Chris Muir's Day By Day

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Restaurant Review: Sauceman's Queen City BBQ

Saturday I went up to the "Southend" section of Charlotte, which is a Place White People Like, and ate at Sauceman's Queen City BBQ. On a corner lot, it looks as if it were at one time a gasoline station. They've been open since last December, and offer Lexington-style barbecue as well as various sandwich offerings. I went for the barbecue, of course.

You order at the register and they bring the food to your table, which is common in BBQ joints. Sauceman's has a couple of gimmicks on the menu: one is a "Big Squeal" sandwich, which is chopped pork between two oversized slabs of hush puppy. This is better in concept than in execution. Take a look at this picture:



The Big Squeal sandwich is shown on the left. First of all, it's overloaded with meat, and second, the "bun" doesn't hold together so you can eat it sandwich-style. I ended up eating both the meat and the "bun" with a fork; it was a huge mess. Another gimmick that occurs when you order the Big Squeal is that a chosen member of staff has to squeal like a pig. I asked them to omit this step. They did so.

I also ordered a tray, which in NC BBQ places is a smaller portion than a plate; Sauceman's gives you very generous portions, the tray was fully as large as a plate portion other restaurants serve. The meat portion on the Big Squeal was generous, too, as I have mentioned. The hush puppies were soft and tasted more like turkey stuffing than true hush puppies.

The pork barbecue is served "wet," which means that it has Lexington-style "dip" ladled on it before it is served. This makes for a very moist barbecue, but tends to mask the meat and smoke flavor with vinegar. Some Lexington BBQ places will offer either "wet" or "dry" barbecue, but Sauceman's only goes with wet, apparently. The meat was tasty and had a mix of outside brown and inside white.

For those who are into food challenges, Sauceman's has the Clark Griswald: "2.5lbs of our famous Queen City BBQ sandwiched between 2 buns, served with your choice of slaw, hushpuppies, and one side. Eat it all in 30 minutes or less and it's on us! We'll even put your picture up on the wall." Two and a half pounds of barbecue is quite a lot, actually. I can usually polish off a pound at a sitting (with buns), but I don't think I could handle two and a half pounds.

On the down side, I had to wipe my own table off when I sat down, staff isn't alert about busing/cleaning tables. A fly hovered around while I ate, which can happen anywhere, but detracted from the meal; I thought that staff would bring refills, but learned that I had to self-serve on those (would have been nice to have been told when I ordered).

On the up side, the staff were friendly and they even brought around free samples of smoked turkey, which was quite good; I liked it even better than the pork. It would make a good sandwich (not between hush puppy buns, however).

I'll give Sauceman's Queen City BBQ a 3 on my 5-scale of barbecue restaurant ratings: 3 out of 5: average; reasonably good food, moderate effort by staff/management.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Meanwhile, Down In Rock Hill, South Carolina...

...a local peckerwood gets the attention of the Rock Hill newspaper and also McClatchy Newspapers, of which the Rock Hill paper is a property.

He Had A Conscientious Objection...

...to going to Afghanistan and killing his fellow Muslims.

He apparently suffered no such pangs of conscience about going to Fort Hood to kill his fellow soldiers, however.

At least he's revealed his true allegiance, huh?

Another Middle-Earth Image

Here's my main character, Blarni Stoneskull, paying his respects at the tomb of Balin in Moria:



Yes, after the Fellowship of the Ring passed through Moria and Gandalf slew the Balrog, the Dwarves returned to claim their ancient home. As you can see, they cleared some of the rubble in the Chamber of Mazarbul to expose Balin's tomb.

(I've been playing LOTRO instead of blogging. Sue me.)

Just Cooler'n Hell

Some real gun pron, here:



via Sipsey Street Irregulars.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yer Wince-Inducing Headline of the Day

Calif. man tries to remove hernia with butter knife.

Ouch.

A Two-Fer In North Raleigh

Two men wearing masks and toting guns busted in to a home where a poker game was going on. Result: one dead robber, the other in the hospital.

In the UK they'll let you use a stick or a frying pan to defend yourself with, and promise not to arrest you if you do. Mighty white of them, ain't it?

He Was Swiftboated, No Doubt

One of Senator John F. Kerry's Navy buddies, a Silver Star recipient and Captain by the name of Wade Sanders, who introduced Kerry at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, is serving a 37-month prison sentence for possessing child pornography.

In addition, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has revoked Sanders' Silver Star for reasons unrelated to kiddie porn; apparently the events cited to get Sanders the Silver Star were as inconsequential as the tiny splinter Kerry used to win one of his Purple Hearts.

h/t This Ain't Hell But You Can See It From Here.

Since Charlotte Is A BBQ Capital...

...(remember, Michelle Obama herself said so), it appears that some entrepreneurs have decided to open some restaurants to justify her absurd claim:

Sauceman's Queen City BBQ opened in December. I haven't eaten there yet, must remedy that soonest.

Coming to Uptown Charlotte (as the Chamber of Commerce and the Uptown Crowd call downtown Charlotte) will be City Smoke, where you'll apparently be able to buy BBQ representative of all the US BBQ capitals: ribs from Memphis and Kansas City, pork from NC, and beef brisket from Texas.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Down At the Bottom of a Hole, Snakebitten

If you thought maybe I was re-reading True Grit by Charles Portis, you'd be wrong.

