Feb 28, 2014

Government finance in New Hamster

In  A.D. 2008,  "the hockey coach at the University of New Hampshire earned $382,000, making him the highest paid state employee."

Whack Puck or Die.

Feb 26, 2014

Singing to the dog

A man with a shelf of books and a curious mind is never bored. Except maybe sometimes, rarely, he might be something like bored.

I blame it on the re-vortexing of the polarity.  Zero, below zero, big wind, very big wind for the impending week.

SAD? No, I don't accept SAD except as an excuse for the drug companies to sell more happy pills.

Cabin fever? No. The vehicles are running fine. The lane  is clear enough. There's cash in the wallet and places where I would find a welcome.

No interest, So I'll just go ahead and use the dork word. Enervated. I may be enervated.

Possibly New Dog Libby is too. She always comes around for a comprehensive  ear-scratch every hour or so. Lately it's more like every ten minutes, and I actually caught her staring out at our stray cat without emitting her death-threat growl between 70-decibel barks.

Just now she waddled over to the computer chair, stuck her head firmly on my lap, and made intense eye contact. You either understand that lab-eyes look or you don't. I do, so I made a special fuss. The ears, of course, then back and belly, then a collar check while I wiped off that tiny dab of eye drool.

She's put on some winter bulk. I decided the strap could use a little more slack.

Fumble with the adjusting slide. Drop your hands in disgust because  you just heard yourself going,

"bah-dah bamba just a silly millimeter longer."

At least that led to enervation attenuation because it yielded a  Big Thought, a Universal Truth:  Exposure to television at a young age makes you weird forever. 

Feb 25, 2014

Loophole AAR

I don't get to this one often enough, especially considering it is my natal city, a couple of hours southeast. But it was time. I had my buddy's balls* in a can, and he wanted them. The show his club runs was a good excuse to make the delivery.

I didn't run across anything making me giddy enough to toss large denomination Federal Reserve Cartoons around, but it is tasteless to leave a loophole empty-handed, ergo:

For $25 it justifies itself as a high-class paperweight, and who knows when I'll stumble across a box of parts for five bucks at a garage sale.They would need to fit a High-Standard Model A or B from 1934, the year A. HItler flew to Essen for a gigglefest as he watched his former friends bleed out. And speaking of long knives:

Boy Scout, official, USA-made but otherwise unmarked so I can pretend it's a Marble. The condition isn't too bad, but Tenderfoot Teddy couldn't resist using his sharp edge to trim up the sheath. What a creep, but at least his old man didn't  own a three-horsepower Baldor running a 60-grit wheel at 3450 rpms.

This Remington RH 51 came from a Baldor-equipped home in a sheath style I've never seen before, stamped "Remington" and "DuPont." That dates it to 1933 or later and probably pre-1941.

I don't actually get upset at battered knives if they're cheap enough. The patinae, gouges, and grinds just loosen their metaphorical tongues so they can tell me how things were back then, or might have been.


*soft lead, .504

Feb 24, 2014

Terminal ballistics, hamburger heaven, and a load of bull

I learn from my friend that a 9 mm hardball round at point- blank range fom a big bovine forehead just "makes him mad."  It took another in the same area and a third a little higher to finish the job.  Still, it was quick due to flawless functioning of the Browning M1935 semi-automatic, another reason to praise John M. Browning, PBUH.

The old boy was down from rear-end mechanical failure due to high  milage ...

...and to being butted and tormented by younger bulls. That gives us guys approaching our mature years something to think about.

My just-delivered allotment of el toro is 50 count 'em 50 pounds, nicely ground and wrapped by one of the few custom butchers still operating, and I want to tell you there's a world of difference between Safeway floor sweepings and a burger ground from the entire animal -- t-bone, rib-eye and all.

I feel a cookout coming on.

Feb 23, 2014

Scatter shots; Indian Country

Somebody loved those four shot-dead Paiutes up in the high desert of backwater California, 200 miles or more from the nearest Starbucks. The accused, a bully, probably also had her admirers, perhaps even as many friends as tattoos.

The universe of this chaos is small, 35 members of a federally recognized tribe in and around Alturas and Cedarville, California. Together they own a 26-acre reservation, a "rancheria" in local lingo.

Ms. Cherie Lash Rhoades was chief of the tribe until it fired her as the FBI investigated missing tribal funds, about $50,000.

Money. If it isn't sex, it is money, isn't it? Cherchez la femme or her man; that petering out, cherchez l'argent.

L'argent here is $1.1 million in one year, 2012. At its source, the figure is much higher, allowing for normal government overhead. First you -- and I mean you -- must earn it; the IRS must extract it from you; the money must be trundled from Treasury to the Department of the Interior to its Bureau of Indian Affairs and finally to whom ever handles the net tribal take --  the $1.1 million -- for 35 souls. All along the twisty route beady little eyes dart about as greedy little fingers dip and dip and dip.

Of course you just fingered your little calculator and said "wow!" That amounts to $31,428.57 per Paiute. Assuming they family-up at roughly the national all-races average, you multiply by 3-plus for something like $95,000-plus per family. They could afford a Starbucks and professional aromatherapists.


This is not totally fair. The AP reports that about half the money goes for roads.

Or maybe it is. The little tribe also gets a few dollars from the Indian-casino industry, a federally protected activity. There's income from cheap (because untaxed) smokes. One assumes that Jerry Brown's California also contributes, assuaging its guilt for what we did en route to our Manifest Destiny.


Guilt is justified to one degree or another, but as time passes it should moderate.*  We White Eyes murdered our last Redskins in job-lot quantities more than 124 years ago, on the banks of Wounded Knee Creek. We killed about 150, many or most with Hotchkiss guns, a weapon notorious for non-discrimination among braves, little old grandmas, and babes-in-arms.

But over that five or six generations, amends have been made, or attempted, however misguided and inept.  The results are mixed, at best, and on average probably well illustrated by the grief among the 31 surviving Paiutes of  Alturas, a grief rooted in the outcome of condeming a race to permanent wardship.

I wonder what would happen if we decided to end it over next two generations with what once was fashionably called "tough love."

"Here is the school. It's free. It is your gateway to the pride of self-sufficiency. Don't fuck it up."


Humility requires a qualification of everything above. Maybe the killer was just crazy as Hell and would have run amok in any society in which she found herself.

And finally, it might be suggested that she would have created less tragedy had she been confronted with counterforce the second she displayed one of her two pistols.  Unfortunately it happened in California where practical counterforce is reckoned to be calling the cleanup service, available through 911.


*If not, I am personally entitled to vast sums from Her Majesty's exchequer in recompense for my family's Annaly estates, stolen at gunpoint by English thugs  c. 1400-1700.

Feb 21, 2014

Ted Nugent

Good bye.

You have done for the Second Amendment what Jimmy Swaggert did for television preachers.

Feb 20, 2014

The right tool for the right job

Admit it. You, yourself, have felt the urge and even come >this<  close to action.

Bob put money in the machine and pulled the lever, No product.  No help from the return-money button. The boss's fork lift was handy.

Some jerk squealed. Polaris fired him. He applied for unemployment compensation.  

"State unemployment records say banging and rocking the machine didn't work, so M---------- allegedly commandeered a forklift, picked up the machine at least six times and dropped it on the floor at the Polaris Industries' warehouse in Milford. Three candy bars felll."

Denied. He must settle for the three gedunks.

My impulse control is a little better than that, though far from perfect, leading to a nice little fantasy.

Administrative law judge:  "Why on earth did you pulverize the candy machine with a fork lift, Jim?"

Me: "Because I didn't have a goddam Tommy Gun on me, dammit. That's why."

The spam cannoli

Blogger has improved its spam filter, but for the first time in months a message offering me riches and a more rewarding sex life made it through to my email, though not to the blog.  So I checked the  Blogger spam file and found some 70 come-ons from the past few days. Nothing unusual there except that every one of them was in Italian.  No problem. I just wopped them off to Deleto, but I found it mildly interesting.

Maybe the Nigerian e-thugs all moved to Sorrento because the internet runs on time there.

I can think of better reasons to go have gone to Italy.

Feb 19, 2014

Bullets in schools, the eeeeek level explained

Eeeek Level One.  Sammy might actually get away with this one because lead-headed teachers and administrators are probably unaware of the very useful "bullet" pencil.

Eeeek LevelTwo. This one will cause a lockdown and local editorials praising Superintendent  Z. T. Limply for taking no chances. After all.  if it saves just one life...

Eeeeeek Level Three:   If you feel like amusing yourself with a full SWAT, active-shooter routine, complete with horrified mothers on MSNBC  (and even more horrified interviewers), you could slip one of these into some rotten kid's back pack.

Feb 18, 2014

Jah, but some of them Fokkers is Messerschmidts

Here's a set of dandy  photos that will all but put you in the seat of  1939-1945 war birds.  Click on that Fokker and you can manipulate the picture through 360 degrees or thereabouts.

H/T Alan, via email

Feb 17, 2014

Vote Vet

I always miss Travis McGee but especially so when I want to sort out some newish thing.

Of course, to miss Trav is also to miss Meyer, the hairy economist down F pier a ways. Trav could deal with a Puss Killian all by himself but  needed Meyer for political and economic challenges. Even a womanizing free-lance detective can use a little logical positivism once in a while.

My friend L* alerts me to the Veterans Party of America which seems to be some sort of evolution of an earlier (c. 2003--20??)  "veterans" party which didn't make it.  It has recently published its platform. On first reading it looks more libertarian and anti-statist  than anything the majors would dare put on paper.  Better yet, some of the more important parts of it seem actually doable.

In my guise as pure political operative, I'm forced to tell the VPA, "rotsa ruck." Our America is the place where third parties go to be ignored, then die. The logic of their arguments has nothing to do with anything because they don't have and can not get the billions needed to create a nice image on the electric teevee.

Still, as a citizen, I'll be a happier if the VPA platform gets all possible exposure and discussion. Starting with you, Trav and Meyer. Whadaya think?


*Interesting person. Along with another pretty girl some years ago, she started a business more or less from scratch. It thrives and has created jobs without, I believe, ever having asked government for a dime in subsidies, tax holidays, special tax exemptions, guaranteed markets (c.f. ethanol mandate) or the like. While she would never state it so vulgarly, I think her message to federal, state, county, and local authorities was: "I intend to do right, so please get your big hairy bloated bureaucratic asses out of my way so I can get some work done."

Feb 16, 2014

Stone zoned

The advisers to the governors of Smugleye-on-Lake have delivered  to said governors their plan for village governance. It is the brand new zoning code, the previous zoning code having been deemed insufficiently intrusive on Smugleyeites' assumed right to peaceable and reasonable uses of their property.

A full reading shatters my emotions. For all these years I believed i lived in a "house," or a "home." Alas, under the new regime I have been resettled to a "nonconformity." Now, I don't mind being a nonconformity, but being ordered to live in one is quite another matter.

Magnanimously, the governors will permit me to continue living in my nonconformity, and even to maintain it within narrow limits. I'm sure that is contingent on my continued good behavior, such as  promising never, ever, to complain or, especially,  to make fun of these fine public servants in any public forum.


For those interested, an update to the parasite/citizen ratio here in my village reveals 16 elected or appointed policy makers and three enforcers/technicians. this does not count cops and firemen and lawyers whose services we outsource. Nor does it count the various outside advisers we hire to advise our own advisers on on cool new laws. But lets just call it the 19, which amounts to one village regulator per 18 citizens.


As a matter of general interest and perspective, the new SOL land-use law governing a village of 341 souls, covers 101 pages. Densely.

The Securities Exchange Act of 1934, governing many trillions of dollars of commercial activity, contains 93 pages.

Feb 14, 2014

Sic transit cellulose, so you just lay in a lot of it

And while I had the 3-volt Nikon Cockroach in hand, I decided it would be pleasant to record the main stash of propane substitute here at Camp Jiggleview, of which I am commandant. For mid-February, it is nearly ideal, well-plundered but still sufficient to warm us for the remainder of this winter and, mayhap, early in the next.

Much evil and confusion exist in our world. The center may not hold. I understand my duty to explain it all, but sometimes it's better just to go outside with your dog.

Feb 13, 2014

Eeeek. A bullet!

I understand principals' need to change into Depends at the very thought of  anything more weapon-like than a blunt Crayola.  If "something happens" they're going to get sued, maybe fired and faced with the need to find real jobs.

So I suppose the lockdown at a nearby junior high is just one of the sillinesses of the times, odiously called the "new normal."

I preferred the old normal. A Terry Stop of any 10 guys in my 7th grade room at Pleasant Valley probably would have turned up at least a dozen loose rounds of .22, fuzzy from riding in denim pockets.  But the school rulers never bothered to look.  Only if you took them out for inspection could you get in trouble.

The saintly Mrs.Minor: "James, put that back in your pocket and open your Warriner's. Don't make me tell you again."  Yeah, I was a repeat offender.


Aside to our crack KUOO. You probably meant "cartridge" rather than "bullet." But what the Hell. It's only radio, and theyr'e both icky and fearsome, huh?

California handgun carry: My lawyer can kick the s..t out of your lawyer

It's a little early to plan the party welcoming California back into the federal union, but a happy sign appeared today.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit has ruled that California de facto handgun carry bans are unconstitutuonal.

The link takes you to the full text of the 2-1 decision.  I've read only a few pages so far.  Media commentary suggests the case will go before the full Ninth and to the Supreme Court. Because other federal courts have ruled otherwise, SCOTUS will probably agree to hear the case.

In the early pages I've read, the Ninth panel buys the notion that the Second Amendment creates no right. Rather, it guarantees a pre-existing (or "natural?") right. I think I remember some of us making that point a time or two.


EDIT TO ADD:  Recommended: David Kopel's Washington Post explanation of  the decision and its limits. This guy thinks like a lawyer but writes like a writer. Nice combination.

The gun salesman of the decade is getting tired

Things are rough at the Cabela's gun counter. About everyone who wanted a Glokkenpopper 'cuz he was afraid of Obama  has bought one, and the gun clerks are finding time to wander over to chat up the pretty girls hustling overpriced Chinese shirts with Cabelas's patches on them.

I doubt you need to disturb your long-term Cabela's (or Ruger or S/W)  position. About the time HIllary starts looking like a shoo-in, the market will recover.

Besides, Cabela's makes most of its money from those Chinese shirts. New Jersey file clerks like to wear them to TGIF's. Impresses the girls there, they tell me.

Feb 12, 2014

The media grinds it out

We need to make allowances for English commentary on firearms.  After all, they are well into the third generation of their official eeeekagun stance. Would you ask your great grandpa to analyze this week's Billboard Hot Rock Top 40?

Nevertheless. Reuters is competing for a most-errors-per-line award in story on slow sales of modified AR15-types in New York.

--The two main modifications to the AR 15 rifles are the lack of a muzzle brake, which controls the rapid fire of bullets,  Full fail, there, Fleet Street, and a silly one at that. It tends to help control felt recoil and muzzle jump. And you probably don't really mean "rapid fire of bullets"  anyway. You're groping for the term "rate of fire," I suppose.

--and a flash hider, or suppressor, which limits the flash of light coming out of the barrel, Kielbasa said. The suppressor allowed night-time shooters to obscure their location by masking the "flash" of light.  

A couple of problems there, Cyril. You get a little slack on the use of "suppressor" because in comman usage it is sometimes used to designate the flash hider. Just as often it is a synonym for "silencer."  The greater sin is reporting its purpose to be obscuring the location of the rifle. It hangs out there mostly to shield the shooter's eye from a bright flash which might, at night, disrupt his subsequent-shot aim.

By the way, the Mr. Kielbasa quoted is the gun shop owner in New York. He said new state laws regulating rifle cosmetics might force him to quit selling them altogether,  That would a vurst-case scenario.

Feb 10, 2014

World Leaders -- Armed and Ready

You read Churchill's epic -- all six volumes -- twice, once for a quick overview of how this guy and his country operated 1935-1945. Okay, a slow overview. Much later in life you read it again to flesh out your information from other sources.

Finally, you keep it handy on your shelf for who-knows-what reason, maybe a time-passer when it is 25 below zero* and you couldn't  be pried from your fireside chair with a crow bar. Just sort of leaf through looking for little nuggets among the old blowhard's Germanic thoroughness of detail, from the important to the trivial.

And speaking of guns, I found one.

Winston had just been made first lord of the Admiralty. He knew the Nazis wouldn't like that and that there were supposedly some 20,000 of them lurking about the Sceptred Isle.  He would really rawther not get shot.

"I had no official protection and I did not wish to ask for any; but I thought myself sufficiently prominent to take precautions. I had enough information to convince me Hitler recognized me as a foe. My former Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Thompson,  was in retirement. I told him to come long and bring his pistol with him. I got out my own weapons, which were good. While one slept, the other watched. Thus nobody would have had a walkover."**

He doesn't tell us about his guns at Chartwell, and that is too bad. If we knew we could have a lively internet debate about whether he was tactical enough. Nevertheless, there's plenty of evidence that Churchill was at least passingly familiar with small, lethal weapons.

(From left: Eisenhower, Churchill, Bradley busting M1 Carbine caps.)

Lucky England. And lucky us who, here in the colonies, some three generations later, also enjoy courageous personal leadership.


(Sotto voice)  Psssst. Mr. President.: Rule 3 violation, but nothing Photo-Shop can't fix. Alert Jay.


*And it was; coldest of the season, but things are looking up now.

**Churchill, The Gathering Storm, Houghten-Mifflin BCE, 1948, p. 401

Night thought

It is very cold, and I am warm.

Fire has been an obvious winter pallitive since long before the Clan of the Cave Bear. Houses are another matter.

Ayla the Intelligent left the rocky lands and crossed the frozen Eurasian plains, no cave in sight. She  gathered dry grass and branches and set them alight with  sparking rocks.  Extra branches were stacked high and the sleeping skins spread near the fire, in the lee of the fuel.

The wind shifted, Ayla awoke cold, drew the caribou robe closer around her shoulders, and thought.

On some subsequent night she perfected the idea. Her fuel reserve encircled the fire.  Let the wind blow as it will. It remained only to lay some poles and skins  across the woodpile. The roof was born, and the concept of a house as a human contrivance was complete. All else is detail.

Thank you, Ma'am.

Feb 8, 2014

If Vanita Nair proposes to me,

I'm afraid I shall have to decline. Too bad. She's a beautiful woman and makes a good buck.

Furthermore, if I should by chance feel an urge to ogle this South Asian knockout raised in Texas, I shall do so with the sound muted and captioning off.

On her CBS morning news gig today, she listened intently to a guy predicting the death of the American shopping mall and said:

"That breaks my heart. When I moved to Manhattan I really missed the "mall experience'."

Suggesting that any delights she might offer would be more than offset by conversational limitations.

Feb 7, 2014

The most wonderful Wednesday ever

Four days and a wakeup.

Then it's the Wednesday of the Three Blessings. Two of them are sure things, as sure as any temporal thing can be, anyway. The other is a well-hedged promise.

1. On that day, because I continue to be such a dedicated and competent retiree, President Obama will deliver my monthly stipend which he financed by extorting money from you. Sorry about that, Chief.

2. Simultaneously, my thimble full of that little leveraged-bond ETF I keep mentioning goes "x,"  adding one more piece of pittance to the money I'm trying to put aside for my old age. (I hope, even in that distant future, to be prepared to whip out cash for a clean GI issue 1911 some guy is tired of. Never mind that I might need to hire a kid to rack the slide when I want to shoot it.)

3.  Some time on that day of Woden the air temperature here at Camp Jiggleview, of which I am commandant, will at last exceed 20 degrees above zero. This is another Obama pledge. Of course it is channeled through his National Weather Service, but we know where the buck stops, don't we?

(Subsequently, His Ineptness promises no, repeat no, temperatures seriously below zero for weeks on end. Hope you're right, Buck-O.)


Returning to the present, the 12-below present, I awoke to a too-cool room, moving me to switch on the propane for about about 10 minutes. (Damn, another $138.22 shot to the devil.

The fireplace embers were glowing nicely, and plenty of firewood lay near the burner, but only the normally preferable big oak rounds, close to a foot in diameter and therefore not too good for quickly broiling my frostbitten backside.   So I dressed (before coffee {!}) and trudged to the outer pile  for a load of squaw wood, small and soft, which is now blazing. The aforementioned backside is acquiring a nice sear, and I am content.


