Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For SF/Fantasy Fans

Discussion topic: Can the life of Roman Polanksi be compared with that of the fantasy anti-hero Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, who was created by novelist Stephen R. Donaldson? I'm referring to the rapes that both men committed and how that tied into the rest of their lives.

You'll Excuse Me For A While, I Hope...

...it's lunchtime:

Treasure Blog: 17th Century Sea Captain's Journal

The journal of Sir John Narbrough, an early explorer.

The Daily Mail didn't provide much in the way of photography for this article, so I won't reproduce any here, but the find is priceless, at least in historical terms.

Mel Gibson's New Movie

Believe it or not, it's called The Beaver. (No, I'm not making this up).

Here's a pic, which I couldn't resist annotating:

Treasure Blog: Red Tape

Sometimes the treasure, like the grapes from the Aesop fable or the water that tormented Tantalus, remains just out of reach.

Hooded Figures Rooting Through The Trash?

In Northhamptonshire (UK), government officials hired a company to sift garbage to find out what was going into landfills.

Here's a pic of one of the mysterious hooded bands of junk-snatchers:

Or maybe not.

Somehow That Doesn't Make It Better

The Vatican says that other churches probably have child abuse problems, also.

Gotta love that old Tu Quoque argument.

And What About The Fasces On The Mercury Dime, Hmm?

Weird conspiracy theories about Adolf Hitler, including a theory that he moved to San Diego.

There is a strange US Navy barracks in San Diego that is shaped like a swastika (click to enlarge):

Field Expedient Gas Mask

Modelled by a protester in Honduras.


The construction seems self-explanatory, I'd say.

Whoopi Goldberg Invents A New Rape Defense

Any cop or district attorney will tell you that there are only 3 defenses offered in a rape: Denial (Bitch is lying), Misidentification (some other dude did it, often shortened to SODDI), and Consent (Bitch wanted it).

Whoopi Goldberg, defending Roman Polanski on TV's The View, has come up with a new rape defense. According to Whoopi, there are two types of rape, there is "rape," (make quote marks with your fingers) and rape-rape, which apparently is the real kind.

h/t Hot Air.


The Wisconsin Tourist Federation has changed its name after its initials became an internet joke.

Here is a pic showing why the change was made, and the new rearrangement of the name:

ROFLMAO, as we say on the internets.

Treasure Blog: Big Honking Diamond

Found at the Cullinan mine, famed for the Cullinan diamonds which can be seen in the English Crown Jewels.


Let's Hang The Dog Upside Down.

It might just become a craze.

Or a website.


Chia Obama, Coming To A CVS Near You

But they have the official nod of approval from The One himself, so it's ok to buy one and not be racist.

Sometimes To Make An Omelet You Have To Kill Some Hens

A hen died laying a massive 138-gram egg, 2.5 times the size of a normal egg.

Chris Schauerman of Honeoye Falls said he noticed one of his chickens appeared ill one day last week and died later that night after laying the massive object, which is 2 1/2 times the size of an average egg, CNN reported Monday.

"I'm gonna make an omelet. Maybe a little ham. Delicious!" Schauerman said.

*snort* Bwaaa haaa haaa!

...She Said, As She Took Another Bite of her Moon Pie...

A Sacramento, California, gas station identified a patron as black lady big fat on a receipt given to her.

Helen Hodges, 31, said a gas pump mix-up led to her being shorted $10 Thursday night at the Sacramento gas station. She found when she returned to the business that a $10 bill was waiting for her with an attached receipt bearing the offensive identifier, KXTV, Sacramento, reported Monday.

"It says 'black lady,' and I can understand that because I am a black lady," Hodges said. "But I don't get 'big fat.' I don't get that part."

Yeah, right.

What Happens When You Lasso A 1400-Pound Bull?

You'll discover it's a real drag trying to get the bull to stop.

Hope That It Tasted Good...

...because you'll be in prison for 18 months after eating that hot dog.

I mean, dude, a hot dog?

It Seems To Me...

...that the Roman Polanski arrest points up yet another difference between red and blue state America. If you're of the blue state left/liberal position, you probably see Polanski as a tragic artiste being unjustly persecuted for a tiny little mistake made decades ago; if you're of the red state right/conservative persuasion, you're probably of the opinion that Polanski is a dirty little rapist who will finally pay for the crime he committed and avoided the penalty for all these years.

