Saturday, March 31, 2012

Give Your Purse To the Nice Choirboy...

befo' he shoot yo cracker ass.

Mama Says He's A Choirboy.

Who you gonna believe, his mama or yo lyin' eyes?

Wirecutter Is Getting Married Tomorrow


All right. We're fucking done here. The house has been cleaned over and over, the yard has been cut, the lists have been checked and double checked, the guest bathroom is sealed off, I got about $100 worth of pig in the icebox to go in the smoker later tonight, we got salad for the token gay couple, and I had the presence of mind to stash quick reloads of various calibers around the house and put a razor's edge on my KA-BAR in case of trouble.
I'm ready to get married tomorrow.

Go, and read the whole glorious thing.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Poem of the Day

I'll credit a YouTube clip for turning me on to this one. Here's David O'Hara (Braveheart's Stephen of Ireland) as the Earl of Surrey from The Tudors:

And here is the poem in full:

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. 1516–47

41. The Means to attain Happy Life

MARTIAL, the things that do attain
The happy life be these, I find:—
The richesse left, not got with pain;
The fruitful ground, the quiet mind;

The equal friend; no grudge, no strife;
No charge of rule, nor governance;
Without disease, the healthful life;
The household of continuance;

The mean diet, no delicate fare;
True wisdom join'd with simpleness;
The night dischargèd of all care,
Where wine the wit may not oppress.

The faithful wife, without debate;
Such sleeps as may beguile the night:
Contented with thine own estate
Ne wish for death, ne fear his might.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Slightly Blasphemous Note In Passing

My commenters, my commenters, why have you forsaken me?

I'd say it in the original Aramaic, but I'm not a scholar of that language, unfortunately.

It's What You Call Escalation

He just got out of jail in January on a common-law robbery conviction, now he's robbed a bank.

Well, banks are a federal offense, so he'll probably get a serious prison stretch this time. He needs it; apparently he's already institutionalized.

Meanwhile, In Seneca, SC...

...we see the MSM's preferred outcome in black/white encounters:

Police have charged six black men with beating a white man outside a Seneca restaurant and have sent information about the attack to the FBI to determine if hate crime charges should also be filed.

Authorities say the victim told investigators that a group of men called him racially charged names as he walked to his vehicle in the parking lot March 17.

The man told police he was hit, and when he tried to fight back, the group attacked him.

But hey, at least he didn't pull out a gun and shoot those animals. Gotta look on the bright side, right?

How About a Little Celeb Oblige?

Noblesse Oblige:The Oxford English Dictionary says that the term "suggests noble ancestry constrains to honorable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility". Being a noble meant that one had responsibilities to lead, manage and so on. One was not to simply spend one's time in idle pursuits.

Well, the United States of America doesn't have hereditary aristocracy, of course, but it does have a cult of celebrity which serves as a substitute; celebrities are fawned over and cosseted, their lives dissected in magazines and on TV shows for the masses to consume.

And yet, these celebs, unlike the hereditary aristocrats of old don't seem to understand the concept of Noblesse Oblige:

Alec Baldwin sics his twitter followers on an internet troll.

Spike Lee publishes what he thought was the address of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman, not knowing (as if this matters) that it was the wrong address. What purpose is served by publishing the address, other than hoping that the mob lynches Zimmerman?

And now Roseanne Barr has committed the same offense that Spike Lee committed.

If you're going to enjoy great wealth, power and prestige in the US, the very least that we might expect is for you NOT TO SHIT ON THE PEASANTRY.

A Victory For 2nd Amendment In NC

A federal district court judge in North Carolina has just struck down that state’s emergency power to impose a ban on firearms and ammunition outside the home during a declared emergency, ruling that the provision violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

In his opinion, Judge Malcolm J. Howard, senior United States district judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, wrote, “…the court finds that the statutes at issue here are subject to strict scrutiny…While the bans imposed pursuant to these statutes may be limited in duration, it cannot be overlooked that the statutes strip peaceable, law abiding citizens of the right to arm themselves in defense of hearth and home, striking at the very core of the Second Amendment.”

Alan Gura and the Second Amendment Foundation, on the case. Another nail in the coffin of Governor Beverly Perdue, who was instrumental in getting the ban passed.

Read the whole thing. This is a Big Deal for the state of NC.

h/t David Codrea.

Greater Love Hath No Man...

In Afghanistan, a National Guardsman gave up his life...for an Afghan child who was in danger of being run over by a troop transport.

According to the Rhode Island National Guard and the U.S. Army, Weichel was in a convoy a week ago with his unit in Laghman Province, in northeast Afghanistan. Some children were in the road in front of the convoy, and Weichel and other troops got out to move them out of the way.
Most of the children moved, but one little girl went back to pick up some brass shell casings in the road. Afghan civilians often recycle the casings, and the girl appeared to aim to do that. But a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle was moving toward her, according to Lt. Col. Denis Riel of the Rhode Island National Guard.
MRAPs, as they are known, usually weigh more than 16 tons.
Weichel saw massive truck bearing down on the girl and grabbed her out of the way. But in the process, the armored truck ran him over, Riel said.

Is it likely to cause Afghans (other than the girl's parents) to cease hating Americans? Probably not.

Take up the White man's burden --
Send forth the best ye breed --
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness
On fluttered folk and wild --
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.

Quote of the Day

"Not having blood on your hands doesn’t mean you haven’t helped serve up the scapegoat."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

24-Carat Snark From Chris Muir

The Day By Day cartoonist summarizes the Obama gun control and civil rights records in three brief panels in today's strip:

Masterly, Chris.

Bring a Gun To Church?

Down in Boiling Springs, SC, not far from Spartanburg, where the local sheriff made headlines for advocating concealed carry of guns by women for self-defense.

Looks like the sheriff's advice might have prevented a tragedy in a church down there:

A South Carolina sheriff who urged women in his county to get a concealed weapons permit after a rape in a park last year says a congregant with a gun may have kept bloodshed from happening in a Spartanburg County church.

Authorities say 38-year-old Jesse Gates was armed with a shotgun when he kicked in a door Sunday at the Southside Freewill Baptist Church.

Sheriff Chuck Wright says the pastor’s grandson saw Gates coming toward the church with the gun. He pulled out his pistol and aimed it at Gates after he broke in. That allowed the pastor to take the shotgun away.

We're starting to see more of this scenario as more and more law-abiding citizens acquire concealed carry permits. After a while these encounters stop being anecdotes and start becoming statistical data, which can be used to shoot down even more gun control arguments.

Why, If President Obama Had a Son...

...these two LaMarque, Texas, robbery suspects might look just like him!

Then again, maybe this blue-light bandit might look like Obama, too.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Remember Susan Boyle?

Remember Susan Boyle, the frumpy middle-aged woman who shocked the world with her singing on Britain's Got Talent?

