Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Man What Loves His Vittles

He loves his food so much he's willing to stab his son to death for taking some of it.

I done tole you to leave my poke chop alone, damnit!

Silver Age For Silver Springs?

Maybe not a new golden age, as The Gainesville Sun wonders, but more likely a silver age, as occurred in the comic book industry: a lesser offspring of a superhero parent:

When visitors walk through the gates at the new Silver Springs State Park for the first time Tuesday, the place won't look much different than when it gasped and sputtered to a close two weeks ago.

The major things that have attracted visitors over the years — the springs, the glass-bottom boats and, more recently, the Twin Oaks Mansion concert stage — will be there.

There will be subtle differences, however. The animals are gone, for starters. There are no bears, no giraffes and no alligators — except the ample number that cruise just beneath the surface of the springs or sunbathe on the banks of the river.

A few derelict structures are also kaput, and there is fresh paint on the ones that remain.

But make no mistake, it is not the same. The opening of the park signals yet another new beginning for an iconic Florida destination that has undergone a number of makeovers in its 150-year lifespan.

The water quality of the spring isn't as high as it was in the early days, because of agricultural runoff. It's going to be a state park now, the property of the state of Florida, so that means the era of competing visions for the park will come to an end, and the usual state park plan for a self-sustaining tamed wilderness will be put into place: hiking trails, canoe/kayak access, camping. The glass-bottomed boats will probably remain, at least for now. I can envision at some time in the future an underwater auditorium similar to the one in Weeki Wachi being built, after which the glass-bottomed boats will probably be mothballed as a waste of government money.

Be sure to click on the slideshow. Here's a sample pic, of park model Ginger Stanley Hollowell playing with her cooter:

Don't She Have a Pretty Cooter?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Fo-Tay Trumps Your Katana

Down in my hometown of Gainesville, Florida:

Two members of a landscaping crew had to run for their safety Tuesday afternoon after police said a Gainesville man threatened them with a Samurai sword.

The crew were working near the home of Rishiraj Rajan Job, 34, of 4288 SW 22nd Lane at around 2 p.m. when he walked out his door holding the 3-foot-long sword “in a baseball bat position,’’ according to a Gainesville Police report.

The men dropped their equipment, ran and called police.

Job had gone back inside when police arrived and ordered him to come out. Job opened the door, still holding the sword, and told police, “Come get me,’’ the report said.

Officer Christopher Kesting drew his weapon told Job to drop the sword, which he did. Job told police he had been drinking and “acting stupid.’’ Job had four swords and several large knives, police said.

Wonder if both the cop and the perp were thinking of this famous movie scene?

Car Update

Two alternators and a radiator later I'm back on the road *knock on wood*. Apparently there was a pinhole in the radiator spraying fluid into the alternator; I don't know if it was what caused the original alternator to fail, or if my nephew punctured it when he replaced the alternator the first time. The pinhole was discovered by the neighbor mechanic, who owns a shop down the road. He gave me the neighbor's labor charge of $100, bless him. Combined with $100 to pay for the new radiator and $100 to pay for a new battery, I've spent $400 on the car in the last month. Had to pawn a pistol to pay for today's work; I'll redeem the pawn two weeks from now.

Meanwhile, In UK...

...where even Oompa Loompas are getting involved in street crime...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

For You Airplane Fans

"How the B-52 Became Immortal."

The Sort of ATF Work that Even the NRA Supports

"8 men arrested on drug trafficking, gun charges."

Eight Gaston County men have been arrested on multiple drug trafficking and gun charges, the U.S. Attorney’s office said Monday.

Federal agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as officers with the Gaston County and Bessemer City police departments arrested the men during an early morning sweep on Monday, said Anne Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

The arrests are the result of an ongoing joint law enforcement effort focused on reducing drug trafficking and violent crime in Gaston County, with special emphasis on the Vantine neighborhood, authorities said.

A 60-count criminal bill of indictment against the defendants was returned by a Charlotte grand jury on Sept. 18. Portions of the indictment were unsealed Monday after the arrests.

Stupid Car.