Two deeply divergent populations living in the same country; one of them urban, highly educated, in control of the education system and the arts; the other rural, less educated, in control of the churches; neither much inclined at this point to compromise on deeply held beliefs and principles. It doesn't bode well for the future to be split at such an elemental level, does it?

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Kim And Connie Show?

Kim and Connie du Toit appear to be starting their own online radio show.

The first show is this coming week, so be sure to bookmark it.

Welcome back, you two. I missed you.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Update

Because of the inclement weather - - it's been overcast and raining all day - - we haven't really gone anywhere or done anything worth blogging about today, and I haven't yet found anything interesting in the news. I hope to do better later.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

'We can do anything we like and you can't do anything about it.'

An inquest into the deaths of a mother and daughter hounded to death by feral kids in UK, while police stood by with their thumbs up their collective asses and did nothing.

When the lunatics have control of the asylum.

Why, The Headline For This One Almost Writes Itself!

"Plants convert cow manure to electricity."

All together now:

Sounds like bullshit to me!

Try Getting Hairballs Now

Someone in Philadelphia wrapped a cat in duct tape.

Treasure Blog: Anglo-Saxon Royal Hoard?

Bigger than Sutton Hoo, they say.

A cross that was found in a folded condition, possibly indicating desecration by a pagan owner:

An assortment of the treasures. Many of them are gold, which doesn't oxidise when buried or sunk into the sea:

Please read the whole article. It's comprehensive in size with numerous photos of gorgeous treasures from the past.

Meanwhile, At The Appropriately Named High Street...

...police came and confiscated those marijuana plants in the planter boxes.

We just smiled and waved, sittin' there on that sack of seeds...

Sublime Stupidity of the Day

Because of some strange local regulation, a steam-powered train in Wales has to use coal imported from Siberia, 3000 miles away, rather than coal from a local Welsh coal mine, 3 miles away.

Folks, sometimes it's really difficult to come up with a snarky comment about some of the stuff I read daily in the news.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Tale Of Two Nonagenarians

A 90-year-old man in Newquay, Cornwall,(UK) died not long after trying to defend his wife from a burglar.

A 91-year-old man in Lake Worth, Florida, held a burglar at gunpoint until police arrived.

A subject and a citizen. Two different outcomes.

Man Blames Cat For Child Pornography On Computer

Kitty porn, no doubt.

What Fool's Cut A Bible?

A 16-year-old boy used the pages of a Bible as rolling papers for marijuana cigarettes.

Which brings to mind a passage from a favorite book:

The sea-cook looked at what had been given him.

"The black spot! I thought so," he observed. "Where might you have got the paper? Why, hillo! Look here, now; this ain't lucky! You've gone and cut this out of a Bible. What fool's cut a Bible?"

"Ah, there!" said Morgan. "There! Wot did I say? No good'll come o' that, I said."

"Well, you've about fixed it now, among you," continued Silver. "You'll all swing now, I reckon. What soft- headed lubber had a Bible?"

"It was Dick," said one.

"Dick, was it? Then Dick can get to prayers," said Silver. "He's seen his slice of luck, has Dick, and you may lay to that."

It's Disturbingly Accurate

Find out Which Movie Hero Are You at LiquidGeneration.com!

h/t Turonistan.

US Navy Riverine Forces In Iraq

Wonder if there are any future Massachusetts senators serving in the force, ready to smear his comrades after his term expires?

Hopefully not.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bottle Message: Short Trip

I launched a bottle message from the Sunset Beach (NC) fishing pier on the 13th, while Sara and I were at the coast. I suspected at the time, from the wind direction and the tidal condition, that the bottle might just wash directly ashore, and I was right:

We found the bottle on the beach about 500 yeards south of the Sunset Beach Pier, on 9/13/2009.

Since it was so soon after you had dropped it, we simply put your message & $10 back in the bottle and went out to the pier and re-dropped it.


Ron and Anne

So I've had 100% recovery so far, but only one of the three bottles went any real distance. I will probably have more success in November, when Sara and I travel to the Outer Banks and the Norfolk, Virginia area.

