Saturday, June 30, 2012

Overheard in the Office...

Setup: I am sitting at my VFTP Command Central, reading the intertubes, with a copy of Car & Driver in my hand. Bobbi is standing behind me. I turn and start to stand up...
RX: "Oh...! No!"

Me: "What?"

RX: "The toilet bowl has cleaner in it."

*momentarily nonplussed, I grasp for an equally non sequitur-ish reply*

Me: "Ummmm... The street is paved with asphalt!"

RX: "You were standing up with a magazine in your hand..."

Me: "I was sitting here with a magazine in my hand. What did you expect me to do with it when I stood up? Drop it?"

*'thwap' went the magazine on the floor, by way of illustrating my point*

RX: "And what do people in this house do when they stand up with a magazine in their hand?"

Me: "Uh, go somewhere and read it?"

RX: *a note of triumph creeping into her voice* "Go to the bathroom and read it! That is a toilet magazine!"
While this is arguably true, or at least full of truthiness, it did not happen to be correct on this occasion. Although, now that you mention it...

Would you say we're headed into a zone of danger?

Sitting in traffic in the Zed Drei yesterday evening, with Kenny Loggins' piece of classic '80s Velveeta blaring from the speakers, I noticed the car ahead of me, a Toyota Camry that had been hit everyplace but the ashtray and seemed composed of equal parts Bondo and primer, had a bumper sticker that was the absolute height of irony...

(click to aggrandize)

At the Marsh supermarket in Broad Ripple, I saw that the new S.W.A.T. was on the shelf. Also, Peter Kokalis was on the cover of Shotgun News in an article entitled "Last-Ditch Treasures" looking for all the world like he is about to fire a VolksGewehr built by disgruntled slave laborers who hadn't had a wink of sleep in weeks due to 'round-the-clock pastings from the Mighty Eighth and Bomber Command... without wearing any eye protection.

Wear your eye protection and Drink Your Ovaltine!
(this picture may also be enlarged in the standard fashion)

Well how do you like them little green apples?

Yesterday evening's torrential toad-strangler, which dumped nearly an inch of water on the dessicated lawns and gardens of Roseholme Cottage, apparently kept itself neatly confined to the north side of I-70:
There was no rain at the National Weather Service office in Indianapolis, so our streak of day [sic] with no measurable rain now stands at 25 days. Unless we get .32" of rain Saturday this will go in the record book as the driest June ever.
Mother Nature took another whack at it around 0430 this morning, as I was awakened by booming thunder, howling wind, and falling branches to see this on the radar:

That looks like it may have gotten a few drops in the bucket down at 6900 West Hanna Avenue.

As a side note, local news anchor Jenny Runevitch penned the following:
When the skies opened up, extreme drought gave way to downpours. Heavy rain drenched people and parched plants. Even penny-sized hail pounded the pavement and grass, which has been bone-dry for weeks.
I am as awestruck by amazing acts of alliteration as anybody, Jenny, but you went one 'P' too far with "parched". That was just gratuitous, and further, it made it sound like the rain was parching the plants. Bad anchor! No hairspray!

PS: While we're on the topic of weather, it always amuses me to go look at the climate charts of remote islands in Wikipedia:

The Falklands, for instance have an average January high of 55 degrees and an average July low of 30 degrees. Chatham Island has a daily mean temperature that fluctuates barely a dozen degrees over the course of a year.

Meanwhile, here in the continental interior (“humid continental” climate,) we experienced a forty-seven degree temperature swing between Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon, and the spread between the record summer high and record winter low is over a hundred and thirty degrees.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Gust Front.

Just drove to the grocery store. The sky to the north looked ugly and bruised, and by the time I finished shopping, the gust front hit.

Trees were whipping and branches were falling and at first I thought that there was a dirty brown squall line moving south, until I realized that it was the topsoil of northern Indiana farmland in the air.

Then the rain hit, nearly an inch in an hour or so, plus hail. It was pretty sporty for a bit, with the power flickering and mighty hardwoods bending. Emergency vehicle sirens could be heard everywhere. Unsurprising, since the gullywasher liquified nearly a month's worth of dirt and oil on the streets, rendering them as slick as greased glass...

Not a dry heat at all.

103°F (that's not quite 39-and-a-half in Canadian degrees) in Hoosieropolis yesterday; the last time it was this hot here, we had a retired general for a president and tailfins on cars were the coming fad.

Thankfully, though, it was a fairly dry heat; sitting in the shade with a bit of a breeze wasn't unbearable, although I wouldn't have enjoyed trying to weed the garden.

Woke up this morning and drove downtown to meet Shootin' Buddy for breakfast at 0700, and noticed that some kind of front had moved through. Even though the sun was barely up, it was already 80 degrees, and a muggy, sticky eighty at that.

I had brought along my range bag, figuring that after brekkie, I could swing past MCF&G and get some trigger time before the full heat of the day. I rolled into the range just after eight and the Zed Drei's thermometer was reading 86 and not a breath of air was stirring in the pistol bays down in the valley of Eagle Creek.
 Being as it was hotter than the hinges of Hades, I didn't plan on being there very long. I grabbed a lightly-used backer with a target already stapled to it and started thumbing rounds into 22/45 mags.

 I heart my Oakley Jupiters; they look Wayfarer-esque, but have safety lenses! Getting low on deuce-deuce ammo in the can, there.
120 rounds of .22 (well, 117 rounds of .22; there were three duds,) and a mag though the M&P 9 later, from a little over ten yards, as fast as I could acquire a good sight picture. About the pace you'd use for the shots on the 3x5 in the F.A.S.T., so technically everything should have been in the circle at that clip.  The 9mm hole in the word "Target" is mine; I yelled "D'oh!" as the shot broke, too. Dropped three rounds of .22 out of the circle, as well, which I am not proud of.

The Ruger's starting to run sluggishly, so it's probably about time for its quarterly cleaning. Come to think of it, I should probably clean the M&P before the CTC night match, too.

Got home and scooted into the air conditioning as fast as I could. It's supposed to top a hundred again today, but it's going to be a Georgia-type hundred and not a West Texas-type hundred. A hundred degrees is no fun when it's too humid for your sweat to evaporate. Just in forty minutes in the shade on the range, I was dripping, and it hadn't even hit 90 yet...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Only Obama could have gone to Zeta Reticuli.

From the CSM:
President Obama may be trailing Mitt Romney in the polls on who'd do a better job fixing the economy.

But if the Earth ever is attacked by hostile beings from another planet, a strong majority of voters believe Mr. Obama would be superior in dealing with the situation.
We know how Obama would deal with aliens: He'd offer them a Path to Citizenship and give their leader an iPod preloaded with his speeches.

Then after Jeff Goldblum infiltrated the alien spaceship and blew it up, there would be pictures in Newsweek of Barry looking pensive in a White House situation room, showing the incredible courage he had in ordering Jeff to risk his life.

Later, anonymous sources in the administration would leak details of the computer code used to blow up the mothership and the plans of the secret alien fighter craft from Area 51 to Hollywood moviemakers to ensure accuracy in the blockbuster docudrama, presumably in return for a favorable depiction of the president.

I've seen some weird distractions from the main issue of this election, which is THE ECONOMY, STUPID, but this one takes the cake. "Well, maybe Obama couldn't balance a checkbook if you held a gun to his head, but wouldn't he be awesome against little green men and bug-eyed monsters?"

Oddly, I am not overcome with sympathy.

I don't normally go full Godwin this early in the morning, but my first thought when I saw this quote...
I got to wondering, as embarrassing as it is for passengers, how must a TSA agent feel to have to grope the smelly crotch of some dude who hasn’t bathed in over a week.
...was "I know, right? I mean, as bad as it was for the Jews in eastern Europe, what about the poor Einsatzgruppen? They probably had blisters on their trigger fingers by the end of the day!"

Seriously, you're failing to engage my sympathy by telling me what a humiliating drudgery it is to violate the hell out of my rights.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Safe in the loving arms of Nanny State.

