Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Paul Theroux On Michael Jackson

A man whose work I have always admired and respected talks of a man for whom I had neither admiration nor respect.

Paul Theroux is one of those people whom I'd be happy to sit down at dinner with, and discussion afterward. Others in that group include Christopher Hitchens and Camille Paglia. Having all three in the same room, bouncing ideas and opinions off of each other would be a delight to witness.

Feeling Over-Nannied, Maybe?

In Peterborough, Cambridgeshire (UK), retirees who had met in a public library for four years without incident were banned from the library because of the chance of their spilling coffee on children attending a reading hour.

It's for the children. If only one child is saved by having the coffee-guzzling geezers banned from the library, isn't it worth it?

No, I didn't think you'd think so, either.

Have You Asked Jesus Out Of Your Heart?

Prominent non-believer Richard Dawkins launches a Vacation Bible Atheist School.

I guess you would get ribbons for memorizing quotes from famous atheists, agnostics and skeptics, rather than Bible verses.

Monday, June 29, 2009

More On Bubba Ho-Tep

I feel the need to point out that the music in Bubba Ho-Tep, by composer Brian Tyler, is some seriously good stuff. Brian is a multi-instrumentalist in the Mike Oldfield mold, playing all of the instruments in the soundtrack music himself.

Listen for yourself:


Needless to say, I've already ordered the soundtrack from the Bubba Ho-tep website. Oh, and if you visit, there's a fun little flash game there called Stab The Scarab.

What's That Smell? Must Be The Scots Attacking

Rather than the glorious kilts seen in movies such as Braveheart, medieval Scotsmen went into battle in tunics dyed yellow with horse urine.

I Love The Smell Of Horse Piss In The Morning!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

DVD Recommendation

If you haven't seen Bubba Ho-Tep, it's definitely worth a rental or library checkout. It's a few years old (2004), but I hadn't seen it before today, when we found it available at our local library. It's based on a novella by Joe R. Lansdale, and is quite surreal in that the plot involves an Elvis Presley who didn't really die in 1977, a John F. Kennedy who didn't really die in 1963, and the mummy of an Egyptian king who never quite died. They all come together in an east Texas nursing home. Bruce Campbell stars, and Don Coscarelli (Phantasm) directs this cult hit.

I remember reading the novella years ago, and very much enjoyed it at the time. I'll say this about the movie: if you aren't laughing in the first ten seconds of the film, you probably don't get the humor and the film isn't for you.

Trust ol' Bob. I liked it, and I'm not even an Elvis fan.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Some of His Patients Don't Like Novocaine

A Union County, NC, dentist has been arrested for growing marijuana.

Try the "medical marijuana" defense, Doc. Get a couple of your pothead friends to testify that they have a needle phobia. Don't pick any with tattoos, though. That will sort of invalidate that particular defense.

I Think I'll Give That Lake A Pass, Thanks All The Same

That would be Hope Mills Lake in North Carolina, where face-eating bacteria lurk, ready to snack on your complexion.


Damn, you aren't safe anywhere, are you?

Learn Something New Every Day

I must confess that I've always mispronounced it as luh-june, myself. Mea Culpa.

Here's the man himself, Lieutenant General John Archer Lejeune:

You can read more about this remarkable man here.

Babes In The Woods

After an overnight search, two children lost in the NC mountains while hiking with their parents have been found.

The story said that the two kids, ages six and four, got separated from their parents at a multi-trail junction.

I'd be willing to bet that the kids weren't carrying these:

A two-pack of these whistles, made by Fox 40, is available at Amazon for $9.99. If you instruct the kids to blow the whistle if the parents are out of sight, then maybe you don't lose them for more than a few minutes.

Is your children's safety worth a $9.99 investment? I'd hope so.

Gotta Love Those Criminal Nicknames

Police did a roundup of the usual suspects in a drug conspiracy bust locally in Lincolnton, North Carolina; among those arrested:

Michael Odell "UFO" Fair, 22, Lincolnton;

Darrell Eugene "Chief" Friday, 21, Lincolnton;

Susan Sutton "Shorty" Johns, 53, Lincolnton;

Tyson Javon "Black" Lasalle, 30, Lincolnton;

Rufus Duran "Chico" Lynch Jr., 24, Lincolnton;

Andrew Paul "Pun" Mungro, 23, Lincolnton;

Marcus Antenel "Butch" Nixon, 28, Lincolnton;

And last but certainly not least:

Paul Richard "Poo-Poo" Walton Jr., 28, Lincolnton.

There's another dozen or more names on the list, but those unfortunates don't have nicknames, so I won't bother reporting them. I'll note that a lot of them seem to be related, judging by the shared surnames.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

*Sings* Don't Sit Under The Monkey Tree...

...unless you like monkey pee.

The President of Zambia, Rupiah Banda, sat under the monkey tree and the inevitable happened.

Sorry I can't embed the video, it's from the BBC, not YouTube.

Day By Day eBay Auction

Looks like Chris Muir of Day by Day is having an auction to benefit our troops:

Featuring the lovely Sam, the auction is for an 8.5" x 11" poster, signed by Chris, the proceeds going to charity. If you have some spare cash and would like to support the troops, and get yourself a lovely piece of art in the bargain, you can go here for the auction.

