Sep 30, 2013

I'm ruined.

The markets have been open for merely 17 minutes, and already my net worth has plunged by $117.59. There go my life necessities such as  ammunition, nicotine, and Twinkies. Only a half-quart of Jim Beam and a 33-ounce can of Folgers stand between me and utter destitution.

It's all because at 0001 tomorrow the United States becomes an autopsy photo. Without a supply of Federal Reserve Cartoons, my president will no longer have the means to sustain my happiness. Puppies will die, the Washington Monument will be locked up, and all the pretty ballerinas financed by the National Endowment for the Arts will fall prone, to dance no more.

Dang that mean old George Bush, anyway.

Sep 28, 2013

Waiting for the varnish to dry

Turning rough oak planks into an acceptable floor has its interesting challenges. They end about the time your patience with sanding exhausts itself -- or when you get tired of blowing through sanding belts at two bucks a crack. But the project  really loses all charm after the first coat of fake varnish ("polyurethane," which I believe is Latin for "the product of many urethrae").

The instructions are clear: Wait six hours, then recoat. Then wait six more hours and recoat, a step I ignored. Then wait 24 hours , at which point the floor is ready for "light use."   Try explaining "light use" to a frisky lab bitch. She won't get it, so get her out of town.

What I understand is these days called a "bio-break" became necessary en route.  We took it  down a long lane to nowhere, amidst the autumn brome, hard by the handsome grain which will soon -- by order of the commissars in Washington -- be distilled into motor fuel as a sound and healthy alternative to sour mash bourbon and prime beef.

En route where?

Ingham Lake, about 40 miles distant, a quiet little water said to harbor lunker northerns. You couldn't prove it by my catch, one runt bullhead, released. New Dog Libby seemed to enjoy things, however, specially steel-eyed, tail-up stalking.

The prey:

"I love it when my human spills cheese curls. Also when he understands that even spent pyrotechnics have their uses."

And that is how you spend 36 hours waiting for your varnish to dry.

Sep 25, 2013

A tough way to get flush

A reporter with even a few years in the racket thinks he's seen about everything. Wrong, Jim. You never even imagined the criminal mind that would conceive ...

--stuffing something non-flushable down a WalMart toilet

--arranging yourself on the commode

--hitting the lever

--enduring the chilly flow on your back side

--complaining to store management

--demanding and getting new clothes plus cash for the merchandise you were planning to return but couldn't because the  backup destroyed the receipt.


It would be entertaining to be in court to hear Ms. Cannon explain this; even more fun to hear top-flight WalMart managers detail how she got away with it several times.

True, it would tempt a journalist to write it up with all the obvious, sophomoric puns. Of course I would resist any such non-professionalism.

Bidet as it may, it would still be fun.

Sep 23, 2013

Dancing with the Tsars

At the Obama-led grave dance, it was again determined that a self-willed gun killed a group of people. More precisely,  His Ineptness blamed "a bullet from a gun," demonstrating again his absolute mastery of turning a solemn occasion into a photo-op captioned with sound bites.

I assume it was merely an oversight that he neglected to mention that his -- and I mean his --  security services decided it was dandy to award a "secret" clearance and easy naval-base access to an admitted tinfoil hatter who heard voices and had a history of shooting off guns when ever he felt a little frustrated.

Perhaps his advisers will alert him to the omission, and he will shortly go back on the teevee to add that he has been commander-in-chief for some five years and hence might bear some buck-stops-here responsibility for a Three-Stooges  security performance.

Still, I'm reserving most of my scorn for a guy a little lower on the public pay scale, our old buddy duh mare.  

"Washington Mayor Vincent Gray also called for action, saying "our country is drowning in a sea of guns."

Look, you nincompoop, the nation is not drowning in a sea of anything except debt and devalued money. Otherwise it's actually in drought. We're bone dry of politicians capable of addressing the point at hand which, in this case, is a security bureaucracy with Curly in charge, advised by Moe and Larry.

Sep 22, 2013

A Sunday Sermon; Obama as Socialist?

