Friday, December 08, 2017

Quote of the Day

LeGuin identifies all capitalism as "growth capitalism," and is concerned that, like cancer, it requires endless growth to survive. By her definition, she's right. I'd point out that government efforts to regulate it, to channel it, have resulted in many of the deleterious effects she lays at its door: corporations are actively discouraged from looking much past quarters, or single years at best -- "What's good for General Motors is good for the county" once carried the implicit assumption that GM was in it for the long haul, century after century, in the kind of way that we now call "sustainable." It no longer does, and has not for quite some time. Other regulations encourage rent-seeking, regulatory capture and the use of regulations to stymie new entrants and thwart competitors. And vast defense budgets ensure many corporations have a vested interest in war. This does not strike me as a wise long-term strategy.

A mess like that, is that "capitalism?" Karl Marx said it was -- but he was defining an enemy. When I go to a hamfest, a farmer's market, an antique mall, a gun show or the Feast Of The Hunter's Moon, what is that selling of things you've got plenty of for tokens that will let you buy what you need and want, if not capitalism? And does it not manage to achieve an equitable -- or at least mutually-acceptable -- distribution of goods and services? To limit "capitalism" to the goons of Wall Street, to a game best played by those with money to gamble that doesn't risk their physical survival, is to ignore all those regular people, getting by selling loose cigarettes for a penny profit each, selling excess honey from their backyard hive to buy Christmas presents (or, like my Mom, simply giving the honey as gifts -- how she missed her hive when she and Dad moved to a subdivision that was shocked, shocked at the notion of a tiny home apiary, and forced her to rehome it) and a jillion small businesses and minor exchanges.

via Roberta X.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Who's Doing the Leading, Exactly?

Pope Francis teaches about a line from the Our Father, "Lead Us Not Into Temptation."

I've been saying the prayer by rote all these years, but never really thought much about the line, choosing to interpret it as meaning "Do not allow us to fall into temptation," which would make more sense that the actual wording, which seems to indicate that God the Father is wayward and must be nagged to keep us on the path of righteousness.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Did Someone Leave a Ladder Around, Or What?

Just how did Tyrone get out on that roof to begin with?

A man has been apprehended after he fled onto a roof to avoid arrest.

The incident occurred on Thursday morning. According to officers, the man, who was identified as 35-year-old Tyrone Singleton, was wanted on charges of domestic violence and armed robbery.

In order to further avoid police, Singleton climbed on top of a roof at the location. Officers from the CMPD as well as detectives surrounded the area and attempted to negotiate the suspect to safety. Authorities were at the scene from 10:20 a.m. to approximately an hour later when officers climbed onto the roof with the suspect and brought him under arrest without further incident.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Um...Polyester Poontang?

Apparently the late singer Anthony Newley was not only a pedophile, but a wannabe pornographer:

Sacha recounted how an off-color and unabashedly autobiographical X-rated film his dad produced in 1969 was “a confession of pedophilia” that led to his folks’ messy divorce the next year.

In the flick — “Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?” — Anthony plays a middle-aged musician who recounts his sexual exploits to his wife and children, including his obsession with the apparently underage Mercy Humppe.

[Newley's actress wife Joan] Collins played his wife, Polyester Poontang, in the movie. Sacha and his sister played the couples’ kids. Former Playboy model Connie Kreski took the role of Humppe, and though her character’s age is not revealed in the film, “It falls within the Polanski thing,” Sacha said, referring to director Roman Polanski’s alleged rape of a 13-year-old in 1977.

Describing Joan Collins as "Polyester Poontang" is somehow...appropriate, don't you think?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I Don't Want My Blog To Turn Into An Obituary Column... I'll just note here in passing that 70's teen idol David Cassidy has died at 67. His mother Shirley Jones has outlived him at 83.

If It Weren't For Fake Hate...

...would there be any hate at all?

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Officials at Parkway Central High School said a student has confessed to writing a racial slur and the phrase ‘White Lives Matter’ on a mirror inside a campus bathroom.

In an email to the 'PCH Community,' Principal Timothy McCarthy said the student's actions violated the school discipline code and that the guilty party would be punished. The Parkway School District would only identify the student as "non-white," but stressed that "does not diminish the hurt it caused or the negative impact it has had on our community."

School officials did not disclose the student's motive for the graffiti.
The motive is called feeding the narrative or perpetuating the stereotype or attention-seeking.

I'm inclined to think that a faked hate crime claim should, at the very least, be added to the student's permanent transcript so that future claims receive the skepticism that they deserve. If significant disruption is done by the faked hate claim, the student should also be disciplined for it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Chris Matthews Has a Moment of Lucidity

Via Gateway Pundit:

“Ever since we started this Archie Bunker thing in the early ‘70s, making fun of white working people, we kissed them goodbye. You make fun of people, you look down on them, they get the message. You call them ‘deplorables,’ they hear it. You bet they hear it.

“You say they cling to their guns and religion? Oh yeah? I cling to my religion. OK. I’m a little person, and you’re a big person. Thank you, I’ll be voting for the other guy this time.”

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving Shopping Is Done

Did my Thanksgiving shopping at the local Food Lion. While there I saw this advertisement:

I guess they're not quite ripe yet?

A tractor-trailer arrived as I was leaving, it was full of Christmas trees.

Probably Supports Single-Payer Health Care

Irony alert:

"‘It’s Too Expensive:’ Alabama Democrat Doug Jones Comes Out Against Trump’s Border Wall."

By the Way...

If you wish to note Manson's death without the usual "R.I.P." (requiescat in pace, or rest in peace), instead use "I.I.A." (In Infernum Aderet, or Burn In Hell).

Charles Manson Begins His Eternity In Hell

Finally Dead:

Manson, the man who struck a violent coda to the era of peace and love, met his end in a Bakersfield hospital at 83.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Mel Tillis, 1932-2017: R.I.P.

Mel Tillis, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and a Florida native, has died at age 85.

Tillis was born in Pahokee, Florida, near Lake Okeechobee.

His best years were the 1970's. He was a stammerer, which he worked into his road show - - his musicians would helpfully finish his sentences and he would yell "Shut up!" Like many individuals with stammers, it would vanish when he sang. It also vanished if he had memorized his lines, as in a film cameo he did in the Burt Reynolds film W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings, where he played a gas station attendant.

The second concert I ever went to was a Mel Tillis concert with my father at the old Alligator Alley basketball arena at the University of Florida.

Here's one of his early 1970's hits:

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Robert D. Raiford, 1928-2017: R.I.P.

Robert D. Raiford, long-time radio and TV news announcer and resident curmudgeon at Charlotte's "John Boy & Billy Big Show" radio show, has died at age 89 after a stroke took his speaking voice seeral years ago.

Raiford in his early career worked with legendary newsman Walter Cronkite and was one of the reporters who narrated the funeral of John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery.

At the John Boy and Billy show on WRFX-FM he would read the news and do commentary, รก la Paul Harvey. Some of his catch phrases included "Who says that? I say that!" and "Why don't somebody step on him?"

He'll be missed.

Book Recommendation: Heretics of St. Possenti

I'd like to draw your attention to SF author Rolf Nelson's new book, The Heretics of St. Possenti. It's a sequel to his first novel, The Stars Came Back. Don't let that put you off, though. Heretics of St. Possenti is a stand-alone novel in its own right, a near-future novel about the formation of a new order of Catholic monks, most of them military veterans, who take as their patron Gabriel Possenti, an Italian who saved his village with his use of a handgun.

I was one of the beta readers and helped the author with much of the Catholic content. I'm not really happy with the editing by Castalia House - - they apparently left that to the beta readers - - but it's a fun story and, if you're a gun aficionado, a Catholic, or just a conservative, you'll be entertained by this book.

It's only available in Kindle version right now, but paperback should be out eventually. At Amazon.

Malcolm Young, 1953-2017: R.I.P.

The rhythm guitarist for AC/DC has died after a years-long battle with dementia. Here's the family statement that was published on Facebook:

It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Malcolm Young, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother. Malcolm had been suffering from Dementia for several years and passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside.

Renowned for his musical prowess Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many. From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.

Malcolm is survived by his loving wife O'Linda, children Cara and Ross, son-in-law Josh, three grandchildren, sister and brother. While thanking all for their overwhelming support and heartfelt condolences, the family ask that you respect their privacy during this time of heartbreak and grief.

For those wishing to send messages to the family please visit the Sydney Morning Herald Malcolm Young Memorial website which will be available next week.

The family have asked instead of flowers to send donations to The Salvation Army.

New Belt

New as in "it was only a strap in Tandy Leather yesterday." 1.75", I did the work myself. The border stamping took almost two hours - - a lot of hammering. Also shown is my Randall bowie knife, which features basketweave stamping that I did several years ago.

Barbecue Experiment

I've been thinking for a while now that North Carolina-style barbecue, which is usually chopped fine and topped with slaw, is a bit messy eaten as a sandwich, so I wondered if it would be neater if made like a burrito, so I bought some tortillas and a pound of barbecue from my local BBQ joint, and gave it a try:

Lessons learned: these are too thick, I used too much filling. I also added too much vinegar-based BBQ sauce to the mix of meat and slaw, which made them drippy. Next time I'll use much less filling per tortilla, and less sauce in the mix. I tried one burrito made that way, and it ate neatly and easily.


Forgot to spray non-stick in the pan of brownies I'm baking at 3 a.m. Yes, I've been known to bake in the wee hours of the morning on weekends.

Update to add: they came out perfect, and there was no sticking issue per se. I used an entire bag of Fisher Walnut Pieces in the making, so there is walnut in every delicious bite. Over 2" thick.


If you see that word in a news story, reach for a gun, because that person is going to propose something horrible, on the order of euthanising senior citizens as unproductive, or "aborting" babies up to two years after birth.

Here's a recent example from the news: "Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them." Never mind that if everyone practiced that, the human race would extinguish itself. For some environmentalists who view humans as a "disease" infecting the Earth, that would be perfectly acceptable.

Bioethicists. The human equivalent of vermin.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Don Williams, 1939 - 2017: R.I.P.

One of country music's greatest vocalists, with integrity as deep as the ocean, has passed away after a brief illness.

He was my ex-wife's single favorite artist, and she played his LP's incessantly while we were married. I liked him myself.

Here's probably his greatest song, as close to a universal prayer as has been ever written:

Thanks for all the great music, Don.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Random Piece of Advice

Salt and pepper shakers should be made of clear glass so that you can easily distinguish one from the other with a single glance. A salt shaker that can't be recognized for what it is might as well be a Star Trek surgery tool.*

*which they were.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Day the Heat Left Summer

It's today in the Carolina Piedmont. Oh, summer isn't over, and we'll have almost two full months of hot weather yet, but today is the first cool front that came through, with clear blue skies overhead and low humidity. The end of summer is in sight. Usually this day happens in mid-to-late August, though.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Trump Reverses Obama Policy, Will Forbid Transgenders In the Military


On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. Military "will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity," citing the "tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender[s] in the military would entail." The decision reverses the "pro-transgender" policy implemented by President Obama in his final year in office.

"​After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military," Trump wrote in a series of tweets. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you."

The antics of transgender intelligence leaker Bradley "Chelsea" Manning probably had a lot to do with this decision, Manning being the direct cause of both medical costs and disruption of the type that the President mentioned in his tweets.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Shipwreck Blog: NAZI GOLD!

"Treasure chest with £100MILLION of Nazi gold is found by a British crew in the wreck of a ship deliberately sunk by Hitler to avoid being captured."

Four tons of it, supposedly, off the coast of Iceland.

A group of British treasure hunters have found a chest that could contain up to £100million in Nazi gold in the wreck of a German cargo ship off the coast of Iceland.

UK-based Advanced Marine Services found a box containing up to four tons of valuable metal, believed to be gold from South American banks, in the post room of the SS Minden, which sunk in 1939.

The gold was believed to be on board the ship and headed to Germany when the boat sank 120 miles southeast of Iceland on September 24, 1939, shortly after World War II began.

Click the link to read the rest. Apparently it's in Iceland's territorial waters.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Headline of the Day

"Salvador Dali’s Mustache Still Perky After 27 Years In A Coffin."

They exhumed Dali to gather DNA evidence for a paternity suit. The exhumers had to resort to a saw to remove a piece of Dali's embalmed body to get to bone tissue.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Building Indigo Snake Populations In Florida

Still considered a threatened species on the US Endangered Species list, efforts are being made to re-introduce these beautiful snakes into former habitats.

When I first expressed a desire for a pet snake as a boy, my father took me to a pet shop and I was shown three snakes: an Indigo Snake, a Southern Hognosed Snake, and an Eastern King Snake. The Indigo Snake was rather sluggish and plain; the Hognosed Snake was active and interesting, but when the pet store clerk told me I'd have to catch toads for it to eat, my interest waned. The King Snake was both active and beautiful, and I ended up with that one. It must have been not too long after that that Indigo Snakes were banned for sale in pet shops.

They're the USA's longest native snake, growing up to 9' in length. They are a glossy blue-black in color, hence their name, although it's possible that they were found preying on rats and other rodents in coastal indigo plantations in the antebellum era.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pope Francis Hits a Home Run With New Policy

Giving your life for another can lead to canonization, pope decides.

To recognize someone officially as a saint to be emulated, the Church has a rigorous, time-consuming process, briefly outlined here. There are stages leading up to canonization, including those marked by the bestowing of the titles Servant of God, Venerable, and Blessed.

Miracles attributed to the intercession of the saint are part of the process.

And today, Pope Francis has made an adjustment to this system by adding another category to the pathways that can lead to canonization.

The document Maiorem hac dilectionem (“Greater love than this”) opens a fourth path for the canonization of saints, a path titled oblatio vitae, “the offering of one’s life.”

This category provides a framework for recognizing “heroic Christian witness,” explained Archbishop Marcello Bartolucci of Bevagna, Italy, secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints’ Causes, in an interview with L’Osservatore Romano today.

Up until now, there had been three paths leading to beatification and eventual canonization: martyrdom “in odium fidei” [being killed because of your Catholic faith – translator’s note], recognition of the heroic living of virtue, and a third, called “equivalent canonization,” when a pope simply confirms a devotion to a saint who is already well-established in the Church. This equivalent canonization was the case of the Jesuit Pierre Faber (1506-1546) recognized by Pope Francis in 2013, or of Hildegard of Bingen, recognized by Pope Benedict XVI.

This new path, oblatio vitae, is taken from the Lord’s assertion, “Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for a friend.”

*Quickdraw McGraw Voice* "Now Calm Down There, Li'l Jugaloo..."

Axe-wielding Jugaloo prompts swat standoff over radio song-request."

It began just after 1:30 Monday afternoon with 911 calls about a man in a red car brandishing weapons outside the radio studios on Cabot Road in Medford where he apparently tried unsuccessfully to request the song “My Axe” by the Insane Clown Posse and then ranted about his failure to several passersby outside.

“He got out of his car with a machete, stopped a girl who worked up on the second floor and said ‘I want you to play a song for me,’” Doreen Schaivone told WBZ-TV.

A heavily armed swarm of responding officers boxed in the suspect’s red sedan outside the building and the standoff began as the suspect drank beer and huffed something from a paper bag. At one point he climbed out of his vehicle…

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Wine "Experts" Should Be Tested and Certified

USA Today, Wine Tasting 101.

I'd be interested to see how good most wine "experts" when there is a blind taste testing, with the test subject actually blindfolded so (s)he can't see what's in the glass, only smell and taste it. Start out simple - - distinguish between a red and a white. Then move on to varietals in each color; finally, allow them to attempt to distinguish between wines from famous wineries. Anyone scoring less than 80% should not be called an expert. Anyone scoring 50 or below should be declared a fraud.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sickle Vs. Rabid Bobcat - - Sickle Wins

Grandma calls on druid heritage to drive off a rabid bobcat.

Elsie Dabrowski went out to her chicken coop Sunday night as she does every night around dusk, closed up the coop and bent down to cut weeds with a sickle, said her son, Gene Dabrowski.

The animal lunged at Elsie, bit her left cheek, scratched her throat and bit her back.

“I kept thinking why? Why is it attacking me? It attacked me for no reason. I thought, ‘Why, why,’” said Elsie, a former Marine, on Monday evening.

