Thursday, March 27, 2014

Charlotte Mayor Arrested By FBI On Bribery Charges, Resigns

Our local liberal rag, The Charlotte Observer, plays fair and identifies his political party in the second paragraph:

Patrick Cannon, who rose from public housing to become mayor of North Carolina’s largest city, was arrested Wednesday by the FBI and accused of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes – including $20,000 in cash delivered in a briefcase last month to the mayor’s office.

Cannon, a 49-year-old Democrat who took office only four months ago, was scheduled to show up at a luxury apartment in SouthPark for yet another payoff from what he thought were businessmen needing his influence in city matters, the affidavit says.

But after arriving, Cannon learned who they really were, a source confirmed: undercover FBI agents who’d been recording their meetings over the past three years, long before he launched a campaign for mayor in 2013.

I'm actually surprised that Eric Holder & Co. didn't quash this investigation years ago.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The 1864 Snowball Battle

6000 bored Confederate soldiers, all hurling snowballs.

Damn, that would make a great Dan Troiani painting, wouldn't it?

Sailor Was Shot With Snatched Duty Sidearm

The intruder that killed a sailor on USS Mahan on Norfolk Naval Base had snatched the sidearm of the Petty Officer of the Watch during a struggle at the quarterdeck.

I don't know if it's still the case, but back when I served the issue 1911's were carried in the old-fashioned black leather belt holsters, with no real retention factor other than the weather flap to prevent just this sort of incident, and I doubt that sailors working as POOW have any training in weapon retention (or any hand-to-hand combat training, for that matter). Civilian police, of course, are trained to prevent assailants from snatching their sidearms, and have holsters that prevent just that situation from occurring.

Guess there's going to be a call going out for retention holsters in the near future for all Navy ships, and probably some minimal training to prevent this happening again.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Headline of the Day

"Aborted babies incinerated to heat UK hospitals."

Fuck, even Adolf Eichmann didn't come up with a final solution that ingenious. /sarc

We're doomed. How can God contemplate the human race at this point with anything but loathing?

The Balkanized States of America

USA Today notices.

It's as simple as this: we don't mind our guys/gals in Congress doing stuff for us, but we don't want the other team's guys/gals doing stuff to us. And whichever team you're on, you don't believe the other team. We're becoming more tribal.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Meanwhile, Over At Baen Books...

...the eARC of Larry Correia's Monster Hunter Nemesis is out.

Free Zoo Admission Day In Kansas City...

...went about as well as you might expect.

As police continue on Wednesday to investigate Tuesday's violence at the Kansas City Zoo, city leaders are looking at changes to the zoo's free admission days for residents of Jackson and Clay counties.

Kansas City Zoo goers described Tuesday afternoon running for their lives after hundreds of teens were involved in fights inside the zoo and shots were fired in a zoo parking lot.

"It was very scary," Liberty resident Jaimi Heckadon said. "All hell broke loose."

As she and her group bolted for the exit, Heckadon said she heard people screaming about officers using pepper spray.

"The problem was these teenagers. None of them were escorted by an adult," she said.

Extra security was already on hand, but dozens of Kansas City police officers responded to the zoo after the issues erupted about 3:30 p.m. The zoo closed at 4 p.m. as scheduled.

No serious injuries were reported because of the issues. Authorities said Tuesday that 6 arrests were made and a gun was found on top of a fire pit in Swope Park, which surrounds the zoo.

No one has been arrested for firing the shots. One person was arrested for outstanding warrants, two females were arrested for non-violent assault and three were arrested for their roles in the chaos.

On Wednesday, police said "numerous arrests were made for fighting in public and assault."

The zoo has put on hold its free zoo-admission days until the issues are resolved.

Which basically means that free admission days at the KC zoo are finished for good.

Kid's Lucky It Wasn't the Medal of Honor...

