Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quote of the Day

"If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do." - - Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

And so with this blog. It has become too much of an obligation, thus too much like work, and like Tom, I have no real fondness for work. It would be more difficult to end it if I had attracted the level of attention that I once hoped it would, but, just as water finds its level, so too do blogs, and I was never profound enough or entertaining enough to draw more readers than my meager talents deserved.

Good-bye, then. I'd like to thank all of you for stopping by and commenting, and apologize for disappointing you in my decision to cease blogging. I don't pay for the bandwidth, so I'll leave The Drawn Cutlass up for as long as Google permits me to.

Kind Regards.

Robert G. Evans
19 December 2010
Matthews, NC

Friday, December 17, 2010

Let's Offend the Muslim Neighbors...

...with a bit of yodelling.

Amy Alkon has more on her blog here, including a YouTube video of a girl with amazing yodelling talent:

Amy mentions Slim Whitman, but another fine yodeler was the late Don Walser, the "Pavarotti of the Plains:"

Walser's protege, Slaid Cleaves, carries on the master's yodelling tradition, but doesn't quite have Walser's incredible range:


Thursday, December 16, 2010


Kosovo has 'em, at the highest level of government.

Not that this is a new concept.

Up In Baseball Heaven...

...the batters are having a bad day.

Robert Feller, Hall of Fame Pitcher and Navy Veteran, has died at 92.

NC Sea Turtles Rescued

"Stunned" by the cold weather, the turtles have been collected in NC and VA and are being transported by the Coast Guard to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream.

Now I'm no authority on sea turtles or ocean currents, but isn't the Gulf Stream a north-flowing current, that could carry the turtles into even colder water by sweeping them out of their home range? Just asking.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Renfield Wants a Kitten

Actually, Michael Vick wants a dog.

19 July--We are progressing. My friend has now a whole colony of sparrows, and his flies and spiders are almost obliterated. When I came in he ran to me and said he wanted to ask me a great favour, a very, very great favour. And as he spoke, he fawned on me like a dog.

I asked him what it was, and he said, with a sort of rapture in his voice and bearing, "A kitten, a nice, little, sleek playful kitten, that I can play with, and teach, and feed, and feed, and feed!"

I was not unprepared for this request, for I had noticed how his pets went on increasing in size and vivacity, but I did not care that his pretty family of tame sparrows should be wiped out in the same manner as the flies and spiders. So I said I would see about it, and asked him if he would not rather have a cat than a kitten.

His eagerness betrayed him as he answered, "Oh, yes, I would like a cat! I only asked for a kitten lest you should refuse me a cat. No one would refuse me a kitten, would they?"

Fort Macon To Get Working Cannon

Sara and I recently vacationed on the NC coast, and visited Fort Macon while there.

A news report in today's Charlotte Observer indicates that the fort is to get its own working cannon.

Should be a cool addition to the tours there.

Trailer For Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

UK Daily Mail article here.

But here's the trailer itself:

Looks like a worthy sequel; Depp is back, of course, and so is Geoffrey Rush (my personal favorite), Keith Richards in another cameo, Penelope Cruz as the love interest, Ian McShane (looking rather like Al Pacino) as Blackbeard, and featuring mermaids and...wait for it...ZOMBIES!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Father of the Year

Is a Little Tiny Fingerbone...

...all that remains of aviator Amelia Earhart?

Researchers from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) found the bone at the site of a castaway's encampment on the uninhabited island of Nikumaroro, a former British colony that is today part of the republic of Kiribati.

The bone, which may be a phalanx from a human finger, was located along with several other tantalising clues about the fate of Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, during TIGHAR's tenth expedition to the island this summer.

The search turned up the remains of a 1930s woman's compact - complete with residue of the makeup - a small bottle made in New Jersey in 1933 with the remnants of what appears to be hand lotion, a zip made in Pennsylvania in the mid-1930s and of a design that was never exported, and a broken pocket knife of the same brand that was listed in an inventory of Earhart's aircraft.

