Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sorry, It's Not A Stringed Instrument

From the commonly misspelled words peeve locker:

A viola can be found here.

When you make something appear for the amazement of an audience, the magical word you say on such an occasion is voilà! It's a French word, and means There! link.

Shades of Vespasian

Ryanair, which is Europe's largest budget airline, might begin charging passengers to use the onboard toilet.

Pee fee, anyone?

h/t Amy Alkon.

A Fitting Title

The Teleprompter Messiah.

h/t KurtP at A Trainwreck In Maxwell.

Philip José Farmer, 1918-2009: R.I.P.

Philip José Farmer, the science fiction writer, died peacefully in his sleep at age 91.

I read some of his stuff back in the mid-1980's, the World of Tiers and Riverworld series. A paperback copy of The Maker of the Universes with a striking cover by Boris Vallejo first drew my attention to Farmer:

h/t Ann Althouse.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sign of the Apocalypse

In that terrible year of 2009, when the stock markets tanked, and placentas were discovered floating in sewers...

Light Blogging Today

Apologies for the light blogging the last couple of days. It's been busy at work and busy at home, both.

I'll try to do better. *grins*

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Eye of God


"One Must Take a Stand. One Simply Must."

via Michael Totten comes a first-hand account of Christopher Hitchens' wacky misadventures in Beirut, Lebanon.

Here's the conquering hero himself:

©2009 Michael Totten. Used with permission.

Despite my teasing tone, that was a damned dangerous situation to be in. Christopher and crew were lucky to get to a safe place without serious injury. So for those of you out there who don't think that Christopher Hitchens is willing to walk the walk in addition to talking the talk, think to yourself: would you deface swastikas in militia-held Beirut, totally unarmed? Think about it.

And if you enjoyed Michael Totten's account, consider the possibility of hitting his tip jar, he is an independent journalist who works without a newspaper or other news organization paying him to do it, strictly from donations.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Discovered: Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci



Leonardo da Vinci?

He has a sort of dubious expression on his face, as if he's just been told of global warming or that you can stimulate an economy by raising taxes.

I See Reservations Already

An artist in Amsterdam has designed a sleeping bag that resembles a bear skin:

My question is this: what happens when you encounter a horny male bear during mating season? I'm sure the result will be dutifully published, with pictures, in the Daily Mail.

Will Ferrell Re-Making "Land of the Lost?"


How many of you enjoyed that cheesy 70's adventure show? It's about the best we had since Jonny Quest wasn't being produced anymore.

Here's a pic:

Enough Claws To Feed Everyone

Clint Eastwood: People Too PC


Go Ahead. Make Me Laugh.

That Monthly Guaranteed Government Check Makes The Difference

Servicemembers More Realistic About Retirement than Civilians, Survey Shows.

Military retirees tend to have fewer worries than their equivalents in the civilian world. Not only do they have a government-guaranteed pension, they also don't have to worry so much about health care as civilians do. That leaves more money available to put into savings or other retirement plans.

*clouts self on head for millionth time for getting out after four years*

I Don't Think She's Australian

Since we are talking about dating, I visited a dating website just now to find the following in my mail box, purportedly from an Australian girl living in Connecticut; see if she sounds like an Australian nurse to you:

I the young and beautiful woman, I live in small small town. I work in
small in hospital, I live with mum. I have left school and have
received education nurse, I met with man and me who did not like
because they only wanted sex and drank much, and one in general to
beat wanted, because I did not talk to him. To me hunting to find good
the man which will love very strongly up to the end of the life. I
would make all, that we would be happy. I very much like to prepare
very much, especially on holidays because it is possible to think up
that brand new. I do not smoke, I drink only on holidays. I would like
to meet the good person who could be fair and know as to address to
women, to love it, and to have good marriage and the child. I prefer
strong men who know that they want from a life who wishes to remain
with one woman and to be fair with it. Would like to have the open
relations and if we do not love when something in each
other speaks about it, it is good to be beloveds but also and good
friends and to trust each other if you do something not so, it is
better to tell so openly.

She starts out well, doesn't she? I the young and beautiful woman...

If You Stand Back A Bit and Squint

I got an email this morning from an online dating service, with some photos of girls "in your neighborhood." Now I live in Matthews, North Carolina, which is a suburb of the city of Charlotte. Here's where my soon-to-be romantic partners dwell: Jamestown, Tennessee; Gloucester Point, Virginia; Mechanicsville, Maryland; Conyers, Georgia; Greeneville, Tennessee; and Richmond, Kentucky. Now I have to admit that some of those states border on North Carolina, so perhaps from a certain vantage point those girls could be considered "neighbors." Damned if I'm going to try and walk next door to get a cup of flour from any of them though; it'd be a long walk.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wot's All This, Then?

It's safe for Jimmeh Carter to visit Canterbury, England, after police capture a giant white rabbit:

Which, of course, leads to...

Watch Out, All You Chickens

Colonel Sanders (Mel Gibson) is mad, and there's going to be hell to pay:


A Spanish Arrival

A Cask of Amontillado. Well, not a cask, but three small bottles. Del Duque true Amontillado from the Gonzalez Byass winery. 375ml half-bottles at $20 per.

