Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Does He Make Human Skin Lampshades, Too?

An embalmer in a Colorado funeral home has been charged with stealing dental gold from bodies destined for cremation.

Wonder if he's German?

Have You Ever Read...

...the Silver John stories of Manly Wade Wellman?

If not, you've been missing out:

I swear I'm licked before I start, trying to tell you all what Mr. Onselm looked like. Words give out—for instance, you're frozen to death for fit words to tell the favor of the girl you love. And Mr. Onselm and I pure poison hated each other. That's how love and hate are alike.

He was what country folks call a low man, more than calling him short or small; a low man is low otherwise than by inches. Mr. Onselm's shoulders didn't wide out as far as his big ears, and they sank and sagged. His thin legs bowed in at the knee and out at the shank, like two sickles point to point. On his carrot-thin neck, his head looked like a swollen pale gourd. Thin, moss-gray hair. Loose mouth, a bit open to show long, even teeth. Not much chin. The right eye squinted, mean and dark, while the hike of his brow twitched the left one wide. His good clothes fitted his mean body like they were cut to it. Those good clothes were almost as much out of match to the rest of him as his long, soft, pink hands, the hands of a man who never had to work a tap.

You see what I mean, I can't say how he looked, only he was hateful.

You'll meet strange monsters here, like The Behinder and The Culverin, witch-men like Mr. Onselm, mentioned above; and even the ghost of George Washington. If you're a musician who plays guitar, you'll want to hunt up silver strings for your guitar, and you might just shoulder the instrument and stride off along the road, headed for the mountains, once you've done so. Don't say I didn't warn you.

By Age 41 and 47...'d think they'd have learned that crime doesn't pay.

A CVS employee had been restocking a shelf at the drug store on Savannah Highway at around 1 a .m., when he spotted a man behind the counter grabbing cartons of cigarettes and placing them into a shopping basket, according to police. The employee approached the man and grabbed the basket, police said, but the man punched the employee in the face and dashed out of the store with a carton of cigarettes in hand.

Want to bet that the two robbers are habitual felons?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars...

...has stomach cancer.

Please go and wish him well. He's one of the two bloggers that broke the Fast & Furious story (the other was David Codrea). He has a tip jar, if you appreciate the work he's done.

A Real Locked-Room Mystery


Deputies are investigating what they call the suspicious death of two women found dead at a home in Bahama on Monday.

When Durham County sheriff's deputies arrived to the scene, they found the residence was secure. There were no signs of forced injury. There was no evidence or sign of foul play, according to W.R. Narron, spokesman for the Durham County Sheriff's Office.

There was no external trauma to either victim's body, said Narron.

The cause of death is unknown. Investigators are awaiting results from the medical examiner's office.

I'm thinking carbon monoxide poisoning from a kerosene heater.

What Has Lots of Snakes, Few Birds, and Might Tip Over?

Answer: Guam.

Apparently the island isn't stabilized yet, because it isn't ready to handle the weight of the Marines currently stationed on Okinawa.

He's a Veteran?

Looks as if the naked fellow who stole the fire truck in Port Royal, SC, and killed a pedestrian may have been a military veteran being treated at the Beaufort Naval Hospital:

PORT ROYAL — A nude man who stole a fire truck in Port Royal and drove off, hitting six vehicles and killing a pedestrian had fled from the Beaufort Naval Hospital before the incident.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports ( ) 26-year-old Kalvin Hunt of Sumter has been taken to the hospital by a Beaufort County Veteran Affairs officer last Friday. He escaped when the VA officer took him outside for a moment.

Bang, You're Dead!

And he is:

LEXINGTON — A Lexington County teen has been arrested and accused of shooting his friend with a World War II-era Russian rifle.

A warrant says the younger teen pointed the gun at Nay while checking to see if the gun was loaded. The warrant says the teen the pulled the trigger and the gun fired.

A deputy found a 7.62 mm Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifle in the room. The rifles were developed in the late 1800s and were used in the Soviet Revolution of 1917 and were a standard gun for Soviet soldiers in World War II.

They may only cost $79.99, but that doesn't make them toys, kid. You shouldn't have been playing with it, and your daddy should have taught you the rules of safe gun handling.

Charlotte-Area "Eagle Cam"

Up at the Carolina Raptor Center in Huntersville, just N. of Charlotte.

More about the eagles here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Religious Violence = Media Deference

Once again proving the old adage that might makes right:

BBC director-general Mark Thompson has claimed Christianity is treated with far less sensitivity than other religions because it is ‘pretty broad shouldered’.

He suggested other faiths have a ‘very close identity with ethnic minorities’, and were therefore covered in a far more careful way by broadcasters.

But he also revealed that producers had to consider the possibilities of ‘violent threats’ instead of polite complaints if they pushed ahead with certain types of satire.

Mr Thompson said: ‘Without question, “I complain in the strongest possible terms”, is different from, “I complain in the strongest possible terms and I am loading my AK47 as I write”. This definitely raises the stakes.’

Click the link to read the whole thing.

Waiting Two Years For An Apology From Police

And so far, Kurt Benrud hasn't received one:

RALEIGH -- Two years ago, Kurt Benrud got a full-body pat-down from the Raleigh police while standing spread-eagled against his car at night.

One of the officers who stopped him put his hands down Benrud's pockets, pulled out his wallet and looked through it, then threw the rest of Benrud's things on the ground.

The other combed through the car, collected everything inside and piled it in the driver's seat. Benrud hadn't given permission or been asked.

His offense that night was a busted headlight and an expired tag. Later, he said, police told him he'd been driving around Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at night, a part of town that justified taking precautions. Also, he had an empty Diet Pepsi can in the car, which an officer suspected might be alcohol.

When the search was finished, police told Benrud they'd cut him a break. They called him "boss," and drove away. But as Benrud collected himself on the side of the road, clearing the junk off his seat, he didn't feel so lucky. He'd rather have a citation for the headlight and tag than an officer's hands all over him.

So Benrud, now 59, mounted a two-year campaign for an apology, which finally bore fruit this week when Chief Harry Dolan's office called to set up an appointment.

Click the link to read the rest. Benrud must have the patience of a saint. This, incidentally, how the First Amendment's "...and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" is supposed to work.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hey, I'd Go Back In a Heartbeat

"Sailors eager for a chance at Rota duty."

That's Rota, Spain, situated on the Atlantic coast of that country, across the bay from Cadíz. I spent three of the happiest years of my life there. Wonderful place to live.

Hotel Shooting In North Charlotte

Looks like a hotel employee shot someone:

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Police say an employee shot someone outside the Sunset Inn on Equipment Drive around 3:30 a.m. Sunday. That's near Interstate 85 and Sugar Creek Road.

Not a good neighborhood, either. I'll keep an eye on the news and update as necessary.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Random Thought

I guess if Pres. Obama's algae initiative works out, we'll eventually have ebil pond scum magnates that Democrats will clamor to be taxed at confiscatory rates?

Yer Head-Shaking Story of the Day

"Stolen fire truck kills man, crashes."

PORT ROYAL -- A nude man stole a fire truck while firefighters were answering a medical call Friday afternoon, then raced off, hitting multiple cars and killing a pedestrian before crashing into a tree, authorities and witnesses said.

That's Port Royal, SC. Click the link to read the rest.

"We don't let Marines slack because we care about each other," Meyer said.

A Marine NCO was found not guilty of hazing a Marine that committed suicide after being found asleep on duty.

The panel of three officers and five enlisted Marines found Lance Cpl. Carlos Orozco III not guilty at a court-martial at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay.

