Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Meanwhile, In the 'Hood...

...they put up impromptu memorials - - not to those killed by or in automobile accidents, but those that were victims of murder:

On June 30, 2011, 16-year-old T.J. Harris Jr. collapsed on his friend’s front porch. He laid there with two bullets lodged in his chest, taking his last breaths as he slipped out of consciousness. Police came, followed promptly by an ambulance. But T.J. couldn’t hang on.

In the days after T.J. was killed in a shooting on Wilmington’s North Fifth Avenue, a makeshift memorial took shape in the grassy median across the street from his friend’s porch. T.J.’s mother, Teresa Walker, often visits to lay fresh flowers, replace deflated balloons and reminisce about a young life cut short.

“At first I feel sad,” she said. “But then I think about all the good times me and him had together.”

Street shrines have become a sadly familiar sight across the city as bereaved families and friends erect homemade monuments atop curbs, in parks and along roadsides to commemorate loved ones lost. People are probably more familiar with roadside memorials to traffic accident victims. But in urban areas like Wilmington, the long-running tradition has expanded to honor those slain in violence. In that sense, their all-too-common presence serves to manifest the consequences of crime.

Which should probably be included in John Derbyshire's infamous The Talk: Non-Black Version:

If you are in an unfamiliar city and see streetside memorials to murder victims, leave immediately.

That's down in Wilmington, NC, one of our nearest NC beach destinations.

If You Build It, They Will Buy

General Dynamics hopes so, anyway, with its debut of the tracked version of the Stryker:

Can We Have Our Monopoly Back? Please?

Yet another story of a veteran newsman who longs for the old days when there were only three news networks, all promulgating the same version of the news.

What you've seen in the past dozen years is the journalistic equivalent of the Protestant Reformation of the Catholic Church, and, try as it might, the ecclesiastics of the old religion of information can't hold back the tide of heretics preaching a new creed, unbeholden to the cult of Ss. Murrow, Cronkite and Chancellor.

And even though the Catholic Church eventually reformed itself and was stronger for having done so, the break was permanent, the scales had fallen from the eyes of too many to go back to the old way. And the world, I think, is better for it. And after all, doesn't the Left view itself as the champion of diversity? Not when that diversity includes diversity of thought.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Yer Semi-Amusing Headline of the Day

"Sandy Bears Down on East Coast."

Sandy Bears? WTF, are they frolicking in the sand dunes?

Prayers and best wishes go out to those in the path of the storm.

Meanwhile, Off North Carolina's Outer Banks...

...the crew of the tall ship replica of HMS Bounty are abandoning the ship in the face of Hurricane Sandy:

Donning survival suits and boarding life boats, the crew of a tall ship in distress off North Carolina's Outer Banks abandoned the vessel as Hurricane Sandy swirled toward the East Coast, the Coast Guard said early Monday.

The 17 people aboard the HMS Bounty got into two 25-foot lifeboats with canopies, wearing survival suits and life jackets, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert in Portsmouth, Va., said.

The Coast Guard was trying to determine whether to use cutters or helicopters to rescue the crew, based on the current ocean conditions, Weydert said. Winds of 40 mph and 18-foot seas were reported at the ship, about 90 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.

Click the link to read the rest. Not for nothing is the area off the North Carolina Outer Banks called "the Graveyard of the Atlantic."

Update:She sank. Possibly 2 unaccounted for.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

My New Catchphrase

"Wear first a condom on your tongue in order contain the orgasm of your ignorance."

That's how a Michelin-starred chef replied to a blogger's review of his restaurant and cuisine.

It'll probably appear in an Obama attack ad by, say...tomorrow?

Yer Wince-Inducing Headline of the Day

"Man wakes to find his girlfriend biting through his scrotum after falling asleep in the middle of an argument."

Damn, at least Loreena Bobbitt used a knife.

Richard III's Body Found?

Under a parking lot in Leicester, UK:

Richard III is finally to receive a burial fit for a king – more than 500 years after he was killed in battle.

Remains that archaeologists believe are those of the king are to be buried in Leicester Cathedral if DNA tests prove that the bones are his.

The skeleton was uncovered last month in what is now the car park of Leicester City Council’s social services department.

The site was formerly a chapel.

The body in the car park has an arrow in its back – matching Richard’s death at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.

It also has scoliosis – severe curvature of the spine – tying in with the famous description by Shakespeare and others of the monarch as a hunchback.

I remember reading Richard III in my senior year of high school, in Advanced Placement English.

And somewhere in my possessions is a set of "War of the Roses" playing cards, with Richard III as a hunchbacked King of Clubs.

Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York...

NOT Yer Usual Suspect

Down in Rock Hill, SC, a restaurant had its door smashed in, but it wasn't by the Usual Suspects®:

A deer smashed through the door of a Rock Hill restaurant early Saturday morning, according to Rock Hill police.