Kudos to Chris Muir for this wonderful offer!

Stoned Kangaroos Make Crop Circles In Tasmania

They're wallabies, actually, but I used the word kangaroos because not everyone knows what a wallaby is.

Anyway, the wallabies are eating the legally-grown opium poppies in the fields of Tasmania, getting stoned, and then start staggering in a circle, resulting in a poppy field crop circle.

My only question is, do the wallabies stagger in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction? Since it's the Southern hemisphere, they should probably be staggering in a clockwise direction...

Opium Eater.

A humorous reference is found in the caption to this photo (click link above to see caption): In this undated photo provided by Wirrimbirra Flora and Fuana (sic) Sanctuary, a red neck wallaby stands in an enclosure on the grounds of the sanctuary in Bargo, Australia.

I might have suspected it was a redneck wallaby.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Damn, Another Republican Who Can't Stay Faithful

Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina has admitted that the reason he disappeared from his job is that he was visiting a mistress in Argentina.

I guess GOP really stands for Grand Old Philanderers.

Mars Rovers: We're Not Dead Yet

Five years after landing on the surface of Mars, two planetary rovers whose life expectancy was supposed to be 90 days are still plugging along, although they could definitely use some time in the repair shop.

With the horrible failures of the past 20 years - - two shuttles destroyed and various probes and landers disappeared without a trace, it's sometimes hard to remember a time when NASA missions went flawlessly, but many of us who grew up in the 60's remember Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Skylab, which were all successful, with the exceptions of Apollo 1 and Apollo 13.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ed McMahon, 1923-2009: R.I.P.

If there's an afterlife, maybe he and Johnny are sharing a drink right now.

Here's Ed at his best, assisting Johnny during a "Carnak the Magnificent" skit:

The Return of the Noble Savage

Scientists try out a ridiculous theory that that man would have better benefited by remaining a hunter-gatherer.

Maybe They Could Send Boarding Parties...

...of yobs with knives to board enemy ships.

The new UK Type 45 Destroyers are being sent to sea without being able to fire their missiles.

Slingshots, Maybe? Throw Rocks?

Is Botox A Treatment For Baldness?

This story claims that it is.

Um...Just Three, Please: The Sequel

I blogged recently about a Belgian girl who had 56 stars tattooed onto her face, only to blame it on the tattoist afterwards, saying that she had only requested three stars and he had tattooed her while she was asleep with more than she requested.

Well, she's finally 'fessed up and indicated that she did in fact request 56 stars, and only told the lies after her father's outrage became apparent.

Liar Liar Face On Fire

The tattoist, naturally enough, has decided that he's no longer liable for paying half the cost of removing the stars from the girl's face, although he is gratified at all the attention his work has received.

*shakes head sadly*

Monday, June 22, 2009

You Ain't Much of a Robber, Are You?

A robber in Australia was dumbfounded when he was confronted by a gas station clerk who was less than impressed by the robber's lack of a weapon.

The clerk, however, was not impressed by the attempted robber, authorities said.

"You need a weapon," he said. "I have to fear for my life. You can't just have the money."

I can't just hand the money over to any old robber, can I? I do that, and pretty soon everybody and his brother will be standing in line waiting to rob me. No, mate, go and get a knife or a stick or something and come back and try again.

Jesus, I hate having to teach robbers how to do their jobs...

Might Be The First Time They've Read A Book

And no video games for six months? Damn, to a modern US teenager, that's a fate worse than death.

Truett Cathy, the 87-year-old founder of Chik-Fil-A, punishes vandals in an inventive manner, with the state of Florida's approval.

Well done!

Guess Where He's From, Redux

This peckerwood threatened a bunch of kids with a gun, saying he'd shoot them if they came onto his property. Then, in an apparent attempt to provoke them into crossing his personal Line of Death, he clucked like a chicken at them. (Bawk Bawk Bawk, I'd imagine is what he said.)

So. Where's he from? Texas? Tennessee? Georgia, maybe?


He's Gerald Wiernusz of Kingston, Pennsylvania.

Just what is it with all these crazy Yankees all of a sudden?

Do The Employees Like It, Too?

You can win free drinks at the Bar Pocho in Cullera, Spain, by inventive use of invective toward the bar employees.

I'd have to guess that you need to do better than You're ugly and your mother dresses you funny.

Guess Where He's From

If you read a story of a 60-year old firefighter who regularly made homophobic remarks toward neighbors, insulted children, and waved a chainsaw around while threatening to use it on people, where would you guess he's from? Mississippi? Alabama? South Carolina? Arkansas, perhaps?

You'd be wrong. His name is Ernest Perrone, and he's from Peabody, Massachusetts.

(In truth, if all of that had taken place in the South it wouldn't qualify as news, now would it? At least that's what most Yankees would say.)


Since W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery has been hit by the economic hard times just like any other US company and has had to lay off employees, I thought I'd do my part for their recovery and buy a Case pocket knife, thus:

It's a Sodbuster Jr., in chrome vanadium steel, Case's old-fashioned carbon steel that they seem to use in fewer and fewer knives each year. Bargain price of $18.95.

I already have other knives I carry daily, so it won't have see much use in my pocket; I may make it a dedicated steak/pizza/fruit knife, doing all those little food chores that occur in one's life.