Well, I really can't blame the poor car, I've been the one neglecting the maintenance for all these years, and now it's caught up with me. The car is a 1993 Nissan Sentra, my only means of transportation, and it's been very reliable for a lot of years with minimal maintenance, but old cars are subject to the same wear and tear of old age that we all are, and the Sentra is no different. I got paid a week ago and spent much of my paycheck buying a new battery and alternator and getting them installed, and I don't get paid again until this coming Friday, and that will mostly go to rent. Something is causing the battery to drain; I drove on the new battery for a week, and the car quit this evening on the way to work. I think I can get the battery charged and drive it to a garage tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest, but I haven't a clue as to what is causing the battery to drain and a mechanic will have to figure that out. I have a couple of pistols to pawn that I hope will cover it. Over on the sidebar is a brand new Paypal tip jar button. If you're feeling generous and would like to help out, I'm not too proud to ask.

Being poor sucks; it sucks even more when you know that no one is to blame but yourself for not establishing and maintaining good saving and spending habits. And the prospect of digging myself out of the hole I'm in is daunting -- no debt to speak of, but living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Just give me one good year, God, would you?

Update: Got the battery charged and the car started right up, drove it to a neighbor's garage. Turns out that the new alternator has already gone bad. The alternator was brand new, so a replacement is free, I'll just have to pay whatever labor the neighbor charged. Hopefully it will be the neighbor rate.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

"Angel Priest" Meets With Girl He Helped

Remember the story of the "angel priest" who suddenly appeared at an accident scene to anoint and pray with a young girl injured there, seemingly saving her life? Here's the follow-up:

Katie Lentz, a college student who nearly died in the mangled wreckage of a car crash last month, and the “mystery priest” who appeared out of nowhere to minister to her held an emotional reunion Friday at her Illinois home.

“I was just so thrilled he was there,” Katie told about her meeting with Father Patrick Dowling on the same day she celebrated her 20th birthday.

“I thanked him for being there (at the crash scene) that day and he said he was very happy I could walk with my walker.”

She said there were no tears, but they exchanged a warm handshake and he sat next to her on the sofa in her family’s home in Quincy, Ill. while they chatted.

“They were just very happy to see each other,” said Katie’s mother, Carla Lentz. “She said she was so grateful he’d been there and he offered a prayer.

“He said God loves all of us and God loves you, Katie.”

Friday, September 20, 2013

When the Air Force Nearly Nuked NC

Back in 1961:

A doomed Air Force B-52 accidentally dropped two hydrogen bombs on North Carolina in January 1961, and one came perilously close to exploding and scattering deadly radioactive fallout over the Eastern Seaboard, according to a recently declassified report.

The 4-megaton Mark 39 bombs -- each packing 260 times the explosive power of the weapon that decimated Hiroshima -- broke loose over Goldsboro, N.C., as the bomber went into a tailspin and crashed.

All four safety mechanisms designed to prevent accidental detonation worked properly on one bomb, which landed in a meadow, but three failed on the other, and only a low-voltage switch kept it from exploding upon impact in a field in Faro, N.C., said the 1969 report.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

If He's Committing More Crimes...

while wearing a court-ordered monitoring ankle bracelet, he's probably better off in jail:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have made an arrest in the alleged armed robbery of a woman who was confronted by two men in the garage of her north Charlotte home last week.

The robbery was reported Sept. 17 at the 6500 block of Quarterbridge Lane. That is in a neighborhood off Rumple Lane, east of Sugar Creek Road, in the Derita community.

Police say as a woman came home and pulled her vehicle into her garage, she was confronted by two men, one armed with a handgun. They demanded her money and then took her phone and other items from the vehicle before fleeing.

A CMPD officer later spotted a man who fit the description of the robbers. Police say that as the officer approached, the man threw down a plastic bag containing marijuana. Officers say a search of the man turned up items that belonged to the woman. They say the man, identified as [suspect], was wearing an electronic monitoring device that placed him at the scene of the robbery.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Criticise the God-King...

...face the wrath of the IRS.

Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about "anti-Obama rhetoric," inflammatory language and "emotional" statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status.

The internal 2011 documents, obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as "propaganda."

The list provides the most specific public accounting to date of which groups were targeted for extra scrutiny and why. The IRS has not publicly identified the groups, repeatedly citing a provision of the tax code prohibiting it from releasing tax return information.

More than 80% of the organizations on the 2011 "political advocacy case" list were conservative, but the effort to police political activity also ensnared at least 11 liberal groups as of November 2011, including Progressives United, Progress Texas and Delawareans for Social and Economic Justice.

Click the link to read the rest.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Benghazi: The Cover-up Continues

"Congressman: CIA Employee Who Refused to Sign Non-Disclosure on Benghazi Suspended."

