Sunday, February 28, 2010

Southpark: Speaking Truth To...Liberals

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, on why their show Southpark tends to skewer liberals more than conservatives:

They have certainly mocked conservative groups and people on their show, but they tend to skewer liberals more often. Why? "Ripping on Republicans is not that fun for us only because everyone else does it," Matt explained. "It's so much more fun for us to rip on liberals only because nobody else does it, and not because we think liberals are worse than Republicans but, just because..."

"'s like fresh snow. I mean how're you gonna rip on Sarah Palin in a new way?" Trey pointed out.

"I think sometimes we do gravitate towards things other people haven't done and a lot of times that makes us gravitate away from ripping on Republicans cause it's just done very well by a ton of people. It's hard to compete with Jon Stewart, etc -- those guys are brilliant."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday Ramblings: Fort Dobbs, Carolina BBQ (Statesville, NC)

For today's excursion Sara and I decided to visit Fort Dobbs State Historic Site to see a "living history weekend" featuring reenactors representing colonial-era soldiers and Cherokee Indians from the time of the French and Indian War. We also decided to eat lunch at one of the restaurants recommended by the North Carolina Barbecue Society, this one in Statesville, NC.

The trip to Statesville was uneventful, straight up I-77 until we reached US 21 (we like to travel on secondary roads as much as possible). We circled the area where the restaurant was several times before finally finding it:

The late CBS correspondent (and NC native) Charles Kuralt has eaten here, as have various other celebrities, photographs of whom can be seen on one of the walls near the door. The restaurant features a lunch counter and a dining room.

Here's a menu:

That's my shy Sara's hand holding up the menu. Give her a hand, folks.

We both ordered chopped pork plates; here's mine:

The pork was properly moist and tender, smokier than we have encountered it elsewhere; quite good. Two types of sauce are on hand, both Lexington-style tomato-based sauce and Eastern-NC-style vinegar-based sauce. I had the Lexington-style sauce and Sara had the Eastern style. French fries and corn on the cob were both good sides. The hush puppies were sweet and good, hand-formed into golf-ball-sized spheres. For dessert Sara had home-made strawberry cobbler and I had a scoop of ice cream. Sara pronounced the cobbler excellent, and gave me a taste, and it was indeed toothsome.

I'll give Carolina Bar-B-Q a 4 on my five scale for BBQ restaurants: 4 out of 5: good; tasty, well-prepared food, staff alert, restaurant clean. I should note that the restaurant also has Texas-style beef brisket BBQ, but I had eaten that on Friday and wanted to try the pork for which NC is famous.

Both of us full of good pigmeat, we drove up the road to Fort Dobbs. There were a number of cars in the parking area, and a member of staff was directing people to slots. The day was sunny, cool, and breezy, in the 50's.

I can't vouch for the authenticity of the reenactors' costumes; I'll just post a selection of photos that I took and let others hash out details.

Hope you enjoy the photos. Click on any of them to see at full size.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Food Review: Elwood's Music Hall, Pineville, NC

We ate at Elwood's Music Hall in Pineville, NC this evening. It advertises as a combo restaurant/bar/music hall:

We were given a table in the bar area just inside the entrance. Too dark at 5 p.m., not much in the way of lighting. I'm not a big fan of having to eat by flashlight, so we made do as best we could.

Sara ordered fried turkey, I ordered BBQ brisket. My sides included fried corn and onion rings:

Onion rings were fresh and beer-battered, not too bad; not enough onion flavor for my taste, but at least they weren't frozen rings out of a bag. Fried corn was good, seemed almost like a corn chowder or creamed corn. The brisket was a bit fatty but was cooked properly. Elwood's offers four different BBQ sauces: a red tomato-based sauce, a hot tomato-based sauce, a thin mustard-based sauce, and a vinegar-based NC-style sauce. I also tried some of Sara's fried turkey, it was also good. The sign on the doors advertised Charlotte favorite Don Dixon as the musical guest at the place tonight. (Dixon was actually sitting in the bar, but I didn't realize this until seeing his picture on the website just now).

As for a rating, on this first visit I'll give Elwood's Music Hall a 3 out of 5: 3 out of 5: average; reasonably good food, moderate effort by staff/management. We'll try them again in the future, see how some of the other dishes taste.

Update, 21 May 2010: Elwood's has closed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

That's Right, Folks, Don't Touch That Dial!

Because Don Pardo, the announcer on Saturday Night Live, is 92 years old.