Speaking of which, it's lunchtime, and Pizza Hut has a good deal on a pizza this week...

Be back later.

Oops, How'd That Slip Out

The New York Times, in a discussion of the current Iran troubles, publishes a defense of weapon ownership by civilians:

But, Mr. Zuckerman reminded me, “You have to have the sword at home. You don’t want to have to buy a sword at the last minute.”

h/t Instapundit.

Hey, You Forgot One

A body found in a failed funeral home had been waiting for burial since 2004.

*starts singing the Carpenters' "Rainy Days And Mondays:"

Hangin' Around
Some kind of lonely clown
Rainy days and Mondays always
Get me down.


Just Listen For The Singing Frog

Overland, Missouri, can't find a time capsule it buried in 1959.

Which calls to mind...

Beware The Barrel Monster

What began as a prank is becoming a phenomenon.

Artist Joseph Carnevale vandalized some orange construction barrels to create the first Barrel Monster, and in the time-honored manner, the monster is running amok.

Haven't seen a Barrel Monster? Here he is:

Big and Orange, But Not A Vols Fan.

His creator Carnevale still faces charges for having created him by using construction barrels not of his own ownership. A Facebook page has been organized to try and get the charges dismissed.

A fun little relief from the more important news of the day, I think.

UK Police: Stop Making It Difficult For Burglars

Just leave your car keys out where the burglars can find them, ok? That way they don't have to torture and kill you to find out where the keys are, and we don't have a bloody mess to clean up afterwards...

Well, it's nice to know that they have their priorities straight, huh?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

You Say That Like It's A Bad Thing

A BBC sports broadcaster is in trouble after saying that the female tennis players at Wimbledon are "just there to sell sex."

Um...is that a problem, or something?

Selling Sex.

Tell me all you guys wouldn't be buying what she's selling?

I'll Pass On The Stinging Nettles, Thanks All The Same

How To Become A Champion Eater of Stinging Nettles.

Green, Leafy, and Stinging.

Let's Go Fishing

A novice fisherman describes the enjoyment to be had by fishing from an ocean pier.

It's something I've never done, either; all of my fishing has been in fresh water, except for a trip with my grandfather to Cedar Key, Florida, which resulted in my being stabbed by a stingray in the hand, a painful experience.

Weekend Doings

Sara and I didn't do a lot this weekend. We did pick up a cat for her, a belated birthday present from me to her; a boy seal point Siamese, neutered, from a shelter organization. He's a very friendly fellow, loves to cuddle and be held, which makes him superior to most cats out there. I forgot to take pictures, but will correct that mistake next week.

Update: here's a shot that Sara took of our pretty boy:

Another thing we did was continue our exploration of area BBQ joints. Saturday we tried out Lancaster's BBQ, which has a couple of locations in the north Charlotte area. This one was the Huntersville location, and had a full parking lot when we arrived, a good sign. Hush puppies were brought to the table gratis, and were hot and flavorful, with a bit of onion inside. Sara ordered the pork BBQ plate and I ordered the beef brisket BBQ. Sides included Brunswick Stew (not good, said Sara), onion rings (hot, fresh-made and good, said I) fried curly fries (homemade potato chips, very good, said I), corn on the cob (boiled and not very flavorful, said I) and french fries (hot and fresh, said Sara). The pork BBQ was good (I tasted a bit), large chunks rather than typical NC shreds, good flavor. The brisket was good but not great, sliced a bit too thinly for my taste, but tasted good; Sara liked it a lot. Next time we go there I'll be ordering sandwiches and taking a better sauce than they offer there, which appears to be Ken's Cannonball BBQ Sauce, which I personally find to be rather disgusting in flavor.

Saturday night we went to see the Charlotte Knights play AAA baseball. It was difficult to enjoy due to the extreme heat, but we stuck it out so we could see the fireworks show after the game, a regular feature at home games on Saturday nights. The Knights lost to Buffalo, by the way, 5-1.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Peppered Sea Turtle Nests

An inventive way to keep the eggs of sea turtles safe from predators.

Damn, I Hate Habanero Peppers.

He Was Feeling Nostalgic, I Guess

Back in 1990, bank robber Willie Ray Wooten robbed an NCNB Bank in Gastonia, North Carolina; for that job and other bank robberies he was eventually captured and served 16 years in prison.

Well, guess what? Just like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, Willie returned to the same bank, now renamed Bank of America, with a sawed-off shotgun and committed another robbery, for which he was again caught.

I guess for Willie it must feel like Groundhog Day...

Too Bad, So Sad

A judge has tossed out two California cities' ban of military recruiters at area high schools, saying that the bans violated the US Constitution.

Look! *rubs fingers together* World's Smallest Violin!

How About A New Rule: A Gun Is Not A Toy

Yet another gun tragedy, this time in Alaska:

"Playing with gun leads to murder charge."

A great man was USMC Col. Jeff Cooper, who formulated the Four Rules of 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.

I've always thought, and said on this blog, that perhaps Col. Cooper, being from an earlier, more responsible generation, simply could not envision people who spent much of their leisure time learning to associate guns with play, via toy guns, video and computer games, and simulations such as paintball. Perhaps, if he had, he might have added another rule, and placed it before his other four:

A gun is not a toy. DON'T PLAY WITH IT!

