Friday, April 30, 2010

Two Pigs And A Panzerfaust

The hungry porkers, rooting around near Dresden, dug up the old weapon.

Here's what a Panzerfaust looked like:

Palin Hacker Convicted

Convicted on two charges: Unauthorized access to a computer and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

He was found not guilty of wire fraud, and the jury hung on the charge of identity theft.

The obstruction charge could bring a sentence of 20 years, but it's unlikely for a politician's son with no criminal record. But a felony rap will haunt him the rest of his life; prevent him from owning a handgun, prevent him from being bonded or licensed for various jobs, etc.

Kennedy Biopic Produced By Conservative; Liberals Outraged

Now you know how conservatives felt about how Ronald Reagan was portrayed several years ago.

Look! World's smallest violin! *rubs fingers together*

Headline of the Day

"Arnold Schwarzenegger Never Worked As Fluffer."

Yes, can't you just imagine it?

John Holmes: I'm doing another scene in two hours, so be ready.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: I'll be back.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

HE Is The Master Of Your Fate, HE Is The Captain Of Your Soul

President Obama knows when you've made enough money. Don't agree with him? Too bad.

US Soldiers Receive German Gold Cross

Old enemies fight side by side against a common enemy, and Americans receive a version of the Iron Cross for their valor fighting to save their German comrades.

The medal looks something like this, I'm told:

Although I may be mistaken.

An ANIMAL's Right To Privacy?

A scientist from the - - wait for it - - University of East Anglia thinks it should receive serious consideration.

Hey! We're A Little Bit Busy Here, If You Would Be So Kind...

Our Trash-Talking President

The Wall Street Journal analyzes whether our President's penchant for getting personal with partisan insults is a good thing.

Taunting enemies in battle is traditional in African societies, and blacks brought that tradition to America with them, where it became known as the dozens. Translated to the field of sports, it is the diametric opposite of the genteel, Anglo-American tradition of sportsmanship. In contemporary professional sports, especially those dominated by African-Americans, trash-talking and taunting is the norm, so much so that in football rules were instituted to minimize the ill-will that such behavior causes.

Our president is simply employing a part of African-American tradition that is common in sports and music, but uncommon in politics. Politics isn't always a pretty field of endeavor, but parliamentary procedures have kept things civil for over 100 years; I'd rather not see fistfights and duels and canings in the halls of Congress, as was the case before the Civil War. Trash-talking coarsens the culture, which is coarse enough already.

(although I'm sure it will be pointed out to me that I've advocated trading insult for insult in the past; unanswered insults irreparably damaged George W. Bush's presidency, although in retrospect his good manners and lack of vindictiveness have come to be admired.)

Meanwhile, In UK...

...the people in charge of the immigration program that saw millions of immigrants flood into the country are having second thoughts about the wisdom of such a policy.

In his paper, Is the progressive case for migration truly progressive?, Mr Finch said supporters of immigration have bemoaned the drift towards restrictive and reactionary policies since the 1960s.

The fact most people disagreed with them only further convinced them they were right, he said.

But he admitted: "A particularly unfortunate element of this syndrome in relation to migration is a tendency to characterise our opponents as nasty, stupid and backward. By so doing, we give ourselves license to either patronise or ignore them."

He added: "In fact, as must now be obvious to us, the vast majority of mainstream public opinion does not see the logic or the ethics of our case."

He said while it would be wrong for restrictions to be based on race or particular nationalities, "it does not follow that restrictions per se are inherently wrong, and it is certainly not the case that totally free flows are more progressive than controlled ones".

He accepted that large influxes of people to some areas can have "serious downsides" and that "anything approaching ‘open borders’ would cause chaos and massive destabilisation –within both developed and developing economies."

The US problem in miniature, with the problem a bit more advanced than it is in the US. It's amusing to me that the progressive elites couldn't imagine such an outcome in advance, but had to see it for themselves after the damage had already been done.

What, No Frog?

In Macclesfield, Cheshire (UK), a time capsule dating to 1876 was found during a church renovation.

Pic of the time capsule, a stone jar:

You always hope for some really unique treasure from such capsules, such as a singing frog:

The Things Jimmy Carter Does Well...

...tend to be overshadowed by the things he does poorly, but his humanitarian work in poor countries is performed quite well indeed, especially his work to eradicate Guinea Worm Disease.