He was accused of humiliating and demeaning Lance Cpl. Harry Lew by pouring sand on his face and forcing him to do push-ups and leg lifts. Orozco was acquitted of charges involving the assault, cruel treatment and humiliation of Lew, of Santa Clara, Calif. Lew fatally shot himself at their remote Afghanistan patrol base on April 3. He was a nephew of U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif.

Orozco was the last of three Marines to be court-martialed for the alleged hazing of Lew. Another lance corporal last month pleaded guilty to assault after admitting he punched and kicked Lew. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a reduction in rank to private first class. A jury in a separate trial later found their squad leader, a sergeant, not guilty of humiliating and demeaning Lew.

Prosecuting attorney Maj. Hanorah Tyer-Witek told the jury in closing arguments that witnesses saw Orozco ordering Lew to do push-ups after Lew had been digging a foxhole for two hours without eating or drinking anything.

Orozco was annoyed and fed up that Lew had fallen asleep on watch for the fourth time since he arrived at Patrol Base Gowragi, she said.

Defense attorney Capt. Aaron Meyer told jurors that government witnesses gave conflicting testimony and Orozco was only trying to keep Lew awake so their base wouldn't be attacked by Taliban fighters.

If Orozco had allowed Lew to fall asleep again, his command would have asked him why he didn't do more to keep him awake, Meyer said.

Quote of the Day

Over at Tam's:

Uh, waiter? I ordered the cool Star Trek future and you seem to have brought me the dystopian one from Heinlein's Crazy Years instead...

That's why Tam is the Queen of Snark, folks.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Another Note In Passing

It sure is an emptier world without Christopher Hitchens in it.

Note In Passing

I think it's a Warren Zevon sort of day.

ID'd By His Tats

When you find a dismembered corpse in a crawlspace, how do you identify it?

By the tattoos, of course:

Coroner Greg Shore said the remains appear to be those of 53-year-old Seth Barton Frazier of Belton.

Shore says police recognized a Yosemite Sam tattoo on the man’s right arm and were able to find booking records with the matching tattoo.

There's a legacy for you.

Ain't He the Considerate One?

"Cop suspended, charged after raiding refrigerator."

DEER PARK, Texas A sting operation by a suburban Houston police department netted one of their own when surveillance cameras caught an officer repeatedly stealing colleagues' food and drinks from the refrigerator in the station's break room.

Deer Park police Officer Kevin Yang was charged with misdemeanor theft and suspended for 30 days without pay. Deer Park Police Chief Greg Griggs tells KTRK-TV of Houston that a class C misdemeanor conviction would not keep Yang from returning to duty.

Yang tells KTRK that he was merely taking it upon himself to keep the shared refrigerator clean.

I'm guessing that the Deer Park police had to film this and charge the guy because it would be difficult to discipline him otherwise, since Yang is presumably a union employee.

Cemeteries, Dead Chickens = Strange Rituals

Down the road in Fort Mill, SC.

A woman says several men were performing a strange ritual involving dead chickens Tuesday at a Fort Mill church.

Deputies found two shoe boxes containing dead chickens, flowers and bird feathers, the report states. Pictures of the boxes and their contents were placed into evidence.

Well, maybe they were just giving the chickens a good Christian burial, which seems a waste; why not just fry them? I'm guessing it was Hispanics involved in a Santeria ritual.

Update: The Charlotte Observer says Santeria.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Treasure Blog: Comic Book Collection

The collection, which includes copies of Action Comics #1, which introduced Superman, and Detective Comics #27, which introduced Batman, sold for $3.5M.

Over 345 comic books were in the collection, which had been preserved in an attic since being purchased at the time they were issued, as far back as the late 1930's/early 1940's.

And not all of them were included in this sale. The less-valuable comic books in the collection will be sold in bulk and are expected to bring over $100K.

Yet Another Effing Apology...

...from the President Who Apologizes For America.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The Afghan president's office says it has received a letter from President Obama formally apologizing for the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.

The statement from President Hamid Karzai's office says the U.S. ambassador delivered the letter on Thursday.

In the letter, which is quoted in the statement, Obama expresses his "deep regret for the reported incident" and offers his "sincere apologies."

According to the statement, Obama wrote: "The error was inadvertent; I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible."

He apologizes for America's shortcomings, never his own. I don't think he believes he has any personal shortcomings.

Today's Musical Interlude: Gene Watson

One of the country artists I listened to in the early 1970's on WDVH in Gainesville, Florida. AM radio back then, of course.

Here's Gene's signature song,Farewell Party:

He really belted out that last bar, didn't he? Takes people by surprise.

You often hear music critics speak disparagingly of the "moon/spoon/June" school of songwriting, and this is a perfect example of it. Not the most profound lyric writing you'll find. It's a song I remember fondly, though. Great example of classic early 1970's country that wasn't drenched in the string sound that many artists relied on. Love In the Hot Afternoon:

Finally, the maudlin, tears-in-your-beer ballad (yes, another ballad) Paper Rosie:

These all seem a bit cornball now, I guess. More cynical age these days.

Rand Paul, Romney VP?

I speculated that Romney, in exchange for Ron Paul's endorsement and support at the Republican Convention, might choose Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Ron Paul's son, as his Vice Presidential running mate.

Now a Daily Caller story reports that Sen. Paul is indeed interested in the job, leading me to believe that there have been some feelers put out from the Romney camp.

Now as you might notice in my blog sidebar I'm supporting Ron Paul for President in the primaries, and I know a few of you are coming around to that view as well, so I'll ask here: If Romney does indeed get the nomination for President, would Rand Paul on the ticket make you more likely to vote for him, or not?

For those of you not really familiar with Sen. Rand Paul, watch this interview with Reason. This man is sharp as a whip, and has the conservative/libertarian credentials that are lacking in Romney.

Now excuse me while I go pat myself on the back some more for noticing this weeks ago.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

When Finders Ain't Keepers

When you're talking $500M in gold treasure from a sunken Spanish galleon, finders ain't keepers:

TAMPA, Fla. — Leaving nothing to chance, the U.S. military is making sure the transfer of 17 tons of shipwreck treasure to Spain later this week is handled safely.

Officials at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base said Tuesday night that they are cooperating with the Spanish government on the transfer of the of 594,000 coins and other artifacts that were wrested away from deep-sea explorers Odyssey Marine Exploration after a nearly five-year legal struggle.

Click the link to read the rest. Odyssey's mistake was in trying to keep the entire treasure, thinking that the old saw finders keepers was an actual law. Turns out it isn't, not when $500M in gold is involved. Odyssey has apparently learned its lesson from the experience, and has been negotiating sharing agreements with governments over shipwrecks since that time.

594,000 gold doubloons and silver pieces of eight. For the love of God, I'd like to have just one...

Bogus Blog Practices

Possibly the first in a series.

Today's Bogus Blog Practice is the blogger who addresses someone directly from the blog, as if (s)he is speaking directly to that person: as if, by some miracle, the person addressed is actually a reader of the blog. You know what I mean:

Hey, dumbass who cut me off in traffic this morning on I-77: you're going to get someone killed, you know that?

Hey, barista at Starbucks: stop making faces at me every morning when I say "large" instead of "venti."

Hey, neighbor who lets your dog shit on my lawn: Get offa my lawn! Clean your shit up!

And so on.

Hey, bloggers who engage in this practice: knock it off!

The Dog Returns To His Vomit

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire.*

And a convicted bank robber returns to the scene of the crime, and commits it again.

*From Rudyard Kipling's The Gods of the Copy-Book Headings.

I'll Have the Special $100 Pizza...

...with lots of extra oregano on it, nudge nudge wink wink.