This is one of the finest of Spanish sherries. Most of what is called "Amontillado" is simply a term for blended medium sherry, and is no more expensive than any other ordinary sherry. True Amontillado occurs when a fino sherry is allowed to age naturally until the layer of yeasts that grows on fino in the cask no longer occurs, and the wine takes on a honey color from the oak of the cask and long ageing. It's more complicated that that, in truth, but that is a good starting description of Amontillado.

The stuff is extremely aromatic, and is dry. If your only experience of sherry is via Harvey's Bristol Cream, be aware that those dessert sherries are only one single type of sherry; sherries range from extremely sweet to extremely dry, and some of them are among the driest of all wines.

You can spend as much time smelling this fine wine as you can drinking it, if you like. The professional tasters in the bodegas where sherry is made are so discriminating that they can tell the quality of the wine simply by smelling it, in many cases. It's 21.5 percent alcohol, which works out to 43 proof, so a few glasses are all that is needed for a lift.

Here's a pic I took:

If you want some and aren't living around Charlotte to arrange a visit, you can buy it at Witty's Wine, the web address hilariously looks like "witty swine" when you look at it casually.

A Good Start

"Coast Guard Returns 214 To Haiti."

An Unworthy Speculation

Having dreamed about winning an Oscar since she was an eight-year-old, it is perhaps no surprise Kate Winslet can't put the award down.

Since accepting her Best Actress trophy for The Reader on Sunday night, the 33-year-old has been inseparable from her little gold man.

I wonder if she's...nah, she wouldn't. Would she?

I bet Angelina Jolie has. Not with Kate's, but Angelina's a dirty girl. I'm sure she's done it.

You all know what I'm talking about.

*nudge nudge wink wink* Say no more!

Quote of the Day

To the liberal elite, I would add: "If you scorn my warnings about the effects of mass immigration, unchecked crime and disorder, penal taxation to finance needless empires of client workers, undisciplined education, state-sponsored immorality and the rest, then you will in the end deliver a large part of the electorate, so frustrated that they won't care any more about words like 'Nazi' and 'Fascist', into the hands of unscrupulous demagogues, who will employ these causes to seek power and may eventually destroy you - and me - completely."

Peter Hitchens, Christopher's Tory brother, in his Sunday column.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sula Comes Home

Gene and Tamara Bausman were worried. One of their dogs, a collie/border collie cross named Sula, had disappeared, leaving her mate and pups behind. The Bausmans searched their Manitoba farm trying to find Sula, but were unsuccessful.

Finally, ten days later, Sula returned.

The Bausmans were horrified when they discovered that one of Sula's front legs was maimed beyond possibility of repair, with only some bone and exposed veins remaining.

Sula had been caught in a leg-hold trap, illegal in that area of Manitoba. In pain and desperate to survive and return to her family, Sula chewed her leg off to free herself from the trap.

Sula is back home now with her family, after having the remains of her front leg amputated by a veterinarian. Vets in the fur-trade areas of Canada see these animals often, and have a name for these three-legged survivors: they call them tripods.

Here's Sula:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ruger Vaquero Holster Question

Ok, I'm wanting a new holster for my Ruger Vaquero 7.5" .45. I have a flap holster for it, but I'd like an open-top holster, also. The trouble is that all of the open-top holsters don't cover enough of the gun for my liking.

First, here is what the gun looks like in the flap holster:

And next is the same photo, with some crude photoshopping showing what part of the gun I want covered when it is holstered:

My question is this: do any of the holster makers make a holster that covers all of the gun except for a bit of the butt? If not, I can have a friend make me one custom.

"The Cruellest Captain In The Royal Navy"

The UK Daily Mail has a feature story about the 1797 mutiny onboard the HMS Hermione, an English frigate stationed in the Caribbean.

Good story, go and read all of it. Cruelty by tyrannical captains was the cause of several mutinies during the era of the Napoleonic Wars, and much of the fleet mutinied at Spithead and The Nore in what was an early example of a worker's strike. More info can be found here.

Still Asleep

Redoubt volcano in Alaska is still asleep:

Shot taken from a hut webcam about 10 miles from Redoubt. We live in wonderful times, when we can monitor volcanoes in real time from thousands of miles away.

Father Damien To Be Canonized Oct. 11th

Long overdue.


If you've never heard of Father Damien and his work with the lepers of Hawaii, you can visit Wikipedia for more information.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Greater Love Has No Man

Two Marines killed in Iraq by an explosion from a car bomb have received the Navy Cross.

The two Marines, Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter and Cpl. Jonathan Yale, were guarding the gate at Joint Security Station Nasser when a truck loaded with explosives attempted to penetrate the defenses leading into the base. Haerter and Yale engaged the truck with small arms, resulting in the truck exploding in their immediate vicinity, killing them.

More details at the link.

So Much For Your Naval Careers

Four ensigns from the Pensacola Naval Air Station have been charged with felonies in regards to the shootings of protected birds in an island bird sanctuary.

*shakes head sadly*

Storm Chasers, OK. But Meteorite Hunters?

They travel thousands of miles pursuing an obsession: they are the Meteorite Hunters.

Chasing That Cosmic Debris

UK: Gun Control, Knife Control...Dog Control?

The new weapon of choice for the criminal element in UK: vicious dogs.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More On Christopher Hitchens In Beirut

via the UK Guardian.

Hitchens had been drinking on Beirut's main boulevard, Hamra Street, on Saturday afternoon with two other western journalists after attending a rally to commemorate the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri. They spotted a poster for the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, a far-right group whose logo bears an uncanny resemblance to the Nazi swastika, and Hitchens decided to act.