Well, this isn't about her. It's about another would-be star on that same show, with the same sort of initial reaction from the judges and audience, only to be replaced by jaw-dropping amazement at the voice that this fat 17-year-old boy conjures forth. He looks like a male Cass Elliot, and has the voice of a Pavarotti.

Click here to see history repeat itself.

h/t Amy Alkon.

I Don't Care How They Do It There

Re-surveying the borderline between North and South Carolina is causing some butthurt:

LAKE WYLIE, S.C. | Relatively small errors by surveyors using stakes, hatchets and mental arithmetic 240 years ago could mean the end of Victor Boulware's tiny convenience store.

For decades, officials thought the land where the store sits was in South Carolina because maps said the boundary with North Carolina drawn back in the 1700s was just to the north.

But modern-day surveyors, using computers and GPS systems, redrew the border to narrow it down to the centimeter. Their results put the new line about 150 feet south of the old one and placed Boulware's Lake Wylie Minimarket in North Carolina, where the gas prices are 30 cents higher and the fireworks that boost his bottom line are illegal.

"If I end up across the line, it is going to shut this business down," Boulware said.

Click the link to read the rest.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The P-47 of Green Swamp, NC

The story of who flew it and how it ended up in a swamp in North Carolina for most of its life.

Together with a gallery of 96 photos.

Well worth reading for you aviation buffs among my readers.

Treasure Blog: 50-Carat Emerald

Up in Hiddenite, NC:


I Must Have Had a Premonition

Well, we had a savage thunderstorm pass through the Charlotte area this morning, so we shut down the desktop computer, and when we tried to re-start it, of course it had given up the ghost, the boot files corrupt from years of use and several cleanups after spyware/virus infections. I used to have a Windows XP disc, but I loaned it to my sister to loan to a friend, and that poor soul died while in possession of it, so I never got it back. Since this past Friday was payday I ordered a new disc off of eBay, it should be here next week. In the meantime I'm on my netbook here at home. I'll try to keep up with the blogging, but it's more of a chore on the netbook than it is on the desktop.

Friday, March 23, 2012

If You Visited Orton Plantation...

before it closed to visitors in 2010, count yourself fortunate.

Orton's new owner isn't going to reopen the historic rice plantation to tourists after a massive restoration project is finished:

Landowner Louis Moore Bacon is determined to turn back the clock at Orton Plantation.

Bacon, the direct descendent of the plantation's founding family who purchased the Brunswick County property in 2010, is working to restore Orton's 8,500 acres to the antebellum rice plantation it was in the 1700s, Orton's Property Manager, Dillon Epp, said.

Plans for the property, which borders N.C. 133 and the Cape Fear River, include the restoration of about 7,000 acres of longleaf pine forest, removal of invasive species that have overrun the plantation's 320 acres of rice fields, and preservation of the plantation's historic house and gardens, Epp said.

The goal is to create the landscape that Bacon's ancestors knew hundreds of years ago, Orton's Landscape Property Manager Nick Dawson said.

Bacon is a direct descendent of Roger Moore, who built the original Orton residence and established the property as a rice plantation.

"The owner is doing all this because of his family history," Dawson said. "He would like to look at what his ancestors looked at. But the restoration is also benefitting the community because a piece of North Carolina history is being preserved."

Nice thing to say, but the benefit to the public is minimal, since the NO TRESPASSING signs will prevent "the community" from seeing the improvements.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

People Love Them Some Rugers

So much so that Ruger can't return all the love its getting.

Oh, No.

Tara Servatius, who has long been a presence in Charlotte as a muckraking journalist, has lost her job at the John Lock Foundation's "Meck Deck" blog over an offensive photoshopped image of President Obama.

A blogger for conservative N.C. think tank The John Locke Foundation has resigned after she illustrated a story about President Obama’s position on N.C.’s Marriage Amendment with a photoshopped image of the president in chains and high heels with a bucket of fried chicken.

On Monday, "Meck Deck" blogger Tara Servatius, who hosted a talk show on WBT-AM (1110) until May 2011, posted a story about Obama and the marriage amendment, accompanied by an image of the president’s face photoshopped onto a black man wearing high heels and chains. Between the man’s legs is a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The photo has since been removed from the blog posting.

Looks like a sad end to a career. My best wishes to Tara in her quest for redemption.

Update: Here is the Meck Deck post announcing Tara's resignation.

Note On a Spring Day

Drove to a local grocery store a few minutes ago, down a road that was once strictly rural/undeveloped but is now suburban. Dogwoods were in bloom close to the ground, and above them wisteria hung in huge, grape-like clusters of blossoms, so many that the air was fragrant with it as I drove by. The azaleas are blooming, too, and the camellias are still lingering, but mostly gone now.

Pretty soon alongside the roads the gorgeous blue chicory will be blooming, my favorite flower for color.

It's a pretty day.

*Cough*(hesgay)*Cough* (Redux)

"Woman, 39, accused of breaking into house and raping man."

She performed oral sex on him without his consent.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

They Got the Guns, Are Working On Knives...

and have identified the next weapon of choice for gangs and criminals everywhere: pencil sharpeners.

A schoolgirl was refused a Glee stationery set at a shop in case she used the pencil sharpener as a weapon.

Emily Davies, 14, tried to buy the kit based on the hit TV series that contained a pen, pencil, ruler, rubber and a sharpener from a 99p Store.

But she was stunned when she got to the check-out and was told by the cashier she couldn’t buy the innocent item because she was under the age of 18.

The female member of staff explained that the sharpener could be deemed as ‘lethal’ or ‘dangerous’ in the wrong hands.

mily had to ask her 18-year-old brother, Mikey, to show his driving license to the shop assistant to prove he was old enough to purchase the school set.

The traditional sharpener is covered in a round purple plastic encasing that has the words ‘Super Gleek’ on.

A spokesman for the national chain of 99p Stores said that they had no such age policy in place regarding pencil sharpeners, but defended the actions of the cashier in question.

He said: 'Pencil sharpeners are not an age restricted product and if we have refused a sale on this occasion we would rather that our staff are over cautious rather than under cautious.'

Pic of the girl holding the assault sharpener:

Yet More Robert Crumb Ponderings

Part Three of artist Robert Crumb's impressions of various famous people:

TIMOTHY LEARY: “I finally got to meet him in person at a party somewhere in San Francisco just a couple years before he died. It was a friendly exchange, but at that point he was being guided around by this guy who was taking care of him. He was pretty far gone. He was really out there in the twilight zone; too much LSD, probably."