Good New York Times article, and they score supreme points for coolness by including Pardo assisting Frank Zappa perform I'm The Slime.

When A Token Of Your Youth Returns

In 1949 Henry Leland, fresh out of the Navy, stopped at Geneva-On-The-Lake near Cleveland for a few days off on his way home. While there, Leland's wallet turned up missing. 60 years later, it was found and returned to Leland.

Here's a pic of Leland and the man who found his wallet, Jerry Busch:

Imagine the memories you'd have if something as intimate as a wallet were returned to you after being missing that long. Pulling out each card, picture, scrap of paper would have a significance, some slight, some great. A miniature time capsule of your own possessions.

Yeah, Leave the Man Alone, How About It?

After the Kenansville Massacree, in which members of Willie Nelson's band were busted for pot here in North Carolina, one of our Democrat state senators, a musician himself, was moved to write a song in defense of Willie's right to spark up a doob now and then.

NC State Senator Charlie Albertson (D).

Click the link to hear the song. He's got a good country voice and it's not too bad a song.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

UK Conservatives Invoke Reagan Before Election

They ask Reagan's simple question: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

The article goes on to amplify why the answer from the UK voting populace should be no.

They're A Menace To Society, They Are

Those gravestones; they just stand around waiting to fall on people. We mustn't have that.

UK's ridiculous "'elf and safety" regulations cause 181 gravestones in a churchyard to be uprooted and laid flat on the ground.

On The One Hand, I'm Glad They're Getting the Training...

on the other hand, I'm wondering about the motive for it.

Soldiers are receiving additional training in hand-to-hand combat, based on situations in Afghanistan that indicate it is necessary.

I don't object to the training per se, as I think that hand-to-hand combat should be in every soldier's repertoire; but I worry that the reasoning for it has less to do with preserving the lives of our soldiers than it does with capturing insurgents alive, as if the focus has shifted from a war viewpoint to a law enforcement viewpoint; soldiers are trained to kill enemies, and police are trained to arrest lawbreakers. I hope that we aren't treating our soldiers as police out of some notion of being "nice" to the insurgents.

Dentist Has Tiny Helpers

Not really. In fact, the dentist is something of an artist and made tiny models of workmen fixing teeth:

You can see more of them at the link.

End of Season Sale! Buy One, Get One Free!

Somali pirates are trying to get rid of overstock in UK hostages just in time for the new pirating season. It's a buyer's market!

UK Police: We're Sorry About Your Car, But Those SCARY Thieves Have It

And we might get hurt if we go after them.

Sorry about that.

It's Appalling And Horrible, But It's Free!

In UK, patients at the Stafford Hospital were routinely neglected.

Labour Government reaction: Sorry about that!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shipwreck Blog: Steamboat Arabia, Missouri River

The steamboat Arabia sank in the Missouri River in 1856, and over the years became silted over with mud.

When the Missouri River shifted in its channel, the Arabia ended up under a farmer's corn field, the accumulated silt preserving perfectly the cargo that the steamboat was carrying. Now it's all in a museum, a time capsule to the year 1856.

"You Don't Want To End Up With A Burmese Necktie."

The state of Florida gears up for a special hunting season to help exterminate Burmese and other pythons in the Everglades and other southern areas of the state where the snakes have become an invasive species.

I'd definitely take part, if I lived there. A large supply of free snake leather for belts, boots and hatbands? I'm all for it.

Shipwreck Blog: Life Imitates Hollywood

Movie plot: Sailing ship with teenaged students aboard is struck by a strange weather phenomenon and sinks, putting the teens in a survival situation.

News story: Sailing ship with teenaged students aboard is struck by a strange weather phenomenon and sinks, putting the teens in a survival situation.

Only real difference is that the movie featured teenaged boys, and the real-life shipwreck featured teenaged girls.

The movie? White Squall, starring Jeff Bridges.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Pink Grasshopper

Sounds like a euphemism for a sexual act/organ, but it's not. A boy in Santa Fe, Texas, found a grasshopper with a strange pink coloration due to genetic variations:

The young man is a keen amateur entomologist, and sent the pink grasshopper to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. They'll try to breed it to produce more pink grasshoppers.

Happy Birthday

It's the birthday of our first President, George Washington.