"They would be better off calling themselves the Syrian National Socialist party, and that's what they are", he said, speaking to today after arriving in the UK by plane. "I couldn't tear it down but I got my marker out and wrote on it, effectively telling them to 'fuck off'."

Hitchens' political statement was witnessed by a group of SSNP activists, who have a strong presence in Beirut. "With amazing speed, in broad daylight on this fashionable street, these guys appeared from nowhere, grabbed me by the collar and said: 'You're coming with us'. I said: 'No I'm not'. They kept on coming. About six or seven at first with more on the way," he said.

He described how he was knocked to the floor, ended up with his shirt covered with blood after he cut his arm in the fall, and "skinned" two fingers on one hand. Hitchens added that was walking with a limp for several days after. "They were after me because I was the one who had defaced the poster," he said.

After scrambling to his feet and "picking up my glasses and my notebook", Hitchens and his companions flagged down a taxi, but a member of the gang who had assailed him jumped in and they climbed back out on to the street, escaping to the safety of a busy coffee shop. A crowd confronted their assailants and the three men managed to escape.

Read the whole thing. Maybe the actions Hitchens took were ill-considered or a bit of Hemingway bravado, but defacing the symbols of a dangerous militia group in Beirut are not the act of a cowardly man.

Science Project: Backyard Lava!

Make your own lava, using only a cutting torch and some rock:

Then imagine the heat required to cause lava to run in rivers, as it does in Hawaii at the Kilauea volcano.

h/t The Volcanism blog.

I Thought It Was Written Into Her Contracts, Myself

Kate Winslet no longer wants to be known as the actress who always does nude scenes in her movies.

Warning: Link Not Safe For Work.

I Get My Own Ann Althouse Label

I've been a reader and commenter over at Ann Althouse's blog for quite a while, and finally got my own label over there. I doubt it will be used much, because I'm not one of the more profound commenters. Althouse has some of the best commenters in the blogosphere, I often think.


Thanks, Ann!

Remember Cracker Jack Wedding Rings?

In UK, the budget department store Marks & Spencers is selling a wedding ring for $25.00.

It's not even made out of precious metal, but of tin plated with platinum, and with fake diamonds:


For you youngsters out there, Cracker Jack brand caramel corn used to come with real toy surprises in each box, the most popular toy for girls was, of course, a wedding ring. Boys (at least in the 60's) usually got little plastic whistles or miniature pinball games.

We Told You So

So go ahead and treat terrorists as if they are simply a law enforcement problem. See what it gets you.

Race Riots Begin In Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe, a Caribbean island that belongs to and is governed by France, has seen rioting break out as the majority black population of the island takes to the streets to protest rule by a white minority.

It must be noted that Haiti was once owned by France and ruled by a white minority. The black citizens of Guadeloupe had best consider carefully what they wish for; they might just get it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Christopher Hitchens Beaten In Beirut?


h/t Hot Air.

Best wishes for your health, Christopher, and be careful out there.

We Were Marines Once, And Young

My blogson Barco Sin Vela tells a story of his youth, and how the paths we take often veer in strange directions, and people we thought were brothers turn out to be strangers, and worse than strangers.

Go. Read.

The Last of the Pit Ponies Passes Away

Pip, a "pit pony" that worked in UK coal mines, has died.

In 1913, 70,000 ponies worked in underground mines. It's something I never knew, so file it as...

A Story For Which The World Is Not Yet Prepared*

Captured: The Giant Rat of Sumatra. In China.

*Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sussex Vampire.

Um, Dude? WTF?

Why are you playing with that lion's 'nads?

I mean, I'm sure the lion enjoys it and all, but geez....

Where Jeff Cooper Erred

A US Navy sailor killed his girlfriend by shooting her with what he thought was an unloaded gun:

MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin sailor told police in Virginia he didn’t realize his gun was loaded when he pointed it at his girlfriend’s head and pulled the trigger, killing the woman.

A report in the Newport News Daily Press says the 22-year-old Mackie, from Chippewa Falls, told investigators he was playing with his gun at his Navy apartment in Newport News, Va. Thursday, walked up behind Trask, pointed the weapon at her head and pulled the trigger. A criminal complaint says Mackie then called 911.

USMC Colonel Jeff Cooper, as all conscientious gun owners should know, formulated four rules for safe gun handling:

1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

Cooper showed great insight in formulating these rules. When it came time to teach them to my nephew, I distilled them down to three, substituting one of which was my own:

1. A gun is not a toy. Don't play with it!
2. A gun is always loaded.
3. Never point a gun at anything you aren't ready to destroy.

The sailor in this story violated all three of my rules. He was treating his gun as a toy, putting himself in the mindset of a child, and engaging in childish behavior. Had he been taught my rules, he wouldn't have been playing with the gun, he would have known that the gun was loaded, and (hopefully) he wouldn't have pointed it at his girlfriend's head.

But it all boils down to the very first rule I taught my nephew: he treated the gun as a toy. I think that perhaps Jeff Cooper, as great an authority as he was, failed to realize that the behavior of a human that picks up a gun must be addressed more firmly than in his Rule 1. It's all very well to be taught that all guns are always loaded, but if you aren't taught the proper mindset when faced with a firearm, violations of Cooper's Rules will continue.