The King of the Prison Toilets

His name is Audie Murphy, believe it or not.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A War Souvenir Becomes A Precious Relic

Franklin Hobbs, a corporal in the Army Signal Corps on Iwo Jima during WWII, found a letter and photograph on the body of a Japanese soldier. Kept as a souvenir, the picture was recently returned to the family of the fallen soldier.

Good story, well worth reading.

A Small Oblong Plate of Stainless Steel

A great story in The Galveston Daily News about how a US Army vet from the Vietnam War era was reunited with a lost dog tag.

I still have my dog tags from the Navy, kept in a safe place away from all harm. Those, my seabag and my ditty bag are all I have left from Navy boot camp.

I remember reading one time that one of the services (Air Force, I think, or perhaps the Army) gives a ribbon to those who make it through boot camp. I always thought that your dogs tags were all that you needed to prove you made it through boot camp, myself.

I had a duplicate set made up for those rare occasions that I desire to wear them again, with my religious affilitation changed from "Roman Cath" to "Atheist."

Amusing Typo of the Day

From The Galveston Daily News:

With ferry operations shut down, hundreds of bystanders swatted misquotes and watched as wreckers pulled the car from the water. Ferry operations resumed about 8 p.m. officials said.

That's very helpful to journalists, swatting those pesky misquotes so that the newspaper doesn't have to post a correction the next day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekend Doings

Spent most of Saturday reinstalling Windows on Sara's computer, it would not boot up on Friday evening, corrupted files. Everything back up and working now, all is patched and Norton antivirus has been replaced with AVG.

Friday, September 18, 2009

David Brooks Nails It

I rarely think that The New York Times' David Brooks is anything other than a waste of my time to read, but he nails the root of the Tea Party problem with his column today:

Well, I don’t have a machine for peering into the souls of Obama’s critics, so I can’t measure how much racism is in there. But my impression is that race is largely beside the point. There are other, equally important strains in American history that are far more germane to the current conflicts.

For example, for generations schoolchildren studied the long debate between Hamiltonians and Jeffersonians. Hamiltonians stood for urbanism, industrialism and federal power. Jeffersonians were suspicious of urban elites and financial concentration and believed in small-town virtues and limited government. Jefferson advocated “a wise and frugal government” that will keep people from hurting each other, but will otherwise leave them free and “shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

Jefferson’s philosophy inspired Andrew Jackson, who led a movement of plain people against the cosmopolitan elites. Jackson dismantled the Second Bank of the United States because he feared the fusion of federal and financial power.

This populist tendency continued through the centuries. Sometimes it took right-wing forms, sometimes left-wing ones. Sometimes it was agrarian. Sometimes it was more union-oriented. Often it was extreme, conspiratorial and rude.

The populist tendency has always used the same sort of rhetoric: for the ordinary people and against the fat cats and the educated class; for the small towns and against the financial centers.

And it has always had the same morality, which the historian Michael Kazin has called producerism. The idea is that free labor is the essence of Americanism. Hard-working ordinary people, who create wealth in material ways, are the moral backbone of the country. In this free, capitalist nation, people should be held responsible for their own output. Money should not be redistributed to those who do not work, and it should not be sucked off by condescending, manipulative elites.

Very perceptive, especially coming from one of those very same condescending, manipulative elites.

She Actually WAS A Dirty Little Whore

Four men were ordered released from jail after the woman who accused them of gang-raping her recanted, saying that the sex was consensual.

The woman's name isn't published in the story, though it should be. Everyone in the world deserves to know what a lying bitch and filthy whore she is.

Centenarian War Veteran Overpowers Robber

The robber escaped when the veteran proved too kind-hearted to strangle him.

He was later caught and fingerprints left at the scene were used as evidence against him.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good Article On Civility In USA Today

Front page on the print edition, believe it or not. The story deals with blatant rudeness by Joe Wilson, Serena Williams and Kanye West.

With West it's obviously a matter of being famous beyond his IQ level. With Wilson and Williams it's a bit tougher, because neither is noted for such behavior.

Our first president, George Washington, felt that civility was so important that he wrote out 110 examples of civil behavior to be followed. You can find them here. Some are obviously dated, and not as applicable to 21st century life as to 18th century life, but many are still relevant even today.

Monday, September 14, 2009


"Nessmuk" custom knife by Dan Koster. 1095 steel, natural Micarta handle, leather sheath, $205.00.