As someone who often lies awake at night, trembling in her futon with the fair trade cotton sheets pulled over her head while those nightmarish images replay in my head of terrorist-commandeered trains smashing into buildings, I am glad to know that the highly-trained and alert guardians of the TSA are on the job and stepping up their efforts to make sure this sort of thing will never happen again!

(H/T to Popehat.)

Theirs are cooler.

Our liberal Democrats poured money into the sinkhole of Solyndra.

Japanese Liberal Democrats want to pour money into giant Gundam combat robots.

This shows a combination of kooky political flair that makes Ron Paul look as square as Lloyd Bentsen and an awareness of the potential threats that Earth faces from hostile alien armadas and giant radioactive monsters.

I mean, if Gamera shows up, what do our liberal Democrats expect us to do? Hit him over the head with a solar panel?

The popcorn belt.

Hello from the Great Indiana Desert!

We are on our 24th day without any measurable rainfall in Indianapolis, and the total rainfall for the month of June thus far is a whopping 0.05". To put this in perspective, the previous record for the driest June in the Circle City was the horrible Drought of '88, which saw only .36" for the month and a 21-day rainless streak.

So it looks like we're on pace to shatter that record. Combine that with daily highs that are scheduled to flirt with triple digits the next couple days, and the corn would be popping off the cobs out in the fields, if it had enough moisture to pop, which it doesn't. On a perhaps related note, corn futures jumped thirty cents on the CBOT yesterday.

BONUS!: The patriotic State of Indiana has a state fireworks preemption law. Hoosiers may not be prevented by local ordnance from explosively celebrating the independence of our great nation between the 29th of June and the 9th of July. Even in a tinderbox.

As a good Wookie-suiter, this is where I have to trust the good sense of my neighbors. (And stand-to with a fire extinguisher on the night of the Fourth, because if good sense were dynamite, most folks wouldn't have enough to blow their nose, it seems.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summertime in SoBro...

I was informed that I would need a headlamp with red or green LEDs for the Crimson Trace match. Seeing as how I didn't own a headlamp of any kind, this was an excuse to pedal down into Broad Ripple Village proper and hit Rusted Moon Outfitters, where I picked up one of these.

And since it was lunchtime, the Broad Ripple SUV somehow magically steered itself to the Brewpub...

...where I enjoyed their steak ceviche salad and the house IPA, while reading a cheerful little book entitled Secret Weapon: How Economic Terrorism Brought Down the U.S. Stock Market and Why It can Happen Again.

Overheard in the Office...

Bobbi was cleaning out the spam filter at her blog last night.
RX: "'Penis Cialis. Cialis Online.' There's a meter to it, almost like the spammer was trying to write poetry."

Me: "'Penis Cialis
The drooping staff needs it now
Cialis online.'"

RX: "Um, no."

Me: "What? Five, seven, five. It's a totally legitimate haiku."

RX: "Just no."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tab Clearing...

QotD: Keeping Score Edition.

Purple seashells, yellow rocks, green pieces of paper: Captain Capitalism points out that it is important to understand that they are ultimately just game tokens, and what it is that those game tokens represent:
[U]nderstand there is nothing inherently valuable about money.  The only reason "gold" or "paper dollars" have "value" is because they can be traded for something that DOES have genuine value.  Food, gas, a desk, a computer, a video game, etc. etc.
It's worth reading the whole thing.

Overheard in Roomie's Bedroom...

As part of her elaborate system of alarm clocks, which includes a cell phone and a giant red tabby tomcat, roomie has the TeeWee in her bedroom cut on to the AM local news at 0dark30. This requires turning it on briefly the night before to make sure the time is set correctly and the volume is set to "ow". I was in there talking to her last night as she was setting it, and the local news was on...
Newscaster: "Alex Trebek, host of the popular game show Jeopardy!, was rushed to the hospital today. We'll be back with the story after the break."

Me: "Uh, 'What is a heart attack'?"
Turns out I was right. I've always been pretty good at Jeopardy!.

So busted...

Digging through the Augean stables of my inbox, I found this pic from gunsmith Shannon with the note "We hadn't seen this one before."

That's a new one on me, too, and I've seen a fair number of broken Glocks myself. Looking at that frontstrap, that gun could be pushing thirty, and judging by the finish wear and the way the plastic's worn shiny on the high spots, it's got some miles on it, too. I wonder what the backstory is?

See? This is why it never pays to be jaded. Thinking you've seen every way a gun can break is just plain hubris.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Keep tugging on those bootstraps, Rachel.

The MSNBC "Lean Forward" commercials with Rachel Maddow extolling the example of Hoover Dam and other giant government projects as the way to revitalize the economy always set me to head-scratching.

I mean, I understand that putting a bunch of people to work on a government project would increase the amount of people with jobs, and the theoretical idea is that more people having jobs would pump money out into the economy. And more people working would raise the tax revenues of the country, too, right?

Except that if these newly employed people are newly employed by the government, then the taxes they're paying are coming out of salaries that came from tax money in the first place, and no matter how quickly you scoop buckets of water from one end of the pool and dump them into the other, the pool isn't going to get any deeper.

For every person getting paid by taxes, somebody, or more accurately several somebodies, has to pay those taxes in the first place, or you're just playing with more Monopoly money.

From the mouths of babes...

I remember singing the following ditty on the elementary school playground:
My baloney has a first name
It's J-I-M-M-Y
My baloney has a second name
I hate to hear it every day
And if you ask me why I'll say
'Cause Jimmy Carter has a way
Of messing up the USA!*
In retrospect, I'm thinking that when you've lost Mizz McCluskey's third graders, you've lost the heartland. I'm sure there were similar ditties being sung by Bush's second term, although with lyrics actually written by the NEA and passed out by the teachers, rather than being made up on the teeter-totters**.

I find myself idly wondering what the pulse is on the average playground today.

*Those lyrics, kids, rhymed with a commercial for Oscar Mayer bologna. You know how they have those "commercial" things that everybody watches during Super Bowl parties? Well, before the days of DVR, they were on TV all the time! True!

** re: Teeter-totters. Ask your parents, kids. Believe it or not, grownups used to actually put booby traps on the playground that were used to break unpopular kids' tailbones after first tricking them into thinking you wanted to be friends, thereby maiming them physically and psychically. The playground at William Golding Elementary was a hard and savage place.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Overheard in the Office:

Ken at Popehat, fellow prolific blogger and author-in-his-daydreams, has a post up about wrestling with his dreams of actually writing a, you know, regular book-type-book.

Me: "Wow, I feel his pain. Some of what he writes there is just creepily familiar. I mean, you've heard me utter some of those same excuses almost verbatim."

RX: "And I maintain that writing a coherent narrative is only a matter of putting down one word after another until blood comes out of your eyes. Which really isn't a problem, unless you mind..."

Me: "...the whole part about blood coming out of your eyes, yeah."

Misplaced effort.

So they had a human interest story on the local news this morning about some local guy who had applied as a contestant on The Biggest Loser* twice before and been rejected, but had actually received an invite from the producers to this year's casting call.

Why had they called on him? Well, he spent the last year engaging friends and friends of friends in the video and music industries putting together a musical video plea describing why he should be on the show.

As I watched this guy, who was so big he was redshifting the studio lighting, describe all the effort that had gone into the production of this video over the past year, I couldn't hold it in anymore and blurted at the screen "If you'd put as much effort into losing some weight as you put into getting onto a game show about losing weight, you wouldn't need to go on The Biggest Loser, you big loser!"

I'm not sure what it says about the fate of our bizarre media-driven culture that somebody will spent thousands of calories shooting retakes of himself throwing footballs in a park to get on a game show about dieting, but won't spend an ounce of willpower to put down the ham sandwich and jog around that same park a few times.

I'm sure this is all somehow tied-in in some meta sort of way with the whole "paparazzo getting decked by Justin Bieber" Decline and Fall of Western Civilization thing...

(*For my fellow cave-dwellers, The Biggest Loser is apparently a reality-slash-game show about very large people trying to lose weight and not, as I had initially surmised, a Barry Manilow impersonator karaoke-off.)

Protip: Be careful when shooting in a tinderbox.

So, in the information packet for the Crimson Trace Midnight 3 Gun match, it noted that tracers were a no-no: "the high desert in summer is unforgiving!"

I was reminded of that by this news story:
BLM officials say they believe the blaze was caused when a bullet hit a rock and sparked the fire. This is the 20th target-shooting related fire this year in Utah, they said.
Setting aside any institutional bias of "BLM officials" against shooters, I guess there's a safety tip to be had here. While I suppose that it's theoretically possible that a fleeting spark from a steel-cored or -jacketed round could maybe have hit the lucky grass stem in just the right place*, tracers are always a more likely suspect. If just "shooting" caused that many wildfires, Elmer Keith would have burned Idaho to the waterline thrice over.

Once upon a time, I managed to accidentally get a little fire going on the hillside behind our targets with some .30 Carbine tracer ammo. Trudging back and forth into the Georgia loblollies with buckets of water to douse what was, all in all, not much of a fire learned me all the lesson I needed on tracers. Remember, kids: Only you can prevent forest fires, and you can prevent them by using Smokey Bear's shovel to go upside the head of the dimwit shooting tracers into the brush...

(*I have to believe this was rifle shooting and the initial smoldering happened hundreds of yards downrange. The idea that pistol shooters could have wandered away from a fire started by burning powder flakes more or less right at their feet is too *headdesk* to contemplate.)

EDIT: I am informed in comments by Joel that you damn skippy can set a dry range alight with steel-cored ammo. Having done most of my shooting in the verdant East, but with the northern half of Indiana having been declared in "severe drought" the other day, this is good to know.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Executive privilege?

Okay, I've been predicting that Barry would push Holder on top of a grenade for a couple of years now, and it keeps not happening. This latest bit with the Executive Privilege makes me wonder...

A cynic would say that it was exerted because the withheld information could implicate the president in knowing things that the whole administration has pretty much sworn up and down that he didn't know.

A real cynic would say it's because Holder has dirt on Barry.

Now, Obama has, historically, been willing to throw people under the bus so fast that Albert Pujols couldn't hit them, and lord knows he's had ample cause to deflect criticism from his administration in the past by 86'ing what is, at the end of the day, a pretty uninspiring AG.

The guy's a lightning rod for the Right and seems to rate a rousing "meh." at best from his own side, so why aren't his fingers slipping off the front bumper while Barry riverdances on his knuckles?

*hack*cough* We warned you, Fatty.

This morning the local news was running a canned national story on the fattification of America. Too much sugar! Too much fast food! Too much doing whatever they want!

Turns out that Bloomberg was just a trial balloon, the tip of the spear, the camel's nose. Look around you; this thing's getting a full-court press in the media.

Hang on, let me put this cigarette out so I can come inside and you can hear me better...

Warned you, Fatty, didn't I? Heck, they're telling people that your lard butt is causing Global Warming now, for Gaia's sake! You're using up an unfair share of the world's food resources, and your Number Three Value Meal generates trash the way a paper cup of water and a tofu patty wrapped in a lettuce leaf doesn't.

Brace for it, Tubby, because if it isn't entirely dismantled, Obamacare is the universal adapter for doing whatever they want to your dining habits. Remember, if I pay for your doctor bills, I own you, and if you pay for mine, you own me, and here we all are 'round the cannibal pot.

Come sit back here in the back of the bus with us smokers. (It's okay, we're not allowed to smoke on the bus; they just make us sit here to keep us from getting nasty Third-Hand Smoke from our clothes onto the seats for the decent people.)

And don't you snicker behind your hand over there, Boozie. They're coming for you, too, again, mark my words. We'll save you a seat back here.

This is the end, beautiful friend, the end...

Wait, there is a grown man in America who is willing to put his hand on a Bible and swear in a court of law that he got beat up by Justin Bieber?

This is a new nadir for my country. You start letting yourself get pushed around by beardless Canadians, and the sharks are definitely going to smell blood in the water. There's no telling where this'll all end, but we'll be kowtowing to French tourists in Speedos and fanny packs before you know it if Something is not Done, and soon.

Busy night...

The drought continued in Indianapolis until all the grass died and everybody's lawn looked more like what you see out West than what you see here in black soil country, where you can plant a nut and a bolt and grow a tractor by August. I was schlepping cans of water through the yard, trying to keep the herbs and 'maters and jalapenos from dying. Bobbi was showing me a catalog of locally-manufactured bicycles featuring a neat balloon-tired cruiser with a bicycle sidecar of some sort.

Shootin' Buddy and I were at the Museum of Science & Industry, or some dream-world equivalent. There were a bunch of kids from some Juvenile Delinquent program on a field trip, and they were tearing the exhibits up. We were looking at a display extolling the sugared food ban and how it would help the economy finally recover by making America healthy, and Shootin' Buddy said "We're going to wind up a socialist country with gun collectors. Every middle class kid is going to be too afraid of breaking the tiniest rule and wrecking his life to step outside the lines." and I intoned "'If there is any hope, it lies with the proles,'" and we looked around at the kids ignoring their chaperones and taking stuff right out of the display cases, and laughed.

Marko and Robin had a slammin' new house halfway up the hillside from the old Castle Frostbite. It was like McCauley's house in Heat; lots of glass. Lyra kept introducing me to her stuffed animal collection one at a time, in that way kids are wont to do,  while I was trying to drift off to sleep. You'd get the critter's name, a brief bio, an explanation about why it was awesome, and then say good night and two minutes later she's back with the next denizen of her plush menagerie.

I was at some tourist trap village in the Smokies with a friend I hadn't seen in many years. We were talking and walking along when her daughter came running up with a look on her face like she'd just been presented with the title to Disneyworld. Grabbing our hands, she tugged us around the corner and into the most amazing chocolate store my imagination could conjure up. I passed on the civet cat coffee chocolate, although I bought a bunch of bacon chocolate bars.

And then it was morning.

My night was exhausting, how was yours?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

You think you're bad?

What I've been reading:

I don't care how tough you think you are, bring a frickin' hankie.

Overheard in the Living Room...

Roomie is sprawled on the futon in her pj's, looking like death on a Ritz.
Me: "Oh, poor Bobbi! How are you feeling?"

RX: "Not what I should be."

Me: "What should you be? Ooh! I know! A magical flying unicorn pony!"
Because having a magical flying unicorn pony for a roommate would be ten different kinds of awesome, although I'm sure the FAA could figure out a way to take the fun out of even that.

It'd make a good plot twist, though.

Jon notes the inanity of the CSI tech on Law'n'Order: Spinoff Victims Unit calling out that he'd found ".44 shell casings" at the crime scene.

My first thought?
Excellent! So we know that either the killer was mentally handicapped, or he used a Deagle. Johnson, go check the gun stores. Williams, ask the Special People Halfway House if they’re missing anybody.

QotD: Why Do Antis Hate Short People? Edition

Dann in Ohio on the six-position collapsable stock:
Those adjustable, M4-style stock guns are not assault rifles, they're just ADA-compliant firearms that can be adjusted for a proper fit for the shooter.

Uh, because it's wrong?

So about that little kid in North Cackalacky that was forced to strip down to his underwear and get frisked by his assistant principal:
Cox says she is not only upset about her son being searched but also that no one notified her about it. She said she found out about it from Justin when he came home from school that day upset.

"I was furious," she said.

Sampson County Schools spokeswoman Susan Warren says Cox should have been informed about the search but that Holmes did nothing wrong and that a male janitor was present for the search.

"The assistant principal was within her legal authority, her legal right, to do the search," Warren said. "She may have been overzealous in her actions."

Cox says that, with or without an apology, her son was violated.

"She came up to him and rubbed her fingers around inside of his underwear," Cox said. "If that isn't excessively intrusive, I don't know what is."
Wow, this sounds a little hinky. Was this a proper course of action?

I know! Let's run it through the Magic Swap-O-Tronic Moral Calibrating Comparator and find out!
Cox says he is not only upset about his daughter being searched but also that no one notified him about it. He said he found out about it from Jennifer when she came home from school that day upset.

"I was furious," he said.

Sampson County Schools spokesman Steven Warren says Cox should have been informed about the search but that Holmes did nothing wrong and that a female janitor was present for the search.

"The assistant principal was within his legal authority, his legal right, to do the search," Warren said. "He may have been overzealous in his actions."

Cox says that, with or without an apology, his daughter was violated.

"He came up to her and rubbed his fingers around inside of her underwear," Cox said. "If that isn't excessively intrusive, I don't know what is."
I think we can all agree that if the Assistant Principal in question had been a male, he'd have been sharing a cell with Jerry Sandusky, so yes, this action was wrong. Adults don't get to stick their fingers in the underwear of other people's children because it's creepy, period. Even if you have a Master's in Education and motives as pure as the driven snow.

Overheard in Roomie's Bedroom...

So, roomie is laying sick-a-bed, watching the Today show droning away on the idiot box. The talking heads are babbling away about the latest developments in the Luka Magnotta case because "gay internet porn actor fugitive cannibal killer" is to "journalist" as "Coleman lantern" is to "moth". Roomie pipes up with:

RX: "You know, the worst thing about eating a Chinese exchange student is that an hour later..."

Me: "'re hungry again."

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

As an aside, why do the Canadians follow the British practice of making all the officers of the court dress like clowns instead of just the judges, the way decent people do?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Something lost in the translation?

In reference to a suit brought to return an allegedly stolen Tarbosaurus skeleton, we hear the following official statement:
"I thank and applaud the United States Attorney's office in this action to recover the Tyrannosaurus bataar, an important piece of the cultural heritage of the Mongolian people," Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj was quoted as saying...
Wait, uh, "cultural heritage"?

"...for our young men used to lasso them as a test of courage and proof of manhood, and we rode them into battle to conquer our neighbors and despoil their crops. Yea, even to carry off their women. And you can carry off a passel of women on a dinosaur, let me tell you.

The thundering herds of tyrannosaurs that used to darken the plains of my fair country served our people not only as mounts, but also food, shelter, and clothing. They prospered under our wise stewardship! Not until the coming of the White Eyes were these noble animals wiped out."


Went by Goose The Market with Shootin' Buddy on Saturday, as he'd never been. If you are a meat-eating foodie, their display cases border on the pornographic. You can get a t-shirt that reads "Vegetables are what food eats" on the back, complete with a line drawing of a cute little bunny rabbit eating a carrot, just like the whole, cleaned bunny rabbits available for sale in the showcase.

I bought some of their pastrami, and oh... oh my. This is the platonic ideal of pastrami, right here. All the other pastrami I've eaten has been mere shadows on the cave wall. Bobbi had a few slices; if you don't believe me, believe her.

Last night, I daintily wrapped a few slices around some chunks of Prima Donna cheese and ate them with slices off a sourdough baguette. They were so good that today I just dispensed with the niceties and dumped the rest, probably a third of a pound, on a plate for lunch and ate the thin, fatty slices with my fingers, making growling noises if the cats came too close.

Man, that was good.

Second verse, same as the first!

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but you're not going to believe what an IMPD officer just got arrested for! Was it:
A. Harvesting quail eggs without a license.
B. Whistling the Michigan State fight song.
C. Operating a motor vehicle While Intoxicated.
If you guessed "C", you're absolutely right!

That's right, yet another cop from the I Must Patrol Drunk agency has been arrested for OWI. On the upside, at least this one was off-duty, out of uniform, not driving a department car, and nobody was killed.

On the downside, he hit a parked vehicle, drove off, was pursued by witnesses (after badging them, no less!) and was finally arrested miles down the road. Who did he think he was? A Marion County Deputy Prosecutor?

I'll further note that the officer in question is a 35-year veteran of the IMPD and a Lieutenant, which raises a couple of questions:
  1. No wonder the rank-and-file officers get busted for driving boozed-up. Look at their leadership! When the apples on the top of the barrel are bad, how far down do you have to dig to find a good one? And why would you bother?

  2. What does this say about departmental culture? Suppose you're some regular cop on the street, trying to do the right thing, and you know one of your shift buddies has a booze problem? Who are you going to tell, your boss with the booze problem?

  3. Thirty-five years on the job. How many OWI arrests has this officer made in that time, I would like to know? And what kind of special blend of hubris and stupidity makes one think that one is so immune from the consequences that affect us Little People that one could lightly gamble a 35-year career (to say nothing of the lives of your fellow motorists) for the sake of a bit of recreational driving on the sauce?
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry: You came into office with a vow to dry out the IMPD. With the Bisard case probably botched beyond recall, here is your chance. Make such an example of IMPD Lt. Michael Rinehart that every AA meeting in the Indianapolis metro area for the next six months is packed with blue uniforms. Send this guy to the wall for the good of the department and the good name of your office.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tab Clearing...

QotD: Wishful Thinking Edition.

During his recent visitations to the local hospital, with its magic no-gun forcefield that keeps the bad guys out, Robb noted an interesting phenomenon:
Oh, and by the way - the entire campus is posted as a smoke free area. Twice I had to walk through a cloud of smoke where the offender was literally leaning on a ‘No Smoking’ sign. The magic signs didn’t work there, they won’t work on a determined criminal intent on doing harm.
Here's an idea for the hospital: Instead of a "No Weapons" sign, how about just putting up a "No Killing People" sign? Or would the AMA get all nervous and butthurt if you did that?

The media appear to be working their way up to a full-on hand-wringing over the news that the kind of people who use "Does this taste like Rohypnol to you?" as a pickup line have discovered social media "location apps". Wow. Who could have seen that coming?

The internet itself has already made dodging stalkers or creepy exes a colossal pain in the butt, at least for those of us who remember the good old days of 'move and get an unlisted phone number and you're done,' but the idea of voluntarily tagging yourself like a migrating harp seal? Unbelievable.

When I first heard of these apps that would basically broadcast your age, sex, relationship status, favorite color, GPS location, and how long you'd been standing there in the bar parking lot fumbling in your purse for your car keys, I couldn't believe that anybody thought they were a good idea.

I mean, seriously, unless your name is Chris Hansen, the only use for these programs is to basically yell "Yoo-hoo! Beastie! Come and eat me!" I toyed with the idea of setting up a bogus profile as a 22-year-old named Tiffani-with-an-"i" myself, but figured that I'd run afoul of the Department of Natural Resources for hunting over bait.

 Look, these apps are nothing but digitally-enabled takeout menus for that "It puts the lotion on its skin" guy from Silence of the Lambs. Are people really this dumb?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

No real reason...

It's just that this commercial is easy on the eyes in more than one way...

Not getting it...

So the Today show was covering the story of the Texas father who put the terminal beatdown on the guy molestering his daughter.

The bubbleheaded newsweasels there in New York were gravely intoning that now the man would have to face a grand jury! Was it justified, or was it murder? (I'll note that they couldn't seem to find a local to interview who did not allow as they'd have helped hold the perp down so the dad could get his licks in better...)

Meanwhile, they also provided a couple of key details that I had not yet heard: Apparently, the man was fetched by his son, who announced that his sister had been taken. And he set off to find her and came across her half-naked and screaming and the baby raper with his trousers around his ankles...

Now, normally I'm a big proponent of "You are not a Caped Avenger. When you stumble across some random random street scene you interpret as a crime in progress, the best thing to do is dial 911 and, at most, yell 'Hey! I just called the cops!' and hope whichever one is the actual bad guy runs off."

Even a seemingly clear-cut scenario like "the man in the grocery store parking lot wrestling with the woman in front of  the screaming kid" may actually be the custodial parent trying to keep his psycho ex- from kidnapping their child, or an off-duty cop getting assaulted by a woman whose babydaddy he just put away for armed robbery. Unless you have all the information, it's not a good idea to rush to judgement.

However, I'm trying to think of an alternate scenario where you could stumble across a screaming toddler being sexually assaulted by a grown man with his trousers at half-mast and not be cleared guns hot. I mean, what could he say that makes this okay and would prevent you from being green-lighted weapons free? "It's alright, I'm her dad?" or "I know what this looks like, but he's really consenting?"

Sorry 'bout that.

Totally overslept here. What's going on in the world this morning? Private sector still doing just fine?

About yesterday: What kind of moron thinks it's a good idea to put on eye makeup and then go stand on an outdoor range with her eyes sealed behind Oakley sweat traps? *raises hand* This kind of moron, thankyouverymuch.

It's a good thing that second cease-fire happened when it did. When that first fat bead of perspiration dripped off my lashes and right into my peeper, it took every ounce of self-control I had to not tear my glasses off and claw my eyes out. I've taken 5.56 brass down the shirt with more aplomb.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Is that a shambler down the block?

If the recent news that face-eating virus has, like HIV and Ebola, made the interspecies jump from pan troglodytes to homo troglodytes isn't enough cause to go downstairs and count your MREs, John Galt has an even scarier set of dots connected.

It's probably just nothing... And then again we may be huddled in the ruins this winter, cooking rats over fires made of Econ 101 textbooks.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I'll bet that thing's easy to park...

The other end of Broad Ripple from the Bentley, both literally and metaphorically:

In amongst the Priuses and Minis and Honda Fits, there are a fair number of Smarts and a growing number of the new Fiat 500s. And even two of the old 2-seater Honda Insights, which is something of a rara avis.

On some of the narrower streets down in the village proper, where the Zed Drei risks rubbing one of its bulging rear fenders against some hipster on his trendy Surly fixie in the oncoming lane every time I have to ease around a parallel-parked "COEXIST"-plastered Subie with a dog cage in the back and bike rack on the roof, these dinky cars make some sense.

Overheard in the Office:

Roomie is reading the "Beliebers In The Open" post:

RX: "Oh, Tam. Why are you so violent? Why are you a hater?"

Me: "Uh, because I'm a violent hater?"

RX: "Okay, I guess I'm down with that."

Fire Mission: Beliebers In The Open.

The TeeWee screen in the next room is packed with the screaming throngs that have been jamming New York streets for days in hopes of catching a glimpse of the callow, beardless phenom known as Justin Bieber.

I find myself thinking "Thank Shiva that we are not a signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Will no pilot rid me of this turbulent fad?"

Little minds certified 100% hobgoblin-free.

A recent poll says that Americans are totally against flying robot cops giving them speeding tickets.

Now, in practically every state you can get a ticket from a flying organic cop. In almost a dozen states, you can get speeding tickets from stationary robot cops. But flying robot cops are right out.


Any bets on whether the Ohio State Patrol or the California Highway Patrol is first with an airborne Officer R2D2?

An argument against universal suffrage.

Giving the franchise to a man who would dial the 911 emergency number because the neighborhood deli had not, and I quote, properly made his sammiches with "little um, turkey, and little um ham and a lot of cheese and a lot of mayonnaise" is like giving a Kalashnikov to a chimpanzee.

Whatever it takes to keep this yayhoo out of a voting booth is worth considering: civics or intelligence tests, property requirements, monarchy. Come down to it, burn the booth; if he can't be kept from the levers of power, then the levers of power need to be sawed off and thrown in the nearest body of water.

Ugh, I so did not need to hear this first thing in the morning. Every time I find myself thinking that eugenics isn't, maybe, you know, entirely evil, I want to go take a shower with a wire brush.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where I reluctantly mount the wild Drama Llama...

Another story that has been covered on nearly every gun blog:

Some guy in Florida goes walking down the street and his shirt rides up over his holster, and the po-po are called, and they pigpile him because it's against the law in Florida to let the public get a glimpse of your heater, and doubly so if you are guilty of the heinous crime of Being Swarthy In Public.

Now, understand that while a few states like Washington and Indiana reformed their carry laws back in the dark ages, Florida and Texas drew national attention in the late '80s/early '90s for reforming theirs, because they were large states with lots of electoral votes.

Because they were large states with lots of electoral votes, the national media has paid a lot of attention to them: "Ooh! Florida and Texas are so gun friendly!" Except they're really not. They have onerous and antediluvian licensing requirements, weird rules about where you can carry & where you can't and, most especially, draconian requirements about not letting so much as a peep of your pistol show, like it was the ankle of a woman in Victorian England or my hair in Riyadh.

And AOA, a Texan blogger, comments thusly:
I understand that concealed means concealed. I also understand that here in the South, it gets hellishly hot and humid and proper "concealment" clothing isn't always as concealing as we'd like. Perhaps this CHL holder's instructor wasn't exactly top-shelf and didn't explain in great detail the necessity of staying concealed or the penalty for a "flash" which apparently is getting slammed to the concrete by five uniformed badge-toting apes.
Give Mr. Norman a ticket for "flashing," require a couple of hours of supplemental education on proper carry and concealment, then drop the thing.
No. That's not the proper action. Do you have frickin' Stockholm Syndrome or something? The proper action is to join the 21st Century and to eliminate the ridiculous "mandatory concealment" language that was a sop to the gun prohibitionists and makes you the laughingstock of most states in the Union, regardless of your feelings on Open Carry (and I don't OC myself, for whatever that's worth.)

It's a disgrace to the noble Lone Star Republic Of Texas that, when I visit there, I have to keep my gun burkha snugged around my body while walking the windswept parking lots of Amarillo in a way that I don't when I'm walking through the Hoosier hippie enclave of Broad Ripple, because in Texas it's a crime if somebody accidentally sees my gun and here in Indiana the hippies can just piss off if they catch a glimpse of my heater.

Listen to yourself, man...

Like a lot of other people, Les Jones realized that he was paying a lot of money for a lot of cable channels that the family just wasn't using. As part of an austerity program at Casa Jones, the cable got the axe. (Er, metaphorically. They just had a guy come out and unhook it; they didn't actually take a Gränsfors Bruks to the set top box.)

In comments, Les reveals that:
Originally we were going to get rid of the Internet for a while, too...
Okay, yeah, see, that’s just crazy talk right there. The internet isn't a luxury, it's a utility.

Keep your priorities straight: I mean, you can order bottled water from the internet, but you can’t get books out of your faucet.

Unintentially funny quote of the day...

I know everybody else has already talked about the father in Texas who put such a beatdown on the guy he found molestering his little girl that the dude in question is no longer among the living, but it was this quote I read that finally has to draw a comment:
Relatives of the 47-year-old dead man -- who is from Gonzales and does not appear to have a criminal record -- had not been located as of Tuesday, McMinn said. His name will not be released until those relatives are found, she said. 
Gosh, they're having difficulty finding the relatives? Ya think? Nobody is stepping forward and proudly saying "Oh, yeah, that's Cousin Jose, the baby raper"?

To find the next of kin, locate the town in Mexico from which his folks hail, and look for the people wearing Groucho glasses or perhaps bags over their heads. Failing that, check the courts for recent changes of name.

 Regarding the grand jury hearing, I cannot imagine a jury in Texas, criminal or civil, that would not give this guy a serious dead pervert discount in this obvious case of misdemeanor manslaughter. Time served and fifty bucks to the next-of-kin. Next case.

(It's been everywhere, but I think it was Bayou Renaissance Man's post that finally goaded me into typing...)

That was a first.

I don't think I've ever dreamed about shoes before. I'm not really shoe people; I think at its height, when I was still working in an office and going clubbing nights, my closet may have swollen to a whole five or six pairs, selected on the basis of "comfortable" and "matches as many things as possible".

Anyhow, the only really salient feature of last night's dream is a pair of pale green shoes that were sort of a cross between ballet flats and driving moccasins. You know, with little rubber nubby things on the bottom and no rigid sole. After many years of wearing pretty much nothing but side-zip combat boots, the difference in proprioception was amazing (at least in my dream it was). It also felt like going into public with my feet and ankles nekkid.