The manager of the Domino's Pizza in Holly Springs, NC, was selling marijuana out of the store, with customers using cell phones and text messages to order pot. Takeout only, though, no delivery.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shh. Don't Bust a Cap...

...ShotSpotter might hear you.

The bang-bang of gunshots roared through a backyard off a Wilmington street late Sunday night. In Mountain View, Calif., nearly 3,000 miles away, an operator behind a computer screen immediately zeroed in on the sound. Within seconds, its origin was transmitted to Wilmington police, and they were en route to the scene.

When they arrived, they found the victim, alive but with slugs in his hand and chest, only yards from where the gun went off.

Since installing a gunshot detection network known as ShotSpotter, which uses a series of acoustic sensors to triangulate the location of gunfire with near-pinpoint accuracy, Wilmington police have made further inroads into a criminal element that drives inner-city violence.

In a Tuesday night address to the Wilmington City Council, Police Chief Ralph Evangelous emphasized what he described as ShotSpotter's usefulness in tracking guns throughout the city and homing in on the criminals who use them.

Wilmington subscribes to ShotSpotter through a relatively new company offering, where SST retains ownership of the hardware but sells service and gunshot data to the city.

ShotSpotter Vice President Lydia Barrett said in a phone interview Tuesday that the subscription service was a less expensive option and has made the product available to cities large and small.

The system covers a 3-square-mile stretch of the city, sandwiched between Greenfield Lake and Nixon Street, and 17th Street and the Cape Fear River. The swath marks the pocket where officers respond to the most "shots-fired" calls.

When a shot rings out in the coverage area, an alert arrives at ShotSpotter's service center in Mountain View within five seconds.

There, acoustic experts analyze the sound, confirm it is gunfire – not, say, fireworks or a car backfiring – and then send its location to officers' computers in the field. Police view the origin of the shot as a blip on a map, and respond.

Click the link to read the rest. Chances are good that if you live in the environs of a large city, ShotStopper might already be listening in. The further you are away from a town center, the lesser the likelihood, I'd guess.

Good information to know.

One Of Them There Assault Pens

Down in Kennesaw, GA, a bus drivers was stabbed by a woman when he attempted to break up a fight:

hen the passengers got into an argument on the bus at the Town Center Mall stop, the bus driver reportedly went to the back to keep the quarrel from escalating.

The woman then pulled out a knife, police said.

The passengers managed to get the knife from her, police said, but she then grabbed a pen from the bus driver's pocket and stabbed him several times.

Bladie Mae gonna gitchoo, even if she has to use a pen to do it:

Update: Bladie Mae shows up in Concord, NC. It's not a "gun crime," so the Brady Campaign won't light a candle for the victim.

It'll Only Be a Matter of Time...

...before these are required by law for skiers.

Elyse Saugstad was taking a break with several fellow skiers Sunday in the Washington state backcountry when the shouting began. "Elyse! Avalanche!"

The 33-year-old turned to see tons of snow boiling toward her.

"I pulled the trigger," she said, inflating two air bags attached to her backpack. The device is meant to keep skiers and adventurers from disappearing beneath waves of snow in an avalanche.

It likely saved her life, said Saugstad, who was hurled half a mile down the slope.

"(It was) like being in a washing machine," she said.

Saugstad came to a stop buried in densely packed snow. Only her face and hands were free.

Tommy Jordan...

...has started a blog.

Tommy, of course, is the Albemarle, NC, father who shot his daughter's laptop computer on Facebook. It's worth visiting his blog to see his responses to various media outlets, since he won't go on television. This allows him to keep control of his own message, rather than allowing the MSM to frame it instead. Extremely shrewd of him.

Go visit and read some good old-fashioned parenting wisdom.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Meanwhile, Over At USA Today...

...a story on women and guns, with not one single word of reproach or condemnation, and no quotes by the Brady Campaign.

Smells like...victory.

It's Like Telling Darwin "Kill Me!"

"3 rescued from capsized boat off Cedar Key shore."

Three people suspected of ignoring laws about boating safety equipment may owe their lives to following a basic rule of boating safety. Although the trio had none of the required emergency equipment on board, after their boat overturned, they stayed with it until they were found hours later.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the boaters, ages 53, 40, and 16, had gone out on the water Sunday afternoon from Cedar Key on a 16-foot-long fiberglass catamaran. Coast Guard officials said their policy prohibited them from releasing the names of those involved, but said at least two of the boaters were Michigan residents.

Cedar Key is one of my old stomping grounds, it's on the Gulf Coast north of Tampa. At one time most of the pencils in the US were made from Cedar Key red cedar wood. I once was stung by a "stingaree" (stingray) there while fishing.

In any event, these doofuses are lucky to be alive. If you go out on the Gulf, even in a fishing skiff (and when the Gulf is calm that's quite possible), you need to take flotation wear, an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon) and, if possible, an inflatable life raft. That's a bare minimum.

A Meme

Found here:

1. If you could pick a super power, what would it be?

Flight, á la Superman. Gasoline is getting expensive, and I like the idea of avoiding traffic, or making a trip to the beach more often than I do.

2. If you could spend the day with someone (famous or not, still alive or not) who would it be?

President George Washington.

3. Have you ever won a contest, award, or prize?

Won a cake raffle in 5th grade in Catholic school. Won a Rotary Club essay contest as a senior in High School, subject: Is Free Speech a Right or a Responsibility? I won an anchor pool once in the US Navy, the USS Deyo.

4. Tell us something about yourself that we don't already know.

Some people might know it, as I've mentioned it in blog comments a couple of times, but never blogged on it: I'm a hotel clerk, and have been robbed twice in 20 years. One one occasion I was armed and shot the robber (he lived, but lost his spleen), the other time I was unarmed and the robber got away with it.

5. Take a picture of your desk where you keep your computer and post it without cleaning the desk first.

In the pic are a Ruger Vaquero in .45 Colt, a Böker Barlow knife and a Kissing Crane Boy Scout knife, a Becker BK-5 knife, a winning lottery ticket worth $15, a Ruger LCP in its storage pouch, and a British pub pint glass.

I Fully Agree With This

"China as punching bag." From Reason Magazine.

China bears little resemblance to Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union in its approach to the world. The post-Mao government has shown no interest in grabbing territory from neighbors, enforcing obedience or promoting revolution. It has no dangerous ideology to spread. It has exhibited a consistent desire to focus on internal development.

It has done little to make trouble beyond its borders. China has repeatedly shown itself to be, writes Princeton scholar Aaron Friedberg, "a cautious power with limited aims."

What about the economic realm? In our daily lives, someone who sells us things and lends us money is to be valued, not feared. China is often accused of keeping its exchange rate low to benefit its export sector. But that's not exactly an act of naked aggression.

China's rapid growth has been a good thing, not a bad one. It has transformed a backward communist nation into a thriving, mostly capitalist one. It has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. It has brought China into the world economy and the World Trade Organization -- where, if we think it's using unfair trade practices, we can bring action to stop them.

As long as it remains an authoritarian state, China is not going to be our BFF. But it is not fated to be an enemy, unless we decide to make it one.

Read the whole thing, as Instapundit is wont to say.

Why You Need a First Aid/Gunshot Wound Kit At the Shooting Range

Because the nice sheriff's deputy who's responsible for teaching you might just shoot someone.

No need for me to pile on to the deputy here; if he's a certified instructor, he's got to be feeling about 2 inches tall about now. He's probably been feeling sick to his stomach about it all day.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dude, Just Kill Yourself

The most henpecked man in UK.

Henpecked Mike Jeffries, 25, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, always has to sit down when he goes to the toilet so his controlling other half Joanna Felicitas, 23, doesn’t have to put the seat down later.