I can't really recommend doing business with Koster, unless you buy one of his knives at a knife show somewhere. I ordered a knife for immediate delivery back in May, and only received it last Friday, what was September 11th. He gave no real excuse for the delay, other than to offer a half-assed excuse that it had been lost in the mail. Who ships $200+ knives without insurance and/or a tracking number? No, it was never shipped, and since the Atlanta Blade Show occurred soon after he accepted payment from me, I fully suspect that my payment went toward his expenses for that show, and he took the knife promised to me and sold it there, then had to make another afterwards to send to me. Not good or ethical business practice, and I won't be doing any more business with the fellow, and I strongly recommend that you don't either, unless you happen to be at a knife show and can buy one off of his table.

Back Home: Vacation Report, Day 3

Sunday morning we awoke with the intention of visiting Bald Head Island, which is across from Southport, NC:

View Larger Map

Most of the island (Actually known as Smith Island on maps) is wilderness, but the bottom portion of it has been developed as an exclusive resort for the wealthy, with access only by a passenger/cargo ferry and by boat; no bridge goes to the island, and no cars can be found there; residents move around the developed part of the island via golf carts; there are paved golf cart paths instead of actual roads.

The passenger ferry is at Southport, and costs $15 for a round trip, running from just after sunrise to 10:30 at night.

Here's a shot from the ferry outbound toward the island:

Here's a view of some of the passengers on the upper deck with us:

After we arrived at the island, we rented a golf cart and took off on a trip around the island, with the first stop being the lighthouse:

It's possible to climb the lighthouse and view the world from the top, but neither Sara nor myself were inclined to do so. I should point out that the weather on the island was close to ideal: breezy, dry, and mild, as nice an early autumn day as you might find.

Next to the lighthouse is a chapel, which has some nice views:

After leaving the lighthouse and chapel area, we proceeded on an excursion around the island:

The beaches are remarkably clean and free from people. The houses are pretty much all built of the same materials, probably due to some sort of housing code, and have no lawns, gates or fences, from what I could see of them, they are all plopped down on what is little different than the rest of the undeveloped parts of the island, probably to comply with some sort of environmental diktat.

There are not too many public stores or other facilities on the island. One grocery store with attached cafe, two restaurant/bars, two private clubs, and gift shops at the cart rental and at the marina dockmaster's. At one of the clubs there was a croquet pitch laid out, and on the ferry ride back to Southport several men carried what appeared to be professional croquet mallets, and they talked of a tournament that had just finished up.

After perambulating the island we returned our golf cart, got some snacks at the dockmaster's, and waited for the return ferry. It was a good trip, made perfect by the wonderful weather.

After retrieving our vehicle we went looking for lunch, and decided to eat at the pizza restaurant which was part of Bella Cucina, where we had eaten Saturday night. The informal pizzeria and the more formal Bella Cucina appear to share the same kitchen, so you can get some of the same foods cheaper by ordering them on the pizzeria side of the business. Our pizza was crunchy and flavorful. I should point out that we managed to avoid eating in any fast food or chain restaurants during the entire three days on the coast, and didn't really suffer for the lack.

After a nap at the hotel for me and some computer time for Sara, we headed out toward Sunset Beach, the only beach we had yet to check out on our trip. We discovered that a new bridge was being built, and a temporary bridge had been erected to serve until the new one was completed:

I had, as has become my custom, prepared a Message In A Bottle to throw off of the fishing pier, and I did so, although I'm not really confident that this one would travel far. I may find out that it was found on Sunset Beach only a day or two after I tossed it off of the pier.

Here's Sunset Beach, as seen from the pier:

After tossing the bottle and exploring the island, we headed back toward the bridge. We discovered that traffic to or from the island can only flow in one direction at a time, and that the road traffic halts for fifteen minutes every hour to allow boats to pass through the Intracoastal Waterway. So, a bit of a delay before we went on our way.