In the current story, all of Cooper's Rules were violated; and yet, all of the rules were violated because the Unwritten Rule was not followed: the gun was played with, as if it were a toy. The father should, perhaps, be charged with criminal negligence for just this very reason, for not intervening when his son was treating a gun as a toy.

There has been some discussion recently at a few of the gunblogs about kids, guns, and toys. Jay at MArooned, when dealing with his own son, trains him to treat toy guns as if they were real guns. When I was helping to raise my nephew Jeremy, my own strategy was to distinguish between toys and guns, and expect him to know the difference. In addition, I taught him my own version of Cooper's Rules, shortened to three:

1. A gun is not a toy.

2. A gun is always loaded.

3. Never point a gun at anything you're unwilling to see die.

He's never had an accident with a gun (thank all the gods), and has recently acquired his South Carolina CCW license.

The newspapers are perhaps a bit kind when they describe these deaths; he was playing with the gun and it went off. This should perhaps be changed to he was playing with the gun and fired it, forgetting it was not a toy, forgetting it was loaded, and forgetting that he had pointed it at his best friend. He showed a callous disregard for the role of a gun in society.

They aren't toys, people. Don't play with the damned things, and perhaps we'll all be safer.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Treasure Blog: SS New York, 1846

The SS New York sank in 1846 with a cargo of gold coins from the Charlotte, North Carolina and Dahlonega, Georgia mints.

They're saying that the coins, recovered last year, could fetch up to $100,000 apiece due to rarity and condition.

The site of the old US Mint here in Charlotte is now an art museum.

The Real "Cooler King"

Since my girlfriend and I watched The Great Escape theother day, this story has some relevance.

Capt Richard Carr's attempts to make his way to freedom included one effort to burrow his way out and another that involved disguising himself as a French worker, it has been disclosed.

He first made his name at Dunkirk for which he won the Military Cross but it was his escapology that led to the award of an MBE.

A prisoner of the Italians and Germans in World War Two, he modestly described his escapes as "four real breaks and a few minor ones."

He used a variety of techniques including tunnelling, disguise and leaping from a train - but was always recaptured.

His story, echoing that of 'Cooler King' Hilts in the 1963 film The Great Escape, came to light after research carried out when his five medals sold at auction for £20,000.

Click the link to read more about this remarkable man.

Here's a pic of Steve McQueen playing "cooler king" Hilts from the movie:

The Crazy Rabbit Lady

Check out the wordplay utilized by the reporter/editors who wrote this story:

PORTLAND, Ore. Washington County's "Bunny Lady" is back in the hutch after violating a court order banning her from owning animals for five years. Miriam Sakewitz, 47, was arrested Tuesday at a hotel in the Portland suburb of Tigard after an employee reported finding rabbits hopping around in her room.

Sakewitz was sentenced in April 2007 to five years probation and was banned from owning or controlling animals. She also was told not to go within 100 yards of a rabbit.

That summer, Sakewitz was ordered to spend three days in jail for violating her probation by keeping a rabbit in her house. County probation officer Susan Ranger also said Sakewitz had canceled counseling sessions and refused to open the door for unannounced visits. Ranger said she found no rabbits when she finally got inside but did find a half-empty 10-pound bag of carrots.

Here's a pic of Mrs. Bugs:

And here is the caption that accompanied the photo; notice more tongue-in-cheek writing:

This undated photo released by the Tigard Police Department shows Miriam Sakewitz, who was arrested in 2007 with more than 250 rabbits in squalid conditions. In a plea deal, she was forbidden to have animals for five years. On Tuesday, authorities say she was found holed up in a hotel room in Tigard, Ore., with more than a dozen rabbits and was arrested.

Holed up with rabbits. *wink*

Which calls to mind...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Little Trompe-l'œil

Just a pothole in the pavement here and there:

More info here.

Um...Just Three, Please

Some idiotic Belgian girl went to a tattoo artist with the intention of getting stars tattooed on her face.

She claims she only wanted three stars; the tattoo artist says she asked for 56. She got 56.

Here's what the stupid girl looks like:

And, just to be fair, here's a pic of the businessman in question:

It apparently is a he said/she said case, so it's likely she'll receive little satisfaction; I'd point out, though, that were I a tattoo artist (all gods forbid), I'd have a disclaimer form that I'd make clients sign before applying a tattoo to the face:

I, (name), being of sound mind and not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do request that Inky Dink Tattoo Parlor tattoo my face in the following manner: (description of work to be done, in client's handwriting).

(client signature)
(witness signature)

*cough* (losers) *cough*

Burkha Rage

UK Daily Mail columnist Allison Pearson discusses "burkha rage," a resentment by traditional English citizens subjects against abuses of multiculturalism by Muslim immigrants.

On a train to London, a young woman wearing a burkha, with only her heavily made-up eyes peeping out, did not have a valid ticket.

Challenged by the guard, the young woman gave a litany of excuses. She had left her bag at her boyfriend's, he had bought the ticket, she had no money on her...

My friend Jane, who was in the same carriage, noticed how the guard became nervous as the Muslim girl presented herself as an innocent in a society she didn't understand.

Instead of issuing a penalty fine, the guard backed off, shrugging his helplessness at the other passengers.

