Monday, May 31, 2010

Meanwhile, Just Up The Road...

...and I mean literally just up the road from where I live, a traffic accident caused us to be without power for all of the evening.

The accident occurred just a couple of houses down from a fire station, amazingly enough, so the response time to the accident was pretty quick, as you can imagine.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Recommended Reading

"A Crack In The Stoic's Armor." An op/ed about the philosophy of Stoicism and how it relates to US military personnel.

I've read Marcus Aurelius myself, but not Epictetus, not yet, although I have his writings in the same volume as the Marcus Aurelius. Guess I'll have to dig that book out and delve into it. It's probably online, as well. Copyright long ago expired. *laughs*

Meanwhile, Up In Alaska...

...on Kiska Island in the remote Aleutian Island chain, remnants of Japan's WWII invasion of US territory can still be found.

A fine gallery of images from this forgotten battle can be found here.

UK Hermit: I Want To Live Away From My Fellow Humans...

...although I don't mind them paying for it.

In the old days you'd simply give away all your belongings to the needy and walk away, finding a place in a wood or on a rocky island somewhere and try to survive as best you could; maybe Britain is too small and well-explored to do such things anymore, but larger countries have enough empty space that it would still be possible to disappear into the wilderness. Australia certainly comes to mind; rural Canada; many places in the US. Here in North Carolina the Olympic bomber Eric Robert Rudolf evaded capture for over 7 years living in the mountains.

Restaurant Review: Courtney's BBQ & Seafood, Clover, SC

Saturday saw Sara and I on the road to South Carolina, where we had a notion to eat at Courtney's BBQ & Seafood just outside the town of Clover. We had passed by it on a couple of previous occasions, but this time made a point to go in.

Here's what the outside looks like:

You'll notice that outside where the pits are that these fellows pump iron while tending the BBQ:

Going inside we notice that they have competed in BBQ contests, and brought home some trophies:

That trophy on the bottom left says "3rd in Brisket," so I'll definitely be returning to try that out. On this trip, though, I tried a plate of the pulled pork:

Sara had a pulled pork sandwich, and we shared the hush puppies:

The barbecue was properly flavorful and moist, and served in generous portions, both on my plate and on Sara's sandwich. Two different sauces are offered, a sweet red sauce and a yellow-brown mustard-based sauce. I tried both of these and found them to be quite good. The hush puppies were tasty and fresh, and, in keeping with my theory on hush puppies, properly shaped like dog turds. Sides were good, Sara was happy with her baked potato, my french fries were hot and crisp, right out of the oil; crinkle-cut, but that is the usual BBQ french fry.

The waitress was fairly attentive, being a bit slow to fill up our drinks on one occasion, but was responsive and knowledgeable about the menu; when I was given a soda refill out of a pitcher that turned out to be flat, she apologized and corrected the problem immediately. She knew which desserts were made on-site and which were brought in. (I had an oreo cookie cream pie, which was brought in; Sara had Mississippi Mud pie, made in-house).

Courtney's has an extensive selection of fried foods in addition to the BBQ, so it's possible to find something on the menu even if you're not a BBQ fan.

I'll give Courtney's BBQ & Seafood a 4 out of 5 on my ratings scale: 4 out of 5: good; tasty, well-prepared food, staff alert, restaurant clean. We won't necessarily journey all the way to Clover just to eat there, but will drop in if we are in the area, which is the case with many of the restaurants I have reviewed.

Friday, May 28, 2010

When the Standard of Proof Is Above and Beyond Being Reasonable...

...then you probably won't be awarded the Medal of Honor.

“From World War I through Vietnam,” The Army Times claimed in April 2009, “the rate of Medal of Honor recipients per 100,000 service members stayed between 2.3 (Korea) and 2.9 (World War II). But since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, only five Medals of Honor have been awarded, a rate of 0.1 per 100,000 — one in a million.”

Why this state of affairs exists is the point of the article. Well worth reading in full.

Well, There Go Her Dating Prospects

A woman had her lip bitten off by her boyfriend after she refused to provide him $20 to buy crack cocaine.

He stabbed her, too. Hell of a guy.