Sounds like this is a case of "mostly proven" at this point.

A Dubious Distinction

Charlotte's Hyatt Coin & Gun has the dubious distinction of being #2 in the US for selling guns later used in crimes.

The place has been open for 50 years, and has been Charlotte's main gun store for most of that time, which probably skews the statistics.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How About "Oops, the Scalpel Slipped?"

In Germany, a Jewish surgeon refused to operate on a man with a swastika tattoo.

In some emergency circumstances, by German law the surgeon would have been required to operate, ethical considerations be damned.

What would you have done?

She Went On Walkabout, That's All

56-year-old Wilma Edwards of Fayetteville, NC, was declared a missing person in September has turned up in Richmond, Virginia.

Apparently she is an avid walker, and on a previous occasion walked all the way to New York. Her trademark is apparently a white bucket that she carries around with her and sits on when she is tired of walking.

No more details to the story than that. Did she ask people for assistance when it came time to sleep? Where did she eat? Did she work as she went along? Do odd jobs to pay for meals, etc.?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hmm. Maybe ONE Trip To California?

I've never really had any desire to visit California. In the movie Braveheart, King William I of England, speaking of Scotland, says, "The problem with Scotland is that it's full of Scots." So too with California; it's full of Californians. Maybe some of the rural Californians are reasonable people, but they are vastly outnumbered by the Californians dwelling in the huge cities, who exercise a disproportionate influence on the state government, thus its current bankrupt condition.

Maybe, though, a brief visit is in order.

San Diego is a Navy town, and the opportunity to see a full-size replica of HMS Surprise is something I'd relish, being a big fan of Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey/Maturin novels.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Not Quite Rum, Sodomy & the Lash

More like coffee, a quickie, and Admiral's Mast.

Hanky-Panky aboard the US Navy Minesweeper Chief.

Please Send Prayers Out To...

...92-year-old Baseball Hall of Fame Pitcher and Navy veteran Bob Feller, in hospice care for treatment of pneumonia.

I Apologize...

...for the juxtaposition of the zombie post with the NC BBQ post. You probably wouldn't be in a BBQ-eating mood after reading the zombie post.

An Imagined Conversation...

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

So You've Never Tried North Carolina BBQ?

Here's your chance to try both kinds at once.

On our recent coast vacation we ate a lot of BBQ. Amend that: I ate a lot of BBQ. Sara ate a reasonable amount. The total came to 6 BBQ sandwiches (with slaw) and one BBQ plate over 5 days, so averaged out I ate BBQ a little more than daily. I'm not exactly certain how you do that, but I did. Anyway, this NC BBQ kit has samples of both Eastern and Lexington BBQ, and slaws and sauces for both styles. Priced at $60 it's pretty expensive, but figure it as part of your education and you'll do ok.


Every Day Carry knives. Here's mine, let's see yours.

Spyderco Tenacious, Keen Kutter Boy Scout Pattern.

(click to embiggen.)

With A Parrot As a Not-So-Mute Witness

Try reading this one without getting a chill down your spine. And an urge to weep.

I sent it to Drudge's website, he likes to post this sort of thing.

Oh, Won't This Get Ugly?

Westboro Baptist Church is going to picket at Elizabeth Edwards' funeral in Raleigh, NC.

Weather Decks Are Secured Due To High Winds and Heavy Seas

A Greek-owned cruise ship required assistance when it ran into heavy seas during an Antarctic cruise near the South Shetland Islands:

Back in my Navy days I'd get a little nervous in sea conditions like this, but I knew that my shipmates were well-trained professionals who would have my back in an emergency; the same can't be said of the typical cruise ship crew, and that's presuming that the ship even has required emergency gear onboard.