So imagine my friend's surprise when she got off at the same station as burkha girl and saw this 'penniless innocent' whip out a credit card from under the folds of her dress with which she promptly bought a Tube ticket.

Jane was so incensed she sent me a text message, explaining what she'd witnessed. It ended: 'Attack of Burkha Rage. Grrr.'

It's worth reading the whole thing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting

Cecil Adams of The Straight Dope runs some numbers on whether martial arts actually helps in a robbery situation.

Beware the Blind Guy

Bloody Plastic In a Bloody Albatross

The junk found in an albatross's gut:

And, of course, since I never let an opportunity pass to work in a Monty Python reference, here with:

Photo of the Day

Stormchaser Jim Reed took a marvelous photo of a "landspout" tornado in Kansas.

Makes a great desktop image.

Lord Knows We Don't Want It To Be Traumatic

The People's Republic of China has changed its method of execution from firing squad to lethal injection, in order to spare the executioners excessive trauma.

Can't make this stuff up, folks, as I've often said.

Jesus Wept

A cat in UK was shot 50 times with an air rifle, and still survived.

X-ray photo:

Hazards of Africa: Tumbu Fly

An English girl learns the hard way that swimwear worn in Africa must be tumble-dried or ironed to prevent infestation by the Tumbu fly, which results in maggots hatching under your skin.

Looks as if one of the photos was too shocking even for the editors of the Daily Mail, since there is a blank space where it should be.

update: looks as if the offending picture has been put back up.

Hello, Police? Someone Broke Into My Meth Lab

Sometimes they just make it too easy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Christopher Lee To Be Knighted

Long overdue.

Christopher Lee

I Think I'll Join Al-Qaeda

Looks like joining Al-Qaeda is a pretty good deal these days. What I figure I'll do is, join and then immediately surrender to the Obama administration. Since the Obama administrations doesn't torture I don't have to worry about being waterboarded, and I can apply for my new beach home in Bermuda right away.

Obama Terrorist Treatment: Ice Cream In Bermuda

The Okies Are Leaving California

They're going back to Oklahoma, the new land of opportunity.

UK: Anti-Stab Knife?

Anyone who has ever turned a Popsicle stick into a dagger knows how useless this invention is.


With a common bench grinder, I could put a point on that knife in 30 seconds. On the side of a concrete block it might take a bit longer, about 10 minutes.

Does this inventor - - John Cornock - - really think that his little innovation is going to make a dime's worth of difference? Fool.

In Search Of Texas BBQ

Sara and I went in search of Texas beef barbecue this weekend, a difficult proposition in pig-friendly North Carolina. At one time there had been a Bennett's Smokehouse and Saloon in Charlotte that served good Texas BBQ, but it had closed down long ago. I had heard that there was another Bennett's location up in Hickory, North Carolina, and in fact had even eaten there, but presumed that it had gone out of business, too. Checking on the internet revealed that it was, however, still in business. Saturday, then, found us on the road making a 68-mile journey in search of smoked beef brisket.

We found it, but the entire experience left somewhat to be desired. We had to hunt the hostess down before we could be seated. The waitress took our drink orders and, after bringing the drinks, informed us that she was serving a large group and it would be "five minutes" before she came back to take our food order.

That "five minutes" turned out to be fifteen. I'll summarize the rest of the meal:

The service was lousy.

Although the waitress took the food order correctly, the kitchen screwed it up, and Sara ended up with the top cut brisket I had ordered. After tasting it, she was happy to give it to me. It was too dry, undersmoked, as if it had been simply roasted in an oven.

French fries were cold.

Onion rings were good; plenty of onion, good fresh batter, hot when we got them.

The diet soda tasted as if it were a sugar soda, so I asked for a replacement; it tasted the same, and I realized that it was too much syrup and not enough carbonation; no fix for that.

Only one tiny tub of sauce provided, and that was overly sweet, as if it had been made from ketchup.

The 20-ish waitress kept addressing me (47 years old) as sweetie.

So: two unhappy diners, who aren't going back to Bennett's any time soon.

Note: there's plenty of good BBQ here locally, just not good beef brisket BBQ, Texas-style. I have a fondness for Texas BBQ. The search will continue, or I'll possibly start making my own at home.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Time For A Poll

Basically for the men, but women may participate, also. Feel free to add comments. The premise is based on the study cited in this story, that Australian men chose "normal" shaped women over fashion models or Playboy centerfolds. I think that the Aussies may have been being politic, myself, but let's do the poll and see.

Guys! What's Your Ideal Woman's Figure Look Like?
Bony, anorexic; Olive Oyl
Slim, like a pre-pubescent girl
Normal: breasts, waist, and hips unremarkable
Curvy: breasts, waist and hips showing definite curves, not overweight
Voluptuous: lush, heavy breasts and hips, slightly overweight
BBW: obese but still attractive
Morbidly Obese: soooo, pig, pig pig!
pollcode.com free polls

Sounds Like A Gay Western To Me...

"Darling and Balls in showdown..."

Best Conversation Piece Ever!

"Yah, this is the meteorite that hit me when I was 14 years old."

Gerrit Blank of Essen, Germany, had a close encounter of the space rock kind.

Pea-sized rock made soccer-ball sized dent in pavement.

Gerrit is lucky it only grazed him, he could have ended up like Fred, buried at the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World:

(For those who can't see the inscription on the stone clearly, it says "Here Lies Good Old Fred/A Great Big Rock Fell On His Head.")

In any event, Gerrit has now had his 15 minutes of fame, and can presumably make the meteorite into a pendant or other piece of jewelry and wear it as a conversation piece for the rest of his life.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When I Hear "Ultracool Subdwarf" I Think Of...

...Michael Dunn, not some astronomical object.

Here's Michael as Alexander in the Star Trek episode "Plato's Stepchildren."

I'd prefer to have a shot of him as Miguelito Loveless from The Wild, Wild West, but most of the shots from that show are portrait shots not showing his small stature.

I tend to think that Michael Dunn was the handsomest of all the dwarf actors.

You Think YOUR Weather Is Bad?

You can talk about it raining cats and dogs, but in Japan, it's raining tadpoles.

Today's forecast: partly cloudy to cloudy, with a 70% chance of tadpoles...

The Itsy-Bitsy Spider...

...went up the waterspout.

And when the people saw it, they collectively shit their pants:

Black Widow Immigrant.

Obama To Sell Uighurs To Palau For 200 Million Dollars

Maybe it's sort of an ignorant question on my part, but isn't that sort of...slavery?

Shipwreck Blog: Soviet Submarine S-2

Found on the floor of the Baltic Sea, where it came to rest after being sunk by a mine during the war with Finland in 1940.

What's up with that water in the photo, I wonder? Looks like urine.

Scientists: Grow American Chestnut Trees To Fight Global Warming

Never mind that the American Chestnut has been virtually extinct for the last century.

Planting American Chestnut trees is a worthy endeavor, however. The nuts are sweeter and tastier than imported nuts, the wood was valuable for the furniture industry, and the nuts were relied on my many species of animals throughout the Appalachians.

Don't Look, Ethel...

...it's a manatee gangbang.

I'll Take Classical Education For $1000, Alex

Once upon a time in the USA, you had to learn Latin and Greek as part of your education, and understand concepts that sprang from those cultures. Yah, the infamous dead white guys so hated by the liberal Left. It is, however, possible that some of you might have been given an education a little bit better than that permitted by the teachers' unions, so if you wish to test your knowledge, go here.

Sample question:

The three classic orders of architecture ranged from the Doric (the oldest and simplest) to the Corinthian (most recent and fanciest). What’s the name of the one in between? Click the link above for the answer.

I got 7 of 10, not too shabby, IMO.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

Quote of the Day

Democrats brazenly take policy positions - think government services and even amnesty for illegal immigrants - not because they are the right thing to do, but because they are time-tested demographic bribes. Forget cigarettes and beer, Democrats would distribute needles, methadone, medical marijuana and biscotti in voter goodie bags if they could get away with it.


In the next election cycle, things need to be drastically different. Democracy is not Augusta National Golf Club. It's a messy free-for-all, and in a two-party system, the GOP will not survive if it doesn't accept the fact that the Democrats are its enemy and that it must begin to play for keeps. That means finding another Lee Atwater - only meaner - and not apologizing when we get him.

From Andrew Breitbart.

Oh, Puh-leeeeze!

KILL Bill star David Carradine was murdered by kung fu killers, his family claimed last night.

Thai police think he died as a result of a bondage game.

But his family's lawyer said it was possible he was targeted for trying to expose underworld groups.

Speaking on the Larry King Live chat show on US television, lawyer Mark Geragos said there had been "conflicting reports" about the death.

A member of the show's panel said: "David was very interested in investigating and disclosing secret societies."

Geragos replied: "Absolutely. What that means is connected to his interest in martial arts.

"And so there is a suspicion that if there was some foul play, that may be the first area they should look."

The claim echoed conspiracy theories that martial arts expert Bruce Lee was killed by Chinese Triads in 1973.

*shakes head in disgust*

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Don't Mess With Texas

77-year-old Air Force Veteran Robert Hays was in a Texas City game room with his wife when two masked men burst into the room waving guns.

“I had my back to the whole thing, and the next thing I knew, somebody grabbed me by the collar, damn near lifted me in the air and threw me to the floor,” Hays said. “This guy was big. Visualize a professional football player lineman.”

The man went through Hays’ wallet and tossed it on Hays’ back, he said.

“He was walking around, waving that pistol,” Hays said. “I managed to slip my pistol out of its holster I had under my left arm. They wouldn’t let us raise our heads up, but I could see enough to tell his position.”

Hays aimed his .38-caliber revolver toward the center of the man’s back.

“At one point he walked over on our side, looked everybody over real good,” Hays said. “He turned, walking back to the other side and I shot. He went down.”

Hays' shot went into the shoulder of Tyreese Andre Ross, who dropped his gun and loot and fled, later to be arrested when he tried to get treatment at a hospital. Ross remains in jail, apparently unable to meet the $400,000 bond set for his release.

Don't mess with Texas. It should be obvious by now, but some people never learn.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

From Wilmington, NC: Long Grey Day

It was grey and overcast when I first looked out of the window this morning, and now, here at the end of the day, I can report that it stayed overcast to some extent all day.