In honor of his birthday let's watch a short clip from An American Carol, in which Michael Malone (a slightly disguised Michael Moore) meets the ghost of Washington, played wonderfully by Jon Voight. The film was a political satire from a conservative viewpoint and most of the actors mailed in their performances, but Voight played it straight in his portrayal of our first President. This scene had me rubbing my watering eyes in the theater when I saw it there:

And for something even more strange and delightful, this animated short film of Washington that was popular on the blogs a few years ago:

Happy Birthday, Mr. President. Wish you were here to offer us all some advice.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weigh-In #4, 21 Feb 2010

Lost another pound: weight is now below 400 at 399.6 pounds. First milestone. Maybe I can write a book, The North Carolina BBQ Diet. It's sure to be a hit down here in the South.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday Drive, Lexington BBQ

It was a beautiful day, so we went for a long drive through the countryside east of Charlotte, passing through Albemarle, Troy, and Asheboro, with a stop in Lexington for some of the barbecue made famous there.

Lexington is famous in North Carolina for BBQ, and the downtown features statues of pigs in front of the businesses there, dressed in various types of costumes. There is also a great fall barbecue festival. Lexington barbecue is made from pork shoulders only, (also called Boston Butt), and the sauce is usually tomato-based.

The restaurant we chose to eat at was Lexington Barbecue, no other modifier necessary for this restaurant in business since 1962.

Sara and I both had coarse-chopped pork with french fries and hush puppies; here's a before shot of mine:

And here's an after shot:

The barbecue was succulent: moist and tasty. Not too much smoke flavor, and served without sauce. Hush puppies were tasty, also, but mostly corn meal and although we both ate all the hush puppies on the table, we have had better pups. Fries were ordinary crinkle-cuts, standard for a BBQ house. Service at 2 p.m. was quick and efficent. I should note that even at 2 on Saturday afternoon the line to get in the place went out the door, but by the time we left the lunch rush was pretty much over.

We had a funny moment of frank honesty from our waitress; when Sara mentioned the excellence of the iced tea, the waitress made a face and said, "Yecccch! I HATE iced tea! Everyone says ours is good, but I can't stand iced tea, I've always preferred a nice Diet Coke, myself."

We'll be trying the other BBQ houses in Lexington in future travels, no doubt, and we might just go up for the festival next fall.

The Good Stuff

When the people at your favorite BBQ joints recognize you, you know you're in BBQ nirvana. In Charlotte, NC, one of my two local BBQ joints is The Q Shack, which avoids the BBQ wars (for the most part) by having both Texas-style brisket AND NC-style pork BBQ. They sell beer if you like that with your food, and have outstanding blues music playing on the PA system. It's not a huge place, being a storefront location in a shopping center, but can seat about 40 or so people comfortably.

When we went in last evening they were making some of their fine hush puppies, using an extruder to form perfect turd-shaped pups. Sara had a "mustard pork" sandwich, which is pork BBQ mixed with a mustard-based SC-style BBQ sauce; I had brisket, as I usually do, but eyed Sara's sandwich covetously. I'll order that the next time I go in, I think. It looks scrumptious:

You can see mac-n-cheese and collard greens as Sara's side dishes. Sara is fond of the collards here. The mac-n-cheese is good, too. It's served almost universally in BBQ restaurants here in NC.

Here's my brisket plate:

And yes, I DID eat all those hush puppies, most of them dipped into the good tomato-based BBQ sauce. They also have NC-style vinegar-based sauce and SC-style mustard-based sauce on hand.

Gooooood BBQ.

Friday, February 19, 2010

When You Put It Like That, It Sounds So...


"But a string of allegations from more than a dozen women who said they had slept with him, including a socialite, an escort, a pancake waitress and a porn star, forced the golfer to apologise to his wife and two children and admit he was addicted to sex with women other than his wife.

Lionel Jeffries, 1926-2010: R.I.P.

Actor Lionel Jeffries has died.

Don't know about the rest of you, but I remember him best for this:


He's Fascinated By Flatulent Russkies?

"Netanyahu Loses Interest In Russian Gas."

That's a weird sort of fetish...

...They Announced Carefully Around The Mouthful of Humble Pie

The New York Times, one of the MSM outlets that knew of but concealed the John Edwards affair during the 2008 presidential election, mentions in today's edition that The National Enquirer, the tabloid that broke the story, is being considered for a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting.

I hope that the Enquirer gets it, too. They were the only media source that actually did journalism on the subject, even if it was only of the tabloid variety.

For Those Of You In North Carolina...

...I draw your attention to this reenactment event taking place at Fort Dobbs State Historic Site on February 27th.

I've seen Civil War and Revolutionary War reenactments, but never a French and Indian War reenactment. I'm making tentative plans to be there.

2010 Bodies, 1958 Airline Seat Widths


And it's not something we can really blame on someone else, either; our fat bodies are the result of our own lifestyle choices, and the refusal of airlines to change the seat widths is a result of our own demand that low ticket prices be the single most important factor in air travel, not comfort.

Here's Yer Birdhouse, Now Hand Over That Wallet

In UK, young criminals given alternative sentences to jail are still re-offending in large numbers, although overall crime appears to be falling.

I had to put that "although" in there to keep my favorite lefty reader from pouncing on me for omitting it.

Well, I'll Be Damned.

I didn't even realize that the annual convention of the National Rifle Association is being held here in Charlotte this year, on May 14-16. I really have no excuse not to attend then, do I?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hell, Ashes Is Ashes...

...and she won't know the difference.

A sad case of mistaken identities in Memphis, Tennessee.

Let It Remain Tickle Cock Bridge Now and Forever


At least this time the spiritual descendants of Thomas Bowdler were ultimately unsuccessful in their efforts.

And since we're discussing risqué place names, let me link to Britain's Rudest Place Names.

Some examples:

Twatt, Shetland (not to be confused with Twatt, Orkney).

Sandy Balls, Hampshire

Funbag Drive, Watford

Cocknmouth Close, Surrey.

And so forth.

We Need Gun Control...For Homeland Security Officers.

WASHINGTON — The nation's Homeland Security officers lost nearly 200 guns in bowling alleys, public restrooms, unlocked cars and other unsecure areas, with some ending up in the hands of felons. The problem, outlined in a new federal report, has prompted disciplinary actions and extra training.

Way to secure the homeland, guys.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Italian TV Chef Wants Italians To Eat Pus...Er, Cats


I only linked this one for the risqué possibilities suggested by the subject matter. Sometimes I'm shallow like that.

A Couple of Words Missing, Maybe?

Please read this article about a "religious conflict" between a Wake County, NC, teacher and her students, then tell me if you think a couple of very important words are missing that would make the story understandable. As it stands, the story is incomplete, possibly for reasons of political correctness.

I'll chime in with what those probable words are later, after giving readers a chance to guess them.

Afghanistan: Dotting the I's and Crossing the T's...

...before you're allowed to shoot the enemy.

Under the current rules of engagement, troops retain the right to use lethal force in self defense, said U.S. Col. Wayne Shanks, a spokesman for the international force.

The rules seek to put the troops in the “right frame of mind to exercise that right,” Shanks said. They require troops to ask a few fundamental questions:

• Even if someone has shot in my general direction, am I still in danger?

• Will I make more enemies than I’ll kill by destroying property, or harming innocent civilians?

• What are my other options to resolve this without escalating the violence?

New soldier's prayer: Dear Lord, please let me get through this checklist before the jihadi shoots my ass...

Monday, February 15, 2010

His Dandelion Wasn't That Dandy

In UK, a gardener killed his lover after she disparaged his manhood.

Imagine That

"A Wake County middle school teacher has been suspended following complaints about disparaging comments she made about her class, Christianity and Southern culture on her Facebook page.

Melissa Hussain, an eighth-grade teacher at West Lake Middle School in Apex, wrote on her Facebook page that it was a “hate crime” that students left a Bible on her desk and how she “was able to shame her kids” over the incident. Her Facebook page included comments from friends saying that the parents of Hussain’s students were “bigoted, stupid and uncaring.”

Hussain has been nominated for Teacher of the Year by the American Federation of Teachers.

Mall Ninja Saves The Day

When Marquel Dawson's pet pit bull/shepherd mix was attacked by a mountain lion, Marquel knew what to do: run back to the house and grab his ninja sword.

Together the brave Marquel and his dog drove the lion off.

Dr. Who Versus Margaret Thatcher

A cabal of leftist BBC scriptwriters tried to cause the fall of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government during the 1980's.

Pretty heinous, since the BBC is funded by a national UK television license and is supposed to be politically neutral.

Sunday's Lunch: Troutman's Barbecue, Concord, NC

Sara and I went riding east today, with the idea of eating at a BBQ restaurant in Albemarle, NC. When we got to Albemarle, though, we discovered that, like so many barbecue restaurants on Sunday, this particular place was closed. So we continued our Sunday drive, heading back toward Charlotte on NC49. When we reached US 601 we turned north, because I knew that Troutman's Barbecue was just up that road, although I had never eaten there.

Luckily enough they were open, and a fair-sized Sunday crowd was eating post-church luncheon.