Mr Jeffries admits his fiancee, who he proposed to in 2009, carries out regular spot checks during his trips to the loo - and even phones him if he takes too long.

The sports coach, who owns his own football academy, was also banned from spending time with his best friend Keith - after Joanna became worried people would think they're in a relationship.

'She’s a bit funny about the toilet seat. But I’d rather sit down because I can read the newspapers or my phone.

'She will check up on me and she will go mental if the seat is up. I will be in there and if I’m in there too long reading the sport on my phone, she will phone me and give me a cheeky call to ask what I’m doing.

'Another time she thought for a second that me and a mate were going out, she thought we were gay because there was too much bromance going on.

'I told her a story about us getting drunk once and waking up next to each other and she took it the wrong way.

'So she ordered me to spend less time with my best mate Keith.' And as well as telling him what to do, Miss Felicitas even controls what he wears - with the sports coach often forced to don well-style leather boots - just because Arg from infamous reality show The Only Way Is Essex owns a pair.'

Over In Salisbury...

...a Usual Suspect™ tried to pull a gun on his intended victim, only to have the gun taken from him by that same victim and used against him.

And, of course, the Usual Suspect™ was a felon and not supposed to possess a handgun. Imagine that.

Quote of the Day

"If someone tells you they are a leader and they don't have anyone behind them, they are just taking a walk."

Found here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hunting Everglades Pythons...With Labrador Retrievers

92% success rate for the dogs, says the article:

"We found the use of detection dogs to be a valuable addition to the current tools used to manage and control pythons,” said Christina Romagosa, of AU’s School of Forestry and Wildlife, in a press release. The dogs can detect pythons from a distance and when they spot one they stop in their tracks and crouch. The pythons’ reaction is strangely poignant. Rather than striking when discovered, they curl up and hide.

“It’s their first line of defense,” said Melissa Miller, biological sciences doctoral student who handled the snakes. “People think when you catch a snake it’s going to come back biting at you...but they see us as a predator even though they’re a large snake.”

So far Jake and Ivy have located 19 pythons, one of which had 19 eggs.


Musical Reflection

When your Pandora internet music radio has stations named for such artists as Frank Zappa, Scott Joplin, Josquin Desprez, Cowboy Junkies, Henry Purcell, John Hiatt, Mike Oldfield, William Elliot Whitmore, Warren Zevon, Spirit, Paco Peña, Loreena McKennitt, Eliza McCarthy, Blackmore's Night, et. al., and you turn on the Shuffle feature for the first time, you're going to have some jarring but often pleasing juxtapositions of music.

Since I mentioned Joplin just now, let me link a little bit of it for you. If you're not a ragtime fan, you might not be familiar with it: Bethena.

More On Tommy Jordan

Tommy Jordan, the Albemarle, NC, man who shot his daughter's laptop as punishment for her embarrassing her family on Facebook, has continued to use Facebook himself to communicate with the world, bypassing the MSM and their ability to frame a narrative so as to suit their own agenda.

The more you read of what Jordan has to say, the more you realize he isn't anyone's fool, isn't the stereotype of a southern redneck, and isn't a bad parent:

2. What was your daughter’s reaction to the video?

Answer: It was what you'd expect I suppose if you came home and found your parents had tossed/broken/destroyed/or given away any toy you had as a kid. She was mad, but in the end she got over it pretty quickly. She didn't have the sensationalized response people seem to be assuming she would. Where we live though, guns to us aren't an anathema. They're a constitutional right that we enjoy being able to utilize fairly often. She's being raised around guns just like she's being raised around hammers. I think she would have had the same reaction if I'd smashed it with a hammer instead. If you mean "was she humiliated and forever scarred knowing people knew it"... No. She was embarrassed about being called out for the language she used. She was embarrassed her parents and grandparents and people from church were able to see it. She really doesn't seem bothered by what the world at large feels about it though. That may change over time, but that's true for now. Time will tell.

6. Does your daughter still do the dishes?

Answer: No more or less than the rest of us do. Yes, she still has her chores. No they haven't been reduced, but no they havent' been added to either. Chores are a necessary part of everyday life.

As adults we do them at work, at home, for our kids, for our spouses, for our pets, for the sake of our yard, etc. As a new person about to enter the work-force at the bottom-rung of some company, she's going to get a lot worse at her first job most likely. I know I did.

There are hundreds of chores we all (people in general) do daily. The few my kids do won't hurt them. And as far as "dishes" go, we're a busy house; gone all day at work and school, and home enough for usually one meal together at night if we're lucky enough to get that. So it's not like the loading/unloading of a dishwasher is going to kill her, nor is it a demeaning chore. I did it as a kid and so do my kids. I have to do it as an adult too. I'm not sure why anyone finds that cruel and unusual punishment. Maybe I'll even have the only kid at the college laundromat who knows how to separate whites from colors in the washing machine. Oh what a tough life...

Click the link to read the rest. There is an extended answer about how his IT work allows him to be far more knowledgeable about Facebook and other modern social media than most parents, and he details how he is able to monitor his children's activities/movements via their cell phones, etc. He even mentions having been able to catch a pervert via his monitoring efforts:

This hasn't made the media, but thanks to "snooping" I've already caught one thirty-year old man trying to set up a time to come over and have sex with one of my daughter's friends. My daughter happened to be over at that girl's house that night. This was about a year ago. I wouldn't ever tell the girl's name to anyone, but I called the cops and told them about it. Then I busted the same girl to the police for sending nude photos of underage boys to my daughter's facebook account. My kid was 13 at the time. The police could have buried that child UNDER the jail if they'd wanted to. Amazing... no one called CPS on that kid who actually NEEDED some intervention. You want to talk about a situation where CPS needs to get involved? Whew...

Good stuff.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Family Business

Making meth.

Grandpa, Mom, and the kids. Grandpa looks like he samples the product quite a bit.

From the peckerwood part of Florida, Dixie County.

Today's Homonyms: Rein, Rain, Reign

We reined in (stopped by pulling on reins) our horses when we saw the rain in the Kingdom of Squat, where King Adelbert reigns in (rules) great peace and prosperity.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wow, He Assimilated Quickly

"Polish man who battered elderly couple to death with a claw hammer had only been in Britain for EIGHT DAYS."

Headline of the Day

"Many Honduras fire inmates not convicted."

Ya know, I don't think that even the convicted ones merited burning, but maybe that's just me.

Tragic Violation of Rules 1, 2, and 4

A UK soldier killed his best friend in Afghanistan while cleaning his rifle:

Ranger Dalzell, of 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, died from a single shot to the chest while erecting a commemorative flag pole for a colleague who had been killed by an improvised explosive device.

The 20-year-old from Bangor in County Down, Northern Ireland, and his comrades had returned just 20 minutes earlier from a patrol in the Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand and were relaxing at Check Point Ranger when the incident happened at 11.20am on February 4, 2011.

Ranger Sean Barry had stripped and cleaned his SA-80 rifle in an attempt to stop the safety catch and magazine sticking but failed to notice the magazine was still attached as he carried out a functioning test and a shot was fired, killing his friend instantly.

Jeff Cooper's rules for gun safety can be found in my blog sidebar. Rule 1 is A gun is always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are. Rule 2 is 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.) Rule 4 is Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

The soldier who committed this tragic act isn't making excuses for himself:

Ranger Barry, who went through basic training at Catterick and joined The Royal Irish Regiment alongside Ranger Dalzell, had noticed the problem with his rifle following the morning patrol.

To clean the weapon he sat at the end of a bench at the front end of an accommodation tent facing outwards towards where Ranger Dalzell was helping to put up the flag pole.