LEAGUE CITY — Rescuers on Monday pulled a snakebit man from a 30-foot-deep manhole in a secluded and heavily wooded thicket near his house.

Kevin Gonterman, 25, of League City was snakebit and incoherent, but found alive and rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, police and a member of Texas Equusearch said.


Click the link to read the rest. Could be worse, though. I remember once I posted an entry about a Spaniard who fell down into a well in rural Spain, and ended up blowing his head off with a shotgun (which fell down the hole with him) rather than die of thirst and starvation. I'll see if I can find that one.

The Washington Post Notices Gunwalker

And they assign their A-Team of journalists to write a coherent, balanced article, actually giving credit to David Codrea's War On Guns blog and the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog.

PHOENIX — They came from all over the country, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, brought here in a bold new effort to shut down the flow of U.S. guns to Mexican drug cartels. It was called Operation Fast and Furious, after a popular movie about street car racing.

But from the beginning, much of the fury was inside the agency itself.

On his first day undercover, John Dodson, who had been an ATF agent for seven years in Virginia, sat in a Chevy Impala with Olindo Casa, an 18-year veteran from Chicago. They watched a suspected gun trafficker buy 10 semi-automatic rifles from a Phoenix gun store and followed him to the house of another suspected trafficker. All of their training told them to seize the guns.

The agents called their superior and asked for the order to “take him.” The answer came back swiftly, instructing them to stay in the car. The message was clear: Let the guns go.

This was all part of an ambitious new strategy allowing Fast and Furious agents to follow the paths of guns from illegal buyers known as “straw purchasers” through middlemen and into the hierarchy of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel.

But Dodson and Casa were confused and upset. ATF agents hate to let the guns “walk.” Yet it happened again, day after day, month after month, for more than a year.

They feared the worst, and a year later it happened: A Border Patrol agent was killed in an incident involving Fast and Furious guns. And it was later revealed that the operation had allowed more than 2,000 weapons to hit the streets.

It is the agency’s biggest debacle since the 1993 deadly shootout in Waco, Tex. What began as a mutiny inside ATF’s Phoenix office has blown up into a Capitol Hill donnybrook that is rocking the Justice Department.


Click the link to read the rest. It's five pages of clear exposition of this growing scandal.

h/t Sipsey Street Irregulars.

When Survival School Becomes Survival Reality

Teens attending a National Outdoor Leadership Skills course in survival confronted the reality of survival when a mother bear attacked.

Treasure Blog: Miniature Golden Bell, Jerusalem Sewers

Speculation is that it fell from the robe of a temple priest; it was part of their unique accoutrements.

Pic (found here):

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How the Navy Devours Itself

Funding for maintenance is lacking.

No, It Is Not Inappropriate

The Superintendant of the Metropolitan Police in London has this to say about Amy Winehouse's death:

"I am aware of reports suggesting this death is the result of a suspected drugs overdose, but would like to re-emphasize that no post-mortem has yet been done and that it would be inappropriate to speculate on the cause of death."

Rubbish. No harm in speculating, and since it's Amy Winehouse, presuming it's drugs or an alcohol-related death is the most likely explanation, since she has no reported history of disease that would have carried her off prematurely.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I've Been Sojourning...

...in Middle-Earth all morning. Mostly near Lake Evendim in the old kingdom of Arnor, where the Dúnedain had their capital city, Annúminas.

Here's a view across the lake, looking toward the High King's palace:

A Demise Which Surprises No One

Amy Winehouse, dead at 27.

R.I.P.

Some people can handle sudden fortune, and the accompanying temptations: drugs, alcohol, a debauched lifestyle. Keith Richards, most famously. Many can't. Amy joins that sad band.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Blackie Collins Has Died

Knife designer Blackie Collins has been killed in a motorcycle accident.

He was around for a long time, I've been buying knives designed by him all the way back to the early 1980's, when he worked for Gerber Legendary Knives. My first Blackie Collins-designed knife was the first edition of the Gerber Bolt-Action Folder:



(that's the rare one in ivory-colored Zytel nylon. I had the more common black one).

He'll be missed.

They're Getting An Early Start

The weekend has barely started, and the Usual Suspects® are getting an early start on the shootings and murders.

But Bob, you say, how do you know it's the Usual Suspects?® Because, unlike the TSA, I racially profile. Robert Heinlein, in several of his books, cautioned against drawing to an inside straight in poker. His meaning was that you make decisions based on a careful calculation of the odds, and drawing to an inside straight in poker is a losing proposition, in the long run. Playing the percentages in Charlotte crime means that, more often than not, robbery, rape and murder wear a black face. Sorry if that's politically incorrect. Call Rev. Al and Rev. Jesse to yell RACIST! at me. I don't give a shit.

What was it Del Gue said in Jeremiah Johnson? Tweren't Mormons!



Who's most likely in this old world to commit terrorist acts? Contrary to what the Department of Homeland Security might tell you, it ain't white Christians.