ADOLF HITLER: "I read an interesting book about Hitler, things that I hadn’t read in any other book, where soldiers who had been in the army with him in the First World War were interviewed. They said Hitler was the guy who never went on leave. In the entire four years, he really had no place to go home to. He just stayed on the front. And he was the guy who would always go out and drag the wounded soldiers off the battlefield. He would never shirk from any duties. He was the most fanatic soldier. That helped to understand how Hitler, who had seen so much death in those four years, that it became acceptable to him. To kill people, to face the possible violence of opposing forces was nothing to him. So he built up his Nazis into a brutal organization. They would just violently break up Communist meetings, punch people out, smash the place up. That was nothing to them, because they had previously seen so much violence and death in that war. And then they lost the war, and then there was the treaty of Versailles which stuck the knife in even deeper. Some historian wrote that ‘Hitler had the Treaty of Versailles stamped on the seat of his pants.’ The French wanted to punish Germany severely. Georges Clemenceau insisted on these harsh measures against the Germans, the heavy reparations, the ceding of territory, etc. He was as much responsible for the rise of the Nazis as Hitler or the American and British elite of finance.

WILLIAM BURROUGHS: "I love Burroughs also; a great writer. But his best writing is his straight-ahead prose. He wrote all this crazy fantasy stuff, which I think he was encouraged to do by this other beatnik writer, Brian Gyson, who, for some reason Burroughs admired. Gyson was, I think, a jive-ass, bullshit kind of guy. Burroughs, I think he lacked confidence in his own writing, because when he wrote straight prose it didn’t sell well. When he wrote Junkie, and that came out, it didn’t sell well in the beginning. And then he wrote this other book, Queer, around the same time in the early ’50s and he couldn’t even get that published. That wasn’t published until the 1980s. And Queer is a great book. Both Junkie and Queer are great. They’re both written in this very dry, prose style. And his little thin book called the Yage Letters, which were letters he wrote back to Allen Ginsburg while he was in South America looking for this psychedelic Yage plant. That’s a great book; great stuff. But the problem is, there’s not enough of that, not enough of his straight-ahead prose. He just didn’t think it was any good because he either couldn’t get it published or it didn’t sell. So then he wrote this gimmicky thing called Naked Lunch, which is mostly fantasy stuff and not very interesting to me, and that sold well. He made his reputation on Naked Lunch.

SERENA WILLIAMS: "Now you’re talking. I think a lot about Serena. I do. I collect photos of Serena. She’s just a total, super-Amazon. What more can you say? Of course, she’s also a Jehovah’s Witness. Yeah, people have said to me, ‘Hey, I can arrange for you to meet Serena.’ But I have nothing to say to her. I’m not interested in tennis, and I can’t really abide that Jehovah’s Witness nonsense. You know, there’d be no grounds for anything to talk about. So I just have to admire her from a distance. But God, what a butt, as you well know."

Click the link to read the rest. You can also click the label Crumb at the bottom of the post to read the earlier links.

I Told You So

Regarding the shooting of an unarmed, law-abiding young black man by a legally armed, law-abiding white (or Hispanic, depending on your news source and inclination) man, I can only say:

I told you so:

Thus, as encounters between the white gun owners and the black lawbreakers increase in number, the concealed carry license will more and more come to be seen as a de facto n*gger-hunting license, at which point the NAACP, ACLU and the usual race baiters will step in and start legal proceedings to stop the disproportionate killing of young blacks by whites.

Only a couple of you commented back then; care to comment now?

When a Robbery Becomes a Gunfight

That would be when not just the bad guys are armed.

A man who police said lost a shootout with victims he was trying to rob last fall was charged Tuesday with the holdup attempt and released.

Francis said that about 9:40 p.m. on Sept. 14 on Rice Drive Extension, a dark colored SUV pulled up next to the three people. Two armed men exited the SUV, demanded money and threatened to shoot the victims. The victims ran and ducked behind a vehicle, and Gentile is accused of firing a shot at them, Francis said.

One of the victims was armed with a handgun and returned fire, striking Gentile in the head. The person who shot Gentile had a concealed weapon permit in his possession, Francis said.

Shot the thug in the head! And look at this hilarious post-shooting photo of said thug, with a piece of his head obviously missing:

Unfortunately because the citizen who shot Mr. Thug didn't quite have him centered in his sights, the people of the state of South Carolina will be feeding him in prison for several years at least, and no doubt supporting him as a ward of the state after that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Infancy of Bionics

A soldier who lost an arm in Afghanistan is now a guinea pig in the field of bionics, a term familiar to those of us who remember the 1970's and The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.

On the night of November 1, 2008, Iraqi insurgents lobbed two RKG-3 armor-piercing hand grenades at an up-armored Humvee in Baghdad. The first grenade, a dud, bounced off the passenger-side door. But the second one detonated, sending a jet of molten copper through the door and through the right elbow of Sergeant First Class Glen Lehman. The liquid metal continued across Lehman’s lap, burning his right thigh, and then sluiced across his left forearm.

Usually a veteran like Lehman would get a prosthetic arm, and life, with luck, would go on. But Lehman’s stump was the right shape for an experimental surgery called targeted muscle reinnervation. He was game to try it, in return for access to a remarkable new prosthetic arm.

Lehman’s surgeons delicately pulled apart the nerves in his arm that would ordinarily control his elbow and hand and moved them. His distal radial nerve, which controls opening the hand, went to the lateral head of his triceps. His median nerve, which controls closing the hand, went to the medial head of the biceps.

It’s a weird surgery with weird effects; Lehman’s skin ripples when he thinks about moving his missing right arm, a physical reminder of the signals his brain is sending. When he tries to close his hand, his biceps contracts. The rerouted nerves are supposed to improve control of a new prosthesis, one that uses a computer to read the myoelectric impulses that are produced by the tiny neural zaps inside muscles. In short, when Lehman is wearing the new arm, he is a cyborg. But being a cyborg has not turned out the way science fiction promised.

Click the link to read the rest. Sadly, it's only the never-ending wars that the US is fighting these days that allows this work to proceed, by supplying an increasing number of amputees.

Fill-In-The-Blank Speechifying

Here's what happens when the guy programming the TelePrompTer for President Obama hits the INSERT BOILERPLATE key too often:

via Twitchy, also punching above its weight.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Walking Dead Season 2 Finale AAR

Pretty damned exciting episode. I guess everyone got their zombie fix tonight after a fairly quiet season. Got to see a couple of people eaten, and the ones that got it were the ones I figured would get it; when you see characters ignored for basically an entire season, you might as well put them in a Star Trek-style red shirt for the finale, if you know what I mean.

Got to see the setting for season three: the prison. Also got to meet a major character: Michonne. Michonne's intro was rather weird. How do you keep walkers, even armless walkers, docile enough to not attack you so that you can lead them around like dogs on leashes? Pretty cool to see her using a Katana as a weapon. I've often thought that a baseball bat would make the most sense as a weapon, but I'm reconsidering that, and starting to think that a Chinese dadao sword would make a perfect weapon against walkers, due to the ease with which you can chop with one. Part of the reason walkers are so dangerous is that they can grab you, and once grabbed they can either bite or disembowel you, as poor Dale found out. Walkers without arms, as Michonne demonstrated tonight, are much less dangerous.