Money Where the Mouth Is

Ya know, I really wish that when some rich bastard goes on Larry King or whatever other softball interview show whining that he makes just too much money and he really wouldn't mind if the government would tax him a bit more, that the host would have the balls to challenge him on it, saying something like, Well, gee, Mr. Warren Buffett, why don't you just dust off that checkbook of yours and write the government a big, fat check without the Congress having to change the IRS rates? No one is stopping you; they might even let you designate where the money can go. If you spend enough on the Navy, for example, maybe they'll name a ship after you. Spend it on the Interior Department, maybe they can name a national park or national forest after you. Pony up, if you feel that you aren't contributing enough. I'll just sit here and wait while you write the check.

But ya know, it seems that the billionaire in question never dusts off that checkbook, does he?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Look, I Can See the Next Domino

An Australian man marries his Labrador Retriever.

Update: you can see pics here. h/t to Julie in comments for the link.

Treasure Blog: Audobon's Birds of America

Sold for over $11.5M. In wonderful shape, all pages intact.


Audobon also did a similar on American mammals, I used to have a copy of that one, although not one of these first editions.

Alaska Really IS Different

"Brazen, Hungry Wolves Spark Fear In Port Heiden."

You don't see healines that that here in NC.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

North Carolina Banning Liquors Piecemeal

And although the ABC commissioner admits there is no cause to do so, indicates a willingness to continue the practice.

December 7, 1941


Even though the Japanese are friends and close allies now, remember. Also remember this:

Because we are still at war with the monsters who did that.

New York Times False Premise Headline of the Day

"In The Wild, A Big Threat To Rangers: Humans."

Let me just fix that up for you a bit:

In The Wild, A Big Threat To Rangers: Criminals.

The article posits the premise that park rangers are under more threat than ever from armed humans in wilderness areas, and that this is a result of the 2009 law that gave law-abiding citizens the right to be armed in national parks. Yet every example cited in the article is a criminal misuse of a gun or the possession of a gun during a crime, which the 2009 law had no effect over. You didn't have a bunch of criminals waiting for the 2009 law to pass so that they could carry guns in national parks; they did so already.

Rangers are in no danger from law-abiding citizens with guns, which is what the 2009 law addressed. Just the opposite may someday occur, in fact: an armed citizen may come to the aid of a ranger in conflict with a criminal.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Turn Out the Lights...

...the party's over.

"Dandy" Don Meredith, an early Dallas Cowboys quarterback and a star of the original "Monday Night Football," has died at 72 of a brain hemorrhage.

Don was famous for singing Willie Nelson's song Turn Out the Lights, the Party's Over when the conclusion of a football game became obvious; YouTube doesn't have video of it, but you can hear Don on this audio clip, in fine voice:

And, if you wish to hear the original song sung by Willie:

Here's a pic of Don from Monday Night Football, flanked by his co-hosts, Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford:

Boys, that was a loooong time ago. Rest In Peace, Don.

Where's Our War Against Christmas...

...whines a writer for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

He's sort of relieved not to see it this year. Or maybe regretful, it's hard to tell.

Maybe, just maybe, the secularists and PC crowd have finally learned not to stir up the animals at Christmas time?

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Now That NC Has a Republican-Controlled Congress...

...we'll finally see ID required to vote.

Naturally the take of The Charlotte Observer is that voter fraud is such an insignificant issue that this sort of law isn't even required.

Yah, right.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Bad Santa

Steeped in the Chicago Way, no doubt.

Camoflage Is Contra-Indicated...

...if you're going to be a participant in a search for lost hikers.

You might want to wear something bright and easily seen, both so the lost hikers might see you, and so you yourself might be seen if you unfortunately become lost.

Especially since it's still deer-hunting season here in NC...

First We Won Our Gun Freedoms... let's win our knife freedoms.

A fairly even-handed discussion of knife ownership/carry laws by The New York Times. They interview D'Alton Holder, past president of the Knifemaker's Guild, and even feature a photo of that gentleman:

He's been making knives for a long time now, and his "My Knife" model is instantly recognizable by its handle, which is made up of a "stack" of different materials:

It Looks As If...