When people go to Las Vegas, they tend to gravitate toward the blackjack tables, if they're serious gamblers. Why? Because blackjack, beside being easy to learn, also features the best odds of winning in the casino. The odds are still stacked against you, but less severely than if you're playing craps or roulette.

So - - I play percentages. I won't apologize for it. They are what they are. Res ipsa loquitur.

update: It appears that the man responsible for the terrorism in Norway on Friday was a white Christian, rather than the usual Muslim. The inside straight came off, as it rarely does, and we have the Norwegian version of Timothy McVeigh, apparently. Color me surprised.

For Lord of the Rings Fans...

...Peter Jackson has released a photo of Thorin's Company from the upcoming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie.

Here it is:

Update: Irony of the Day

With another Usual Suspect® dead after a Charlotte/Mecklenburg Police Department tasing, out goes the baby with the bath water.

(this is an update of this blog post of mine.)

Wanted: Assistant Duck Wrangler

At the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, famed for its mallards.

Hey, Gilbert Gottfried is out of work and has experience in that field...

Ace Is the Place With...

...the Helpful Hardware Man.

Even if the hardware involved is a wheel for a 3-legged tortoise:

Just Call Him Winnie the Pooh

A black bear in Newport, Tennessee, wandered around for three weeks with a jar stuck on its head.

Pic:



Of course, Winnie the Pooh was famous for getting a "hunny" jar stuck on his head:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

He's Down In a Hole

A man in Wilmington, NC, had to be pulled out of a hole he'd dug while searching for antique bottles.

Which called to mind:

The Magnetic Pull of a Watery Precipice

A couple of hikers have apparently been swept over Yosemite National Park's Vernal Fall waterfall.

317 feet in a straight plunge. 32 stories, basically. Why would someone do such a thing, walk up to spray-slick rocks to look over the edge? We have a park nearby here in North Carolina, South Mountains State Park, with a similar, though less high, waterfall, and people die there every year or so. Why?

Who's Opening a Restaurant In Charlotte?

Emeril Lagasse, that's who.

I never much liked his cooking show. He has that NY/NJ accent that grates on my nerves. I tend to hold that against him.

Time To Let That Tax Expire, I Think

Alabama still collects $400,000 annually in property taxes for the care of indigent Confederate Veterans and a Confederate Memorial Park.

There haven't been any Confederate veterans for a long time now, of course. And the park can probably get along without the state's largesse.

For You Newcomers To Charlotte

A list of tips, courtesy of The Charlotte Observer's columnist Mark Washburn. Here's a few examples:

We don't care how you do it where you come from. We only care how we do it here.

Here's how we do it.

People who were raised here, and there still are a few, don't lean on the horn when you're sitting in front of them at a green light gawking at your phone. They walk up and peck on the window to see if you're alive. This will scare the daylights out of you the first couple times.

There are two big lakes. People say they live "up on the lake" or "down on the lake." That means they live somewhat near a lake, not on a lake. Some of them have never actually seen the lake they live on.

Only newscasters call it "the Queen City."

We have drills here to see how we'd react if all the nuclear reactors exploded at once. These drills are called "sleet."

We do not plow our roads when it snows because we are religious. Our thinking is, God put it there and God will take it away when He's done. He's usually done the same day.

If you're from somewhere up North and know how to drive in snow, feel free to take your big four-wheel drive out and roar around. Most quarries hereabouts have a selection of affordable tombstones themed to "killed by a careening beer truck."

Zoning rules require every subdivision to contain one "fun block," meaning there are two families on the street from New Jersey.

Don't fall into the habit of saying "bless your heart" until you know what it means.

That's how we do it here. Get with it.



I'll add one of my own: If you spend much of your time telling the locals how much better things worked back where you came from, by all means feel free to go back there.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Case of Fratricide

It started out innocently enough, with two SC peckerwoods throwing rocks at each other, but escalated when one brother pulled a knife.

And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: [Am] I my brother's keeper?

10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

11 And now [art] thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;

When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment [is] greater than I can bear.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Think I've Heard This Before

Laura Ingraham scores with a mash-up of the best hits of Barack Obama...and Jimmy Carter:



It's bad enough to hear it again, what's worse is having to live through it again.

h/t Hot Air.

The Return of the Son of Lizard Man

Lizard Man appears to have returned to Lee County, SC.

He's 7 feet tall, with red eyes, three pointed fingers on each paw, and a hunger for car and truck fenders.

And he might be back - if he ever left Lee County, S.C.

We're talking about Lizard Man, the rumored creature who attracted an estimated 50,000 curious people to Lee County in 1988, when the first reported sightings made national headlines.


I wonder if it's a Gorn?

Shatner's a little long in the tooth to tackle this one, I think. Maybe he can get it a cheap airline ticket and encourage it to take its scaly ass out of SC?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Former Atlanta Schools Superintendant Beverly Hall...

...is shocked, shocked, that cheating was going on in her school system.

Notify MENSA

Man's a genius. His tattoo says so:

The Power of Positive Thinking.


Of course, the Daily Mail thinks that he has misspelled genius as jenius, not noting that the first letter is actually a capital "G" with thin upper arm.

The Trailer For Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Found here.