I should mention the hotel toilets. There is a sort of hybrid tank/flush valve arrangement on the toilets in these rooms; when you push down the handle to flush the toilet, it makes a bang! like a gun going off, which after nearly two days here still startles the hell out of us.

We got underway just after 8, destination Kure Beach. We arrived and simply sat on a bench watching the sea; at the nearby pier it was crowded with some sort of sportsfishing festival. Eventually we returned to the car and drove down to Ft. Fisher, an old Civil War fortification owned by the state of North Carolina. We walked the trail around the old fort, which is situated at the mouth of the Cape Fear River; marshes and salt-spray-tortured live oaks make up the landscape around the old battery mounds. The weather was still grey, and the air still and very humid. Miserable summer weather, to be sure.

When we finished our walk we moved the car to the nearby beach that is part of the Ft. Fisher property, and again sat on a bench watching the grey sea and grey sky. We talked quietly and joked for a while before departing for lunch at a Carolina Beach restaurant, Bowman's, where we dined on calabash-style seafood.

After lunch we visited Greenfield park, a lovely Wilmington city park situated along Greenfield Lake. We saw a fellow catch a large catfish while there, he threw it back in. We didn't linger because there were some dubious looking men in various places and neither of us were armed. The place has a bad reputation after dark for rapes and robberies, a reflection of it being in a poor part of town.

When we returned to the hotel we took a siesta for a few hours and got back up around 5 or so, we decided to check out the Riverwalk area of Wilmington and do a bit of shopping. We found that most of the shops had already closed for the day, only the pubs and restaurants were still open; looks like an interesting area for a return visit when the shops are open. Dinner was at a pizzeria, and then back to the hotel.

Probably we'll visit Wrightsville Beach tomorrow morning before heading for home. The weather made for a disappointing weekend, as I had feared.

Friday, June 05, 2009

From Wilmington, NC

Typing this from the Sleep Inn on Market Street in Wilmington, NC. Sara and I got here about 1 this afternoon, and after checking in, departed for Topsail Beach and Surf City, about 30 miles north. We hung out there for a couple of hours, enjoying the sun (the weather was variable throughout the day) before departing for the return to Wilmington.

We stopped at Hamburger Joe's for an early supper; I had burgers, Sara had wings, we both had onion rings. Verdict: too noisy (rock music on the PA system), the onion rings were rather skimpy on onions, and the soap in the men's room resembled semen.

After a return to the hotel, we went in search of an ice cream parlor and a place to drop a Message In A Bottle. The fishing pier at Kure Beach sufficed for the bottle, and it was last seen floating north-northeast. We stopped at a Lowe's Foods for ice cream, Haagen-Dazs Lemon sorbet for me and some sort of Ben & Jerry's thing for Sara.

Because of music and air conditioning in the car, we had trouble hearing each other occasionally; when I pointed out a bar called "Boar's Breath Saloon," Sara misheard it as whore's breath, and when she commented about "boiled peanuts" I thought she said bull penis. Much hilarity ensued, as might be expected.

So, sleep time. More tommorrow, hopefully.

To The Beach

Sara will be arriving in a few minutes, and we'll be departing for Wilmington and the beaches when she gets here. The weather isn't looking all that great, but we're hoping for the best. The hotel we have reservations at has wi-fi, supposedly, so I may be able to blog during the weekend.

I wish all of you a happy weekend.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Adios, Grasshopper

David Carradine has been found dead in a Bangkok hotel room, an apparent suicide by hanging.

He wasted a lot of years mired in drink and drugs, and never really had the career that his early successes foretold. And apparently even at the end he was troubled, if he indeed took his own life and was not the victim of a crime.

*shakes head sadly*

update: Over at Ace's place, they're talking auto-erotic asphyxiation.

*sighs, shakes head sadly*

UK's Prince Charles Advocates Genocide

Genocide for American Gray Squirrels, that is.

First They Came For The Squirrels

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Light Blogging Wednesday, Thursday

Internet connection went down on Wednesday afternoon, Time Warner will be out Thursday morning to work on it. Should be back to normal by noon Thursday. My apologies for the interruption.

Scantily Clad Baristas And Hot Coffee: I Foresee Lawsuit

Starbucks meets Hooters.

Hot Stuff.

First They Came For The Fat People...

...and I began to worry, being rather tubby myself.

Fat people are harming the planet by contributing to climate change, according to Sir Jonathan Porritt, the Government's chief green adviser.

Excuse me while I go load up the rifles...

We've Narrowed The Possibilities

There's gold missing from the Canadian Mint. Or maybe not.

But they know it's one or the other.

Ain't that reassuring?


The coffin is sized to fit a man up to six feet tall. You're presented with a man 6'7" tall. What do you, as a South Carolina funeral director, do?

Why, you have an assistant break out the circular saw, of course.

But hey! At least the funeral director had the severed legs put into the too-short coffin. It's the only humane thing to do, right?


Headline of the Day

"Rabbits near Aviano runway rounded up by volunteers, Italians."


How many Americans and Italians does it take to capture a rabbit?

The math turned out to be about a 10-to-1 human-to-rabbit ratio last week as the base held its annual roundup.

The little furry guys can move.

I Shoulda Took That Left Toin At Albukoikee.

Of Course You Realize Dis Means War?

Open Carry For Women?