...the righteous pushback against Westboro Baptist Church has begun.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Random Vacation Photos

Here with some random images from the beach vacation.

Intracoastal Waterway, New Bern, NC.

Bascule Bridge, New Bern, NC.

(You'll note that there are no photos from the Tryon Palace in New Bern; couldn't really justify the admission on the budget we had to work with.)

North Carolina Maritime Museum.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, NC, is a wonderful place to visit, especially since admission is free. Inside exhibits on the US Lifeboat Service, the Lighthouse Service, examples of sailing boats of the North Carolina area, and relics from Blackbeard's sunken flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge. There is a wonderful research library that would be a great place to spend a day peacefully reading.

Relics, Queen Anne's Revenge.

Naval Anchor, NC Maritime Museum.

Front Street, Beaufort, NC.

Town Clock, Beaufort, NC.

Atlantic Beach, NC.

Kiteboarder, Atlantic Beach, NC.

Alligator, NC Aquarium Pine Knoll Shores, NC.

Gar, North Carolina Aquarium, Pine Knoll Shores, NC.

North Carolina Aquarium, Pine Knoll Shores, NC

Newport, NC.

Newport, NC.

(A pretty lonely business in an obscure corner of the state. The guy could use some customers, so if you're in the area, stop by. It's a nice shop.)

Swansboro, NC.

Historic District, Swansboro, NC.

Atlantic Beach, NC.

This area of North Carolina, the Crystal Coast, hasn't been overdeveloped, and the proximity of the Croatan National Forest will forever limit development to a certain extent. It looks like a good hunting/fishing/outdoors-oriented area with a lot of rural character. Good place for military retirees due to the the proximity of Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. If you need a large city nearby, this area of NC isn't for you.

Fort Macon Photos

Some shots of Fort Macon State Park.

It's a lovely old fort, owned by the State of North Carolina. There is a first-class visitor's center, constructed to resemble the style of the fort itself, the same sort of brickwork and same archways. Lovely beaches all around, since the fort is situated at the end of a barrier island. If you take small children keep them under strict supervision, as there are places at the fort unprotected by guard rails, and a fall resulting in injury or even death is possible.

Back Home

We're back from vacation, I got home about an hour ago. Blogging will resume shortly. Apologies for not blogging during the vacation, but the wi-fi at the hotel left a lot to be desired. I have 171 photos to process; not all of them will make it onto the blog, of course.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vacation Update

I'm posting this from Havelock, NC, where we will be staying until Saturday. Havelock is the home of the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. Yes, we occasionally hear a jet roaring overhead.

Today (Tuesday) we went shopping in a few of the towns on the coast. In Beaufort we visited the North Carolina Maritime Museum, and in Morehead City we visited the History Place in Morehead City. In Atlantic Beach we visited Fort Macon State Park, where we got a lot of good photographs.

Lunch was at the White Swan BBQ & Fried Chicken, and we sampled both; not too bad, we'll be going back Thursday for the bargain $1.50 BBQ sandwiches.

Tomorrow will bring either shopping in New Bern, or maybe a trip to the aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Depends on the weather.

More later, and pics when we get back.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Sara and I will be heading for the coast on Monday, we'll be in the Morehead City/Atlantic Beach, NC area for 5 days. We'll be visiting New Bern, the Croatan National Forest, and other interesting points in eastern NC. We'll be staying in Havelock, not far from the Cherry Point USMC Air Station. I'll blog from the road, as wi-fi connections permit.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

We're the Last...