A Gun Is Not A Toy. Please, emphasize this to those you train, for all our sakes.

Hitchens Under The Sea

Peter Hitchens recounts his Cold War experiences in both UK and USSR, visiting a British ballistic missile submarine and the silos near Moscow that would defend against the submarine's deadly arsenal:

I once spent a very enjoyable weekend in a nuclear missile submarine. Since HMS Repulse long ago retired, I think I can write pretty freely about the experience, which included singing 'Dear Lord and Father of Mankind, forgive our foolish ways' during the unapologetically Christian service which was held aboard every Sunday in those days. I wonder if they still do that?

Good story, so it would pay to read the whole thing.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Adolf Hitler: Cake Addict, Fuehrer of Der Farterland

According to a UK Daily Mail story, during the final days of the Third Reich Adolf Hitler like to gorge on cake and farted a lot.

These terrible secrets were revealed in a document marked "This summary must be destroyed within 48 hrs of receipt" which is being auctioned in UK.

Ya think Hitler ever played the pull my finger joke on people?

Notify Jimmy Carter

Spain is planning a breeding program to produce HUMONGOUS GIANT RABBITS for use as food for human consumption.

Jimmeh's Worst Nightmare

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Mystery of the Missing Rock Star

Where did Gerry Rafferty get off to?

Some of you might wonder who Gerry Rafferty is, and for those people, here is Right Down The Line:

He had an even bigger hit with Baker Street, but this one isn't played as often and I like it better.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

AP Story On Charlotte Banking Crisis

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The financial collapse has hit the city known as Wall Street South.

Really, if the big banks here in Charlotte fail, there isn't much to replace them. The textile industry in the surrounding areas has mostly collapsed, the jobs going overseas.

Volcano Blog: Galeras, Columbia


7000 people evacuated from the town of Pasto. No reports of anything more than ashfall at the present, eruption occurred in full darkness during a rainstorm, obscuring visual inspection of the volcano.

Galeras is one of the most active volcanoes in South America, erupting frequently in historical times. An eruption in 1993 killed 9 people, among them some geologists who were taking measurements inside the crater itself. Part of this was caught on video and can be seen on The Discovery Channel and other science outlets.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

New UK Sniper Rifle At Work In Afghanistan

Two stories from the UK Telegraph here and here.

Update The UK Daily Mail has more information, including a photo:

Yet Another Superhero Generator!

Found here.


Fine Outrage On Display

For this establishment, marriage and the nuclear family are dead, commitment is irrelevant, individual responsibility counts for nothing, the State will always pick up the tab and the only sin is to be judgmental.

Read the whole thing. It's talking about liberal policies in the UK, but the US is walking down that same path under the leadership of The Messiah, Pelosi and Reid.

Not A Bad Epitaph

Friends said he was known for making sausage, his 60-year marriage to his high school sweetheart, Hilda, and his 11-year-old mixed breed dog Missy.

The measure of a man?

Dude, It's Just a Parking Spot... reason to start gnawing on each other.

Now see what happened? You aren't symmetrical anymore.

Reporter Questions His Role


As I was enjoying the scenery, joking about cup holders, he was looking for threatening vehicles and suicide bombers. It is easy for me to feel relaxed, because I was thinking about stories and pictures. He was thinking about people who want to kill us.

We chatted for a second about what he was looking for in the buildings and roads. And then he asked me, “Why doesn’t Afghanistan get as much press as the war in Iraq? People die here every day.”

I said something about the fact there are more media members in Iraq, and a larger force, and more who have died.

But I really didn’t have an answer that satisfied him or me.


...Dual Bullet.

h/t Breda.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Teacher Charged With Prostitution


When advised of the arrest, members of the local teachers' union, rather than admitting that Carter was a genuine case of a bad teacher who needed to be fired, instead stated that the sad fact that Carter was reduced to prostitution to pay her bills indicated that teachers were underpaid and needed pay increases.*

*Not really, but it's the kind of thing that they would say.

Bronze 'Em And Use 'Em As Cuff Links?

There are call for the Czech Republic to stop castrating sex offenders.

I only have two questions, the first I answered in the post title, the other is:

What happens to the empty scrotum? Does it just hang there, like a dewlap on a moose? Like wattles on a rooster? I'd guess that they can take groin kicks with equanimity forever afterwards, right?

Myself, having had a vasectomy, I can report the results of that: your nuts (well, mine, actually) increased by about 50% in size.

A Ten-Year Project Completed

The US State Quarter project started in 1999 and ended last night, when I found the last quarter (Hawaii) in the cash drawer:

How many of you collected the state quarters? How many of you have completed them?

Good Debate On The Fairness Doctrine

Hugh Hewitt, probably the smartest of the talk radio guys, grills former Crossfire host Bill Press on the Fairness Doctrine. Go here for the transcript.

Good stuff.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Over At Amy Alkon's...

...Christopher Hitchens quotes Lillian Hellman on sexual orientation.

Go over and read it yourself, it's short and Amy's a good blogger.

Was The Angel Gabriel In Attendance?

Bee Gee Robin Gibb, who fathered a child with his maid, described the baby as heaven-sent.

Uh, Robin? I know that sounds romantic and all, but it's still not going to prevent you having to pay support. The court isn't likely to entertain an immaculate conception defense.

Frankengoats Being Modified To Give Human Milk


How does it taste?