Maybe my unconscious self is telling me to try out some of those minimalist shoes and see if I stop getting so many foot cramps? I dunno. I've been using the ankle support of boots as a sort of crutch for my mangled right leg for a long time now; maybe I should throw down my crutches and walk...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


  • This morning, courtesy of my defective sound processing unit, I misheard my roomie when she asked if I would like a cup of fruit to go with my (bacon-wrapped!) Irish sausage. This led to a new game: Inventing authentic-sounding fake British breakfast dishes, inspired by "bangers and poot".

  • Interesting Tumblr from the sandbox. Worth a read. I'm not sure I quite grok Tumblr. I think it's like blogging only more... Hey! Let's go ride our bikes! (H/T to Joel at TUAK.)

  • It embarrasses me to no end that I do not know my own cell phone number. I plead the mitigating circumstance of never actually dialing it myself. (I'm also not one of those people that has her cellie with her at all times. When I'm at home and outside, it's usually inside, and when I'm inside, it's in another room.)

You might be at Fresh Market if...

The BMW 650i and 330Ci ragtops make your beater Zed Drei look distinctly downmarket, and the Bentley Continental GTC makes it look positively plebeian...

My wheels need a bath. Badly.

Seriously, Australia?

So a couple of lads on the Aussie Olympic swim team post a picture of themselves holding firearms in a California gun store, and the Australian media just absolutely loses continence in a shrieking falsetto fit of whinging pearl-clutchery that makes Terrence Stamp's character from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert look like Breaker frickin' Morant.
Gun Control Australia spokesman John Crook said it was a new low for the pair.

"If ever there was a photo of two kids playing macho boys this is it," he said.
Stop the presses! Olympic-level jocks playing "macho boys*"? Oh, dear! And now they've got that icky gun essence all over their hands, and it just won't wash off! Port Arthur! Port Arthur!

Gad, I am embarrassed for my Aussie pals right now.

*Love, love, love how it's apparently just a given that "macho boy" is to be read as pejorative.
(H/T to Unc.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Curses! Foiled again!

Ever since I learned of the existence of the Indian Bureaucrat-Killing Monkey, I have been scheming a way to introduce a breeding population to the states. A bit of gene-splicing to make them into flying bureaucrat-killing monkeys, and we'd be well on our way to curing many of the ills that plague this great land of ours.

Unfortunately, my most recent attempt was thwarted. Drat all incompetent monkey smugglers! You were supposed to poke holes in the container!

...and now, the news.

From the news yesterday morning:
  • Here in Indy we had a drunk driver hit a sober cop, just, you know, for a change of pace.

  • The chick on the business segment at CNN was telling us how exciting! for investors! the news from Spain was! But the smile was plastered to her face and there was a "Help me!" look in her eyes, like there was someone just off camera with a gun pointed at her. I guess nobody believed her, anyway.

  • Eric Holder announced that he was shocked, shocked! to find that there were leaks of classified information from the Obama administration, and he would investigate it immediately. I have no idea how the newscaster read that line with a straight face; this is like expecting the minister for Reich security in 1940s Germany to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Jews.

Monday, June 11, 2012

What gun for volcanic hotspots?

Marko has a discussion on shotgun ammunition going in his comment section. I went to Wikipedia to check something on shotgun slugs.

While I was there, I discovered that it is legal to hunt mouflon in Sweden with slugs. They have mouflon in Sweden? Turns out there are even mouflon in the Kerguelen Islands, where they were imported from Corsica in the1950s.

You know the Kerguelen Islands, down in the Indian Ocean? They're atop the Kerguelen hotspot, a volcanic hotpsot much like the one that produced the New England Seamount chain and, earlier, the White Mountains, near where this wikiwander started with the shooting of a marauding fox. I had no idea that there was a geological connection between New Hampshire and the Azores...

Ignorance is bliss.

People are already saying that Romney is making too much out of Obama's line about the private sector "doing fine", but I don't think he's making enough hay out of it. Obama deserves to get whacked over the head with that line 'til it splinters by anybody with access to a keyboard or a microphone.

Seriously, where does Obama get off talking about the private sector? He's never even been there. That's like me talking about Turkmenistan. Heck, Obama's spent more time in a madrassa than he has in the private sector.

This is obviously some alternate usage of "doing fine" that isn't in my dictionary.

Overheard in the Office:

Me: "Yeah, we had nesting geese in Oak Ridge..."

RX: "They fit inside each other?"

Me: "Yup, Russian Nesting Geese. They look a lot like the Canada Geese you get around here."

Overheard in the Hallway:

The morning newscast is droning away in roomie's bedroom:
TeeWee: "Children as young as seven are injuring themselves due to feelings of depression..."

Me: "Wow, Tickle me Emo."

RX: (in faux-Elmo squeak) "It makes the screaming in my head stop."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Unintended consequences, how do they work?

In a fit of gratuitous smuggery of positively Californian proportions, the Golden State banned foie gras back in '04, and then gave people five years to get all the smooshed-goose-liver-eating out of their systems before the ban went into effect.
The recent statewide protests have driven some enthusiasts underground, with clandestine wakes being held for their favourite food.
One dining website, Dishcrawl, organised a series of events at secret locations, and they sold out.
Spokesman Tracy Lee said: "I believe in the freedom to eat what you like and it's been nice for people to enjoy it without protesters. A lot of people coming to these events have been buying loads and freezing it. They're stocking up. The price has gone up, it's practically doubled."
Per capita, I doubt even coke addicts can afford to fund a smuggling network the way the pâté posse can. Maybe the cigarettes will be able to come into the state on foie gras-funded Fountain and Donzi "goose boats" instead of the other way 'round.

(H/T to Jim at TMR.)

More "when the other team does it, it's bad."

Chris Hayes is in the next room (only virtually, thank Vishnu,) kvetching at length with a panel of guests* about how money is corrupting politics, based on the news of Walker outspending what's-his-face, the guy who got slapped, and the nearly simultaneous announcement that Romney had actually taken in more donations last month than The Big O.

This was not a problem, of course, four years ago when Barry swamped McCain under a tidal wave of greenbacks.

In much the same way, the Koch brothers are worrisome meddling plutocrats, trying to influence elections with their filthy lucre, while George Soros, who could buy the Koch brothers with his pocket change, is a noble philanthropist. The wonder of partisan politics is how people can finger-point with a straight face. I can't remember, are filibusters obstructionist twaddle or a vital parliamentary tool this year?

*A panel so diverse that, out of five people including the host, only 40% are columnists for The Nation.

...and it's not a dry heat.

Depending on who you ask, the high temperature here in Indy today is going to be kissing up to 90, if not actually slipping it some tongue. Further, it's sticky humid out there, which is good only from the standpoint that the copious buckets of water I have to dump on the jalapeño and tomato plants don't evaporate before they hit the ground, like they did last week.

Here in Indy we're only "dry", being down on annual rainfall by about four inches already, but not too many counties north of here, it's already officially a "moderate drought", and that has an impact:
Corn futures are trading 12 to 14 cents higher this morning. Prices shot higher out of the gate on Sunday night, as weather concerns continue to intensify in the Corn Belt. The 30-day rainfall totals for a good chunk of the Corn Belt have been less than 50% of normal, and the above normal temps and below normal precip remain in the forecast into the 8-14 day window.
And remember, kids, corn isn't just for breakfast anymore! It does everything from feeding your burgers to fattening your bacon to diluting your petrol. When corn goes up, practically everything goes with it.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Time Portal...

From the range today (which visit I needed very much...) here's a photo of a pair of Smith & Wesson M&P's separated by about a hundred years:

I'm getting used to the Crimson Trace Light Guard. I'm already used to the LaserGrips. LaserGrips are almost like cheating.

Overheard in the Hallway:

Roomie is shuffling toward the kitchen:
RX: "I need to restart the сδғғəəρσŧ..."

Me: "You need to do what?"

RX: "I need to restart the coffeepot."

Me: "Oh, I thought you'd said you needed to restart the copybot."

RX: "You're being cloned."