It's Black and In The Woodpile

While walking the dog just now, had a surprise encounter:

Black Rat Snake, elaphe obsoleta. Also knows as the Blacksnake, Pilot Blacksnake, and Chicken Snake. This fellow appears to be between 4 and 5 feet in length. Judging by the cloudy eye, he is due to shed his skin sometime in the next week.

update: Rat snakes make wonderful pets. I've had many throughout my life; Corn Snakes, also known as Red Rat Snakes; Yellow Rat Snakes, and Black Rat Snakes. I've never been bitten by any of them, even at time of capture. With most of them, you can actually just pick them up and, if you're gentle with them, they won't even bite. The king snake family is another matter; although handsome snakes, they tend to be more nervous than rat snakes and will bite readily if frightened, as well as when captured.

Nice to have him as a neighbor.

It's Kinder Than "Because We SAY So, That's Why!"

If we ever do lose our freedom in the US, you can be sure that the excuse for taking it will be for "health and safety" reasons.

Yet another cautionary tale from the UK.

When Sarah Palin Promises To Build A Fence... can take her at her word:

Damn, if she runs for president and promises to close the border, Todd better have a good relationship with Lowe's and Home Depot, he's going to need a lot of building materials...

Michael Crowley of Time commented on the fence in a Time blog, I liked his view of what McGinnis's stunt in moving in next to Palin does for journalism:

Which leads to what really bothers me about McGinniss's gimmick. It is bad for journalism. It plays right into the hands of the many people—including Sarah Palin, who is shrewdly ridiculing McGinniss—with an interest in portraying reporters as creeps with no sense of decency. Journalism faces a credibility crisis, and reporters' motives are under attack by outlets like Fox News, Media Matters and a thousand merciless blogs. Joe McGinniss's very clever but utterly hollow stunt, it seems to me, exacerbates that problem. That doesn't only make life harder for all his colleagues, but it makes life easier for people who want to undermine trust in the media. People just like Sarah Palin.

I'll just note that the credibility crisis he mentions pre-dates Sarah Palin's selection as John McCain's running mate in 2008, but that the MSM did itself no credit with the way that it covered Palin in comparison to the way it covered Barack Obama. The credibility crisis is caused in large part by MSM bias and by refusal to acknowledge that bias, pure and simple.

Photo of the Day

Found in the UK Daily Mail:

Enys Gardens, near Falmouth, Cornwall. Looks like it should be subject for a Pre-Raphaelite painting, doesn't it?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

There Are Days When Lunch Is Ordinary...

...and days when lunch is extraordinary (click to embiggen):

Why, yes, those are 9-oz. patties cooked to perfection over charcoal, with two pieces of American cheese draped artfully over each patty, the patties tucked into toasted sesame-seed buns, the meat seasoned before cooking with Paula Deen's special recipe House Seasoning, made by us here at home with garlic powder and salt. And some truly nice watermelon for dessert.

Folks, the cuisine of the US working class doesn't get much better than this.

Just Call Him The Short-Haired Stranger

Willie Nelson's done gone and got him a haircut:

Looks like this:

Who knows what he'll do next? Maybe he'll buy a new guitar...

Whoops, looks like he already did that, too.

All That Blue Ink...

makes her look like a Na'vi from the movie Avatar.

Take a look:

How will she satisfy her tattoo fetish now that she's 95% ink?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Think Ya Used Enough Dynamite There, Hans?

German bank robbers used just a bit too much explosive:

So, naturally, I recalled this:

Little Bunny Foo Foo...

...Hopping through the forest,
Along came a heron
Who ate the bunny up.

The bunny story is from 2008, but I happened to see it while posting the Sea of Galilee fish story, and it looked interesting, so...

Fishing Ban In The Sea of Galilee

Fishing banned for two years in the Sea of Galilee to allow stocks depleted by overfishing to recover.

The fish are known as St. Peter's Fish, and are a variety of tilapia.

Gallery: Not Yer Grandfather's Battle of Trafalgar

A humorous and well-executed commentary on contemporary UK using porcelain figurines, posed as one might encounter them in London's Trafalgar Square.

See also Hoodies In Porcelain by the same artist. He explains a bit more of his work here.

My apologies for no pics, but the Telegraph appears to have changed their image settings to prevent downloading of images.

Quote of the Day

"Personal integrity is the heart of Marine Corps leadership.”

