it probably the easiest way to do so would be to take some heavy-duty scissors, snip off a piece, and stuff it down their throat in hopes that they choke.
I don't know what it is about green plastic tubes that sends reporters and Barney Fife into a total Code Brown, but they sure do.

(H/T to Sebastian.)


I had no idea that My Little Pony had grizzled mercenaries and Juarista revolutionaries. That might get me to watch. That and the Gatling guns.

Incidentally, the fast and loose attitude of old-time Hollywood prop departments toward realism in firearms is something that can render old movies nearly completely unwatchable for gun nerds. For instance, well into the '70s, M1873 Springfields, bought in bulk early in the century, served as generic long guns in pirate movies, Revolutionary War movies, Civil War movies... well, pretty much anything where they needed "old-timey looking guns with hammers on the side".

Are we talking about the same GOP?

In comments over at Unc's, reader armed_partisan writes:
Picking Romney is easily the stupidest thing the GOP has done in my lifetime...
I don't know, is it really any stupider than Dole or McCain? It seems like it's almost a reflex action for the GOP to oppose a young-ish charismatic candidate with a tepid benchwarmer with all the vibrant charisma of a tub of library paste. Heck, it's almost like it's a party tradition.

Owie. Hurtie.

My tummy hurts.

I will be with y'all in a moment.

Monday, May 21, 2012

One of life's little ironies...

So Greece's profligate habits are threatening to drag the Euro under. Germany, the only wino at the bar keeping a squinty eye on the tab, is urging some restraint on Greece's part, which makes the Jerries the no-fun bad guy of the story.

It may be unclear at this point if the Greeks are really willing to put the brakes on spending, but it looks like reality is sounding Last Call regardless of whether or not Alexis would like another round of Ouzo shots:
(H/T to Captain Capitalism.)

Failed Business Plan #29,437

Back before you kids and your Age of Empires on the fancy computin' machines, wargames used to be played with paper maps and little cardboard counters. The trick was to have someplace where you could set up a decent-sized game for six or eight hours where Mittens the cat wouldn't wipe out Army Group Center or the 6th Fleet wouldn't get washed into the poker chip well by a beer tsunami.

I always thought it would be cool to have a place that rented out a table, in a concrete-walled room decorated in a sort of cross between Early Maginot and bunquere moderne. For added verisimilitude, you could have some subwoofers that would shake the ceiling and cause the light fixture to sway and some concrete dust to drift down every so often, like the Hun artillery had just scored a near miss or Harris's Lancasters were overhead for their nightly visit...

That's just crazy talk.

You have to wonder just how much stock people put into paid political analysis from somebody who says things like this:
If Republicans continue to struggle to appeal to Latino voters, Spanish-language ads may not stave off a change that experts like Bositis see coming in the not too distant future, when states such as Georgia go purple and eventually blue.
Georgia? Vote Democrat? Phhhht. Georgia voting in a Democrat in a statewide election for a senator or governor is as unlikely as them sending the guy to the White House.

George W. Bush and the "Red State/Blue State" nonsense so obsesses the progressive mind that they talk like November of 2000 was the dawn of political history in this country. Hey, Mr. Bositis, did you know Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?

Taking our ball and going home.

So the leaders of NATO gathered in Chicago to discuss... er... plans for the best way to defend the Fulda Gap from the Soviet 8th Guards Army? How to keep the Red Banner Northern Fleet from sortieing through the GIUK Gap? Whether they should fund continuing NATO operations by charging Tom Clancy retroactive jargon licensing fees?

What the whole NATO summit has made me wonder is this: While I get as much schadenfreude out of a trust-fund hippie taking a hickory shampoo vigorous enough to dislodge his iPod earbuds as the next kid, is it really worth spending untold kiloSagans of money we don't have on continued membership dues in an organization whose very raison d'etre is as dated as an "I Like Ike" campaign button just so we can watch this live-action Punch and Judy show every couple years?

I mean, seriously, if the Frogs and Jerries are still worried about Tsar Vladimir I, let them cut a few social programs and reactivate an armored division or two on their own dime, but it's been a long time since the most crucial U.S. foreign policy flashpoint on the globe was someplace where the street signs bore charming Gothic script. Let Europe look to its own defenses.

While I'm assembling my thoughts...'re some pictures from the people who didn't forget to pack a camera along to the art fair. When I get some light outside, I will snap a photo of my cool souvenir from the day.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I'm melting! melting! Oh, what a world!

Brigid drove down to Roseholme in the Tactical Truck and the three of us went to the Broad Ripple Art Fair. Roomie pedaled there while Brigid and I dropped the top on the Zed Drei and braved the parking situation...

It was as cool as it always is. Small green pieces of paper were exchanged for beads and trinkets, about which more later. Since between the three of us there are only two legs free of screws, bolts, and spiffy scar tissue, we took out time meandering about in the melting heat.