"When it was issued we were told to clean it and make sure we were happy with it and it was functioning," Ranger Barry said.

"I got out my cleaning kit and laid it on the table... I went through each piece individually, cleaned the whole weapon.

"When it had been stripped it was still hard to move so I used a bit of oil to free it up.

"I put the magazine on and off again making sure the oil was making it easier to come on and off."

Ranger Barry then went on to carry out a functioning test. He told the court this was always done with the magazine - which contained live ammunition - off the weapon.

"I did not realise the magazine was still attached," Ranger Barry said.

Asked if the rifle was pointed in a safe direction, he simply replied: "No."

"I was expecting just a click, but the force when it went off was a big shock to the system," Ranger Barry said.

The shot was fired out of the open accommodation tent and hit Ranger Dalzell, who was not wearing any body armour, in the chest.

Ranger Barry was working since 3am that morning and went out on patrol at 5.30am returning around 11am.

"We were tired for four or five months, so we got used to it, but I'd never use that as an excuse," Ranger Barry said.

"There were days where you were tired, but that was our job.

"It (weapons handling) is trained into you, when you're confident and you've done it a few times it does become second nature to you, but I'm not using that as an excuse."

The punishment?

Ranger Barry pleaded guilty at a court martial to a charge of negligently performing a duty while handling a service rifle causing the unintended discharge of a round.

He was sentenced to six months detention suspended for a year.

That, and a lifetime memory of having killed his best friend.

Robert Ruark, in The Old Man and the Boy, discussed gun safety:

I've seen just about everything happen with a gun. One fellow I know used to stand like Dan'l Boone with his hands crossed on the muzzle of his shotgun, and one day something mysterious happened and the gun went off and now he hasn't got any hands any more, which makes it inconvenient for him.

I've seen drunks messing with "unloaded" guns and the guns go off in the house, sobering everybody up. An automatic went crazy on me in a duck blind one day and fired every shot in its magazine. Habit had the gun pointed away from the other fellow, or I'd of shot his head off with a gun that was leaping like a crazy fire hose. I saw a man shoot his foot nearly off with a rifle he thought he'd ejected all the cartridges out of. I saw another man on a deer hunt fire into a bush a buck went into and make a widow out of his best friend's wife.

Jailed For Eating Pussy

"Man jailed for cooking and eating pet cats."

Out in California, as you might expect.

Anyone but me remember Twain talking of Spaniards eating cats in The Innocents Abroad?

Spain chastised the Moors five or six years ago, about a disputed piece of property opposite Gibraltar, and captured the city of Tetouan. She compromised on an augmentation of her territory, twenty million dollars' indemnity in money, and peace. And then she gave up the city. But she never gave it up until the Spanish soldiers had eaten up all the cats. They would not compromise as long as the cats held out. Spaniards are very fond of cats. On the contrary, the Moors reverence cats as something sacred. So the Spaniards touched them on a tender point that time. Their unfeline conduct in eating up all the Tetouan cats aroused a hatred toward them in the breasts of the Moors, to which even the driving them out of Spain was tame and passionless. Moors and Spaniards are foes forever now. France had a minister here once who embittered the nation against him in the most innocent way. He killed a couple of battalions of cats (Tangier is full of them) and made a parlor carpet out of their hides. He made his carpet in circles—first a circle of old gray tomcats, with their tails all pointing toward the center; then a circle of yellow cats; next a circle of black cats and a circle of white ones; then a circle of all sorts of cats; and, finally, a centerpiece of assorted kittens. It was very beautiful, but the Moors curse his memory to this day.

World's Hottest Pepper: New Champion

The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Pepper is the hottest now.

1.2 million Scovilles in heat, with some individual peppers topping 2 million.


Treasure Blog: US Double Eagle Gold Coins, Champagne, France

497 of them, hidden in an attic, came raining down during renovations.

Dated 1851-1928, so they are Liberty Head and St. Gauden's pattern.


Value over one million USD.

Workers get half of them? Sweet. Guess they were taken out of the US to avoid Franklin Roosevelt's roundup of gold coins.

Setbacks For the Chinese Space Program

He forgot he was supposed to hop onto the manhole cover before it ignited:

Well, that's not what really happened, of course. Glad he's not too badly injured.

"Empathy Belly?"


CAMP ZAMA, Japan – The Army is ordering its hardened combat veterans to wear fake breasts and empathy bellies so they can better understand how pregnant soldiers feel during physical training.

This week, 14 noncommissioned officers at Camp Zama took turns wearing the “pregnancy simulators” as they stretched, twisted and exercised during a three-day class that teaches them to serve as fitness instructors for pregnant soldiers and new mothers.

Can't really blame this PC horseshit on Obama, either, because it appears that it began in 2008, before Obama was elected.

Here's a video:

*shakes head sadly*

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tommy Jordan Makes Day By Day

Tommy Jordan, the Albemarle, NC, man who shot his daughter's laptop computer to doll rags, is featured in today's Day By Day cartoon by Chris Muir:

Way to go, Tommy!

Coons Invade Florida School


They invaded mine back in '67, as I recall. How terrible:

Wild raccoons have invaded a South Florida school named Woodlands Middle, putting parents in a panic.

Students contacted by say the raccoons have been running wild in the Lake Worth school for weeks.

One raccoon urinated on a child. "You're sitting at your desk, doing your class work and all of a sudden there's liquid running from the ceiling," a mother told WPEC in Palm Beach County.

Santorum Wins...

...the coveted Megadeth Guitarist endorsement.

"Earlier in the election, I was completely oblivious as to who Rick Santorum was, but when the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable. Also, just watching how he hasn't gotten into doing these horrible, horrible attack ads like Mitt Romney's done against Newt Gingrich, and then the volume at which Newt has gone back at Romney… You know, I think Santorum has some presidential qualities, and I'm hoping that if it does come down to it, we'll see a Republican in the White House... and that it's Rick Santorum."

Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined...

...that electric cigarettes are dangerous to your health.

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Fire officials say an electric cigarette exploded in a Florida man's mouth, severely burning his face and knocking out some of his front teeth.

North Bay Fire Department Division Chief Joseph Parker says it appears the cigarette's battery exploded while the man was smoking Monday night. Parker likened it to a bottle rocket going off in the man's mouth. He also lost part of his tongue.

Parker says the man had been using electric cigarettes to help him quit smoking.

Well, if that doesn't encourage him to quit, nothing will. Alternatively, he may go back to non-electric cigarettes as less immediately dangerous.

One Man's Hike Is Another Man's Cut

"Obama: A payroll tax hike will damage recovery."

What it actually is, is the end of a payroll tax "holiday" that was passed earlier in Obama's term of office. Sort of like the "tax cut for the rich" that was passed by President Bush way back in the early 2000's. Why is it that ending a tax cut that Democrats approve of is referred to as a "tax hike" but the ending of a tax that Democrats disapprove of is "letting the Bush tax cuts expire?"

Never mind, we know the answer to that.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Yer NC LOL of the Day

The Republicans send Valentines to the Obama Administration.

Here's the one for North Carolina:

They're all pretty snarky. Attorney General Holder, of course, professes not to know of any Valentines crossing his desk. Some are a bit "inside Washington," for instance the Dennis Kucinich Valentine: most Americans aren't all that familiar with Kucinich, and don't realize he's not much taller than a hobbit, although he looks more like an Orc, if you're going to speak in Lord of the Rings terms.

Funny stuff.

Via Instapundit.

Be Your Own Death Panel!

A UK Doctor offers "a deeply provocative confession" that most medical professionals such as himself would rather not be subjected to the heroic measures and treatments typically used in terminally ill patients (such as those with cancer).