We headed south along the coast to Calabash, where Sara showed me some of her favorite seafood restaurants. Neither of us was in the mood for seafood, though, so we gave Calabash a bye and went looking for steaks. We found them back in Shallotte at Jerome's, where we both had ribeyes, Sara a puny 9-ounce one, and me a jumbo 18-ounce slab. Full of beef, we headed back to the hotel.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

From Shallotte, NC: Vacation Report Day 2

We actually woke before dawn on Saturday. After morning ablutions we went down to the hotel dining room for breakfast, or at least coffee for Sara; the breakfast was continental, and the biscuits/gravy provided proved to be inedible for her, so she tossed them and just grabbed a banana from the fruit bowl to take along with her. I had nothing, myself.

We then hit the road headed for points south, because Sara wanted to do some shopping in the Myrtle Beach area and get some cheap SC gasoline to put into the car. We got the gas, but had not calculated that SC stores would not be open as early as she had assumed, so her favorite fudge shop was closed, and she was consequently unable to satisfy her craving for pralines. Frustrated by this setback, she aquiesced when I suggested shopping in Southport, NC, for antiques/gifts.

Southport proved to be a compact, charming town with a magical waterfront on the banks of the Cape Fear River, looking out toward the bay formed by Oak Island and Bald Head Island.

Antique shopping was fun in Southport, and we both decided that this is our favorite beach town in NC. Sara found some "I Love Lucy" license plates. I didn't see anything I wanted, at least not anything I wanted that I could afford. Even an antique Bomber fishing lure was outrageously overpriced at $35. (the original Bomber fishing lure was first invented after WWII, and resembled an aerial bomb):

(After returning to the hotel I bought a Bomber on eBay).

After shopping was over we went looking for lunch on Oak Island. My sister had recommended Captain Stanley's, but we discovered it was only open for dinner. We gave the BBQ House a bye, not wanting to eat BBQ. Finally we settled for seafood at Oak Island Seafood Restaurant, which proved to be rather average fried seafood. While there I formed a theory on hush puppies, which goes like this: if hush puppies are spherical (ball shaped) they are likely to be dry, overcooked, tough and lacking in flavor. If they are shaped like dog turds they are likely to be good, full of flavor and tender. Anyway, that's my theory. I'll be testing it over the next year or so and taking notes.

After lunch, a return to the hotel and an intention to return to Southport for the evening, where we could sit on the waterfront and watch sunset.

Evening in Southport is special, a lot of people had the same idea as we did, as the benches and bench swings were almost all taken. Here's a few images from the waterfront area:

The young lady in the black dress was offering a Ghost Walk of the downtown Southport area, including a graveyard and the old jail. She said that the walk had been featured on some of the cable networks; History Channel and Discovery were the ones she mentioned, as I recall.

After sunset we went looking for dinner, we had a craving for Italian. We found it at Bella Cucina, where Sara had lasagna and I had linguine, with cream of broccoli soup and some cheesecake for dessert. Good restaurant, I can recommend it unreservedly.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel. NC road 211 passes through some true wilderness, and I cautioned Sara, driving, about the possibility of animals running into the road and the importance of not wrecking the car while braking/swerving to avoid them. Thus when a truck ahead of us struck a raccoon in the road, Sara kept her head and smacked it as well rather than go into a swerving, brake-squealing panic (we saw the raccoon, dead, the next day by on the edge of the road). Sara laughed at me for screaming like a girl when we hit the raccoon, and I got back at her by singing snatches of the Beatles' "Rocky Raccoon" during the rest of the trip.

And so we arrived back at the hotel, none the worse for our encounter with a raccoon.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

From Shallotte, NC: Vacation Report #1

Ok, we are at the hotel here in Shallotte, NC, since it's a part of the chain I work for I get the employee discount rate of $35 a night. It took us about four hours to get here from Charlotte, a straight shot down US 74 to Whiteville, then down NC130 to Shallotte.

Compared to Wilmington or Myrtle Beach, Shallotte is more of a working class sort of place; lots of old wooden shacks and trailer parks, little developement to speak of, either residential or commercial. Consequently there isn't much in the way of shopping or dining opportunities.

We ate at a place called Loves BBQ & Seafood upon arrival, right around lunch time. Large crowd of locals, all eating from the buffet. We too ordered from the buffet, which we discovered did not include BBQ; I ended up getting shrimp and fried chicken. Hush puppies were tasteless and leathery from being overcooked. Were we to go back we'd probably order off of the menu insead of eating the buffet.