After gyros, Italian ices, and much exposure to the arts, we headed back toward Roseholme. Bobbi hopped on her bike while Brigid and I stopped at the BRBP to rehydrate.

Don't hate. More pics and links when I've done more rehydrating at home...

Tab Clearing...

  • MAPQVEST. Okay, that's cool.

  • When you're dealing with the vague, deeply-internalized self-loathing engendered by a lifetime of  "everybody gets a gold star" meaningless self-esteem, scoreless soccer, and special snowflakedom, it manifests in funny external ways. I mean, you can't openly hate yourself without everybody thinking you're some kind of emo dork, but you can use your parents' credit card at Kinko's to print out flyers denouncing capitalism, or you can have, say, white guilt, or you could just hate the whole human race in general,

  • Since we've had the annual hashing out of the pink gun question, what I want to know is this: What is a man's favorite color for a gun?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Attention NSA...

I don't mean to interrupt you guys while you're combing important search strings like "best video poker payouts" and "midget porn in clown suits" out of the digital ether, but I'm game for any interpretations you may have of this enquiry from

(Click to embiggen.)

The Man is still keeping me down.

I just checked the Tip Jar. Ezra Klein still hasn't hit it. Frickin' 1%ers are always keeping me down. They blog for major media outlets about the plight of the little people and then go have lunch with the glitterati, and we 99% are stuck toiling in the fields of the internet.

I guess Ezra was right: "This, really, is the story of modern income inequality in America."

Facebookers of the World, Unite!

You have nothing to lose but your "Like" button!

Ah, Ezra Klein, you puling little tool, you never fail to provide the blogfodder...

Woke up this morning to more weather and Indy 500 stuff on the local news, but weekend mornings MSNBC reruns Rachel Maddow on Saturdays and Chris Matthews on Sundays, and that's almost always guaranteed to purge my bile ducts and clear my spleen vents, and this morning was no exception.

I only caught the end of the Maddow show, guest-hosted by Ezra Klein (it took me a second, but their glasses are different), and tuned in just in time to see him calling for us lowly workers in Zuckerberg's dark, Satanic FarmVille to seize the means of production:
You and I and millions of other people create the content that gives Facebook value when we post pictures, send messages, "like" things, share things, play games, and change our relationship statuses. Facebook gives us a way to do that, and we the public, hundreds of millions of us, give Facebook value. We make it a $100 billion company.

But it’s the insiders who get the cash-money out of that value. It’s not, in the main, your aunt or uncle who hopped on the Web and bought a couple of shares today. It’s Bono and his investment partners. ... It’s the rich, now getting that much richer.

Don't you get it? It was only sheer luck that allowed Bono to invest venture capital in Facebook! Why, if you or I had accidentally written "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" or "Miss Sarajevo" one morning before breakfast, then we might have had $90,000,000 in spare change lying around to front Zuckerberg, et al to kick start their social network and it would be Bono who was stuck out in the cold and starving.

I will note that since Ezra Klein almost certainly pulls down close to a hundred times my annual income and continually fails to send me a check, he's a big fat hypocrite. Remember: "The Rich" = "Anyone Who Makes More Than Me". How about it, Ezra? Where's my dough?

The idea that this garbage still sells in a world that has already traveled the historical arc from the storming of the Winter Palace to the fall of the Berlin Wall is just damned depressing. Rather than having to root out the last bolshevik holdouts from the cellars of the Lubyanka, we'll need to dig them out of the third floor of 30 Rock.

In the Land of a Thousand Restaurants...

Bobbi got home from Dayton last night and was up for dining out. It was getting late to do the bicycling thing (the Monon closes at dark and only a fool dodges drunks near the strip with only a flimsy Trek or Giant as protection,) and so we dropped the top and headed for the newest feature in Broad Ripple, Poccadio Moroccan Grill.

The layout at the counter was like a cross between a Subway and a Baskin-Robbins, as the enthusiastic staff plied us with taster forks and encouraged us to sample the various tempting bits of North African cuisine. I settled for a plate of shawarma over rice, slathered with a delicious harissa of tear-jerking spiciness, with a side of lettuce drizzled with a cacık dressing and some cinnamon-honey orange salad.
Also? They deliver. Don't hate.

Bonus shawarma footage:


You ever have one of those mornings? Yeah, me too.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Summertime In SoBro, 2012 Edition, Vol. II

The Monon Trail north of 54th Street is a pleasant, leafy green tunnel. Shady and with pavement better than any street for miles around. Fairly well-used this time of year, too. As I was putting the camera away from this shot, I got buzzed by a pack of lycra-clad puffing road bike riders.

Once into Broad Ripple proper, the trail crosses the canal. On the right of this picture is the Canal Bistro, where we've had a couple blogmeets. Directly ahead is the bridge from which the hippie plummeted.