...developed country to offer birthright citizenship:


a. Canada was the last non-U.S. holdout. Illegal aliens stopped getting citizenship for their babies in 2009.

b. Australia's birthright citizenship requirements are much more stringent than those of H.R. 1868 and took effect in 2007.

c. New Zealand repealed in 2006.

d. Ireland repealed in 2005.

e. France repealed in 1993.

f. India repealed in 1987.

g. United Kingdom repealed in 1983.

h. Portugal repealed in 1981.

h/t Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple In Atlanta.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Wishes

My best wishes to all of you on Thanksgiving.

Survival Blog: 50 Days Adrift In The Pacific Ocean

In the same sort of boat you might fish from at your local lake or river.

They were lucky. They apparently didn't have any flotation gear if the boat sank, nor did they stock any survival gear for the situation they found themselves in. They lived off of a few fish and a seagull that they managed to capture. Presumably they're poor, which is why they'd go to sea without sufficient provisions or survival gear. They'd best invest in some or not go to sea again, because they can't count on fortune smiling on them this way again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Not Yer Typical White South Carolinian

77-year-old Michael Bowden of Spartanburg was arrested when he told personnel at a Veterans' Administration hospital that he wanted to shoot President Obama "because he is not doing enough to help African Americans."

And he had a shitload of guns around his bed, all loaded and cocked, ready to go.

h/t The Drudge Report.

So Ends UK Aircraft Carrier Aviation... the last Harrier GR9 takes off from the deck of the HMS Ark Royal.

Budget cuts. More important than national defense. Besides, the UK doesn't need to defend itself, it can just call on the USA again.

Ingrid Pitt, 1937-2010: R.I.P.

Nazi concentration camp survivor and Hammer Horror sex bomb.


And another pic, in the sort of typical busty vampire pose that made her famous:

Hammer Horror vampires like Ingrid would make being a male vampire hunter extremely difficult, just too much temptation there.

Scientists Advocate Face-Shield Helmets For Soldiers

Supposed to lessen concussions, a problem encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Monday, November 22, 2010

One Of Those Terrible Dilemmas

88-year-old Roy Charles Laird entered the nursing home where his wife, 86-year-old Clara Laird, was being cared for as a result of dementia and decline in which she was unable to care for herself or recognize anyone around her, shot her with a revolver, and sat down beside her to wait for police to arrest him.

His daughter described the killing as a "mercy killing."

Obviously there's no provision for physician-assisted euthanasia in most of the US, so Laird apparently did what he thought was right; my question is, why did he not then turn the gun on himself so as to spare the state of California the necessity of trying him as a murderer? Was he not prepared to join his wife in death? Did he have business left undone? Did he intend to do so, but lost his nerve at the moment of truth?

What a terrible dilemma for Laird and for the state of California. What a terrible tragedy.

Boy, Is HE In For A Rude Awakening

Robot George awakens from his Rip Van Winkle-esque sleep after 45 years.

Here's a pic of Robot George with his creator, Tony Sale:

Identify Your Target and What Is Behind It

A violation of Rule 4 of Cooper's Rules results in the tragic death of a 3-year-old boy just down the road in Hemby Bridge, NC.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Let's Commission A Ship

Photo gallery from The Wilmington Star-News.

Uniform of the day is Full Dress Blues.


...has left us.

If you've enjoyed reading his adventures, you might go offer condolences.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What Takes Place...

when a US Navy ship is commissioned?

It's happening this Saturday in Wilmington, North Carolina, as the USS Gravely will be commissioned.

Seneca Guns?

A phenomenon that has been occurring in coastal North Carolina recently.

Related news story here.

I have a theory of my own, however: It's God farting:

Pull My Finger, Adam.

Well, It Ain't No Welfare Cadillac...

...It's actually a Medicaid Dodge Charger. And a Medicaid Bentley. And a Medicaid Hummer.

$600,000.00 worth of Medicaid fraud, as a matter of fact. Pretty sweet, if you know what you're doing and LACK A FUCKING CONSCIENCE.

(I sent a link to the story to The Drudge Report, let's see if Matt puts it up. I bet he will).