Looks like T-Dog wants to go to the beach, which is my own preference; I've already said that I think an island off the coast would be an ideal refuge. But I'm guessing that the entirety of next season will have them at the prison. Old forts on the coast would make wonderful short-term refuges; some of them, such as Fort Monroe near Norfolk, could probably be adapted for agriculture, due to their large size. Smaller ones such as Fort Macon near Atlantic Beach, NC, could serve as refuges for a fishing economy. Danger from hurricanes would, of course, have to be considered.

An interview with The Walking Dead producer concerning the season 2 finale and glimpses of season 3 can be found here.

How To Be a BBQ Judge

A Raleigh News & Observer writer attends a class for prospective BBQ judges sponsored by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS).

I’ve judged more than 50 cooking contests in the past five years, from pies at the N.C. State Fair to office chili contests. While determining a winner is serious, judging tends to be informal. We chat, share impressions about the food, even come to a consensus on the winner. My favorite technique is to save samples of dishes I like to compare with others as the judging continues.

That is not how it’s done in the world of competitive barbecue. Teams spend about $1,000 to compete (entry fees, food, fuel and travel expenses), and it soon becomes clear how serious KCBS is about the process.

Harwell, the instructor, spends the first three hours explaining the rules – minutiae that ranges from what garnish is allowed in the entry boxes with the meat (green leaf lettuce, parsley or cilantro only) to a ban on pooled barbecue sauces. We sign a “Judges’ Code of Conduct” that requires us to refrain from consuming “alcohol or other mind-altering substances prior to or during judging.”

We learn about the blind judging process. No fraternizing with cook teams before judging. No peeking when teams drop off their entries (judges are actually sequestered!).

Do: Arrive on time. Cleanse your palate between tastes. Eat with your fingers. Judge each entry on its own merit.

Don’t: Talk to the other judges while tasting. React to the food either verbally or by facial expression. Share your scorecard. Compare one entry against another. (One judge was stripped of certification for texting and taking photos, based on suspicions that he was communicating with contestants.)

At this point, it dawns on me this going to be a lot harder than it looks. It’s very hard not to react to food, to prevent a “mmmm” from escaping your lips or to refrain from frowning after a bad bite.

Click the link to read the rest. That's something I'd enjoy doing.

Best. Blog. Title. Ever.

In a story about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavéz requiring radiation therapy for cancer, Weasel Zippers used this blog post title:

Chestnuts Roasting: Six Weeks of Radiation For Hugo Chavéz.

That right there is what you call world-class snark, friends and neighbors.

Musical Discovery

Whiskey Myers:

These guys sound just like Lynyrd Skynyrd, don't they?

Pandora - - yer source of new music and old favorites.

Say Instead That They Defiantly Embrace It...

...and you'll be closer to the reality:

In the wake of the recent setbacks in Afghanistan, American commanders are working overtime trying to instill sensitivity among U.S. troops toward their Afghan counterparts and their Islamic culture.

But many American servicemembers already wear their feelings on their sleeves -- sometimes literally -- choosing a powerful term to represent the way they believe they’re perceived by the Muslim world: “Infidel.”

There are infidel hats, infidel T-shirts and infidel uniform patches -- an entire genre of morale wear that emerged from the ashes of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Clayton Montgomery, owner of a well-known online vendor called Mil-Spec Monkey and designer of some infidel patches, said his most popular item has been his “Pork-Eating Crusader” patch, which includes a translation into Arabic.

“Everybody sort of hates occupying forces anyway, so it’s kind of embracing that,” he told “If you are going to hate us anyway, we might as well pretend to be the great white devil.”

(pic via Bare Naked Islam.)

Here's how it is: if you're going to fight a war in a half-hearted, uncommitted fashion, and give "support" to your troops in a way that includes onerous "Rules of Engagement" that puts them in danger, and treat the corrupt puppet "President" of that benighted country as if he's the equivalent of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, then don't be surprised if the troops find ways to express their dissatisfaction toward you and your policies, and the ungrateful populace they are supposedly there to protect and defend.

h/t Mausers, Medicine and Motorcycles.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Charlotte Reporter Gets Noticed By Rush Limbaugh

Tara Servatius, a muckraking Charlotte reporter and blogger at the John Locke Foundation, gets some notice from Rush Limbaugh for her political prognostications about North Carolina and its role in the 2012 presidential election.

The blog post that Rush references in his show transcript is The Final (And Most Important) Presidential Battleground: North Carolina.

Well worth reading.

Mike Vanderboegh, Alive and Farting

David Codrea has an update.

How To Tell If You're Eating Pink Slime

Have you eaten hamburger meat from your grocer lately? If so, you probably ate some pink slime.

At grocer No. 1, the folks behind the butcher counter were able to show me one brand, a pricy "all-natural" ground beef that did not contain the meat filler. But for the many other and far less expensive varieties of ground beef? They had no way of knowing.

Grocer No. 2 presented the opposite problem. The workers there found one brand that definitely did have the pink stuff, but they couldn't say whether any others did or didn't.

And don't be fooled by the "all-natural" beef label at store No. 1. That term is unregulated, so it doesn't really mean anything. At another store, another brand of ground beef could be similarly labeled but still contain the meat filler.

But the term "organic" is regulated, and that provides a clue. If you can find it - and are willing to pay the price - ground beef labeled organic cannot contain lean finely textured beef.

Despite the odds, I had lucked out. Between the two grocers, I'd managed to identify two packages of 85 percent lean ground beef, one with pink slime and one without. Time to taste.

By label alone, it was clear we were talking different beef demographics. The pink slime-free product bragged that it was minimally processed and that the cows had been raised without antibiotics, growth hormones or animal byproducts in their food. Price - $5.99 per pound. The pink slime version? Just a minimalist "compare and save." Price - $3.09 per pound.

Click the link to read the rest. The "test" that the writer employed wasn't scientific, because it wasn't double-blind; the writer knew which burger had the pink slime in it.

It looks as if, to avoid buying ground meat with pink slime in it, you have to buy organic, and take the higher price hit that comes with it. Or grind your own, of course.

Random Google Complaint

For some strange reason an entire folder of bookmarks disappeared from my Google(RSS)Reader the other day, the one with most of my blog links in it; it took me about a day to realize I hadn't read anything from Roberta, Murphy, Tam, or dozens of other bloggers I have saved in the Reader. So I had to go round them all up and put them back in the Reader...only to have the missing folder show up again this morning.

Damn you, Google.

Quote of the Day

Yeah, the flyover country is both saint and sinner, just like the burbs, and just like the cities. There are good folks, and very bad people, most everywhere. We pretty much learn that by the the time we have our first nutty buddy experience with the rheumy-eyed ice cream man. Okay. That wasn't me. That was that kid. But the point obtains.

Find solace and comfort where ye dwell, find the good in people, excoriate the bad in them, with a bullwhip if necessary, protect your children, say your damn prayers at night, and buy another handgun.