Not baa-aaa-aaad!


Think I'll Make It My Homepage

"This Is Why You're Fat: Where Dreams Become Heart Attacks."

And the This Is Why You're Fat website can be found here.

And a sample:

"12 Bird True Love Roast

Contains 12 different kinds of bird: large turkey filled with goose, chicken, pheasant, aylesbury and barbary duck, poussin and guinea fowl, partridge, pigeon squab, quail and mallard duck. Breast meat from 48 different birds + 8 types of stuffing."


45 Shots, And A Boy Is Dead On The Floor...

...and the German bartender who served him all that Tequila is in trouble with the law.


Wasn't quite what you thought at first, was it?

Smut Alert

Don't read on if you're easily offended.

Homeless woman given home after hugging President Barack Obama at rally."

And now, the smut:

Imagine what she might have got if she'd blown him!

*rim shot*

Thanks, I'll be here all week. Got a million of 'em.

Now I REALLY Support Torture

A suspect in the Mumbai, India massacre claims to have been "tortured with sex" by a female FBI agent.

A SUSPECT in the Mumbai Massacre has claimed a woman FBI agent tortured him with SEX during an interrogation.

Fahim Ansari — accused of helping the jihadi gang who killed 173 in November — says the American performed a sex act on him against his will.

Ansari alleges the woman stripped him naked, abused him all night — leaving wounds and bite marks — and showed him hardcore porn films.

Son, where I come from, we don't call that torture, we call it Friday night at the juke joint.

OK, It's a Good Theme Park Ride.

But until you get rid of the hose tying it to the earth, the water-powered jetpack is about as useful as a tetherball.

Here's a pic of the web's next 24-hour topic of conversation:

You Fool! You're Giving Up A Perfectly Good Sinecure!

Dennis Lennox doesn't want to be the Commissioner of Drains in Cheboygan County, Michigan any more.

Not because the job is difficult, or because he can't handle the stress, or because he's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar; Dennis Lennox doesn't want the job because there are no drains in Cheboygan County, Michigan.

Read the rest of the story for the story of the one demonstrably honest politician in the United States. I think we should draft him to run for President in 2012.

What To Name It...Let's See...

Indian inventors invent a soft drink made from cows' urine.

Hmm, what to call it? Pissi-Cola, maybe? How about Dr. Pisser?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Those Are Some Porky Sailors

The skipper of the USS Port Royal (CG-73) has been relieved of command after grounding his ship.

That's the Navy way. What was funny to me, though, was a description of how they re-floated the ship to get it off the sandbank:

After three days of rolling in the Pacific surf as a collection of salvage ships attempted to pull it free, the Port Royal was finally floated loose early Monday. Engineers emptied the ship’s saltwater tanks, jettisoned its anchors and anchor chains, and took off more than 100 sailors, lightening it by about 600 tons, according to Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Scott Gureck.

Sounds like those sailors need to push away from the mess tables, if you ask me.

What's That Hanging Above The Hearth?

Why, I do believe it's a 1924 Gibson F-5 Mandolin made by Lloyd Loar.

And those are worth a lot of money. Enough to buy a house, most places.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Tarzana Joe Nails It

Tarzana Joe nails the exact tone of the early Obama White House:

The New Diplomacy
By Tarzana Joe

A hopeful day is dawning
And the changing has begun
Let’s all get down to business
But remember that I won

We’re going to change America
And reason not the cost
I’d love to hear your thinking
But remember that you lost

click the link to read the whole thing.

A Place For Everything And Everything In Its Place

Strangely enough, until very recently, the US Coast Guard didn't see the utility in that toolworker's maxim.

That has now changed, at least for damage control, thanks to Machinery Technician 3d Class David L. Scribellito. Scribellito, tired of lugging damage control equipment around in a seabag which would have to be dumped onto the deck in order to find anything, decided to design something better. He did, and the Coast Guard likes it so much that they're patenting the design so that other ships in the fleet can use it.

Scribellito's shipmates even made a YouTube video demonstrating the new bag:

Bravo Zulu, Petty Officer Scribellito! Well Done!

Weeding Out The Riffraff

When you join a dating website and are asked to describe which celebrity you most resemble, Tor Johnson really weeds out the riffraff.

For those of you who don't know who Tor Johnson is, this is his Wikipedia entry.

And this is what he looked like:

It's Like The Navy Without The Navy Stuff

Life aboard a Military Sealift Command ship.

ABOARD THE USNS ROBERT E. PEARY — Life is very different on this side of the unrep.

The crew members are mostly civilians, with an average age of 48. They get overtime pay — when necessary — and are guaranteed a minimum of two hours’ worth any time they’re called back. And when the workday is done, everyone goes home. Sort of.

“Home,” aboard a 41,000-ton Military Sealift Command fleet support ship, is a stateroom for every crew member. That includes even the greenest newcomer.

The features are beyond cushy for sailors used to the USS life: MSC mariners have reclining easy chairs, carpets, their own plasma TVs, and Xbox 360s rigged up on their ship’s intranet for after-hours “Halo.”

For Navy sailors looking to transition to the MSC, the ideal fits are those who enjoy going to sea but don’t like the military aspect of Navy life, Melow said. If a sailor or an officer wanted to join MSC after getting out of the Navy, he must start with his DD-214.