Just as a first impression, the weapons seem inappropriate for the era. When I think of the early period Holmes stories I'm expecting to see Martinis, Webleys and Gatlings, not bolt-action rifles, Maxims and modern mortars.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gun Safety With Robert Ruark

From Chapter One of The Old Man and the Boy: "It Takes A Gentleman."

"This ain't a very expensive gun," the Old Man said. "It's not a handmade gun, and it hasn't got any fancy engraving on it. But it'll shoot where you hold her, and if you hold her true she'll kill what you're aiming at. Some day when you go to work and get rich, you can take a trip to England and buy yourself a set of matched doubles, or you can get a special job built in this country with a lot of gold bird dogs on it. But for you to learn to shoot with, this is all the gun you need right now."

It was maybe the most beautiful gun a boy ever had, especially if he was only eight years old at the time and the Old Man had decided he could be trusted with a dangerous firearm. A little 20-gauge, it was only a twenty-dollar gun, but twenty dollars was a lot of money in those days and you could buy an awful lot with it.

The Old Man stuffed his pipe and stuck it under his mustache, and sort of cocked his big stick-out ears at me, like a setter dog looking at a rabbit he ain't supposed to recognize socially.

"In a minute," he said, "I aim to whistle up the dogs and let you use this thing the best way you can. But before we go out to the woods I want to tell you one thing: you have got my reputation in your hands right now. Your mother thinks I'm a damned old idiot to give a shirt-tail boy a gun that is just about as tall as the boy is. I told her I'd be personally responsible for you and the gun and the way you use it. I told her that any time a boy is ready to learn about guns is the time he's ready, no matter how young he is, and you can't start too young to learn how to be careful. What you got in your hands is a dangerous weapon. It can kill you, or kill me, or kill a dog. You always got to remember that when the gun is loaded it makes a potential killer out of the man that's handling it. Don't you ever forget it."

I said I wouldn't forget it. I never did forget it.

The Old Man put on his hat and whistled for Frank and Sandy. We walked out back of the house where the tame covey was. It was a nice November day, with the sun warm and the breeze not too stiff, and still some gold and red left in the leaves. We came to a fence, a low barbed-wire fence, and I climbed it, holding the gun high up with one hand and gripping the fence post with the other. I was halfway over when the barbed wire sort of caught in the crotch of my pants and the Old Man hollered.

"Whoa!" the Old Man said. "Now, ain't you a silly sight, stuck on a bob-wire fence with a gun waving around in the breeze and one foot in the air and the other foot on a piece of limber wire?"

"I guess I am, at that," I said.

"I"m going to be pretty naggy at you for a while," the Old Man said. "When you do it wrong, I'm going to call you. I know you haven't loaded the gun yet, and that no matter what happens nobody is going to get shot because you decide to climb a fence with a gun in your hand. But if you make a habit out of it, some day you'll climb one with the loads in the gun and your foot'll slip and the trigger'll catch in the bob-wire and the gun'll go off and shoot you or me or somebody else, and then it'll be too late to be sorry.

"There's a lot of fences around woods and fields," he said. "You'll be crossing fences for the rest of your life. You might as well start now to do it right. When you climb a fence, you lay the gun on the ground, under the fence, with the safety on, ten foot away from where you intend to cross the fence. You got the muzzle sticking in the opposite direction from where you're going. After you've crossed the fence you go back and pick up the gun, and look at it to see if the safety is still on. You make a habit of this, too. It don't cost nothing to look once in a while and see if the safety is on."

- - -

"Can I really shoot it now?" I said.

"Load her up," the Old Man said. "Then walk in, and when the birds get up pick out one and shoot him."

I loaded and walked up to the dogs and slipped off the safety catch. It made a little click that you could hardly hear. But the Old Man heard it.

"Whoa," he said. ""Give me the gun."

I was mystified and my feelings were hurt, because it was my gun. The Old Man had given it to me, and now he was taking it away from me. He switched his pipe to the outboard corner of his mustache and walked in behind the dogs. He wasn't looking at the ground where the birds were. He was looking straight ahead of him, with the gun held across his body at a 45-degree angle. The birds got up, and the Old Man jumped the gun up. As it came up his thumb flicked the safety off and the gun came smooth up under his chin and he seemed to fire the second it got there. About twenty-five yards out a bird dropped in a shower of feathers.

"Fetch," the Old Man said, unloading the other shell.

"Why'd you take the gun away from me?" I yelled. I was mad as a wet hen. "Dammit, it's my gun. It ain't your gun."

"You ain't old enough to cuss yet," the Old Man said. "Cussing is a prerogative for adults. You got to earn the right to cuss, like you got to earn the right to do most things. Cussing is for emphasis. When every other word is a swear word it just gets to be dull and don't mean anything any more. I'll tell you why I took the gun away from you. You'll never forget it, will you?"

"You bet I won't forget it," I said, still mad and about to cry.

"I told you I was going to nag you some, if only to satisfy your mother. This is part of the course. You'll never walk into a covey of birds or anything else any more without remembering the day I took your new gun away from you."

"I don't even know why you took it," I said. "What'd I do wrong then?"

"Safety catch," he said. "No reason in the world for a man to go blundering around with the catch off his gun. You don't know the birds are going to get up where the dog says they are. Maybe they're running on you. So the dog breaks point and you stumble along behind him and fall in a hole or trip over a rock and the gun goes off - - blooey."