Plump's Last Shot doesn't open 'til noon, and I was about fifteen minutes early, so I pedaled around and noticed the "OPEN" sign was lit at Fire By The Monon. Always scouting for new blogmeet locations, I figured I'd give it a try.

The special for the day was a grilled Reuben. Delish. That's homemade corned beef and a scratch dressing that was sort of a mustard/chili-infused Thousand Island sort of thing. Whatever, it was great. I used it on the sandwich and what was left over got slurped up with fries. Washed it all down with a Sun King Chaka Belgian amber ale. I've run into the guys from Sun King Brewery at MCF&G before.

After lunch, a stop at the local Kroger. That basket on the back of the Broad Ripple SUV pops off its bicycle Picatinny rail with the click of a button and can be carried into the store for your shopping. Also, it gives Chewie the Purse Wookie a good view.

The Daily Drudgery...

Roomie is off to Dayton for the great big Hamvention thingie. I bowed out with the intention of getting some yardwork done, since I stopped by Locally Grown Gardens yesterday after picking up the Broad Ripple SUV from the shop and grabbed some vegetable starts and herbs. (In addition to getting some tomato and jalapeño starts, we'll be adding parsley to the mint, thyme, rosemary, and sweet marjoram growing here and there on the Roseholme Cottage grounds.) There're a few other household chores to knock out today, too.

But first, I think I'll pedal up to Broad Ripple Village proper and get another one of those Butler Dogs at Plump's Last Shot for lunch. Maybe stop at Kroger on the way back for groceries, to make the trip feel productive...

Overheard in the Office...

I guess I left the TeeWee running when I came in here to type. Roomie, getting ready down the hall, can apparently hear it...
RX: "Omigod. They're reading the horoscope of the FaceBook founder. Next they're going to dance around waving a chicken bone."

Me: "Let me know when they're foretelling the future from the entrails of Senator Schumer."

Notes from the decline...

So I woke up this morning and soon realized that local morning news was not going to provide me with blogfodder: as exciting as the weather and the various peripheral events leading up to the Indianapolis 500 are to the local news crew, they just weren't getting my creative juices flowing, so I flipped to CNN.

I gave a little shriek, but then realized it was just Chuck Schumer. He was giving his little speech pimping his Bill of Attainder against Fancisco d'Anc... er, Eduardo Severin. Then they went to a live interviewette with the legislation's co-parent, Senator Bob Casey from Pennsylvania...

Oh. My. God. This was the first time I'd seen him speak, live and quasi-extemporaneously. Will someone explain to me how that stammering cretin convinced 50.1% of the adult voting populace of the Keystone State that he'd make a fine United States Senator*? I wouldn't vote for that idiot to call in the office pizza order for fear he'd &*%$ it up somehow.

In self-defense I jogged the channel clicker again, winding up on HLN, and found myself enveloped in a fluffy pink giggling cocoon as the teleprompter reader that hosts their morning show opened her dazzlingly-capped cakehole and sucked the intelligence from the room with a soft whooshing noise. Puppies. Kittens. Tee-hee. Justin Beiber!

*Oh, wait, the choice was him or Rick Santorum. Waiter, I'll take the hemlock, please. Matter of fact, make it a double.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hey, wait...

At a news conference this morning, Sens. Schumer and Bob Casey, D-Pa., will unveil the “Ex-PATRIOT” – “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” – Act
I remember this part. It was in that ponderous novel by that shrill Russian chick, right?

Man, if Obama was serious about a green energy program that would actually work instead of being a logrolling back-scratching graft scheme (haha no, seriously,) then he should look into wrapping old Strident Ayn's corpse in copper wire and parking some magnets around her coffin. You could power half the eastern seaboard with all those megawatts.

(And since when was Chuck Schumer ever worried about folks crossing the border without permission?)

I'm not that tactical, actually...

Writes Greg at Dum Vivimus, Vivamus:
I know some people who claim they are always armed...that they carry even around the house.
Y'know, I'm not all that tacticool, I'm just lazy.

If I'm dressed, I have a gun on, mostly because the empty holster would feel silly. The holster is there because before I go to bed, the jeans I am going to wear the next day have all the stuff of life transferred to them from the current day's trousers: pocket knife, folding money, the little business card holder I use for ID and plastic, and belt & holster.

So, yeah, the gun goes on when I get dressed for the day and doesn't come off again until I'm crawling into my pyjamas, mostly because it's easier than constantly taking it on and off. It's not really for defense against home invaders (although I suppose it could be used for such,) because, thanks to the retired deputy who used to live here, Roseholme Cottage's front and rear entrances aren't the kind that sumdood can just kick in. Secure entrances are a much better preventative against home invasions than a pistol, anyway, and should give me plenty of time to go fetch a, you know, real gun.

So, yeah, I have a gun on when I'm at home because I'm lazy.


I was promised a segment on flesh-eating bacteria on the Today show this morning, and so far all I've got is dead Kennedys and Cannes.