He advocates just putting on a stiff upper lip and refusing treatment, just lie there quietly in your sickbed until death comes for you.

Left unsaid is that it's less of an expense to the State if you do it that way.

Also left unsaid is that doctors like himself have an option unavailable to the general public, which is to self-administer a lethal dose of meds - - illegal, of course, but you can't prosecute a corpse. And the State saves money even in that instance.

Well, Hell. You Only Live Once.

Might as well have some fun while you're young enough to enjoy it:

Taylor Burnham, 18, was arrested on drunk driving charges after she was spotted wearing only cowboy boots in Corpus Christie, Texas, and then led police on a low-speed chase in her Jeep Wrangler.

Police were called to an alley behind homes in one of the city's subdivisions about 3.30am Sunday.

When officers arrived and spotted Burnham, she was standing stark naked -- except for a pair of cowboy boots -- near her Jeep.

Instead of stopping, Burnham climbed into her vehicle and drove off.

She proceeded to lead police on a low-speed chase, never exceeding 30 miles per hour.

No nude pics available, unfortunately - - or fortunately, since she's rather mousy-looking in the head/shoulders photo provided.

Of Course This Doesn't Surprise Me

Sean Penn thinks that the Falkland Islands should be given to Argentina.

Monday, February 13, 2012

King Solomon's Mines?

Well, the Queen of Sheba's, anyway.

British archaeologists have struck gold with a discovery that may solve the mystery of where the Queen of Sheba unearthed her fabled treasures.

According to the Bible, the ruler of Sheba, which spanned modern-day Ethiopa and Yemen, travelled to King Solomon in Jerusalem, bringing 120 talents (four-and-half tons) of gold.

Now an ancient goldmine, together with the ruins of a temple, has been found on the high Gheralta plateau in northern Ethiopia, part of the Queen's former territory.

You'd have to figure that the mines have been worked out by now, but who knows?

Zombie Apocalypse Refuge - - Town Sized

Watching AMC's hit show The Walking Dead last night, I got to pondering, as I often do, about good refuges for survivors to head for that wish to be safe from the zombies. Now I've often thought that an island somewhere would be the perfect solution, with some qualifications: it must be accessible to those who survived the apocalypse; it must be large enough to support agriculture, because even canned, dried and freeze-dried foodstuffs in stores will quickly run out, yet small enough so that survivors can clear it of zombies in short order.

We have such a place in North Carolina: Roanoke Island, the site of Sir Walter Raleigh's "Lost Colony."

Look at this map:

As you can see, Roanoke Island is located between the NC mainland and the Outer Banks. The Banks themselves aren't really suitable for agriculture, although they could support a fishing economy. They are also subject to devastation by hurricanes. Roanoke, within the shallow sounds, is shielded from the worst damage that hurricanes can inflict, that of storm surge. Access to the island is via three bridges that are easily blocked off. Since you have bridges both to the mainland and to the Banks, you have land escape routes in two directions, and boats give you even more options.

Disadvantages to Roanoke Island as a refuge is its proximity to the Norfolk metropolitan area; if I can figure out that the island would make a good refuge, you can bet many others have, too. It's possible that other areas of coastal NC would make good refuges, also.

Not One For Sherlock Holmes

"Man accused of assault with bottle."

A Raleigh man is accused of assault with a wine bottle. Reginald Ray Bass, 36, of Raleigh faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon causing serious injury, assault with a deadly weapon and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Bass is accused of assaulting someone with a broken Wild Irish Rose bottle and stealing beer from the victim.

Santiago Matamoros*...

...pray for us.

BARCELONA, Spain -- Bullfighting is now illegal in the Spanish province of Catalonia. Some arenas have been converted into business spaces.

But Muslims want to turn the most famous arena, the Coliseum, into a giant mosque.

In fact, some cities in Spain now look more like the Middle East. Muslims, who once ruled most of nation, are returning in large numbers.

In the city of Salt, parents have come to pick up their children from school. Muslims already make up 40 percent of city residents and will soon be the majority.

Click the link to read the rest. Islam famously conquered Spain, taking it from the Goths, and were in turn expelled by the Spanish Catholics led by Ferdinand and Isabel, who also sponsored Columbus. What do you call it when the Muslims return again to reverse the reconquest?

*St. James the Moor-Slayer,the patron of Spain.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Walking Dead - - Impressions, Episode "Nebraska."

Some impressions on tonight's episode, "Nebraska."

People - - in this case, Hershel, then Lorie - - continue to make impulsive, stupid decisions. I guess, though, if they didn't, it would be a fairly boring show.

Rick "went Shane" on those two Yankees at the end of the show, didn't he? Glenn just stood there gaping.

Fat guys don't get a break in The Walking Dead. Otis got shot by Shane and fed to the walkers, pissing fatso tonight got shot by Rick, and don't forget that fat walker in the well. Looks like fat guys are the Red Shirts of the Walking Dead universe.

Putting the previews for next week's show after the first commercial break for The Comic Men is simultaneously shrewd and manipulative. What it did, was piss me off.

Virginia Can't Be Bothered

Look closely:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Meanwhile, In the Back Yard...

One of three deer that were browsing in the yard just now. We have a Duke Power pylon corridor that runs behind the house, and the deer use it as a path to move from one area to another.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Smells Like...Fish

Meanwhile, in Newfoundland, Canada, a teacher is in trouble for spraying a fish-smelling student with Febreeze.

Which immediately brought to mind an old song by Roosevelt Sykes (among others):

Or, hell. Since I'm going there, might as well go all the way with it:

Joke of the Day

via the UK Telegraph:

"I had a car crash the other day. A dwarf got out the other car and said, 'I'm not happy'. To which I replied, 'Which one are you then?"

It won in a reader's poll over there. I LOL'd for real.

Why Does Obama Hate M1 Carbines?


The Korea Times is reporting that while it has will allow 86,000 historical M1 Garand rifles to be imported from South Korea, the Obama administration continues to block the importation of some 600,000 M1 Carbines because “they come with a magazine that can carry multiple rounds.”

15 rounds, to be exact. They are also equipped with bayonet lugs. Thus, the M1 Carbine falls under the criteria of an assault weapon as specified in Bill Clinton's now-expired Assault Weapons Ban, which Obama is on record as wishing to re-institute.

Thus, for Obama to allow 600,000 assault weapons into the US would be to expose him to the derision of his gun-hating base as a hypocrite. Not that he hasn't done so numerous times already...

They Lived Together, and Died Together...

...just 88 minutes apart.

James and Marjorie Landis of Westmont, Pa., were married for 65 years and, friends say, were almost always together.

This week, Marjorie died at age 87 and, just 88 minutes later, James, 89, also passed away, suffering from a heart attack, TheTribune Democrat says.

The newspaper quotes granddaughter Erin Miller as saying James was at his wife's side when she died on Monday.

"The last thing he said to her was, 'It's OK. I love you. We had many good years together. I will see you real soon,'" Miller says.

It's as if the husband willed himself to death, so great was his anguish at being away from his beloved wife.

What a wonderful thing, to have that powerful a love in your life.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Today's Viral Video

This is currently burning up the internet and facebook:

The Facebook page for the father, Tommy Jordan, is here. I notice he lives 30 miles east of here, in Albemarle, NC. I ought to go buy him a beer sometime. Hell of a guy.