Elsie beat the cat off her with the sickle, and Gene’s five dogs chased it under a nearby porch. He lives only 300 feet away in a separate house, heard the commotion, rushed to the scene and killed the animal with two blasts of a shotgun.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Music Recommendation: Outlaw Ritual

Found via this article from The Truth About Knives. Bass player Olivia Garriga makes apprentice-quality hand-forged knives. Guitarist/one-man-band Mat Hagar has a street preacher's voice similar to that of William Elliott Whitmore. Together they form Outlaw Ritual, currently based out of Knoxville, TN.

Here's a few videos:

Here's a pic of one of Olivia Garriga's handforged knives, available for sale at the Outlaw Ritual website:

I'd be strongly inclined to buy that knife myself if I had the available funds.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Carolina Fish Camp

The story of Carolina Fish Camps and their link to Piedmont textile mills. Via Southern Foodways Alliance.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Case of ANTIsocial Media

Police were called to the scene of an assault after a Facebook argument led to violence on Thursday.

According to reports, the victim and the two suspects had exchanged unpleasant words with one another on Facebook causing the two suspects to become enraged.

According to the victim, the two assailants arrived at her house following the online disagreement, and decided to settle the argument with violence. They knocked on the door of her home, and then began to attack her. One of the victims punched her in the face, dragged her into the apartment, and grabbed her hair while the other helped to hold the woman down.

The victim was eventually able to grab her pepper spray, after which time the suspects fled. The victim sustained injuries to her knee, elbow, lip, and shoulder.

From Rock Hill, SC.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Survival When the River Takes Your Backpack


To summarize for those who don't wish to click the link, he tried to cross a river, lost his backpack doing so, and had no backup survival plan and was forced to improvise, and would have died had he not come across some road maintenance workers in the nick of time.

He found out - - and, to his credit, acknowledged - - that he should have been carrying survival items on his body, outside of the items in his lost backpack. If he'd had a Mylar Space Blanket in his pocket most of his cold/hypothermia issues would have been minimized.

Here's my own current belt survival kit. It includes a Wenger Swiss Army Knife, a whistle, a button compass, a butane lighter, tweezers, and several firestarters made from Vaseline-impregnated cotton inserted into drinking straws and sealed at the ends with heat. They fit into a traveler's plastic soap box, which itself goes into a leather belt pouch. Stick a Space Blanket into a pocket and you'll be ready for much of what Nature can throw at you.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Opening Line of the Next Great American Novel, Take 2

"One might, if one was a homely North Carolina girl, boast proudly of being from Boogertown."

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Neighborhood At War: Hawks Vs. Crows

Had a bit of avian warfare going on when I stepped outside to take my walk - - on one side, a family of red-shouldered hawks that nest across the street in a tall tree in a neighbor's yard - - on the other side, the neighborhood murder of crows. Hawks sailed over my head into the woods behind my house, pursued by crows. All around me came the sound of outraged hawks and jeering crows. I tried to record some of it with my phone, but was unable to upload the results.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Home Invader

He got in through the back door:

That's a Ringneck Snake, by the way. Poor weatherstripping on the back door of our rental home allowed him to enter.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Revealing the Interior of CSS Hunley

Via Stars and Stripes.

A two-person team outfitted in safety uniforms have been inside the sub since early last year, using stainless steel orthopedic tools and a pneumatic chisel to gently remove the sea’s encrustation that slowly enveloped the sub after it went down on Feb. 17, 1864, said project conservator Johanna Rivera-Diaz of Clemson University.

Their work has turned up many small bones – fingers, wrists and teeth, Rivera-Diaz said.

Most of the bones have been traced to first crewman Arnold Becker, who sat closest to the Hunley’s captain, George Dixon, near the sub’s bow, turning the propeller crank, she said.

“When I find something, I step back and say, ‘Wow,’” Rivera-Diaz said.

The Story of Texas Pete Hot Sauce

Via Our State Magazine.

Two things: It was originally called "Mexican Joe" informally when it was first made, but the name was changed to "Texas Pete" to avoid offending Mexicans. And it's still less a hot sauce than it is an Eastern-style NC BBQ sauce, with just a little more heat than the usual run of Eastern sauces (Eastern NC BBQ sauce is mostly vinegar, with added salt, red pepper, and black pepper). You'll still find it in most NC BBQ restaurants, at least the traditional ones.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Unsung D-Day Hero: Andrew Higgins and His Boats

The man who invented the landing craft that allowed the D-Day invasions, as well as many others.

Even Gun Rights Allies Get Gun Details Wrong

Prager University, which is a website sponsored by conservative commentator/radio host Dennis Prager, features 5-minute videos on a variety of current events topics as well as basics of US history and theory of government that were formerly taught to children in civics classes. They are a great resource for becoming informed beyond the level of total ignorance, which the typical American educated in public schools all too often is. Having said that, Prager University is as likely to mess up important details on certain areas of knowledge as any mainstream media outlet is.

Here is an example from Prager University's latest video, "Build the Wall," hosted by Charles Krauthammer. At one point in the discussion, reference is made to a "silver bullet" that will solve all of the immigration problems in the US, and a graphic of a "bullet" flies accross the screen:

See the error? That's not a bullet, but an entire cartridge - - casing, bullet, and all, displaying for all the world that the artist who made the graphic hasn't a clue about how guns work.

Here's the video so you can watch it yourself:

I Guess It Wasn't An Unemployed Bell-Ringer Looking For Work

"Notre Dame: Man shot by French police after attacking them with hammer."

The Return of Count Spirochete*

"Syphilis cases in England reach highest level since 1949."

*bonus points for getting the reference in the blog post title.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Martyred By ISIS In Egypt

The last moments of the Coptic Christian martyrs of Minya:

According to several witnesses, in the case of the Minya attack everything seems to indicate that the Egyptian Copts who were killed on Friday — many of them children — died as objective martyrs of the Faith. After robbing the pilgrims of their money, their jewels and other precious effects, witnesses say the terrorists told them to apostatize and pronounce the Islamic profession of faith: the shahada. The captives, kneeling, categorically refused. According to reports, they were immediately shot in the neck, head, throat or chest.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Gregg Allman, 1947-2017: R.I.P.


The hard-partying rocker very nearly made the Biblical three score and ten years.

Thanks for all the great music. Hope Duane's waiting at the gate for you when you arrive.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Yer Sick Burn of the Day

Shaun King, a white boy who pretends to be black, tried to call out Cleveland sheriff David Clarke for stolen valor on Twitter; Clarke fired back:

King is derisively called "Talcum X" on Twitter by his many enemies.

Knife: Sgian Dubh By Michael Z. Williamson

I received this particular knife during my blogging hiatus, it was made by Mil-SF author Michael Z. Williamson, whose most famous work, Freehold, features cutlery extensively:

Damascus steel blade, zebrawood handle, brass guard.

SC Serial Killer Pleads Guilty

He pleads guilty to murdering seven, kept a woman chained in a shipping container for months after murdering her boyfriend.

His victim said he boasted of killing more than 100 people. In a CBS interview, his mother defended him as "misunderstood."

h/t Instapundit.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Roman Sling Bullets With .44 Magnum Levels of Power

via Stars & Stripes.

But research published Wednesday in National Geographic showed a slingshot used by the Romans some 1,900 years ago had nearly the same stopping power as a .44 magnum.

They used it in the opening attack of a war with the restive tribes living among the hills of Burnswark, Scotland. That war dragged on for nearly two decades. Eventually, the Romans retreated to a fortified barrier they had built known as Hadrian's Wall.

The lead bullets were about 50 grams each. Strangely, about 10 percent of them contained small holes.

The confused researchers made replicas of several bullets, both holed and solid, and gave it to a trained slinger.

The solid ones flew at up to 100 miles per hour and could hit objects smaller than a human 130 yards away. Furthermore, they contained the stopping power of a .44 magnum, that gun Dirty Harry carried around specifically because it was so powerful.

"The biggest sling stones are very powerful — they could literally take off the top of your head," Reid told the Scientific American.

They also solved the mystery of why some had holes. Those weren't as effective as a weapon, but they produced "a weird banshee-like wail" as the wind whipped through and over the holes, Nicholson told National Geographic. The idea, he hypothesized, was to terrify the enemy with the noise during an attack, as a means of distracting them.

"So you are getting these unworldly, unnatural sounds that you have never heard before, and people are falling over on either side of you," Nicholson said.

The location and number of the bullets found suggested a long, pounding siege on a hillside. It's a tremendous thing to imagine, bullets raining down for hours while alien screams fill the air.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Death At the Back of the Boat

The back of a boat can be a "kill zone," as a tragedy at Lake Waccamaw, NC demonstrates.

I'd never heard of a carbon monoxide "kill zone" in the back of a boat before.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Half a BILLION Dollars?!

Meanwhile, over in Catawba County, NC, police have discovered an opium poppy field worth five hundred million dollars.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Aftershave Experiments

I like to try various aftershave products, in search of the "perfect" one that suits me. Once upon a time it was Old Spice Fresh Lime, in the transparent green bottle. The makers of Old Spice discontinued it (yes, there is a product made in India that purports to be Old Spice Fresh Lime, but it isn't). Royall Lyme from Bermuda is good, too, but far more expensive than the Old Spice was. In my Navy days I as fond of Stetson for special occasions, and Aqua Velva for daily work use. I still like Aqua Velva and Skin Bracer for work.

More recently I've been searching out other various concoctions. Ogallala makes a good line of bay rum aftershaves - - their Bay Rum with Lime & Peppercorns is my favorite, and their Bay Rum & Vanilla is a close second. J. Peterman's "1903" is a classy aftershave for dress-up occasions, and the price reflects this. It tends to be stronger than typical aftershave, so use it sparingly.

Which brings me to my latest experiment in scents, the old barber shop favorite Lucky Tiger, which I can't recall ever using before. It went out of fashion for years, but has experienced a recent renaissance with the wet-shaving craze. Other old brands such as Hai Karate can be found again, also.

I'll let you all know how it works out - - or doesn't.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

It's the Small Stuff, Stupid

The things that Trump needs to focus on if he's going to be a successful president:

Give us back our:

Incandescent light bulbs

Old-fashioned gas cans that pour gasoline into gasoline tanks, and not onto the ground.

Gasoline without alcohol in it.

Coca-Cola without High Fructose Corn Syrup in it.

High-capacity toilet tanks that flush your entire turd in a single flush.

Shower heads without water saver restrictors.

A complimentary glass of water at all full-service restaurants.

A return of full-service gas pumps so you can, if you prefer, get your oil, wiper fluid, and tire pressure checked and topped off as necessary.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Wormsicles and Sun-Dried Raisinworms

The favorite snack of our neighborhood Red-Shouldered Hawks, who have a nest across the street in an oak tree. The hawks have been dining on the sun-dried earthworms in our yard today. During the coldest days of winter, when earthworms come out of the ground and freeze, the hawks dine on these 'wormsicles," also.

Monday, May 15, 2017

"The More We Drill, the More We Find"

Oil? No. Mummies.

Pres. Trump Will Light White House Blue To Honor Police


President Obama, of course, refused to do so.

Serpentarium Owner Allegedly Murdered By Wife

Dean Ripa, the owner of the Wilmington, NC Serpentarium, was shot to death over the weekend.

The Serpentarium is a nice attraction in downtown Wilmington, I've been there myself and seen Ripa at work. He's been as much a fixture on the Carolinas herpetology scene as Bill Haast or Ross Allen was in Florida.

Must Be Nice To Have Enough Money To Alienate Half Your Audience

Todd Rundgren becomes the first rock star or celebrity (that I am aware of) who has now publicly stated that Trump supporters are not welcome at his shows.

4Chan will see this as a challenge, of course.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Gainesville, Florida, Burger King, and the Whopper

"Gainesville, it turns out, is the actual ‘home of the Whopper’

My hometown. My sister and I attended Catholic school from 4th-8th grade, and every day after school my dad would pick us up, drive us to Burger King for takeout, and we'd eat in the car on the way home, which was 16 miles away in Melrose. Usually we'd be done eating by the time my dad stopped at a convenience store for a beer and a pack of cigarettes, so we'd get a bottle of Coke and a candy bar as dessert. In those earliest days Burger King still sold hot dogs (I guess they do again in some places now), and the employees wore those polyester gold-and-scarlet uniforms seen in the TV commercials.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Opening Lines of the Great American Novel, pt. 1

He was a man who had, as a boy, cultivated a habit of always looking at the ground, and often found money this way. As a man it saved him from snakebite on more than one occasion.

Unfortunately it didn't save him from the meteorite.