"You got to take it off some time if you're planning to shoot something," I said.

"Habit is a wonderful thing," the Old Man said. "it's just as easy to form good ones as it is to make bad ones. Once they're made, they stick. There's no earthly use of slipping the safety off a gun until you're figuring to shoot it. There's plenty of time to slip it off while she's coming to your shoulder after the birds are up. Shooting a shotgun is all reflexes, anyhow.

"The way you shoot it is simply this: You carry her across your body, pointing away from the man you're shooting with. You look straight ahead. When the birds get up, you look at a bird. Then your reflexes work. The gun comes up under your eye, and while it's coming up your thumb slips the safety and your finger goes to the trigger, and when your eye's on the bird and your finger's on the trigger the gun just goes off and the bird drops. It is every bit as simple as that if you start at it right. Try it a few times and snap her dry at a pine cone or something."

I threw the gun up and snapped. The gun went off with a horrid roar and scared me so bad I dropped it on the ground.

"Uh huh," the Old Man said sarcastically. "I thought you might have enough savvy to check the breech and see if she was loaded before you dry-fired her. If you had, you'd have seen that I slipped that shell back when you weren't looking. You mighta shot me or one of the dogs, just taking things for granted."

That ended the first lesson. I'm a lot older now, of course, but I never forgot the Old Man taking the gun away and then palming that shell and slipping it back in the gun to teach me caution. All the words in the world wouldn't have equaled the object lesson he taught me just by those two or three things. And he said another thing as we went back to the house: "The older you get, the carefuller you'll be. When you're as old as I am, you'll be so scared of a firearm that every young man you know will call you a damned old maid. But damned old maids don't shoot the heads off their friends in duck blinds or fire blind into a bush where a deer walked in and then go pick up their best buddy with a hole in his chest."

- - -

Maybe you think the Old Man was cranky, because I did then, but I don't any more. I've seen just about everything happen with a gun. One fellow I know used to stand like Dan'l Boone with his hands crossed on the muzzle of his shotgun, and one day something mysterious happened and the gun went off and now he hasn't got any hands any more, which makes it inconvenient for him.

I've seen drunks messing with "unloaded" guns and the guns go off in the house, sobering everybody up. An automatic went crazy on me in a duck blind one day and fired every shot in its magazine. Habit had the gun pointed away from the other fellow, or I'd of shot his head off with a gun that was leaping like a crazy fire hose. I saw a man shoot his foot nearly off with a rifle he thought he'd ejected all the cartridges out of. I saw another man on a deer hunt fire into a bush a buck went into and make a widow out of his best friend's wife.

The Old Man nagged at me and hacked at me for about three years. One time I forgot and climbed a fence with a loaded gun, and he took a stick to me.

"You ain't too big to be beat," He said, "if you ain't adult enough to remember what I told you about guns and fences. This'll hurt your feelings, even if it don't hurt your hide."

- - -

I'm big enough to cuss now, and I've seen a lot of silly damned fools misusing guns and scaring the daylights out of careful people. But they never had the Old Man for a tutor. Some people ain't as lucky as other people.

Guy Ritchie's New Sherlock Holmes Movie Coming In Dec.

Story.

In this movie Holmes confronts Professor Moriarty.

In Conan Doyle's story The Final Problem Holmes describes Moriarty to Watson:

I was sitting in my room thinking the matter over, when the door opened and Professor Moriarty stood before me.

"My nerves are fairly proof, Watson, but I must confess to a start when I saw the very man who had been so much in my thoughts standing there on my threshhold. His appearance was quite familiar to me. He is extremely tall and thin, his forehead domes out in a white curve, and his two eyes are deeply sunken in this head. He is clean-shaven, pale, and ascetic-looking, retaining something of the professor in his features. His shoulders are rounded from much study, and his face protrudes forward, and is forever slowly oscillating from side to side in a curiously reptilian fashion. He peered at me with great curiosity in his puckered eyes.


Artist Sidney Paget, who illustrated the Holmes stories in The Strand magazine, visualized Moriarty thus:



I'll tell you who I thought looked like Moriarty, at least how I visualize him: Patrick O'Brian, the late author of the Aubrey/Maturin novels:



O'Brian has eyes that closely resemble those of a Komodo Dragon:



I saw a televised special on O'Brian once, and he actually does have Moriarty's habit of swaying his head back and forth, and his eyes, especially when asked a question that displeases him, are cold in the extreme, and glare in a reptilian fashion.

Just my opinion.

Pathetic.

The US Navy wants to start awarding ribbons for doing well at your annual PT test.

Man Foils Lincoln County Burglars

I say "burglars" instead of "home invaders" because home invaders come armed and know that the owner is home. That's not certain in this case.

Anyway, he fired a warning shot and held them until police arrived.

Now I'm not as adamant on the issue of warning shots as some other gun writers/bloggers are. Yes, I know that you are responsible for every bullet that leaves your gun, but in a situation where there is disparity of force (and two against one, even if the one is armed, is disparity of force) it might be worth firing a shot into the ground to let the criminals know that you won't hesitate to shoot. I would not fire a warning shot into the air, though.

And amazingly enough, the suspects in this case aren't the Usual Suspects®.

Sherwood Schwartz, Creator of Gilligan's Island: R.I.P.

One of the true greats.

Gilligan's Island Opening Theme in Color. Watch more top selected videos about: Gilligan's Island

Arizona State Senator Points Gun At Reporter

Arizona state senator Lori Klein loves her pink Ruger pistol so much she just had to show it off to a reporter—by allegedly pointing it directly at his chest.

The pistol has no safety (because that would be crazy) and was loaded when Klein, a Republican, remarked “Oh it’s so cute,” and trained the gun’s laser sight on Arizona Republic reporter Richard Ruelas’ chest, the paper reports.


Ok, the reporter is already showing his ignorance of guns. Many guns, even the most modern, don't have a safety "button" or "switch" that must be clicked in order for the gun to fire. This does not make the gun less safe. The gun does not fire itself. The person holding the gun does. Despite what you read in media reports, guns don't just "go off" unless someone has his/her finger on the trigger and is pulling it.

Klein insists the reporter was not in danger. “I just didn’t have my hand on the trigger,” she said in the Republic's initial account of the incident, which was detailed in a recent story about Klein’s decision to carry her loaded gun into the state Capitol only two days after the Tucson mass shooting that killed six and seriously injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, among others.

In this Klein was both right and wrong. She was correct in stating that the reporter was in no danger because she did not have her finger on the trigger. She was wrong in pointing the gun at him in the first place. Apparently Klein was never taught Jeff Cooper's Rule #2 of gun safety: Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. She should have her CCW license privilege revoked/suspended until she can prove she knows proper gun safety (which is in the training of the gun owner, NOT a switch/button on the gun). The person who trained her should maybe be asked what her safety training consisted of. If Arizona politicians are able to acquire CCW licenses without taking proper safety courses that other Arizona citizens are required to take, this should be fixed, also.

According to Klein’s account, she was pointing the laser sight at a wall at the request of a photographer when the Republic reporter sat down in its path. When Klein and the reporter “noticed the light,” she turned it off and apologized.

Klein said the reporter did not seem uncomfortable at the time, but that she learned several lessons. She said she will not show her gun to anyone again, because it “isn’t a fashion statement or accessory” and “if anyone wants to see a demonstration of any of my gun’s features, it will have to take place at a gun range.”


This is where Klein made a mistake in judgment, and possibly walked into a media trap. A gun is indeed not a fashion statement or accessory. MSM reporters have an agenda, though, and if they can get you to treat the gun as if it were a fashion statement or accessory, they have won the point.

Klein has carried a handgun since 2000, when someone rattled the door of her Moon Valley home. After it took police 10 minutes to respond to her call, she bought a .40 caliber revolver and slept with it.

Here is where the reporter's ignorance and hoplophobia really show up. You see this over and over again when reporters totally ignorant of guns write about them. There are no .40 caliber revolvers. There are .40 caliber semiautomatic pistols, but the .40 S&W cartridge is intended for use only in semiautomatic pistols. Learn the difference, you ignoramus.

Klein, who grew up around guns, first fired a BB gun at age six and went on childhood hunting trips with her father. According to the Republic, Klein has had “informal training sessions on each of her guns and was taught gun safety by her father.”

If her father is alive and his training included pointing loaded guns at other humans, he should have his face slapped. If he's dead and taught her otherwise, he's probably spinning in his grave.

While Klein defends the rights of citizens to carry concealed weapons, she insists that it’s a personal choice. “I don’t like chocolate ice cream,” she said. “Am I going to force you not to have any?”

Because ice cream is exactly like guns.


Klein is stupid to phrase gun ownership in such terms. While keeping and bearing arms is indeed a personal choice, more importantly it's a right guaranteed by the US Constitution and recently affirmed as such by the US Supreme Court. As much as gun-hating hoplophobes such as Slate's Stephen Spencer Davis would like that right to go away, it isn't. Deal with it, MSM jagoff.

The Boy's Mother Was Not Amused

A boy was bitten by an alligator at an Indiana amusement park.

Death By Daisy

A Reidsville teenager was found in the woods with a fatal airgun wound to the head.

I'll be interested to hear more details about this one. Was he playing at suicide? Seriously suicidal? Murdered with a BB gun?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Teachers' Union To Defend Cheating Atlanta Teachers

Well, they say there is honor amongst 'em, you know.

Yet Another Reason To Go Heeled

Fork assault at a BBQ.

When forks are outlawed...

Wonder if it was an assault fork?

I guess you'd need to carry your BBQ gun in such cases.

Fork you, you insensitive bastard! she probably said.

Tool-Using Fish?

Story.

Pretty low level, a fish hitting a clam against a rock:



Still no reason to worry, since they don't yet have opposable thumbs. And you're safe as long as you don't go in the water.

Still, it might be cause for concern millions of years from now.

Headline of the Day

Just how much do you hate your boss? Nearly half of us would blank them in the street.

Blank them? WTF?

Hmm, I Wonder If the Victim...

...was descended from Tom Dula?

Caldwell County authorities have identified the victim of Saturday night's death in the western part of the county as Alvin Louis Dula Jr., 44, and they say he was the victim of a robbery.

Tom Dula was, of course, the famous "Tom Dooley" of folk song.

And as you might expect, Dula's murder was committed by a Usual Suspect®.

He Was Probably Playing With It

A Rock Hill, SC, teenager shot himself in a room full of other teenagers.

The story says he thought the gun was unloaded. Rule 1 violation, right there. He obviously pointed it at himself, or he wouldn't be dead. Rule 2 violation, right there.

Some lucky children get taught the rules of safe gun handling by conscientious parents, and never have a problem (some few will, of course, children still being children). Other children are never taught the rules to begin with, and so view guns as no different than toys.

Jeff Cooper, as I've said before, never anticipated this when he was forming his rules of gun safety, or he would have added another: A gun is not a toy. Don't play with it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

$7 Thrift Shop Painting Worth $1600.00

Over in Cary, NC.

The painting is by West Coast artist Uwe Werner, a seascape:



So, although it's not a Picasso, Van Gogh or Leonardo, it is a minor treasure and goes to show that you can find treaures in the most unexpected places.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Home Invader Shot, Killed Here In Charlotte

Homeowner went one-for-two on a pair home invaders.

Attagirl.

Update: Looks Like Some Fascist Cops

Update to this post and this post.

The update link is here. Looks like the primary fascist cop (State Trooper, to be precise) got away with it, but he got his buddy trooper into trouble, who still faces disciplinary actions, probably the proverbial wrist slap. Still, maybe he'll cover his ass a little better next time. I doubt it, though.

Headline of the Decade

"Obama Plays Hide the Somali."


h/t Weasel Zippers.

The Audacity of Dopes

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) tries to hit the Koch brothers up for a 5-figure donation.

Yes, you heard that right: the Democrats want the Koch brothers to give them money!

Click the link to read the delicious reply from the Koch brothers' representative.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

'Ere's Mud In Yer Eye

A wet-sponge-throwing battle in UK has been changed to a Super-Soaker duel for health and safety reasons.

Organiser Ralph Spours said: “We decided that, in the face of health and safety, it would make better sense to use super-soakers instead.

“We did note that sometimes when the sponges were landing on the ground, they were landing in dirt and grit, being put back in the water butts and thrown again and there was a danger that people could get grit in their eye.”

NAACP Slams Fox News For Lack of Diversity

Did I say Fox News? Sorry, I meant to say CNN.


h/t Jammie Wearing Fool.

He Likes To Show It To Folks

My hometown of Gainesville, Florida is having problems with a weiner wagger.

Here he is:

If He Offers To Shake Hands, Pass.

The Man Desperately Needed a Smoke, I Guess

Police say they are looking for a man who allegedly backed his vehicle into the front of a northeast Charlotte grocery store early Thursday and stole a large quantity of cigarettes.

Sin taxes at work. When you tax the hell out of booze, people become rumrunners and moonshiners. Tax hell out of tobacco? There goes your storefront.

Baby Toads...

...we has 'em:







They're hopping all around the driveway and yard. It's been humid and hot, with lots of afternoon showers lately, so I guess they hatched out.

Not Feeling Particularly Inspired Today.

Sorry for the light blogging.

All the News That's Fit To Censor

Over at the BBC.

Sensitive or ‘taboo’ subjects such as immigration were avoided by the BBC for fear of being too right-wing, the corporation’s director-general admitted yesterday.

Mark Thompson conceded that the broadcaster had been ‘anxious’ in the past about playing into what it may have perceived to be a Right-wing political agenda.



He says, of course, that they don't do that sort of thing anymore.

*snort*

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Taking Care of a Veteran

The veteran in this case being HMS Victory, Lord Nelson's flagship from the Battle of Trafalgar.



I've been aboard her myself, back around 1982. She's small in comparison to modern warships, but the history can't be matched. When you go down to the orlop deck where Nelson died:



It's hard to repress a shiver. The orlop shown in the painting is not drawn accurately, either; in the ship itself the overhead timbers are so low as to make tall men stoop.

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

Faced with widespread opposition to TSA, the administration doubles down:

The intelligence means that fliers will likely encounter heightened security at the airport, including more pat-downs, bag screening, explosives detection and passenger questioning.

In a statement issued to NBC News, the Transportation Security Administration said the agency "recently briefed air carriers and foreign partners to provide greater insights into recent intelligence indicating the continued interest of terrorists to target aviation.

"As a precaution, passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place. These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same activity at every international airport."



The arrogance is breathtaking.

The San Fermin Festival...

...is underway.

Americans who were stationed in Rota, Spain at the NATO airbase there will probably be aware that there were bull-runnings in some of the area towns, notably at Arcos de la Frontera and Vejer de la Frontera. These took place at Easter time. During one of the runnings at Arcos back in the 1980's when I lived in Spain a US serviceman was gored and had to be airlifted to Germany for surgery.

Silver Sugar Tongs Reference the "Meck Dec."

Story.

The "Meck Dec" is the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, which purportedly was published in 1775, a year before the US Declaration of Independence. I say purportedly because the document has never been found, and tales of its existence seem apocryphal at best.

Anyway, the Rosenberg Library of Galveston, Texas, has a pair of sugar tongs that reference the Meck Dec:

Fast and Furious Update

Story.

To summarize, Dan Rather Jake Tapper of CBS ABC asks Press Secretary Ron Ziegler Jay Carney whether President Nixon Obama is properly concerned over the Watergate Fast and Furious scandal.

update: Letter to Attorney General Mitchell Holder from Congressmen Issa and Grassley.


h/t Sipsey Street Irregulars.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Random Thought

Damn, it is just pissing down rain right now here at work.

A Firing In the Jose Guerena Raid!

Yes, the Pima County GOP is firing their chairman for criticising the SWAT team raid and questioning SWAT tactics in such no-knock raids.

*shakes head in disbelief*

Orton Plantation Items Auctioned

Story.

Orton Plantation is a rice plantation antedating the formation of the United States. It is located on the west bank of the Cape Fear River, downstream from Wilmington, NC. It was purchased last year by a new owner who closed it to public access and apparently is intent on restoring it. I fortunately got to see it last year not long before it closed, it was beautiful. It's sad to think that people won't be able to visit it anymore, if that is the new owner's intention.

Anyway, there was an auction of items that belonged to the house. Here are photos.

Yesterday Was a Holiday, So That Must Mean...

...the Usual Suspects® were acting in their usual barbaric fashion:



Better buy ammo. The zombie apocalypse is here, and it ain't zombies. It's only going to get worse as time goes on and the MSM continues to cover up for the Usual Suspects.®

OK, He's Got My Vote

Ron Paul calls for the abolition of TSA.

I predicted this months ago. I said that the GOP would be stupid not to take advantage of TSA's outrages, and minor outrages like banning incandescent light bulbs and mandating low-capacity toilet tanks. Watch this gather steam now. I'm thinking it might make its way into the GOP platform next year.

A Fatal Case of TUI

Otherwise known as Tubing Under (the) Influence.

Permit Denied

If you're going to apply for a permit to carry a concealed handgun, it probably isn't wise to be arrested for firing that handgun while riding a motorcycle.

Just Call It Bald Head Peninsula

It was Bald Head Island before Hurricane Floyd closed the inlet in 1999.

Now you can walk there from Fort Fisher, about a 6-mile hike over undeveloped beach.

I'd love to do that sometime.

How You Do It Low and Slow

North Carolina whole-hog barbecue, cooked the old-fashioned way over a wood-fired open pit.

One hell of a great article. The restaurants are the Skylight Inn in Ayden and Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby. I haven't eaten at the Skylight Inn, but I have eaten at Bridge's. Good barbecue.

Update

An update to my post "Looks Like Some Fascist Cops...

The update is here.

There are new details of a Raleigh attorney’s arrest in Wrightsville Beach.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Tuesday that cameras recorded Gina Tessener’s June 21 police station visit after she was stopped by Trooper Edward S. Wyrick for driving with a missing headlight.

The video shows her passing two breath-analysis tests, which support Tessener’s claim that she had no alcohol in her system that evening.


I think a certain state trooper, on desk duty after the incident, is probably thinking at this point that he might just have fucked up a little bit.

Update: The Raleigh News and Observer has the original story.

Little Ol' Wilmington, NC...

...gets noticed in a 6-page story in The New York Times.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Random Thought

Regarding my previous Random Though regarding pistachio nuts: I bought some pistachio ice cream (gelato, actually) and a can of pistachios this past Friday. Ice cream was good, canned pistachios so-so. At $6.99 a can, I'm not going to be purchasing them regularly, I can tell you that.

Today's Day By Day Cartoon...

...is artistically adventurous in the John Cage "4'33" style.

Follow-up Info On Fascist Cops In Charlotte

via Cedar Posts and Barbwire Fences.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Expanded Maritime Museum Opening In Southport, NC

Story.

Something to go visit the next time I'm out that way.

Ernest Hemingway's Final Years...

...recalled by his friend and biographer, A.E. Hotchner, in a New York Times op/ed.

Hotchner reveals a man justifiably paranoid concerning FBI surveillance and anguished over the effects of aging on his writing and his virility.

Sad to read but doesn't particularly cover any new ground. I hadn't realized that Hotchner was still alive at this late date (he was born in 1920).

Friday, July 01, 2011

Hitchens On Michelle Bachman

"But then, when you come to notice it, she doesn't seem to know her Iowan derrière from an artesian well, either."

Which is a much classier, Hitchens-esque way of saying her ass from a hole in the ground.

The rest of the article discusses the current US predilection for political candidates from small towns, and Hitchens apparently follows the usual elitist pattern of thinking them yokels, without going so far as New York Times columnist David Carr in calling them the dance of the low-sloping foreheads. I'm sure Hitchens shares the sentiment, though, and possibly would commend Carr on his wit.

The Barbecue...

...it was good.

Tawana Brawley and Crystal Gayle Mangum...

...couldn't be reached for comment.

Whoopi doesn't think it was rape-rape:

Yer Crying Shame Post of the Day

Gemma Westmoreland had breast reduction surgery to drop her boob size from 36J to 36C.

Before pic:



After pic:




She complained that everyone was always groping her before the surgery. I guess it's like my post yesterday about the little boy and the bacon, you just have to grab some.