Once people are in, there is no rigid command structure aboard, and no uniforms — sweatshirts, scraggly beards and long hair are all common. Mariners call each other by their first names. Navy people coming aboard could expect a corporate culture, as opposed to a military culture, if they decided to cross over, Toscano said.

Here's a pic of a typical crew cabin onboard the Peary:

Saturday, February 07, 2009

He's Not Willing To Take It On Faith?

A Roman Catholic bishop who is at the center of controversy for denying the holocaust wants to examine the historical evidence.

He must be taking his cue from St. Thomas the Apostle.

Funny how Bishop Williamson is willing to believe such things as the Resurrection, Virgin Birth, Immaculate Conception and miracles but isn't willing to believe in the Holocaust.

Jesus Christ In A Jedi Outfit!

A stain on a car dealership door has people seeing strange things.

It's Jesus. It's Sasquatch. It's Jesus in a Jedi outfit. It's a Persian king.

What do you think it is?

Quote of the Day

"What Terry cannot accept is that the Welsh are a servile nation whom God put on the planet to carry out menial tasks for the English." - - John Cleese

Felony Finger

A man in Portsmouth, New Hampshire has been charged with a felony for flipping the bird at an enemy in a restaurant.

It's more complicated than that, of course. The other person had an Order of Protection against the bird-flipper, so he was charged with violating the order, which is a felony. Police indicate that the felony charge will probably be dropped and the misdemeanor charge of stalking retained.

Kind of a blah story, but a good blog title. On a blog post quality scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being horrible and 5 being outstanding, I'll give this one a 2 (mediocre).

Friday, February 06, 2009


One of these showed up a few minutes ago via the US Postal Service.

Right now the little thing is busy with Microsoft updates. Then will come AVG Antivirus Free Edition updates, then Spybot Search & Destroy, then the little thing will be ready for its role as my at-work computer, since we have been forbidden to access the internet there anymore.

It's my first laptop, so there will be a bit of a learning curve.

Media Darwinism

Rupert Murdoch, the Australian media baron, apparently is a disciple of Nietzsche, as he recently said that what kills weaker newspapers will only make his own stronger.

That's not quite Nietzschean, is it? Maybe I should call it quasi-Nietzschean? Pseudo-Nietzschean?

Maybe I should just call it talking out of my ass?

Aw, Crap.

A graduate student at Leeds University lost his collection of rare lizard dung when it was mistaken for ordinary, everyday dung and thrown out.

The university issued an apology, although I doubt that they worded it "shit happens."

Gun Quandary

I filed my tax returns, and am contemplating adding to my gun collection with the refund. My problem is that I only have enough refund for one nice gun, and there are two that I like a lot. Opinions on the quandary I find myself in would be appreciated.

Gun #1: Colt or Springfield Armory 1911A1 in .45ACP. Either brand is fine, as long as it is in stainless steel. The specific models are the Colt 1991A1 in stainless, or the Springfield Armory Mil-Spec 1911A1 in stainless. I've owned 1911's in the past, enjoy shooting them, and yearn to have one again.

Gun #2: Kahr/Auto-Ordnance .30 M1 Carbine. Unlike a CMP rifle, the Auto-Ordnance M1 Carbine is new manufacture, approximately the same cost as the 1911. I've never owned one of these handy little rifles, and they are the sort of gun that might fall under a renewed Assault Weapons Ban (the magazines might, anyway).

Note: Choosing the M1 carbine at this time doesn't mean I won't purchase a 1911A1 at a later date.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Channelling The Founding Fathers...

...over at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.


Benjamin Franklin: “You’ll never believe this wonderful little thing they have. It’s a blue pill that makes the minute man stand at attention.”

Go over and read the whole thing.

Bilbo The Rescue Dog

At Sennen Beach in Cornwall, UK, Bilbo the rescue dog, a Newfoundland who assists the lifeguards, has lost his job because pets are banned from the beach.

He's a handsome dog, too:

Click the link for the story, and for video.

Did You Know...

...that there was a Rolls-Royce of barber poles?

It's apparently called the Marvy Model 55:

Back when I had enough hair to justify going to get haircuts, I had a preference for old-fashioned barber shops, not modern unisex places like Great Clips or Fantastic Sam's. To me, a barber shop should include:

The owner's name on the sign or painted on the window;

A barber pole, of course;

Magazines like Field & Stream and Outdoor Life for the patrons to look at while waiting;

Real barber chairs;

Wooden booster benches so that boys could get their hair cut;

Hair tonic for sale, usually green in color;

Machines for dispensing hot shave cream;

Straight razors and hot towels for full shaves as well as neck shaves;

Clippers without vacuum cleaners attached to them, and old-fashioned hand clippers for use "when the barber feels like it."

And at least three barbers working. Fewer is ok in a really small town, but a typical Main Street shop in a typical town should have at least three.

She Likes To Play With Knives...

...and her name is Dominique.

This is Dominique Fisher:

It's unlikely this guy will ever forget her name:

(he was too drunk and drugged with Valium to wake while she carved him)

Dominique Fisher likes doodling, too:

Dominique Fisher's blade of choice is the Stanley work knife found just about everywhere.

She's not yet in jail, so if you are in the vicinity of Blackburn, Lancashire, UK, beware.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cool Snowmen Slideshow

Bore Patch: You have your snowmen, and we have ours

Great slideshow of snowmen done by the UNMC College of Pharmacy.