Friday, June 08, 2012

Overheard in the Office:

The TeeWee down the hall starts playing the Stanley Steemer "Dee Snider Weekend" commercial...

RX: "...second prize is two Dee Snider Weekends, and for third prize, Dee and the boys move into your basement."
Oh, you haven't seen the commercial? Allow me to share:

No, see, this is exactly the problem.

Nathan asks if this doesn't
...seem like the perfect time for the Wisconsin GOP to start pushing a constitutional amendment to remove the recall power from the Wisconsin state constitution?
No. See, that's peachy keen until you've got the malfeasing scoundrel from the other team in the governor's mansion, and then what do you do? You'd be in the same position that Bay State inmates found themselves when they stripped the governor's power to appoint senators, only to find they'd foisted the "Kennedy Seat" by their own retard.

Gratuitous politics of the vindictive "Nyah nyah nyah!" sort will come back to bite you in the butt every. Single. Time.

Oh, crack, how I missed you so!

I haven't really played computer games for ten years now.

Let me tell you, when Rip van Winkle dozes off in the middle of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear and wakes up in the middle of Modern Warfare 2, it makes for quite a jolt.

I'm still trying to figure out how to effectively switch World of Warcraft from a MSORPG to a MMORPG.

The real estate rubble.

If you're a Roman history nerd like me, OldNFO has some nice photos from his recent side excursion to Herculaneum.

Meanwhile, I'm recovering from dream fatigue, having had one of those nights with a series of dreams so long and involved and detailed that you wake up in the morning amazed to find that it's only the next day and you haven't, in fact, slept your life away.

Demolished and/or damaged buildings featured heavily in them, from the half-finished warehouses towering over a dilapidated fairgrounds, that my ex- was complaining the local government insisted must be built with 50% recycled lumber from torn down buildings.

Later in the dream, I won a trip with a new time travel adventure tourism service. In this case, the trip was to Berlin at the end of the war; apparently they had determined that in this one small building (a basement beneath a surprisingly anachronistic parking garage) absolutely nothing had happened back in 1945, and so they fitted it out with some basic creature comforts and then the lucky(?) adventure tourists would be sent back to hunker down and... I don't know, I guess listen to Götterdämmerung in 160 dB THX surround sound.

Marko had also won, and was bringing along a bundle of moleskines and fountain pen paraphernalia, apparently to take notes for a short story involving werewolves eating Nazis or something. Of course all kinds of typically weird dream stuff happened, mostly predicated on the idea that two relatively sane people would leave a little basement where they'd been assured they'd be safe and go walkabout looking for a book store in a city being shelled into oblivion and crawling with sinister jackbooted yayhoos stringing up anybody who didn't look like they were actively and enthusiastically repelling Bolsheviks.

Anyhow, at the end, I remember everything had gotten real quiet for a while, and Marko went out into the little stairwell leading up to street level and was peering over the lip out at the street, saying "Hey, do you think it's stopped?" while I hissed from the safety of the basement "Get your head down! Have you not read All Quiet on the Western Front?" But we got back to the future okay and did pretty well on eBay with some antique books.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

That's a puzzler, and no mistake...

About that incident in Colorado:
Police said they had received what they called a “reliable” tip that the culprit in an armed robbery at a Wells Fargo bank committed earlier was stopped at the red light.

“We didn’t have a description, didn’t know race or gender or anything, so a split-second decision was made to stop all the cars at that intersection, and search for the armed robber,” Aurora police Officer Frank Fania told ABC News.
I was puzzling over this one this morning while taking out the trash, and I think I figured it out: Stop and think for a moment about how the cops could have known with a certainty that the money from the bank, and hence the bank robber, was at that very intersection, but had no physical description of the robber whatsoever. (Hint: Rhymes with "Kojak Pransmitter".)

I don't know what I would have done in their boss's shoes at the time. Maybe the same thing and then sent in my resignation letter?

With the luxury of hindsight, maybe I would have followed them and risked a high speed pursuit? I don't know. That's a pretty Kobayashi Maru scenario right there; you know the armed and dangerous felon is in this group  of random people, but you don't know which one he (or she) is.

Assuming arguendo that that's how it was going down, what would you have done?

(Expanded from a comment at Atomic Fungus.)

Overheard in the Hallway:

I am not going to detail the precise steps of the conversation that led to me googling "bottled celebrity farts", (it started with the people on the TeeWee talking about a "celebrity real estate agency" and ended with Roomie saying "Come on, you know it's on the internet,") but I am totally not surprised to find such a thing exists. Like nature, the market abhors a vacuum, if you will.

Ignorance Is No Excuse For A Law.

Graybeard has a cartoon up at his place of a couple of NYPD cops thrown down on a kid holding a big gulp, and comments
"You know it will happen, because any interaction with government wherein a civilian says, "No" eventually ends with guns in the civilian's face."
Of course it will, because that's what a law IS: When you pass a law, you are effectively saying "This thing is of such momentous import that, if you do it (or don't do it, whichever,) we will compel you with force, and will back that force with the guns of the state. This is something that is so important that compliance is worth, push come to shove, shooting people."

It's pretty easy to get behind that concept for murder or theft; letting people run around doing those things would make having a peaceful society a little difficult. You could probably even get behind it for driving the wrong way on the interstate. But when someone suggests shooting people in the face if they persist in putting their sugar water in the wrong-sized cup, the correct response is to laugh them out of the room, not debate the logistics of implementation.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Welcome To The Future.

I may have mentioned that every time the last happy little singing frog in that FedEx commercial disappears, I die a little inside.

Thankfully, FedEx craftily found a way to make a buck off my verklemptness: Look what I found at Kinko's The FedEx Store today!

He rode home in the passenger seat of the Zed Drei with a big, happy grin on his face, safe from evil FedUPS drivers...

Incidentally, not having been in a Kinko's FedEx store recently, I was taken aback at how handy it is to print out a .pdf file in your shiny modern world. Just stick your card and your USB thumb drive in the printer, select the .pdf file off the touchscreen, and fire away. I wanted to tell Middle School Tam, who had paid a nickel a page to photocopy the best parts of the Tolkien Bestiary back in the day, so I took a picture with my phone, but couldn't figure out how to send it to Ma Bell back in the '80s...

I'm sure my thumb drive picked up stuxnet, which will now attack the weapons-grade uranium centrifuges in the basement... (ATTENTION NSA: THAT WAS A JOKE.)

Hello, coworker!

Has anyone else noticed that Blogger's word verification routine now has you decoding address numbers from Google Maps street view photos instead of text from scanned books?

Are they cruelly exploiting us unpaid toilers in the digital salt mines, or cleverly crowd-sourcing an easier way for you to find your destination? I can't make up my mind...


So, another IMPD officer was busted. See if you can guess what for! Was it:
  1. Hunting stoats out of season.
  2. Blaspheming the name of Peyton Manning.
  3. Driving drunk (all uniformed up and in a squad car, just for bonus points!)
If you guessed "3", you're absolutely right! With the Keystone Kops evidence-handling procedures having probably torpedoed Prosecutor Curry's case against Officer "Bottles" Bisard (a case that is pretty much the hobby horse he rode into office) and forced the resignations of the police chief and the public safety commissioner, it is somewhat understandable why the department tried to keep this incident on the down low: we're running out of higher-ups to fall on their swords.

We don't seem to have any shortage of boozy cops, however. "IMPD: I Must Patrol Drunk." I think it's getting to the point where we need to seriously consider ignition interlocks on the squad cars: If you can't blow clean, you can't go play cops and robbers.

We are all Pauline Kael now...

So yesterday the left side of the political spectrum was abuzz with the crushing defeat about to be handed to the Tea Bagger's idol, Governor Walker of Wisconsin. The voice of the people was going to be heard!

Well, the voice of the people was heard, alright, only it didn't say what the HuffPo crowd wanted it to say. Now they sulk that it really is "too hard to fire a rotten public sector employee," and go back to their online echo chambers and complain that the election must have been rigged, because not one person they knew was going to vote for Walker! Why, they took a straw poll in the checkout line at Whole Foods and only one person admitted that she was going to vote Republican, and every single one of the commenters on their locavore blog supported Barrett, to say nothing of all their fellow volunteers at the feral cat spay & neuter clinic!