The context here is a life-long discussion with an old and cherished friend who has lately called me out for alleging that President Obama is a socialist and leader of the nation's current crop of socialists. My friend the professor insists he is something else, sometimes using the term "pragmatist," and seems to insist that socialism must assume the classic form theorized by Marx and Lenin, among others.

The latest chapter from my end of the internet:

Dear ----,

You are my oldest and dearest friend, so it is with affection and respect I say you're being a trifle obscure here. Unless, of course, you are replaying that old 33 1/3 LP we've spun before -- enough times that it is getting scratchy.

I am well aware that the classical definition of "socialism" is "state ownership of the means of production." Of course we're not there yet. Furthermore, however, you are the last person in the world who needs reminding that socialism, like all the ideologies I can think of,  creeps.

The socialist ideal is not "state ownership of the means of production." That is simply one of the mechanistic devices -- usually late in the theoretical revolutionary game -- to achieve the actual desired end. I summarize that aim as total control of individuals by a tiny cadre who combine four qualities: (1) a thirst for power; (2) a not necessarily accurate belief that they know better than the individual what is good for him; (3)  another sincere -- but accurate  -- belief that they know what is good for themselves; (4) the political astuteness -- demagogic and Machiavellian -- to achieve their ends.

It makes no difference to Barack Obama who holds the deed to General Motors. If he can control its products, income, wages, working conditions, and degree of competition, he has satisfied his political goals.

Neither he nor anyone else on what we call the "left" cares who owns the shares of my bank. So long as they control the interest I pay and receive, decisions about who shall and shall not be entitled to loans,  and the degree of privacy afforded my banking transactions, they have all the authority they desire.

In fact, I suspect sophisticated socialists rather fear actual ownership. It would burden them with responsibility for the results of their industry. With the softer sorts of statism, which this administration promotes daily, they are always, always, free to argue that the robber barons violated Title 10, Chapter 12,  Section 69, Paragraph 1238,  Subparagraph 13,  Lines 3 and 3c.

"... and that's why the People's boots fall apart in the rain and cost a month's wages. "


The issue is not one of ownership. It is of who shall be permitted to make decisions. Just as a little thinking exercise, let's try to recall the cases in the past five years when Mr. Obama demanded that some decision-making authority be taken away from the state and returned to a private citizen


Sep 19, 2013

The Woody Hayes Memorial Armageddon Wagon

Remember the good old days when we were beginning to worry about  merely PARAmilitarizing big city cops by dressing them tactical and giving them assault rifles to rein in the kids with nickel bags and round up hard-working girls on the street corner?

Things have advanced.  Now, even the college division of the Barney Fife Drum and Bungle Corps can have a cute killer on its TOE. To be fair, though, the junior colleges will have to wait for their MRAPs . So far they seem reserved for NCAA Division1 "schools."  Ohio State for instance.

Reason reports the Buckeyes are being pretty cagey about  "why?" -- not to mention apparently lying through their teeth.

If they need a weapon of mass destruction (14 tons, 11 mpg, drivable only by a trained expert) to dissuade the kids from parking in the faculty lot, why don't they just say so?

H/T my man in the military-industrial complex

Big Money: Guns just Fine and Dandy

This clown makes a point.

He eyed Ruger and SW stocks after the Navy yard shooting by a guy with a Bidengun. They rose, and he declared, ergo,  the gun debate is over. He couldn't report without taking a few shots as us, however. For example:

"Sturm, Ruger has been one of the best performing stocks on Wall Street since America elected a black Democrat president five years ago, and the tinfoil-hat brigade rushed out to stock up on guns."

Making us racist while skipping mention that the Navy shooter was black.

Making us the pulp Sci-Fi gobblers while ignoring the murderer's own terror at microwaves taking over his tortured brain.

Let him have his fun, even:

"Despite the news coverage, events like Monday’s aren’t really so remarkable. People with guns kill about 30 people (other than themselves) every day in America...

Which is an approximately correct number. it works out, according to the feds, to some 3.6 gun homicides per 100,000 persons living in America, per year.  But it is  revealing to do the arithmetic. Divide 3.6 by 100,000 and get .000036 per cent. Then toss out all of the slain young urban men with a criminal record and you can walk down most American streets with a cheery attitude.*

 "Yet investors on Wall Street are betting that, despite all the hand-wringing and pious talk, no one will do anything. They are probably right."

Yep. Grin.

It is pleasant to have confirmation from our "markets" that those of us who endorse the moral right to self-preservation are -- so far --  occupying tenable political ground, no matter what sort of goof brings the message to us.


Sep 18, 2013

Whee, we get to stay on the Tilt-a-Whirl

The Kwee* ride continues and Wall Street orders up another container load of silk skivvies scented with tulip bulbs.

Since the money is  to remain free -- if you already have some in mega-billion quantities -- why not buy a zillion shares of the latest Lehman Bros. iteration and  send the Dow up another 150-plus points? The ball is ever so much fun. Do not worry your pretty little head about the guy in the masque.

While there's not much to grin about on Wiemar Road, at least the CNBC report produces a wry grimace. It says Pope Bernanke will keep floating $85 billion a year of hot checks to buy the bills run up by  President Clinton Bush Obama. For that pittance I'd hardly bother to bitch. It is 85 bill a month, Sidney.


*"Quantitative Easing," -- Fed Geek-Speak for turning pixie dust into money to buy loans which can never be repaid.

I hear voices, too.

Nagging, insistent, they keep yammering, "Write. You're supposed to a writer, so make with some words."

Unfortunately, that's just one voice. Another lately assaults, "Finish the damned floor!"

It has been  half-carpet, half oak for years. Finally the carpet became too toxic even for my relaxed housekeeping standards. Replacing it would have been cheap and easy, but I've come to detest the stuff, especially when sharing a home with a high-shed lab. Besides, I've accumulated a some planking, and I always overestimate how long ambition will endure for any given project. So:

That was Monday. There's been a little progress since, three more planks laid (exhausting the oak inventory), all pegs driven, and 40-grit rough sanding. But between me and elegance lies another series of sandings from 60 grit  down to the (xxx) level of smoothness.*  Then, of course, the miracle varnish, whatever seems most miraculous when I go shopping. And is on sale.

It occurs to me that this report is so far devoid of any public service. Because I really care, let me correct that with a graphic depiction of an invention for tightening the seams between the strips of renewable, natural, recyclable, material. (Another way to describe all that is "not quite straight.")

You screw the block to the old floor and drive wedges to jam the new board tight. Works well, but I believe I am unable to receive a patent.

When it's all done I'll return to keeping an eagle eye on the state of the Republic. No, wait. There's another voice: "Big northerns are biting over at Ingham Lake. Load up the dog and the camper. Go fishing. Go fishing." 

Damned old voices.


*A professional would go to about 120 grit or even finer. Jimmy the Tweak has learned of the project and established an  over-under of 81. Bet the under. I mean, Hell, I'm  just going to walk on it.

Sep 17, 2013

It is true. Global cooling is icing up the Northwest Passage, and Exxon Tankers will have no more luck passing the Bering Straits than Captain Cook's little Endeavor did in 1778.

I wanted to soberly report this for two reasons. One is the smart-alecky post a few days back attributing the same facts to the Mail, a Brit tab best known for overuse of modifiers and some of the best cleavage shots in the business. It later occurred to me that depending on the Mail might mar the TMR reputation for rigorous academic citation.

The other is American public television which is in the middle of a multi-part report on the melting of the Arctic Ocean. It is all in the can, being doled out periodically on the PBS nightly slightly newsish program, so I tend to doubt it will be diluted with the latest from the federal-trough ice scientists who confirm it may be unwise to compete for a Sandals resort franchise near Prudhoe.

The public teevee segment might have gone in one ear and out the other except for the presenter's lead: "Due to climate change...".  She could have just said: "And now, let us beg the question."*

A little more amusement ensued as she focused on a melting glacier and a commercial captain lamenting that this made the "new water" more treacherous to  navigate.