Aftet lunch we decided to look around a bit, made our way to Holden Beach. It was hot and no breeze at all, and we were in our travelling clothes, so we left after a few minutes looking around. We then drove to the Southport area and onto Oak Island, where we drove out to Caswell Beach. We stayed there for a while before leaving to check into the hotel back at Shallotte.

The hotel, which is a two-story with interior corridors, has no elevator. The desk clerk offered "We're trying to get one!" but if you have a lot of luggage and get put at the far end of the 2nd floor, you're going to be unhappy. Our own room was on the 2nd floor right above the front desk, not too bad, but no elevator? What architect designed this hotel?

After we checked in we decided to go look at Ocean Isle Beach, then find supper. The beach was nice, lots of shells to look through, more than any NC beach we've yet found:

Spent a lot of time trying to get a picture of a small sandpiper:

We eventually left the beach in search of dinner. We found it at The Bridge Bar & Grill, where we had hamburgers that, although good, tasted rather more like meatloaf than of hamburger meat, so I guess a filler was involved. The waitress was rather stupid, too, having to be told twice to bring the nacho chips appetizer, which finally arrived after the entrees, rather like an afterthought.

After dinner we went looking for an ice cream for dessert, and found it back at Ocean Isle Beach, catching a nice sunset over the Intracoastal Waterway on the way over the bridge:

After dessert, back to the hotel for sleep.

Friday, September 11, 2009


The MSM won't show much of this footage today, they'd rather you forget what happened on this day back in 2001. They don't want you angry at the animals that did this. Luckily the MSM doesn't get to call the shots entirely anymore.

Content warning: no graphic images here, other than one of the towers falling. The audio, however, can be heartrending, as it details the last few minutes in the life of one of the victims, and his dying words.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SC Man Shocked After Chasing Rabbit


Monty Python tie-in:

I think that the Monty Python tie-ins are becoming more relevant than the story links themselves. It may end up being like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon game.

Scooby Doo, Where Are You?

Trapped inside a cave now.

Sorry, can't figure out a Monty Python tie-in on this one. Besides, it's the Daily Mail, not UPI.

He's Not The Patron Saint Against Sickness, After All.

The Catholic church has banned the kissing of the relics of San Gennaro (whose blood magically reconstitutes every year) because of swine flu concerns.

And yes, I do believe I have detected another Monty Python tie-in here:

(I think that Raphael the Archangel is the patron against sickness. There's a lot of saints linked to sickness.)

Yet Another Monty Python Tie-In

"City offers free vacation for fake gull."


Taking The Sex Out of Middlesex

Because spam filters kick back too many emails.

So, of course...

And I'm only 1/3 of the way through UPI's Odd News. Who knows how many more Monty Python tie-ins I can find there?

Blessed and Insured Are The Cheesemakers

In Somerset, England, a cheesemaker has insured the nose of his master cheese grader (not cheese grater, something else entirely).

And, since I'm in a Monty Python frame of mind:

Only The King Can Wear That Tat

A patriotic Swedish woman (oxymoron?) can't wear the Swedish National Coat of Arms as a tattoo because the crest is reserved for the use of the King of Sweden.

It would make him easy to identify, I suppose, probably much easier than simply not being covered in shit (skip ahead to 1:50 to see the pertinent section):

Give Me My Money Or I Cut Joo

Threatening IRS employees with knives is probably not a good idea.

Bottle Message Travels From Bahamas To UK

Thrown by a Baltimore teenager from a cruise ship near Freeport, it washed ashore in Cornwall five years later.

An amazing journey. I'd guess that it was caught by the currents of the Gulf Stream, which flow through the Bahamas, up the eastern coast of the US, and past Iceland to end in the UK area. More amazing when you see the picture in the story and realize that it was probably a glass champagne bottle, subject to breakage if struck by a passing ship or other object.

My girlfriend Sara and I will be heading to the beach tomorrow for three days, and I will be throwing a bottle message off of a fishing pier while we are down there. I'm batting a thousand on my bottle messages so far; I've tossed two, and gotten two tales of bottles found. Hopefully I can maintain my record.

UK: Thief Paid Not To Rob, Robs Anyway


Gee, hoodah thunkit?

Liberals will, of course, say it's because he wasn't paid enough.

Assault With A Jellyfish

A drunk in Madeira Beach, Florida, was arrested after repeatedly pretending to drown in the surf, then began throwing jellyfish at other beachgoers.