A CIA employee who refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring him from discussing the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, has been suspended as a result and forced to hire legal counsel, according to a top House lawmaker.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) revealed at an event on Monday that his office was anonymously informed about the CIA employee, who is purportedly facing an internal backlash after refusing to sign a legal document barring him from publicly or privately discussing events surrounding the Benghazi attack.

Most transparent administration evah. Yeah, right.

I Was Drivin' Down the Road Tryin' To Loosen My Load, Had a Crazy Woman On My Mind...

...first she tried to grab me, then she tried to stab me, she ain't no roommate of mine...

A North Charleston, SC woman doesn't much like The Eagles:

A North Charleston woman is accused of wielding a knife in an assault on her roommate after he refused to stop listening to rock music by the Eagles Monday night.

Vernett Bader, 54, of Brossy Circle, is charged with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature.

North Charleston police responded to Bader’s home late Monday concerning a reported stabbing, an incident report states.

The woman’s 64-year-old roommate was nursing stab wounds to his arm, hand and elbow, police said.

The wounded man told police that Bader grew angry with him while he was listening to the Eagles and watching television with his brother.

Bader told her roommate she didn’t want to listen to the band. He responded by telling her to shut up, the report states.

Bader grabbed a serrated knife from a kitchen drawer and swung it at the man, police said.

When the two men wrestled the knife away from Bader, she went back into the kitchen and found another, the report states.


She Stab It With Her Steely Knives But Just Can't Kill the Beast...

Take it easy, honey.

That's life in the fast lane, I guess. Now she's a desperado.

Troglodyting On Mars?

Probably the only feasible way to live on the planet, given that the atmosphere can't support human life and exposes the planet's surface to cosmic rays.

Martian bases could be built on the red planet by robots excavating underground caves, a group of German architects has claimed.

The team from ZA Architects believes that basalt, already detected on the red planet by rovers, could be used as a building material to create large underground caves and create a ‘martian cement’.

‘The surface of Mars is primarily composed of basalt, and the Phoenix lander directly sampled water ice in Martian soil,’ the team say.

‘Basalt is good material to make a protectional cave on, to produce insulation, and basalt roving, which is stronger than steel.’

The rovers would excavate large caves underground, leaving pillars of basalt to support the roof.

When human explorers arrive, they would simply need to install windows, doors and life support systems.

Concept art pic:

Quote of the Day

"Another one on psych meds and obsessed with video games. And moronic NYC media wants to take guns from a free people?"

Found here.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Apologies For Light Posting

Been busy since last Thursday with car problems; easy enough to fix when you have money, not so much when you don't. A new battery and a new alternator later, I might be back to the status quo ante. So much for buying a new lawnmower and other lawn care products this month.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

NSA Chief Thinks He's Captain Picard

Glenn Greenwald reports on the "Information Dominance Center."

"When he was running the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the Information Dominance Center. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a 'whoosh' sound when they slid open and closed. Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather 'captain's chair' in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen.

"'Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard,' says a retired officer in charge of VIP visits."

Read the whole thing.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Good Syria Analysis From Walter Russell Mead

Mead explains President Obama's "bumblefucking*" Syria strategy through the lens of his spectrum theory of foreign policy:

Longtime readers will know that I divide American foreign policy into four schools of thought. Hamiltonians (well represented among the old Republican foreign policy establishment) want the United States to follow the trail blazed by Great Britain in its day: to build a global commercial and security system based on sea power and technological leadership, maintaining a balance of power in key geopolitical theaters and seeking to attract rivals or potential rivals like China into our system as, in Robert Zoellick’s phrase, “responsible stakeholders.” Wilsonians also want the United States to build a world order, but to anchor it in liberal human rights practices and international law rather than in the economic and security frameworks that Hamiltonians prefer. Those two globalist schools dominate the foreign policy establishment’s thought about the world we live in, and have done so since the 1940s.

There are two other schools that are home-focused rather than globalist. They are less interested in changing the world around the United States than in keeping the United States safe from the world. Jeffersonians have historically sought to avoid war and foreign entanglements at all costs; Jacksonians have been suspicious of foreign adventures, but strongly believe in national defense and support a strong military and want decisive action against any threat to the United States, its honor, or its treaty allies. Jeffersonians are generally opposed to almost any war other than a war of self defense following a direct enemy attack; Jacksonians aren’t interested in global transformation but will generally back robust American responses to anything they see as a security threat or a threat to America’s honor and reputation abroad.

Click the link to read the rest. Mead concludes that Obama lost the Jacksonians through his fecklessness in regards to Afghanistan and especially Libya - - and the Jacksonians are the most warlike of all Americans. No American President can win a war without their enthusiastic support.