There's an accompanying slideshow, but I'd not recommend clicking on it if you have a weak stomach.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ah, She Probably Swallowed It

A man in Lincoln, Nebraska, is missing a piece of his ear after he called a woman fat while at a party.

Flood said officers later learned that the injured man and two others had been arguing with other people at the birthday party. Flood says the man told 21-year-old Anna Godfrey that she was fat.

Officers said Godfrey then tackled the man and took a bite.

Flood said the ear chunk was not found.

She was doubtless hungry and the hostess probably ran out of nachos. It happens.

It Was Only A Poodle...

...not a pit bull or Rottweiler, so there was obviously no need to stove its head in with your water meter reading tool. If it bites you, just give it a little kick.

When You Call One Of Your Constituents A Bigot...

...there's not much else you can do but take refuge in your palm.

FACEPALM: The Only Refuge.

Headline of the Day

"Indonesia: Couple Arrested For Selling Monkey Flesh In Meatball Soup."

Rick Perry and Elsie Pea

Out jogging with his dog beside him, Texas Governor Rick Perry shot a coyote to death when it attacked his pet.

Perry apparently carries a "Ruger .380" (LCP model, presumably) to deal with snakes, according to the story.

Perry killed the 'yote with a single shot, good shooting with the tiny LCP, although he was aided by a laser sight.

Way to go, Governor.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Noah's Ark Found?


Unfortunately, as the following image shows, the archaeological team is having a hard time proving that the "ark" is from the Biblical time period (click to embiggen):

General: It's NOT A Warehouse of Despair!

The general in charge of the US Army's "Warrior Transition Units," designed to assist war-injured soldiers in learning to cope with their injuries, says that family members and soldiers who describe the programs as "warehouses of despair" are wrong.

At a news conference at the Pentagon, Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, the Army surgeon general, described one passage in the article — which referred to the units as “warehouses of despair” for many soldiers — as “among the most offensive to us.”

But General Schoomaker and the other officers did not dispute any of the facts in the article.

“I don’t see them as necessarily crafting fiction,” General Schoomaker said, referring to The Times. “But I do believe that it’s wholly unrepresentative of the totality and the context of what we’ve done for warrior care.”

It's the *HACK* Warrior Transition Unit. Don't Even THINK About Escaping!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Deck Denizen

One of our resident reptiles:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Paul Theroux On Boy Scouts

The world-famous novelist/travel writer, himself an Eagle Scout, contributes a fine op/ed to The New York Times on the Boy Scout movement, and calls for admission of gay and atheists youths to the ranks of scouts.

I can still recite the Scout Oath (“On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty...”), and the 12 points of the Scout Law (“A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful ...”); but I equivocate, because when I was a scout the abstractions of “values and ideals” mattered less to me than simply getting out of the house and away from the folks. Troop 25 in Medford, Mass., showed me how to make that elemental move.

We were only incidentally committed to being “physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” We were black, white, thin, fat, rich and poor and united in being geeks. We rather disliked our uniforms. We knew we were different. Not one of us was good at throwing a ball or swinging a bat. Though we lived in suburban Boston, with its two Major League Baseball teams, I doubt that any of us could name a single player.

But we were keenly aware that being a Boy Scout allowed us to shoot guns, build fires and take overnight camping trips on our own. In every sense it was revenge of the nerds. You have a curve ball; I can hit a bull’s-eye with my .22.

Stifled by the hearty and the homoerotic in jock culture, I found refuge in the Boy Scouts, and an outlet for my love of hiking and swimming and solitude. It was important for me to separate myself from my parents. While other mothers and fathers cheered on their children at ballgames, we were on our own — two or three of us on an all-day hike, or target shooting up at the Stoneham sandpits.

Even Scout camp involved minimal authority, and its relative chaos was salutary. I earned badges for rowing and sailing — skills that have served me to this day. My lifesaving badges and Red Cross certification not only got me jobs at ponds and swimming pools in the Boston area, but enabled me, over the years, to rescue a number of hapless swimmers. The summer beach and the wooded path were as formative in making me a writer as the public library.

Occasionally we scouts operated as a team; but most of the time individual effort was what mattered. My heroes were explorers, mountain climbers and lone sailors (they still are) and my fantasy life revolved around bushwhacking and jungle ordeals (it probably still does).

Read the whole thing.

MSM On Appleseed

A good, non-judgmental article on the Appleseed movement from The Washington Post.

h/t Turk Turon.

Death of an Old Loner

The Adventures of Roberta X: Not The Last Of The Loners

Roberta discusses the importance of eccentricity and a solitary lifestyle. Worth a read.

Tell Us How You Really Feel, Joni

La Mitchell calls Bob Dylan "a plagiarist."

She also has unkind things to say about Janis Joplin and Grace Slick in a pot-calling-the-kettle-black sort of way, and blames Madonna for the US going to Hell since 1980.

Want To Be A Vulcanologist?

Best know the risks in advance, then.

1432 Yards

A US Army sniper discusses his most memorable kill, in Iraq during the year 2007.

The Agony And The Ecstasy

Sixty cruise ship passengers on the Carnival cruise lines Ecstasy had to be taken to the infirmary with various injuries after the ship made an emergency maneuver to avoid a drifting buoy.

Not that it's much of a story, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to use the blog title I chose.

Friday, April 23, 2010

No Reparations Without Repatriation!

I'm all for slavery reparations - - as long as the recipient emigrates to Africa.

YouTube Video of the Day

In San Francisco, concert pianist Lang Lang played Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee as an encore - - on an Apple IPad.

You can see that he stops at one point, and at another point allows the conductor to play it, so that you know it's a live performance, and not just a recording.

Nip It! Nip It In The Bud!

In Kure Beach, North Carolina, they have decided that they don't want no thongs on the beach.

I saw this story a couple of days ago in the Wilmington, NC, newspaper, and have come to the conclusion that the objection isn't so much to the idea of thongs in general, but thongs on men, which was part of the specific question asked of the Kure Beach town council.

As a matter of fact, I will go even further and say that thongs belong only on really hot girls and nobody else. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

If you like, you can leave your own opinion in the comments, or simply reply to this convenient poll:

Who Should Wear Thongs In Kure Beach, NC?
Only Chicks!
Only HOT Chicks! free polls

*BARK BARK!* What Is It, Lassie? What Is It, Girl?

There's a calf in quicksand? Where, Lassie? Show me, girl!

It wasn't Lassie and it wasn't a calf in quicksand, but it might as well have been. It was Buddy and his owner's house was on fire, and Buddy led Alaska State Troopers to the fire.

Poll of the Day

Given the level of acrimony over our political discourse these days, I wonder if the ongoing culture war is moving to the level of a cold civil war, with the forces of the Left; call them Liberals, Progressives, Hippies, what have you, arrayed against the forces of the Right: Conservatives, rednecks, reactionaries. What do you folks think?

Culture War? Cold Civil War? Whatizzit?
Ongoing Culture War.
A Cold Civil War.
Politics As Usual.
Much Ado About Nothing. free polls

The Answer: Pretty Darned Fast

The question, pondered by a homeless woman in an attic, was I wonder how fast this mattress would burn?

Researching the answer caused the destruction of a Pennsylvania apartment building.

Maybe when she gets out of prison she can find a job as a researcher, since she seems to have a knowledge of the scientific theory and how it works.

But probably not.

You Know The Phrase "In Deep Sh*t?"

That's where an Indiana methamphetamine dealer found himself when he needed a place to hide from searching police.

Unfortunately for him they discovered his hiding place, although he put up a fight while being arrested, resulting in his being shocked with a Taser. He also had to be treated for hypothermia after being in the manure pit for so long.

Cold, shocked, shitty and jailed without bond is no way to go through life, son.

She Likes To Hear Them Say Ouch

Paula Wolf of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, was arrested after she went on a "blowgun spree," shooting four people with darts from a blowgun.

Police arrested the van's driver, Paula Wolf, and said she eventually admitted to shooting the pedestrians. She allegedly told an officer that she "liked to hear people say ouch."

Well, if you're going to go on a spree or a rampage, a blowgun spree sounds a lot less fatal to the victims than an AK-47 spree.

A Fungus Among Us

A deadly fungus. As in fatal. As in kill your ass.

For those of you who don't believe stories you read on Fox News (and you know who you are), you can go here instead.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gorgeous George Dead At 85

Retired professional wrestler Gorgeous George Grant has passed away in York, SC. (Looks like his real name was Dan Moody Sheffield.

I had no idea the old fellow was still around, and that close, too. York is just down the road. Charlotte is a good town for the older generation of professional wrestlers; Ric Flair makes his home here, and famous names like Tim "Mr. Wrestling" Woods, Wahoo McDaniel and Andre the Giant all lived in the area.