Your reaction to this will probably fall along the blue/red divide. Blue parents/individuals will probably see Tommy as a dangerous individual, a cruel father who needs to have the State called and his guns taken away. Red parents/individuals will probably applaud his actions. Just read the comments on the Facebook and you'll see what I mean.

h/t Kurt at A Trainwreck In Maxwell.

update:He's made the UK Daily Mail. Drudge should be next, I guess. He posted this follow-up on Facebook refusing to go before media, but that will probably fall by the wayside in a day or so. I hope he's consulted a lawyer, I think that, unfortunately, he's going to need one.

Update 2, 4:00 p.m. Friday: Drudge finally noticed. The father (Tommy Jordan) has been posting updates regularly since he got home from work. I'd imagine the Raleigh and Charlotte news stations are camped outside his house, hoping for interviews. We'll see what he does.

Update 3, 4:17 p.m., Friday: Yep, they called the cops and DSS on him.

Understatement of the Day

"Running a ship aground is not a helpful thing for your career.”

That career was that of Oliver Hazard Perry, the US Naval hero of the War of 1812. The ship was USS Revenge, which Perry ran onto a reef in 1811. The Navy thinks it has located the wreck of the Revenge.

Random Musing

In the 16th Century King Henry VIII made himself the head of the Catholic Church in England, and dissolved the monasteries, confiscating the properties for the Crown.

In the 21st Century King Barack I made himself the head of the Catholic Church in the USA, and nationalized the Church's hospitals, confiscating the properties for the State.

Update: Great minds think alike?

Zombies Return On Sunday

The second half of the 2nd season of The Walking Dead returns on Sunday.

"The second half is all fireworks," says actor Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon). "It's just bang-bang-bang the whole time."

Concerning online chatter about an upcoming death, Reedus says: "There's at least one major loss coming, but I don't think it's exactly what people think. There are a lot of rumors going around."

And what about Daryl's missing brother, Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), making an appearance? "You might see that big brother of mine, but I don't know what I can talk about," Reedus says. "I like my job and want to try and keep it as long as possible."

Musical Interlude

The Cowboy Junkies performing Vic Chesnutt's Flirted With You All My Life.

I am a man
I am self-aware
And everywhere I go
You're always right there with me

I flirted with you all my life
Even kissed you once or twice
And to this day I swear it was nice
But clearly I was not ready

When you touched a friend of mine
I thought I would lose my mind
But I found out with time that
really I was was not ready, no no

Oh, Death
Oh, Death
Oh, Death
Really, I'm not ready

Oh, Death you hector me
Decimate those dear to me
Tease me with your sweet release
You are cruel and you are constant

When my mom was cancer sick
She fought but then succumb to it
But you made her beg for it
Lord Jesus, please I'm ready.

Oh, Death
Oh, Death
Oh, Death
Really, I'm not ready

Chesnutt, a partial quadriplegic from age 18, attempted suicide on at least four different occasions, and finally succumbed to an overdose of pills in 2009. Presumably by then he was ready.

It's Like a No-Prize, Right?*

I've been awarded a Liebster Award by Navy One at The Mellow Jihadi. Thank you.

This is it:

Since this is basically a blogger's version of a chain letter, I'm required to post these rules, and pick five fortunate victims to further spread the disease award:

1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave us the award.
3. Pick our five favorite blogs with fewer than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs.

And my five fortunate victims are:


2. Primordial Slack.

3. The Reluctant Paladin.

4. The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.

5. Irons In the Fire.

Congratulations to all.


The Transition To a Service Economy

Walter Russell Mead has a fine essay on the paradigm shift from a farming economy in the 19th century to a manufacturing economy in the 20th, and the current shift to a service economy in the 21st.

In the 19th century the average American ate more food than almost any other person on the planet as measured by caloric intake, but many suffered vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to limited diets. In the 20th century the quality and variety of food greatly increased; Americans ate more meals in restaurants and their restaurants kept getting better. In the 21st century our food will be better still: more hygienically grown, fresher, more nourishing, more attractively presented, incorporating wider varieties of flavoring and so forth.

Mead doesn't view this pessimistically or fatalistically, either:

Many of the dystopian fears about the future that lead people to cling to blue model ideas — and the belief that mass manufacturing employment is the only conceivable model that can provide good living standards — are rooted in this concern that the economy is all about the hard stuff. There are fears that we will transition from a world of well paid steelworkers in secure lifetime jobs to a world of baristas and waiters without money, without respect, and without any kind of security or dignity.

In any case, the new service economy is not just going to be a world of pool boys and pedicurists. It will be a world in which more students get individualized educational counseling from a growing group of education coaches and guides. There will be people who help us manage our technical and information systems: you may have a neighborhood Geek Squad type outfit that not only fixes computers when they go wrong but helps you manage and run all the information-dependent appliances and operations that make your home and life work. More people will work with fitness, nutrition and whole-person health professionals. Many of the services that the very rich enjoy today will be adapted to the needs and the pocketbooks of the middle and lower middle class tomorrow. You may have a life and work coach or agent who helps you manage your ongoing lifetime of learning and recertification as you learn new skills and move into new kinds of work. Many of the consulting services that large companies now have will be available to much smaller enterprises. Busy married couples with two good incomes already live in a cloud of people who help with everything from child care to lawn care; there will be more and more services targeted at this market, and more and more people will earn good livings working with upper income clients who have plenty of money but little time.

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

'Cause One Out of Three...Is Bad*

Geoffrey Dickens does a fine analysis of the coverage given to the Fast & Furious scandal by the Big Three media networks (ABC, CBS, NBC).

Only one of the three networks - - CBS - - DID ITS FUCKING JOB by reporting on the scandal during the period March of 2011 to February of 2012 (and the reporter for CBS, Sheryl Atkisson, was briefly muzzled at the direction of the White House).

So the next time a particular commenter comes onto this blog to sneer Fox News! at me: STFU.

h/t David Codrea.

*apologies to Meat Loaf.

Fire Ice?

Methane trapped in ice, discovered off the coast of Scotland:

A new wonder fuel dubbed ‘fire ice’ could be buried under the Scottish coast, according to government ministers and experts.

They suspect that massive quantities of methane hydrates reserves are locked of the coast of western Shetland, and that there is possibly enough to last 300 years.

The sherbet-like substance, which consists of methane trapped in ice, has already been tipped by energy experts to be the next major energy resource.

Don't you remember that particular passage from Exodus?

Now Moses Angus kept the flock of Jethro Sholto his father in law, the priest of Midian Donnan: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb Ben Nevis.

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of an bush ice cube: and he looked, and, behold, the bush cube burned with fire, and the bush cube was not consumed.

And Moses Angus said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush ice cube is not burnt.

And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush ice cube, and said, Moses, Moses "Angus, Angus." And he said, "Here am I."

And He said, "Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."


Prediction: Og will be doing experiments involving farting into a milk jug half-full of water and placed into the freezer in 3...2...1...

Just Call HIm "Toby."

Over in UK, the BBC instructs its journalists to not refer to Al-Qaeda leader Abu Qatada as "an extremist."

They prefer the word radical. It's less judgmental, the BBC says.

Oh, and stop referring to him as fat, too. He's lost weight, you see.


How about we just call him Toby?

We're Not Talking Yer Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Here

In North Pole, Alaska (yes you heard that right), Stanislaus Grzeskowiak "threatened to teach "crackheads" how to make "electromagnetic distortion devices" unless the state paid him $85,000."

Sgt. Jess Carson says the 36-year-old called state troopers Friday and said he knew how to use discarded televisions to make devices that could block police radios, computer communication and cellphones. He also threatened to cut the communications of oil companies and credit card companies if he didn't get the money.

Authorities say Grzeskowiak blames the state and companies for his financial situation, lack of education and marital problems.

Well, he can certainly blame the state for his lack of education, presuming he went to a public school.