*Term coined by Jon Stewart to describe Obama's Syria policy:

World's Oldest Bottle Message Found

Found washed up on a beach in western Canada - - and the finder refuses to open the bottle to read the note inside!

The bottle has been drifting around the Pacific Ocean for 107 years, thrown into the sea near San Francisco, and it was found washed up on a beach in Tofino, Canada: 1,115 miles in 107 years.

Sending a message by bottle is one of those things that you might wish to put on your personal bucket list. I've thrown four or five of them, and gotten replies to a couple of them. Maybe one day in the future the equivalent will be to send a message into space. Perhaps it's already been done by an astronaut with a sense of whimsy.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Indoctrination Chronicles #6

Down in Memphis, Tennessee, a teacher who asked the lil' chirrens to write about a person they idolized was less than happy when one of the lil' tykes wrote of God as her idol.

When asked by the news reporters what the school policy was, they admitted it was a mistake for the teacher to prohibit God as Elementary Idol. When asked what disciplinary procedures/recriminations the teacher would face, they babbled about privacy policies.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

12 Years Ago

Hippie Tears!

Gun grabber hippie tears, the best kind!

But let it not be said that I totally lack empathy for the maggot hippies who lost their jobs:

Well, on second thought, I do lack all empathy for the plight of these two gun-grabbing hippie maggots.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Sh*t Sister Says, Redux

"She's wearing pink all over and screaming like a Banshee." - - spoken of Victoria Azerenka, currently facing Serena Williams in the U.S. Open women's tennis final.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Wearing a Mask Ain't Much of a Disguise...

...if the mask doesn't cover your distinctive, Groucho Marx-like eyebrows:

A man who raided a betting shop was brought to justice today… because of his eyebrows.

Paul Shough, 28, was jailed for six-and-a-half years after threatening staff at a Coral store in Birmingham with an imitation gun, and managed to escape with £200 in cash.

He had covered his face before attempting the crime, but police were able to track him down thanks to his distinctive eyebrows and heavily-lined forehead.

In this case, he'd have been advised to cover the upper half of his face, I guess. Or shave those eyebrows off.

In Airship News...

...the "Aeroscraft" prototype cargo zeppelin nears its first test flight:

An experimental airship came a step closer to its first flight last weekend when the silvery “Aeroscraft” zeppelin hovered a few feet off the ground outside the Tustin, Calif. blimp hangar where it's being built.

The Aeroscraft, a 266-foot-long blimp-like cargo ship, is expected to hold its first test flight within the next month, officials with developer Aeros Corp. said.

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued an airworthiness certificate to the firm.

Click the link to read the rest. It would be cool if airships became common again, both for cargo and also for transportation of people. Hell, rock stars and billionaires could buy them as air yachts. Edgar Allan Poe once wrote a story in which he envisioned a future in which airships (although he used the term balloons were the main method of long-distance transportation in the world. I'd love to ride in one, some day.

Return of the Stylites

Monks who live atop pillars.

In this case a Russian Orthodox monk who was, in his youth, a criminal.

He lives atop this pillar:

And he's got a stupendous view of the wilderness of the country of Georgia:

The Christian practice of living atop pillars is an old one, dating back to the earliest days of Christianity, when the Desert Fathers were active. St. Simeon Stylites was the most famous of them.

Be sure to click over to the story, the accompanying photographs are stunning.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Indoctrination Chronicles #5

It's your first day of college at Michigan State University! A lot of money was spent, most likely by your parents, or perhaps you got student loans, and here you are in your freshman English class with Professor William Penn; what knowledge does Professor Penn want to impart on your first day of school? This:

“If you go to the Republican convention in Florida, you see all those old people with all the dead skin cells washing off them – uh, they’re cheap. They don’t want to pay taxes because they’ve already raped this country and gotten everything out of it they possibly could.”

Bastard has tenure, no doubt.

Update: He didn't have tenure! There is a God!

Update 2: He has tenure, after all. God is dead?

Gee, This Seems Familiar

Over at Yahoo, a video of a chipmunk and a cameraman.

I've seen that particular scenario somewhere before; oh, yeah:

In the next scene, of course, they bring the cameraman into the emergency room with the chipmunk attached to his face...

Things You Find On the Internet

A picture of me from my Navy days, in training school at NTTC Corry Station, Pensacola:

I'm standing on the left side of the photo, with a full head of blond hair and glasses, under the boots of the wall art, next to the CPO. These are Cryptologic Technicians and the class was Outboard/Tacintel, which was a Navy HFDF (High Frequency Direction Finding) system for locating enemy ships via their radio communications. Tacintel was a satellite communications network, a primitive internet.

