Saturday, September 29, 2012


"Drunk Broker Boosted Oil Prices For Eight Months In 2009."

The free markets at work, huh?

The Result of Life Without Parole

"Inmates Over 50 Fastest Growing Prison Population."

That's the result you get when you discontinue the use of the death penalty and substitute "life without parole." You then have to accept that you'll be funding the care of those felons for the rest of their natural lives. Prediction: you'll see both liberals and conservatives clamoring for these senior citizen felons to be released; the liberals will demand it on "humanitarian" grounds, claiming the felons are now too old to harm anyone; the conservatives will demand it on economic grounds, not wanting the taxpayers burdened with their care.

Your Job - - And You Can't Refuse To Accept It - - Is To Put Lipstick On This Pig

"US Hopes New Commander Brings 'Fresh Look' To Afghan War Effort."

Good luck with that one.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Nothing But Tragedy And Anguish To This One

A man shoots a masked, knife-wielding intruder to death...only to discover it is his own son.

A popular fifth-grade teacher fatally shot a masked, knife-wielding prowler outside his house during what appeared to be a late-night burglary attempt, only to discover he had killed his 15-year-old son, police say.

"It's something out of a Hollywood script," said John Hodge, the first selectman, or top elected official, in the town of about 14,000 people. He said he couldn't recall another killing in his eight years on the job.

No immediate charges were brought against the father, Jeffrey Giuliano, in the shooting of his son, Tyler, around 1 a.m. Thursday. Police said they were investigating whether the father's handgun was registered.

State police said Jeffrey Giuliano got a call from his sister next door saying that someone might be trying to break into her home. Giuliano grabbed a gun and went outside to investigate, troopers said.
,br> He confronted someone in a black ski mask and black clothing and opened fire when the person came at him with a knife, police said.

When officers arrived, the teen was lying in the driveway of his aunt's home with gunshot wounds and the father was sitting on the grass. The teen was pronounced dead at the scene. A state trooper pulled back the ski mask to reveal that the victim was Tyler Giuliano. It was unclear if his father had already realized it by then.

He Smiled As He Jabbed His Stinger In Her

Well, that's my story. Yours may vary. But here's the pictorial proof:

Say "Buttsex!"

And tell me you wouldn't scream like a girl yourself if that thing jumped out of the water and onto your back.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Try This Shooting Drill?

The Modified Navy Qualification Drill.

Developed by former Navy SEAL Jeff Gonzales, the MNQ Drill is based on a portion of a course of fire previously used by the U.S. Navy when conducting rifle qualification. As such, it is intended to be shot with an AR or other semi-automatic. The MNQ Drill incorporates three firing positions, magazine changes, some movement and a timer to add a bit of stress. There’s a lot going on in this drill, but you’ll need only 15 rounds to shoot it.

Place a target with an 8-inch center zone at 50 yards. (A paper plate stapled to the chest area of a silhouette target works great.) Load three magazines with five rounds each. At the firing line, assume a low-ready position with the rifle loaded. When the buzzer sounds, fire five rounds from the standing position. Reload, and fire five rounds from the kneeling position. Reload again, and fire your last five rounds from the prone position. The clock stops when you fire your final shot from prone.

The par time for the MNQ Drill is 25 seconds, and only hits in the 8-inch target zone count. You start with a score of 0, and are penalized for misses and time over par. The goal is to keep your score as low as possible. Add 5 points for every miss and 2 points for every second over par. Subtract 1 point for every second under par. For example, if you shoot the drill in 35 seconds with two misses, your score would be 30—20 points for the 10 seconds over par and 10 points for the pair of misses. If you shoot the drill clean in 22 seconds, your score would be -3.

Sounds like a good test of marksmanship and motor skills, doesn't it?

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Researchers seem to think that if you curse a lot on Twitter, or Tweet the words "die," "kill," or "buy" often, you're probably a psychopath.

No, really. That's what they think:

Wald and Taghi Khoshgoftaar, a professor of engineering and computer science, used an already existing psychological formula to determine how likely someone is to be psychopathic by their writing. Using a process called data mining, they developed an algorithm that would scan the tweets of nearly 3,000 volunteers. It found that about 1.4 percent of users showed psychopathic tendencies, similar to the population as a whole, based on their Tweets and a questionnaire.

The results have limitations, the researchers said. For example, the computer program didn't recognize abbreviated versions of words, which are common on Twitter due to the 140-character limits. It also can't recognize the difference between someone using a word such as "kill" in an angry way or an off-handed joking way, such as "I could kill him for this."

Of course, that reminded me of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's restaurant:

So we were all jumping up and down, yelling "Kill! Kill!" and the sergeant came over, pinned a medal on me, sent me down the hall, said "You're our boy!"

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

True Love IS the Greatest Thing In the World...

...except for a nice RLT - - Rat, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich, when the rat is nice and lean, and the tomatoes are SO ripe, they're so perky, I love that...

A woman in UK eats a sandwich with rodent in it, and is only offered £10 in compensation.

Of course, you know where I found inspiration in this story:

One of the truly great films, yet it only did so-so at the box office.

Meanwhile, In Carolina Beach, NC...

...a burglar was caught after he was identified by tattoos that showed up on a surveillance video.

This Is Called An "Identifying Mark or Tattoo."

Meanwhile, In Penny Lane...

Well, not really Penny Lane, but those two words popped out at me in the following article from the Wilmington, NC, newspaper:

Surf City | A Camp Lejeune Marine wanted in an assault on a cab driver earlier this month has been charged.

Gunnery Sgt. Adam John Kinosh, 31, of Penny Lane in Holly Ridge, was charged Tuesday by the Surf City Police Department with assault inflicting serious bodily injury. Bond was set at $20,000.

He is accused of assaulting Charles Hawkesworth, shattering his left cheek bone and nasal passage, both of which required reconstructive surgery, according to warrants.

Excuse this parody:

In Penny Lane there is a jarhead in a taxicab,
And he's beating the poor driver like a rug;
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say, Oh, No!

PTSD defense in 3...2...1...

Hey, You Targets! You Suck!

Over at the Daily Caller, a slight faux pas in shooting terminology:

There is a specific reason for analyzing the grip before I even talk about pulling the trigger. Most experienced shooters can pick up a gun, and even before firing know the gun is not right for them. To put it simply, the grip can affect recoil, rate of fire and target accusation. All of those elements impact the overall performance of the gun, and how well it will work for you.

Not to be confused with target acquisition.

But hey, I like the fact that The Daily Caller even features firearms and shooting articles. You ain't going to find that at Newsweek.


A real-life crime in Idaho brings back memories of one of the great Sherlock Holmes stories:

A woman who was about to be released from an Idaho prison will stay behind bars a while longer because federal prosecutors say she mailed a threatening stick figure drawing to a relative.

Prosecutors say that in 2010, Lakes mailed a drawing that apparently depicted a battered stick figure alongside threatening phrases such as "No tears," "No hiding," and "No more you."

Kyle Wright, an FBI agent in Pocatello who investigated the case, described the drawing in a court document.

"One stick figure appeared to be lying down with his face smashed. The baseball bat was lying nearby with damage that appeared to be consistent with its use on the first stick figure. The second stick figure appeared to be walking away with a smile," Wright wrote.

Wright also said in his affidavit that Lakes sent a letter with the drawing that indicated her prison sentence was coming to an end and that the recipient should be prepared for his final moments.

The Holmes story is, of course, The Adventure of the Dancing Men. For anyone interested in cryptography, it is one of the giants of the literature, along with Edgar Allan Poe's story The Gold-Bug.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Musical Interlude

The Cardigans, Feathers and Down:

Blogging Comment

Sometime last week Google forced the new Blogger interface on me; I had tried it out about 6 months ago, but reverted to the old interface back then because the new one is less user-friendly to me. It's Google's call, they pay for the service and the bandwidth, so I can't justly complain, since it falls under that Scottish proverb He who pays the piper calls the tune.

I can work with it. I tried "Compose" mode at first, but had problems with my links, so switched to "HTML" mode. That is close to the traditional Blogger interface, with the exception of having to include break tags (the letters "br" enclosed by < and >), which I'm not accustomed to doing...yet. I guess I'll get used to it. So if you see one of my posts all in a single mass of words, instead of broken properly into paragraphs separated by a blank line, that's the reason.

Meanwhile, In Brasstown, North Carolina...

...residents are fighting PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) over their customary New Year's Eve "Possum Drop."

For 20 years, the jubilant citizens of Brasstown have welcomed the new year by catching a wild opossum, placing it in a Plexiglass cage and slowly lowering it over a cheering crowd as fireworks explode in the night sky.

But in December, this mountain-town tradition caught the eye of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who have since fought to stop Brasstown’s annual Opossum Drop for the sake of the tree-dwelling, nocturnal marsupials and animal lovers who cherish them.

“’Possums are very shy,” said Martina Bernstein, director of litigation for PETA. “They don’t run up to people. They run away. They have no way to hide. They are wild animals. You can’t explain to them that you just want to have fun.”

A reasonable alternative would be to get a professionally-mounted taxidermy possum (from a road-killed sample, say, so as not to get PETA's panties any more wadded up than they already are) to use in the Possum Drop. Such a mounted possum could be used year after year, and kept in a prominent place of honor on the other 364 days of the year. A taxidermist could pose such a possum in any of a number of imaginative poses, and the stuffed possum could even be posed in special clothing or accessory items. Think about the possibilities, here.

Meanwhile, In Clay County, Florida...

...a man was pulled over by a Sheriff's Deputy for DUI, and was also discovered to be carrying a squirrel in his shirt, which the man complained was the cause of his erratic driving, because it was "eating" him.

Chewing his nipples, no doubt...

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Buck Stops Here...To Some Degree

Barack Obama, in his 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft, channels his inner Harry some degree.

You know, that would make a good meme รก la the add the words "in bed" to what you find written on a fortune cookie" meme.

So, just add the words "to some degree" to a declarative statement; for example:

Barack Obama is a lying sack of shit - - to some degree.

Kanye West is banging Kim Kardashian - - to some degree.

Kids can get involved, too:

The dog ate my homework - - to some degree.

Think of your own. Feel free to share them in comments.

The Return To Charlotte...

...of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

I'm conflicted on them. I've eaten them since boyhood; the Catholic school I attended from 4th-8th grade in Gainesville, Florida (St. Patrick's) didn't have a proper cafeteria, just an "activity center" that had a kitchen in one corner that sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a few hot items made in a microwave. Or maybe it was a small broiler, since microwaves were a novelty back then (early 1970's). So I ate them often during those years.

They're good hot and fresh, which everyone acknowledges and which is a part of the company's drawing power; they're much less so once cold. Too light and airy for me, I like a doughnut that is heavier and doughy. Truth be told I prefer cinnamon twists to all other doughnut styles, but they aren't as easy to find as they used to be.

And how did they come up with that name? Doughnuts ain't "krispy." Even the glaze, although it breaks into glass-like fragments, ain't "krispy."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weird Dream... which I was involved in a "caper" of some sort with a diminutive Irishman named Tullamore Dew. Most of the details are gone now, of course, but I remember us swapping yarns and telling tales as we tried to acquire lodgings in some town. During the wait we were treated with "leprechaun whisky" which we were told was made by the Little People. The stuff was incredibly smooth, and I was able to match Tullamore drink for drink, with no apparent effect of drunkenness. When the caper ended and we presented ourselves to collect our reward, we were told that after expenses were deducted (why would we sign a contract where WE were responsible for expenses?) WE owed THEM $100. Talk about a company store...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

23 Years Ago...

Hurricane Hugo came ashore in South Carolina.

Well, I was living here in Charlotte, NORTH Carolina at the time, which is pretty far inland. Still, the hurricane powered ashore and when it reached Charlotte it was still very close to hurricane strength. I was working that night at a La Quinta Inn. In the lobby we actually had working wooden shutters on the windows, hinged and closed from inside, for God only knows what reason. Presumably part of standard La Quinta architectural practice. Anyway, I shut them.

I had my car parked behind a pylon of the carport, which sheltered it from flying debris. And flying debris there was throughout that night. The storm blew clay tiles off of the roof, to smash into bits in the parking lot; A sign from the convenience store across the street was blown out of its frame and sailed across the road, striking a few cars and coming to rest in our parking lot.

At the height of the storm blue flashes announced power transformers shorting out, and early in the wee hours of the morning the power went out, along with the switchboard for phone calls; cell phones were in their infancy back then, few people had them. I turned on the AM radio that the managers had purchased, using it to keep track of weather reports throughout the night. Guests came down to wait in the lobby with me. No way to make coffee, of course, or provide any breakfast except packaged pastries.

La Quinta had a corporate policy back then (don't know if they still do) of hiring "management couples" to run their hotels. These were husband-and-wife teams who were given, as a perquisite, an "apartment" at the hotel, usually two guest rooms joined together and remodeled with kitchen, etc. So with managers on property I didn't have to worry about being relieved in the morning (I wasn't, either, the managers took the desk when my shift was over and the 1st shift worker failed to appear).

At 7 in the morning I departed for home. Down at the bottom of the first hill raged a river of rainwater, so I had to turn around and take a different road. Trees and power poles were down all over the city; luckily few cars, as everyone had heeded the warnings to stay home. Power was out all over the city. Everyone was fine when I got home. As I recall we got power back at home before the weekend was over, and so did the hotel, late on Sunday. I went in to work early Sunday to get all the paperwork organized and fed into the computer. During the next month the hotel hosted a rowdy crew of opportunist workers who drove around the city with trucks and chainsaws, offering their services at fallen tree removal. They made money hand over fist.

23 years ago. Seems like yesterday.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Not To Say "Stoned"

Saw this headline in my hometown newspaper, The Gainesville Sun: "Melrose Residents Protect Their Laid-Back Lifestyle."

Melrose, Florida, is where I spent my teen years, from 10-17. Life there centers around Lake Santa Fe, which has a small cove on its SE corner called Melrose Bay. It's a great lake for fishing and water skiing. You can even sail on it. Melrose, when I lived there, was a rural area, with only a single traffic signal, and that one was only a flasher. Back then there was only a single grocery store, a couple of gas stations, a convenience store and two restaurants. No schools back then; students bused to either Hawthorne or Interlachen.

We had a house right on the lake that my father inherited from his parents. I spent those ten years out on the dock bass fishing, and later on exploring the lake on the boat we acquired. I knew many of the secrets of the lake: the old canal leading to Lake Alto, the semi-secret (and forbidding) Black Lake, which seemed like the Black Lagoon to me; and the gar-infested Bonnet Pond, which was a sort of grassy marsh.

We didn't see many waterfowl in the lake, save for the diving grebes that we called "coots." Much of the wildlife had local names; black crappie we called "speckled perch," bluegills were "bream," (pronounced "brim"), red-eared sunfish were called "shellcrackers," pickerel were called "jacks," bowfins were called "mudfish," and anhingas (a type of long-necked diving, swimming bird) were called "water turkeys." Water turtles were called "cooters," usually with a snicker by teenage boys (a popular t-shirt of the period was from The Yearling Restaurant at nearby Cross Creek, which read "Eat More Cooter At The Yearling Restaurant!)

That was the 70's, and everyone was a pothead back then, it seemed (I never even tried it; too much of a prig). The small cottage next door to our house was owned by people from Jacksonville, and they rented it out to a succession of hippies who never seemed to stay long, the rent payments being unreasonably high for the tiny one room that the cottage was. We knew by the care they gave to the lawn how long each pair of hippies would stay; when the St. Augustine grass became untended and long, we knew that they hippies had outstayed their welcome. One pair of them actually grew pot in large quantities behind a wooden fance they built beside the cottage; after they were evicted marijuana seeds would sprout for the next year or so on their property. My dad, amused, took one of the young plants and grew it himself, just for entertainment, since he smoked only unfiltered Camels and nothing else.

Halcyon days, as they say.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pluck It Out

Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit links to a story about an Iranian cleric who messed with the wrong woman:

An Iranian cleric said he was beaten by a woman in the northern province of Semnan after giving her a warning for being “badly covered,” the state-run Mehr news agency reported.

Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti said he encountered the woman in the street while on his way to the mosque in the town of Shahmirzad, and asked her to cover herself up, to which she replied “you, cover your eyes,” according to Mehr. The cleric repeated his warning, which he said prompted her to insult and push him.

“I fell on my back on the floor,” Beheshti said in the report. “I don’t know what happened after that, all I could feel was the kicks of this woman who was insulting me and attacking me.”

You know, if more Muslim women had that sort of courage, maybe Islam would be a more reasonable religion.

It also reminds me of one of the stories of the Desert Fathers, related in Thomas Merton's The Wisdom of the Desert:

A monk ran into a part of handmaids of the Lord [Nuns - -Ed.] on a certain journey. Seeing them he left the road and gave them a wide berth. But the Abbess said to him: If you were a perfect monk, you would not even have looked close enough to see that we were women.

Or, as Matthew put it: And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Stick Control" Laws To Be Proposed In 3...2...1...

"Long Stick Is Robbery Weapon In Bronx."

Weapon of choice. Got to use that trademarked gun control language. And don't call it a long stick, call it an assault stick. It's even more dangerous if the robber drives a couple of cop-killer nails through the end of the assault stick. And maybe we just ought to regulate those nails, too. No one other than a licensed carpenter needs to be walking around with 10-penny nails.

Of course if we're going to have stick control we're going to have to change the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which allows anyone to carry a short stick (cane) with no questions asked. Cane owners should have to be registered with a federal agency and prove their need for carrying a stick. In the states of Massachusetts and California, special cane laws will be written so that senior citizens who need canes will only be able to buy special canes made specifically for those states, and bringing in canes from other states will be a felony. Throw those gimpy geezers in prison!

US Justice Dept. Inspector General Issues Fast & Furious Report

Spread plenty of blame around both the ATF and the Justice Department, but made sure to fix no blame at all on Eric Holder. Imagine that.

The inspector general’s report recommended that the Justice Department take disciplinary action against 14 current and former officials from the department and ATF. Among them were Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer and former acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson.

“The inspector general did not find persuasive evidence that any supervisor in Phoenix at either the U.S. attorney’s office or ATF raised serious questions or concerns about the risk to public safety posed by the continuing firearms purchases or by the delay in arresting individuals who were engaging in the trafficking,” Michael Horowitz, the department’s inspector general, wrote in the 471-page report. “This failure reflects a significant lack of oversight and urgency by both ATF and the U.S. attorney’s office.”

Much More Sanitary Than Hording Cats

He hoarded gold.

Shades of Scrooge McDuck, huh?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ancient Papyrus Mentions Jesus' Wife


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …'”

The faded papyrus fragment is smaller than a business card, with eight lines on one side, in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. Just below the line about Jesus having a wife, the papyrus includes a second provocative clause that purportedly says, “she will be able to be my disciple.”

Wonder if it's surfacing now to gin up support for women priests in Roman Catholicism?

Where Have All the Bobwhites Gone?

In Texas, anyway, and I have to guess throughout the rest of the USA.

Robert Ruark and his grandfather, the Old Man of Ruark's classic coming-of-age book The Old Man and the Boy would be heartbroken, but they even predicted it back then.

Quail hunting is dying as a sport because of how much time and effort you have to devote to it. You have to train dogs, spend time in the field that most people devote to jobs these days, make and maintain friendships with rural landowners who have the type of old-fashioned mixed-use land that quail prefer. It's easier to play a video game.

You Could Always Feed Him a Poodle Pie, I Suppose

A man on death row in Ohio claims he is too fat to execute at 480 pounds.

The article tends to support him (oof!), noting difficulties in other executions of obese individuals, both by lethal injection and by hanging. Not that hanging was presented as offering any difficulties, but it was successfully argued as violating the Eighth Amendment protection against "cruel and unusual punishments."

And, of course, as soon as I read the headline I though: Poodle Pie!

From the Vincent Price camp classic Theater of Blood (1973).

"The Voice" Thinks You're a Retard

Down in my old hometown of Gainesville, Florida, one of two men who robbed a Domino's Pizza store claimed that he was off his medication and that "a voice" told him to take the money from Domino's to buy crack cocaine.

Well, I guess he's had encounters with the criminal justice system before, if he's working on his insanity plea before he's even consulted his attorney.

The Crowds All Think He's Dandy

A rodeo clown in California has lost his job after making a racially insensitive comment about First Lady Michelle Obama.

And you want to hear the joke, right? I'm nothing if not obliging:

The joke, as told by Hayhurst, went like this: Playboy is offering Ann Romney $250,000 to pose in the magazine, and the White House is upset about it because National Geographic only offered Michelle Obama $50 to pose for them.

We'll send this old hit from 1975 out to Mr. Hayhurst:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Grandfather of the Year

Would your grandfather have done this for you? Mine would have, for me.

Can't help wishing that they'd put the girl in a life jacket as a routine part of entering the boat, though. You don't have to buy those old orange kapok things anymore, you know.

What a Picture

Trolltunga - - Troll's Tongue - - Norway.

With the vertigo that I suffer I'm afraid you'd never get me up there; it's absolutely gorgeous though, isn't it?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Stupidest Man In the US Army

That would be Specialist Francisco Perez:

The Army is preparing to prosecute a soldier for the death of Pfc. Neil Turner, a Lincoln High School graduate, at an outpost in eastern Afghanistan early this year.

Army officials initially called Turner’s death a “training accident,” but now are bringing charges of manslaughter against Spc. Francisco Perez, who’s accused of firing a rocket at Turner inside their forward base at Combat Outpost Kherwar in Afghanistan’s Logar province.

Perez allegedly killed Turner, 21, on Jan. 11 with a light anti-tank weapon, a shoulder-fired rocket launcher designed for use against armored vehicles and other hardened targets. The weapon did not detonate, but was fired at close range and pierced Turner’s upper chest, according to Turner’s family and Army charging documents.

Perez’s assignment called on him to store weapons as soldiers returned to their base from missions. Witness reports in documents reviewed by Turner’s mother, Charlotte Cox-Turner, suggest Perez had been scolded more than once for “horseplay” with weapons in his charge.

Apparently Perez wasn't chastised sufficiently for the previous violations to have learned a lesson; or perhaps he was, in which case he deserves the title I assigned to him.

I've said this more than once, and I think that Jeff Cooper should have included it in his rules for gun handling: A gun (or in this case, rocket) is not a toy; don't play with it!

Friday, September 14, 2012

So...Happy Ending Then, Right?

Charlotte cop shoots a suspect.

CP understands that the suspect has a history of violence including a manslaughter charge in the death of his father in law.

CMPD has confirmed that the suspect fatally shot by CMPD Officer Swenson, has be identified as Clay McCall age 26. McCall had a history of mental illness and violence.

Oh, don't give me that John Donne shit.

Can I Interest Anyone In a Buggy Whip?

The demise of Wolf Camera.

Remember the process for taking a picture with a manual 35mm camera? It was like the goddamned Spanish Inquisition, if you ask me:

In Which I Express a Moment's Sympathy For Barack Obama


Is the Pope Catholic?

Does a monk shit in the woods?

"Bavarian monk found ALMOST as God intended… naked, wandering in the woods and hallucinating after eating toxic berries."

Sounds Like a Lost Monty Python Episode

"A drunken dandy. A Spitfire hero fuelled by Spam. And a colonel pickled in rum. The very fruity secrets I found in my family tree."

The "colonel pickled in rum" would be the late Graham Chapman, of course:

C'Mon, Kids...

...let's go visit mummy the murderer.

*shakes head in utter disbelief*

Yet Another Reason To Go Heeled

"Monster Spanish slugs that feast on dead RABBITS and grow to 15cm are invading Britain and threaten to decimate crops."

That's about a 6" slug, friends and neighbors.

Is Another Crusade...


Hell, we don't even have to muster armies, anymore. Just paint Deus Vult! on some ICBM's and send them on their way.

Musical Interlude

Gerry Rafferty, Right Down the Line:

Sending it out to Sara.

Meanwhile, In the Raleigh News & Observer...

...comes a sad story of a woman with an abusive husband:

Kathy Bertrand did everything we tell an abused woman to do.

She divorced her husband. She got a protective order against him. She got an apartment and a job outside the home after homeschooling her three children for years. She moved on.

A woman with a law degree, Kathy was not unskilled and was looking for work in the legal world.

And yet she was still horrifically murdered in a public shopping center this week by her former husband, who later killed himself.

I can’t even type that without crying for this devoted mother with whom I worked at our cherished neighborhood swim meets, her short hair always held back with headbands, her clear eyes sparkling. My heart is broken for her children, her two cute-as-button girls who swam on the team, and her freckle-faced boy.

What more could she have done? What kind of man kills the mother of his children and himself and leaves them orphans?

What more could she have done? She could have acquired a handgun and training in how to use it. Was that option even discussed with her?

Feel free to join in the commentary at the newspaper. I've already contributed.

update: As is common practice at leftist websites, my comment has been flushed down the memory hole.

How To Avoid A Muslim Massacre

Andrew Klavan brings the pain:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Well, Watson, I Deduce That...

...Curt has been hacked.

Or has suddenly succumbed to a mid-life crisis and has become an expert on haircuts.

The "Captain of a Crew of One" blog undergoes a sudden transformation.

It's 3 A.M., Mr. President

Remember this ad?

It's 3 a.m.

Musical Interlude

Johnny Cash's cover of Nick Cave's The Mercy Seat.

I actually sat in the Florida electric chair on a school field trip to Raiford State Prison around 1978. It was the old chair, with the original equipment all still installed. We were told it had been made by inmates of native Florida live oak. The tour guide told us that to test the chair's electric leads, they were dropped into a 55-gallon oil drum full of salt water and the switch turned on, and if the water didn't boil instantly (tour guide snapped his fingers at this point) it wasn't working properly. We were told the chair worked on a 2-minute cycle of varying voltages: a short burst of high voltage followed by a longer period of lesser voltage, repeated several times over 2 minutes. The executioner worked in an alcove with a slit through which he could peer out at the condemned man (or woman, since the women's prison at Lowell, Florida, didn't have its own electric chair).

He Struck Out Babe Ruth

"Olney Ray ‘Lefty’ Freeman, 98, struck out Babe Ruth during Fayetteville exhibition in 1935."

Ruth, in his final game in North Carolina, walked twice, hit into a double play and was struck out by Freeman, who recently had begun experimenting with what he called his “underhand delivery.”

His first pitch in the sixth inning almost struck Ruth in the head, and the aging star dove to avoid being hit.

The next two pitches were wide, and the fans booed Freeman for not throwing a strike. Ruth missed a 3-0 sidearm curveball, fouled off another sidearm curve and swung so hard at the third strike, an overhand curveball, that he fell down.

I hope that goes on his tombstone: He Struck Out Babe Ruth. That's one select group of men, my friends.

And maybe, up in baseball heaven, the Bambino has bat in hand, saying, "Let's just try it again, Lefty." After which he and Lefty would have a beer and a hot dog, and swap yarns of their Earthly lives.

Oops, Wrong Navy

During the last evening of last week's Democrat National Convention, a retired US Navy Admiral took the podium to lead a salute to US Military veterans, while slides of military scenes played on the screen behind him. One, showing several warships, turned out to be a photo of...Russian warships.

Well, hell, Russians can be veterans too, right? And we were all allies in World War II, right? And it's not like we're at war with Russia, right?

Look, over there! Romney's tax returns!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 Musings

I've always thought that it would have been much easier in the long run if we'd just nuked the major cities of Afghanistan, and thrown Mecca in for good measure. Afghanistan because they were the country that gave refuge to Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, and Mecca because the hijackers were all Muslim, and because Al Qaeda was a Muslim organization that Saudi Arabia bribed to leave it alone rather than dealing with it themselves.

A few days of falling nukes, and a warning to the Muslim world to not piss us off again. No American soldiers killed, no nation building; over and done with before 2001 ended. The bombs might or might not have gotten Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, but the warning would have been sent, and intelligence efforts would have located Bin Laden in whatever country he traveled to after Afghanistan was rendered uninhabitable, at which point he would either be turned over by the host country or the threat of nukes renewed.

Just my opinion. Yours may be different. That's fine.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Look, It's Wile E. Coyote

Well, it's actually a Taliban jihadi, acting like Wile E. Coyote:

Bet you just said No he didn't! He did.

When he's jumping on that IED he looks like ol' Wile E. after swallowing the Earthquake Pills:

h/t Weasel Zippers.

Since It's a Carwashing Sort of Day...

...I went out and washed the car. The old-fashioned way, with hose, bucket and rag. Tried a couple of hose nozzles that came in a gardening kit I got as a grocery purchase incentive, and damn, they both suck. The appear to have flow restrictors fitted; I can piss a stronger stream than these useless pieces of crap put out, and I'm fifty years old.

In other news, it's Return To Britannia time for anyone who has ever played Ultima Online. Just for old time's sake I downloaded the client, logged on, and soon the familar music from the town of Skara Brae was drifting out of the laptop speakers. If you ever played UO back in the day, Return To Britannia allows you to return to the UO world for the month of September, absolutely free.

Filial Piety

An example from Anderson, South Carolina:

Authorities say a 15-year-old Anderson teen died in a one-car crash after visiting his father's grave.

Anderson County Chief Deputy Coroner Charlie Boseman says Matthew McClellion was speeding when he lost control of his 1998 Mercedes convertible, and the car flipped several times. Boseman says the teen died on impact about 8 p.m. Friday. Matthew was the only person in the car.

Wikipedia has a substantial entry on the subject of filial piety, the act of honoring one's parents.

You know, as tragic as it is when a young teenager dies, this example is a hell of a lot more inspiring than the usual kid being gunned down in a senseless killing, or a kid killed from a drug overdose.

Yours Is Still Just a Fungus Fiddle, Dear Boy

Scientists have developed a method of treating a violin with a fungus that alters the wood's molecular structure to make it sound as sweet as a Stradivarius.

Which probably won't even affect the market for the old violins a bit, since at this point the simple rarity of the ancient instruments will guarantee them a market even if modern violins can duplicate their sound with 100% fidelity.

Treasure Blog: Lost Renoir Painting

Bought at a flea market for $7, expected to sell for $100K.


Look at that frame, identifying the painting as a Renoir. How the hell did the various owners during the years that it was lost not wonder if it was genuine? Did they all just collectively shrug and say, "Nah, couldn't be?"

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Pre-Dawn Musings

It's foggy this morning here in the Charlotte area. The air is still and moist as I step out onto the back porch while the dog goes about her business. Over in the bushes a catbird squalls. It's not cool yet here in the first week of September, although a cold front approaching promises cooler weather in the next couple of days.

Summer lingers. The lawn needs mowing, but is so wet from the frequent rain that it's a chore to cut, and seems to spring back up almost overnight. The neighbors to one side of us seem to have surrendered to the grass and are apparently waiting for fall to take care of it. They're transplants from Pennsylvania with a Pittsburg Steelers banner displayed from a pole on their front porch. My sister refers to them as Yo Gabba Gabba and Yo Gabba Mama.

The quiet here in this new neighborhood is pronounced compared to our old house, sited on a main road. No tractor-trailers shake this house, as they did the old one. Going out to the mailbox isn't a case of taking your life into your hands here, and it's unlikely the mailbox will be knocked over by careless motorists as the one at the old place was more than once. And no, no one ever had the common human courtesy to stop, apologize or even leave a note; hit and run, and a murdered mailbox lying in the grass to be replaced.

Hurry up, fall. Summer's been miserable.

Musical Interlude

Johnny Cash's cover of Gordon Lightfoot's classic If You Could Read My Mind.

Recorded toward the end of Cash's life, his voice frail and weak, and all the more affecting for that:

The Man Who Beat Chuck Norris

Joe Lewis, the North Carolina Marine veteran who died in a Pennsylvania veteran's hospital last week of a brain tumor.

Pic from his karate years:

Shipwreck Blog: Hey, Look, It's the Rachel

Oh? Must have been another hurricane blow through here.

Driven ashore by a tropical storm in 1923, the remains of the schooner Rachel have been uncovered in decades since by various hurricanes, only to be re-covered with sand by the waves of the Gulf of Mexico in succeeding years.

Camille, Frederick, Ivan, and now Isaac: the Rachel seems to be linked to the hurricanes of the Gulf.


Friday, September 07, 2012

Headlines You Don't See Every Day

"4 Face Charges In Decapitation of Alligator."

Hungry Marines. 'Nuff said.

Invoking Chapter 68

We've been accommodating airline crews this week at the hotel I work at, apparently because the regular hotel they stay at has some DNC issues (I work in the Charlotte metropolitan area). Well, the airline crews have been a pain in the ass to deal with all week, and last night was the capper: a crew showed up that was not on my list of scheduled arrivals. Fortunately I had a few vacant rooms left and was able to accommodate them, but it was looking grim for a few minutes, and I was reminded of Chapter 68 of The Rule of St. Benedict: When a Brother Is Asked To Do the Impossible:

A brother may be assigned a burdensome task or something he cannot do. If so, he should, with complete gentleness and obedience, accept the order given him. Should he see, however, that the weight of the burden is altogether too much for his strength, then he should choose the appropriate moment and explain patiently to his superior the reasons why he cannot perform the task. This he ought to do without pride, obstinacy or refusal. If after the explanation the superior is still determined to hold to his original order, then the junior must recognize that this is best for him. Trusting in God's help, he must in love obey.

To invoke Chapter 68, here is what you do: You say to the individual asking the impossible, "Sir/Ma'am, Chapter 68 of the Rule of St. Benedict is titled "When a Brother Is Asked To Do the Impossible." Benedict says that "Trusting in God's help, he must in love obey." Fortunately for me, I am not a monk and this is not a monastery. Go figure it out yourself."

If You Have a Pet...

...take a moment to read Mr. Completely's A Pet's Ten Commandments.

If you can read No. 10 without tears coming to your eyes you're a tougher individual than me.

And I'll send out a "Thank You!" to the blog spammer who tried to comment on my original post of it, and thus reminded me where I had seen it.

Charlotte Man Arrested For Threatening President Obama

A 21-year-old Charlotte man was arrested after he sent a Tweet threatening to assassinate President Obama.

Wow, you might say. Of course it's some racist, Tea Party redneck skinhead, right? Probably a fag-basher, too.

You'd be wrong.

Dude probably voted for Obama four years ago, and will probably vote for him in November if he doesn't get a felony conviction out of this.

I can't even reasonably call him a Usual Suspect, because for this particular crime he's not the usual suspect. Any other violent crime, yes. Nevertheless I'll tag him with it, so he can go into the Hall of Shame.

See what a low native IQ and marijuana use will do for you?

Thursday, September 06, 2012

After Ugliness, Beauty

To get the taste of the DNC out of my mouth (I've avoided posting on it because I'd just start gibbering and waving my arms around), this lovely piece that I saw at The Anchoress blog; Russian Orthodox singing of Psalm 136:

DNC Tickler

Over at The Anchoress.

Yesterday, the DNC had to pretend it had a 2/3 vote to assert that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and for the inclusion of the phrase, “God-given gifts” into their national platform, because three attempts to vote couldn’t bring it. Whether it was the “God” language or the “Jerusalem” language they resisted more is hard to say. But the nays seem to have it it.

And then, of course, the mob boo’ed, jeered and hissed.

Later, Bill Clinton came out and did what Bill Clinton does better than almost anyone.

This morning, appeared on my Facebook wall the cleverest remark about it all:

“So, after they denied God three times, the cock crowed; what next?”


Pandering To the Polydactyls?

Or is it just another example of Democrats being bad at math?

Six-fingered illustrations at the DNC:

h/t Daily Caller.

By the Beard of the Prophet!

A judge orders Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood murderer, to be shaved.

Please Lord don't let it turn out like this.

(Not that I think it will, but that immediately popped into my mind).

And yah, I notice that more appeals are required before Maj. Jihadi gets shaved. If ever.

h/t Weasel Zippers.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Learn Something New Every Day

This episode finds us discovering the facts on North Carolina's very own version of the Boston Tea Party: The New Hanover Barbecue Party.

A similar but less remembered event took place seven years earlier in North Carolina. At the time, tensions were high over the recently enacted Stamp Act, which levied taxes on legal documents, newspapers, and magazines. Carolinians weren’t particularly receptive to the measure, and in 1766, the militia companies from several counties expressed their discontent by marching to the town of Brunswick and refusing to let a cargo of stamped paper be brought ashore.

Alarmed by the unrest, Governor William Tryon chose a conciliatory path. At the next militia muster in New Hanover, he prepared a feast for the troops that included a whole barbecued ox and several barrels of beer. Now, that seems like a pretty crafty move to me, but as it turns out, it wasn’t nearly enough. When called to the feast, the soldiers mocked Tryon’s hospitality, poured the beer onto the ground, and pitched the ox, untasted, into the Cape Fear River.

Well, I guess the alligators had a fine supper that night. New Hanover County is the area of North Carolina that includes Wilmington. I'm guessing that the Barbecue Party took place in or around Brunswick Town, which was the colonial capital for several decades before moving to New Bern.



(Photo via Garrett Wade Tools.)

The Douk-Douk is the lesser known of France's two famous knives for working men, the other is the Opinel. You can read more about Douk-Douks at Wikipedia. I bought mine from Amazon, $23.50, shipping was free.

That's a Rape Defense I've Not Heard Before.

Any prosecutor will tell you that there are only three defenses offered in rape prosecutions. They are:

1. Attack the victim's honesty (Bitch Lied);

2. Mistaken identity (some other dude did it, aka "SODDI");

3. Consent (Bitch wanted it).

Now a fellow in Lake City, Florida, has offered what I'll call the Flip Wilson defense: demonic possession.

A man who police said tried to sexually assault a 13-year-old girl told arresting officers that “the devil tried to rape her in my body,” according to a report.

His mother got involved, too:

He told the girl to stop resisting,’ the report stated, but she was able to shove him to the ground and escape. He went after her but he was stopped by his mother.

Note that mom didn't stop the attempted rape itself, but only his attempt to catch the fleeing victim. Didn't want Sonny Boy wearing himself out running in the summer heat, no doubt.

And yeah, he's a Usual Suspect®, according to his Columbia County booking photo.

Damn Them Watermelon Thieves!

Coyotes in Onslow County, NC, I mean.

What? You thought I was going to say something racist?

Well, hell. I'm nothing if not obliging:

I Hates Me Dem Coyotes!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Well, I Called That One, Didn't I?

A few days ago, I predicted it.

And now, as I predicted, so it has come to pass.

Except for the chicken part, and I'll bet I'm not far off the mark there, either.

h/t Weasel Zippers.

The Obligatory "Buy MHI: Legion" Post

And hey, I'm nothing if not obliging.

Go here to buy a signed hardcover.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

How Home Defense Works In UK

You catch burglars/home invaders breaking into your house and shoot them, YOU are arrested and charged with inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm.

What do they have in UK a Burglar's Union? This crap was supposed to cease when Labour got voted out of office.

Yet Another Reason To Go Heeled

Donkeys crazed by lust.

The stomping of the hooves, the horrible hee-haw! hee-haw! ringing in your ears...

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Blogging Note

Borepatch noted that you can decrease blog spam via a very simple method, so I'm going to give it a try. From here on out, if any of you wish to comment here it had best be a fairly recent post; the old posts I'm going to turn off commenting on as the spammers visit them. Let's face it, if you're commenting on a months-old post you're living in the past and there's no help for you.

Status Report: Frying Pan Shoals Light Tower

The transition from a deserted navigation aid to a tourist destination.

It even has a Facebook page.

Increase the Dane-Geld, Please

Because it isn't enough to meet my needs.

An 82-year-old Usual Suspect® with a rap sheet dating back to 1955 tells police, "wouldn’t do all this nonsense if the government gave us more money."


It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: –
"Though we know we should defeat you,
we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: --

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!"

h/t Sipsey Street Irregulars.

Free Tickets and Chicken!

"Team Obama Vows To Fill All 73K Seats At Bank Of America Stadium For Obama’s DNC Speech…"

They won't have any problem filling the stadium here in what has been called "Detroit-On-the-Catawba."