Officers responded to the Dragon Express restaurant – located on Cherry Road directly across the street from Winthrop University – after 2 a.m. to find the deer running around the dining room, said Lt. Marc Kitts of the Rock Hill Police Department.

Officers attempted to catch the deer but it escaped, Kitts said.

The deer is on the lam. Or should I type that on the lamb?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Yer Green Grocery Bags Are Making Us Sick

Researchers at the University of Arizona sampled 84 reusable bags from shoppers in Los Angeles, the most recent major municipality to ban plastic bags, and two additional bag-outlawed cities. The findings were stunning: just over half were contaminated with some form of harmful bacteria while at least twelve percent contained traces of fecal matter. When the contaminated bags were housed in car trunks for two hours, scientists found the number of bacteria was boosted ten-fold.

So the next time that you're sitting on the toilet with a bucket in your hands, simultaneously squirting and puking, you can blame it on a hippie.

Shooter Probably Thought They Were Coyotes

Dead red wolves in Beaufort County, NC.

The endangered Red Wolf and the Coyote have a superficial resemblance that would make it easy for the uninformed hunter to mistake one for the other.

Red Wolf:


Although it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the shooter knew exactly what (s)he was shooting, and just did it out of pure meanness.

I'll Have One Can of the "Special" Tanning Powder, Thanks

*Wink, wink.*

A Caldwell County tanning salon owner and her boyfriend were arrested Thursday in connection with cocaine trafficking.

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office drug unit arrested Jennifer Denise Robinson, 32, and Aaron Lateff Pearson, also known as “Toog,” 38, without incident at the Granite Falls salon, called JennaDollzz Tanning.

They lived in the same home in Lenoir and were charged with trafficking cocaine and maintaining a dwelling to keep drugs, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Click the link to check out the eyebrows on the chick. Mr. Spock or Dr. McCoy couldn't get an eyebrow higher than that girl has hers painted on.

Mama's Got Yo Back

Mother-and-son bank robbers here in Charlotte.

Police arrested a mother and son in connection with a bank robbery in University City Friday night.

Officers responded to a robbery call at the First Citizens Bank in the 6700 block of N. Tryon Street about 6 p.m., according to a release from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

En route, officers saw Carlos Lamonte Simpson, 21, and Pamela Simpson, 48, at a bus stop near the bank, the release said. One officer noticed the two had dye on their clothing, which was from an exploded dye pack.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Animal War Heroes

The latest is Theo, who died in Afghanistan after his human partner was killed by insurgents in a firefight.

British soldiers and military dogs gathered at a London army barracks Thursday to honor a fallen hero with selfless courage, nerves of steel - and four legs.

Theo, a bomb-sniffing springer spaniel who died in Afghanistan on the day his soldier partner was killed, was posthumously honored with the Dickin Medal, Britain's highest award for bravery by animals.

Theo worked alongside Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker, searching for roadside bombs in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold.

Tasker, 26, died in a firefight with insurgents in March 2011, and Theo suffered a fatal seizure hours later. Tasker's mother, Jane Duffy, says the pair were inseparable. She's convinced Theo died of a broken heart.

The Dickin Medal has been given to dogs, pigeons, horses - - and a cat. Click the link to read the whole story.

US Navy "CNO Reading List."

Story here.

It's a list of books recommended for Navy personnel of all ranks. Let's let CNO himself explain it:

There's some familiar names on the list, such as Heinlein's Starship Troopers and Patrick O'Brien's Master and Commander, among others. It's meant for leisure time and there is no requirement to read any of them, but...

While nonreaders face no consequence, Jackson encourages leaders to praise those who do participate in their next evaluations.

So you know where that will probably lead.

For myself, it's no big deal; I've always been a reader, even read the tomes put out by the Naval Institute regularly during my active duty years. There's probably more than a few sailors who'd rather not have to deal with being "encouraged" to tackle the "essential 18" books on the list.

It's similar to what Muslims like to say: There is no compulsion in Islam.

Or the Navy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lord of the Rings Random Musing

Do you think that when Treebeard the Ent gets sexually excited he refers to it as getting a woody?

Likewise, when Treebeard has sexual relations with one of the Entwives, does he have to worry about splinters? Does she? If they go at it hot and heavy enough, would the friction cause them to catch fire?

Just random musings from my afternoon walk...

Hoom, Hom!

Meanwhile, Over At Reason Magazine...

...Damon Root discusses how the next President will affect the Supreme Court with the opportunity to nominate one or more Justices.

He mainly discusses it in terms of Citizens United, but mentions Roe v. Wade in passing, also, and points up Anthony Kennedy's libertarian tendencies as likely to be missed. No mention at all of gun rights post-Heller.

Another Headline of the Day

"Police: Teen Mug Chucker Jailed."

A 14-year-old New Hanover High student was arrested Wednesday morning after throwing an aluminum mug out a third story window of the Market Street school, hitting another student on the head, according to an official.

New Hanover County Sheriff Sgt. Jerry Brewer said the mug struck a student on the ground level, causing a gash that needed six staples to close.

(New Hanover High School is in Wilmington, NC).

Headline of the Day

"How KSM got an orange beard at Gitmo."

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — The Pentagon has given a partial explanation to a Guantanamo mystery: How the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks managed to dye his beard.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's bushy grey beard has been colored a rusty orange during court appearances. Spectators had assumed he used henna, which is used by some Muslims as a hair dye.

A Pentagon spokesman says Mohammed used "natural means," such as juice from berries that he receives in his meals. Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale said Tuesday that Mohammed did not receive any "outside" means to color his beard.

Today's Poll: O Mighty Killer of Snakes!

Over at Robert Langham's blog he mentions an encounter with a copperhead, which he let live, and I got to wondering: What's the attitude of my readership toward snakes, particularly venomous snakes? My own attitude is like Langham's, with the possible exception of encountering a venomous snake by surprise in close quarters, e.g., accidentally stepping on one and having it bite in self-defense.

So here's today's poll. I think I've covered most of the choices, with the exception of killing a snake to protect one's spouse/children; I think that choice would outweigh every other one on the poll, so I didn't include it by design. You can, of course, offer detailed reasons for/against in comments.

Under What Circumstances Would You Kill a Snake? free polls 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Musical Interlude

Quote of the Day

"A Sociopath Would Sell a Snuff Film; a Psychopath Would *Make* One." - - Andrew Vachss.

A good explanation of the fundamental difference between the two pathologies.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Who You Gonna Believe, the Satnav Or Yo' Lyin' Eyes?

In Hampshire, UK, villagers got tired of strangers drowning themselves in a nearby river ford by blindly following satnav instructions.

So the villagers put up a sign:

Folks, as sophisticated as computers and computer-connected devices have gotten, the old rule still applies: Garbage In, Garbage Out. Sometimes the data isn't to be trusted.

News Source Recommendation

If you're not following Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller, you probably should be. Quality conservative news and views; and, if you look at the top of the main page, you'll see a heading titled Guns and Gear. That's right, The Daily Caller prominently features gun reviews and stories. For just one example, here is a review of the Savage Rascal, a .22 bolt-action youth rifle.

I'm at the point where I check the feed for The Daily Caller regularly. It's worth adding to your newsfeed or blogroll.

Today's Word is Desultory

Desultory: adjective. Disappointing in progress, performance, or quality.

Frankly, my blogging has been desultory for the last few days. I apologize, and will try to get motivated again.

I Though I Saw Skunkzilla!

So he shot Skunkzilla, who turned out to be a 9-year-old girl in Halloween outfit.

*shakes head disgustedly*

Friday, October 19, 2012

Way Down Upon De Cape Fear Ribber...

Did you know that police in Wilmington, North Carolina, can arrest you for swimming in the Cape Fear River?


That’s when Mercer ran onto the dock at the foot of Market Street, Smith said. As a New Hanover County deputy approached him, Mercer jumped into the river.

When he reached the other side he surrendered to officers in the marsh near the Battleship North Carolina.

“Mercer, lucky to be alive, was taken into custody without further incident,” Smith said in a release.

Mercer was booked on charges of obtain/attempt to obtain alcohol with a drivers license of another, obstructing police, consuming alcohol under 21 and swimming in the river.

Dumbass. He worked himself from a simple ticket to a night in jail.

Yer Redneck Feature of the Day

Dan DeBlasio's haunted house in Leland, NC:

Some residents of Olde Towne Wynd in Leland enjoy sprucing up for the holidays with dazzling light displays, decorations and mood-setting music.

So does Dan DeBlasio.

The difference is that DeBlasio's favorite holiday comes in October, not December.

For DeBlasio, Halloween is his chance to outshine the neighbors.

As a visitor pauses to read the "Enter at Your Own Risk!" sign, DeBlasio or his cohort, Tom Nugent, rattles him with a hidden noisemaker. Even on an early October day, this year's plan is taking shape.

The gated graveyard is nearly finished, featuring a half-buried corpse among the graves of singer Bob Denver, pitchman Billy Mays and pop legend Michael Jackson. The young boy's underwear on Jackson's gravestone smacks of poor taste, but DeBlasio takes ridicule as easily as he shovels it – imagine his hesitation at asking a neighbor for a pair of his son's underwear.

Among all the famous names in the graveyard is one unfamiliar name: "Georgia Peters, 1940-2001." That's DeBlasio's mother-in-law, and it's not a tribute – she's actually still alive. There's also an undug grave with a shovel next to it – its headstone reads "YOU!!!"


And, me being the priggish grammar Nazi that I am, I noticed that the sign in the pic has the word you're misspelled as your. Don't know if it's intentional or not, but this is North Carolina, so I'll say it's unintentional. (Later: he spelled too as to, also.)

Click the link to read the rest of the story.

Mitt Romney's Al Smith Dinner Appearance

Mr. Stiff was funny as hell. And not inclined to pull punches, which indicates to me how frustrated he's been over the course of the campaign. His comments on the media are priceless:

h/t Michael Graham.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Headline of the Day

"DNC host committee tallies the price they cannot pay."

The cost of the recent DNC convention here in Charlotte is deeply in the hole:

How do you pay the bills when the party’s over and the guests have gone?

Democratic National Convention organizers are about to find out.

After struggling for more than a year to raise money – and ultimately coming up short – they face $10 million in debts and unpaid obligations, according to reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission.

“This is a difficult debt to retire,” said Viveca Novak, a spokeswoman for the Center for Responsive Politics. “If (President) Obama loses on Nov. 6, then very few people are going to want to give to this lingering debt from the convention.”

It brings to mind Groucho Marx's comment on alimony: It's like feeding hay to a dead horse.

Not To Put Too Fine a Point On It...

...but when Democrats go on The View, the resident hags wear kneepads; when Republicans go on, the hags switch to boxing gloves.

And Mitt Romney should just come right out and say it on the record, but he's too much of a gentleman to do so.

The Dedication of the True Fanatic

A man in UK spent ten years building a scale model of Admiral Nelson's flagship HMS Victory:

More photos of this magnificent work at the link.

I got to visit Victory in the early 1980's when I was in the US Navy, on a port visit to Portsmouth. I had photos of the ship with the US flag flying at the mainmast as a courtesy; those didn't follow me here to the US when my marriage broke up and property was divided. Wonderful old ship.

Photograph of the Day

Chinese rapeseed fields:

Click the link for more photos. Spectacular.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Treasure Blog: Roman Gold Coins, Hartfordshire, UK

Worth up to £100,000.

They're lovely; gold, unlike silver or bronze, doesn't tarnish or oxidize with the passage of time:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

WWII Monopoly?

Story here.

GULFPORT -- Kevin Boone wanted to take his ninth-grade students from Salmen High in Slidell to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans last spring, but he realized they didn't know much about the war.

Boone, who lives in Gulfport, decided the students would get more out of the field trip if they knew what happened in World War II and the history behind it.

"I hated to bring the students there without them having any background," Boone said. "It was spring, and they were tired of testing, so we did a fun learning game, and they researched most of the events of the war."

He decided a board game, such as Monopoly with a WWII theme, would be the best way to get the students interested and help them remember the facts.

Boone searched the Internet for such a game but couldn't find one, so he and his students created their own. He had five classes, and each created a version. The classes played each other's games rather than taking a written test.

The field trip was a success, Boone said, and he felt his students got more out of the experience than if they hadn't studied WWII.

Now, six months later, Boone and his students will go to the museum for the unveiling of Monopoly: America's WWII: We're All in This Together.

Game available here.

Just in time for Christmas. Play a game with your WWII veteran friends or relatives, maybe learn something you didn't know.

How Tonight's Debate Could Be Rigged

Aside from having a liberal moderator, of course.

Tonight's Presidential debate is a "town hall"-style debate, with "normal Americans" asking questions of Obama and Romney. How were the "normal Americans" picked? That's the first way you could rig the debate.

The second way that the debate could be rigged is that, although the "normal Americans" get to ask the questions, the questions are pre-screened and the moderator (Candy Crowley, Liberal Journalist) gets to choose which questions get asked. Thus it's likely that there will be plenty of questions that embarrass Governor Romney (or try to) and few that embarrass President Obama.

The third way the debate could be rigged is that Liberal CNN Journalist Candy Crowley gets to ask the follow-up questions to those made by the "normal Americans." Thus, if one of the questions inadvertently embarrasses President Obama, Crowley will be able to rescue him by asking a penetrating follow-up to Governor Romney.

Bear all this in mind as you watch the debate tonight.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Walking Dead AAR: Seed

Sunday's season premiere of The Walking Dead apparently picks up Rick & Co. several weeks (or perhaps even longer) after the Season 2 finale. Hershel has grown a beard, the entire group are now zombie-killing machines, and have even acquired suppressors for several of their guns. But apparently, even with several road-worthy vehicles, they couldn't find their way out of the general area that they were in at the end of Season 2 (all the roads are choked off/blocked?)

Meanwhile, we see Michonne (who still hasn't been formally introduced to the audience) caring for Andrea, who apparently has pneumonia. Lots of unanswered questions there: where did Michonne learn to use that sword so efficiently? What's with the two armless zombies? It's as if we missed an episode in which all this stuff was explained.

And Rick is damn sure determined to keep Hershel around to deliver Lorie's baby, no matter what it takes, huh?

The Closing Argument

Victor Davis Hanson brilliantly sums up the case against re-electing Barack Obama as President.

The election is not over, but it is starting to resemble October 29 or November 1 in 1980, when, after just one debate, the nation at last decided that it really did not like Jimmy Carter very much or what he had done, and discovered that Ronald Reagan was not the mad Dr. Strangelove/Jefferson Davis of the Carter summer television ads. Like Carter, Obama both has no wish to defend his record (who would?) and is just as petulant. In the next three weeks, he has only three hours left to save his presidency.

There are lots or reasons why various groups are tiring of Obama. It is not just the economy, but also all the untruths about the economy over the last four years that sounded like daily communiqués from the Ministry of Truth. Do we even remember the brilliant Obama economic A-team, chomping at the bit in December 2008 to get started to pull us into the good times — a Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner (remember, he was the “genius” who almost alone knew how high finance on Wall Street worked and so had to be exempted from cheating on his tax deductions), Christina Romer, Peter Orszag, and, later, Austan Goolsbee, who have now all come and gone.

Read the whole thing, as the saying goes.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What We've Got Here...Is Failure To Communicate

And so, as a public service, I provide this handy-dandy translation service from Liberal to Conservative:

You Say: Journalist…I Hear: Propagandist

You Say: Social Justice…I Hear: Stand and Deliver

You Say: Shari’a Law…I Hear: Hang gays, stone women, marry children, own slaves

You Say: Progressive…I Hear: Socialist

You Say: Trial Lawyer…I Hear: Pirate

You Say: Racist…I Hear: Shut Up

You Say: Islamophobia…I Hear: Shut Up

Plenty more at the link. And, of course, the title reference comes from this classic movie moment:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Musical Interlude

I'm feeling nostalgic for the late 1970's, thanks to Borepatch posting an old country favorite. So I'll offer another song from the same era, from a very similar singer, the late Johnny Duncan. This one features Janie Fricke, a legend in her own right, who got her start as a session singer and had several hits with Duncan. Here's one of their best, Stranger:

Ain't Nothin' Wrong With a Slim Jim

"DoD developing a better dehydrated meat."

The Defense Department is developing a shelf-stable meat that tastes less like a Slim Jim and more like chicken, beef or pork.

DoD’s Combat Feeding Directorate and the Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center have teamed with an Augusta, Ga.,-based company to produce meat that can sit on a shelf for two or three years and still remain soft and juicy, with a consistency similar to deli cold cuts.

The process involves grinding up a base meat such as chicken, pork or beef (vegetables are being tested as well) and passing it slowly through a continuous osmotic dehydration processor, removing water from the meat by osmosis, drawing it out with a solution of sugar and salt.

The result is a product that presses out of the dehydration machine looking like a giant Fruit Roll Up.

There! You see? Which would you rather have, a Slim Jim or a Fruit Roll-Up? I know what I prefer.

Sounds Like a Third-Rate Stephen King Plot

"Worker cooked to death at California tuna plant."

Now, see there? The headline writer missed his opportunity. I'd have titled it:


They Call Him Everything But "Usual Suspect."

Could The Charlotte Observer staff be reading my blog? Nah.

The linked article is racially insensitive enough to have been written

ROCK HILL A Lancaster man repeatedly threatened a police officer’s life after he was arrested for allegedly harassing his “baby mamma,” according to a Rock Hill police report.

The 41-year-old woman told police the man called her and threatened to come to her Rock Hill home and “bust out her windows” following an incident earlier in the evening.

When officers found the man walking down Anderson Road, the report states, he had “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person. He was arrested and charged with public disorderly conduct.

On the way to jail, the report states, the man repeated yelled and threatened one of the officers, using numerous expletives. “Wait ‘ take these handcuffs off of me...” the man said, according to the report. “Done it before, I’ll do it again...You can hit me with your Taser, I don’t give a ... about that. I’m gonna get you before it hit me, though.

“You gonna feel the wrath!”

Friday, October 12, 2012

Less Blow For Eurotrash, More Nanners For the Monkeys

Cocaine hidden in a shipment of bananas was seized in the port of Antwerp, Belgium, and the bananas given to a local zoo.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands A major cocaine seizure in Europe turned out to be good news for the animals at Rotterdam's zoo.

The drugs were hidden among boxes of bananas, and the fruit went to the monkeys and other creatures at the Blijdorp zoo.

The One-Man Crime Wave

He got out of prison 11 months ago and immediately went back to stealing.

[Suspect] faces 37 felony violations related to 23 breaking-and-entering cases, according to police. The burglaries started March 19, about four months after [suspect] got out of a state prison, and continued through Sept. 15, according to authorities.

Stealing. It's all he knows, all he's good at, apparently. And one of his previous busts apparently recognized this, as he was charged with being a habitual felon. Unfortunately, the sentence he received didn't reflect that fact.

If Your Notion Of Cooking Squirrels...

...involved burning the squirrel's hair off with a propane torch, you're very likely doing it wrong.

Mich. Authorities say a blaze that displaced dozens of people from a southwest Michigan apartment complex may have been sparked by a resident trying to cook a squirrel with a propane torch.

Fire Chief Jim Kohsel tells that the resident apparently planned to eat the animal and was burning off its fur on a third-floor deck at the building in Ottawa County's Holland Township when the fire broke out Wednesday. Flames spread to the roof. Kohsel says eight apartments are destroyed and others damaged.

Since this took place at an apartment complex and involved bizarre technique, I'm inclined to think that alcohol was probably involved, as well as a large dose of male stupidity.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wouldn't Mind Having One Myself

A Citroën 2CV, to be specific.

A man in UK is making a tidy sum with a factory to refurbish junk 2CV's and re-sell them, often back to France, their country of origin. A junked 2CV purchased from a junkyard for £300 can, when refurbished, sell for £11,000 or higher.

Good profit for a car that was often thought of as an ugly duckling. They were easy to maintain and cheap, though, making them the French equivalent of the Volkswagen Beetle, and popular for the same reason.

Here's a pic, if you're not familiar with them:

Click the link for more pics. They were easy to turn into small trucks, and I saw a lot of them in Spain when I lived there in the mid-1980's.

It's Not As If It's In the Ladies' Room, After All

Down in Sydney, Australia, some woman has her panties in a twist because a bar has had urinals shaped like a woman's lips in the men's room.

After the woman got all butthurt over an object she's never even likely to see, out went the baby with water, and the "offensive" urinals were taken out.

Pic? Of course there's a pic:

Ironically, the lip-shaped urinals were designed by a woman artist.

Might as well have a poll about the urinals. You male readers, would you own one if you had the opportunity?

Would You Own a Urinal Shaped Like a Woman's Lips? free polls 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Passing of a Classic

No more Coca-Cola in the iconic 6.5oz. glass bottles.

You know when those were at their best? In the summer, out of a cooler, on a dock or boat as you fished with friends and family.

When I lived in Spain during the mid-1980's, a favorite souvenir from trips to Morocco was the glass Coca-Cola bottle, labeled in Arabic. Everyone brought one home.

I'm guessing that Coca-Cola will probably still manufacture the glass bottles outside the USA; this "end of an era" might just refer to domestic sales.

Forgotten By Most, Studied Intently By One

Bigham gravestones, that is, studied by University of North Carolina folklorist Daniel Patterson, who has written a scholarly work on the distinctive stones.

Here's an example, the gravestone of Andrew Bigham himself:

Patterson has spent a good portion of his life studying the gravestones and writing his book. Scholarship in the best sense of the word.

Accompanying slideshow can be found here.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Let's Just Blatantly Manipulate That Town Hall Debate

Coming home from work a few minutes ago, I heard a great offer on WBT radio from Pizza Hut: if you are in the audience at the Town Hall Debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama, and are called on, if you ask them "What topping to you prefer on your pizza: pepperoni or sausage?" Pizza Hut will give you free pizza for life.

Isn't that brilliant, in a manipulative American way? Instead of asking a substantive question, you whore yourself out for free stuff. And I'm sure that other companies will follow Pizza Hut's lead and try to horn in on the debate, also. You might not get a substantive question all night. It might go like this:

Mr. President? Coke or Pepsi?

Governor Romney? Are your Magic Mormon Underwear boxers or briefs?

President Obama? Windows or Mac?

Governor Romney? What's your favorite brand of peanut butter?

And so on. You get the idea.

Headline of the Day

"Man dies after live roach-eating contest in Fla."

MIAMI -- The winner of a roach-eating contest in South Florida died shortly after downing dozens of the live bugs as well as worms, authorities said Monday.

About 30 contestants ate the insects during Friday night's contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach about 40 miles north of Miami. The grand prize was a python.

Edward Archbold, 32, of West Palm Beach became ill shortly after the contest ended and collapsed in front of the store, according to a Broward Sheriff's Office statement released Monday. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Authorities were waiting for results of an autopsy to determine a cause of death.

"Unless the roaches were contaminated with some bacteria or other pathogens, I don't think that cockroaches would be unsafe to eat," said Michael Adams, professor of entomology at the University of California at Riverside, who added that he has never heard of someone dying after consuming roaches. "Some people do have allergies to roaches," he said, "but there are no toxins in roaches or related insects."

Me? I think he died of shame after debasing himself in such a manner. I know I would.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Oh, That's Why No School Today

It's National White Guilt Over Exposing American Aborigines To Death and Slavery Day, formerly known as Columbus Day.


That was all it cost to purchase the Diamond Shoals Light Tower off the coast of North Carolina near Cape Hatteras.

A Minnesota man who has never seen the Diamond Shoals Light Tower – 13 miles off Cape Hatteras in the Atlantic Ocean – has bought the abandoned, rusting tower for $20,000 at federal auction.

Dave Schneider, 56, of Richfield, Minn., said he plans to restore the corroded, 46-year-old tower and turn it into a research, development and product-testing facility off the Outer Banks.

Supposedly it'll cost $2.3M to renovate the old tower.

Here's a pic:

Murph, you missed your chance. I think your plane cost more than that, didn't it?

I Can't Say "Only In North Carolina..."

...because I think that Pig Butt On a Stick is a state fair taste treat that could take off and be successful in other parts of the country, too.

It just seems like such a natural for North Carolina. And maybe Mississippi.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

For You Older Readers...

...whose memories stretch back to the 60's and 70's, Time-Warner has announced that 50 full episodes of The Carol Burnett Show, along with numerous extras, are now available as a DVD boxed set.

That show would have been just a run-of-the-mill variety show were it not, frankly, for the presence of two people: Harvey Korman, who could not keep a straight face when he found something funny, and Tim Conway, the man who was the most skilled at making Harvey Korman (and, very often, the rest of the cast) break into uncontrollable laughter. This propensity of Conway's is best exemplified by his "elephant story," in which he breaks up Carol, Vicki Lawrence, Dick Van Dyke (and himself) before being topped by Vicki Lawrence in a brilliant riposte:

When you see the modern internet term "ROFL" (Rolling On Floor Laughing), this is a perfect example of what is meant.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Walking Dead Season 3 Trailer

Here it is:

Found at USA Today.

He Said "Whip" To a Black President!

He's a raaaaaaacist!

Piers Morgan, that is; who, after Wednesday's disastrous debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, offered to have the President on his show for debate prep:

"C'mon, Mr. President. I can promise you a lively exchange of views, a fair crack of the whip, and, perhaps, even the odd moment of much-needed levity. I'm available any time, any place."

Crack the whip? Who was whipped? Slaves, that's who! Black slaves! And President Obama is black! Piers Morgan, you're a raaaaaacist!

Well, that's the sort of crap they're always inflicting on Republicans/conservatives, so it's only right to turn it around on them, right?

Update: Apologies for the auto-play on the video. I've un-embedded it, you can see it at the Breitbart link. The relevent text is still here, though.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Sold By Weight. Some Settling May Occur

But just five potato chips in a bag is a bit stingy, if you ask me.

What's that, you say? Michelle Obama must have packed them?

Guys Do It, Gals Do It, Dogs Do It

The Chinese are doing the splits:



And guys (although this guy might just be constipated):

For Those of You Who Miss John Derbyshire...

...and his writings at National Review, the Derb is now writing regularly for Taki's Magazine, the outlet where he wrote the piece that got him fired from NR. You can read his six-month-out reflections on his notoriety here.

My Impression of the First Debate

That's Robert Shaw as President Obama, Roy Scheider as Jim Lehrer, and Mitt Romney as the shark.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

At the NC Fair This Year...

...the hot-oil taste treat is deep-fried Girl Scout Cookies:

Scott Strother with S2 Concessions has partnered with the North Carolina Coastal Pines chapter of the Girl Scouts to offer the deep-fried Caramel deLites, or the cookie formerly known as Samoas. (The partnership marks the girl scouts' 100th anniversary.)

Strother admits he was inspired by a vendor at the Texas State Fair, who also introduced deep-fried Caramel deLites this year although Strother says his method is a different. Strother says he freezes the cookies for 24 hours, dips them in batter and briefly deep fries them. "It melts in your mouth," Strother reports.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Yer Fun Video of the Day

Molotov cocktail in super slo-mo.

So, You Suspect the Polls Are Biased: What Do You Do?

Why, you take a poll, of course.

Sometimes this stuff just writes itself, folks.

h/t Weasel Zippers.

The Truth Few Wish To Face

The plague of gun violence in the U.S., it turns out, is not as widespread or as random as many gun control advocates would have us believe. Indeed, gun violence in America largely consists of black and Hispanic males shooting other black and Hispanic males. According to a study by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, based on data collected by the Center for Disease Control, 1.5 white Americans in 100,000 were shot and killed in 2007 — still higher than the Canadian rate of 0.6, but, given the population densities of the two nations, at least in the same ballpark. On the other hand, the rate for Hispanic Americans was an alarming 5.2 per 100,000 — more than three times the rate among whites Americans. The rate for African Americans was a grotesque 18.1 per 100,000, or roughly 12 times the rate among whites Americans. The rate for African-American males was an obscene 37.59 per 100,000.

Those are the victim rates. The ethnic disparities among gun homicide offenders mirror the disparities among victims. Though blacks make up less than 13% of the U.S. population, year after year they commit more than half of all gun homicides. The numbers for Hispanic offenders are harder to pin down since law enforcement agencies tend to group them with white offenders — perhaps to make the black-white contrast seem less stark. But given the high rate of Hispanic victimization, and the fact that more than half of all homicide victims in the U.S. are acquainted with their killers, it seems safe to conclude that Hispanic offenders also commit gun homicides at substantially elevated rates.

Recognizing the centrality of ethnicity to the problem of gun violence is just another way of saying, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” But it also underscores the gnarly politics of dealing with the issue. You likely could significantly reduce incidents of gun violence in the U.S., and save many black and Hispanic lives in the process, with mandatory sentencing. So, for example, if you’re convicted of using a gun to commit a crime, we could tack an extra five years onto the end of your sentence. If you discharge a gun while committing a crime, make it 15. If you shoot someone, make it 25. No exceptions. No plea bargains. No mercy.

If states began to adopt such sentencing guidelines, you likely would have a drastic reduction in gun homicides — not because violent criminals would necessarily be deterred, but because, once they’re caught and convicted, they’d be incarcerated for much longer periods. It would therefore be a boon to the overwhelming majority of blacks and Hispanics, who are law-abiding citizens. But it would also require building many more prisons and filling them with mostly black and Hispanic males — which means that most blacks and Hispanics would oppose the effort. So too would every left-of-center advocacy group that fancies itself a guardian of minority interests.

Be Sure To Catch...

...the new Walking Dead Webisodes.

There's four of them, each about 5 minutes long. Pretty powerful viewing; lots of action. I won't describe them more than that, so as not to spoil them for you.

In Oregon...

pork eats you!

Oregon authorities know only two things for sure about the death of 70-year-old farmer Terry Vance Garner: He died Wednesday and his hogs ate most of him, according to news reports.

A relative found Garner's dentures and pieces of his body in the hog enclosure after Garner didn't return from feeding his 700-pound animals that morning on his farm in Riverton, near the coast, the Associated Press says.

The Quietist Californians

Victor Davis Hanson's latest.

How does a sane person, without great wealth that might provide exemption from all this cope? They tune out. They psychologically drop out, in the manner of ancient quietists in fourth-century BC at Athens (the apragmones in search of hysuchia), who learned that one cannot fight the mob, but only seek to escape it. I bump into and talk with these latter-day quietists quite often. They are generally happy folk but have developed a certain psychological protocol by which to survive. The quietist trusts more the ancient wisdom in hallowed texts that warns democracy implodes when the masses finally assume absolute control and vote themselves entitlements that even the shrinking rich can no longer sustain. So they don’t get in the way between the mob and their entitlements.

If the state idles farm land, puts drilling off limits, drives out business, the quietist accepts that those who do such things do them because they never affect the authors directly, and when in the future they do, they will cease and desist — and it will be mostly too late. He assumes that the whiners at the $4 a gallon gas pump never make the equation that there may be 30 billion barrels in untapped oil 150 miles away, right off the California shore. (Instead “they” rigged the prices). The quietist assumes that few connect the horrific highways with an incompetent state whose highest gasoline taxes in the nation have translated into some of the country’s worse roads, and to the drivers who customarily lose brush, limbs, and mattresses from their trucks, shutting down lanes for hours.

No matter – the quietist adjusts and drives at weird hours, as if he were some owl or nocturnal beast; it is not that hard to live a life pretty much opposite of what the majority does. There are plenty of quietists who can advise you. They are experts on how to navigate in a beautiful but otherwise insane state. Ask a tree-cutter, small garage owner, custom tractor driver, or self-employed tile-setter; they have all sorts of advice on how to survive: usually, however, they end with something like, “Of course, my kids should get a state job.” In 1960, rare state employees were noble folk, who were willing to make less for job security and a sense of public service; today they are lotto winners who hit the jackpot.

The quiet Californian assumes that each year a new regulation, a new tax, a new something will seek him out. I read the “state franchise tax board” print as I do the hate letters or emails I receive — incoherent, threatening. This year I got a letter from the state explaining that based on my income they “estimated” that I must have used the Internet to buy x-amount of things and therefore did not pay state sales taxes and therefore suggested that I should pay them around, say, $600.

So quietist Californians expect about every six months a new fee, dreamed up a government employee who is paranoid that the state retirement system is broke, and with it his pension. The state employee is now entrepreneurial: without x-traffic tickets written, without y-new fees dreamed up, salaries and benefits dry up. I touch my rural mailbox as if I do metal after skidding on a new carpet — a sort of static feeling of anxiety about what new state directive is inside.

Read the whole thing, as they say.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Stanley Rehder, 1922-2012: R.I.P.

Wilmington, North Carolina's "Flytrap Man."

Great loss for coastal North Carolina.

Photo of the Day

At the annual Hampstead, NC, "Spot" Festival, two women demonstrate lesbian sexual positions common in Saudi Arabia (iffen ya don't get caught! ;-) ):

More photos from the Spot Festival here.

For those of you unfamiliar with Spot, here is the Wikipedia entry.

The Brain Cells That Died First...

...were, apparently, the ones that reminded me to zip my trousers after urinating.

Because, more often than not these days, I forget to do so until I sit down somewhere, and notice the gape in my trousers.


And at age 50. Not encouraging.