Also, some legal analyst (snort!) talking about how John Edwards is such a noble and selfless dude for sparing his daughter being called to the witness stand, as though suddenly, after 58 years, that lying weasel suddenly figured out how to care about somebody other than John Edwards. That was pretty funny.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cultural Literacy Night...

I am sure that all of my readers are familiar with the poem "Horatius At The Bridge"*:
But the Consul's brow was sad, and the Consul's speech was low,
And darkly looked he at the wall, and darkly at the foe.
"Their van will be upon us before the bridge goes down;
And if they once might win the bridge, what hope to save the town?"

Then out spoke brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate:
"To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late;
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods..."
However I am not certain that one can count one's self a True American if one is not aware of the companion verse, "A Ballad Of The Republic"...

*You are, are you not?

Gadgets and gizmos...

I really love my Leatherman Micra. It has sat at my right hand on my desktop for years now, but I've never attached it to my keychain. While undeniably useful, it's just a bit too bulky to hang there between the Zed Drei's alarm fob and the knockoff Photon light.

At Fry's the other day, however, I ran into a package deal containing the Leatherman Style and a Lenser V9 and snapped it up. That's exactly the setup I was looking for to put some useful tools and a bright and tough mini light in there amongst my car and house keys. Recommend!

Summertime In SoBro, 2012 Edition

After dropping off the Broad Ripple SUV at the Bicycle Exchange, Bobbi and I headed down into Broad Ripple proper for lunch at Plump's Last Shot, a local institution at which I had somehow failed to dine so far.

She pedaled down the Monon and I took the Zed Drei and we met in the parking lot. It was a beautimous day for dining al fresco, and she ordered the signature pork tenderloin sandwich, which is a breaded piece of pork tenderloin approximately the size of a legal pad, served between two hamburger buns that are barely adequate as handles. I ordered a culinary delight known as a "Butler Dog": A beef frank wrapped in bacon, deep fried, and served on a bun piled with tomatoes, onions, and sliced jalapeños. My left arm hurts just thinking about it.

AAAA++++. Would do business with again. Maybe even today. We should do a blogmeet there sometime.

It felt silly, but...

I can straighten the handlebars on my Broad Ripple SUV. I can lube the chain. I can track down and patch the leak in the front tube, or replace it as necessary. I can adjust the brakes.

But when you add all those chores together, plus trying to figure out whether that front rim is bent or not, just taking it to the new bike shop around the corner and saying "Dudes, give this thing a tune-up," gets mighty attractive. Especially because I want it in good shape for pedaling to the Arts Festival this weekend and there's no way I could even begin procrastinating between now and then. (Plus, you know, I can rationalize it as supporting a local business.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tab Clearing...

Paging Dr. Spooner...

Roomie is down the hall, performing her morning ablutions. Over the noise of the running water in the sink and the overhead fan, she is reciting Emma Lazarus for some reason, and the resulting "Huh? What did you say?" back and forth down the hall resulted in:
"Elvis's tired whores / And puddled masses, urinating from the trees...?"
I just now stopped laughing so hard that I was unable to type.

"I only wanted to shoot them a little bit..."

God, Gals, Guns, Grub has photos of one of the more bizarre targets I've ever seen at a range.

Like him, I've never gotten the whole "oh, I'll just shoot them in the leg" thing. You can't shoot somebody just a little bit. "Getting winged in the shoulder" only happens on old A Team reruns; in real life there's no such thing. Lives are forever altered, even if nobody dies: a shot to the leg can hit the femoral artery, can wreck a knee, can result in amputation.

If you are not legally and morally justified in taking someone's life, you have no business whatsoever pointing a lethal weapon at any part of their body.

Your modern technology fascinates me.

While up in New Hamster, I was left Robin's brand spankin' new Subaru Forester in which to motor about. As someone who's been toying with the idea of a "crossover" SUV, but hasn't spent more than test-drive time with one, it was enlightening.

First, it was obviously superior in every way on dirt and rough pavement. With the Zed Drei, the optional sport suspension and 35-series tires make it ride like a Conestoga wagon on even the smoothest gravel or dirt roads; exceed twenty miles an hour off pavement and your vision will be so blurred by the jouncing and vibration that you won't see the parts that fall off every time a wheel crashes over the minutest of surface imperfections. Conversely, the Forester is so serene and composed on dirt that "I honestly had no idea I was going that fast, officer," becomes a very real conversational possibility.

On the flip side, over a decade of driving a sports car has me used to control inputs that are acted on with alacrity. For instance, to change lanes on the interstate in the Bimmer, you don't so much steer as merely apply pressure in the direction you wish to go. By comparison, the same act in the Forester involved enough action, from the wheel through the steering gear to the tall-'n'-wobbly front tire sidewalls, that it felt like I was ringing down to the helm for rudder changes. Don't get me wrong, compared to the average passenger sedan there's hardly any difference at all, and compared to a truck-based SUV it feels like Handling By Lotus, but it still took some getting used to for me. (And don't get me started on how weird automatics feel, without any direct correlation between engine noise, the tach needle, and how fast the car is going; that's witchcraft and deviltry right there...)

The thing that most delighted me, however, was the modern stereo that takes over your iPod when you plug it in like a lancet liver fluke does to a hapless ant. I may just wind up keeping the Z3 after all and resign myself to another ten years of wind noise on roadtrips and slithery winter driving, but I'm getting one of those fancy dashboard Victrolas.


So the borough of Fort Lee in New Jersey has passed an ordinance criminalizing "texting while walking".

Explains their ortsgruppenleiter:
There have been 23 pedestrian accidents since January, Fort Lee police chief told CBS New York. While most accidents were minor, three fatalities were reported.
"They're not alert and they're not watching what they're doing,"
Which sounds like a self-solving problem to me; one that could be fixed by the front bumpers of city buses far faster than by any number of ticket-writing po-po. But no, the city fathers were hired to write laws, and write laws they will, by damn. When the only tool you have is a statute book, then every problem you see is just an act waiting to be criminalized.

I'm dying to see how that law is worded. How is "walking" defined? Two consecutive steps? More than two? "X or more steps in X amount of time"? Does it have to be in a forward direction, or is this like 'traveling' in the NBA? Can you sidestep and text at the same time?

"Not guilty, your honor. My client was texting while Riverdancing, which is clearly not prohibited by the ordinance."

This is the very definition of a bad law, and you New Jerseyites don't have a hair on your collective ass if you don't clog the courts with cases of texting while skipping, jogging, running, moonwalking, et frickin' cetera.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday evening stuff...

Hebrew National chili dogs for supper. Good for what ails ya.

Re-reading the omnibus edition of the first three books of The Dragonriders of Pern (and you really needn't bother with the rest.) They're still fun, but the idea of having a giant telepathically-linked dragon that would be your friend forever and could fly you around and set stuff that annoyed you on fire was a lot more attractive when I was in middle school and grappling with teen angst. Not that I'd turn one down now, but as an adult, all you can think of are the damned vet bills, which must be ginormous. And it probably horks up hairballs the size of VW Beetles.

Incidentally, the panhandler that walked up to my car in the grocery store parking lot today and asked "Ma'am, ma'am! I'm sorry to trouble you, but do you gots a gas can?" made me think "Uh, no. And I didn't have one three weeks ago when you asked me if I had one in the Target parking lot, and I offered to go in and buy you one, but you said you'd rather have the cash and not take up my time, remember?" Three weeks is an awfully long time to be out of gas.

Perfectly cromulent convertible weather here in Indy, BTW, which is a good thing for all those folks zipping around in the single-seater convertibles on the west side of town this month.( I think they're lost, though, 'cause they just keep going in circles.)

It's what that double-barrelled 1911 is backup for.

Actual photos of goofy Siamese-twin AR-15 setup are out. Sure to be included as an option in the next Call of Duty upgrade and the talk of every gun shop commando BECAUSE ISRAELI!

Seriously, if you want to hear more BS about any firearm or firearm accessory, all you need to do is associate it somehow with the Israelis and BAM! it couldn't be more tacticool if you'd sewed it entirely out of black Velcro nylon MOLLE webbing.

I have heard all manner of fanciful tales about the origin of the Desert Eagle, from "Designed for Zahal tank crews!" to "Used by Mossad for long-range assassinations!" And don't get me started about how every Sayeret Matkal troopie supposedly has his micro-Tavor bullpup (which is the best gun ever, of course,) fruited up with cheap-ass plastic Mako accessories like a third-grade schoolgirl's notebook with My Little Pony stickers.

Happy Birthday to You.

One of my earliest blogging inspirations, Kevin at The Smallest Minority, is celebrating his ninth Blogiversary! Watch him put a celebratory boot in a commie's ribs!

(tl/dr: TSM turns 9.)

QotD: ...And Then You Win Edition

Sebastian's trying his hand at a wine-making project using Welch's white grape juice concentrate as a starter. The irony comes, of course, from the fact that Dr. Welch was an ardent Prohibitionist.
What the body politic did to prohibitionists is a wonderful lesson for our cause. To the extent there even are prohibitionists these days, they are viewed as out of the mainstream and quacky. We almost have the opponents of gun rights there, provided we keep pushing. I’ll drink a toast to Dr. Welch, and his company, and hope in our current struggle, our opponents suffer the same political fate.
Sadly, the urge to Uplift will always be with us and sour-faced crusading busybodies seem to be part of our political DNA. Cut one head off the Prohibitionist hydra and two more spring up; they ban because they can.

The problem is never about objects: it's about actions. Specifically, the actions of ill-mannered louts with poor impulse control and nothing you could describe as a moral or an ethic. But it is impolite to say so, and so we allow ourselves to believe that if we outlaw _______, we will Uplift the whole human race into some blissful future utopian paradise, when we know damn well that there are those among us who would push other kids into the rivers of milk and honey, eat the lamb, and set the lion's mane on fire.


Roomie's on vacation, making it very easy to oversleep here at Roseholme, let me tell you.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Greek Government Barbie says "Math is hard!"

Glad I'm not heavy into Euros.

You can't kick the can farther down the road when the pavement ended a dozen yards back, there, Alexis. Once you've eaten the goose, there won't be any more golden egg omelets.

One wonders whether the Jerries are deciding whether or not to evict the Greeks from their living room sofa, where they've been camped out for the last several years, swilling Ouzo and chowing down on takeout gyros on their rich northern cousin's Master Card. As painful as booting them out of the Eurozone might be, there may not be a Eurozone left to boot them out of if the decision is put off too long.

The whole point of gun shows...

I know I harp on this constantly, but if what you're looking for is a brand-spankin' new SIGlock&K XD11A1, gun shows are generally a waste of time, unless you just want to price shop several vendors without having to drive around or use up airtime minutes on your phone.

Given the economics of setup, teardown, table fees, and the realities of either closing the storefront for the weekend or doubling staffing requirements for ditto, prices on new guns from brick & mortar FFLs usually aren't going to be any cheaper at the show on Sunday than they will be back at the store on Monday.

On the other hand, if what you're looking for is unicorns...

I've been looking for Vetterli ammunition off and on since I purchased the rifle back in... '03? '04? I've acquired a couple of rounds, one to put on the display board and one because... well, because. But usable ammo? Hen's teeth.

Now, the ammunition was loaded by Remington UMC well into the smokeless powder era. The US civilian market has always been a black hole for the world's military surplus, especially before GCA '68, and back in the first part of the last century, US shooters on a budget could pick up one of these old Swiss battle rifles via mail order from Bannerman's for a song.

10.4x38R may have been declared obsolete as a military cartridge by the Swiss, but sold commercially as the .41 Swiss Rimfire, throwing a 300gr outside-lubed lead slug at ~1400fps, it was still seen as a viable short-range deer load. Production of the commercial ammo stopped with the advent of WWII, however, and never resumed afterwards.

When I stumbled across this full box of ammo at yesterday's show, with the lube on the bullets still greasy no less, I had about as much chance of saying "no" as I did of flapping my arms and flying.

Also at the show, I discovered a nice little Bayard 1908 in .32ACP, which would make a nice companion piece for the .380 model I already had. When I read about the hoops that others have to jump through just to keep a handgun licence, it makes me thankful to live someplace where a handgun purchase requires naught but the exchange of money and a handshake. (Although it's customary to flash your INDL and LTCH as your good guy bona fides.)

.380 on the left, new .32 on the right. Also, unfinished projects: Namely, an AR lower and a Ruger MkII 22/45 receiver/barrel assembly, waiting on me to scrounge up a bolt and gripframe.

Overheard in the Office:

Bobbi is leafing through a Garrett-Wade catalog...
RX: "'Professional Italian grafting tools'. I'll just bet."

Me: "What are they? New York City politicians?"

Airplane pictures.

Someone, who shall remain nameless but whose name rhymes with "camera", remembered to bring her camera along to New Hamster but managed to leave the camera's SD card in the card reader hooked to her desktop back home. A couple of pictures were taken in airports, and these managed to fill up the puny on-board memory quite handily.

Beech 1900 on the United puddlejumper ramp in CLE. The 1900 was developed from the Super King Air, which makes it sort of a Super Duper King Air. I'll bet you none of those passenger realize how super duper their ride is. (Sure, they seem insignificant on a tarmac full of jetliners, but I was used to looking at them from a hangar full of Cessna 310s. It's all a matter of scale.)

While I arrived at CLE through a jetway that was once again comically trying to devour the tiny Embraer, I departed via airstairs (which was cool,) in the rain (which wasn't.)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Found in my cell phone...

Spent some time on Monday driving around with the New Hampshire Chamber of Commerce. He made a point of stopping the minivan at a turnoff just down the road from Castle Frostbite so I could get a picture. I have to say, he's got a point:

Here's a picture of a jetway at MHT about to devour the teeny little EMB 145 on which I am expected to fly to CLE.

Saturday Stuff...

To whoever mentioned "C.B. Colby" in my comments section, thank you! I have been totally tortured for years trying to remember the name of those elementary school library staples. It was C.B. Colby books that taught me about such cool things as SEALAB and the M-28 Davy Crockett Weapons System, and helped mold the hopeless nerd I am today.