...because if it had been, Petty Officer Penner would have had to keep a straight face while his Commander-In-Chief pronounced it as "corpse-man" while presenting it:

And it's not as if the stupid fuck hasn't made the same mistake before:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Charlotte's Own Bill Spoon's BBQ Makes USA Today


Bill Spoon's has been here in Charlotte for almost as long as I've been alive, they opened in 1963 (I was born in '61). They are an anomaly in the Piedmont, an eastern-NC-style BBQ joint that cooks the whole hog, rather than the shoulders typically cooked in Lexington-style BBQ. They also utilize eastern-style vinegar sauce, which is made with vinegar, peppers, and little else. This vinegar sauce is the least popular of all BBQ sauce styles in the USA; the majority of Americans like their sauce red, tomato-ey, and sweet.

I've eaten at Spoon's fairly often, I like the age and tradition of the place, with no compromise with modernity. They don't even have a soft drink dispenser; if you order a Coke or other soft drink, you are brought a can cold from the refrigerator. Like most family-run BBQ places, alcohol isn't sold in Spoon's.

Anyway, it's a good article, give it a look.

h/t Barbecue Bros.

Meanwhile, In UK...

...having effectively banned guns and working on banning knives, some set their sights (oops, gun metaphor. Bad Bob!) on...wait for it...spoons.

Liam Whelan was sent by his stepmother to their local Tesco in Haslingden to buy replacements for the spoons he keeps losing.

But staff refused to sell the 57p pack of teaspoons to Liam, from Deardengate, because he was not 18.

Here's the little thug with his weapon of choice:

h/t Robb at Sharp as a Marble.

A Pron Industry Staple Becomes This Year's Magic Anti-Aging Cream

"Youthful grandmother, 67, claims sperm facials are her anti-ageing secret - and she's made a video tutorial..."

As recommended by Heather Locklear!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Even the Pastry Chef Scorns You

"White House pastry chef resigns: ‘I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs.’"

Couldn't handle Michelle's demands that he make silk purses out of sow's ears:

The openly gay chef was hired by Laura Bush in 2007 to make his trademark cookie plates and sugar sculptures. Mrs. Obama took over in 2009 and ordered Yosses to make healthier plates in smaller portions.

Yosses began replacing butter with fruit puree and sugar with honey and agave. But Yosses was never fully committed to the new policy.

Amusing Wine Story

I lived in Rota, Spain for three years in the mid-1980's, and became an aficionado of sherry during that time, making many trips to nearby Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlucar de Barrameda and Puerto de Santa Maria where sherry is made. I recently started following a blog devoted to sherry, and found this amusing entry today:

This magnificent wine [Apostoles Palo Cortado] comes from a solera established in 1862 to celebrate the visit to the bodegas of Queen Isabel II. The Queen was keen to see the pressing of the grapes, but as her visit was in October, the harvest was long over. Manuel Maria Gonzalez sent people out to buy any unused grapes they could find and organised a pressing at the bodega of the large quantity they had managed to obtain. The quality of the resultant wine was so good that it was housed in an enormous specially made butt holding the equivalent of 33 butts. This butt, which is still there, was named El Cristo, as Christ was 33 years old. It is flanked by the Apostoles soleras. The solera consists of 12 butts, each with the name of one of the Apostles - except Judas, whose butt is kept in the vinegar store!

This particular wine is made at the González-Byass bodega in Jerez; I've toured that particular bodega. In one area they put a sherry glass on the ground with some sherry in it, and a tiny ladder propped up against it. Mice come running from under the barrels, climb the ladder, and sip at the sherry. At the time I visited there was one alcoholic mouse that woudn't wait his turn, so he got a running start and leaped into the air, landing in the glass with a Plunk!

Queen Isabel II, mentioned above, was one of the most promiscuous women ever to wear a crown in Europe, with (possibly) only Catherine the Great of Russia surpassing her sexual appetite. Isabel married a rather *ahem* effeminate man, of whom Isabel is supposed to have said, "What can I report of a man who, on his wedding night, wore more lace than I?"

Almost a Cool Kid

I now has a Smith & Wesson 642, the Airweight Centennial:

And, as a bonus, mine doesn't have the Infernal Lock™ that Smith & Wesson puts on most of its revolvers these days (and I was told by a gun shop employee recently that S&W is going to discontinue offering 642's without the lock; take that for what it's worth). A bonus is that I still have some accessories from an old 640-1 I used to own back in the early 1990's: a Milt Sparks Summer Special holster, a Thad Rybka pocket holster, and some old S&W splinter grips. I had a pair of Craig Spegel cocobolo Boot Grips, but stupidly I left those on the 640 when I sold it.

It's much, much lighter than the old 640. Yes, I know these things aren't fun to shoot because of that, but this isn't a fun gun; I have other guns for that purpose.

This revolver in the Thad Rybka pocket holster is identical in size to my Beretta 3032 Tomcat in a similar pocket holster, but packs a much greater punch than the .32ACP does.

I'm happy with my purchase.

Clarissa Dickson Wright, 1947-2014: R.I.P.

One of the "Two Fat Ladies" of BBC's beloved cooking show.

Her partner on the show, Jennifer Patterson, died in 1999, which brought the show to a halt.

The show was a lot of fun, and helped bring back (along with Paula Deen's show in the US) traditional cooking recipes rich in sauces, butter and desserts. Not the healthiest cooking, but no one lives forever anyway, right? I have the Two Fat Ladies cookbook on my own shelf.

Wright's full name was Clarissa Theresa Philomena Aileen Mary Josephine Agnes Elsie Trilby Louise Esmerelda Dickson Wright, which is an appropriate sort of name for her, I think.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Yard Work

Don't much care for it. Spent the last couple of hours filling in holes in the lawn, both literal holes - - one of them 2' wide and 2' deep - - smaller holes and uneven areas of the lawn that cause one to turn an ankle when mowing. We'll need to pick up some grass seed to cover the fill dirt. It's a good day for it, sunny and warm; tomorrow, on the other hand, we're scheduled for rain.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Don't Be Pissing Off the Gypsies...

...or the gypsies will make it difficult for you to piss.

Did gypsies cut off man's penis in revenge for him sleeping with one of their girlfriends? Police search A-road for missing manhood after arrest of suspect, 22.

A gypsy gang chopped off a man's genitals after they discovered he had slept with one of their girlfriends, it has been reported.

Police brought a busy dual carriageway to a standstill today to hunt for a penis after he was discovered severely injured at the side of the A-road.

The 40-year-old was discovered in a distressed state on the side of the A66 dual carriageway in Middlesbrough this morning, Cleveland Police have confirmed. It has been reported that the man was seen searching in undergrowth.

A member of staff at Asda close to where the incident happened said he heard the man had suffered the horrendous injury to his groin.

Well, I guess he can get a job with the EPA now:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Up in Conetoe, NC:

h/t Knuckledraggin' My Life Away

A Neat Trick If You Can Pull It Off

"Navy's New Counting Rules Add Up To More Ships."

You might have missed it, but virtually overnight the Navy just grew, from 283 battle force ships to 291. A windfall purchase? A fast-track transfer? No, just a new way of counting the ships that carry out the Navy’s missions.

“We periodically assess the rules of how we count ships, and these changes better reflect the demands of our combatant commanders and the current mission requirements of our Navy’s battle force,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said. “These changes provide us with the flexibility we need to ensure we have the right ships, with the right capabilities, in the right location, to execute what is required of our maritime forces under the Defense Strategic Guidance.”

The changes have been in the works for years. A big difference is in the way ships qualify as members of the battle force. Ships that do not regularly deploy overseas, for example, won’t be counted, but ships of the same type that do will be included. Some non-combatant ships, including hospital ships and high-speed ferries, will be counted, since they fulfill certain missions even while lacking in firepower.

I wish I could increase my paycheck with such jiggery-pokery.

When Big Brother Disproves Your Vile Lie

Over in UK the cradle-to-grave nanny state is advanced much farther than here in the USA; not only has the government instituted comprehensive gun control (including confiscation), but has also started in on knives, as well. Additionally there is a CCTV (Closed Circuit TV) network throughout the country that monitors the movements of the citizenry subjects in a very intrusive sort of way. There is no expectation of privacy in public places in the UK. These CCTV cameras are not so effective at preventing crime - - crime occurs too quickly and there's no way to monitor that many cameras on a live basis - - but have some value at finding culprits afterward - - or not finding them, in the case of a hoax gay-bashing incident.

Yes, it's another phony hate crime:

A drama student who became an internet sensation after claiming he was savagely beaten up for being gay has admitted he caused his injuries himself when he tripped on the pavement.

Richard Kennedy, 18, from Blackpool, told police he was set upon by a gang of homophobes when he left a gay nightclub in Preston, Lancashire, prompting officers to appeal for information about what they called a 'particularly nasty assault'.

He posted photographs on Facebook of his battered and bleeding face, dislodged teeth, and gaping knee wound, with the caption 'An example [of] why homophobia is wrong and it's disgusting that it's still around in 2014'. The post was shared by more than 182,000 well-wishers.

But today the teenager, who studies Contemporary Theatre and Performance at the University of Central Lancashire, admitted he made it all up.

After being shown CCTV of him tripping and falling, face-first, onto the pavement, Kennedy accepted that the 'utterly inhumane homophobic attack' he had talked about actually never happened.

This afternoon Lancashire Police, who carried out a 'detailed and thorough investigation' into the alleged attack two weeks ago, confirmed CCTV showed the teenager had not been attacked by anyone, and had simply hurt himself when he fell over.

So basically he was just being...wait for it...a drama queen?

Personally, I think that in cases like this that get prominent publicity in media outlets, that the outlets involved should run retractions placed just as prominently as the so-called crime's original story was: if the story made front-page above-the-fold placement in a newspaper, for example, so should the retraction. If it was the lead story on the 6 o'clock news, so should the retraction. And the person making the false allegations should be punished, as this drama queen was not.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Obama Administration Shut Down Memorials Out of Meanness, Emails Reveal

Newly released public records show that the Department of the Interior knew in advance that two groups of aging veterans would be visiting the World War II Memorial on October 1, 2013, but they decided to barricade the premises anyway.

According to emails obtained by National Review Online, the U.S. National Park Service employees were also constantly monitoring the news for any negative media attention. Moreover, the emails show that government shutdown exceptions were granted to National Park Service employees.

The Obama administration tried to make political hay out of the government shutdown by closing the National Mall and denying access to monuments, but the decision backfired when the veterans defied the signs and fences and entered the WWII Memorial. The vets were taking part in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight, established in 2011 to help fly the state's WWII veterans to Washington, D.C. and to provide tours to monuments dedicated in their honor.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sharyl Attkisson Leaves CBS News

She had the strange notion that her job as a journalist included covering malfeasance and misfeasance in the Obama administration.

Silly girl. Only sycophantic boot-licking lackeys are needed at the present time. If a Republican wins the White House in 2016, we might need investivative journalists again.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Connecticut Gun Control Update

Not only are most of the gun owners in Connecticut refusing to register their "assault weapons" in response to a new law passed in Connecticut last year, but now 250 Connecticut law enforcement officers are signalling their refusal to enforce the law via an open letter to the CT legislature.

Interesting times we're living in.

Update: On the other hand, some cops are putting an extra coat of polish on the ol' jackboots.

Update 2: The open letter purporting to be from 250 CT law enforcement officers has been found to be a hoax.

Bottle Message: Found 101 Years Later, Baltic Sea

Found by German fishermen.

It breaks the previous record for length of time for a recovered bottle message, beating the old record of 97 years set in 2012.

We Have Met the Enemy...

...and it is us.

Far more new shooters in the US is causing more demand for ammo than is capable of being met by current production. Gunpowder, especially, is the weak link in the chain.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Don'tcha Just Hate It When That Happens

"Pensioner who hired an escort girl... only to find out she was his son's fiancee."

Headline of the Day

Lib Dems all shook up by being beaten in an election by the Bus Pass Elvis Party which wants brothels to give OAPs a 30% discount.

To translate, the Liberal Democrat party in UK was defeated in a local election by the Bus Pass Elvis Party, which wants whorehouses to give retirees (Old Age Pensioners) a 30% discount.

Damnit, I wish the US had a Bus Pass Elvis Party. They can't be any worse than what we have already.

Car Design Inspired By...Cooters?

Turtles, to you city folks:

3D printing has been used to make everything from toys and plaster casts to parts for jet engines.

And now one German automotive company has unveiled a revolutionary conceptual car body that it claims will only be made possible by using what is termed as 'additive manufacturing' or large-scale 3D printing.

The internal structure is inspired by the shape of a turtle skeleton and is designed so that it will provide incredible protection and cushioning, just like the animal’s shell.

They can call it the Porsche Cooter! Cooter Cars! Volkswagen can make one, they can call it the Cooter Pooper!

I Done TOLE You To Get Outta Bed, Boy


An early morning argument, possibly about getting out of bed, led to a 16-year-old boy being shot by his grandfather in northwest Alachua County early Thursday morning, authorities say.

"Sometime this morning an argument ensued, possibly about getting out of bed and going to school," Forgey said. "The grandfather apparently heard the argument between mother and son, interjected himself into the argument … and at some point pulled out a gun and shot the 16-year-old."

Forgey added Thursday afternoon that there may be a history of the teen abusing his grandfather.

Most did not want to talk about the matter but another grandson of Ulysses Hayes, who would not give his name, spoke highly of his grandfather.

"He's a great man and don't believe what you hear. It's as simple as that, nothing more and nothing less. Whatever happened here is going to stay here. It's a family matter and it's going to stay a family matter," said the man, who is not Jermaine's brother. "We're giving police the information they need to know. It's a tragedy. Nobody wanted it to happen. It is just one of those things that as a family, we have to deal with. And any law that is involved, we have to deal with that, too."

Later on in the story the State Attorney, probably at the prodding of the journalist who wrote this story, turned it into an indictment of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law:

State Attorney Bill Cervone said his office will review the incident and evidence to decide whether to file charges.

Cervone said Florida's "stand your ground" law may have been a factor in the decision by ASO not to file charges.

"This is illustrative of the problems that exist with the ‘stand your ground' legislation in that law enforcement is actively discouraged from making an arrest or a charge under situations where you don't really know everything that might be involved," Cervone said. "It may play out to be a completely legitimate use of force, or it may not."

Be On the Lookout...

...for the University of Florida Tinkler:

Police are looking for a man they say has urinated repeatedly on people as they stood at locations near the University of Florida campus.

The victims told the Gainesville Police Department they were standing with their backs turned to the man when they suddenly felt themselves being urinated upon, according to a GPD report.

Reports that the man then told the victims that it was raining were uncofirmed as of this writing.

The suspect is described as a black man, approximately 25-30 years old, 6 feet tall, medium to chunky build, short curly hair and dark complexion. He was last seen wearing a gray or dark hoodie and baggy jeans.

Could be worse, I suppose; he could be playing the Knockout Game instead, which would hurt more but humiliate less, perhaps.

Meanwhile, In UK...

...where you don't really have the option of armed self-defense, of course, but you do have the "self-defense HAIR CLIP" that "detects kicks and punches, calls for help and records incidents automatically."

So it might not save your ass from being attacked by thugs, but at least it will helpfully record the attack for posterity, so the thug can take it home and watch it on his computer.

Don't you just love living in a civilized country without all those nasssty guns like those violent Americans have?

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Kickstarter For NC Barbecue Map

They plan to publish a road map-style folding map listing over 250 NC barbecue restaurants, with details such as Lexington or Eastern-style, pork shoulders only or whole hog, and how the 'cue is cooked: over wood, in gas or electric smokers.

If you wish to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, the website is here. As of this writing, they have achieved $3104.00 of their $10,000.00 goal, and have until March 27th to meet it. I've already pledged enough for 1 map, myself.

Headline of the Day

"Kansas Walmart customer loses tooth after cursing at self-checkout machine."

When Military Officers Go Insane...

...occasionally it goes undetected. Not so in the case of UK Army Major General James Cowan, who feels that sandwiches are a threat to good order and discipline:

Sandwiches have been banned from an officers’ base after a commander noticed many were eating them with their hands as he insisted “a gentleman or a lady uses a knife and fork.”

Major General James Cowan issued the note after he noticed officers were eating with their hands and failing to stand when commanders entered the room.

His three-page letter criticised standards at Bulford Camp in Wiltshire where he said he had seen a many “frankly barbaric” techniques and habits displayed by soldiers and officers.

