Thursday, December 31, 2009

Catch Everyone On The Other Side

I'll be up most of the night here at work, so Happy New Year to all of you.

He Wipes Der Schmeg On Them

UK: Detectives are hunting a "disgusting" man who wipes "sticky liquid" on unsuspecting girls.

*laughs uproariously*

I'm sorry, I know I should be outraged.

When The Coast Is Clear

The air-conditioned months at the beaches here in North Carolina.

Yah, It's Really Just Not On, You Know

"However, aides to Mr Obama are acutely aware that his attempt to mix crisis management with golf, tennis and body surfing has been a public relations disaster."

Imagine that?

Big Brassy Clangers of the Day Award

A hotel clerk in Gastonia, NC (just west of us here in Charlotte) wrestled a pistol away from a robber.

He didn't shoot the disarmed robber, though. Pity.


I seem to be starting off the day angry.


They Caught A Rapist Here In Charlotte...

...turns out to be Officer Marcus Jackson of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

To Protect And Serve

Don't You DARE Criticize Us, You Winger Bastards!

Liberals and the MSM (but I repeat myself) are mad that President Obama is getting blamed for the Al Qaeda Pantybomber attack.

They say that President Bush got no similar grief when Richard Reid tried the very same thing in December of 2001.

Well, duh. It was two months after 9/11, and the country was still in shock, there was no TSA or Department of Homeland Security, and it was only after Reid's failed attack that such measures as taking off shoes and the banning of liquids on flights were instituted. And Bush had all of the blame of 9/11 to shoulder, which he did without all the snivelling going on now by the Democrats.

Maybe it was a fluke, but after the Reid bombing attempt, there were no further attack attempts by Al Qaeda for 8 years. If Bush gets the blame for 9/11, then he also deserves the credit for those 8 safe years. If the terrorists again enjoy success under President Obama, then Obama needs to man up and stop blaming Bush for everything that occurs on his watch.

Personally I think that Bush needs to break his silence and say just that: man up and stop your whining, you pussy. I dealt with terror 100 times worse than you've ever imagined, and I didn't whine about it like a little girl.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

They Trusted Their Little Machine Friend...

...and it betrayed them.

Didn't they watch Star Trek when they were children?



The Ultimate "Blame The Victim" Argument

Rosella Candella, described as a "psychoanalyst" in this UK Telegraph story, claims that Pope Benedict and Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi were responsible for the physical attacks on them because they were dressed in too exhibitionist a fashion.

No, really. She did in fact use the sluts were asking for it argument. Read the story.

He's a Filthy Dirty Slut.

Stanley Fish Luvs Them Revenge Flix

Stanley Fish, law professor and New York Times columnist, discusses the revenge movie genre, and even offers a list of his favorite films of the genre.

I think, of all the films he mentions, that Jeremiah Johnson is my favorite. Many of the films I have never seen.

Damned Thorough, These Chinese

According to my RSS feed of the UK Daily Mail, the Chinese plan to execute a Briton convicted of trafficking heroin by both firing squad and lethal injection:

Musical Interlude

Just heard John Hiatt's magnificent The River Knows Your Name on Pandora, and since Pandora has no sharing feature, I turned to YouTube and found the song there, along with a wonderful slideshow. Enjoy.

Wow, That Takes Chutzpah

Who's responsible for the TSA failing to catch the Pantybomber? Margaret Talev of McClatchy Media says it's Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, because he's had a senatorial "hold" placed on the confirmation of President Obama's nominee for TSA head, Erroll Southers.

These people are just absolutely shameless.

Monday, December 28, 2009

She Can Double As Executioner, I Suppose

A judge in Birmingham, Alabama has decided that her courtroom is so unsafe that she has to pack a pistol and a can of pepper spray on her bench next to her gavel.

They Lynched A WHITE Guy?

Dumb SC peckerwoods can't get anything right anymore...

(this is a follow-up to this recent post of mine.)

Monk-y Business: Pedophile Monk Allowed Second Bite of Apple

Where? Where else but criminal-coddling UK?

It Depends On What The Meaning of "Reasonable" Is

I've blogged a few times recently on a case in UK where a homeowner was jailed for beating up a burglar: here and here.

We have a further follow-up today, and it appears that the battle in the future will be over what the word "reasonable" means in cases of self-defense and home defense.

It's a fundamental philosophical battle, and one that was fought in the US during the 70's and 80's; in the US, with the election of Ronald Reagan, the Supreme Court began to move away from the criminal-coddling days of the Warren court and toward a more strict law-enforcement interpretation of the Constitution. It has culminated in the court we have now, with most decisions favoring homeowners and especially gun owners over criminals. UK is at the very beginning of the process of taking the country back from the criminals, and it won't start until Gordon Brown and the Labour criminal-coddlers he leads go down in flames at the next UK election.

Did He Stand His Ground In Self-Defense...

...or carefully choose his ground for an ambush?

Maurice Moorer shot and killed his ex-wife's new lover, then claimed self-defense under Florida's "stand your ground" law. Moorer shot the man 15 times while the man was seated in a car in front of Moorer's house; Moorer claimed the man made a movement as if he was going to draw a gun. Police did indeed find a gun, but buried in debris in the back seat of the car, out of the man's immediate reach.

So: self-defense or ambush? One of those tough calls for prosecutors and juries.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Soldier and Artist

Sergeant Major Doug Farthing of the Royal Anglian Regiment is both.

Here's one of the paintings he did of a soldier in Iraq:

Good stuff.

Christmas Lynching?

Looks like there was a lynching down in SC, the land of the peckerwoods.

It'll be interesting to hear the complete details of this one. I for one am not prepared to conclude it is a "lynching" until more is known about the circumstances and the motivations of those involved. Remember the Duke University "rapes" that turned out to be the actions of a too-zealous district attorney and a mentally unbalanced stripper.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Review: Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q, Monroe, NC

Ate lunch at Big Bob Gibson's Bar-B-Q in Monroe, NC, today.

Restaurant was attractive outside and inside. Place has a liquor license, but we didn't buy any alcohol.

Sarah ordered a pork platter with sides of corn on the cob and baked potato; I had a brisket platter with sides of corn on the cob and onion rings. Food arrived promptly, with addition of one hush puppy per platter.

Hush puppies were round, oily on the outside and dry/cornmealy on the inside: Rating 1/5.

Corn on the cob was a full-length cob, properly cooked: 3/5.

Onion rings were advertised as "hand-breaded." Might have been; they were definitely tasteless. 2/5.

Baked potato was properly cooked, came with butter and sour cream: 3/5

Pork was properly cooked, reasonable smoke flavor, not too dry or moist: 3/5.

Brisket was properly cooked, displayed smoke ring, no visible fat, not too dry or moist: 4/5.

Sauces: proprietary red and white sauces, white made with mayonnaise base, a trademark of this chain. Also on the table was unlabeled cruet of vinegar-based NC BBQ sauce. I tried both the red and the white, preferred the red. White might be good with roast beef submarine sandwiches for those wanting an alternative to horseradish sauces. Sara said the vinegar based sauce was average NC-style sauce.

Give The Man His Due

From Peggy Noonan's most recent column in The Wall Street Journal, speaking of people who still hold Barack Obama in high affection:

I end with a story told to me by an old Reagan hand who, with another former Reagan administration official, was being given a private tour of the White House by Michelle Obama. This was last summer. Mrs. Obama led the two through the halls, and then they stopped by the Lincoln bedroom. They stood in the doorway, and then took a step inside, but went no deeper. Everything looked the same, but something was different. "We don't allow guests to stay in this room anymore," Mrs. Obama explained. She spoke of it as a place of reverence. They keep it apart, it's not for overnights.

Unspoken, but clearly understood by the Reagan hands, was: This is where he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. A true copy of it is here, on the desk. He signed it: "Abraham Lincoln." The Reagan hands were impressed and moved. It is fitting and right that the Lincoln bedroom be held apart. It always should have been. Good, they thought. Good.

Yes, I have to agree. Good.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Swag

Didn't do too badly at the gift stuff. I got a CD, a bottle of after-shave, a book, and a hiking staff (green).

Supposedly there is another present waiting at Sara's parents' house, too.

*happy grin*

Now if you'll excuse me, there is unread Heinlein treasure waiting...

For Sherlock Holmes Fans... honor of the new movie coming out on the day after Christmas (Boxing Day, as it's called in UK) I'd like to give you a link to one of the original Sherlock Holmes stories that also takes place on Boxing Day and has a Christmas theme:

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.


If You Would...

...go over to Old NFO's blog and read the poem posted there, and think of our military people posted around the world. Thank you.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Greetings To All of You

I'll resume regular blogging on Saturday morning. I wish all of you a happy and blessed holiday.

Get Your 'Cue At The Piggly Wiggly

The store has teamed with a BBQ chain to bring smoked meat succulence into the grocery business.

At the Piggly-Wiggly store in Leland, NC, to be specific.

I think that you'd have to admit that the possibility of fresh 'cue right off of the smoker is more fun to contemplate than a tub of dubious meat product from parts unknown.

Now That's Entrepreneurship

A zoo in Bloomington, Illinois, earned over $20,000 with Christmas ornaments and necklaces made of reindeer dung.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Beginning of the End

"Angelina Jolie Says Fidelity Not Essential For Relationships To Work."

Looks like trade-in time at the Pitt-Jolie household...

Donald And Daisy Are Cross-Threaded

Female ducks, to discourage over-zealous suitors, develop "convoluted genitalia," scientists have discovered.

WARNING: naked duck genitalia video at link!

Of course, if you're an Adam Sandler fan, you know that Donald Duck has other options available (WARNING: SMUT ALERT)

The Psychology of the Restaurant Menu

Good New York Times article.

Included are such gems as do not put dollar signs on your menu.

An interesting read into how restaurants are relying on trickery in the menu to get you to buy more.

Recently Read

Old Man's War by John Scalzi.

A worthy son of Heinlein's Starship Troopers.

Obama's Screwed Up The Economy So Badly...

...that Santa Claus has been reduced to robbing banks to meet payroll.

Ho Ho Hand It over!

Hey, James Cameron!

So, Jimmy Cameron, tell us...

Why is capitalism – you know, the economic system that allowed you to make Avatar – so bad?

Why are primitive societies – you know, the kind you manifestly do not live in – so morally righteous?

And why are the deaths of American fighting men – you know, the folks who are keeping at bay the bastards who would saw your open-minded, tolerant, liberal head off with a butter knife given half a chance — something you think ought to bring cheers from the audience?

Hey, Jimmy, you made your stupid movie. Now we’re going to make you make your case.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Apologies For Light Blogging

The wi-fi network at my job is acting up, so I'm unable to use my laptop for blogging purposes. There is a public computer in the lobby, but it features parental-control software that blocks many of the websites I go to for news stories. I'll be blogging from home when my shift is over, and presumably here at work again when the wi-fi problem is addressed. In the meantime, thanks for your forbearance and continued support.

On The Presidential Christmas Tree...'ll find Christmas ornaments featuring Mao Zedong of China, the mass-murdering former dictator of that country; transvestites; and, of course, President Obama shown on Mt. Rushmore.

But, of course, this is all in good fun and doesn't have any real meaning; it's not like he's a commie-loving narcissist, or anything...

h/t Big Government.

Here Comes Santa Claus, Here Comes Santa Claus...

...beating out the neighbor's brains...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

For Monster Hunter International Fans...

Larry Correia has a little bit of the sequel, Monster Hunter Vendetta, posted on his website.

Well, At Least He Was Honest About One Thing

Zakaria Ikar Wayso is a convicted car thief who isn't supposed to be able to own a gun. It didn't stop him, of course. Having acquired a gun, Wayso promptly shot someone while playing with it.

An 18-year-old Minnesota man admitted in a Facebook message that he had accidentally shot someone while playing with a gun, police said.

In the Facebook message, police said, Wayso said the two men were playing with a gun when he pulled the trigger.

At least he isn't using the usual lie of saying that the gun "went off" when it fell to the ground. He was playing with it, and pulled the trigger while doing so, the same thing that happens in most accidental shootings.

A Gun Is Not A Toy. Don't Play With It!

Well, It Will Solve The Heroin Addiction Problem

Addicts in UK are dying from heroin contaminated with anthrax.

Yet another modest proposal: Similar contaminations could be done with cocaine, and we would have population and crime reduction at the same time.

"They Hear The Sound of Guns, and They Respond"

Gunnery Sergeant John Mosser, USMC, has received the Navy Cross for heroism in Afghanistan.

Mosser was the team sergeant of the Marine patrol that was pinned down by heavy sniper and automatic-weapons fire in a small valley on June 26.

“I had been in firefights before but not like that,” Mosser said Friday. “It was unique. The enemy was well entrenched and firing at us from a high angle above. We were just reacting. There wasn’t much thinking — just return fire and take cover.”

Mosser’s Navy Cross citation said the gunnery sergeant’s reaction was gallant, that he helped save Marines during the bloody battle.

“He single-handedly dragged the wounded Marine over 35 feet to a covered position and administered first aid,” the citation said in part, describing one of Mosser’s heroics during the firefight. “With the entire patrol desperately pinned down, one Marine killed, and five more severely wounded, he devised a plan to break contact and extract his team.”

He then called for and adjusted close air support, dragged that wounded Marine a second time to safety and directed the Marines still in the fight.

Continually exposing himself to enemy fire, he maneuvered the remaining members of his team still trapped in the ambush, all the time constantly engaging the enemy until everyone was safe.

A Marine and a Navy Cross.

Think of the Possibilities

The Melt Bar & Grilled in Lakewood, Ohio, is offering a 25% lifetime discount to patrons who tattoo an image of the restaurant's grilled cheese sandwich on their bodies.

The restaurant even has a reciprocal agreement with a local tattoo parlor to discount said tattoo by $25.

That's really just taking NASCAR-style branding a bit further, isn't it? Of course, you'd have to choose the restaurant carefully, since most restaurants fail within the first two years; but how about translating this to other businesses? Would you gunbloggers be willing to tattoo "Cabela's" on your arm to receive an ammo discount? How about "Bass Pro Shops" for a discount on fishing gear?

Would you take a multi-thousand-dollar discount on a car if it required that you have the car painted in the logo of a soft drink company such as Coca-Cola? What about your house? If your local government allowed it, would you paint "Use Trojan Condoms!" on your barn roof, similar to the old "See Rock City!" barns that used to pepper the interstates in the South?

Hell, how about naming rights to your children? "Here's my son JIF, and my daughter StayFree. We're getting Grandpa George renamed Grandpa Depends, he'll get a 30% discount on his incontinence briefs from now on."

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Failing Necessarily Through Being Derivative"

Why the BBC deemed Led Zeppelin not good enough for daytime TV in 1969.

They also judged Marc Bolan and T. Rex as "crap and pretentious crap at that."

Good thing that audiences are still allowed to make up their own minds on what is good and what isn't, huh?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Smith Island Cake?

Smith Island, a small island in the Chesapeake Bay accessible only by ferry, wants to become famous for its cakes.

The eastern state's official dessert is "certainly not low fat," acknowledged Kristen Manzo, manager of the Smith Island Baking Company. A 28-year-old native of Baltimore, Maryland, she moved to the isle after falling in love with the region.

Not for the faint of heart, the confection entails a generous stack of 10 layers of sponge cake, coated with thick frosting of sugar-sweetened cocoa, vanilla, condensed milk and melted butter. Different flavors are available, including peanut butter.

I remember reading about Smith Island in William Least Heat Moon's fine travel book Blue Highways. The Chesapeake Bay is one of the places I'd be looking for a deserted island for a hermit existence, if I ever seriously decided to chuck it all in and go hermit.

View Larger Map

An Artwork 9 Miles In Circumference?

A sand drawing in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada:

Confucius Say...

...he who teaches monkeys kung-fu soon have cause to regret it.

Monkey Style.

Not Your Usual Nativity Scene

In the Catalan region of Spain, Nativity scenes feature figures known as "caganers" who hide in a corner and defecate. Often these "caganers" are celebrities and world leaders, such as...

Barack Obama:

Queen Elizabeth II:

or Tiger Woods:

Strange people, these Catalans.


update: welcome, Ann Althouse readers!

UK Gynecologists Provide THAT Service? Amazing!

Story lede seen at the UK Telegraph:

A gynaecologist gave a patient two "leg buckling" orgasms in a minute and a half during an examination, a court has heard.

She knew it was wrong, but stuck with him out of a sense of loyalty...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

US Air Force: Airman Killed In "Trust" Game

I have blogged before about the vile gun game called "trust," in which a military member points a gun at a comrade, asks "Do you trust me?" and, if the answer is yes, pulls the trigger. This "game" has already resulted in several deaths.

Well, chalk up another death to the "trust" game.

How many more of our young people have to die before the military cracks down on this stupid game?

I have an adamantine rule about handling guns. I've mentioned it here before, but I'll mention it again:

A Gun Is NOT A Toy. Don't Play With It!

The Turtle Flatulence Can Be A Problem...

...when you've been feeding the aquarium turtles Brussels Sprouts.

Indeed, last year the turtles set off an "overflow alarm" with their craptacular farting feats.

Sherlock Holmes: Crappy Review, Must-See Movie

I've been looking forward to this movie all year.

Read the crap review, then check out the trailer. Looks like a wild ride.

update: A better review can be found at the UK Telegraph.

update 2: More from the UK Telegraph.

It's The Hard-Boiled Egg of Love, Bay-Bee!

"Judge Denies Request To Examine Penis."

Jeffrey Epstein's penis cannot be examined by lawyers for women who say the billionaire sex offender abused them, a Palm Beach, Fla., judge ruled Monday.

The shape of Epstein's penis is not relevant to the civil cases against him, Circuit Judge Donald Hafele ruled. If it becomes relevant, Hafele said he would reconsider the request.

One of the women described Epstein's penis as egg-shaped, which would be an important identifying characteristic, the woman's lawyer, Spencer Kuvin, had argued.

Lots of jokes available for this case, huh? How might testimony go: Madam, you have described the accused's penis as egg-shaped; what about its size? Would you describe it as a large, an extra large, or a jumbo? In color did it more resemble a brown egg or a white egg? Is it likely that the contents of this "egg" were organic and free-range?

And so on...

Reluctantly, He Accepted The Millions

Ricky Gervais, the writer/actor who created the hit show "The Office" wants you to know that the millions of pounds he made from the show kind of ruined his pride in his accomplishment.

He told US show 60 Minutes: "When I did The Office I was so proud. The cheque ruined it a bit - I didn't want people to think that was mixed in with my pride.

"Why am I paid a million times a nurse's wages? There are people who work as hard as me and they haven't got that because they don't do show business."

Stupid leftist son of a bitch. If your wealth makes you feel guilty, then nothing is easier than giving it away, and you can be virtuously poor again.

Let's Max Out The Redneck Stereotypes, How About It?

A story about a minor crime in South Carolina becomes comedy gold as you read each paragraph:

A driver who police say was in violation of the state's obscene bumper sticker statue ran after being pulled over Friday night.

Police pulled over a car on Lige Street in Rock Hill around 8 p.m. because the vehicle had fake male body parts hanging from the rear of the car, according to a Rock Hill police report. That violates a state obscene bumper sticker statue.

I'd be willing to bet that the "fake male body parts" were Trucknutz.

The driver of the car pulled over to the side of the road, and then ran from the vehicle, the report said.

Officers lost sight of the suspect in the woods because of aggressive pit bulls, according to the report.

In the car, officers found an open bottle of gin and digital scales, the report said. The car smelled of marijuana.

Don't it just sound like an episode of Cops?

It should be noted, though, that it looks as if you can be pulled over in SC simply for having Trucknutz or one of those stickers of Bill Watterson's "Calvin" urinating on various objects, usually the car owner's least-favorite NASCAR driver.

Coconut Surprise

A species of octopus in Indonesia has been found to use discarded coconut shells as a type of mobile home.

Be sure to click the link for some amusing video of the octopus transporting his new house.

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

A Charlotte man shot two of three home invaders who were trying to break down his door. All three were arrested when they went to a local hospital for medical care.

You know where I got my blog title, right?

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Germans Are Warring Over Shopping Carts...

...attacking each other with salamis and "a sharp 4lbs piece of Parmesan."

Don't know whether sharp in this case means aged with a more pronounced flavor or physically sharpened to have a weapon-like edge.

Since they were fighting over a shopping cart and using food as weapons, may I be forgiven for thinking that perhaps we should term this The Battle of the Bulge?

UK: Crime Victim Jailed For Beating Attacker

Another travesty of justice as a career criminal with 50 previous convictions to his name receives no sentence for his crime, while the crime victim in the case is jailed for 30 months for using excessive force during the criminal's apprehension.

Another Tony Martin case. Another nail driven in the coffin of New Labour. You only have yourselves to blame, gentlemen. When you treat criminals with more sympathy than you do crime victims, something is seriously wrong.

For Love Of A Cat

60-year-old Melinda Grossman stopped her car on a dark road to help a cat that had been struck by a car, and was herself killed by another driver.

Most of us would stop to help another human being struck by a car, but how many of you would stop for a cat or dog?

Would You Stop To Help An Injured Cat or Dog?
Yes. free polls

Santa Claus Buried In Ireland?

Apparently the remains of St. Nicholas of Myra, the real-life saint who inspired the legend of Santa Claus, are buried at Jerpoint, Ireland, at what was once a Cistercian abbey.

Perhaps, perhaps not. The remains of Catholic saints are spread throughout the world, and no one really knows what is genuine and what isn't anymore in many of the cases. It's a fun story, though.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Inside Job?

Here in Charlotte, robbers struck at a Salvation Army collection site, robbing employees of 13 Christmas collection kettles with contents estimated at over four thousand dollars.

We have here either the actions of a well-organized and intelligent crime gang, or a gang operating on tips from inside the Salvation Army organization. Of the two, the second scenario seems more likely.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Can't Have It Both Ways

Found in my RSS reader a few minutes ago:

She Was Tutoring Him...

...on the ins and outs required to get his Fornication Merit Badge.

A 39-year-old female Boy Scout Leader was found in bed with one of her 15-year-old charges.

Ah, well. As bad as that sounds, it's not as bad as a male Boy Scout leader being found in bed with one of his charges. Sorry if that makes me sound homophobic.

Shipwreck Blog: Bell's Island, Nags Head, NC

Two men who lost their sailboat in Roanoke Sound managed to swim to nearby Bell's Island, where they were rescued after lighting a fire to attract help.

View Larger Map

Navy: Tougher Screening of Sailors For Overseas Billets


This is probably a result of all the incidents of rape by sailors and Marines of girls in Japan. I'd be willing to bet that this screening process will result in less racial diversity at the Japanese bases, particularly. I'll say no more than that.