Is a Bear Catholic? Does a Pope Sh*t In the Woods?

The answer to that question would be "No," and "Maybe, if the Pope were to go on a camping trip with the Scouts of St. George," a new Catholic organization based on the Boy Scouts:

A little further under the radar, another scouting group has quickly grown from the vision of one man and, while it's not having a big convention in September, it's sending troops out into the wilderness to sharpen their outdoor skills and practice their faith.

On May 24, Texas outdoorsman, college chancellor/professor, Eagle Scout, and father of seven (including four boys) Dr. Taylor Marshall (pictured) announced on his blog, Canterbury Tales, his intention to create a new group. It was to be built on the principles set out by BSA founder Robert Baden-Powell in 1908, who chose St. George—the dragon-slaying patron saint of his native Britain—as also the patron of young men seeking strength and virtue.

Along with traditional scouting activities, Taylor wanted the group to also emphasize his faith, as a former Episcopalian priest who converted to Roman Catholicism.

In a few short months, the Scouts of St. George has become a reality, with troops springing up—largely but not necessarily connected to Catholic parishes—around the country and overseas. The first camp-out for a SSG troop happened the weekend of Aug. 24, but the bulk of the current troops' first outdoors adventures will come during September.

"Our campout," says Marshall, "for Troop 1 and Troop 5, Dallas and North Fort Worth, we're are going to go out Sept. 6 and 8. We're going to have a couple priests and deacon; we'll have Mass, rosary both nights, Angelus prayer. It'll be great; it'll be so much fun."

Such an organization will be a fat target for the scorn of the Left, with questions about merit badges for pedophilia being only the most obvious avenue of attack. This new organization is obviously a response to the continuing attacks on the Boy Scouts of America by the gay and atheist lobbies, and designed to prevent either of those lobbies from entry:

One of the chief concerns Marshall has been dealing with is the concept of the SSG as being exclusive to one faith.

"That's been the most controversial," he says, "but I've stood by my guns on this. We are a Catholic organization; we do hold to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, so everything they teach, we hold. And the membership is Catholic. Of course, we realize that every boy's father is not Catholic, but those fathers are welcome to join us and be part of what we're doing.

So by being openly a Catholic-only organization, atheists - - no matter how virtuous - - are excluded, and the language about "the Magisterium of the Catholic Church" means that non-celibate gay boys would not be admitted, either, and nominally celibate gay boys that joined the group would be expelled if they were caught engaging in homosexual acts. Or perhaps, like certain orders of monks, they would have to publicly confess their sins and be subject to corporal punishment.

I can't imagine this new organization will go very far. The level of scrutiny it will receive will be extreme, and any missteps trumpeted far beyond reality by a hostile media.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Fourteen Holy Helpers

A bit of Catholicism I wasn't familiar with.

I've been re-reading the Brother Cadfael mysteries by Ellis Peters, one of which is titled The Leper of St. Giles. Today happens to be the feast day of St. Giles (as I am informed in a daily Saint that the Franciscans email to me) and, reading about Giles, I discovered he was one of the "Fourteen Holy Helpers." This is a group of saints who, rather than assist in general terms with the state of one's soul, seem to instead focus on helping with particular parts of the human body; St. Agathius against headaches, for example.

When I attended Catholic school as a boy one of the "fun" days in the year was the feast day of St. Blaise, where after the Mass, individuals were "blessed" with the protection of St. Blaise by having unlit candlesticks crossed under one's throat. Blaise is another of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

Down at the bottom of the Wikipedia article linked above is a truly charming bedtime prayer invoking the Fourteen:

When at night I go to sleep,
Fourteen angels watch do keep,
Two my head are guarding,
Two my feet are guiding;
Two upon my right hand,
Two upon my left hand.
Two who warmly cover
Two who o'er me hover,
Two to whom 'tis given
To guide my steps to heaven.

I think I'll write that one down and add it to my own bedtime prayer.

WWII LST In Charleston, SC Until Tuesday



There's a fine novel I read long ago about an LST in WWII called The Ninety and Nine, by William Brinkley.

Tiny Little Pleasures... the flip-top cap that Colgate puts on its toothpaste, so you don't have to worry about losing the cap:

(that's a replica WWI German Trench Knife at the bottom of the photo, made by Böker).