Keith Marriott, 41, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail Monday on a disorderly intoxication charge after witnesses say he began falling face first into the water at Madeira Beach then became violent.

Nate McHugh of St. Petersburg was among the many who tried to jump in to help thinking the man might drown.

"The way he was trying to get out of the water, he was beyond wasted," said McHugh.

It's unclear if Marriott went unconscious or was faking his drowning, but minutes later witnesses report he was back in the Gulf, this time flinging jellyfish at those on shore.

As many as six people reported painful sings, including McHugh's girlfriend.

"It bubbled up and she had 11 or 12 little bumps and redness," he recalled, describing the painful sting mark left on his girlfriend's arm. The two left the beach shortly after.

Another victim, a teenage girl around 16 years old, had a more severe reaction according to witnesses and had to receive medical treatment after she was stung all over her face and chest.

"She had really bad sting marks. It was really big and red and she had difficulty breathing," said McHugh.

He was also charged with carrying a concealed weapon after large knife was found in his pocket, described as a "filet knife" in one report and a "pocket knife" in another report. Possibly it's folding filet knife of the sort that Spyderco used to make.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

UK: The Prison Island

The UK Daily Mail has a story about a group staging mock muggings to test the public's reaction to crime in their midst.

It appears that the UK public have become Kitty Genovese bystanders, unwilling to aid a fellow citizen subject under attack. In fact, the situation in UK resembles that found in a prison, in which the violent terrorize the non-violent, most crimes go unreported, and the police can rarely be bothered to respond.

Much of this has come about because the populace has been disarmed and actively discouraged (and occasionally punished) from viewing self-defense not just as a right, but a duty. The UK populace has been forced to become a nation of sheep, and without a corresponding effort by the shepherd to acquire more sheepdogs or destroy more of the wolves.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Do I Trust You? When My Life Is In Your Hands...NO.

US Marines play a game that occasionally has deadly consequences:

It wasn’t so different from other nights. Outside it was cold and wet. Inside, quarters were close, but they were comfortable enough. The half dozen or so Marines sharing the small wooden hooch at Combat Outpost Viking in Saqlaweiyah, Iraq, were killing time, watching movies and cracking jokes shortly before midnight March 9.

That’s when Cpl. Mathew Nelson came in from the cold, discarding his balaclava and goggles on his rack, and taking up his M9 sidearm.

Looking back, it’s hard for him to remember exactly what happened next. He would later tell investigators he switched the pistol to safety, dropped the magazine out, and pulled back the slide. The weapon was clear, he thought.

After “messing around” with another Marine, he swung toward Lance Cpl. Patrick Malone, 21, quietly sitting on his rack and watching a movie.

“Do you trust me?”

Whether those were Nelson’s exact words isn’t clear. But if they were different, the meaning was the same. He was playing a game, one familiar to all the Marines in the room, a test of wills and faith.

They called it “Trust.”

“Do you trust me?”

It’s not clear, either, if he answered. Malone smiled at Nelson, other Marines in the room told investigators.

The next moment, a gunshot sounded; and then a Marine was yelling “ND! ND! ND!” — negligent discharge — and Nelson would recall seeing smoke rising from the gun and then all eyes turned to Malone, suddenly slumped in his rack with a bullet hole in his forehead, according to a copy of the investigation report obtained by Marine Corps Times.

They tried to save him, they told investigators. They applied pressure and administered CPR before Malone was rushed to an aid station. But 20 minutes later, he was dead.

My Adamantine Rule: A Gun Is Not A Toy. Don't Play With It!

Col. Jeff Cooper's Rule 1 of safe gun handling: A Gun Is Always Loaded.

Col. Jeff Cooper's Rule 2 of safe gun handling: Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.

This stupid "Trust" game needs to be driven out of the Marine Corps. There is no place for it there.

Heroin Addicts Are Mellow, Wouldn't Hurt A Fly...

...unless they don't have the money to support their habit, at which point they're likely to threaten a convenience store clerk with an axe.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Sailor Sentenced To 10 Years In Negligent Shooting

This is a follow-up to my February 18th post on this story.