Here's a sample:

Another Terrier Breed Facing Extinction

I blogged about the Glen of Imaal Terrier being in danger of extinction back in October.

Now, word comes of another terrier breed in danger of dying out: The Sealyham Terrier.

Unlike the Glen of Imaal, I've actually heard of Sealyhams. They're small terriers, typically white:

Apparently tail-docking laws have caused the breed to lose popularity; I guess a long-tailed Sealyham must gain in ugliness, or something. Maybe they use their tails as whips. According to the article, popularity of Shih-Tzus is also a factor.

Too bad, they're a handsome dog.

Something Unfortunate May Happen If You Don't

A Russian Oligarch who purchased the London Evening Standard is asking the UK media to stop referring to him as a former member of the KGB.

This Is An Ex-Parrot KGB Agent!

When Batleths Are Outlawed...

...only outlaws will carry Batleths.

What's a Batleth, you ask? It's one of those Klingon bladed weapons from Star Trek:

Funny takeaway from the article:

But the Batleth itself is not the important part of this post. Well, it is kinda, but not in the way you’d expect.

The important part be thus: If you know what a Batleth is, you are in fact a Star Trek NERD. Do not argue with me, this question was the litmus test to determine your Star Trek nerdness. It’s like the SAT or something.

But it’s hip to be a nerd these days, right? Wrong. And here’s my proof from the Batleth story itself: Police say both the 711employees robbed by our would-be Klingon recognized the Batleth from Star Trek. You get that – they recognized it. That’s like a mathematical proof proving if you’re a Star Trek nerd and know what a Batleth is, you’ll end up working at a 711. Or robbing it.

Either way, you’re screwed for life.

Truer words never spoken.

7:30 A.M., Roads Covered With Ice...

...3:30 P.M., roads clear. That's the way things typically go here in the southern US. This morning was hazardous for nearly everyone, as a night snowfall turned to ice sheets on many of our area roads. On my way home from work Interstate I-485 was clear about 2/3 of my way home, unfortunately the bad part was on the last 1/3. In fact, the closer I got to home the worse the roads became. Once I left the Interstate the secondary roads were pretty grim, and I nearly skidded into another car about a mile from home. Instead of the road I usually take I took an alternate road with fewer grades. I skidded again slightly as I turned into the driveway.

My sister stayed home half a day before venturing out. Walking outside to check conditions she slipped on the sidewalk and went down, breaking a fingernail nearly to the quick and wrenching her arm.

The road in front of the house that I avoided on the way home saw a parade of cars going back and forth, indicating that somewhere along its shady path, probably at the bottom of a slope where a creek ran, an accident or series of accidents had occurred. Cars would be seen headed west, then returning minutes later, unable to continue down the road.

This is only the second snowfall of the year here. Typically we only have one or two per year, so hopefully we've seen the last of it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Naval History Website Is Back Online


Not fully functional, and not all of the photo collection is back, but they're busy working on it.

There's also a gallery of paintings, here's a sample by Robert Charles Haun, USS Glacier Breaking Ice:

Photo Gallery: Japan's Ice Hotel


Here's a teaser:

On The Rocks Is Mandatory At The Ice Hotel

Ernest Hemingway Movie In Planning


Damn, wonder who'll they'll get to play him?

We Have Our Eye On You

The Bank of Currituck in Moyock, NC, has begun a No Hats, No Hoods, No Sunglasses policy to deter robberies.

The idea is to reduce the chance of robberies, though Converse said the bank had not experienced any recently. Customers who refuse to comply still will be served, he said, “but everyone in the bank will be watching them a lot more closely.”

Prediction: the policy will last until the first Muslim customer in a Burqa refuses to comply and complains to the state government.

The Snark of the Drudge 2

Drudge is at it again:

Clinton "eyes" Asia trip. Look at her Oriental-looking eyes in the photo.

Um, Sister? You Just Told The Next Robber Where To Look

UK: A nun is victimised by a purse snatcher, and in the course of telling her tale, discloses where she hides her money.

'Luckily the thief didn't get my purse. Because muggings are becoming common I started putting it in my pocket.'

Gee, thanks, Sister!

Pictured: Sister Lorna Lootinhabit.

How DOES One Rebel Against Peter O'Toole?

Here's a clue, kid: watch Absolutely Fabulous, and take notes. You are basically the male equivalent of Saffron Monsoon.

Peter O'Toole's son can't figure out how to outrage his father, one of the most outrageous men in UK.

Is Russian. Of Course Is Drunk.

Drunk pilot on an Aeroflot flight? No big deal.

Rape Defense #3

A former Coast Guard officer is being tried on rape charges.

His lawyer will argue that the encounter was consensual.

For those ignorant of rape defense, there are only three that are offered by the typical rape defendant, they are:

1. Bitch lied (question the victim's honesty)
2. Some Other Dude Did It, also known as SODDI, or victim identified wrong suspect;
3. Bitch asked for it (sex was consensual).

You In A Heap Of Trouble Boy, For Shore

Some hick South Carolina sheriff wants to charge Olympics champion Michael Phelps with marijuana possession.


She Survived, But Hopefully Learned A Lesson

22-year-old Lindsey Pfundstein became lost in Pisgah National Forest in the North Carolina mountains on what she thought was a short loop trail.