Spent yesterday morning playing bambalance driver/nursemaid for Roomie. Not having had much experience with people coming out from under general anaesthesia, I was caught off guard by the repetitive question syndrome.
"What'd th' doc say?" 
"He said everything was great. You got an 'A'.
"Tha'ss good. He was a nice man. Di' he say ever'thing was okay?" 
"Yes, he did. He said everything was great. You got an 'A'."
Today? Fun show! Hooray! Don't really need anything, but you never know what you might find walking around. Let's sing the Fun Show Song!
Flintlocks and Flop-tops
And Number Three Russians
Black-powder Mausers
From jackbooted Prussians,
Shiny Smith PC's from limited runs
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Socketed bay'nets
On Zulu War rifles,
Engraved, iv'ried Lugers
That make quite an eyefull
Mosin tomato stakes sold by the ton
These are a few of my favorite guns.

Rusty top-breaks!
Smallbore Schuetzens!
And all of Browning's spawn
I just keep on browsing my favorite guns
Until all my money's gone.

Friday, May 11, 2012

RIF'ed? No worries, mate!

It seems that the Australian military is looking for a few good men, and is willing to pay:
The U.S. ally down under is seeking everything from submariners to doctors at ranks from enlisted to officers in all branches of its services and salaries can be substantially higher...
With inevitable belt-tightening at the Pentagon in the future, one can imagine the appeal, especially because Oz's economy is... well, one of the healthier patients in the cancer ward.

And should world events go totally Mad Max, that's going to be an exciting corner of the world in which to be soldiering, what with the Indonesian hordes right to the north.

Not with a bang, but a whimper.

The end of the Roman Empire in the west came as more and more tribal groups settled inside its borders and its own citizens became increasingly reluctant to defend an empire that was divided into super-wealthy landed gentry and almost serf-like peasantry, causing military roles to be subcontracted out to the barbarian invaders who became, in essence, the Roman army.

The end of the British Empire came when Britannia had been physically bled white by one global conflict and then fiscally bled white by a second and, parting with its colonial possessions, the once-globe-spanning empire shrank back down to its pre-Elizabethan roots as a rainy tourist trap with good beer.

The end of the American Empire came when it was decreed that its fragile children were such precious pearls that they couldn't be exposed to the dangers of drawstrings on clothing. Seriously. This is the inevitable end result of bicycle helmets and rubber playground matting: Your average newborn these days is doomed to a childhood that makes Tod Lubitch look like Johnny Knoxville. No wonder they take up BASE jumping as soon as they get to college.

In the brief span of my lifetime, we have gone from a nation where kids could order a .22 in the mail (with their parents' permission) and go to Sears and buy a kit for casting their own lead toy soldiers to a nation where they are protected from dangerous clothing and would be expelled from school for drawing a picture of a toy soldier.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

...and put this deck chair over there.

I was going to make some comment about what a master stroke of electioneering it was for Obama to use his bully pulpit to get the GOP to pull its teeth out of his economic Achilles' heel and go chasing off after the gay marriage issue, but then I realized it didn't really take any kind of political genius at all. I mean, if you know the dog's gonna chase the stick, you don't have to be Machiavelli to throw it in front of the bus.

And when it comes to chasing sticks, the Republican elephanthound is constant as the northern star; if it ever has you treed up some tricky unemployment numbers, just fling something about the 'bortion or the gays as far from you as possible, and it will bark happily off after it, leaving you free to regroup.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Overheard in the Office:

Roomie is lost in the intertubes on her computer screen...
RX: "Ice cream jelly spiders."

Me: "Pickle rainbow motor scooter!" (Jump!)

RX: "No, this is a real thing. Which you should link to."

*long pause*

RX: "Do you want the link?"

Me: "Nah, I found it."

RX: "Wow!"

Me: "Well, when you google 'ice cream jelly spiders', it pretty much takes you right there."

Heart of Weirdness.

From Fort Wayne comes this intriguing bit of Hoosier shenanigans:
Police in Fort Wayne arrested a man after they say he drove three blocks with four children strapped on the hood of his car.
The maddeningly cryptic story leaves it unclear as to whether this was being done as a punishment or a reward or just, you know, because beer.

Or maybe it's because it's illegal to let the kids ride in the back of the pickup truck, while the law is (understandably) vague on the legality of strapping them to the bonnet like Bambi's mom.

(H/T to Shootin' Buddy, whose nose for news of this sort makes him a veritable one-man Indiana Chamber of Commerce.)


Blinding headache. Perhaps related to the fact that I could use the creaking of the bones in my face as an altimeter for half the day yesterday.

More when I feel up to impersonating a human being.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Cleveland... Crap. I was still in Cleveland.

The flight from Manchester to CLE was interesting, inasmuch as the only times I've flown in planes smaller than that Embraer 145, I was wearing a headset and sitting in the right seat.

The layover in Cleveland is of the precise length to provoke misery: Not quite two hours. Long enough to feel like forever, but not long enough to make it worth going in and out of security to look up any of the peeps I know on the North Coast.