From Velociman.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Dark Shadows Trailer Released

It's Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, so you can't expect it to be entirely serious:

In this case it's not even remotely serious, judging from the trailer. It plays off of the "fish out of water" principle of Barnabas Collins being loose in the 1972.

More here.

Treasure Blog: North Carolina Emeralds

An anonymous donor has given the North Carolina Museum of Sciences in Raleigh a fortune in NC emeralds, including the "Carolina Emperor."


Carolina Emperor Emerald.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Penn Jillette On Atheism

A really fine Reason interview with the magician:

Jillette: Every time I have a discussion —and I’m sure you have these too—I’m the libertarian person and I’m talking to a liberal, and they say, “Your basic position is, let all the poor people suffer, let all the sick people die.”

reason: That’s the only way I can see of making a living.

Jillette: [laughter] You say to them, “No, no, no! We’ll take care of each other.” [British journalist and CNN host] Piers Morgan said to me, “One out of seven people in this country is on food stamps. What does that mean to you?” I said, “That means six out of seven people can help them.” And he said, “How do we help them?” And I said, “Go help them.” He said, “We need the government to help them!” I said, “Go help them. I am. Go help them.” He said, “Well, how do we do it?” I said, “I didn’t say we. I said you. You make a pretty good living; there are people that are hungry in L.A. Go out this evening and help them.”

Someone else once said that. (Sorry I couldn't embed it, they had embedding turned off).

Penn has just written his own book on atheism called God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales.


A Colorado man whose cat refused to accompany him on a jog around a fitness trail was arrested when he tethered the feline to a rock while he completed the jog alone.

Jesus Appears, 39,123

Jesus H. Christ...on sheetrock.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Marines Disarmed Before Meeting With SecDef Panetta

Gee, tell us how you really feel about US troops:

In a sign of the nervousness surrounding Mr. Panetta’s trip, the Marines and other troops who were waiting in a tent for the defense secretary to speak were abruptly asked by their commander to get up, place their weapons — M-16 and M-4 automatic rifles and 9-mm pistols — outside the tent and then return unarmed. The commander, Sgt. Maj. Brandon Hall, told reporters he was acting on orders from superiors.

“All I know is, I was told to get the weapons out,” he said. Asked why, he replied, “Somebody got itchy, that’s all I’ve got to say. Somebody got itchy; we just adjust.”

Normally, American forces in Afghanistan keep their weapons with them when the defense secretary visits and speaks to them. The Afghans in the tent waiting for Mr. Panetta were not armed to begin with, as is typical.

Later, American officials said that the top commander in Helmand, Maj. Gen. Mark Gurganus, had decided on Tuesday that no one would be armed while Mr. Panetta spoke to them, but the word did not reach those in charge in the tent until shortly before Mr. Panetta was due to arrive.

General Gurganus told reporters later that he wanted a consistent policy for everyone in the tent. “You’ve got one of the most important people in the world in the room,” he said. He insisted that his decision had nothing to do with the shooting on Sunday. “This is not a big deal,” he said.

Energy Secretary Chu: About That $5 Gasoline I Advocated...

...I was just kidding, don't you stupid mouthbreathers know a JOKE when you hear one, ha ha ha!

Apparently the It's Bush's Fault defense isn't going to work in this case.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Who Knew?

Well, pretty much everyone, actually.

"Online, liberals far less tolerant than normal people."

Not exactly shocking news for those exposed to them for years, but the respected Pew Research Center has determined that political liberals are far less tolerant of opposing views than regular Americans.

The new research found that instead of engaging in civil discourse or debate, fully 16% of liberals admitted to blocking, unfriending or overtly hiding someone on a social networking site because that person expressed views they disagreed with. That's double the percentage of conservatives and more than twice the percentage of political moderates who behaved like that.

The proportion jumps even higher when someone on a social site disagrees with a liberal's post.

Not really surprising to those of us who've dealt with liberals on a regular basis. Their propensity for flushing dissenting blog comments down the "memory hole" is well known, especially when the subject is gun control. Conservatives even call this phenomenon, ironically, "reasoned discourse breaks out."

Yer News Lede of the Day

"Police officers in a leprechaun costume will frolic Las Vegas streets to test whether drivers yield to pedestrians."

That's in Las Vegas, by the way. Wonder if the LVPD has set out official guidlines on how leprechaun officers are to "frolic" in the crosswalks?

Me? I'd hand the officer a box of Lucky Charms and say "I heard that people were always after yer Lucky Charms, so I thought I'd be nice and get you a replacement box."

Damn. Now I have a craving for some Lucky Charms.

Keep Yer Death Threat To 140 Characters, Please

A student in Gaston County, NC, is facing punishment at school for making death threats against his biology teacher on Twitter.

Look at this interesting paragraph, though:

WSOC-TV reports a West Virginia company recently contacted local police after its social media monitoring service picked up a message where a high school student allegedly threatened to kill his biology teacher. (bold mine)

So, if you thought that you could tweet in perfect anonymity, here's yer wakeup call.

Yer "That Ain't Really News" Headline of the Day

"Spring break is the biggest peak for students' alcohol abuse."

No shit?

The Case of the Explosive Pigshit Foam

Scientists aren't sure what causes it, but it's foamy, full of methane, and will explode if a spark is generated near it.


Ya know, I think I just figured out the perfect weapon in the war on Islam...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Even Experts Can Get Complacent

Massad Ayoob did, but fortunately it was within the environs of a competition, rather than a real life scenario:

With the less recently familiar Brand B gun, I was focusing on its subtleties. Its grip to barrel angle was slightly different than what I’d been lately habituated to, as was its trigger reach and length of trigger reset. I was running Conscious Competence pretty much every shot. With Brand A, the old familiar extension of the hand, I found myself going auto pilot and taking overconfident liberties. There were stages where I KNOW I relaxed my grip, where I pointed rather than aimed, where I rushed instead of pressed the trigger.

Where I took my familiar gun, and my supposed skills with it, for granted.

The Love Letters of Richard Milhous Nixon

No, I'm not joking:

In two of the handwritten notes, Nixon — raised a Quaker — uses "thee" instead of "you" to refer to his future bride, a pronoun that signals a special closeness in the Quaker tradition. He also writes about himself in the third person, referring to himself as a "prosaic person" whose heart was nonetheless "filled with that grand poetic music" upon knowing her.

"Somehow on Tuesday there was something electric in the usually almost stifling air in Whittier. And now I know. An Irish gypsy who radiates all that is happy and beautiful was there. She left behind her a note addressed to a struggling barrister who looks from a window and dreams. And in that note he found sunshine and flowers, and a great spirit which only great ladies can inspire," Nixon wrote. "Someday let me see you again? In September? Maybe?"

NEIL YOUNG - Campaigner from Takelot on Vimeo.

Friday, March 09, 2012

FBI Kept File On Christopher Hitchens

He was a dirty little Communist in his early career, remember.

The website also filed a FOIA request with the FBI, who obliged, sending 19 pages of redacted documents pertaining to Hitchens. The first documents relate to Hitchens’ immigration records as he went through the process of becoming a naturalized American citizen in 2005. The documents get more interesting, though.

On June 29, 1970, a secret FBI document, obtained from a “secret and delicate source,” reads:

We have recently learned that the above-named [Christopher Hitchens] has been given a travel scholarship by Balliol College to go round the Universities in the United States.

Whilst a student at Oxford, HITCHENS was a member of the International Socialism (Cliff) Group of Trotskyists and the Oxford Revolutionary Socialist Students. He took an active role in several demonstrations and was arrested and fined on two occasions.

Other documents are so heavily redacted that there’s virtually nothing to read. And so it goes with the rest of the secret FBI documents, including several which relate to Hitchens obtaining a press pass for “admittance to the White House.”

Click the link to read the rest.

I'd Love To Do This

It might be that someday I shall.


"Our whole society is designed so that you have to have money," Daniel Suelo says. "You have to be a part of the capitalist system. It's illegal to live outside of it."

Suelo has defied these laws. His primary residence is the canyons near Arches National Park, where he has lived in a dozen caves tucked into sandstone nooks. In the fall of 2002, two years after quitting money, he homesteaded a majestic alcove high on a cliff, two hundred feet across and fifty feet tall. Sitting inside and gazing into the gorge below felt like heralding himself to the world from inside the bell of a trumpet.

Suelo's grotto was a two-hour walk from pavement, and he settled in for the long haul. He chipped at the rocky ground to create a wide, flat bed, and lined it with tarps and pads and sleeping bags that had been left out with someone else's trash. He built wood-burning cook-stoves from old tin cans. He learned to forage for cactus pods, yucca seeds, wildflowers, and the watercress that grew in the creek. He drank from springs, bathed in the creek. From a chunk of talus he carved a statue, a ponderous head like some monolith from Easter Island.

In warm months the cave attracted occasional hikers, and when Suelo was away, he left a note. Feel free to camp here. What's mine is yours. Eat any of my food. Read my books. Take them with you if you'd like. Visitors left notes in return, saying they were pleased with his caretaking.

Click the link to read the rest. What's being described here is the life of a hermit, similar to the old Desert Fathers of Catholic theology. It's a lifestyle that has great appeal to me; I think often these days about chucking it all, moving to a remote wilderness area, and living in solitude. Somewhere with a kindly climate, mind you.

How many of you have ever contemplated such a life?

1911 Mods

My 1911 is a Springfield Armory GI model in stainless steel, which I note is no longer offered by Springfield. The only difference between the Springer and a genuine WWII 1911 is the internal lock system that Springfield added to comply with Massachusetts and California gun laws. I don't much like internal locks, so I ordered a new mainspring housing and mainspring kit from Brownell's and replaced the one that came with the gun. The new mainspring housing is made by Wilson, is the straight style rather than curved, and is sharply checkered. It's possible I might smooth the checkering out later, but for now it's fine. I also swapped out the recoil spring plunger tube, which for some strange reason was blued steel instead of stainless.

Only other alterations I'm going to make to this particular 1911 is to install some 3-dot sights, and have it dehorned. Other than that I'm quite happy with it.

Update, per request for photos:

Before (click to embiggen):


Lock Up Yer Tubas

There's a rash of tuba thefts out in California.

I'm not wanting to point fingers here, but it's not because of polka music.

Those Jooos Love To Travel!

25% of them have fled moved to another country, as opposed to 5% of Christians and 4% of Muslims.


I'm finding that I need to keep Twitter open in a separate Mozilla Firefox tab these days. What happens is that much of the blogging community seems to use it as a chatroom to pass news, and save their blogs for the more monumental sort of stuff. This results in fewer average posts per blog.

All of you out there should probably consider doing the same. News passes almost instantaneously on Twitter, much faster than blogs or even Drudge.

Give it a try.

Let's Try It Borepatch's Way.

Borepatch: A week without CAPTCHAs

It is obnoxious the way Google currently has it set up.  I don't put out so many posts that I can't monitor things closely, anyway.

Granddaughter of the Year

Down in Florence, SC, a 9-year-old girl stabbed her 64-year-old grandmother in the back after an argument over whether the girl would be allowed to watch TV.

I can't even contemplate someone committing such an act. My parents would have thrashed me to within an inch of my life if I had done something like this.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Meanwhile, In Southport, NC...

...the Town Board is replacing a cedar tree and renovating the famous Whittler's Bench that were damaged by Hurricane Hazel in 1996.

The Whittler's Bench was made famous by writer Robert Ruark, who mentioned it in his coming-of-age book The Old Man and the Boy. It ws the gathering place for the old men of the town, where they would yarn, reminisce, snooze in the sun, and randomly whittle both loose wood picked up off the ground and the bench itself. Ruark referred to it as the Cedar Bench.

It used to be every small town had a place like that. In Melrose, Florida, where I grew up, there was a wooden bench at Chiapinni's Gulf station that served the same purpose.

I'll have to remember to photograph Southport's Cedar Bench the next time I'm up there.

The Screw Is Revealed

You all know that if Obama's re-elected we're screwed, right? The President was in Mt. Holly yesterday, and posed with the actual screw:

You Promise It Won't Hurt, Mr. President?

found here.

She's Good At That Biology Stuff

Out in California (where else), a 31-year-old science teacher has been suspended after her middle-school students found out about her sideline as a porn actress.

Imagine that you are a 12-year-old boy in middle school, casually searching the Internet when your parents are out to a PTA meeting or a movie date when you stumble upon pornographic material of your science teacher.


That is exactly what happened when students in Oxnard, Calif. discovered X-rated videos of their science teacher online, The Smoking Gun reports.

Stacie Halas, a 31-year-old teacher at Richard B. Haydock Intermediate School, was suspended after administrators learned about her extracurricular activities.

Halas is seen in several videos performing a wide array of sexual acts under the name “Tiffany Six.”

And you can Google Tiffany Six and get some interesting results, although I didn't go to any of the video sites, not being familiar with them. The descriptions in the Google Search results were graphic enough.

A Feel-Good Story

Over in Galveston, Texas, where I lived briefly and where my nephew was born (BOI, or Born On Island is a minor cred in Texas), a bottlenosed dolphin stranded by the tide was rescued after some fishermen saw its plight.

How You Know Your City Has Become Detroit

Because the local courts have a "homicide day" to focus on all the murders that take place.

Several homicide suspects are due in Mecklenburg court Thursday, including the man accused of killing his pregnant co-worker and the man accused of fatally shooting a 64-year-old health care executive.

The suspects will appear in court as part of a monthly proceeding known as “homicide day.”

Musical Interlude

Tift Merritt, Trouble Over Me:

You're not my boyfriend, I don't want a boyfriend
Just make a little trouble over me
In your kitchen, on the way to your window
Walking down your hallway
Make some trouble over me

I'll play hard to get but if I mean it
Just make a little trouble over me
Leave me alone. Do what you want to
See, I got some things on my mind

Don't treat me bad, that's not what I'm asking
Look out your window, everyone's in line
Paper truth in strings, hearts and broken things
Love goes for quite a price
I don't want you for mine. Oh, but don't we get along fine

Tell me a secret before you meant to
Worry what I'll do. Trouble over me
If you touch me, it's only by accident
Oh, wrists and fingertips. Trouble over me



In your kitchen, on the way to your window
Walking down your hallway, make some trouble over me
Button my coat up, stumble with your words some
Let me think that you might go to a little trouble over me

Just a little
Just a little trouble
Just a little trouble over

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I'll Get You, My Pretty...

...and that Piggly Wiggly security guard, too!

Not quite the Wicked Witch of the West:

A man who threatened to beat a Piggly Wiggly security guard Tuesday also vowed to track down the Charleston police officer arresting him when he gets out of jail, according to an incident report.

Barry Donnell Washington, 48, of Ashley Avenue faces charges of disorderly conduct, making threats, resisting arrest and threatening a public official after the incident disturbed several shoppers at the Meeting Street grocery store.

About 7:30 p.m., a security guard at the supermarket said Washington approached him and threatened to “kick your (expletive).” He repeated the threat to a manager who had told him to "please stop cursing and leave the business."

Usual Suspect of 48 years of age. They just never learn, do they?

NC Gets Its Very Own...

...seedling saint.

The Catholic diocese of Raleigh will formally open an investigation Friday that could lead to sainthood for Wilmington native Father Thomas Frederick Price.

The Most Rev. Michael F. Burbidge, bishop of Raleigh, will formally install a tribunal for the diocesan phase of the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of Thomas Price. The official opening of the cause will be part of Solemn Vespers (evening prayers) at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh.


Click the link to read the rest.

While It's Good To See...

...a pro-gun op/ed in The Washington Post, it comes at the cost of being anti-knife:

On the other hand, never underestimate the knife.

In some places, such as the District, the knife now surpasses the gun as the weapon most commonly used in reported assaults. In the past six months, from September to Feb. 26, there were 397 reported assaults with knives, compared with 278 with guns. This year, there have been more than 110 reported knife assaults and 73 with guns.

There’s a service station at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Sheriff Road, at the District and Prince George’s line, that sells assault knives for about $10. The most popular is a spring-loaded Army-style tactical knife with a nasty, three-inch serrated blade curved like a raptor’s claw.

In a kind of “West Side Story”-style gang fight, a large group of youngsters from two rival neighborhoods met up last month for a showdown in Southwest Washington. When D.C. police arrived on the scene, the brawlers ran off — leaving behind a girl bleeding on the sidewalk.

The fight had apparently been arranged on Facebook, according to police. And the knives used were comparably high-tech. But the business end is still just a blade — as convenient in a kitchen as it is deadly in the streets.

"Assault knives?" The writer is still a hoplophobe, he's just changed his focus a bit, is all.

h/t David Codrea.

Since It's a Warm Day...

I have the doors open to the outdoors. The cat is sitting at the back door looking out the screen at the birds, which are going nuts: Carolina Wrens and Tufted Titmice, mostly. Just scolding the hell out of the cat.

New Game: Fill In the Headline!

Today's fill in the headline tests your knowledge of unfortunate stereotypes:

"Volunteer firefighter accused of ____________."

Answer in comments. Please don't cheat by Googling the answer. If no one comes up with it I'll do an update tomorrow with the answer.

update: "fraudulent use of credit card."

Thanks to everyone who played!

Link Recommendation

Forgotten Weapons.

Today's forgotten weapon: 1910 Italian Vitali Pistol.


Be sure to watch the video at the link. This pistol has an ingenious takedown mechanism.

Thought In Passing

Is it even possible to be a musician specializing in medieval music and not get stuck playing Scarborough Fair, Greensleeves and The Holly and the Ivy all the freaking time?

Meanwhile, At My Old High School...

...atheist shit-stirring is occurring.

LENOIR CITY — Krystal Myers is an honors student, captain of the swim team and editor of her high school newspaper.

She's also an atheist in a predominantly Christian student body.

In a recent editorial that Myers, 18, intended for the Lenoir City High School newspaper entitled "No Rights: The Life of an Atheist," she questioned her treatment by the majority.

"Why does atheism have such a bad reputation? Why do we not have the same rights as Christians?" she wrote.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

If, when talking politics, you mention your personal support of a particular candidate, then in the next breath assert that (s)he cannot possibly ever win a nomination, all you've done is ensure that such an outcome becomes likely instead of just possible.

Father of the Year

Meanwhile, in Hope Mills, NC, a Green Beret father died in a futile attempt to save his daughters from their burning house.

The Recording Angel is busy this morning...

Mother of the Year

In Indiana, when tornadoes ripped up several towns last week, one heroic mother lost her legs to falling debris while covering her two children with her body.

If there is a Recording Angel...

Meth Lab In the Nursing Home

You know something is fundamentally wrong with this country when residents at a nursing home are manufacturing methamphetamine in their rooms.

We wondered why Mr. Dempsey was never out in the lobby with the other patients, snoring and drooling and pissing themselves...

Monday, March 05, 2012

The Vanishing Fire Towers


In an era of cellphones and satellites, fire lookout towers are used here and there around the state for radio antennas and other communication equipment but their days of standing guard over forests are long gone.

"The vast majority of wildfires are called in via 911," said Scott Hawkins, spokesman for the South Carolina Forestry Commission.

South Carolina phased out its towers in the early 1990s. Today, only 30 of them remain standing. Two in this area are at Pineville and Adams Run.

"The fire towers are popular. A lot of people have a soft spot for them," Hawkins said.

I'm one of the people with a soft spot, although I suffer vertigo and have never been up in one.

As a child growing up in the 1960's I watched Lassie on TV; not the version with Timmy, but the version where Lassie associated with "Forest Ranger Corey Stuart," helping to pull calves out of quicksand. One of the Jacksonville, Florida TV stations had an afternoon kids' show featuring a "Ranger Hal," whose TV set was a mockup of a fire tower, which he would climb down from to start the show. A highlight of my childhood was when Ranger Hal was the guest of honor at my grandfather's Moose Lodge Christmas gathering; myself and my sister, along with other children, were forced on stage to sing Christmas carols with Ranger Hal.

I believe that out West the towers are still economical because it's cheaper to man them than it is to pay for firewatch flights by airplane. Maybe that has gone by the wayside, too.

Tears of a Crocodile

Czar Vlad wins the Russian Presidential election, weeps for joy:

"Come hither, Little One," said the Crocodile, "for I am the Crocodile," and he wept crocodile tears to show it was quite true.

Then the Elephants' child grew all breathless, and panted, and kneeled down on the bank and said, "You are the very person I have been looking for all these long days. Will you please tell me what you have for dinner?"

"Come hither, Little One," said the Crocodile, "and I'll whisper."

Then the Elephant's Child put his head down close to the Crocodile's musky, tusky mouth, and the Crocodile caught him by his little nose, which up to that very week, day, hour, and minute, had been no bigger than a boot, though much more useful.

"I think," said the Crocodile--and he said it between his teeth, like this--"I think to-day I will begin with Elephant's Child!"

- - Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories

Sunday, March 04, 2012

And Doubtless No Whale Teeth For Scrimshaw

A dead Sperm Whale washes ashore in UK.

Presumably the UK government organs will prevent people from harvesting the ivory teeth of the whale, even though the whale no longer has any need of them.


This country has plenty of firearms. But I would guess that 95% of their owners have no more than a 50 round box or two of ammo for each of them, and they consider that plenty.

So, if you already have a rifle, a shotgun and a sidearm -- and are COMPETENT with each -- don't spend all your money on an upgrade rifle, spend it on ammunition. If you are not competent with them all, spend the money on training. Training, local organization and logistics are the hard elements of preparedness. Guns are easy.

Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars comments on gun owners' fright that Obama, re-elected and with no need to worry about consequences, will double down on gun control efforts.

Where the Feet Came From

For a while several years ago severed feet were washing ashore in British Columbia, and I blogged on it at the time.

Now we appear to have a solution for the feet: they came from suicides who jumped off a bridge over the Frazier River near Vancouver.

Apparently the rubber sneakers that the feet were encased in had enough buoyancy to float once the rest of the leg rotted away/was eaten by sea creatures.

Claiming a Pipe From 1976

A fine New York Times story about a man claiming a clay pipe from the famous Keen's Steakhouse that a relative had reserved for him when he was born.

Great feature story. Of course Nanny Bloomberg outlawed smoking in restaurants in NYC, so the young man had to go outside to inaugurate his pipe.

Jesus Appears #37, 948

Jesus H. Christ on a tortilla!



...where even the pine cones will kill your ass.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Bunya Pine Cone, 22 pounds of head-crushing destruction!

h/t Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man.

Sumdood Sexes Sexegenarian, Steals Car

A 61-year-old Rock Hill woman woke up to find her car —and her overnight guest— gone earlier this week, according to a police report.

The woman told police she met a man at a local bar and invited him back to her apartment. He ended up staying the night, according to a Rock Hill police report. She told authorities they got to her apartment around 6 p.m., and she went to bed at 8 p.m.

The next morning, the woman woke up and noticed the man was gone, the report says. Six hours later, while searching for her car keys, the woman realized her white Honda Accord was missing.

She said the man is a regular at the Sledgehammer Saloon, but could only identify him by his first name. She told police she did not give him permission to take her car.

61 is a little long in the tooth for one-night stands with strangers, ain't it?

The Case of the Stolen Relics

The preserved heart of Dublin's patron saint has been stolen from the city's Christ Church Cathedral, officials say.

Pic of the reliquary that the heart was stolen from:

Apparently the theft is just the latest in a series of relic thefts in the Irish Republic:

In recent months other relics have been stolen in the Irish Republic.

An ornate container that usually contained a relic of St Brigid was stolen from St Brigid's Church, Killester, north of Dublin, where it was screwed onto the altar.

And in October last year a relic believed to be from the cross on which Jesus was crucified, was stolen from Holycross Abbey, near Thurles.

It was later returned after a police search.

As my post title might suggest, I think that the thefts would make a good Sherlock Holmes pastiche story:

One morning in the spring of the year 18--, while Mr. Sherlock Holmes and I were finishing breakfast, Mrs. Hudson came up to announce a visitor. Taking the card that our landlady proferred, Holmes looked at it and his eyebrows lifted, then he passed it to me; looking at it, I saw that our visitor was none other than the Right Honourable Patrick Mockridge, Archbishop of Dublin...

Or it could make a Dan Browne story, I suppose, although I haven't read any of those.

You have to wonder why someone would steal relics. Is there a market for them? Puzzling, to say the least.

h/t Ann Althouse.

Friday, March 02, 2012

If It Had Been Detroit and the Cop Shot a George W. Bush Target...

...he'd have been promoted.

Just sayin'.

Mars Gets Its Close-Up...

...on March 5th.

Look for it in the eastern sky after sunset.

She Has New Issues: Retaining Fluids

A UK girl likes to eat sponges.

Use the Force, Luke!

A Japanese swordsman has managed to split a .177 pellet fired at him from 70 feet away.


Still, hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side:

Call Him "Desperdicios Segundo"

The Spanish bullfighter Juan José Padilla, who lost an eye when a bull gored him in the face, is preparing to enter the bullring again, with a pirate's eyepatch over one eye.

You can click the link to see photos of Padilla pre- and post-goring - - significant surgery took place, and his post-goring photos have left him gaping like a cretin - - and even see the horrible footage of the goring itself.

However, Padilla won't be the first one-eyed bullfighter. James Michener, in his monumental tribute to Spain, Iberia, wrote of another matador who lost an eye to a bull:

On June 1, 1857, the Concha bull Barrabás participated in what the books describe as 'one of the most famous accidents in the history of bullfighting' in that, with a deft horn, it caught the full matador Miguel Domínguez under the chin and then in the right eye, gouging it out. It was assumed that Domínguez would die, for his face was laid open, but with a valor that had characterized his performance in the ring he survived, and three months later was fighting again as Spain's only one-eyed matador, having stipulated that for his return the bulls must again be from Concha y Sierra. For another seventeen years he fought with only one eye and enjoyed some of his best afternoons with Concha bulls. He is known in taurine history as Desperdicios (Cast-Off Scraps, from the contemptuous manner in which he tossed aside his gouged-out eyeball).

An aspect of bullfighting etiquette is that, when a bull breaks off a horn in the ring, a matador may only pass the bull (allow to charge past) on the side with the remaining horn. I wonder if there is an etiquette established for passing the bull when the matador only has one eye?

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Andrew Breitbart Is Dead?

So says his Big Government website:

With a terrible feeling of pain and loss we announce the passing of Andrew Breitbart.

Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles.


Expect cheering and dancing in the streets by leftards in 3...2...1...

Update: The Charleston, SC, newspapaper has some details:

Breitbart was walking near his house in the Brentwood neighborhood shortly after midnight Thursday when he collapsed, his father-in-law Orson Bean said.

Someone saw him fall and called paramedics, who tried to revive him. They rushed him to the emergency room at UCLA Medical Center, Bean said.

Breitbart had suffered heart problems a year earlier, but Bean said he could not pinpoint what happened.

I'm guessing a "widowmaker" heart attack. They aren't named that for no reason, obviously.