When she realized she was off her original trail and too far to return to her car by dark, she used a trail map to locate a shelter, and improvised a sleeping bag by stuffing a hammock with leaves. She walked out the next day and met rescuers.

Ok, what we have here is a smart hiker who knew what to do when she realized she would be caught by darkness in the mountains. She had a map with her, and knew how to use it to find shelter. She had a hammock with her, probably a mesh backpacker's hammock, and was able to improvise a sleeping bag from it using leaves. Much easier would have been including a space blanket in her kit, which would have been warmer and taken up no more space than the hammock.

The article doesn't mention her making a fire, but including a butane lighter or matches in a waterproof container would have provided even more warmth in the shelter that she found, and allowed her to make a hot meal or drink, if she included food in her kit.

To summarize: if you're going into the wilderness, either as a hiker, a backpacker, a hunter or even as a fisherman, you need to be aware of the Ten Essentials and take them with you. Chosen wisely, they can be carried in a waist pack or small daypack.

Excuse Me, Sir...

but is that a pigeon in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?

A Melbourne, Australia man was caught trying to smuggle pigeons into Australia from Dubai.

They don't show a picture of the man's face, but I have to suspect he's part Sasquatch:

The Family That Stabs Together Is Jailed Together

Family of the year: the Glodeks of Severn, Maryland.

Severn, Md. - Anne Arundel County police report the arrest of three members of a Severn family late Sunday night in a bizarre and violent confrontation between the family and police.

When they arrived, they found a man and a woman sitting in a car at that address. The man, 20-year-old Jeremy Glodek, got out of the car and tried to assault two of the responding officers. They started to arrest Glodek as two more officers arrived at the scene.

At that point, the suspect's father, 56-year-old Jerald Glodek, drew a butcher knife from inside his jacket and tried to stab one of the police officers. The police drew their guns and ordered him to drop his knife, which he hesitantly did, police say. He, too, was arrested.

Then, the suspect's mother, 57-year-old Debra Glodek, tried to grab the knife from the ground where Jerald had dropped it. Officers ordered her to stop, at which point she attacked one of the police officers. She was also arrested.

I guess you could consider this a real crime family.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Defense Against Piracy: Training of Merchant Sailors

AP story.

Some excerpts:

Colleges are teaching students to fishtail their vessels at high speed, drive off intruders with high-pressure water hoses and illuminate their decks with floodlights.

At the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Calif., professor Donna Nincic teaches two courses on piracy. Students learn where the piracy hotspots are and how they have shifted over the years.

"If I've done anything, I've shown them that this isn't a joke, it's not about parrots and eye patches and Blackbeard and all that," Nincic said. "It's very real and it's a problem without an easy solution."

Often the pirates are armed with knives and guns. Pirates off the coast of Somalia have taken to firing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades.

In the old days, ships were armed with cannons to guard against pirates. But nowadays, crew members for the most part do not carry guns. And maritime instructors say that arming crews is not the answer.

It is illegal for crews to carry weapons in the territorial waters of many nations, and ship captains are wary of arming crew members for fear of mutinies, Nincic said. Also, some worry that arming crew members would only cause the violence to escalate.

Instead, the best defense is vigilance, Nincic tells students.

Where have we heard that crap before? Oh, yah, it's the typical sort of bullshit spouted by anti-gun zealots at individuals who wish to defend themseves against criminals. And isn't it funny how ship captains haven't ever changed, and are more worried about their crewmen committing mutiny than they are about pirates? Says something about how merchant sailors are treated, doesn't it?

Trying Out This Twitter Stuff

Check the sidebar.

Tax Paperwork Is In The Mail

Getting a refund from the Feds, owed $1 (that's right, one dollar) to the State of NC. Refund will hopefully go toward something that goes bang.

"And He Said, 'I Will Not Destroy It For Ten's Sake.'"

Although Abraham couldn't find ten honest men in Sodom, the UK Daily Mail found one good teenager in Westfield, West Yorkshire.

The lad helped police capture burglars by managing to take a photograph of one of them escaping while wearing distinctive clothing. Armed with the photo, the police were able to make arrests of two habitual felons.

Young Hero With Camera

Frank James Nails It

"I view the entire British Isles now as one somewhat large, but heavily regulated Penal Colony."

24 hour surveillance is now the rule rather than the exception wherever you go and the attitude of the authorities is they have the 'right' to investigate as well as intrude into any aspect of your personal life for any reason. None of which needs to be explained. There is even a program now where the 'authorities' are entering people's homes unannounced and without need of a warrant to make sure the residents are deposing of their left-overs from the dining room table 'properly'.

Gun related crimes are at an all time high in the Midlands and now you can go to jail for possessing a knife in public with various 'offensive' features. Self-defense is a concept as foreign to their legal system and as 'integrity' is to any life long politician. Failure is a word that comes to my mind immediately whenever someone casually mentions England, Britain or the United Kingdom in any conversation. I find it so sad.

Read the whole thing.

The House Smells of Sh*t.

In UK, a plan to heat homes with "biomethane" made from sewage.

And to help do your part, the government will require you to eat lots of Brussels Sprouts and drink lots of beer.

Oh, That Old Thing?

A terra-cotta "vase" that was kept in a Dorset (UK) garden for 20 years turned out to be a 3,000-year-old canopic jar from Egypt.

'Eeee, that old thing? I kept laburnums in that vase, I did.