In the meantime, I sit here in the Gordon Biersch in the secure zone, looking out over the tarmac where the Saab 340 and Dash-8 puddlejumpers are being serviced and loaded via airstairs, No such luck for me though: The CLE-IND leg will be on another Embraer 145, which is exactly like a Gulfstream 550 with three or four times the seats it should have.

And yet, hey... it's still sitting in a chair... in the sky.


Leavin' on a jet plane...

So all my gear is re-packed at Castle Frostbite: all the sharp pointy things are in my checked bag, the Glock and the Ruger are all packed up, and yet again I spent a week in the woods without busting a single cap of .22, unless you count the single CCI shotshell used to dispatch a house mouse (outside, of course; I'm not a complete savage.)

All the electronic gadgetry is sporting a full charge, and I remembered a dead tree book for the flight.

Both legs of this trip are going to be on bitty Embraer bottle rockets, changing planes in Cleveland. (I'm still bitter that my flight out of Indy on a Dash 8 was scrubbed; I've never been on a turboprop bigger than a King Air.)

QotD: Partisan Warfare Edition

Because it's my blog and I can have as many quotes of the day as I want to so there!, here's Roomie on Lugar's concession speech:
[H]e's also said the victorious Richard Mourdock has embraced a partisan attitude that makes it difficult to get things done.

That was the point, Senator. See, the more Congress "gets things done," the smaller my paycheck, either directly through taxes or indirectly by inflation.

QotD: Eat The Goose, No More Eggs Edition

Adaptive Curmudgeon on everybody's favorite South American strongman:
It looks to me like Chavez has beaten his country like a rented mule and his time is just about up.  His 13 year socialist reign has been, for want of a better word, “craptacular” for his people.  He trashed a nation in less time than most of us take to wear out a Honda Civic.
Wisht I'd wrote that.

Na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na!

It is my pleasure to report that Dick Lugar, six-term US Senator from the state of Indiana, former mayor of Indianapolis, a sort of anti-Cincinnatus who has not held a real job... nay, has been a hog at the public trough ...since the year before I was born, is going to need to move his stuff out of his office and start handing out resumes on K Street come January.

I have to say that this was an upchuck long in coming; rarely have I filled in a circle with a No. 2 pencil with such savage glee. It's long past time that this particular boil on the arse of the body politic was lanced, so good riddance, Dick; couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Overheard on I-89 South:

Went with Marko to catch a matinee of The Avengers yesterday. I'm not, on the whole, a big fan of superhero movies but, like both Iron Man movies and the Batman reboots, this one transcended the genre and was really enjoyable. Plus explosions. Driving back to Castle Frostbite, however...
Me: "You know, I had no problems with Asgardian gods, giant gamma-ray mutant dudes, or flying aircraft carriers, but Scarlett Johansson's teacup Weaver really threw me out of the moment for a second, there. It messed with my willing suspension of disbelief..."
I'll also note that I had difficulty wrapping my head around the idea of a Glock 26 in a tactical drop-thigh rig; the sight was jarring like... I dunno... like a space-saver spare on a race car.

Tab Clearing...

  • Stupid should hurt.

  • Big discussion on chamber-empty carry over at Robb's. I would like to point out that they are called "handguns", and not "handsguns", for a reason.

  • That '70s Show. Just as the presence of iridium in geological substrates indicates the "K-T boundary", or the delineating point between Cretaceous and Tertiary layers, so one day will a layer of velour deposits be used to locate the Carter-Reagan boundary.

QotD: Primary Colors Are Black & Blue Edition

Roberta X on Election '12:
Boy, wouldn't it be great if once -- just once! -- somebody made it through the primaries about whom you could say something more positive than "Well, he's better than a severe beating."

Problem with the paradigm.

So another terror plot was allegedly uncovered, despite the War on Terror being more or less kinda sorta over. The president offered the vague reassurances that apparently come with the job description:
U.S. President Barack Obama was told about the plot in April, and the attempt "underscores the necessity of remaining vigilant against terrorism here and abroad," the White House said.
Well, duh. Make sure you lock your doors, and remember to wear your galoshes, kids, because it's raining. This is what people do regarding bad things that may happen to them: remain vigilant. For example, I "remain vigilant" against muggers: This means that I stay alert and wary. I don't declare a "War on Mugging" and run around shooting every shifty-looking character between Broad Ripple Avenue and 49th Street.

Declaring war on a noun is pointless and unproductive. You get folks in the wrong mindset, you can't eradicate it, and you wind up going through ever more pointless and draconian steps to try. A War on Terror is ultimately destined to be as fruitless as would be a war against any other wrong: A War on Murder, say, or a War on Shoplifting, or a War on Telling Your Neighbor That Dress Looks Great On Her When It Really Makes Her Look Like An Avocado In A Flour Sack.

Seriously, if you want to eradicate a noun, don't call the J. Edgar Hoover Building or the Pentagon; call Merriam-Webster.