I couldn't resist shouting, "Look, you Queeg ninny, stay in the channels proven safe since, errrr,  about 1788, I guess."  I had to apologize upon learning that his lot in the life of high seas adventuring was to ferry gaping tourists as close to the glaciers as possible so they could get nice cell phone shots of medium blue ice,  highlighted by lighter blue ice. This is yet another dramatic tragedy resulting from your refusal to buy a Volt.

Sep 16, 2013

Elsewhere in politics -- young comers division

They may have been the giddiest moments of his life so far. I refer to Julian Castro, the telegenic mayor of San Antonio and a man on the make. When a young pol gets invited to Indianola, Iowa, he begins wondering if there's room for one more on Mt. Rushmore.

In this age of image, he stands a chance because he shared the stage with Joe Biden and Tom Harkin, at Tom's annual steak fry. The event is one of the teasers for that three-ringer known as the Iowa Caucuses.

It doesn't matter what he said, of course, although what I heard was a lukewarm parroting of ancient liberal cant about spending more with the teachers union so we can compete globally.

Julian doesn't rate the CIA full-court press earrned by the other Castro, but if someone wants to put itching powder in his wet suit, I'll probably forget to editorialize against it.

It's a matter of soil balance

His Ineptness goes to the Rose Garden today. The purpose? To tell us all what a wonderful president he really is.  The occasion is the fifth anniversary of the fall of  Lehman Brothers, a one-time leader in organized crime. He will report that his wisdom saved the nation and the world from economic collapse, that he has ushered us to the portal of peace and prosperity. He. Himself.

This speech is good news for the nation to the extent that the National Park Service can cancel it's rose fertilizer orders for several months.

Sep 11, 2013

The bye-bye elections

(1) I was going to write that Weiner and Spitzer have been retired to stud, but that might strike some readers as distasteful, so I won't.  I report merely that New Yorkers now have the opportunity to be ruled by a man who may not know how to take a cell phone self-portait and another one who doesn't need to buy it.

(2) Everyone who cares already knows about the Colorado recall, but so far  I have seen no remark about a side benefit. When you boot an antigun leftist hand-wringer you also eliminate a  more generalized pest. Coloradans have reduced by two the number of legisthings likely to screw around with their lives in other ways -- creative new taxes and fees, business regulation, that sort of thing.

Sep 10, 2013

The perils of old age

Sometimes you have to feel sorry for frustrating the healers. I visited them today for the first time since about 2010. They greeted me like a team of Draculas. Fresh meat. Certainly this dude needs treatment for something.

An hour later, the patient  chemically analysed, questioned, poked, prodded, and palpated, they reached their scientific conclusion. "(Sigh)  Come back and see us in a year."

The secret of course is vigorous daily exercise, a strict vegetarian diet, and, as I have mentioned a time or two, dynamic virtue and uncommon purity of thought.

Sep 9, 2013

Say, Tipper, is that the ice man I hear coming?

Or, There Goes the Northwest Passage Again as the Arctic freezes over in blatant defiance of the wishes of former Vice President Gore and clueless climate alarmists everywhere.

The "Mail" -- a British tab -- gets a big laugh from printing that it's stogy competitor, the BBC, carried reports that the Arctic Ocean would be ice free by the summer of 2013.

This is all very satisfying, but it plays havoc with my water ski franchise on Point Barrow. Besides, it means New York City will continue to exist.

Sep 7, 2013

Why did the chicken cross the ocean twice?

TMR has not mentioned Tom Vilsack for a long time. That's a shame even though he is easy to ignore if you don't care much about your money, your food, your automobile fuel, or the quality of politicians making the rules you must live by,

Tom is my Iowa compatriot, from Mt. Pleasant where he was a renowned agrarian. Nobody could grow a cherry tomato plant in a five-gallon bucket like he could. In between trips to the porch with a watering can, he found time to get elected mayor, then governor of the whole state. A few years later, after copiously fertilizing the first Obama campaign, he was elevated to the national stage where he settled in for a nice long gig as Secretary of Agriculture.

And where, lately, he's decided the USDA should approve a scheme to qualify  your Sunday grilled chicken breast for frequent flyer miles.   

It works this way:  Klem and Wanda of Phartenholler, Arkansas, raise a half-dozen Rhode Island Reds. Comes time, they kill them and put the carcasses on a boat bound for China. The diligent orientals "process"  the corpses and put them on an eastbound junk.  In due course, fair winds waft them back to America, to the meat case of  a Safeway near you.

(Hush, please. I am not making this up. Couldn't if I wanted to.)

Some reporters, among others, eventually stopped giggling long enough to question Secretary Vilsack's chicken safety geniuses. They wore out a word processor or two explaining that it's safe even though we all know a dead chicken on your counter top turns to foul purple mush in about the time it takes you to nuke the spuds and stir up a batch of Johnnie cake batter.  

Maybe so, what with modern freezing techniques made possible through our newly free energy which results from Tom's ethanol mandate.  But a guy still is agog at the economics, and this one is going to take a lot of convincing that there isn't a billion-buck subsidy or tax break hidden somewhere.


As a matter of diligent research, your author turned to Google and began his search with "Chinese Chicken." This is what he found:

And then he sort of got sidetracked into old dragon movies. Maybe that's wong, but it happened.

Sep 6, 2013

Barack Obama: Man of Destiny

Here's part of his recent oral output in quest of a heroic place in history.*

"These kinds of interventions, these kinds of actions are always unpopular because they seem distant and removed," Obama said. "I'm not drawing an analogy to World War II, (Then why the Hell do you bring it up, Sir?) --

--other than to say, you know, when London was getting bombed, it was profoundly unpopular, both in Congress and around the country, to help the British."

Mr. President,  Lend Lease was lopsidedly approved by congress months and months before Pearl Harbor and after a Gallup poll showed a majority of 1941 Americans approved "help(ing) the British" so long as our aid did not drag us into their war.

Did you, you know,  like skip all your history classes to practice up on your organizing neighborhoods skills south of the Blackstone Hotel?


*Apparently he's given up on Obamacare as his ticket to Mt. Rushmore.

One Syrian, One Vote; No Americans Need Apply

His Ineptness the president demands that your "representatives" vote their "conscience" no matter what you think.

(1)  The presidential argument is, therefore, that his cherished democracy must be abandoned in the United States in order to create it in Syria.

(2) Asking a congress critter to vote his conscience is like asking Diane Feinstein to vote her balls.


Sep 5, 2013

Last Burro to Bombay

It's a point for our side,  wookie-suiters who keep harping about Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, even in the face of our war on terror or drugs or whatever else polls badly this week.

You'll all recall the federal "keep your sorry arse out of my sky"  edict creating the infamous no-fly list which you get on for good reasons, or silly ones, or none at all.

Washington said it violated no rights because if you wanted to get from Amarillo to Hong Kong you could always begin horseback and catch a clipper out of Frisco. Voila! Right protected. Your freedom of travel is preserved.

Comes now federal Judge Anna Brown who utters our favorite word to the bureaucracy: No. A burro does not equal a Boeing.

She said: "in light of the realities of our modern world," travelers "have a constitutionally-protected liberty interest in traveling internationally by air, which is affected by being placed on the no-fly list (and she) ... rejected the idea that "all modes of transportation must be foreclosed before an individual's due-process rights are triggered." 

It is an interim decision while she's learning more about the TSA appeal system for getting off the NFL.

Dissection of the Day: The Only Ones

What happens when you let highly trained personnel go camping with their guns? Joel knows, and it's a hoot.

Sep 4, 2013

Place holder with adult language and light porn

My crack internet provider, Mediacom,  was back again today after a 36-hour outage. The technicians are adept at fixing things other than the root problem which is an important and f*cked-up something somewhere between Camp Jiggleview at some yet-to-be-discovered point  along Co-ax/Fiber trail.

I am promised that a higher-paid technician will deepen the investigation this afternoon.

Meanwhile, only because the narrative has taken us to La Belly France: