Jan 31, 2010


The Armstrong show was a shoulder-shrugger. Plenty of interesting stuff was available, but nothing made my wallet quiver. A pard' picked up a high-quality but un-marked adjustable pistol sight, probably meant for a 1911. It was a steal at $10, even though he has no immediate application for it. That sawbuck represented our entire expenditure, outside of the admission fees and an admirably greasy tavern lunch.

Some day I will probably regret not buying the very pretty 4" Python for

Jan 30, 2010

The things you learn from your site meter. I had no idea a place called Friendswood, Texas, existed, but I am glad it does, and welcome to my reader there.

It sounds like a place in the shady forest where they still have "Drive Friendly" signs, and maybe even supplement them with placards saying , "Oh, and Y'all Might as Well Live Friendly, Too."

If I am wrong, please to not tell me.

Bangsticks on the prairie

Another small show today, east of here in a burg called Armstrong. It's the evolution of an Estherville show which somehow lost its venue at the Emmet County fairgrounds. I always managed to spend money at the old show, mostly on gun parts and accouterments. We'll see how this one goes.

Jan 28, 2010


Is it just me, or do I accurately recall that every decade or so some loopy American politician gets his butt jammed up and tries to dog paddle out of the cesspool by announcing high-speed rail?

Ah so Toyoda-san?

Many of us believed that making a pedal go back and forth was a challenge met and mastered quite some time ago.

Are we and our Japanese brothers detouring our best automotive design and engineering talent to vanity mirror lights which automatically adjust to to the driver's skin tone and foundation depth?

Jan 26, 2010


Of course it isn't even in the same universe as losing a person, but losing a useful thing also leaves scars, albeit tiny ones which surface rarely -- such as when a guy is reorganizing his Duluth Pack thwart bag.


The locale is the bottom of the Kawishiwishi River just downstream from a rapids you must portage around, in the lower pool which is marginally canoeable and a place where the walleyes bite.

There lies a heavy ditty bag with a Buck Yachtsman (folder, sheepfoot blade plus spike, now discontinued); a near new Leatherman basic, gift from my son; other lovingly selected do-dads for pleasure and survival in the far north Boundary Waters, along with an outstanding spin-casting rig. Several years later I have still not been able to assemble a kit that satisfies me so much.

On the other hand, said son and his son survived nicely, and the lad, Ryan, gave me a favored memory. The three of us safely ashore and the Kevlar emptied out, he stopped shivering long enough to gather his c. 7-year-old thoughts, stared me sternly in the eye and reported: "Grandpa! We tipped over!"

Jan 25, 2010

Deadly Little Pricks

Two inches of doom to Her Majesty's subjects.

So far it's mostly a private and free-lance element of the Great British Paranoia Faire, but where the luxury hotels lead, dare Parliament and No. 10 Downing fail to follow?

(Thanks to my buddy John in the GMA who is an expert.)

Quote of the day

Big auction. Tools, guns, everything, even boxes of parachutes.

It seems like tons of the stuff sell for new price plus a little. Couple-three of us make the usual noises about half the world being dumbbutts who don't have the slightest idea of what they're doing.

Ken shakes his head. "This explains how Obama got in."

Jan 24, 2010


You might want to swing over to Tam's place and wish her a happy birthday. If you're close enough you might even try to catch up with her and offer hot chocolate or a mask and snorkel set.

Happy birthday, Tam.

The gunny book business

I went shopping at www.gunbroker.com and searched "books." The engine returned a three-page list of 109 separate books or lots of books. The total number of bids is zero. I find that disheartening. As a hobby group are we really that anti-literate?

But one entry tickled me, a partial (13 out of 16) set of one of the several "complete" (sic) editions of Theodore Roosevelt's writings. One of the volumes was author-signed. Opening bid was $99,999.99, modified by a not astounding offer to accept land or a nice motor home in full or partial trade. Maybe even high quality doubles.

It was probably mean of me to poke around in a bibliographic database and discover another seller opinion that the complete set was worth $600. No volume was signed, but I tend to doubt the old Rough Rider's signature is valued at a hair over $99,000.

Jan 23, 2010

Liberties, so to speak

This week: ". .“The government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether,”

After McDonald? "The government may regulate firearms through registration and usage requirements, but it may not suppress the keeping and bearing of firearms altogether."

Jean Simmons

RIP. Age 80.

You guys couldn't believe how badly I wanted to be Sky Masterson.

Obama Speaks, sort of

If the AP has it right, and, c 'mon you guys, the AP usually does, on the simple stuff anyway, President Obama yesterday told the nation he can't imagine "anything more devastating to the public interest" than the Supreme Court's decision to ease limits on campaign spending by corporations and labor unions."

Lemme hep y'all out there, Mr. President. A mutant-strain bubonic plague outbreak. Nuclear war. A collision with Mars. All the women in the world suddenly looking and talking like Nancy Grace. That's four more devastating things, and I ain't even had enough breakfast yet to get my imagination kicked in good.

I have a dream. National leaders will one day address the nation in reasoned speech, the terms of which have actual referents.

Jan 22, 2010

T(he) S(stupid) A(sses) - A really cool cocaine joke

Hoily suffering mother of Gaia. A trained professional
strikes again.

Blog Image
News, tips and reader photos about all kinds of travel.
The Philadelphia Inquirer tells a tale of stunning stupidity that
left a young woman shaken and crying, other passengers
trying to console her and ended the TSA career of the agent.

Earlier this month, 22-year-old college student
Rebecca Solomon arrived at the Philadelphia airport the
requisite 90 minutes before her flight to Detroit. She
dutifully put her laptop and shoes through the scanners,
engaging in the security theater that frequent fliers
have become so familiar with. She was just a college
student headed back to the University of
Michigan for the spring session.

And then she was pulled aside, presented with a tiny, clear
plastic bag - the kind earrings sometimes come in -
containing white powder.

What about it? The TSA agent wanted an explanation.

Rebecca said she broke into a sweat, wondering what
exactly she would say to explain the unexplainable.
It wasn't hers. She'd never seen it before. But isn't
that what suspects always say.

The seconds stretched out. Tears welled up.

And then the agent said it was his bag, his
white powder, his little joke.

Rebecca gathered her things and, accompanied by
a sympathic witness, went to her gate in tears.

TSA agents, of late clad in new uniforms that look very
much like police uniforms, are figures of authority in
a system that presumes guilt, includes tiers of watchlists
and no-fly lists and lists of people of interest
that are secret and often inaccurate.

Being on the other end of that system is not a comfortable
positionfor most Americans, regardless of how seriously,
or not, they take the process.

To do the TSA's very necessary job, the agents - of all
people - must take it seriously. Little jokes like that
played on Rebecca Solomon undermine the system,
scare people and fuel the criticism of the quasi-police agency.

Was he trying for a date? Battling boredom?
Just a sick puppy who likes to look at terrified faces?

Whatever, he's gone. Fired or quit? We're not allowed
to know that (or his name) because of federal employee
privacy rules.

Let's hope it's the former, and that the reason
cited is extreme ridiculousness.


And I TOLD you guys it's the world's best travel blog.
Click it over on the sidebar.

The sitzmark of horrid doom

Sweet Albion has found another killer.

I see.

The by-line of an elected official appears over a weekly column. A certain amount of editing is sometimes required to create an illusion of literacy.

"Numbers suggest that it might be effective to impose additional restrictions on younger drivers to the extent those restrictions deal with the circumstances that lead enhance the possibilities a teenager may have an accident."

I have decided this sentence shall not survive.

Jan 21, 2010

BusinessWeak says ... (with multiple choice quiz)

"Big Shots Go Down at Gun Show."

See, "big shot," "gun show." Clever play on words. Get it? Huh? Get it?

It's a quick and dirty report from the SHOT Show which in vintage wire-service speak might be called "a short book," meaning a couple hundred words or less on a story that could be ignored but which some editor decided deserved a mention.

This one hit BusinessWeek because of the FBI sting that corralled the SW sales veep along with about 20 others for bribery of an African, otherwise known as doing business in Africa. BusinessWeek seemed to agree with the feds that it would be just cuter than a baby monkey to make the actual pinches at the big industry trade show.

The piece also included the word we've been breathlessly awaiting, gun sales are down a little from the (pick one):

(a) 2008-2009 panic buying by mouth breathing rednecks driving rusty pickups with Confederate flags and hounds with fleas and ticks.

(b) elevated 2008-2009 sales level due to citizens who, fearing the new and more authoritarian government might decide that the Second Amendment was obsolete, chose prudently to equip themselves for whatever eventualities might occur.

Jan 20, 2010


A libertarian mentality can't get all that excited about Senator-elect Brown except in the sense that he derailed an even greater danger and that he seems to understand our respect for Amendment Two.

There is a certain pleasure in the confused annoyance with which the forces of His Obamaness are reacting to Massachusetts, 2010. A colleague who is still an active professional in the political game is betting that one result is Harry Reid announcing his retirement quite soon.

That would be nice, but the fallout I want to see before Valentine's Day is Rahm (I am a political genius) Emanuel back in Chicago, approving driveway permits for ward heelers.

Jan 19, 2010

More politics

Look, I know I'm guilty of almost live-blogging this Massachusetts senate race. But it is interesting, funny even, and I invite you go over to Politico and read, especially, Ben Smith's stuff. These guys -- Coakley staff on one side and Obama/Democrat national apparatchek on the other -- are all but imploding in real time, right before your eyes, even before it's known whether Coakley will lose to Brown. It is the Bickersons writ large.

Smith and Wesson; Bribing the Customer

SW vice president Amaro Goncalves has been pinched for allegedly bribing a couple of FBI guys posing as henchmen for the defense boss of an unnamed African government. Bribing is bad and y'all shouldn't be doing it. But l think that moral outrage would be most seemly coming only from men and women who have been required to do business with third-world thugs.

I say, Old Chap, she's dead and the Butter did it

I see from The Bitch Girls that our British cousins are at it again. Actually, I'll bet the Brits are just jealous of New York City for scooping them on trying to ban the killer crystals of death.

So Parliament and No. 10 Downing are under pressure to crack down on the greasy globules of imminent demise.

This all stems from one of your large moral failings: You like butter.

After a roundabout PR exercise well explained by the BG's, a high-level British Worrier -- so high-level as to require hyphenation -- has hit the papers with the money quote:

" President of the Faculty, Professor Alan Maryon-Davis said: " ... 'Food can be made perfectly well without trans fat (read: butter, Ed.) and the Government should move to ban them as soon as possible because eliminating them would help save many lives'."

I forgot the exact name of the faculty he's the president of, but you can bet it (a) consumes large bales of British citizens' tax money at a single sitting and (b) has a faculty for knowing better than you about almost everything.


An afterthought: Banning butter will automatically reduce the prevalence of butter knives, thereby mitigating yet another publlic safety scourge bedeviling the lives of our former colonial masters.

At least my heart cockles are warmer.

The United Nations may soon issue a correction that could, but probably won't, tone down a little of the caterwauling about global warming.

Hand-wringers got a lot of mileage out of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report in 2007 saying:

Which would really put the old kabosh on the Kathmandu bobsledding industry with all the human anguish that portends.

One small problem has appeared. The laws of physics don't permit any such thing. Even if they did, the evidence is one, count-em one, obscure Indian science professor named Hasnein who, 11 years ago, took a call from the New Scientist. This magazine can safely be thought of as the Mechanix Illustrated of its field.

Flattered to be consulted, Professor Hasnain adjusted his bed sheet and popped off that the glaciers to his north were rapidly melting. The New Scientist journalist may or may not have added dramatic details, including the 2035 date for end of the glacier as we know it.

For a few years no one paid any attention, not even me, and I'm locally known as an enthusiastic advocate of healthy Himalayan glaciation. It's for the kids.

Then, in 2005, Professor Hasnain's words to the New Scientist were picked up in a World Wildlife Federation report forecasting the end of China, India, Nepal, and Cute Baby Pandas as we know them because my son drives a Suburban.

That got the U.N. climate worriers excited, and in 2007 they issued a report making Himalayan glacial death a pillar of high level scientific thought as that term is understood by the United Nations General Assembly.

In due course some thoughtful high school graduates started asking questions and, to state it briefly, Professor Hasnain eventually conceded his evidence came out of his ass. His concession may have been prompted by the term "inherently ludicrous" which other scientists applied to the notion.

The Times concludes:

"The revelation is the latest crack to appear in the scientific conensus over climate change. It follows the so-called climate-gate scandal, where British scientists apparently tried to prevent other researchers from accessing key date. Last week another row broke out when the Met Office criticised suggestions that sea levels were likely to rise 1.9m by 2100, suggesting much lower increases were likely."

Jan 18, 2010

Brown, Coakley, or Acorn?

When I was dabbling in politics we worried about vote fraud in Massachusetts almost as much as Chicago.

Will Acorn and the remnants of the Kennedy machine thumb the Coakley side of the scale heavily? *

I don't, of course, know, but I hope the national Republican apparatus has set aside a lot of money for EDO-- election day operations -- to include nimble poll watchers with Hawking-like brains and large brass wedding tackle. It is a given that the NRSC has quick-draw legal help on call, and this is one of the times we should declare a moratorium on lawyer snark.


*The "heavily" is important. They'll cheat a little, but, of course, so will the other side. Small-time vote fraud is universal and generally self-canceling.

Jan 17, 2010

Further Tales of The Only Ones

Seems as though a highly trained professional forgot her gun in the crapper out Cleveland way. It shouldn't happen, and it especially shouldn't happen in the secured area of an international airport.

We remind you again to leave your dangerous defensive devices locked up at home and rely on the police and other government-trained professionals. They're the only ones...

H/T to Uncle ...

Jan 16, 2010

One more shake of the salt cellar

I was just reading the funny comments on the post about New York attacking salt and all who eat it.

It occurred to me that neither Dr. Farley nor Mayor Bloomberg would dare criticize bummery as a leading cause of HIV/AIDS unpleasantness. Such insensitivity would offend pederasts and others who are are much more admirable than sad bastards like you and me who sprinkle white crystals of doom on our popcorn and stuff.

Quote of the day

Geek With a .45 explains armed Americans to one the the doowhackadoos:

"We're not the Nazis, dipwad. We're the people hiding the Jews."

Little help please?

I've been away for a few days, woefully behind on the news. So help me out, please. Has anyone in high office yet blamed racist America for the Haiti quake?

Jan 12, 2010

It is America's Fault

The Federales have taken down El Teo, said to be a big-time Tijuana drug boss whose hobbies include marinating rivals in lye. The MexFeds showed him off at a Mexico City press conference and:

The damned computers worry me. You can walk into any computer store along our southern border and walk out with all the gigibytes you can carry. Cash on the barrelhead, no questions asked.

Definitive proof of global warming

And it comes from no less an authority than our own Jinglebob. Read it and weep for the future of our climate.

I can hardly wait

My state is broke. So is yours, so don't go accusing me of parochialism here. My governor is somewhat dimwitted. (So is yours so dont...etc.) In an hour or so he's going to deliver the annual "condition the state" address and has conned the media out mountains of time and ink by promising a "huge surprise ... bold initiative ... major innovation" on education.

And I'll bet I'm the only guy in the whole wide world who thinks his major big surprise is that His Obamaness is printing more money for the teachers' unions and is going to send us some of it. I reckon I'd even bet a little that "Race to the Top" figures in the mystery of what Chet will say."


As a matter of cute historical interest, my governor is one Chet "Y' Big Lug" Culver of lucky sperm fame. His daddy was one-term Sen. John Culver, about whose sperm I know nothing and don't need to. His luck was being a very close Harvard buddy of one Ted Kennedy, much of whose fortune and clout was made available first to father, then to son. Before he started spending his inheritance on getting elected to to office, Chet's career acme was as a voc-ed teacher and football coach..

EDIT: Cheshire cat grin. Polishing fingernails on lapel. Buncha fed "Race to the Top" money in the mail with a nice card from His Obamaness.

Jan 11, 2010

Sometimes most everything you need to know is in the headline. From Reuters this morning,

"Wall Street slips as investors brace for earnings start"

The market has been up quite a bit lately because of the possible end of the worst of the beginning of the recession's middle. And because we are getting out of Iraq. Or not. And because the Iran government is about to fall. Or isn't.

I don't think most investors are quite that spooky, but it seems that the bulk of the experts who write for them are common-loon crazy.

Because every three months, about the time quarterly earnings are announced, it occurs even to financial "journalists" that the value of a company's stock depends on how much money that the company (a) now has and (b) can earn.

Woodstock Redux, with a bang

Hey kids, if you didn't get a chance at Woodstock I, get a load of Woodstock II. You can can be part of it, and you won't even have to go to New York, roll around in the mud , listen to Bob Dylan, and bring home a social disease.

The venue is McHenry County, Illinois, which, as you'll note, is behind enemy lines -- right next door to the shire of His Obamaness . Woodstock is the county seat. Sportsmen and backers of amendments 2, 9, and 10 are organizing a push for a concealed carry law in Illinois.

Illinois is one of the states with no provision for citizens to protect themselves and their families via the CCW strategy.

Why don't you give these good guys a visit? It's moral support if nothing else.

Salty language note

Dr. Farley of New York is in your cupboards again, so he knows you're not being a good little consumer.

Salt. You're actually eating salt, you sad anti-social son of a bitch.

The doctor is really hurt. He and the Gotham Health and Purity Patrol went to all the trouble of outlawing trans-fat so you'll look just like those 1938 Goebbels pictures of fit and happy Teutons. So what do you do? You eat salt. You imperil your heart. Unforgivably, you often actually enjoy food.

That leaves Dr. Farley no choice but to to sit on the food industry and demand that it cripple its products with low-salt or no-salt recipes. Then we can all enjoy salt-free bacon, peanut butter, Hormel chili, and kielbasa.

When someone clued the good doctor that raised bread comes from salted dough he agreed criminalizing salt did , errrr, present some problems...

Too few choices? Tofu. Rice. Beans. Alfalfa sprouts. Raw oats. Pearl barley. All kinds of mouth-watering choices. Doc.

Never mind. The killer crystals of doom in a shaker make a good excuse for the Bloombergian people-control apparatchik to pressure the food industry to undertake a "voluntary" salt dump. Then the Regulators, who know a good control mechanism when they see it, start rewriting the rules about which foods are eligible for purchase by the schools, the military, using food stamps, WIC checks, Pell grants, student loans, etc. So much for volunteerism for any food processor interested in staying in business


I hereby order you not to even think about how the New York Citizen Salt Control Initiative of 2010 might find favor with the Washington creators of National Health Care . Gee, they might reason that your bag of salted pistachios is a national public health issue and also a federal economic concern. They might decide that since Washington pays for fixing your body, Washington owns the right to regulate what you put into it, using the police power of the state to whatever extent necessary, eh?

"Freeze, asshole. On the ground. Drop the Planter's bag. Spit out the nuts. Do it NOW!"

If all this doesn't jack your personal paranoia level up to a level more in accord with reality I'll kiss your arse at high noon on a balcony of the New York Times building and give all your friends an hour to change into their Inner Party uniforms.

EDIT: I am very sorry I wrote the preceding three words. I'm afraid it may call Dr. Farley's attention to the probable health benefits of calisthenics in front of the telescreen.

Jan 10, 2010

Maybe the Jeffersonian in them?

The Virginia Legislature will open an express lane on "Lobby Day" when hundreds of pro-freedom citizens are expected to visit them in the Capitol .

The express lane is for men and women carrying CCW permits. Capitol security says if you have a CCW but no large objects that need scanning, just head for the express lane with a picture ID and your CCW in hand.

Are Virginia citizens with carry permits less dangerous than those of other states? Are Virginia lawmakers outrageously courageous? Or bearing death wishes?

Hats off to Virginia lawmakers and the tip of one to Turk of Turonistan.

Corn field carry

The NRA decided to spend some money in Iowa this year. It's promoting shall-issue and CCW reciprocity. Rep. Clel Baudler has routinely, for years, introduced shall-issue bills. They have been invisible, but the NRA push is generating enough attention to create some small hope.

Reciprocity is probably going no where, we Iowans being very wary of big-city types from Indianapolis and like that coming in with gats in their pants. Our basic sense of fairness breaks down on the point that many other states honor our carry permits while we recognize nothing unless its home-grown, corn fed, and gives a large rat's butt about who won the Orange Bowl.

Shall-issue stands only a slightly better chance. Its primary enemies are Iowa sheriffs who carry substantial clout with the legislature. They are all but unanimous in opposing it for the obvious small-bore reason. Turf.

Aside from satisfying the natural power lust of all politicians, may-issue is an incumbent sheriff's dream. It generates votes and money from those favored with permits or hoping to get one. This isn't to say you can necessarily buy a permit; it's plenty for the poor citizen to think he can.

The practical result of leaving the decision on your right to self-defense up to 99 county sheriffs is, as you would expect, chaotic. Some counties (including mine) are for all practical purposes "shall-issue." Other are screw-you-jack. Still others are shall-issue only if the sheriff is in a good mood, fresh fed and recently laid. Otherwise SYJ.

And since a CCW issued in any county is valid statewide, we have the silliness of carrying Joe from Davenport being legal in Iowa City while the Iowa City resident is forbidden to carry.

If you happen to be among TMR's Iowa readers. please accept this invitation to collar your state representative and senator. It's an election year. Incumbent lawmakers are jittery about November, so these critters may be slightly more prone listen to what citizens have to say.

Jan 8, 2010


Scrabbling around the net for a suitable peg on which to hang another gill of wiseass irony on global warming as seen by a contemporary Upper Plains citizen, I ran across this pleasantly lucid Forbes piece.

There's no one snark-star in column, and maybe that's good. We keep teasing the warmist dimwits, forgetting that a sense of humor is the second thing they lose, right after good sense.

Instead you get things like:

"According to satellite data, global warming stopped about 10 years ago and there's no way to know whether it's happening now," says Roy Spencer, former NASA senior scientist for climate studies."

His point is that since there is no reliable data on the very existence of AGW, there is no way of knowing if the radical Gorist assaults on economy and liberty are working or not. (Think about a warmist as a shyster mechanic turned loose at $80 bucks an hour on an intermittent electrical problem in your government-built Chevy. )

Michael Fumenta goes on largely in that vein, offering data and their interpretation by real scientists to remind us that Gore apostles, lead by President Obama, are hard at work on a new citizen-control program called "geoengineering."

The term, assuming it has an exegetic meaning at all, means anything you want to buy, build, or eat requires written approval from that portion of the United Nations membership which boasts an extremely high AIDS/soap ratio.


And now, the daily post lamely out of the way, I return to the out of doors where I shall continue reinforcing what I can to reduce the snow-load danger. I shall start the vehicles just to make sure they're ready if an emergency requires them. I shall spread some old bread for the furry and the feathered, Most important, I shall shovel a path out to the road, secure in the knowledge that FEMA and the President are en route to present me with my trailer, my pallet of Vichy water, and a $2,000 debit card.

Jan 7, 2010

Horse. Door. Barn.

This stuff gets reported with a straight face:


This is a good time to remind you, for your own safety, to leave your personal protection devices locked up at home and depend on our trained professionals. They're the only ones ...

Mass. follies

I try not to write too much here about routine politics, especially meaningless endorsements, but once in a while something makes me grin or grimace enough to pass it along.

The scene: Peoples Republic of Massachusetts, today.

The live players: Two rich statist and antigun lawyers: Martha Coakley and Vicki Kennedy. The former is running for the spectre's senate seat. See below.

The spectre: Former free diver Ted Kennedy, former husband of Vicki.

The line: Vicki emotes that Martha Coakley will go to Washington to help pass more national health care because: "Health care is the moral issue of our times."

The response: No, dammit, Vicki. Health care is the control issue of our times.

MSNBC played this like a breaking news story of monumental import. WTF did MSNBC think Vicki would back? WTF at that network thinks anyone who didn't already know could give a sweet rat's behind?

Pretty World

If you haven't seen it you might want to click on this version of the "atomic" clock for a pretty bell. It is also useful in explaining to little kids the idea of endless days and nights at the poles.

Jan 6, 2010

Bye-bye Chris; Hello Peter Schiff

Dodd of Connecticut is the latest to scramble for the Senate exit, and libertarian types have an opportunity in Peter Schiff who, nine months ago, ran just four points behind Dodd in a trial-heat poll.

Chris, like his old man, Senator Tom, is being felled by a family gene which creates the illusion that election to public office is God's way of telling a man to get rich and paw waitresses.

Schiff is a Ron Paul supporter who claims plenty of libertarian high ground as he tries for the GOP nomination.

He also carries some baggage in the form of a tax-protesting father who served time for annoying the IRS. The left will try to tar him with that, but we have developed a national strategy to cope.

When the Democrats start shrieking "like father like son" and detailing the senior Schiff's record on disputing his taxes, the National Association of Sentients Committed to Antiauthoritarian Reform (NASCAR) approves and authorizes one -- and only one -- response:

Tim Geithner

Jan 5, 2010

Dolores River

No special reason for this except to call attention to beauty.

One of the good road trips in North America is the few-hour (four or five, maybe) jaunt between Grand Junction and Nucla in Colorado. Blue Highway 141 carries you along the the spectacular Dolores River Canyon which is easy to think of as the Grand Canyon rendered as haiku.

It's mostly the West as God made it, although some ancient scaffolding and other hard-rock mining paraphernalia here and there provide evidence of human ambition even on sheer cliffs.

Fill the tank and take on water and vittles before you start. The canyon is full of a thousand nice things, but settlements aren't among them.

In Nucla maybe you can duplicate a pleasant hour Bob Kerr (ÅP, Denver) and I spent there when I discovered the place during mulie season in about 1973. We found an open business, a trading post with bar which happened to have some .30-30 Winchester rounds I was looking for. We bought them, then stepped into the bar area where our attention was politely directed to the "Check Your Guns" sign. I handed over my issue 1911A1 and Bob his big Ruger. We made one beer last and enjoyed trading a few words with the bar patrons -- three or four Indian persons, locals, pleasant guys.

Nice addition to your bucket list.

Jan 4, 2010

Must be AP's turn to fawn over him

The real sin that Nigerian bastard committed over Detroit on Christmas Day was to inconvenience President Obama while the poor guy was trying to pop macadamia nuts into his mouth.

The Paper Chase

In the Heartland our leaders have decided the way to reduce the high school dropout rate is to reduce the high skul grajuashon reekkwirementz.

I liked myself better when I still had the capacity to be surprised at things like this.

Jan 3, 2010

Sunday Sermon

It occurs to me that what passes for American conservatism is simply the theology of His Obamaness covering its hairy cowl with a slightly different surplice.

We are still infested with the spawn of Pat Robertson and Jimmy Swaggert. Send prayer money, vote against abortion, bash a few homos, and your heavenly reservations are confirmed. Celestial joy is yours just as soon as you die.

Obama promises identical bliss, only terrestial. Hand your treasure and your freedom up to the Sacred City of Washington. Eventually, when all comply, the blessings of Heaven will occur right here on Earth, and it will happen just as soon as you die.

An authoritarian is an authoritarian, and one demagogic snake oil peddler smells like any other. No matter whether he chooses to stomp you from the left or from the right.

Jan 2, 2010

Defensive existing

The temperature at Camp J is 23 below, and, no, that isn't wind chill. It is the actual position of the mercury in its little tube. A small stream of water trickles from a faucet to help guard against the even more expensive frozen pipes. The busy wood burner is getting welcome help from a pot of ham and beans which will simmer all day. Experience says both the van and the F150 will start. Experience sometimes lies.

I am here because blowing snow and ice yesterday turned me around about a third of the way into a trip I really wanted to make. In a larger sense I am here because I lack the sense to get a place in the south.

It isn't all that bad right now. There's a pleasant afterglow from a good New Year's Eve party. Two good friends I see too seldom stopped by yesterday. The larder is full.

But it could, and likely will, get old in a hurry:

404 AM CST SAT JAN 2 2010



In more precise language, that means the absolute best we can expect for seven days is a daytime high of six on Wednesday. Otherwise it will be chilly.