Thirteen young Marine officers were kicked out of the Marine Corps for cheating on an exam, including a star fullback for the US Naval Academy football team.


Nice to see a moral value taken so seriously in these days of doubt and moral relativism.

Treasure Blog: Cleopatra's Sunken Palace


At the bottom of Alexandria Bay:

Meanwhile, In Japan...

...the Japanese Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, is turning heads with his distinctive shirt worn at a barbecue:

Unusual and handsome, isn't it?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some People Might Think Of It As A Health Advisory

I, on the other hand, think of it as restaurant recommendations.

"It May Never Be Opened Again."

Earlier this year Sara and I stayed in Southport, North Carolina for a few days' vacation, while there we visited beautiful Orton Plantation, along the banks of the Cape Fear River. We spent a wonderful morning wandering the gardens, which have been open to the public.

Now, Orton Plantation has been sold to a new owner and is closing for renovation/restoration, with no firm date as to when it will re-open, if ever.

Here's a photo I took of part of the Orton gardens during that vacation trip:

I hope that the gardens will one day be open again. It's a beautiful place, and I'd like the chance to see it again sometime.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Restaurant Review: Hillbilly's BBQ & Steaks, Charlotte, NC

Hillbilly's started out in Gastonia, North Carolina, was sucessful enough to open a second store in Lowell, and last year opened a third store here in Charlotte, in the old Carolina Country BBQ location on Tyvola Road. We've eaten here a total of three times now; the first two times not long after the restaurant opened, the third time this past Saturday afternoon. The first two times were marred by very poor service, so bad that I actually emailed the restaurant management to complain. This third time the service had improved and was now excellent.

First off, here's a look at the sign, and you'll notice an active smoker streetside:

I'd have to question the wisdom in putting an active bbq pit out on the street, where anyone walking by could have access to the meat; I hope that there was a provision to lock the smoker doors or or otherwise secure it from tampering. Letting cops eat at half price is always a good practice.

The waitress arrived quickly and took our drink orders, and left complimentary hush puppies, along with a small tub of Hillbilly's wonderfully tangy sauce:

Sara frankly doesn't like Hillbilly's barbecue pork, thinks it is too dry, so she ordered a chopped steak:

I ordered a plate of sliced beef brisket:

Sara was happy with her food. She ordered her chopped steak well done, and it was properly well done. She also liked the baked potato, and the peppers and onion.

I found the french fries on my plate to be less than fresh: warm and soggy rather than hot and crisp. The brisket was a bit dry and a little tough as a result, but since they were well coated with sauce, this wasn't too much of a problem.

Hush puppies were fresh and hot, and with a good sweet taste, and when dipped into the good tangy sauce, were a good appetizer. Hillbilly's should bring free refills of the hush puppies, since one basket will typically not go very far, especially when more than two diners are encountered.

Since Hillbilly's took over a building that previously housed a barbecue restaurant, there was an open pit available to cook the meats, rather than the smokers that are usual with newer restaurants. The pit is visible from most of the restaurant, so you can see the cooking process. The restaurant is painted in yellow and red, recalling mustard and ketchup, and there are attractive stained-glass windows in the restaurant, an elegant touch.

Because of past problems and also because the food isn't yet as good as it could be, I'll give Hillbilly's BBQ & Steaks a 3 on my 5-scale of restaurants: 3 out of 5: average; reasonably good food, moderate effort by staff/management. Attention needs to be paid to the barbecue so as not to overcook it; fried sides should be cooked to order so as to arrive tableside fresh.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

One Horrific Goring

Spanish matador Julio Aparicio was gored in the Las Ventas bullring in a horrible fashion.

If you want to see the horrible sight, it's under the cut. You can also find video with a Google Search.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Soon, Please

Will airships be seen in the world's skies again in the future?

Meanwhile, Here In Charlotte...

...where we have a murder every day...

And also a lot of gropings...

Meanwhile, Over In Australia...

...a man being mugged in an alley in Sydney was rescued by ninjas.


I'm told by the more-observant-than-me Borepatch that I've passed 200,000 visits on my Sitemeter. Thanks for pointing it out, Ted, and thanks for being a faithful reader.

Ted says he comes for the snark and the BBQ reviews. Funny thing about those, I happened to look up one of the restaurants on Google the other day and saw my review in the search results; looking around, I noticed that I'm in the search results for a lot of those restaurants, usually in the first 2 pages of results. It was definitely one of those OMG! moments to see them there.

Anyway, thanks to all of you for visiting and reading this inane drivel. I very much appreciate it.

What's He Building In There?

In East Austin, Texas, a man built three levels of tunnels under his house.

Austin city officials have fenced off the yard and posted warning signs at a home along Canterbury Street in East Austin. They have also shut off the utilities.

They say the reason is that the home’s owner, Jose Del Rio, dug a series of tunnels beneath his home. They go as far as 35 feet deep and are so large in places that an adult can stand up.

Neighbors say that Del Rio was former military, in his 60’s and that he lived alone. They say that he also kept to himself.

“Who knows what was going through his mind with the digging and what not,” said a neighbor who did not want to be identified.

Some neighbors told KVUE they suspect the digging began years ago, and that they grew suspicious after they saw dirt being hauled from the home at night. They say those suspicions were confirmed when the ground began caving in.

If you're a Tom Waits fan, you know where I got the title to this entry:

O Rly?

Israeli scientists claim to have developed a computer algorithm that is capable of detecting sarcasm in written text.

The obvious response:

Quote of the Day

"An interest in explosives and weapons and a difficult-to-treat psychiatric illness is a very dangerous combination."

Doing Stuff With Pretzels

The New York Times Magazine explores the possibilities.

Just one sample pic:

Looks scrumptious, don't it?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hmm, I Wonder...

...since Attorney General Eric Holder hasn't read the Arizona immigration law he has been criticising, and since Department of Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano hasn't read the Arizona immigration law either but still criticises it, what is the likelihood of President Obama having read it? Or President Calderon of Mexico? Has he read it?

Just wondering...

UK Telegraph Gallery of the Day

Frogs in jewel-like shades of gold and sapphire; underwear-stealing Capuchin Monkeys; venomous treetop vipers; insects like thorny sticks. All photographed in Panama by a man resembling Tarzan with the improbable name of Guido Sterkendries.

Probably the loveliest photographs I've seen so far this year. Go look, please.

Britain's Oldest Fisherman: Bill Hocking, 80

He's been fishing for 70 years, can't swim a stroke, doesn't eat fish or shellfish, prefers steak.

Makes his living catching crabs and lobsters to sell in the fishmarket at Looe, Cornwall.

Update: Much better story on the same subject here. H/T to Jon Mills, the author of the piece, for pointing it out. Video included in the link.

"We Will Ask You Which Laws You Think Should Go."

"Taking people’s freedom away didn’t make our streets safe."

Nick Clegg, the new Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, making promises he'll find hard to keep. I wonder if the laws against gun ownership are included in this? Somehow I doubt it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

But Don't Call Them Scum...

...because you might hurt their widdle feelings.

And Lord knows we don't want that, now do we?

Update: The father of one of the boys agrees that they are scum.

The Granth?

I was reading an article in the UK Independent, and came across that strange word:

The election of the Speaker is the only business MPs are allowed to conduct before they have taken the oath - or made the non-religious solemn affirmation - to the Queen.

The Speaker is the first MP to take the oath, followed by Father of the House Sir Peter Tapsell, the Cabinet, the shadow cabinet and other privy counsellors and ministers.

Backbench MPs are taken in order of seniority, based on length of service in the Commons. The procedure is expected to run into next week.

MPs can choose to swear on either the New Testament, the Old Testament (in English or Hebrew), the Koran, the Granth, the Welsh Bible or the Gaelic Bible.

Wikipedia defines granth as Any of a number of sacred texts in Sikhism, e.g., the Guru Granth Sahib.

So it's the Sikh version of the Bible. Learn something new every day, which is gratifying.

Where I Learned To Eat Barbecue

Right there at Sonny's #1, on Waldo Road in Gainesville, Florida.

Here's a picture of the founder of Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q, Sonny Tillman, Jr., at the Waldo Road store:

Looks like the old place has undergone renovations a time or two since I last ate there back in 1979. In those days the place was still called Sonny's Fat Boy's Real Pit Bar-B-Q, but familiarly known as Fat Boy's. Tables back then were made of stained and varnished plywood, with backless benches to sit on. Sandwiches came in baskets with a bag of Lay's potato chips. The meat was cooked over an open pit, rather than the smokers that Sonny's uses these days, and the smell of the smoke as you drove by would make your mouth water. That original location succeeded because it was intelligently placed next to a bowling alley, during a time when bowling was immensely popular; it was also adjacent to an industrial area, so all the hardhats ate there for lunch.

I still like Sonny's barbecue after all these years, and I feel that the sauce is one of the better barbecue sauces out there.

Thank you, Sonny Tillman, for opening that wonderful restaurant.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gallery: Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Eruption Images

Via the UK Telegraph.

Beautiful images. And since this volcano is comparatively safe compared to a Mt. St. Helen's or Vesuvius, the photographer can come very close indeed to the crater while the eruption is actually occurring.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

So: What Caliber For A Horny Kangaroo?

Just in case a little too amorous with the wrong person?

And remember, Australia gave in to the GFW's (gun-fearing wussies) over a dozen years ago, so your choice of guns and calibers is limited.

Some choice excerpts from the story:

“It seemed a bit odd, but I continued walking and didn’t think much about it. On my return walk he was there waiting for me. With his male pride on full alert, he started circling me.

“There was no doubt about what he wanted, the randy old thing. It was a huge kangaroo and quite intimidating.”

Later that day a mother of three encountered the kangaroo at a night-time speedway meeting, while a man said that he challenged the intimidating macropod and came off second best, receiving a swift punch in response.

Northern Territory police said that they were not planning to pursue the salacious mammal unless it continued to cause trouble.

The story is quite light-hearted in tone, but it probably wouldn't be funny to be in the outback version of Deliverance, with the local fauna inclined to make you squeal like a pig...

Skippy's Glad To See You.

The Inexplicable Cruelty of Man

It's probably hypocritical to wish the same fate on you, but I just can't help doing so.

Friday, May 14, 2010

"It Was A Rather Nasty, Ill-Placed Bite."

Warning: Never fall asleep nude on a New Zealand Beach.

This story reminds me about the old joke about the Lone Ranger being bitten by a rattlesnake:

One morning in camp, as the Lone Ranger and Tonto stirred out of their blankets and began to get dressed, the Lone Ranger was bitten on the penis by a prarie rattlesnake. As the member began to swell with poison, the Lone Ranger, in obvious pain, cried, "Tonto, my friend, ride to town like lightning and ask the doctor there what to do. Hurry, Tonto!"

Tonto saddled up Scout and galloped into town, and ran quickly to Dr. Cooper's. "Doctor, Lone Ranger needs help! Him bitten by rattlesnake! I think him dying!"

Dr. Cooper frowned. "This is bad news, Tonto. Here's what you have to do, though: take a sharp knife and cut the bite open, then suck the poison out. That's the only way that the Lone Ranger will stand a chance to live through this."

Tonto thanked Dr. Cooper and galloped back to camp. The Lone Ranger was writhing in agony, his penis swollen to three times its normal size, hard and throbbing and purple. "Tonto, what did the doctor say? How do we treat this snakebite?" the Lone Ranger gasped.

Tonto looked at the Lone Ranger's swollen purple penis, then recalled what the doctor had advised. "Bad news, Kemo Sabe," he said. "Doctor say you gonna die."

Our Newspaper Welcomes the NRA Convention... its own patronizing, condescending fashion:

Welcome, NRA - and please don't shoot!

We hope you enjoy your stay here, and nothing ticks you off.

First things first. Welcome to Charlotte, NRA conventioneers. We hope you have a fun visit to the Queen City, and we sincerely hope all 70,000 of you have only happy experiences and nothing upsets you. Especially if you are packing heat. We know not all of you are, but it does give a body pause.

But seriously, the NRA convention through Sunday will be a shot in the arm, if you'll pardon the saying, for many suffering hotels, restaurants and stores.

Click the link to read the rest of it, if you can stomach it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Tiny Claessen of Beesel, Holland, was told 45 years ago by her mother to tend the grave of a British airman shot down by Germans over the village. She has done so from that day to the present. She's 79 years old now.

Terry Charman, a senior historian at the Imperial War Museum, London, said the Dutch people hold British war veterans in the highest regard for liberating them from the Nazis.

He said: ‘The Dutch are acutely aware even today of the harshness of the German occupation.

‘Dutch schoolchildren used to be allocated a war grave to look after. But it is very rare for someone to continue to do so for the rest of their life.

‘The fact that this is a solitary grave in a small village cemetery could be a reason for why Tiny has done it for so long because there has been nobody else.’

What a touching practice, and how very wonderful that Mrs. Claessen has contintued to tend the grave for all these years.

Life Imitates Gran Torino

In Chicago, a 69-year-old former Marine shot and killed the owner of a puppy that urinated on his award-winning lawn.

I Said, Get Yer Puppy Off Of My Lawn!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Your Procedure Stinks

In Scotland, police stood by while a woman nearly drowned, because it wasn't their job to do rescue.

A police spokesman said: ‘A 37-year old woman jumped into the Clyde and was rescued by a member of the public prior to the arrival of the emergency services.

As a matter of procedure it’s not the responsibility of the police to go in the water, it’s the Fire and Rescue service.’

Good thing that there were three civilians nearby who didn't suffer such qualms about waiting for those with the proper responsibility for rescue. I suppose they're lucky they weren't arrested for rescuing the woman without proper permission.

Put Obama's Face On It...

...and call it the Don't Shoot Medal.

Old Man Tarrypin and the Crab Pots

Unfortunately, Old Man Tarrypin has no luck with the crab pots, so it's not a story with a happy ending...yet. Maybe crabbers can start using turtle excluders on their pots, or some other solutions that are less deadly to the Terrapins.

For a story of how Old Man Tarrypin outwitted Brer Fox, go here.

If you've never heard of or seen a Diamondback Terrapin, Wikipedia has a fine entry.

They used to be a food delicacy in the US, but aren't seen too often on menus anymore, if at all, because they are protected from harvest by various states.

Indian Border Patrol: Only Eunuchs Need Apply


In fairness, the term eunuch in India denotes what we would call transvestites and transsexuals.

Re-Write The Second Amendment!

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The wording and intent of the 2nd Amendment has been controversial down through the years, mainly because of attempts to abnegate the meaning of the Amendment by those who would wish to disarm the People. So I thought to myself, self, if you had a chance to re-write this Amendment to make it perfectly clear even to the most dedicated gun-hater that this is a fundamental human right, how would you phrase it? I came up with this:

The right of the People to own and carry arms for defense of themselves and their neighbors, either at home or while going about their daily business, shall not be infringed at any level of Government; it is also recognized that, in time of dire emergency, the People serve as a militia in defense of the country. That Government which does not trust the People with the ownership of arms should itself not be trusted, and indeed should be thought of as a tyranny.

How would you folks go about re-writing it? Just as an exercise, since I know that some of you will declare the current version doesn't need improvement.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Arizona To US Government: Do Your Freaking Job

I wanted to comment on the YouTube video put out by the governor of Arizona:

This situation is similar to how citizens take the law into their own hands and become vigilantes when local or state governments don't do their primary job and enforce public order. The last president to address illegal immigration was Reagan, and his efforts addressed only half of the problem via an amnesty for illegals already in the country, without following up on securing the border. George H.W. Bush ignored the issue, as did Clinton. George W. Bush tried to address it but failed, because he wanted to try the same failed policy that Reagan had passed: amnesty, then secure the border.

Secure the border first. After that everything else will eventually be solved, but if the border isn't secured then it's as if you left a broken dam to continue flooding your valley.

Last WWI Flamethrower Found

Not the backpack-style individual weapon familiar from WWII, but a large crew-served weapon that was used to clear trenches and allow British troops to move across No Man's Land unhindered.

The team that discovered the old secret weapon, buried under the mud of the Somme for all these years, also plans to make a working replica.

Celebrity Snakes

The Burmese Pythons infesting Florida's Everglades are getting some notice, including from The New York Times.

Good story, with an accompanying video that I can't embed. Click the link to watch it.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Weekend Perambulations

Apologies for the light blogging. I'll try to do better.