The sailor got ten years in prison for killing his girlfriend, also a Navy member. He was playing with the gun, put it up to her head and pulled the trigger, thinking it was empty. Obvious violation of Jeff Cooper's Rule 1 and Rule 2. Also a violation of my own lesser-known rule 1, A gun is not a toy. Don't play with it!

Man Dies In Henry's Crack

A tragic tale of two gay men and their forbidden love a Florida cave diver and his spelunking tragedy.

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

I've Dated Women Who Weighed Less Than That Cabbage

And they probably smelled better, too.

An Alaska man has raised a world-record cabbage.

You could probably feed an entire German village with the sauerkraut made from that thing.

Where's Waldo?

No, not the Martin Hanford creation, but a robot used by the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, for red tide research.

The robot Waldo does, in fact, look remarkably like a submarine torpedo, so if it's found, there will probably be a bit of a panic. Here's a photo:

Here's Your Medal, Sorry To Award It So Late...

...now give it back.

A man on Death Row in North Carolina is awarded the Purple Heart he earned in Vietnam, but had to give it back moments after it was pinned onto his shirt, since prison security regulations don't allow it.

At the USS North Carolina Memorial...

...an artwork featuring a ship of the same name from an earlier era has been purchased and will be displayed at the site.

Here's an image of the artwork, which shows the USS North Carolina, a ship of the line, weathering foul weather off Tunis (Tunisia) in the Mediterranean Sea:

"They Got Tasers, They Got Blackjacks, They Got Sticks...

...so why did you have to kill him?"

A father wonders why police shot his son to death.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Weekend Perambulations/Photos 2

Here with the crop of photos from this weekend's travels around the Carolinas.

We started with a trip to Landsford Canal State Park, in South Carolina.

We weren't aware that wolverines are a menace to South Carolinians:

After incurring Sara's wrath over a buxom, too-friendly waitress at the Ryan's Family Steakhouse in Lancaster, SC, I knew it was probably asking too much to be allowed to go into this establishment:

Here's a sign near the visitor's center. The canal was dug to bypass shoals in the Catawba River in colonial times:

Here's a view upriver:

And downriver:

Here is an indian (casino variety) carved from a log:

The indian was on the porch of the visitor's center, housed in a log cabin. The cabin has been fitted with central a/c and heat for the park staff. Sitting on the porch in wooden rocking chairs, I only lacked a rifle across my knees to fulfill my retirement fantasy of living in a log cabin:

After leaving the park, we headed south in the general direction of Columbia, South Carolina. There was one long stretch where you leave the Piedmont and enter the Sand Hill country, the road there is straight and hilly, and looks as if it needs to have the wrinkles pulled out by a friendly giant. Along this road, we had a close call when a fawn deer (Bambi, we dubbed him) nearly stepped out onto the road in front of us.

We discovered the ultimate small southern town: Ridgeway, South Carolina. It's probably even more rustic and more full of charm than the fictional Mayberry; here's the current police station (sorry for the slant, I was holding the camera crooked):

It replaced the old police station, which was slightly smaller. I guess that unruly citizens of Ridgeway were handcuffed to the iron benches:

And here's a view down the charming main street:

On the return journey north we passed through Cheraw, SC, which we discovered was the birthplace of the late jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie:

Today was Sunday, and we decided to visit a couple of parks west of Charlotte, Crowder's Mountain State Park and King's Mountain National Military Park/State Park. We didn't get any photos at Crowder's, but found a few at King's Mountain. Near the eastern entrance we found The Bear's Den, no doubt a center for the study of southern heritage:

Across from the Bear's Den, inside the park, was a serpentine fence:

Here's the sign for the National Military Park. An important Revolutionary War battle took place here, and it was in fact the turning point of the war toward the Patriots:

After leaving the park, we stopped by Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic institution in Belmont, North Carolina. The campus is dominated by the cathedral, with its statue of St. Benedict out front:

Sitting in the darkened cathedral (light only from the gorgeous stained-glass windows) was soothing, and I took no pictures out of respect for my former Catholic faith. In the entry (can't recall the architectural word) is a large granite stone that once served as a block for displaying slaves for sale; it is now used as a baptismal font. We walked around the grounds for a bit, and sat in a small flower garden for a bit, with Saint Francis for company:

And so to home. Weather over the weekend was wonderful, we're hoping for the same for next weekend, when we have a beach trip planned.