The Sign Said Clearance To The Twelve-Foot Line...

...but the chickens was stacked to thirteen-nine...

A double-decker bus in UK went under a low bridge, injuring a bunch of school children.

Blog post title comes from the old C.W. McCall song:

Of course I'm not making light of this awful tragedy.

Downtown Pagosa Springs...

Let's Just Rehabilitate That Image A Bit

Looks like Alec Baldwin is trying to rehabilitate his tarnished image in preparation to getting into politics.

This follows another recent story in which Baldwin seemed to try and get sympathy, mourning his "failed" movie career.

Watch and see. He'll be running for office shortly somewhere in New York.

Great. Green Glowing Prarie Jellyvoles

Scientists have sliced the genes of a jellyfish into the genes of a prarie vole.

Why they would want to is beyond me. They're going to end up creating something that will end up killing us all, I have no doubt.

America's Stonehenge

Story from The New York Times.

I had no idea a place like this existed.

Hope that someday I'm able to see it.

What's White and Fuzzy And Shivers In The Cold?

The poodle that some insufferable prick left in a dumpster in Merced, California.

He Once Was Lost But Now Is Found

Online Radio: The Future Is Almost Here


Traditional AM & FM receivers are starting to fall by the wayside. The ideal will be reached when we have interactive online satellite receivers in cars, so you can listen to your own customised radio station and your friends can marvel at your bitching cool taste in tunes. Combine it with voice activation, and you basically have Star Trek-level technology.

Today's Viral Video

Wayne Spring bet against the New Orleans Saints and lost. Since he bet his 60" TV, his peckerwood friends all showed up to execute it, firing-squad style:

Want Butter With Those Grits?

A Boutte, Louisiana woman poured boiling-hot grits on her sleeping boyfriend after a quarrel.

After transporting the man to the hospital, the EMT's were struck with a sudden desire to stop at a Waffle House...

Definitely Man Bites Dog

An Anchorage, Alaska crime story of male rape that isn't prison-related.

Definitely something you don't see in a newspaper every day.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bottle Message: Termonfeckin Beach, Ireland

Joan Conaghy found the same bottle message washed ashore in both 2006 and 2007.

The message, in Swedish, says Sleep tight my little angels, kisses and hugs. Conaghy isn't certain, but wonders if the message has to do with the tsunamis that hit the Indian Ocean in 2004, which resulted in the deaths of 543 Swedes. She has contacted Swedish media outlets with no luck.

Who knows? Not all bottle messages are found; not all messages in bottles can be easily explained. Sometimes solving the mystery removes the romance from the message. All you can do is walk the beach; maybe a bottle will show up; maybe you'll toss a bottle of your own. It's a slow and unreliable way to communicate with your fellows.

UK Intel Chief: US Soldiers In "Darth Vader" Outfits Scared Iraqis

Sir John Sawers, the head of MI6 (UK Equivalent to CIA) complained that US soldiers in "Darth Vader" outfits and wraparound sunglasses alienated the Iraqi population.

He means the typical desert uniform and gear, I suppose:

This, of course, was quite different from the British Army "softlee, softlee" strategy, which worked so well in Basra:

Did He Tell Him It Was Raining?

A drunk received a year in jail for urinating on a cop.

Which calls to mind:

The Return of the Monocle

In UK, not US. Yet.

I'll forever associate the monocle with Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes:

You Can Run But You Can't...Well, You Can't Run Far, Either

The Carnival cruise line has fully booked a "Cougar Cruise" to Mexico, the cruise catering to predatory older women ("cougars") in search of younger men as sex partners.


Actually, I think that if the cougar involved looked like 63-year-old Helen Mirren, that wouldn't be quite so bad:

Ambulances and Fat People

In UK, a review of procedures is under way after an overweight man died as a result of being dropped by ambulance attendants.

It's a sad story, but the thing that really caught my attention is this screen from the accompanying video:

It describes the words of an emergency room nurse who wanted EMT's to stop ventilating an elderly patient.

Guess you could call her a one-person "death panel."

Headline of the Day

"Big Bang Machine Records First Hardcore Atom Smash."

Sounds like porno to me.

Obama In Oslo

President Obama is in Oslo, Norway, to accept his Nobel "Not George W. Bush" Prize.

Which tells you all you need to know about how I feel about this award, hmmm?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Lure of Buried Treasure

A man in the Seychelles Islands (Indian Ocean) is obsessed with finding a treasure buried by a French Pirate.

I can't recall a pirate hoard ever being found before. They've found a couple of pirate shipwrecks with some treasure still aboard, but no buried hoards. Most pirates spent it as fast as they got it, and the few who were known to have buried treasure, such as Kidd, recovered it fairly quickly. Still, ever since Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island, men have hoped.

The Only Upside

The only upside of having cradle-to-grave video surveillance in a country is that occasionally a bad guy reaps the karma debt he has sown.

A Southampton (UK) cab driver was fired after his in-cab camera caught him verbally abusing three senior citizens.

UK: A Mugging Every 90 Seconds

And only 10% of the muggers face justice.

Not a recipe for a goverment to stay in power, now is it?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Can't Say I Really Disagree

Colombian pop singer Shakira speaks at Oxford University, UK:

"That is how I want the youth of 2060 to see us: That our mission for global peace consisted of sending 30,000 educators to Afghanistan, not 30,000 soldiers."

It would probably help more, if you were able to educate those ignoramuses to the point where they understand that tribalism and religious extremism can only hurt, not help.

We're Sorry We Ate Your Great-Great-Grandpa

He tasted good, though, from what we've been told.

Cannibals apologize to the descendants of missionaries that they ate 170 years ago.

This Week's Viral Video

This week's viral video comes courtesy of the New Zealand police, who have advice on how to deal with pies at 3 a.m.:

Apparently pies are a public menace in New Zealand, especially in the wee morning hours.