The note, addressed to ‘Chaps’, said: “Quite a few officers in the divisional mess seem to be under the impression that they can eat their food with their hands. The practice of serving rolls and sandwiches must stop,” the Sun reported.

The letter penned by Maj Gen Cowan, who is in charge of 20,000 soldiers and 2,500 officers in 3 UK Division, most based at Bulford, also criticised poor grammar and writing, advising against the "wanton use of capitals, abbreviations and acronyms" because they can leave the reader exhausted.

Frankly I'm not convinced this isn't satire, and wasn't posted by the Telegraph by mistake. It reads just like a Monty Python sketch:

Listen Up, Chaps: There's been too much eating of sandwiches! Stop that, it's silly! And the wanton use of of capitals, abbreviations and acronyms must stop! It's silly!

Monday, March 03, 2014


Lepanto PX Spanish Brandy.

From the Gonzalez-Byass sherry company. Lepanto is their premium brandy, named after the naval battle that stopped the expansion of Islam in the Mediterranean. This particular version of Lepanto (there are three variants) is aged in barrels that were formerly used to age sweet Pedro Ximenez wine (PX is the wine used to sweeten cream sherry).

I don't drink often; this will be for special occasions.

Now He'll Have To Say Three Our Fathers and 4 Hail Mary's In Confession

The Pope uses the wrong Italian word during a public blessing.

With millions of people hanging on your every word, it was a slip-up Pope Francis would really have preferred not to make.

While giving his weekly blessing from the Vatican, the Argentinian mistakenly uttered the word 'f***' in Italian before quickly correcting himself.

But within seconds his mistake was posted on dozens of Italian media websites and YouTube and had gained millions of worldwide hits as it went viral.

The words the Pope stumbled on were 'caso' (example) and 'cazzo' which means 'f***' in Italian and often trips up those not used to speaking the language.

I'm sure he feels it was a simple mistake and that he's not expecting some sort of Spanish Inquisition...

End of an Era

"The Last Cooper In Chiclana."

That would be Chiclana, Spain, down in the area where sherry is made. A cooper is a maker of barrels, in this case barrels for the sherry industry. It's a dying art, because modernisation in wine-making techniques has replaced the wooden barrel with the stainless steel tank for much of the process of turning grape juice into wine. It's only during the ageing process that wooden barrels are needed, and since the solera system of ageing sherry doesn't require new barrels (the wine is transferred between barrels in a complicated process, with the wine for bottling being taken from the most mature barrels), the need for coopers has diminished through the years. Paco Gomez Morales, the cooper in this story, has been making barrels for 50 years, and no one will replace him when he retires.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Meanwhile, Here In Charlotte...

...where the CIAA Tournament, a basketball event that showcases the talents of players from historical African-American colleges, including Charlotte's own Johnson C. Smith University has been taking place this week, two people were shot in an Uptown Charlotte hotel full of CIAA fans.

Shot in the legs, a practice I have read is called leg warming by the Usual Suspects.®

I'll state up front for the record that in the dozen or so years that Charlotte has hosted this particular event, this is the first Usual Suspect®-style violence I can recall associated with it, probably because for the most part the CIAA alumni are mature individuals in their 30's, 40's and 50's, with some even older. My own hotel this year, however, hosted a busload of younger people - - a band - - in addition to the regular older guests. I can't help wondering...

About That Cheap and Plentiful Russian Ammo...

...better grab it while you still can.

New York Judge Declines To Treat Law-Abiding Citizen As Felon

Fellow had 10 rounds in his pistol's magazine instead of the state-specified seven rounds.

Own Any Ivory?

The Obama administration is getting ready to make your life miserable:

FACT SHEET: National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking & Commercial Ban on Trade in Elephant Ivory:

…We will finalize a proposed rule that will reaffirm and clarify that sales across state lines are prohibited, except for bona fide antiques, and will prohibit sales within a state unless the seller can demonstrate an item was lawfully imported prior to 1990 for African elephants and 1975 for Asian elephants, or under an exemption document.

So if you own an Ivory-handled knife or ivory grips on your single-action revolver, you're basically screwed.