Check Out Today's Day By Day

Good gunny stuff by Chris Muir:

You ain't gonna see that sort of stuff in Doonesbury, and that's a good thing.

He Hates Possums and Pimento Cheese

But Charlie the Alligator will eat nearly everything else you put into his pond at the Charleston Weapons Station in South Carolina, including an unfortunate alligator girlfriend who Charlie must not have "clicked" with.

Charlie has been in residence at the base since the 1950's, and measures out at 12 feet and over 500 pounds. Here's a pic:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why I Support Gun Ownership

Because you should be able to defend yourself against those who otherwise do this with impunity.

Treasure Blog: 16th Century Gold Reliquary Pendant

Found in Hockley, Essex (UK) by a 3-year-old boy who was on an outing with his parents.


It's a lovely thing. That's one disadvantage of living in the United States, there's less treasure buried out there waiting to be discovered, and none of it over 600 years old, whereas in Europe and Asia the treasures go back millennia.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Carpet of Golden Leaves

The weather today has been windy and overcast, with just enough rain to dampen the ground a bit, although more is expected into the evening. It's been the peak of fall leaves here in the Charlotte area, but the wind today blew most of the leaves off of our sugar maples, leaving a carpet of gold effect on the ground:

TSA: Folks See Where This Is Leading

We're just waiting for an Al Qaeda orifice bomber to make an attempt on a US flight to reach the ultimate security checkpoint indignity: the cavity search.

All right, people, line up, bend over and spread 'em.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm, E-I-E-I-O...

...and on this farm he had no pigs...


And can you guess why Old MacDonald had no pigs? Because the toy company was afraid of offending Jews and Muslims.

And yes, this happened in multicultural, PC-mad UK. As if you had to ask, right?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lessons Forgotten, Ignored

Forgotten between wars, ignored by bean counters.

A US Naval Institute article about both Army/Marine and Navy practices that get forgotten or ignored, through lack of funding or simple inertia, for example:

# RPG cages/Slat armor: Plenty of pictures of them on Strykers and other armored vehicles now, but not so starting early on in this war. The RPG dates back to WWII, so you can’t say their impact on light armor is a new issue. When RPGs became common in Vietnam, we put our 113′s in cages of one type or another. Very effective – and very forgotten. Like the next example, lives were lost, memories came for the fore, redneck engineering held the line until official production – and now we have them again. No excuse.
# Unarmored HUMVEEs/MRAP: All you needed to know about their need was learned and forgotten in Somalia. Israel and Apartheid South African experiences spanning decades also gave clues. The story by now is well known – as it was on 10 SEP 01. No excuse.
# Inadequacy of the M-16/M-4 and its varmint round, the .223/5.56mm: Tired but true argument. All discussion should have ended when the M-14 was brought out of storage wholesale mid-decade and serious talk came up towards a 6.5/6.8mm round – but the G4 guys seem to have beat the G3 guys, again, on this with a classic bureaucratic holding actin – sadly. Same institutional concept that ignored Gen. Mattis when he was MARCENT and wanted MRAPs for his Marines. The amount of our own countrymen’s blood on the hands of our accountants and non-warfighting Staff Weenies is enough to leave anyone gobsmacked. Back to the subject at hand, I recommend anyone who wants to defend M-16 series talk to MG Robert H. Scales, USA (Ret.). No excuse.

Worth reading in entirety.

Dogs Training in South Carolina For Afghanistan

Bomb dogs.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hitchens Update

One of my series of updates on Christopher Hitchens, struggling with cancer. This one via the UK Guardian.

You can usually count on Hitchens to say something profound in his interviews, and he doesn't disappoint in this one:

"Darfur, Zimbabwe, Burma, North Korea, anywhere that the concept of human rights doesn't exist, it's always the Chinese at backstop. And always for reasons that you could write down in three words: blood for oil."

Here's a pic of Hitch, uncharacteristically wearing a hat, and also adorned with a Remembrance Day poppy: