Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yer Understated Headline of the Day

"Big Crowds At Oceanfront Were Big Surprise."

That would be Virginia Beach, where, to read accounts on Twitter, a race riot occurred:

Chaos and violence erupted when an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people - roughly the turnout for a Memorial Day - congregated at the Oceanfront over the weekend.

The crowd size surprised many. Police aren't sure where things went wrong, but the results included three shootings, three stabbings and three robberies, leaving at least eight people injured.

All told, 148 people were arrested, though police said Monday they hadn't charged anyone in the more serious offenses because of uncooperative victims or incomplete descriptions of assailants.

Business owners and employees describe Saturday night as filled with rowdy, uncontrollable crowds, fighting, open-air drinking and marijuana use.

You can read the entire article and nowhere does it mention the race of the "people" involved, other than an oblique reference to "Greekfest" in 1989. Nothing to see here, shoo! Everything's fine!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Tea Party Follower Shoots Five In Charlotte!!111!!

Just kidding. It was a Usual Suspect®, of course:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have made an arrest in the shootings of five men early Saturday at a party in east Charlotte.

Police say detectives have charged El Contanase Steele, 36, with the shootings on Wiliam Reynolds Drive. Steele was taken into custody Monday morning without incident, investigators say.

He is charged with five counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill; shooting into an occupied dwelling; and possession of a firearm by a felon.

And it looks like this will be the second time he's been charged with possession by a felon. See how well gun control works?

They Could Be Improved By Programming Them To Say...


"Hospitals adopting robots to kill superbugs."

Apparently the robots burn germs such as MRSA and clostridium dificile with UV radiation. It gives them a terminal sunburn, in other words. And, of course, the machines cost crazy money to purchase and maintain. That can be passed on to the patient, however, while washing of hands can't.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Indoctrination Chronicles #2

He committed the heinous crime of taking a Swiss Army Knife on a school camping trip.

Paging Mr. Darwin

In my hometown of Gainesville, Florida, a man was hospitalized after trying to shoot a squirrel with a .40 S&W cartridge taped to the end of the barrel of a BB gun. The cartridge exploded, striking him with fragments.

This genius, a felon prohibited from owning real firearms, claims he was trying to kill a squirrel for dinner. Well, the BB gun involved, a Crosman 760 Pumpmaster, is capable of killing a squirrel without additional help. Or it would be easy enough to catch squirrels in a havahart trap, for that matter.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

And Since I Invoked Tom T. Hall...

...let's continue with a few of my favorites by the Storyteller:

Headline of the Day

"Mississippi Courthouse Has Sneaky Snake Invasion."

Non-venomous snakes are slithering into a Mississippi courthouse this spring, posing no threat but giving workers the creeps.

Five of the brown DeKay's snakes - sometimes called earth snakes - have been found in the Hinds County circuit clerk's basement office since April 8.

A deputy clerk, Kelly Phillips, said Thursday that the largest was a big around as her finger and a few inches long. She didn't stop to measure it. She said the smallest looked like an overgrown earthworm.

Former zookeeper Percy King, who does reptile shows at local schools, went to the courthouse to identify the serpents. He said DeKay's snakes, which eat lizards, worms, crickets and other small bugs, have soft teeth that probably couldn't even break a human's skin.

Why Is the Pentagon...

...blocking access by military personnel to the Southern Baptist Convention website?

As first reported by Fox News’ Todd Starnes, Pentagon leaders have blocked soldiers’ access to the website of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States with 16 million members, making it the second-largest religious denomination is the entire country after Roman Catholicism.

The SBC is also the largest evangelical Christian denomination in the world.

Starnes reports, “An Air Force officer told Fox News that when he tried to log on to the website he received a message that his Internet usage was being logged and monitored for trying to access a blocked site.” An Army officer was likewise denied access, with the message, “The site you have requested has been blocked... due to hostile content.”

This example of possible censorship of religious beliefs comes on the heels of an Army officer’s email, previously reported by Breitbart News, warning soldiers to keep a watchful eye on devout Christians. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was recently pressed about the email by Rep. Randy Forbes but provided no answers.

Take Another For the Team

The Obama adminstration wants the military to be content with a 1% pay raise. Because, sacrifice.

Meanwhile Sasha and Malia go on Bahamas vacations and Colorado ski trips, and the Commander-In-Chief sees no need to cut down on his golf expenses. Because, sacrifice is for you and not for me.

h/t This Ain't Hell.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Indoctrination Chronicles, Pt. 1

A new series here. Can't guarantee I'll stick with it, but I'll give it a try. It will show examples of how, rather than teach the traditional core subjects of education, modern "education professionals" are more interested in social engineering and political indoctrination.

In today's inaugural offering, a middle school in Red Hook, New York required girl students to role-play as lesbians: "During the workshop for girls, the 13 and 14-year-olds were told to ask one another for a kiss. They were also taught words such as “pansexual” and “genderqueer.”

The boys, meanwhile, "were counseled to keep a condom in their pocket at all times, and were taught how to identify a woman who is a “slut.” So as to avoid her, or to facilitate hookups?

I wonder if they give tips to the boys and girls on how to spot a predatory teacher? Seems to be a lot of that going around these days.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The UK Daily Mail finds the British to be a law-breaking lot:

We may have a reputation as being a reserved lot, but the British are actually a nation of rule-breakers.

A study has found that many people break 260 rules a year - but we can't really claim to be dare-devils as, for most of us, this brush with danger involves using a neighbour's bin or pinching stationary from the office.

Research shows that the average Brit knowingly breaks five rules every week, which amounts to 16,250 acts of rebellion in the average adult lifetime.

All of these "laws" fall into the malum prohibitum category: wrong simply because someone has written a law prohibiting a behavior. Many of them, such as not tipping at a restaurant, aren't even malum prohibitum laws, but customs. Here's the list:

1. Crossing a pedestrian crossing when man is red - 33 per cent
2. Taking sachets from cafes - 30
3. Not recycling properly - 27
4. Take stationery from work - 23
5. Passing parking tickets to others to save them money - 22
6. Not tipping in restaurants - 21
7. Pocketing change when given wrong amount - 21
8. Sprayed yourself with tester perfume instead of buying your own - 21
9. Eating or drinking at the wheel - 18
10. Not clearing your table at a fast food restaurant - 14
11. Used someone else's WIFI - 14
12. Putting your feet up on the train - 13
13. Putting rubbish in a neighbours bin if yours is full - 12
14. Watching pirate videos - 12
15. Cycling on a pavement - 11
16. Downloading music illegally - 11
17. Using your mobile while driving - 10
18. Throwing down cigarette butts - 9
19. Driving in a bus lane - 9
20. Dropping litter in the street - 9

As you can see, hardly a bunch of things that anyone would take all that seriously.

Monday, April 22, 2013

While We're On the Subject of Nostalgia...

...how many of you who grew up in the 1960's and 1970's remember Words In Color?

I learned to read using that method. It helped me immeasurably.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Nostalgia of the Day

A blog post over at Roberta's called to my mind the old fire towers that dotted the landscape of my native Florida when I was young. That memory of fire towers led directly to the memory of Ranger Hal, who hosted a morning kid's show in Jacksonville, Florida. Ranger Hal also made personal appearance throughout north Florida, and I remember my sister and me having to sing Christmas carols at a show Hal hosted at my grandfather's Moose lodge. Here's a YouTube clip I found of Ranger Hal:

Today's Facebook Humor

Via novelist Michael Z. Williamson.

The SEALs, LAPD, The FBI, and the CIA are all trying to prove that they are the best at apprehending criminals. The President decides to give them a test. He releases a rabbit into a forest and each of them has to catch it.

Click the link to read the whole hilarious thing, including comments.

To Protect and Serve

"SHELBY, N.C. A Cleveland County sheriff's lieutenant is out of a job after allegedly pulling a knife on a man who questioned why he parked in a handicapped space while buying beer."

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Restaurant Review: Kickin' Pig Carolina Bar-B-Q, Rock Hill, SC


It was such a gorgeous day out today in North Carolina that I decided to go to South Carolina. Rock Hill, specifically, to try out Kickin' Pig Carolina Bar-B-Q. It's on US 21, Cherry Road in Rock Hill. It's one of three barbecue restaurants on Cherry Road - - there is a Sonny's, and also Burk's, which I reviewed here.

Kickin' Pig is a stand-alone restaurant right beside the highway. It's painted red out front and yellow, the color of South Carolina mustard-based barbecue sauce. It's a restaurant oriented toward the local biker and redneck community.

Inside the restaurant are a billiards table, a bar, four or five large-screen TV's with various sports shows playing, and a dozen or so tables. There's also a back porch with tables for dining outside. Classic rock plays on the PA system; live music is available a couple of times a week.

The barbecue is all cooked on outdoor smokers; must be a miserable job in the rain. They offer pork, ribs and chicken:

I tried ordering a combo plate of ribs and pork, but the barmaid/waitress (a cute brunette with cleavage and leather thigh boots) told me that they'd had a smoker accident and the pork burned up. I made do with an order of ribs, with hush puppies and corn fritters on the side. The plate also came with garlic Texas Toast:

Had to wait a good half hour for the food, and the place not overly busy in the 3 o'clock hour on a Saturday. I'd have said that South Carolinians run at a more leisurely pace but, having eaten at Burk's just down the road from Kickin' Pig, I knew that wasn't true; they were just slow.

You can see that they only gave me three ribs, which is a little stingy, I think. They made up for it with corn fritters (good), hush puppies (average, with onion) and the Texas Toast (flavorful but dead cold). The ribs themselves had a good smoky flavor but were a bit overcooked, slipping off the bone a little too easy. The barbecue at Kickin' Pig comes naked (unsauced) so you can add sauce as you like. They offer four sauces: mild, hot, really hot, and mustard-based (the other three are NC-style vinegar-based sauces). The mustard-based sauce went best with the ribs.

I'll give Kickin' Pig Carolina Bar-B-Q a 3 on my 5-scale of barbecue restaurants: 3 out of 5: average; reasonably good food, moderate effort by staff/management. I thought the wait for the food was a tad long, and I didn't get to try the pork because they burned it up. I'd go back to Kickin' Pig if I was in the mood to carouse on a weekend night, but if I was going to Rock Hill just for barbecue I'd go to the superior Burk's for that.

Beautiful Day In the Carolinas

We had an overcast day yesterday, with predictions of rain for most of it. That didn't pan out, save for a brief shower in the early afternoon and a downpour in the late afternoon. Apparently it was a cold front coming through, because the weather today is a dry, high pressure, cloudless day, one of those days with a sky of sapphire blue. Won't be too many more of these this spring; soon the hot and humid southern summer will be here for the next six months. I plan to get out today, maybe take my camera and hit the road briefly for a BBQ restaurant review. Haven't done one of those for a while.

Hope all of you are having a nice Saturday.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Second Terrorist Down?

Lots of Twitter reporting going on right now. Found him hiding in a boat? More details as they become available.

Update: some risqué "little man in the boat" jokes on Twitter, IYKWIMAITYD.

Update 2: Looks like he's in custody, and still alive.

Northfield. Coffeyville.

Remember back when townspeople didn't cower in fear in their homes because a bad guy entered town?

Northfield, Minnesota.

Coffeyville, Kansas.

If you saw off your horns and wear a wooly white coat, chances are good you'll start behaving like a sheep.


You know how you convince a low-information voter that a 4-pack of ground hamburger patties is worth $8.39 at the grocery store? You call them "beef prime rib steakburgers."

Damn quantitative easing.

Exciting Night!

Looks like the Boston Marathon bombers tried to knock over a 7/11 and got caught, then engaged police in a shootout, killing one cop. One of the bombers died, the other is currently (5:15 EST) on the run, armed and dangerous. One of them seems to be an Ethiopian, the other an ethnic Indian who was recently declared a missing person from Brown University. Both of them apparently swarthy Leftists, disappointing everyone in the MSM who were openly hoping they'd turn out to be white Tea Party members. I'd offer links but it's the news of the day, you can find plenty of stories out there, most of them erroneous at this point.

Update: Glad I said "erroneous." The two suspects, instead of being an Ethiope and a Hindu, are now (supposedly) a pair of Chechens. Well...we'll see. One thing they still ain't, and that's patriot right-winger types.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Radioactive Lava!

Corium, a type of lava that is created when a nuclear reactor melts down:

One of the things I enjoy most is running across fascinating information when I’m not even looking for it. Case in point, today’s subject. I was doing some research for my class on Fukushima Dai’ichi and Chernobyl when I ran into some references to lava. “Lava?” I thought, “Why are they talking about lava when I thought I was trying to find out about nuclear accidents?” Lo and behold, what do I find but an entire research field that has been making manmade lava for decades. Sure, we’ve seen some of the recent manmade lava flows done at Syracuse University and small-scale lava in experiments for some time, but here I was finding research that involved a ton (literally) of manmade lava … and moreover, these lava have been made by accident on a number of occasions with tragic consequences.

Click the link to read the rest. Here's an image of radioactive corium lava produced when the Chernobyl nuclear reactor melted down:

Looks like hamburger or sausage in this pic, don't it?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gun Control Bill Defeated!


Time for a little celebratory humpbot, I think:

GunsAmerica, Grow a Pair

An email I just received from GunsAmerica:

A Warning to All Gun Bloggers and Forums – Boston Marathon Explosions

Dear Friends, Please be aware that there are what we call “Bloomberg shills” lurking in the comments of gun blogs and forums at present. It has been going on since before the election, and we first noticed it as far back as our January 8th, 2012 article “2nd Amendment Voters Should Vote Ron Paul.” At first it seemed like fun because they got a lively discussion going, and many of our articles have over 400 comments just because of a few anti-gun comments peppered in by a shill here and there. But as more and more of them have come in, we have begun to realize that it is better to delete them. The anti-gunners have a plan, and that plan is to make gun people look stupid, heartless, and separate from the values of mainstream America. A recent “whistleblower” post about the Boston Marathon explosions is especially troubling. If you are part of a gun blog or forum, please don’t allow this post to spread, and beware that more attempts to make 2nd Amendment defenders look bad are coming.

As most of us have come to understand, this crisis has gone far beyond politics. We have seen an unprecedented and sustained attack on not just our guns, but the entire pro-2nd Amendment and avid shooter culture itself. We are being sold to the public as stupid and selfish people who don’t care about the safety of children. I got a forwarded Facebook post from an 86 year old family friend and staunch Libertarian yesterday that said “The NRA Doesn’t Represent Me.” If only he knew what a fool he is being played for, but if you read through the lines, it is pretty clear that Bloomberg’s media campaign is working. The medicated masses are buying the story, because it is being presented in social media environment where people have already let their guards down.

For that reason, we have ceased to allow any anti-gun comments on our articles. This was a difficult decision, but we only did so after calling out several of the commenters and directly accusing them of being hired Bloomberg shills. None of them defended themselves, and we believe that this is exactly what they are. The anti-gunners aren’t just buying TV ads. They are hiring what are probably unemployed young people in New York City to fish around in pro-2nd Amendment social media to plant seeds of division, trying to hook the emotions of the vulnerable and anti-depressant medicated. A common theme among the shills is to make us look stupid and ruthless in the furtherment of our cause. We think that they threw some bait into the water yesterday that could make gun people look very bad. It is a “whistleblower” post about the explosions at the Boston Marathon, warning that it is some kind of false flag to ban the private sale of gun powder. I believe this “warning” is meant to be re-posted on gun blogs and boards, and on a quick Google search, I see that it has already hit the FAL Files and a few survival boards. We am not going to include the post in this email because there is no benefit in spreading it, but it begins “I work on a security commission and I’ve just received word to start on a campaign we’ve been working on for the last two months and now it all makes sense.”

The “warning” then goes on to say that that explosions were a pre-planned event meant to result in the banning of the private sale of gun powder, and that a young person is to be arrested Friday with NRA magazines in his possession. The creators of this farce are hoping Alex Jones and all of the conspiracy websites pick it up, and some of them already have. We believe that this is a Bloomberg shill to make us look stupid, and ruthless, that we would co-opt a tragedy to further our cause. Obama’s people have indeed already tried to tie the explosions to “Tax Day” in the hopes of making right wingers look like terrorists, but as we have explained before, Alex Jones is a turd in the punchbowl of 2nd Amendment freedom. You don’t have to have any “theory” about the conspiracy to take away our 2nd Amendment rights. American “gun control” was born in the aftermath of slavery, to keep guns out of the hands of freed slaves. Today it continues. The anti-gunners are using the deaths of 20 white kids to keep the guns out of the hands of their racial minority voting “slaves” in the inner cities.

It could very well be that consumer black powder, not smokeless powder, was used to make those bombs. Upon seeing the billowing white clouds of smoke from the explosions, anyone who has ever shot black powder should probably have suspected that this was the explosive used. Bomb detecting equipment, and most likely the dogs as well, are not trained to detect black powder. I know this because I freaked out one day when I had to go through a airport sniffer after shooting BP. I hadn’t even washed my hands and realized it only when I was far too deep into the line. But the sniffer didn’t even hiccup. We have all heard the reports that the police were doing bomb dog drills before the explosions, and it could very well be that one dog thought he smelled something early in the day so they brought in more dogs, who unfortunately weren’t trained to sniff BP.

Somebody grabbed the obvious possibility that black powder was involved and turned it into this fake “whistleblower” post about the more generic term “gun powder.” Apparently U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said “most likely gun powder” was used in the devices. The “Lone Wolf” language of that article does make it sound like they will pin this on a “right wing terrorist,” but what makes this “whistleblower” warning so suspect as a shill is that they do not specify black powder. As many of you know, modern smokeless powder, the kind you find in normal ammunition, does not explode when ignited. It burns, and it is of course also fairly “smokeless.” Billowing clouds of white smoke like the ones we saw in Boston only come from black powder, and it is a lot easier to get than C4, and you don’t have to make it like the concoctions they speak about in the bomb making books. Granted, McCaul did specifically say “gun powder,” but it is just too convenient that this post showed up yesterday, at the same time the talking point was implanted into the discussion. The post is almost definitely fake, and planted by people trying to make us look bad.

It is your choice how you treat and respond to anti-gun comments in a pro-2nd Amendment environment here on the internet. Please just be aware that these Bloomberg shills are lurking in your comments and on your boards, and that this is most likely only one of what will be many attempts to make 2nd Amendment defenders appear to have different ideals than mainstream America. We are mainstream America, and after the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court decisions, we were on our way to giving the opportunities of “mainstream” to all Americans. Arm the permanent victims in our inner cities and we will give them back not just 2nd Amendment freedom, but all of the other freedoms they are robbed of by living under the umbrella of a permanent criminal narco-economy. The Wild West didn’t have the violent crime rates of Chicago and Washington DC, because in the Wild West, the good guys could shoot back.

Frankly, I find this stupid advice. We're supposed to adopt the tactics of our opponents? Adopt "reasoned discourse" and flush comments we don't agree with down the memory hole? Sorry, no. If you're so stupid that you can't debate the typical liberal into the ground on gun control, you're probably better off not blogging to begin with: go play Farmville on Facebook. Have fun!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Drone Medal Dumped!

Will be replaced with a "device" that can be affixed to other decorations already in existence.

Good call.

New Slaid Cleaves Song!

Still Fightin' the War. Story here.

Slaid Cleaves' new song, Still Fighting the War, was inspired in part by Denver Post photographer Craig F. Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning photo essay about a soldier trying to reconnect with civilian life as he struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder. Cleaves said he began the song before seeing Walker's work, but "when I came across the photo essay, it helped me feel closer to the experience of what a vet goes through when he comes home. I don't have anybody in my family who served, but I used that photo essay to find out what it was like for those people."

Cleaves has also decided to use the song to help raise money for Operation Homefront, an organization that provides emergency financial relief for service members and their families.

"Operation Homefront raises funds for people, whether they're in need of car repair, help with their rent or help getting to their job," Cleaves says. "It's a very personal, easy-to-understand way to help people.

"I had a song that speaks to an issue of the day, and I'm thrilled when my songs connect with people. That's the main reason I write songs. But with this one, I could go a step further and do some good with it, use it to get more attention to this cause."

The song is streaming here at USA TODAY, but to download it, go to Cleaves' website and donate a minimum of 99 cents. All proceeds from the download will go to Operation Homefront.

Welcome To North Carolina!

Daniel Vaughn, who was in the news recently for becoming the barbecue editor for Texas Monthly magazine, is undertaking a tour of other US barbecue regions, and just visited North Carolina; here is a Tweet he sent:

It's B.A.G. Day!

That would be Buy A Gun Day.

Here's my new one, a Smith & Wesson Model 64-2 in .38 Special:

It's in great shape. Appears to be a police turn-in from some city or town starting with the letter "P": Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Pawtucket, Podunk...

I didn't actually buy it today, but actually about a month ago, and saved up the blog post for today. Hope that is acceptable. Used tax refund money to buy it, as you're supposed to. *grins*

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The 13 Movie Poster Clichés


Here's one sample, the between-the-legs shot:

Coming Soon To a NC Near You

Mad Ogre is coming to North Carolina:

I’ve accepted a job in North Carolina. I’ll be heading out there early May. I’ve already given notice to Basin Sports and I will work there through the end of the month.

Doesn't sound overly thrilled, does he?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Have To Check Craigslist and See If Anyone Is Hiring...

...Ornamental hermits. Seems like a pretty easy life. Got the idea when I was reading this article about a hermit in Maine who was captured after 27 years of burglarizing vacation cabins.

h/t Jay.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Lede Sentence of the Day

"Before he shot the pig with a million volts of electricity, James Culp bowed his head in prayer."

Bet you'll click on that one.

Sequester Hits the Blue Angels

Say goodbye to the Blue Angels airshow season:

Hello Blue Angel Fans,

The Navy has decided to cancel the remaining 2013 Blue Angel performances and practice demonstrations as a result of the current Defense policy, which states that outreach events can only be supported with local assets at no cost to the government.

Blue Angel pilots will continue to maintain minimum safe flying proficiency at Pensacola, Fla. These flights will be single sorties and not open to the public.

The Blue Angels are disappointed in this decision but recognize this is one of many steps the Navy is taking to ensure resources are in place to support our forces operating forward now and those training to relieve them.

The team will continue to sign autographs at the National Naval Aviation Museum Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. The Blue Angels team will also explore other community outreach activities near their home station of Naval Air Station Pensacola.

The Navy believes there is value in demonstrating the professionalism and capabilities of our Navy and Marine Corps team, thus inspiring future generations of Sailors and Marines. The Navy intends to continue aerial demonstration in the future when the budget situation permits.

Thank you for your support fans! We will keep you updated with any changes to our schedule.


Merde! Those Putains Ate My Camel!

Sacre bleu! Zut alors!

Malian authorities will give French President Francois Hollande another camel after the one they gave him as a present was eaten.

The animal had been given in thanks for helping repel Islamist rebels was killed and eaten by the family he left it with in Timbuktu, an official in Mali said.

A local government official in northern Mali said today that a replacement would be sent to France.

"As soon as we heard of this, we quickly replaced it with a bigger and better-looking camel," said the official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

"The new camel will be sent to Paris. We are ashamed of what happened to the camel. It was a present that did not deserve this fate."

Semper Sunt Post Meum Fortunatus, Prestigium

Which I think is Latin for "They are always after my Lucky Charms."

Thousands of Roman artefacts have been unearthed in an archaeological dig hailed as 'the most important excavation ever held in London'.

Archaeologists have found coins, pottery, shoes, lucky charms and an amber Gladiator amulet which date back almost 2,000 years.

Experts leading the excavation have also uncovered wooden structures from the 40s AD around 40ft beneath the ground. The site is just yards from the River Thames and alongside a huge building project for new offices on Queen Victoria Street in the heart of London's financial district.

That's the one advantage to living in Europe, at least for me; there, you can dig up all sorts of treasure with a metal detector, dating back to very ancient times; here in the US, the treasures are only of more recent vintage, unless you collect arrowheads.

The Princess of Poop

Remember a while back I blogged on the practice of using feces from a healthy donor to cure Clostridium Dificile infections in sick patients? Well, the procedure is now being performed here in Charlotte, NC.

Before Kee prepares a donation, she dons two surgical masks that she has sprayed with a “Rain Fresh” fragrance from an aerosol can.

“Two things you need in this job,” she said. “A sense of humor and good air freshener.”

Properly masked, gowned and gloved, Kee drops a scoop of the sample into a cheap Hamilton Beach blender and mixes it with salt water to produce what she calls “liquid gold.”

Each blender gets used only once.

When the mixture reaches the right consistency, she pours it through a gauze filter, and then fills more than a half dozen huge syringes. These go to Schneider, who uses them to transfer the healthy material into a sedated patient as part of a colonoscopy.

“There’s a big ‘ick’ factor” to the job, Kee said. She lost a few assistants who couldn’t stand the smell. But Kee embraces her reputation as “the Princess of Poop” and keeps her focus on the patients.

“You’re helping people,” she said.

Apparently feces transplants were used by the Chinese as long ago as the fourth century, and have been used in treating animal disorders for a while, too.

Meanwhile, In Connecticut...

...it's easy to understand how the citizenry allows Draconian gun control laws to pass, when they are indoctrinated taught from childhood that the Second Amendment doesn't guarantee an individual right to bear arms, and that the Constitution itself is a "living document."

Monday, April 08, 2013

All Your Baby Are Belong To Us

Remember Hillary Clinton and "It Takes a Village?" Now it's Your baby belongs to the whole village.

Shades of "You didn't build that!"

New Raptor In the Neighborhood

Looks and sounds like a Northern Goshawk. Won't get close enough for photography, but the overall look and the call makes me think it's a Goshawk.

Charlotte's Best Barbecue?

Kyle Fletcher's in Lowell.

Kyle Fletcher’s was perfect from tipoff to finish: Juicy meat (and lots of it for $3.09), a few nicely caramelized bits of outside brown (aka bark, aka the parts of the shoulders closest to the heat, here produced with just hickory and charcoal) mixed in, a choice of two sauces (vinegar-based and a more tomatoey one), a slaw moderately coarse made with mayo and barbecue sauce on a simple, not soggy bun. (“And wow, did they heap it onto the bun!” enthused Verner.)

It's one of the places in the area I haven't eaten at yet - - guess I'll need to take a trip up there and give it a try.

Margaret Thatcher, 1926-2013: R.I.P.

Breaking news.

Update: If you're one of those people who believe that celebrities die in clusters of three, Annette Funicello just died, too.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Pretty Saturday Outdoors

Beautiful spring day here in the Carolinas. I've spent the last couple hours cleaning up a segment of the yard that had been allowed to deteriorate by the previous tenants: dead grass, unraked leaves, poorly placed stepstones, weeds, mud. First task was to pull up the stepstones and get them out of the way. Then raking and a little weeding; finally laying down grass seed. I took some "before" pictures; if the grass comes up well over the next month or so, I'll take some "after" pics and post them.

Friday, April 05, 2013

What I Watched Tonight


A documentary film about baseball's most baffling pitch, and the men who pitch it. Follows the recent seasons of Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey, with lots of commentary by other legendary knuckleball pitchers such as Phil Niekro, Charlie Hough, Tom Candiotti, Wilbur Wood and Jim Bouton.

It's a tough pitch when it works. The pitcher who throws it can't predict what it will do; the batter can't hit it, very often the catcher can't catch it, and the umpire struggles to call it a ball or a strike. Legendary baseball funnyman Bob Uecker, who was himself a catcher, best describes the task of catching a knuckleball: "I wait until it stops rolling and then go pick it up."

The knuckleball will be in baseball as long as the game allows it; there will always be one or two pitchers with more determination than ego who will be willing to put up with the ridicule that comes along with reliance on the pitch. Junkballer, has-been; those are the usual accusations against the man who pitches the knuckleball.

If you've played catch you've probably experimented with it a time or two. There's a definite trick to making it work. It isn't just a slow pitch that falls into the dirt. When you throw one and it actually works your mouth will fall open and you'll gape like an idiot with surprise. A fun feeling.

Well worth the rental.

The Return of the Debtor's Prison

Yet another violation of the principles this country used to stand for.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Yet Another Phony "Hate Crime"


To summarize, a black Virginia preacher claimed that racist crackas painted a racial slur on the side of his house and then set the house on fire.

Ya know, this is happening so often now that I think we could come up with a name for it; since I am the one proposing it, I'll just name it after myself:

Bob's Law of Hate Crimes: Any "Hate Crime" that lacks a dead "victim" is probabably bogus.

Just as false accusations of rape make it that much more difficult for genuine victims of rape, so do those bogus accusations of "hate crimes" make it that much more difficult for genuine victims of hate.

In the Virginia case, I wonder if the preacher misspelled the "racial slur" with his spray paint can? Wouldn't surprise me. Probably what caused the police to become suspicious, if they aren't already hip to the bogus "hate crime" phenomenon.

I Hadn't Realized...

...that Mag-Light makes supressors:

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Eenie Meenie Minie Moe...

...I'm gonna bite off yer little toe.

I Have Some Good News and Some Bad News

The good news is that it's possible to be immune to cancer and diabetes.

The bad news is that it requires being an inbred Ecuadorian dwarf.

It's OK If the Succubus Has a Body Like Coco

"Strange Sleep Disorder Makes People See 'Demons.'"

When filmmaker Carla MacKinnon started waking up several times a week unable to move, with the sense that a disturbing presence was in the room with her, she didn't call up her local ghost hunter. She got researching.

Now, that research is becoming a short film and multiplatform art project exploring the strange and spooky phenomenon of sleep paralysis. The film, supported by the Wellcome Trust and set to screen at the Royal College of Arts in London, will debut in May.

Sleep paralysis happens when people become conscious while their muscles remain in the ultra-relaxed state that prevents them from acting out their dreams. The experience can be quite terrifying, with many people hallucinating a malevolent presence nearby, or even an attacker suffocating them. Surveys put the number of sleep paralysis sufferers between about 5 percent and 60 percent of the population.

Her questions led her to talk with psychologists and scientists, as well as to people who experience the phenomenon. Myths and legends about sleep paralysis persist all over the globe, from the incubus and succubus (male and female demons, respectively) of European tales to a pink dolphin-turned-nighttime seducer in Brazil.

Is it worth losing your immortal soul to have sex with a demon? Depends on the demon, I guess:

I think I'd definitely be in trouble if a succubus showed up looking like Coco Austin.

Almost Doesn't Qualify As News

A series of arsons along Virginia's Eastern Shore were allegedly committed by...wait for it... a former volunteer fireman.

That's sort of up there with "Will a Catholic Priest diddle an altar boy?" or "Will a Kardashian screw a negro?" in the likelihood department, ain't it?

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Monday, April 01, 2013

Meanwhile, In Arkansas...

...it's OK to be hot for teacher, if you're old enough.

And if you're much over 18 and still in school (we're not talking college, here), well...Arkansas.

April Fool's Note

I'm finding that the most effective April Fool's tricks out there so far are the ones that work on my desire for the trick to be true, such as this one by David Codrea and this one by James O'Keefe.

Walking Dead Finale AAR: SPOILERS!

Sort of anticlimactic. AMC fooled everyone into thinking a bloodbath would occur tonight between the Governor's forces and Rick's, and it didn't happen. Oh, the Governor slaughtered a bunch of his own people, true enough, but no one from Rick's group bought a farm, unless you count the erstwhile Andrea as part of Rick's group. I guess David Morrissey gets another season as The Governor.

Andrea's death was sloppily written, from a gun standpoint. Bitten by a zombified Milton, she manages to kill him and survive until Rick & Co. arrive to rescue her. Knowing she's been bitten, she asks to be allowed to end her own life, making a joke about knowing how to take the safety off on a pistol (ref. to Season One, in which Rick showed her the rudiments of using a pistol). Rick then hands her his Python - - a revolver, which of course has no safety. Then, behind a closed door, we hear the fatal shot, and the sound of a cartridge casing hitting the floor. WTF? I suppose the producers of the show will say that was the sound of Rick's Python hitting the floor, but it sure sounded like a cartridge casing to me.

Andrea's death is, of course, a major departure from the plot line of the comic books. The writers are, of course, not bound to follow the comic books - - and haven't, in some major ways, such as the introduction of the Dixon brothers into the Walking Dead universe - - so I have to guess that Andrea, probably the most disliked character on the show, got the axe simply for being unpopular.

If I had to guess, I'd say that the reason for the lack of a bloodbath in the season 3 finale was that the showrunners didn't want to do so on Easter - - which accounted for the gentle scene at the end, where the elderly residents of Woodbury arrive at the prison - - and also because I think that the showrunners wanted to have the evil Governor around for another season. I'm guessing that those new arrivals at the prison probably have red shirts in their luggage, and will serve as cannon fodder for the first few episodes of Season 4.

Carl put a major-league scorning on Rick, didn't he? The kid appears to have been brooding and analyzing carefully, and has decided that Dad lacks the killer instinct necessary in the Zombie Apocalypse. Kid might grow up to be another Shane.

Tell me what you guys think.