Meanwhile, In Arkansas...

(I can already hear my readers saying uh oh!)

Meanwhile, in Arkansas, the family of the ironically-named Darwin Aaron nearly died after eating gar eggs.

Only after Darwin, his brother Russell and his son Carson were all puking their guts up did Aaron's wife, Tiffany, think to look up gar eggs on the internet and discover that eggs of all gar species are poisonous.

In case you haven't ever seen one, here is a pic of a longnose gar:

I didn't know that gar eggs were poisonous, either, but then I've never been seized with a sudden desire to eat either the eggs or the gar itself. In Florida my grandfather Robert Ivy Evans (Pah Paw, we called him) used to fish for gar at night, and when he got them up to the dock he'd blast them with a shotgun, then would use the dead gar for fertilizer in his garden. We considered them trash fish.

Aw, Darn

No more Hitler parodies on YouTube.

Of course, some wit is sure to post a Hitler learns that no more Hitler parodies will be allowed on YouTube parody.

update: As I expected.

Yer Dead Relatives Are Killing The Roses

At the Wellington, New Zealand, Botanical Gardens, so many people are spreading the cremated remains of loved ones on the roses that they are suffering health problems.

I seem to recall that one of the more touching passages of Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress involves a flower garden where the ashes of the protagonist's family find their final resting place.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes & A Rattlesnake Roundup

In Opp, Georgia, just north of the Florida border.

Didn't know that there were any rattlesnake roundups involving Eastern Diamondbacks. That qualifies as today's Learn Something New Every Day.

They're probably the handsomest of all rattlesnakes, in my opinion. I lived in Florida my first 17 years and only saw two in the wild during that time: my father killed one that was swimming in the lagoon of our Lake Santa Fe house, and I killed one myself by the side of the road. That's what you did back then, you killed all the ones you came across; these days when I see a venomous snake I tip my hat and let him go on his way.

Sure would like a belt made of Eastern Diamondback hide, though.


The word stands for Service Wives And Girlfriends; UK military wives, and girlfriends, in other words. They are posing nude in a calendar to raise money for a military charity.

NOTE: link NSFW, tasteful nudity. Cute girls, too.

Headline of the Day

"Suspected Bomb An Anal Vibrator."

And yes, this story is datelined California.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Andrew Breitbart's website Big Hollywood mentions me: (Click to embiggen).

Well, not really me; they mention the famous Robert Evans, not little ol' me.

Still, in answer to the question posed in their headline:

I'd heartily approve.

Twain Of Green Eyeshade And Red Pencil

A fine New York Times article on Mark Twain's personal library, regarding the marginalia scribbled therein, and the corrections of other authors' works.

Anyone who's read his savaging of James Fenimore Cooper - - Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses - - knows the sort of vitriol old Samuel could summon about the literary quality of books.

Learn Something New Every Day

I'm a Florida native, but I never knew that sturgeon could be found in Florida rivers.


The UK Daily Mail has published a story about Barack Obama playing golf as President more than George W. Bush did during his entire presidency:

Barack Obama has played golf 32 times since he took office last year, eight times more than his predecessor George W Bush did during his entire presidency.

The U.S. president most recently played on Sunday, after the volcanic ash cloud over Europe forced him to cancel plans to fly to Krakow to attend the funeral of Poland’s president, Lech Kaczynski.

Mr Bush, who played 24 times, was mocked for his fondness of the game.

Will Obama be mocked? Will this story even be mentioned in the US newspapers or TV networks (besides Fox News, of course)?

We wonders, precious, aye, we wonders...

But Hey, At Least It Was Free

I'm sure you can anticipate what's coming next.

In Manchester, UK (where else?) a surgeon mistakenly removed a man's testicle, rather than the cyst thereon.

I have a theory - - we'll call it the Lone Nut Theory - - that the doctor, an Arab, had a language barrier problem and mistakenly took the nut when all he was supposed to take was the cyst.

Be that as it may, the doctor has fled to Jordan to escape UK justice (scolding, probably), and the victim, no longer fully symmetrical, no doubt is finding that one of his shoe soles is showing a bit more wear at the edge than the other.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Revenge of the Bureaucrats

Jenny Whitehead, in pain from a cyst and told she'd have to wait five months to have surgery on UK's National Health Service to relieve it, spent some of her own money for a consultation with a doctor. One doesn't do that in UK; she was punished by NHS by having her operation cancelled unless she paid for it herself, or went back to the end of the line like a good citizen subject.

Complain? The system is working as designed, complain all you want.

Afraid To Fly Your Country's Flag

That would be the United Kingdom.

England is the least patriotic nation in Europe as people are too scared of being branded racist to fly the flag.

Over-the-top political correctness, loss of national identity, and worrying about being judged when expressing pride in the country are the main reasons behind the findings, according to a study.

Six per cent of Englishmen and women said they were 'scared' to fly the national flag and one in six fear they will be told to take it down.

Just one in three knew St George's Day was on Friday and more than 40 per cent had no idea why he is the patron saint.

The statistics emerged from a report commissioned by This England magazine, which took in the opinions of 5,820 adults in nine major countries.

Editor Stephen Garnett said: ‘We're incredibly disappointed that English people are afraid of displaying the St George's Cross on our patron saint's day.

‘We want to reclaim the flag from extremists by asking as many people as possible, no matter what background they come from, to fly it.

‘People who love living in England shouldn't feel afraid of showing their pride.

‘The more we display the St George's flag, the more we can drown out the voices of the extreme minority and reclaim the flag as a sign of national pride, not racism.’

Let's have a bit of an antidote to that story, shall we?

John Greenleaf Whittier. 1807–1892

Barbara Frietchie

UP from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.

Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach tree fruited deep,

Fair as a garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,

On that pleasant morn of the early fall
When Lee marched over the mountain wall,—

Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.

Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,

Flapped in the morning wind: the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;

Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down;

In her attic-window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet.

Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.

Under his slouched hat left and right
He glanced: the old flag met his sight.

"Halt!"—the dust-brown ranks stood fast,
"Fire!"—out blazed the rifle-blast.

It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.

Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf;

She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.

"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag," she said.

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;

The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman's deed and word:

"Who touches a hair of yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on!" he said.

All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet:

All day long that free flag tost
Over the heads of the rebel host.

Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;

And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night.

Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er,
And the Rebel rides on his raids no more.

Honor to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall's bier.

Over Barbara Frietchie's grave,
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!

Peace and order and beauty draw
Round thy symbol of light and law;

And ever the stars above look down
On thy stars below in Frederick town!

220 Years Overdue

President George Washington has some overdue books at the library.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Can You Guess...

...where Sara and I were on Saturday?

The day was not without its dangers, however. We got underway at 9:00 a.m., and as we traveled up US 601 just north of Salisbury, NC, we were rear-ended by another car; no pics of that one, I'm afraid, I wasn't thinking about blogging at that particular moment. Sara's car was relatively undamaged, other than some cosmetic damage to the rear bumper; the other car's radiator was ruptured and they ended up having to be towed. No one hurt, thank all the gods. We went on our way carefully, prepared to return to Charlotte or even Salisbury depending on how the car was running, but after a few miles it became apparent that Sara's Honda had suffered no real damage. She'll be taking it into the shop on Monday for repairs to the bumper, paid for by the insurance of the young lady who hit us.

We didn't get to sample the famous pork chop sandwiches at the Snappy Lunch, it was just too busy; all of eateries on Main Street were packed, so we headed out to the commercial part of town to sample one of these headline-making sandwiches:

Yes, it's the infamous artery-clogging Double Down sandwich, made up of cheese, bacon, secret special mayonnaise sauce, with two deep-fried chicken breasts serving as buns. Here's the Catch-22 about the Double Down: you can't eat it right out of the oil, as it's too hot to hold in your hands; if it's cool enough to hold in your hands, it's really a bit too cool to be at its best.

But, other than the accident, it was a very good day, and we had a lot of fun. Can't ask for much more than that.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Not Really A Nation Of Riflemen Anymore

When Italians have to point out that US contractors in Afghanistan failed to teach Afghan police recruits how to adjust the sights on their AK-47's and M-16's, you know that the tradition of arms expertise in this country is no longer what it was.


Red Sky At Night...

volcanologist's delight.

Ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland is expected to cause spectactular sunrises and sunsets in UK for the near future.

update: A fine article on the same subject by Simon Winchester at The New York Times.

Treasure Blog: Silver Henry I Pennies

178 coins from the early 12th century.


That's one advantage that the UK (and the rest of Europe, for that matter) has over the US: many hundreds of years of recorded history, thus many more treasures quietly awaiting discovery hidden in the cold, dark earth...

Your Road Smells Like Sh*t


Turning hog manure into asphalt.

Ain't science wonderful?

afterthought: will Jews and Muslims be able to travel on such unclean roads?

UK Health Care: Oops, Sorry About That, Part 7,924

But we promise to do better next time.

You know what? Maybe the perception of what comprises a death panel isn't so much a small group of cold-eyed, heartless bureaucrats making decisions on who is to live and who is to die based on cost-benefit analysis; maybe it's simply apathetic nurses and apologetic, ineffectual doctors, because it certainly seems that such people effectively ended Mrs. Kennedy's life as efficiently as the heartless bureaucrats would have.

update: and the heartless thieves will even steal the rings from your amputated arm.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Treasure Blog: 1913 Silent Film About Abraham Lincoln

It's a treasure because most silent films from the early part of the 20th century didn't survive.

This film on Lincoln, featuring director John Ford's brother Francis as the president, is the only surviving copy of this film, titled When Lincoln Paid.

It's been restored and there are plans to show it.

UK: Health & Safety Silliness of the Day

Butchers at the Sainsbury supermarket chain aren't allowed to use knives to de-bone joints of meat because of health and safety regulations.

So the alternative is for the customer either to live with the bone in the meat, or perhaps try to de-bone it herself, which you think would be much more of a risk to "health and safety" than a professional with 30 years' experience cutting the meat...

Thus the nanny state infantalizes adults more and more each day.

Treasure Blog: The Emperor's Jade Elephants

Sitting around in a house in Dorset, UK.


Pretty things.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Birthday... Christopher Hitchens.

Ooo Aaaah Oooo Aaaah Aaaah!

A female UK teacher on trial for having sex with a student claimed in her defense that the boy forced his way into her bedroom, where he made noises of sexual gratification, apparently to frame her for the crime.

Lady, you're making yourself into a laughingstock with that defense. Just admit you had a craving for some veal and be done with it, ok?

Here's a pic of our veal-eating teacher:

Likes Veal.

update: She was acquitted at trial. Maybe not a veal-eater after all?

Imagine That

Brunswick County (NC) volunteer firefighters charged with arson.

Not that I'm trying to stereotype or anything, but if I were investigating a fire I'd definitely be looking at VFD personnel as possible suspects anytime there was a fire that they responded to.

That Would Give Me The Horrors

Two people fishing at the Intracoastal Waterway near Oak Island, NC, became mired in marsh mud to the armpits after their rubber fishing raft deflated.

That plays into one of my worst phobias, the quicksand phobia. I grew up watching Tarzan movies and other such fare on TV, and watched numerous people die on screen in the horrible stuff. As a teenager I once encountered some on the shore of the lake I lived at in Florida when one of my neighbors added beach sand to his shoreline; the sand for some reason didn't settle properly and became "quick," which made me scream like a girl when I first encountered it, then discovered it was fun to play in when I realized it wasn't a bottomless bog.

Anyway, these two ended up in black marsh mud up to their armpits and had to be rescued by the county sheriff, patrolling in his airboat. This is yet another reason that I distrust rafts and other inflatable watercraft; anything that inflates can (and often will) deflate without warning.

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's Spring, So That Must Mean...'s time for the annual hiker-falls-off-Crowder's Mountain-story in the Charlotte Observer.

This one apparently didn't die, but appears to have hurt hisself rather badly.

Weekend Adventure

Sara and I went to Lake Lure/Chimney Rock, NC, on Saturday, on an absolutely lovely day, cool and sunny. Our new gnome, Travis L. Ocity, went with us; here he is in front of the Lake Lure Inn:

Chimney Rock until this past year was a private park, and one of the main mountain tourist attractions in North Carolina. It has been acquired by the state of North Carolina and is being converted into a state park. Chimney Rock itself is a rock outcrop thrusting out from the side of a mountain; if you're familiar with the works of Stephen R. Donaldson, think Kevin's Watch on a smaller scale:

And yes, it is rather phallic-looking.

The village of Chimney Rock, in the valley below the rock, lies along the Broad River. The town is mostly souvenir and t-shirt shops; the shops alongside the river enjoy lovely views of it and the sound of rushing water:

The gnome posed in front of the river, and approved:

It's really a beautiful river:

While walking about the town we had seen a barbecue restaurant at the west end, beside the river:

I seem to recall that this barbecue restaurant was washed into the river a dozen or so years ago, this may be a rebuilt version of it; it's just a single-wide trailer with a kitchen shed attached, nothing more fancy than that.

I ordered a pork plate, but was given a pork sandwich; Sara ordered the pork sandwich and got a pork sandwich. They look like this:

I have to report that Duncan's isn't particularly good barbecue; it's mixed with sauce before leaving the kitchen; Sara found a bone fragment in her sandwich. The quality was about that of a tub of grocery store barbecue; there was also an insect problem, specifically ants on the tables and interior walls. Not lots of ants, but enough to notice, especially the ones on the tables. I'd have to assign Duncan's a 2 on my 5-scale: 2 out of 5: edible, but no effort to impress; staff/management going through motions. Sara actually couldn't finish her sandwich, unusual for her.

After lunch we headed back for Charlotte, taking back roads all the way; near Chesnee we happened upon an unfortunately named church:

The trip back took several hours, and we decided to stop by a real barbecue restaurant in Lake Wylie, South Carolina, for dinner:

This restaurant, Q2U,serves pretty good barbecue, although it's far enough off the road to be hidden, something of a disadvantage; you always want people to be able to see your restaurant from the road, not just a small sign.

Sara ordered a small pork plate and two cups of BBQ stew, similar to Brunswick Stew, which she had eaten before here and quite liked:

I ordered a large pork plate:

The pork was a bit dry. On our previous visit, at 11 a.m. just after the restaurant opened, it had been moist and succulent; at 5 p.m. it was dried out. The hush puppies weren't fresh, being a bit cold and tough. I also had 3 ribs to eat; I'm not normally a rib eater, but I've been trying to learn to like them, since Sara and I are contemplating an avocation as BBQ judges. The ribs were tasty and cooked well; didn't fall off the bone, and the skin didn't pull away from the rib when you bit into it. Sara's stew was still good, though. The cook was apparently worried by my photographing of the food, as he came out to ask if the food was all right, being particularly concerned about the french fries; he said he could make fresh ones if the ones we had were sodden or cold. We declined, not feeling it necessary to make him cook fresh, since the food was still ten times better than the stuff we had eaten for lunch. I think that Q2U is probably best as a lunch destination rather than a dinner destination; and truly, aren't most barbecue joints places you eat lunch at, rather than dinner? I'll have to give Q2U a 3 on my 5-scale of BBQ, due to the dry pork and the old hush puppies; it would have been a 4/5 on the first visit: 3 out of 5: average; reasonably good food, moderate effort by staff/management.

And so to home after a long day.

Investment Advice

"Sell gold, buy Hitler."

Art works, that is.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Apologies For Light Posting

Had a busy weekend, and slept a bit too much. Visited Lake Lure/Chimney Rock, NC with Travis. L. Ocity the gnome, pictures and commentary to be posted on Monday.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friday, April 09, 2010

691 Burglaries, But Judge Thinks He Deserves Another Chance

And even gives him a rent-free apartment to encourage him.

But did the leopard change his spots? Noooooooooo!

This is why judges should be held accountable for their decisions, either by having them serve on an elected basis and thus accountable at election time, or, if appointed, should have such incidents set into their personnel file and, if too many of the incidents show poor judgment (he's not there to show poor judgment, after all) can his ass.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

It's A Miracle, Part 20, 432

In Plymouth, Devonshire (UK), the face of Jesus appeared on a piece of chewing gum.

Maybe It...Um...LIKED Him

A 60-year-old Australian man is in the hospital after being attacked by a wombat.

Which raises the question, of course: what caliber for self-defense against wombats? Remember that Australia has strict gun laws.

Headline of the Day

"Muslim Woman Strangled By Her Burkha In Freak Go-Kart Accident.

Don't Wear A Burkha On A Go-Kart should probably join the ranks of don't eat the yellow snow as an example of eminently sensible advice.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

They're Working Their Way Down To Kubotans

Having effectively taken firearms away from the UK public, and currently busy demonizing knives and criminalizing their use, the tyrannical UK government looks around to see what other inanimate objects could be subject to registration/confiscation.

For those unfamiliar with the term, this is a kubotan:

In a similar story, a shopkeeper was beaten with "telescoping batons" which look like this:

So they started with guns, proceeded to knives, and are now beginning on sticks. And still crime doesn't go away! It's baffling!

At least to some, it is. Fucking nanny state tyrants.

Fines Higher For Parking Violations Than Robberies?

Looks like it.

The story can also be found here, Walt. ;) Admittedly this is the "Tory" paper, but the left-wing Guardian and the left-leaning Times haven't seen fit to cover the story. Perhaps they'll get around to it.

update: link to UK Telegraph story fixed. Thanks to Walt for pointing it out.

Not Without Bacon, It Isn't.

In the UK Guardian, an article (and scrumptious slideshow) with the teaser headling "Is This The World's Best Sandwich?

My own favorite sandwich includes hickory apple rotisserie pork loin, a Pepperidge Farm baguette (Twin French Bread, the package proclaims) and Swiss cheese. Split the baguette lengthwise, place on a baking sheet with the crusts down and the white interior facing up. Toast it briefly under the broiler until it is light brown. Slice the pork loin in 1/4" pieces and place on the bottom piece of baguette; place slices of Swiss on the top piece of baguette. Place back into the broiler until the cheese melts. Place the top piece onto the bottom piece and cut into 4" lengths. Horseradish sauce is a good optional condiment.

Looks Like It Would Make A Gorgeous Pair Of Boots

A new species of giant monitor lizard has been discovered in the northern Phillipines.


Boots? What Do You Mean, Boots?

Sometimes Help Is Just A Few Feet Away... other times it's 4,000 miles distant.

But if it saves you from drowning, who cares how far it is?

In Computer News...

...I've converted my Eee netbook into an Ubuntu box, running Ubuntu Netbook Remix. I hesitated before doing the install, not wanting to leave the familiar Windows XP behind, but in the end I hit the button that started the install process and wiped Windows off of the hard drive. We'll see if I made a bad decision over the next few weeks. I've played with Linux in the past, but this will be the first time I've had a dedicated Linux box on a computer.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Mr. President, Who's Your Favorite White Sox Player?

All of 'em!*

h/t American Thinker.

*extra points for the person who identifies where I got this answer.

Music Recommendations

At the moment I'm listening to Mychael Danna's soundtrack for the movie Behind The Lines, which is a faithful adaptation of Pat Barker's superb WWI novel Regeneration.

I also have Danna's A Celtic Tale: The Legend of Deirdre cued up after Regeneration.

They're well worth your time.

Teacher To Students: You Are NOT To Take This Assignment Home

We wouldn't want your parents to see it, now would we?

Yah, they might be tempted to come to school and horsewhip you, Mrs. Goebbels Geerdes.

h/t Hot Air Headlines.

Taliban Marksmanship

The New York Times features a good article on Taliban marksmanship (or lack thereof) in Afghanistan.

The poor level of marksmanship can be summarized thus: old, poorly maintained weapons of a type not noted for accuracy (AK-47); old, mismatched ammunition; troops poorly trained in marksmanship, often with eye problems exacerbating; and long distances for which the AK-47 was not designed.

h/t Say Uncle.

Monday, April 05, 2010

When History Threatens To Sink Into The Mud

What do you do with famous old US Navy vessels that are now in civilian hands and have been neglected for decades, to the point that it's very possible that they could sink if not rescued?

The Mainstreaming of Moonshine?


What's more American than moonshining, after all? Wasn't one of the first popular uprisings against the US government based on unhappiness with an excise tax?

And the real money is in the drug trade, after all, as James McMurtry points out in his song Choctaw Bingo:

He makes that crystal meth because the 'shine don't sell
He likes the money, he don't mind the smell.

Archbishop of Canterbury Defends Christians


Yes, I know it sounds like a dog-bites-man story, but when the Archbishop in question is Rowan Williams, it actually qualifies as news when he unequivocally defends Christians, rather than engaging in his usual moral equivalence practice.

He actually comes off as rather peeved, too, describing the latest controversy over a nurse punished for wearing a cross in these terms:

'Now it is quite likely that this latest folly, like others, is less a sign of deep anti-Christian feeling as such than the result of wooden-headed bureaucratic silliness combined with a well-meaning and completely misplaced anxiety about giving offence to non-Christians.

New Travel Companion

Sara and I have a new travel companion:

I'll try to work him into our weekly BBQ runs, and other travels as well.

Today being Easter we didn't do a lot of driving, just down NC 218 to Polkton and then back to Charlotte via US 74.