Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quote of the Day

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

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

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

Kind Regards.

Robert G. Evans
19 December 2010
Matthews, NC

Friday, December 17, 2010

Let's Offend the Muslim Neighbors...

...with a bit of yodelling.

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

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

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


Thursday, December 16, 2010


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

Not that this is a new concept.

Up In Baseball Heaven...

...the batters are having a bad day.

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

NC Sea Turtles Rescued

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

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

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Renfield Wants a Kitten

Actually, Michael Vick wants a dog.

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

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

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

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

Fort Macon To Get Working Cannon

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

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

Should be a cool addition to the tours there.

Trailer For Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

UK Daily Mail article here.

But here's the trailer itself:

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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Father of the Year

Is a Little Tiny Fingerbone...

...all that remains of aviator Amelia Earhart?

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

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

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

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

A Dubious Distinction

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

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

How About "Oops, the Scalpel Slipped?"

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

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

What would you have done?

She Went On Walkabout, That's All

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

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

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

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hmm. Maybe ONE Trip To California?

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

Maybe, though, a brief visit is in order.

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


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Not Quite Rum, Sodomy & the Lash

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

Hanky-Panky aboard the US Navy Minesweeper Chief.

Please Send Prayers Out To...

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

I Apologize...

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

An Imagined Conversation...

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

So You've Never Tried North Carolina BBQ?

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

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


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

Spyderco Tenacious, Keen Kutter Boy Scout Pattern.

(click to embiggen.)

With A Parrot As a Not-So-Mute Witness

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

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

Oh, Won't This Get Ugly?

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

Weather Decks Are Secured Due To High Winds and Heavy Seas

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

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

Money Where the Mouth Is

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

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

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Look, I Can See the Next Domino

An Australian man marries his Labrador Retriever.

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

Treasure Blog: Audobon's Birds of America

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


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

Alaska Really IS Different

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

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

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

North Carolina Banning Liquors Piecemeal

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

December 7, 1941


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

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

New York Times False Premise Headline of the Day

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

Let me just fix that up for you a bit:

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

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

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

Monday, December 06, 2010

Turn Out the Lights...

...the party's over.

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

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

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

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

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

Where's Our War Against Christmas...

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

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

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

Merry Christmas, everybody.

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

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

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

Yah, right.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Bad Santa

Steeped in the Chicago Way, no doubt.

Camoflage Is Contra-Indicated...

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

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

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

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

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

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

It Looks As If...

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

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Random Vacation Photos

Here with some random images from the beach vacation.

Intracoastal Waterway, New Bern, NC.

Bascule Bridge, New Bern, NC.

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

North Carolina Maritime Museum.

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

Relics, Queen Anne's Revenge.

Naval Anchor, NC Maritime Museum.

Front Street, Beaufort, NC.

Town Clock, Beaufort, NC.

Atlantic Beach, NC.

Kiteboarder, Atlantic Beach, NC.

Alligator, NC Aquarium Pine Knoll Shores, NC.

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

North Carolina Aquarium, Pine Knoll Shores, NC

Newport, NC.

Newport, NC.

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

Swansboro, NC.

Historic District, Swansboro, NC.

Atlantic Beach, NC.

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

Fort Macon Photos

Some shots of Fort Macon State Park.

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

Back Home

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