Similarly, if the only time someone turns off talk radio is to post on Free Republic about something they saw on The O'Reilly Factor, they are sure that there must be some skullduggery going on in the recall process. Nobody they knew wanted to recall Walker, so where did all those signatures come from? The unions must have turned out for Barrett!

Of course they did, but that's as much of a whine as the other team bitching about fat cat capitalists donating gazillions more to Walker than to his challenger. Thank goodness that the margin was convincing enough not to need a recount, because that brings out the crybaby in whoever loses like nothing else. Okay, everybody, let's get back to our echo chambers and agree about what these results mean!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


I think I've figured out my problem.

The Alarm Clock Time here at Roseholme Cottage got bumped back to 0500 a couple months back, in the interest of getting breakfast cooked, internets read, and Roomie ready for work at a reasonable hour.

However, I have still been hitting the hay at the normal time, and sometimes later. For instance, last night I was smokin' tangos 'til 0MG30 and then woke up and tried to do the normal writing and stuff on less than five hours of sleep.

No wonder that when I stopped at a store while I was out shopping, I was so disoriented that I thought "If I go in and find the place has been replaced by a dry cleaners, and the staff has no recollection of any previous tenant, I won't even be the least bit surprised..."

From now on, 2200 hrs is a hard bedtime...

QotD: That's Just Crazytalk Edition

I’d say just let people wear their big kid pants and do what they want, and everybody else wear their big kid pants and know that you don’t have to like or love how other people spend their time.
Nah, that'd never work. Everybody tends to be really cool on the idea of other people not telling them what to do, right up until they get to the part where they don't get to tell anybody else what to do themselves. That 's where it all falls apart, right there.

Oh internets, you so funny!

 I learn so much on the internets, like the fact that I'm some kind of racist, Dubya-lovin' neocon, and that my friend Oleg Volk is actually a closet Nazi, and not some kind of Russian Jewish guy like he's been telling everyone. The name should have been a dead giveaway, I guess...

Hold music...

There are a couple of chores clogging up the nozzle of the free ice cream machine this morning. In lieu of hold music, let me tell you a scary story: Boo!

Yeah, me too.

No kidding.

Roseholme Cottage is hardly high tech central: I just got my first multicore processor last month and my roommate actually uses the telegraph keys she collects, for heaven's sake, but this article about the looming demise of the traditional TV business hit home.

We were just talking about ditching the dish: I only use it to watch MSNBC weekend mornings and she'll occasionally nap to the History Channel of a Sunday afternoon, but that's about it.

The local news comes in for free over the airwaves. Generally, if there was a series we got interested in we just bought it on DVD, like House, (or nowadays over the little Roku box, like Archer,) but as far as actually sitting around the television at a given hour to catch Who Wants To Dance With A Talented Survivor? Uh, nope.

So why did we still have it? Y'know, that was a good question...

Monday, June 04, 2012

Overheard in the Dining Room:

I went by the grocery store in the hippie enclave of Broad Ripple today and saw this:

Why yes, that's S.W.A.T. Magazine right there in the center, (and my name is on the masthead even if it is in fine print!) We're winning.

Then I get home and the phone rings:
Marko: "Have you checked out Day By Day yet today?"
Me: "No, why?"
Marko: "Seriously, just go check it out..."
Okay, that's frickin' awesome. It's a childhood dream come true: I totally need a copy to hang on the fridge. (And I don't care how many cool points I lost by picking Huck up and waltzing him around the kitchen singing "Hooray! I'm a comic book character now! I can hang out with Black Widow and Iron Man!")

That may be the first appearance of a Clark Custom pre-war S&W .38-44 Heavy Duty in DBD!

Tab Clearing...

  • Thumbnail blogmeet recap. More to follow.

  • When is a 1911 like a Glock? Always wear eye protection!

  • Because racegun!

  • See? It's not even the fun kind of genocidal totalitarian dictatorship with tanks and snappy uniforms that people can get all up in arms and revolt against. It's a dull, healthy, high-fiber one, with hot and cold running iTunes and laws about wearing galoshes when it's raining.

Snakes on a plane.

So they think that they have footage of the fugitive cannibal killer passing through multiple layers of cameras and scanners and scrutiny before being locked in a supposedly secure metal tube with a couple hundred unsuspecting potential victims...

Boy, if that's not the best commentary ever on the futility of this goofy modern mania for "security" at the expense of anything faintly resembling "privacy".

As an aside, I'll bet journalism majors lay awake in bed at night dreaming of being able to use the words "gay internet porn actor fugitive cannibal killer" in a headline without having to quit and work for the Weekly World News to do so.

Purse. Full. Of kittens.

If I see you kids running around with broomsticks on my front lawn, I'm coming out there with the Garand.

The fact that the headline reads "Olympic Quidditch Match Not Just For Nerds" is enough to get me to complain to one of those Accuracy In Media watchdog sites. Seriously, the idea that "quidditch" is allowed to be played in the same city in which the Olympics are taking place is as ridiculous as... as... using hobby horses at an equestrian event.

Oh, wait.

I think I'm in the wrong leg of the Trousers of Time. I wanted the cool Firefly future, and it looks like I'm heading for the appallingly fluffy and bland one that Gene Roddenberry envisioned.

(H/T to Joel at TUAK.)

Sunday, June 03, 2012

And what kind of lesson is that?

People have funny ideas about manners these days.

For instance, yesterday I went with Shootin' Buddy to see Iron Man 3 again at the local cineplex. In the row ahead of me, two seats to my right, was a woman who spent the entire movie using her smartphone to post Facebook status updates, apparently along the lines of "zomg totally at the movie pissin off everybody around me luv u l8r"

Because I have manners, I resisted the temptation to wash out her little screen with 80 lumens of Fountain Valley's finest and then when she turned around, say "Annoying, isn't it?" I didn't do it mostly because it would be rude, and partially because it could have had unforeseen consequences, like her boyfriend getting all physical and then where do things go from there?

In a similar vein comes a thread at the Indiana Gun Owner's forum where, with name and location omitted to protect the innocent, a poster relates a tale that has such a great possibility for going pear-shaped that the more I think about it, the more mind-boggling it gets.

Allegedly, the way it went down is like this: Some young guy is standing there in his local gun shop, minding his own business, with his hands full of prospective purchases and a pistol openly carried on his hip. The store was apparently moderately crowded with patrons, one of them being an older guy who apparently felt it was his duty to teach this young guy a lesson in the perils of open carry or situational awareness or something.

Anyhow, supposedly the old guy yanks the kid's gun out of his holster, drops the mag, clears the piece, tucks it under his arm and thumbs the rounds out of the mag while delivering some rambling lecture to the stunned kid about "Suppose I wanted to kill you now? Huh? What then?" Then he sets the kid's piece on the counter and stomps out of the shop leaving everybody standing there slack-jawed.

It is at this point that some in the audience are applauding the old guy for teaching the kid a lesson.

I'm thinking it's just a matter of luck that the old guy didn't learn one himself. Suppose the holster had been a retention holster whose appearance he was unfamiliar with, and his little grab turned into a wrestling match on the floor? Suppose the kid had felt the hand on his gun and arm-barred him while pulling out the little fixed-blade knife on his off-side that the old guy didn't see? Suppose the kid carried a pistol openly on his right hip... and another one not so openly in his left pocket?

Suppose... ohmygod ...that an employee had watched the gun snatch happen and, fearing some psycho was about to try and shoot the place up, blew the would-be-teacher out of his shoes with the shotgun behind the counter? Suppose the kid had done what he had every right to do, and called 911 and had the old guy charged with assault? A lot of lessons could have been learned in this incident; fortunately only the cheapest one was.

You know, as fun as it would have been to shine my Surefire flashlight right on that cell phone, I'm feeling really glad that I didn't now. I'll leave the rude teaching to someone else.