I wonder if he had a sooper-sekrit chillbilly James Bond villain's hideout?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

And Then There Were None

The world's last known veteran of WWI has died.

LONDON — Florence Green, the world's last known veteran of World War I, has died at the age of 110, the care home where she lived said Tuesday.

Briar House Care Home in King's Lynn, England, said Green died Saturday, two weeks before her 111th birthday.

Born Florence Beatrice Patterson in London on Feb. 19, 1901, she joined the Women's Royal Air Force in September 1918 at the age of 17.

She went to work as a waitress in the officers' mess at RAF Marham in eastern England and was serving there when the war ended in November 1918.

Green remembered her wartime service with affection.

"I met dozens of pilots and would go on dates," she said in an interview in 2008. "I had the opportunity to go up in one of the planes but I was scared of flying. I would work every hour God sent. But I had dozens of friends on the base and we had a great deal of fun in our spare time. In many ways, I had the time of my life."

She was officially recognized as a veteran when a researcher found her service record in the National Archives.

The RAF marked her 110th birthday in February 2011 with a cake.

Question In Passing

How many of y'all got free pizzas from Papa John's because of the coin toss result in the Super Bowl this past Sunday? I did, and had it as a late supper last night.

Boy, That's the Way... get on someone's good side, ain't it?

The Southern Poverty Law Center hires a "journalist" to dig up dirt on Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars. In his letter to Vanderboegh requesting information the "journalist" asks:

I'd also like to hear your thoughts on your novel "Absolved." Is it becoming the new "Turner Dairies" for the extremist movement and was that your intention in writing it?

Did this guy really misspell "Diaries" as "Dairies?"

What a maroon:

Monday, February 06, 2012


Trevor Ablett pocketknife:

Ablett is a "Little Mester" craftsman of Sheffield, England, making his pocketknives one at a time, by hand. He uses natural materials - - stag, buffalo horn, and rosewood - - with brass fittings and carbon steel blades, and at a price that is far below what a custom maker in the US would be charging. I paid $72.53 for this one, that includes shipping from UK. A similar knife from a US custom maker will usually be priced three times higher than that, or even more. Fit and finish are absolutely superb, too. Ablett has reached retirement age in UK terms, so won't be making knives for too much longer; if you want one, better act quickly, because it can't be predicted when he will put down his tools. Some of his knives are available for immediate shipment, while for others there is a short (usually a month or two) waiting list.

Trevor Ablett Knives.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Remember Daryl Gates?

I was just now reading this story:

"NJ Robber Dies After Trying to Steal Phone from Former HS Wrestler."

A Newark man died after a tussle with a former high school wrestler he tried to rob early Saturday, NBC New York has learned.

Law-enforcement sources told NBC New York that 30-year-old Gian Davis approached two men near Bloomfield Avenue at about 1:15 a.m. and asked for change.

When the men said "no," he then asked to borrow a cell phone, grabbed it and tried to run off with it, sources said.

One of the men lunged to get the phone back and Davis put him in a headlock, according to sources. Then, law-enforcement sources say the other man, a former high school wrestler, pulled Davis off his friend and put the would-be robber in a headlock.

It was strong enough that Davis apparently choked to death, sources familiar with the investigation said.

That the robbery suspect was black made me recall former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, who, after several incidents of black crime suspects dying from LAPD choke holds, speculated in a press briefing that perhaps the veins and arteries of black people didn't open back up as in "normal" people. It caused the usual outrage among the usual people, and Gates had to issue the usual apology. Police novelist Joseph Wambaugh picked up the incident and mentioned it in one of his novels.

Random Speculation

If Ron Paul goes into the Republican National Convention with a lot of delegates (but not enough to take the nomination), what will he ask the Romney people for?

1. A say in the composition of the party platform?

2. A pledge to dismantle the Federal Reserve and/or several Cabinet-level agencies?

3. His son, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) as Romney's VP running mate?

4. A place for himself in the Romney administration?

I'm thinking the third option is the most likely.

We're Racist and Dumb and We Easily Cum

According to a study that found its way into Yahoo! News, "Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice."

On the bright side, though, "Republicans are more likely than Democrats to achieve orgasm during sex: survey."


Was reading my RSS feed for the Raleigh News & Observer just now:

Cops...Krispy don't think that the close proximity of those two stories is intentional, do you?

Nah. Must be a coincidence.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Damn, I'd Have Killed For One Of These... a kid:

Well, Ain't That Embarrassing

Blogger does fact-checking that professional journalists didn't bother doing:

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — An Army reservist in Afghanistan with the 425th Civil Affairs Battalion who told Stars and Stripes that he deployed during the Vietnam War has come under military investigation for apparently lying about his prior combat service.

Staff Sgt. Larry Marquez, a civil affairs specialist, stated that he deployed to Cambodia in 1973 after enlisting at age 17 with his parents’ consent.

A story about Marquez ran under the headline “Vietnam vet joins ‘today’s war’ ” in Jan. 13 editions of Stars and Stripes and was also published on the newspaper’s website.

Stars and Stripes failed to perform basic fact-checking to verify any of Marquez’ claims about his service record. The newspaper was alerted to inconsistencies in Marquez’s account by a blogger, Jonn Lilyea, who runs the military blog “This Ain’t Hell.”

Kudos to Stars and Stripes for acknowledging the lapse and not burying the correction where no one would notice it. Even more kudos to This Ain't Hell, which should be on every vet's blogroll.

We'll Give You An Advanced Course...In Chipping Paint

The US Navy has a solution for those underperforming sailors who are in danger of being involuntarily separated from Naval service.

A new Navy policy aimed at filling vacancies aboard ships could give sailors a leg up as the service continues to pare down its troop numbers.

Sailors who participate in a voluntary sea duty program can postpone their mandatory application for Perform to Serve, a program that has involuntarily separated thousands of enlisted sailors in recent years.

The emphasis on adding sea billets continues a process that became public last year, when top Navy officials added 2,200 billets back to ships after conceding that several years of a program known as “optimal manning” had failed. Optimal manning trimmed ship billets and transferred more work to shore support facilities. However, a 2010 report headed by retired Vice Adm. Phillip Balisle found that the policy contributed to situations where “ships cannot maintain an acceptable level of shipboard material readiness, especially corrosion control.”

Before You Romney-Haters Head For Home With Your Little Ball... this.

As the Rolling Stones famously sang, You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.

"But Bob," you might say, "I wanted So-and-So to run. If (s)he doesn't run, I'll stay home."

Life ain't Burger King, bud. You don't get to have it your way.

Why didn't So-and-So run? First off, (s)he might not have the fire in the belly, the ambition to be President. (S)he might be happy as a Congressman, Senator, Governor.

So-and-So might have skeletons in the closet that (s)he doesn't want exposed to the light of day. Herman Cain certainly did, didn't he?

So-and-So might be well known to you and your clique, but not to the rest of the country. Coming out of nowhere to run for the Presidency of the United States just isn't done. If you were to try it at all, it would have to be as a Democrat, so as to have the mainstream media on your side. As a Republican, that isn't happening. "But Bob, that's not fair!" You didn't learn about life's fundamental unfairness in kindergarten? Time to grow up. Candidates these days have to run for the office several times before the public recognizes you to be a valid contender. Reagan ran twice, remember. This is Ron Paul's third time, and Romney's second time. You have to be in it for the long haul.

Even if So-and-So has the ambition and lack of skeletons, (s)he might not have the intestinal fortitude to stand the savage vetting (s)he'll get from the MSM. People want to be liked and popular. If you're a Republican candidate for President, the MSM will do its best to make sure that you are neither. Their love is for the Democrat, and they never stray.