Lots of senior citizens in evidence. Looking at the menu we discovered that Troutman's featured many down-home dishes in addition to barbecue; Sara was tempted by the pot roast, but ordered barbecue so as to see if it was any good. I also ordered barbecue.

The barbecue was pulled and chopped pork; don't know if they used whole hog or just shoulders, didn't think to ask. They had both eastern-NC vinegar-based sauce and Lexington-style tomato-based sauce. The meat was reasonably smoky and juicy, not dry. Hush puppies were small and shaped like dog turds, and were cooked properly and tasted good. My plate and Sara's were $6.75 each, a pretty good bargain.

The sign out at the street promised ice cream, and I asked for some, was offered a choice of chocolate, strawberry or vanilla; what was brought was a paper tub of it rather than a hand-scooped bowl, so I declined the ice cream.

Service was prompt and our orders were correct. Only minus I noted was the ice cream, which as I say was in those paper tubs that children eat, rather than hand-scooped in a proper bowl.

Troutman's advertises that they have been serving barbecue for 50 years, so I imagine that many of the senior citizens that we saw in the restaurant have been eating there for much of their lives.

I'll score Troutman's Barbecue a 3/5 on my scale: 3 out of 5: average; reasonably good food, moderate effort by staff/management.

My apologies for not including pics of the food, I forgot to take my camera into the restaurant.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Diamond In a Dunghill: A Good Maureen Down Column

Dowd imagines a conversation between Dick Cheney and President Obama, with hilarious results.

The column speaks to the very basic division in this country between right/left, personifed by Cheney and Obama. Heartily recommended.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bad Day At The Chilean Mint

Apparently the spell-check was turned off when this 50-peso Chilean coin was minted, and a bunch of them were released into circulation:

Republica de Chiie?

I mean, damn! It's only 5 letters, and it's the name of your country...

And apparently, the coins circulated for a year without anyone noticing...

Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Sour...and Umami?

A story about Umami, theorized by the Japanese to be the fifth type of taste that a human can sense.

A Little Dab'll Do Ya.

As A Bonus, They Don't Fart A Whole Lot

Why ethically sensitive eaters in Australia are willing to eat kangaroos. They call themselves Kangatarians.

Your Lack Of Flatulence Is Appreciated.

Call Him Captain Blue-State America?

In the pages of the comic books, Captain America sees a problem to be dealt with: the Tea Party movement.

While Marvel apologizes, Brendan McGuirk of Comics Alliance writes an opinion piece that basically says Deal with it, teabaggers.

It's hard to enjoy reading these comics when they are written from a particular political viewpoint; like many Hollywood movies, those of us on the right of the political spectrum feel shut out and denigrated by the writers and producers of these art forms.

When Marvel killed Captain America off during the Bush years, the Marvel Editor-In-Chief, Joe Quesada, gave an interview in which he mentioned that conservative readers thought that Captain America should be in Iraq punching out Saddam, as he once punched out Hitler, and the liberal readers thought that Captain America would be among the Iraq War protestors.

Is this how it's to be? Should Marvel perhaps publish two versions of the same comic so as to cater to both sides of this divided country?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's Only A Matter Of Time...

...until he makes it a crime to not tune into his radio show.

Radio El Gran Hermano Is On The Air.

Boy, Are The Golfers Tee'd Off

On exclusive Bald Head Island near Wilmington, NC, discovery of early 19th-century bones has halted renovations on a golf course.

They're not certain what the bones are at this point. Looks like they aren't Native American, due to the way that they were buried. Could be an old unmarked cemetery. The newspaper speculates that they might be the bones of pirates.

View Larger Map

That's Really Not That Smart, D'Andre

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A psychologist says a suspected killer may have developed a higher IQ while awaiting trial in Florida, making the man eligible for execution if convicted.

D'Andre Bannister has been awaiting trial for seven years for the 2002 slaying of his 4-year-old stepson, Tarquez Woodson, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported.

His attorneys said during a Monday hearing before Florida Circuit Judge John Hoy in West Palm Beach that Bannister two years ago scored an IQ of 69, which would be low enough for him to be classified as mentally retarded and thus make him ineligible for the death penalty.

But defense psychologist Harry Krop testified Bannister scored an IQ of 78 in 2009.

The Post said Krop testified Bannister scored higher because he researched answers and didn't want to be seen as mentally retarded. Thus, Krop said, Bannister may have grown smarter while awaiting trial and, in so doing, made himself eligible for the death penalty.

Oops. Don't you hate it when that happens?

Islamofascists Recruiting In Sweden, Norway

OSLO, Norway, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The Norwegian State Police say Islamic extremists are attempting to find additional members from among Norway's youth population.

My top secret sources have shown me a photograph taken of one of the new recruits as he practices beheading:

Allahu Akbar Børk Børk Børk!

The Twatty And Salvester Show

In local crime, a Dallas, NC man named Salvester Carl Pruitt was arrested for taking indecent photographs of an underaged girl.

What Words Would Wake YOU Out of a Coma?

For this guy, the words were "You have a granddaughter."

What words would wake you out of a coma? Let's make this one a meme, shall we? If you like it as a topic, post it on your own blog.

This Guy Literally HAS Two Left Feet...

...thanks to his idiot doctor.

Oh, well. It could be worse. The doc could have attached the second leg backwards and the guy would spend his life taking one step forward and one step back.

Not A Dance Champion

I Have The Inclination, But Not The Funds

A Fan of the The Lord of the Rings movies has made a pastiche movie of her own, using her life savings to fund it.

Here it is. It tells the tale of Arathorn and Gilrain, the parents of Aragorn from the Peter Jackson films.

Ban The Assault Shoes!

In UK, a man is fighting for his life after being stabbed by his girlfriend with a stilettto-heeled shoe.

Here's a picture of a deadly stiletto-heeled shoe:

Assault Shoe

These shoes serve no useful purpose, since women in a practical sense don't walk far in them. They are a menace to society and if they are not regulated there will be more and more attacks with these deadly stiletto-heeled assault shoes.

They Caught Baby Cthulhu!


Here he is:

He looks pretty tasty, actually.

OMG! Someone's Breaking Into Our House!

It's the Cheshire, UK, police, waking you up in the wee hours of the night to give you an object lesson on burglary prevention.

And just WAIT until you see their rape prevention strategy! *winks*

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Apologies For Light Posting

I apologize for the light posting recently, Facebook and those infernal Facebook games have captured my attention recently. I'll try to get back to a regular posting schedule...later tonight.


The Link Is Revealed...

...between US Postal Service rate hikes and global warming.

h/t Al Fin.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

In The UK, Even The Hedgehogs Are Subject To The Nanny State

Fat hedgehogs? Can't have it, m'lads! Orf to fat camp with you!

Lardass Hedgehogs

They Have One Thing You Haven't Got: A Diploma

Philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy falls victim to a hoax.

I'm reminded of two recent cases on Jeopardy! in which CNN journalists (Wolf Blitzer, one of them) came in dead last; I also recall a case where some sharp young kids back in the 80's submitted a scientific paper full of nothing but gobbledegook (phrased in ten-syllable words, however) that hoaxed numerous scientists.

So, of course:

Monday, February 08, 2010

This Post Deleted

On reflection I find this post to be mean-spirited and something I regret posting. It has been deleted.

Happy Birthday... the Boy Scouts of America.

Sounds Like My Kind of Candidate

A Republican running for Congress here in NC is sponsoring a "Machine Gun Social" to raise funds.

There is already a war between the anti-gun and pro-gun forces in the comments, with the anti-gun forces resorting to personal attacks, saying that the candidate, one Tim D'Annunzio, has a "creepy" mustache.

Gotta love libs, huh? Always keeping it on a high plane of debate.

Where Have All The Bitters Gone?

Angostura Bitters, that is.

UK: Let's Arrest Crime Victims Some More

An 84-year old town politician in UK was arrested after he used his cane to defend himself against juvenile criminals.

I guess that that particular town hasn't got the Labour Government's memo about not arresting law-abiding citizens any more.

Oh, well, payback comes in May when Labour will get tossed out, along with this sort of crap behavior.

Meanwhile, In Londonistan...

...a Muslim bus driver decided to stop his bus during evening rush hour so that he could say his prayers. He did so, prostrating himself in the aisle while passengers looked on, amazed.

He was cautioned for it, but who knows? Maybe in the future, when the Muslim population in UK increases even more, passengers will just have to allow extra time each day to account for these practices.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Poem For The Day

Sir Walter Raleigh:

The Pilgrimage

Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope's true gage;
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.
Blood must be my body's balmer;
No other balm will there be given:
Whilst my soul, like quiet palmer,
Travelleth towards the land of heaven;
Over the silver mountains,
Where spring the nectar fountains;
There will I kiss
The bowl of bliss;
And drink mine everlasting fill
Upon every milken hill.
My soul will be a-dry before;
But, after, it will thirst no more.

Stolen Valor And The First Amendment

The Stars and Stripes features a story about men who have been prosecuted under the Stolen Valor Act against impersonating a military veteran or wearing military decorations, and are now appealing convictions on First Amendment grounds that the Act violates their freedom of speech.

Fuckers, claiming the mantle of a hero and then clutching the Constitution for protection.

Weigh-In #3, 7 Feb 2010

Not the best week I have had for sticking to the diet, but at the weigh-in my weight registered at 401 pounds, a 1-pound loss from weigh-in #2. Need to stop cheating on portions during the week, and start walking more.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

I'm Not A Jelly Eater, But...

look at the power of a newspaper article to provoke sympathy for a breakfast spread I can recall having eaten only once.

Marmalade. Can lemon curd be far behind?

They Also Serve Who Only Bark and Scratch

A bomb-sniffing dog in Afghanistan attached to the UK forces is going to receive the canine equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

Here's the dog, named Treo:

And here is the medal, known as the Dickin Medal:

Extra points awarded to the reader who guesses the poem which inspired the blog title.

Lunch: Bill Spoon's BBQ, Charlotte, NC

Sara and I ate lunch at Bill Spoon's BBQ on South Boulevard in Charlotte, one of the oldest BBQ places in town. They serve eastern NC whole hog BBQ.

The restaurant is in an area of town that has seen an economic downturn in the 23 years I've lived in Charlotte; that part of South Boulevard is now mostly Hispanic, with most of the signs in Spanish; Latin American restaurants and other businesses dominate.

Spoon's, which once served both lunch and dinner, now only serves lunch. Here's a shot of the sign and the exterior:

The restaurant was clean and utilitarian, not much decoration in evidence. Menus were laminated cards approx 7" x 11". Very basic BBQ-oriented menu. I ordered a large pork plate, Sara a small plate. Here's what mine looked like:

Very basic, as you can see. Compartmented paper plate with french fries, Brunswick stew and whole hog pork, chopped.

Brunswick stew was ordinary, no stand-out flavor. Fries were shoestrings, hot and fresh, no salt. BBQ was rather dry, not a lot of flavor. Hush puppies were mostly corn meal, rather wretched. Soda came in cans. Plate was just under $10, a bit high but within reason. Sara thought the pork was too dry and drenched it in the sauce, a vinegar-based Eastern NC sauce. She ate most of the hush puppies, but only after drenching them in ketchup to hide the taste.

Rating: 3 out of 5: average; reasonably good food, moderate effort by staff/management. Hush puppies wretched, 'cue average. No real reason to return, but would eat there if hungry for 'cue and we were in the neighborhood.

Friday, February 05, 2010

From Middle-Earth

The dwarf Blarni Stoneskull enjoys a cool evening in the elven refuge of Duillond:

If You're Going To Be Plagued By An Earworm... might as well be a good one. Here's Connie Dover doing La Fontaine.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Life Imitates Monty Python

In Afghanistan, a British army chef fed his people on Spam-based foodstuffs when supplies ran low.

They Went There

A story in our local paper this morning:

COLUMBIA, S.C. Authorities say a body has been found in a car blocking the drive through lane of a South Carolina restaurant.

Columbia police told multiple media outlets that employees arriving for work Wednesday morning at a Kentucky Fried Chicken found the dead man behind the wheel of a car.

Investigators say the injuries to the victim indicate he was likely a victim of foul play, but they would not give details.

The man's name has not been released.

"Foul play."


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Good Sort of Gun Control Law

In Wilmington, NC, a gang member was given a sentence of eight years in prison for possession of a gun while being a felon.

Now there is the sort of gun control law that EVERYONE IN THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION supports.

Oops, the Mask Slipped

A school principal in Arizona is in trouble for sending a letter home to parents suggesting that their kids are stupid and lazy.

"The math we do is really easy," said the letter from Litchfield Elementary School principal Ron Sterr. "If your child is either too lazy or too stupid to finish it in class, I'm sending it home so that you can work with them and judge for yourself whether it is laziness or idiocy that inhibits your child's progress."

He's trying to claim that his letter was written in a sarcastic or ironic manner.

Looks like he should have bought the SarcMark®.

It Sucks Not Having Your "Monitors."

President Obama discovers that even the most gifted orator, known for his command of language, is still capable of horrendous gaffes, especially away from the safety of his Teleprompter.

LAS VEGAS – President Barack Obama is known for having a way with words, but some lawmakers from Nevada wish he would pipe down about trips to Sin City.

After sparking a firestorm of criticism from Nevada's elected officials for suggesting that people saving money for college shouldn't blow it in Las Vegas, Obama told U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a letter that he wasn't saying anything negative about Las Vegas.

It was the second time since taking office that Obama singled out Las Vegas as a potential example of spending excessively.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said during a hastily called news conference that Obama is no friend to Las Vegas and would not be welcomed here if he visits.

"I'll do everything I can to give him the boot," Goodman said. "This president is a real slow learner."

Goodman and others are worried that Obama's words will discourage visitors from coming to Las Vegas and depress the industry further.

One year ago, Obama commented during a town hall meeting in Elkhart, Ind., that corporations shouldn't use federal bailout money for trips to Las Vegas, the Super Bowl or corporate jets. Tourism and casino officials said the comment hurt the city as companies canceled meetings in Las Vegas and rescheduled them elsewhere.

Obama later said during a May 2009 trip to Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas that it was nice to get out of Washington and "there's nothing like a quick trip to Vegas in the middle of the week."

Goodman said he thought Obama had a "psychological hang-up" of using Las Vegas as an example of excessive spending, and that this time, an apology wouldn't be enough.

"He has to step up right away and say, you know, he wasn't thinking," Goodman said. "Sometimes when he's not using his monitors and reading what he says, he doesn't think. And this is one of those times he didn't think, and he should straighten out the record because he's been here, he knows Las Vegas is a great place."

It's hell not having your security blanket Teleprompter to rely on.

Oops, Sorry About That

In UK, a retiree suffered a fatal heart attack after his medical chart was marked DO NOT RESUSCITATE by a death panel accidentally.

"Heart specialist Dr Alistair McCance said that even if staff had tried to resuscitate him immediately, the chances of saving his life would have been 'very low'."

Ahhhh, he would've died anyway. We were probably doing him a favor!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Sumo: Asashoryu To Be Banned?

Sumo Yokozuna (Grand Champion) Asashoryu is in danger of being banned from the sport after he assaulted a friend who owned a bar that the champion was drinking in.

Asashoryu is a wonderfully talented and skilled sumotori, but his career has been marked by controversy, both inside the wrestling ring and out. He isn't native to Japan but is Mongolian by birth, which is a disadvantage in the Japanese sumo leagues; he also doesn't have the dignity or reserve expected of champion sumo wrestlers. It's sad that his immaturity is getting the better of him.

Jack Brisco, 1942-2010: R.I.P.

Professional Wrestler Jack Brisco, whose career spanned the late 60's to the mid-1980's, has died in Tampa from complications resulting from open heart surgery.

I was born and grew up in Florida during that time period, and was fortunate enough to see Brisco wrestle live on a few occasions, along with following his career on the TV show Championship Wrestling From Florida. He was tremendously exciting to watch; a great technical wrestler (competed in college as an amateur) rather than a bruiser, he routinely fought in that era when 30-minute live matches were common. He was one of the earliest Native American wrestling stars, with handsome looks that made him a natural "babyface." He won and held the NWA World Championship belt for several years.

Here is a link to a 70's match in which Brisco lost his World Championship belt to Terry Funk. Calling the match is the incomparable Gordon Solie.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Gun Owners: Is This You?

Fun little cartoon found at the UK Daily Mail:

The reason I ask is for practical reasons: If you live your life like the man in the cartoon, then you could be prey to an unscrupulous district attorney in even the most righteous of self-defense shootings, especially if you are on record (as a blogger, for instance) as advocating criminal acts, such as shooting a suspect and then dragging his body across your threshold so that he is within your house and thus in a lawful self-defense zone, or shooting a subject after he is no longer a threat (down and unconscious, for example).

As much fun as it is to watch Clint Eastwood movies, for example, there's no way in hell I'll shoot someone for trespass ("Get off of my lawn!") unless I truly believe my life is in immediate danger. If you shoot someone because he makes a "furtive movement" and there is nothing in his hand but a comb, you can expect to have to justify your actions in a courtroom, and you don't want your blogger's bravado (I'll have his guts for garters!) to haunt you.

By all means blog on guns, and discuss scenarios, but be aware that your statements in public areas such as in blogs or forums can come back to haunt you if you aren't thoughtful and considered in your statements.

(The linked story is about self-defense in the UK, and the jockeying by the two parties to each appear more law-and-order than the other.)