Feb 6, 2014

I'm going home to Mother and I am taking the teevee!

Sanborn is an inoffensive little country town about 45 miles down the road. Folks get along. The economy is pretty good.  Hardly enough crime to shake a stick at, and the wives have pretty much stopped bringing shredded carrots in lime Jello to the church-basement potlucks.

It's just the kind of target bigger government looks for.  We'll teach those Neanderthal bastards!

Sanborn has a three-member public utilities board. All three were men. One's term expired, and a woman applied. So did the incumbent. The town council re-appointed him, making her mad and generating a complaint to Higher.

Iowa has a law vaguely requiring "gender balance" on city boards and commissions. Who ever got the Sanborn beef  lateraled it to our state ombudswoman.

Apparently a few reams of correspondence ensued, ending with her sheaf of "recommendations for corrective actions." The council promised to keep them on file and maybe get back to her. It seems the legislators (a) passed the law in order   to mollify gender-balance voters and (b) failed to prescribe any punishment  for violations in order to comfort male chauvinist pigs.

And this made her stomp her official ombudsfoot:

"According to a letter Ombudsman (sic) Ruth Cooperrider sent to the Sanborn mayor and city council members this week, the town did not take any of her suggested corrective actions. She expressed frustration, but said this would be her final communication."


Please stop throwing china at me. Gender balance is a good idea. And foot-stomping is not solely a female trait; see a rerun of any Obama press conference after congress declined to give him exactly what he wanted.

It doesn't make a Hell of a lot of difference whether an official chair is warmed by bureaucratic butt sheathed in silken step-ins or a hairy one sporting camo boxers. If the job is administrative all that's required is a competent administrator. If it is policy-making, it needs only a human with a sense of sane policy-making.

For instance, I fear nothing from Janet Yellen that I wouldn't have feared from Larry Summers. Toilet seat up or toilet seat down makes no never mind to the actual issue of how much funny money to print up so His Ineptness and the congress can keep right on buying your vote.

Feb 5, 2014

...And, By The Way and FWIW, The NRA Gives Him an "F"

I woke up a few minutes ago with that acute depression that overcomes a journalist when he suddenly realizes he missed the lede. Glance back at the previous post making fun of retiring congressslug Bob Andrews who went zero-for-646 over 23 years.

Now, 23 years is 8,395 days. Bob's proposed 646 new laws over that span represents an ambition to create one new federal law every 12.995 days. Cut the guy some slack, figure he took a Sunday or two off to get together with his homies to watch the ponies run at Meadowlands, and round that up to 14 days.

The meaning is that every other Monday morning you would need to check the Congressional Record carefully for a new Bob-dictate detailing what you must do, or not do, on pain of federal civil or criminal prosecution.

Suppose  he had been successful. Imagine how the Washington Post would have  praised him; the most "effective"  legislator in the nation's history.

And the other 534 would be green with envy, racing like Man-O-War to catch up.

Feb 4, 2014

Less is a helluva a lot; zero is sublime

I propose a massive private fund-raising drive to build a marble monument to Bob Andrews. A big one, right smack in the middle of the National Mall.

The liberal New Jersey congressthing is retiring after nearly a quarter century eating high on the federal hog. In all that time he proposed 646 new federal laws.

None passed. Not one.

And if that doesn't make him the most useful slug in American political history I'll kiss your arse in the Capitol Rotunda and lend you money to hire Rachel Maddow for live teevee commentary.

Feb 3, 2014

Welcome, Janet!

Janet Yellin has just been sworn in as the chief of of the American mimeograph machine.  To celebrate, the American equity markets crashed again. (DJ IA down a couple hundred points.) The heaviest investors seem confused about how much free money she'll be printing for the banks to loan them for purposes of speculation.

Only a despicable hard-money crank would suggest a causal relationship between Janet's ascendancy to Ben's old seat  and the roiled markets.*  After all, she she was against the tapir before she was for it.

So far, the  tapir  isn't working too well despite the public relations efforts of the country's best-oiled spin machines.

It was supposed to push interest rates up a tad, not much, just enough to make  the  aforesaid cranks shut up about Wiemar. It is working the other way. Interest on government insecurities is still trickling down -- a few minutes ago the 10-year at 2.6 per cent and the 30 at a little over 3.5.

If you don't  follow numbers like that, no problem. Their meaning is simple.  Your bank will continue paying you effectively nothing on your CDs, large and small, for a while, anyway. In due course, though, we'll probably have to pull a Turkey where the Ankara version of  the Ben and Janet show has just been shoved into reverse and lending rates were tripled to 12 per cent for overnight loans.

(I won't be putting money into Turkish CDs, though, because one of the effects will be oh-crap price hikes. A respectable working stiff's hookah, no brass filigree, plain plastic tubing,  at 38 zillion lira?)

It's all confusing, but I suppose a guy should just think back to Ben Bernanke when he cut the Kwee from 85 billion to 75 billion thin-air FRCs per month. He was careful to promise the too-big-to-fails that it was all sort of a joke. Lend away, Boys and Girls.  Vee haf other vays of making all the marks -- wait, I mean dollars of course , ha-ha -- you'll ever need.


*When a writer is too chicken to predict whether the markets will go up or down,  he is permitted by long tradition to wimp out with "roiled."

Feb 2, 2014

Arctical Loopholing and Some Other Weekend Wrapup Reports

The Emmet County, Iowa, sportsman's club knows how to run a loophole, friendly, well organized, and well advertised. The guys even hang around the door offering to help you carry your stuff from vehicle to table.

It suffers only from the dominance of plastic fantastic, but that's a world wide issue, and there was still enough honest walnut and steel to keep a hard-core recalcitrant happy.

The Saturday crowd was large and oddly open-handed. I was forced to cancel my date with Miss Cougar (senior division)  last night due to exhaustion from counting Federal Reserve Cartoons,  not to mention palpating the newly adopted Mossberg  800A. (.308).

The overriding pleasure is the glow of having freed a few cubic feet of gun-room space via a massive conversion of  pure junk to FRCs.


While I was freezing, my daughter and her good man were on a ferry from Puerto Juarez to Isla Mujeres. It's her umpteenth trip. counting her first when she was a toddler and the island was our ultimate destination on a three-week roadie down the Mexican gulf coast. She posted a picture on arrival. Palms and white beach and cervasa and damned if I'm not going to invite myself along next time. Like all Irish-derived humans, she carries a load of guilt around, and I think I can exploit it for selfish purposes.


The winter of malice continues. The current 10 above and predicted 1 below are comparatively benign, but that worm hole through Canada is letting another freeze fart through, and the portent is a 1-below high on Wednesday, followed by minus- teens low.

Why the Hell doesn't the south side of the  jet stream stay up by Moose Jaw where it belongs? Kerry should stop horsing around in Iran and investigate. A strongly worded note to Toronto is the least we should demand.

Only a dork uses the term "enervating," but I'm tempted.

I'm placing my faith in the long range NWS guess that the pattern is changing and could bring actual above-freezing temperatures by a week from today. I used to draw to inside straights, too.

Feb 1, 2014

I'll go quietly officer

The drone from the Drug Enforcement Administration hovers outside my window.  It records my crime and transfers the evidence to a national drug-criminal database. With luck I can cop a plea.

The Ivory Tower is deciding that free-range coffee is an addictive drug. It demands discipline and suggests that everything ought to be labeled as to caffeine content.  Alert the FDA and, of course, copy the DEA.

Juliano (the expert)  says that in order to avoid any potentially serious withdrawal symptoms, people should limit their daily caffeine consumption to 400mg, two to three 8-ounce cups of coffee.

Can a law be far away?

A couple of things here:

--The "study" is 40 years late.  The noted academician James Michener reported the facts in 1974  in his doorstop Centennial. Most of you will recall his case study of the high-plains farm wife who went bugdoozy when the coffee ran out one wild and isolated winter.

--Personally, I could never befriend anyone who drinks from or serves in an 8-ounce cup.  Wimps and wusses have their place in the world,  but if I'm in a sewing mood and want a thimble, I won't ask you to fill it with Folgers first.

Oh, and before I pour my third (big) cup of the morning and take my leave, a suggestion. Call your broker. Dump Starbucks.