They Call It That Old Mountain Dew

A woman here in Charlotte was arrested for selling moonshine whiskey out of her day care center.

Boy, this one is so full of ironies that it's hard to tell where to start.

The foundation's Web site says Brown-Johnson incorporated the Parkview Community Foundation in 1997. The group provides after-school programs, distributes food and counsels local youth to avoid drugs and alcohol.

ALE agents say children were in the day-care center when they sent in an undercover agent to buy two gallons of moonshine last week.

The foundation's Web site said Brown-Johnson, who is the president and CEO, also encourages landlords to evict tenants engaged in drug sales and other criminal activity.

The Parkview Foundation is listed as a nonprofit, but doesn't have to file full financial disclosures because it takes in less than $25,000 per year.

The foundation's Web site claims the group "works closely" with Mecklenburg Department of Social Services "to offer drug and alcohol prevention education" to the children it serves.

Brown-Johnson suspects a "vengeful neighbor" tipped off police, and is falling back on the Marion Barry defense (bitch set me up). She's worried about the little chirrens, too, wonders what will happen to them?

We'll let Old Mr. Bascom have the last word:

Nostalgia of the Day

Anyone else remember Jay J. Armes, the armless private investigator?

He used to be on the talk shows of the day, I specifically remember him being on the Mike Douglas Show, where he would demonstrate his ability with his prosthetic hook arms: shooting a gun, catching eggs, etc., and even talking of a secret "gun" incorporated into his right prosthetic.

Guy even had his own line of action figures.

Here's a pic from Wikipedia:

Monday, December 07, 2009

Hitchens On Palin

Christopher Hitchens savages Sarah Palin in his inimitable style:

At least Richard Nixon had the ill fortune to look like what he was: a haunted scoundrel and repressed psychopath. Whereas the usefulness of Sarah Palin to the right-wing party managers is that she combines a certain knowingness with a feigned innocence and a still-palpable blush of sex. But she should take care to read her Alexander Pope: That bloom will soon enough fade, and it will fade really quickly if she uses it to prostitute herself to the Nixonites on one day and then to cock-tease the rabble on the next.

Nuestra Señora de Pancake

The Virgin Mary has made an appearance on a pancake in Glendale, Arizona.


Kind of a reach, if you ask me.

Pearl Harbor: Collected Memories of a Day of Infamy

For 23 years starting in 1968, Clifford Barrett wrote to various celebrities, asking about their memories of what had taken place on December 7th, 1941.

Probably the most germane of all of the recollections came from Lawrence Murphy, who went on to become the president of Seton Hall University; Murphy was serving onboard USS Enterprise at the time. Enterprise was deployed at the time of the attack and arrived in Pearl Harbor the next day:

“Dear Cliff, I was attached to the carrier Enterprise (the old one) and we had been delivering planes to Midway. We were returning to Pearl when the attack took place and we arrived off the base more than 24 hours later.

As usual, we sent our planes in to land ashore and in the confusion some of the planes were fired upon by American gunners. As I recall, two were shot down.

When we did enter the harbor, the scene of devastation was terrible — fires still burning and destruction everywhere! We knew that many of our classmates, friends and shipmates were dead or wounded, and I suppose that anyone who experienced those days will never be able to forget them. I hope not to see the like again in my lifetime.”

USS West Virginia Dec. 7 1941

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown Snubbed By Injured Soldiers

When he came to the hospital they closed privacy curtains around their beds and refused to meet with him.

I wonder what the reaction of our injured soldiers would be to a visit by President Obama? Or to Ex-President Bush, for that matter? And would the MSM report the story, if the soldiers were disrespectful of The One?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Pair of Knives

A couple of my knives. The upper knife is a small patch knife made from a Russell Green River Works paring blade, combined with handles scales of green Dymondwood and brass pins. The lower knife is simply my EDC (Every Day Carry) knife, in this case a Boy Scout pattern made by Keen Kutter.

The sheaths were made by Michael McRae of Scotia Metalwork.

Friday Night Show

Sara and I went to see Slaid Cleaves perform last night in the NoDa district of Charlotte, which is the funky arts district here. Slaid brought his friend Charles Arthur along for accompaniment. Good show, the Evening Muse crowd was large and well-behaved. We both enjoyed it immensely.

Slaid Cleaves, Charles "King" Arthur, Evening Muse, 4 Dec 09

Friday, December 04, 2009

Son of the Year

A Florida boy, driven mad by his father's snoring, first threw a magazine at the man, then punched him out.

Anyone remember the old Time-Life commercial for "The Old West?" Skip ahead on this YouTube video to 2:00 to hear of "John Wesley Hardin, who was so mean that he once shot a man for snoring!"

It's A Miracle, Part 17,889

A hen in Burleson, Texas, has laid an egg with a cross on it.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Americans Becoming Isolationist Again

A Pew poll indicates that a plurality (but not a majority) of Americans think that the US should mind its own affairs and leave the rest of the world to mind theirs.

Suits me. I've always been an isolationist. My foreign affairs philosophy could be summarized as Leave others alone and expect the same from them; if they start trouble, nuke them until they stop or are extinct.

Sorry if that offends any of you.

Man Broke Into Funeral Home To Be With Love

An unrequited love, since she was not his girlfriend or wife.

Still, it reminds me of a passage from a favorite book:

We have just said that Quasimodo disappeared from Notre- Dame on the day of the gypsy's and of the archdeacon's death. He was not seen again, in fact; no one knew what had become of him.

During the night which followed the execution of la Esmeralda, the night men had detached her body from the gibbet, and had carried it, according to custom, to the cellar of Montfauçon.

Montfauçon was, as Sauval says, "the most ancient and the most superb gibbet in the kingdom." Between the faubourgs of the Temple and Saint Martin, about a hundred and sixty toises from the walls of Paris, a few bow shots from La Courtille, there was to be seen on the crest of a gentle, almost imperceptible eminence, but sufficiently elevated to be seen for several leagues round about, an edifice of strange form, bearing considerable resemblance to a Celtic cromlech, and where also human sacrifices were offered.

Let the reader picture to himself, crowning a limestone hillock, an oblong mass of masonry fifteen feet in height, thirty wide, forty long, with a gate, an external railing and a platform; on this platform sixteen enormous pillars of rough hewn stone, thirty feet in height, arranged in a colonnade round three of the four sides of the mass which support them, bound together at their summits by heavy beams, whence hung chains at intervals; on all these chains, skeletons; in the vicinity, on the plain, a stone cross and two gibbets of secondary importance, which seemed to have sprung up as shoots around the central gallows; above all this, in the sky, a perpetual flock of crows; that was Montfauçon.

At the end of the fifteenth century, the formidable gibbet which dated from 1328, was already very much dilapidated; the beams were wormeaten, the chains rusted, the pillars green with mould; the layers of hewn stone were all cracked at their joints, and grass was growing on that platform which no feet touched. The monument made a horrible profile against the sky; especially at night when there was a little moonlight on those white skulls, or when the breeze of evening brushed the chains and the skeletons, and swayed all these in the darkness. The presence of this gibbet sufficed to render gloomy all the surrounding places.

The mass of masonry which served as foundation to the odious edifice was hollow. A huge cellar had been constructed there, closed by an old iron grating, which was out of order, into which were cast not only the human remains, which were taken from the chains of Montfauçon, but also the bodies of all the unfortunates executed on the other permanent gibbets of Paris. To that deep charnel-house, where so many human remains and so many crimes have rotted in company, many great ones of this world, many innocent people, have contributed their bones, from Enguerrand de Marigni, the first victim, and a just man, to Admiral de Coligni, who was its last, and who was also a just man.

As for the mysterious disappearance of Quasimodo, this is all that we have been able to discover.

About eighteen months or two years after the events which terminate this story, when search was made in that cavern for the body of Olivier le Daim, who had been hanged two days previously, and to whom Charles VIII. had granted the favor of being buried in Saint Laurent, in better company, they found among all those hideous carcasses two skeletons, one of which held the other in its embrace. One of these skeletons, which was that of a woman, still had a few strips of a garment which had once been white, and around her neck was to be seen a string of adrézarach beads with a little silk bag ornamented with green glass, which was open and empty. These objects were of so little value that the executioner had probably not cared for them. The other, which held this one in a close embrace, was the skeleton of a man. It was noticed that his spinal column was crooked, his head seated on his shoulder blades, and that one leg was shorter than the other. Moreover, there was no fracture of the vertebrae at the nape of the neck, and it was evident that he had not been hanged. Hence, the man to whom it had belonged had come thither and had died there. When they tried to detach the skeleton which he held in his embrace, he fell to dust.

Daddy Sang Bass

Scientists have discovered that the calls of male Blue Whales are becoming lower in pitch.

The scientists aren't sure why. Some think that it is to compensate for increased man-made oceanic noise; other scientists think that a deep voice is a turn-on for the female Blue Whales.

Here's someone who knew about singing low to attract the ladies:

We Don't Wish To Hurt Their Widdle Feelings

"Naming and shaming" of criminals in UK is to be minimized to spare the feelings of criminals and their families, new government guidelines advise.

It's as if the Labour party doesn't even want to stay in power.

Next Year On Sale At Wal-Mart For $9.99

An artist creates lightning effects on acrylic blocks by blasting them with a particle accelerator.

Probably right now Chinese entrepreneurs are gathered in solemn conclave, contemplating purchases of particle colliders, sending out orders for acrylic blocks...

Blog Post Title of the Day

Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee wins the interwebs with this lovely snark:

Tiger Admits To Sinking His Putz.


Couple of Recent Photos

Taken at Crowder's Mountain State Park (NC) last weekend. There is a small fishing lake there at the park; earlier this year the lake was empty to facilitate repairs to the earthen dam; now, at the middle of fall, the lake is refilled (much of it from Hurricane Ida, I'd imagine). It will be restocked with bass, bream and other sunfish (hopefully no catfish).

No Rice Krispies Noises, Thankfully

Fell while at work earlier tonight while trying to assist a hotel guest. She came down at 12:15 a.m. complaining about her smoke detector chirping. I offered to disable it until the maintenance man could fix it on Thursday. I took a chair up to the room to stand on, a heavy metal chair that will hold my weight even when I stand on it.

Unfortunately the chair tilted when I climbed onto it, sending me backward to the floor. I thought to myself, oh, this will hurt WHUMP! Ugh. Didn't strike my head against the floor; didn't hear any snap, crackles or pops; think I made it through without breaking anything. Move slowly, get up, first onto my side, then shakily stand; yah, I'm ok, didn't even have the wind knocked out of me; no nausea; incredibly lucky.

Now, about 5 hours later, some soreness in my left buttock, so I'm guessing a bit of bruising, but nothing more than that; again, incredibly lucky to escape serious injury.

Think I'll give up climbing on chairs until I lose some weight, however; too hard to keep my balance at current weight.

Guess I'll have to leave a note for my manager explaining things, since guest is sure to mention it.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Stuart Kaminsky, 1934-2009: R.I.P.

Mystery novelist Stuart Kaminsky has died.

Actually he died back in October, but the UK Telegraph is only now publishing his obit.

I like his Toby Peters and Porfiry Rostnikov mysteries, and have been meaning to check out You Bet Your Life from the library again, it features Toby Peters and the Marx Brothers.


Stuart Kaminsky

The Adventure of the Burglar's Code

As Sherlock Holmes and I returned from the concert hall, where we had heard the incomparable Joseph Joachim playing Mendelssohn's magnificent violin concerto, Holmes' attention was drawn to the doorway of 221B Baker Street as we approached home.

'Halloa, what's this?' said Holmes.

At the bottom of the door a small X had been drawn in chalk.

'Watson, dear fellow, you wouldn't happen to have your revolver with you, would you?' asked Holmes. When I answered in the negative, Holmes shrugged, saying, 'It's of no consequence, anyway, the deed hasn't happened yet, or Mrs. Hudson and the household would be aroused and in alarum. Stay here a moment, Watson, there's a good fellow.'

Holmes went quickly into the house and returned a few minutes later with a stick of chalk and a piece of cloth. He rubbed out the X with the cloth, and in its place, carefully marked a capital letter D. 'There, that should ensure our safety, for the moment at least, until I can get some of the Baker Street Irregulars to watch the house for a few days. Still, it would be wise to keep your army revolver handy, Watson, just in case.'

'Just in case what, Holmes? I am baffled, what are these chalk marks and why are they of significance?'

'They are burglar's signs, Watson,' replied Holmes. 'Thieves use these signs to identify houses to members of their gang. I myself have made a study of these signs, and have even written a monograph on the subject. The letter X, or cross sign, indicates a house ripe for plucking; the letter D, which I scribed onto our door, indicates a house too dangerous to enter. It should keep us safe until arrangements can be made.'

'Good Heavens, Holmes, quite extraordinary!' said I.

'Commonplace, Doctor,' he answered. 'Do let us go upstairs, I am anxious to reproduce some of the Mendelssohn on my Stradivarius. It will sound sweeter than that Cuyper fiddle that Joachim was playing tonight, I think.'

burglar's code.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Oops, I'm a Criminal

New laws taking effect today in NC include:

Other laws taking effect Tuesday will:

– fine motorists as much as $100 if they drive a car with a license plate frame that covers the state name or plate date. Drivers who are cited will receive only a warning through next November.

– ban the sale, possession and manufacture of Salvia divinorum, a hallucinogenic herb that's become popular among young people.

– permit people who lose their licenses because of repeat drunken-driving convictions to ask that their driving privileges be restored after a spotless record for 10 years.

– expand the law making it a felony to solicit a child by computer to commit unlawful sex acts to include cell phones.

Y'all excuse me while I make a trip to the toilet.

Hilarious Art: Sparebots

UK artists Lenny and Meriel Lenfesteys manufacture little figurines from electronic parts:

9V Tragedy, by Lenny & Meriel Lenfesteys.

How Much of the Failure Was Due To Outspoken Politics?

Actor Alec Baldwin considers his entire movie career to be a complete failure.

Maybe, just maybe, if he had been less obnoxiously political during his film career, and chosen many of his movies for political reasons, he might be happier with the results. For myself, I boycott films from actors and actresses who I find to be obnoxiously liberal in their politics, and probably other conservatives do, as well.

Think about it, actors and directors. How long will you continue to cater to only half of your potential viewing audience by making film that insult and disparage the conservative segment of society? You lose money every time you do so.

Headline of the Day

"Elderly Couple Fought Off Robber With Umbrella."

Why should they have had to? Why wasn't the robber in jail one of the other 23 robberies he committed? Why can't the two senior citizens have the means to defend themselves effectively, without taking the risk of injury that comes with physical defense?

Cautionary Tale

"My Brother Is Eating Himself To Death."

I have an older brother about whom I write with some reluctance, because I feel protective of him. He's topping 330lb: 24 stone. He was once 5ft 7in tall, but his vertebrae have compressed, and at 5ft 3in I now look him straight in the eye. I used to look up to him in every sense. I ended our last two visits in tears. My brother breaks my heart. He's obscenely smart, testing in adolescence (to the irritation of his siblings) as having a genius-level IQ. He's a well-read, intellectually adventurous man who can talk your ear off about why a meniscus is either concave or convex. But he's also a sadly good test case for the claim that one can be "healthy at every size".

My brother has diabetes, and has an average blood-sugar level — normal being about 5g – of 11.5g. His feet swell so that they don't fit in his boots. A bout of congestive heart failure nearly killed him. He can barely walk, and venturing out of his studio apartment is an ordeal. Obesity exacerbates his emphysema, and he drags a portable oxygen tank with him like a faithful dog. Not long ago, the tank's battery died at a bus stop. My brother went into respiratory arrest, and only a Good Samaritan who rushed off the bus got him to hospital in time to save his life. Every time I talk to my brother, I wonder if it's for the last time. Planning to see him during an author's tour in March, I'm counting the days, actively anxious that he won't still be with us three months from now.

My brother is also a good example of the kind of mitigating circumstances that sometimes attend being grossly overweight. Having been beaten up with a metal baseball bat in 1998 and broadsided by a careless driver while on his moped two years later, he boasts that his body clinks with "24 pieces of titanium" that set off alarms at airport security. The resultant chronic pain has made it impossible for him to exercise. The fact that my brother is fat is not, altogether, his fault.

However. He also eats too much.

A once amply proportioned friend of mine was at last moved to go on a successful all-liquid diet when his doctor said starkly, "I don't have any old, fat patients." My brother is only 55, and without drastic intervention – gastric bypass surgery or a sudden resolve on his part that I fear is unlikely – I doubt he'll see 60. My brother is eating himself to death. I love him dearly, and I can't support any political movement that would have him believe he can be "healthy at any size".

An hour or so after this column was filed, Shriver's brother suffered a sudden respiratory crisis during a visit to their parents, and was admitted to hospital in New York. He died of cardiac arrest on 22 November.

*sigh* Sounds like he's describing me. I'm 48 as of last Thursday, and I don't want to die that early, myself. I'm tired of being a heffalump.