Today we went to Shelby, North Carolina, with the intent of buying my mother a purse similar to one that Sara carries, which she covets. We found a nice one, and will give it to her tomorrow morning when we visit her at the nursing home. We wandered around downtown Shelby for a bit, checked out the sidewalk Farmer's Market that takes place there; not much going on, some greens and herbs, not much else.

Lunch was at a barbecue place (imagine that!) in Gastonia called R.O's Bar-B-Cue. Didn't get any pictures because of the circumstances: the restaurant has booths only, and those booths are firmly bolted down, as are the benches for the booths, and they are NOT intended for fat people to sit in, so we ended up eating in the car, an uncivilized procedure. Both of us forgot to ask that slaw be omitted from the sandwiches, so of course they arrived covered in slaw. Sara rejected hers outright, refusing to even attempt to eat it, so it was bequeathed to me, while she made do with french fries and - - wait for it - - battered, deep-fried macaroni and cheese. This latter dish was actually quite good, at least from the sample that Sara provided me. The hush puppies I ate were better than average, being the proper oblong shape; the sandwiches were not bad, but messy and a bit sodden from the slaw. I'll say of R.O.'s that they would do well to add some tables and chairs to the restaurant, or some picnic tables in the grassy lawns outside the restaurant, so as to be friendlier to fat people; eating in the car is, as I already observed, uncivilized.

On the way home we stopped in Clover for gasoline, and I snapped this photo of a patriotic-minded bicyclist through the windshield:

It's a pretty day; a bit hot, but sunny and rather dry. Later in the summer it will be unbearable.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Thursday, May 06, 2010

SEAL Found Not Guilty of Attack On Terrorist


I wonder how many MSM pundits will describe this as sending a troubling message in the next couple of days?

Congratulations to Petty Officer McCabe.

That's A Lot of Paddling

No, not a story about spanking recalcitrant children.

Jake Stachovak has paddled his kayak down the Mississippi River, around the Gulf of Mexico and Florida, and is on his way up the east coast.

You can check his progress and read his story on his blog.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Paul Theroux On Showing Your Papers

The famous world traveler/novelist rebukes those who think that Arizona is some sort of Third Reich for requiring immigrants to show documentation.

h/t Hot Air Headlines.

Gun Ownership FAIL of the Day, Redux

When you violate 3 of 4 of Jeff Cooper's gun safety rules, you may confidently predict that a tragedy will happen:

YORK, S.C. A father accidentally shot his son at a firing range in York this weekend, police say.

Billy Ray Stephens, 51, accidentally fired his weapon, striking 28-year-old Billy Joe Stephens in the chest, according to a York County Sheriff’s Office report.

The men, from Crouse, N.C., were target practicing at the shooting range on Sharon Road in York around 7 p.m. Saturday.

Billy Ray Stephens thought he had fired all the bullets in his weapon. He turned back to reload when the gun went off, shooting Billy Joe Stephens, the report said.

After the son fell, his father said “I’m so sorry, it was an accident. I thought it was empty,” according to the report.

Here are the rules:

1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

Mr. Stephens violated rules 1, 2, and 3. We can only hope that Mr. Stephens' son doesn't pay the ultimate price for his father's negligence.

Gun Ownership FAIL of the Day

A woman in Juneau, Alaska, left her Ruger LCP .380 in the ladies' room on top of the toilet paper dispenser, forgot it when she finished, returned to find it gone.

Story seems to indicate she was carrying Mexican-style, with the gun tucked into her waistband; no holster; didn't put it in her purse while she took her dump. $400 mistake, there.

Leaky Border, Leaky Oil Well

Funny how the well-being of the country depends on fixing a pair of leaks, one on our southern border, the other on the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Speaking of Korea... is a Stars & Stripes article about the need for a second runway at Osan Air Force Base. My father, who was a US Army Korean War veteran, was one of the engineers who surveyed the original runway there.


Lagniappe's owner shoots with and talks to a Marine Korean War veteran, one of those remarkable men who fought at Chosin against the Chinese. We learn why the US M1 Carbine is an ineffective weapon when used in winter conditions against heavily-clothed soldiers.

Good stuff.

Are We Comfy, Then? Fancy A Spot of Tea? Lovely!

Now then, how about we have a nice little chat?

The new UK notion of how to deal with violent prison inmates: put them in a comfy room with curtains and leave the door open.

Coming soon to a country near you...