A rather patronizing opinion piece at The New York Times.

Single Divorced Woman Seeks...Sasquatch

She likes 'em hairy:

I'm 33, 5'4'', petite, nice shape, brunette, attractive, live in NYC but travel to most parts of the country. I really enjoy a little fun and not ashamed to admit it. Enjoy just about everything in fact.

Here's the deal: I have a huge "thing" for body hair, and am looking for only the hairiest men out there. I mean hairy everywhere: entire back and shoulders as well as chest, covered DENSELY with hair everywhere. That's what turns me on, period. (In other words, extra hairy men 4 me!). Really just looking for fun right now, but you never know. You: over 30, any size except slim, and of course with extreme body hair. But I do mean extreme; if you're just hairy-chested but your back isn't covered, please don't waste both your time and mine. Ditto if you're not willing to back up your words with a shirtless photo or two. But if you ARE for real and really are that hairy, please DO write; if you're the real hairy deal, there's a lady out there who wants to have some major fun with you!

I'd guess she had posters of Chewbacca hanging on her walls when she was a teenager.

(found at Yahoo! Personals)

He Makes Her Damp

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

See? Smoking IS Lethal

In the jihad attack on US military personnel at the recruiting station in Little Rock, the men were targets of opportunity, chosen because they happened to be outside taking a smoke break.

Of course, if the jihadi had managed to place a bomb inside the recruiting center and the two smokers had survived because they were outside smoking, my point would be ruined.

Why Should You Become King, Then?

The awful confession of Prince Charles of UK, during an interview exchange with Amanda Holden of Britain's Got Talent:

During the backstage meeting Camilla joked with Amanda that Charles was not talented - something admitted by the heir to the throne.

Amanda said: "Charles came over to me and said, 'Oh you do the show with the buzzers, don't you?' I said, 'Yes, I didn't even know you watched the telly. If you came on our show what would you do? Can you juggle?' And Charles replied, 'Oh no no, I can't do anything.' To which Camilla added, 'Yes, I can vouch for that - he's not talented'."

But No, Don't Advise Her To Buy A Gun And Get A CCW License

MONROE, N.C. Heather Thompson's blackened and bloodied face has served as a warning to battered women in North Carolina. On a billboard and in brochures, she tells them they can get help.

Since her ex-husband used pliers and a broom handle and a belt to abuse her 15 years ago, leaving her with permanent disabilities, she's shuffled to high schools to counsel students and taught law enforcement officers about domestic violence.

But always, in the back of her head, was the vow Thomas Howard Price Jr. made in a letter from prison. On Friday he was released, and she began waiting for him to make good on his promise to kill her and her daughters.

"Is he coming today, is it going to be tomorrow?" she said before he was released last week. "Just the always wondering, always having to watch your every move and never knowing when he's going to show up."

As it is, Heather Thompson probably couldn't even use a gun with her right hand, damaged during a savage beating by her scumbag ex-husband; she'd have to use her left hand.

And if the scumbag makes good on his threat, all the social workers and parole officers will shake their heads sadly and make sympathetic noises, what a tragedy, we couldn't have known, no one's at fault, and so on ad nauseum.

Ah, Just One More Thing...

...but I can't remember what it is...

Peter Falk, in the grip of Alzheimer's Disease at 81, can no longer remember playing Columbo.

Sugar Bans Don't Work

Pupils at a leading grammar school could be suspended for secretly selling sweets in the playground.

The warning comes after a pupil-run sweet 'racket' was foiled by staff at St Anselm's College in Birkenhead, Merseyside.

A number of entrepreneurial children were found to be cashing in on the government ban on junk food at schools, by selling sweets and fizzy drinks to fellow classmates.

Rather than encourage their business minds, the school has clamped down on the 'outbreak of sweet selling' in the playground and on the bus.

Headteacher Simon Duggan fears the practice encourages fights and theft and says it will not be tolerated.

Gee, hoodah thunkit? You think that Prohibition and bans on guns would have given them a clue?

"No Parent Should Have To Bury Their Child"

King Théoden said that in the movie version of Tolkien's The Two Towers. And a distraught couple in UK took that sentiment very much to heart, apparently; when their son died, they placed his body into a backpack and drove to Beachy Head, a cliff notorious for suicides, and became suicides themselves, jumping to their deaths with their son's body, probably hand in hand.

Here's a picture of Beachy Head, a truly lovely place with a tragic reputation:

Driver, I Want Off!

In the UK Daily Mail, Craig Brown snarks on political platitudes by imagining UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown as a bus driver.

Absolutely hilarious. It could be very easily translated to American politics by simply changing the bus driver to Barack Obama and using his own tendency to speak in platitudes against him. Iowahawk is particularly good at it.

Volcano Blog: Karagetang, Indonesia


Jakarta - Residents were evacuated after Mount Karangetang volcano on an eastern Indonesian island began spewing lava and hot ash, threatening a major eruption, officials said Tuesday.

There were no reports of casualties in connection with the increased activity of Mount Karangetang, the officials said.

Here is a picture from the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Project:

(It's not a pic of the current eruption, but a file photo).

Karangetang is an extremely active volcano, with many eruptions during recorded history. I would thus theorize that it has a well-developed vent and will probably erupt in a way similar to past eruptions.