Apr 30, 2013

Stand Your Ground Defense?

Zimmerman says not yet anyway, and that's subtle good news for those of us who believe SYG is a proper legal doctrine, permitting a citizen to defend himself anywhere.

His attorneys want to gamble to the extent of hearing the state's case before abandoning the Florida SYG protection altogether. They claim the law permits a SYG hearing any time, not just before deciding on whether to risk it before going to trial. The prosecution may resist but that is  another issue.

My reading persuades me there's a near-consensus that Zimmerman has only a traditional self-defense case to make, that SYG was written and intended only to     prevent  prosecution in a clear case of defense against unprovoked attack.  Zimmerman created the confrontation when he had other reasonable options, such as calling the cops from the safety of his car.


My state had a fair chance of getting SYG protection until the Zimmerman case stopped it cold. If, when the dust settles, it can be made plain that such law is inoperative in cases like this, it will be back on the table. Talk it up.

Apr 27, 2013

Saturday in Paradise

The second straight day of glorious is upon Smugleye-on-Lake. Yesterday brought not the slightest notion of writing to my ambition reservoir.

There was an annoying drive to DNR headquarters to renew my dock permit -- annoying because it's 15 miles one way and because the Only Woman in the World legally authorized to give me a form to fill out and to take my $125 decided to leave an hour and a-half early.

Otherwise it was a day of progress, mostly in rearranging leaves and getting the world's ugliest pile of logs rearranged into something that looks a little more like a classy redneck's firewood supply..

I'm not going to detail much about the work done because that might lead to mentioning the work still pending. I fear it might remind you of the tale she told you about Augean Stables. (You know who I mean, your high school history teacher, the lady with a mustache and  two dresses, one for each semester.)

I'm not thinking much about it myself because it would ruin two joyful feelings. One is that I can still swing the splitting maul after the accident. The other results from cubic miles of fresh indoor air as the big old 1960s GE window fan races on "high" in front of an open pane.

I'm also trying not to remember the prophesy from the NWS seers, namely that March begins again on Wednesday.

Apr 25, 2013

Hold me bitter and watch this, Cyril

I had a $20 rifle. I spent about ten hours and $50 to turn it into a $65 rifle.  If nothing else it proved that a Brit relic from the Days of Empire could be made less ugly. Grind off protuberances. Polish. Blue. Finish up a semi-inletted stock set  from Herter's final going--out-of-business sale.

The SMLE actually looked nice and sporty, and I fear I was guilty of the sin of pride.

Then comes my friend K over dinner one Friday night and says something like, "Yeah. Looks okay. Too bad it's such a weak action."  (He had been reading one expert gun writer. I had been reading another.)

"Weak action?! I'll show you, you SOB."

Yours Truly to the loading bench in a paleo-Mythbusters mood.

After concocting one round of this load I dug out a spare SMLE and a hank  of cordage. I carried the whole works to the K acreage for the annual sweet corn fest, a great party; folks came from miles around. Some shooting was always a featured attraction before we tapped the kegs.

With much advice (and damned little actual assistance), I lashed the rifle to a tractor tire lying in the shootin' pasture and hitched the pull cord to the trigger. After all, the cartridge about to be chambered was getting awful close to IED territory.

Final bets were placed as the crowd ambled toward whatever shelter was available.   I don't know the details of every wager, but the gist of all was whether  "He'll blow the sh*t out of it."   We didn't burden ourselves with precise definitions of terms. My position was, roughly, that the improbable bomblet would probably stretch the action and create visible but minor damage without "blowing up."


The extractor left for parts unknown. A big hammer was needed to open the bolt and a dowel to pound out the brass. That's not a blowup. I claimed victory. My adversaries said "Well, yeah, but...," and I don't recall ever collecting my winnings.

Then we drank a beer or two and argued about something else.

Apr 24, 2013

Indictment Blizzard Smacks Maryland; Women and Minorities Hardest Hit

Lots of hanky panky going on in a big Baltimore jail. Narco dealing, boffing the guards, and other things that could get a guy locked up.

Thirteen female corrections officers essentially handed over control of a Baltimore jail to gang leaders, prosecutors said. The officers were charged Tuesday in a federal racketeering indictment.

The perps already adjudged guilty of something-- without need of further indictment  -- seem to make up the other 12 accused.  They're reported to be stalwarts of something called the Black Guerrilla Family.

I suppose finding this on the hilarious side makes me insensitive to cultural differences, politically incorrect if you will. Still, there's a redeeming social purpose.

What is more firmly under control of a government than its prisons? If said government cannot even maintain order there, why are we to believe that it will do a better job when placed in charge of free men and women -- our medical care system, access to the means of self-defense, and dietary habits  (care for a Big Gulp?).


Look, Joe Scarborough

The Boston bomber did not "legally buy an M4."  Not at a gun show, gun store, WalMart, or Dunkin' Donuts.

Period. Story over.

Apr 22, 2013

Damn spammerrs

I've turned on comment moderation. It was that or WV, and I think most folks hate that worse than a little delay.

It is strictly to keep the spam out, so if  you're a real person and want to call me a louse, no problem. You'll get through, just a little later.


When the cops get your guns...

I liked the list best -- 114 citizens' guns which wound up in the hands of the Fremont County sheriff's office. it suggests that folks there used to own a lot of  junk, at least those who came to the professional attention of county cops.

But among the rattletrap Rohms and Ravens lurked a SW Model 28-2,  a couple of potentially valuable Ithaca doubles, and some respectable old Winchester and Remington .22s. Not to mention around  a dozen "sawed-off" shotguns.

The sherf says he bought about $1,000 worth of them himself and  -- with court approval -- traded others to a local FFL for stuff his department could use.

It raises questions, and the state auditor is looking into things. No one else in the state bureaucracy is. The Register lede mentions possible criminal violations, but there's merely innuendo about that in the report.

Still, it is a good reminder that Officer Friendly may have a yen to grab your gun just because he thinks it would look nice hanging over the bar in his rumpus room.

And about those "sawed-offs" -- if they were sawed-off enough and transferred to the dealer without NFA paperwork, maybe we ought to send in a bureaucrat with a tape measure, sort of like the Feds did to Randy Weaver.

Apr 21, 2013

Loophole report (Please stand by)

I'll post a picture of the single purchase, a Lee AutoPrime II, one of the few shootin' gizmos that fine old company ever decided to discontinue. Right now I'm off to the loading shack to set it up and get started converting all that shiny and sized brass into a ready terrorism palliative.

I will say it's a goofy looking thing, but knowing Lee as I do, it will undoubtedly work as advertised. Even if it happens not to, I'll be a whopping five bucks in the hole.

Why? Because I couldn't find the No. 4 shell holder for the regular AutoPrime, new or used. Maybe they fell victim to the buying panic, too, since they can be used to restuff 5.56x45 (aka the .223 McNamara Stalemate) for assaultish looking  weapons.

You see, the AP II  uses standard shell holders, the ones you already have for everything you reload. Good idea, Mr. Lee,and I wonder if you have an engineer working on redesigning the AutoPrime to do the same.


Otherwise a rather dull show. I did note some .22 LR staying on the tables when priced at $65  brick.

Apr 20, 2013

The Fun Resumes, or Loopholing in Lutfiskia

It's Worthington again this weekend, one of those small country shows I enjoy.

The only urgent want is a No. 4 shell holder for the Lee Auto Prime, but I'll be in Condition Red for primers and powder. Given our experience at loopholes since the election, I am not optimistic.

I'm still looking for an interesting piece to shoot all that .38 Special cluttering up the place. The snubbie in residence will set it off, but since when is any Taurus interesting?  Again, not cheery, and here we enter the realm of legality against the recent  (if DOA) congressional discussion of allowing interstate sales of handguns, at least to  concealed-carry holders.

As you know, Mr. FFL can sell you an assaulty looking rifle with a zillion-bullet clip anywhere you travel. But he is forbidden to transfer an Old Model Ruger Black Hawk to you unless you reside in his state.  (Capacity five bullets plus $20 buryin' money rolled in the chamber under the hammer.)  Your CCW makes no difference.

The practical effect of that is that buying one at Worthington would create two felons, me and the dealer,  whereas if the show happened just 11 miles south, a foot over the state line, we would instead be a pair of exemplary citizens.

It would be nice to kill that illogicality, but in the current climate I doubt it will even go kof-kof for attention.

In fact, post-Boston, I don't see how we can avoid another defensive stand on at least a couple of fronts. Congressthings will find teevee time and perhaps votes by demanding trackers in in our IMR 3031. They'll also covet background checks and registration every time we need a fresh pound of Unique.

In an evil way I'm looking forward to the first drive to take black powder off the market. Someone like Senator Feinstein will announce that if we ban it there will be no more. That should give one of us a chance to work up the shortest riposte of the year: Bat shit.  

Apr 19, 2013

I'm the NRA and I will Overkumbayah

Is this guy a confused, sloppy writer? Or a master of the droll?

But no one was more adamant about their hatred for the NRA than MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell who last night accused the civil rights group of aiding and abetting the terrorist(s) responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings.

Wayne LaPierre stands tall at the Lincoln Memorial. "I have a dreeeeeem....". A misty image of Charlton Heston slowly descends  behind him. A million snaggle-tooth rednecks wave their AR15s and chant in hypnotic rhythm,

 "What do we want?"

"Thirty Rounds!"

"When do we want it?"



This guy takes a reasonably accurate shot at O'Donnell. I watched a bit of Larry's spit fest. I found new limits to my admiration for him, MSNBC, television "news" in general, and the entire spectrum of far-left opportunists.


Even with the aid of cable news, I'm not quite able to create a satisfactory  analysis of what's going on out there.

I will venture only one point.

Having to rob a Seven-11 and steal a getaway car does not bespeak the work of a sophisticated internatonal terror cartel.

Much more like, "Brother, I am becoming bored. Let us go out and kill some people like Uncle Csgozch did back in the old country."

Apr 17, 2013

Why we're broke

We don't want to get too insular. Beyond the Second Amendment debate, the usual quota of federal idiocy continues, and Old NFO has a nice take plus a useful summary on Paul Ryan's suggestions for keeping America out of the Greek bath house.

H/T Tam

A better gun bill?

Breaking news. This just in to WTMR News Central:

Sens. Grassley of Iowa and Cruz of Texas just popped a news release onto our desk. It announces their last-minute amendment to the Obama Administration's gun bill.

I've taken time to read only the contents section, but the money fact is that it appears to attack violence without a useless pretense of background checks.

It needs to fit into the already-set machinery, and I haven't the vaguest guess about its prospects.

I never write much about Grassley, though I like him personally and consider him -- at worst --  one of the better men serving in Congress. A lot of us wish we could we could pry him away from his love affair with mandated ethanol and other welfare schemes for the ag industry. (He has a down-home awww-shucks demeanor which occasionally moves the literati to write him off as a hick. Usually they do it only once, chastened by the embarrassment of wondering what to do with that bundle he hands them. "Will my detached Ivy League ass fit  in my attache case?")

Don't know much about Cruz except that he sometimes has an impolitic mouth. To be expected, I suppose. After all, he's elected from the same state that once hired Ann Richardson's to govern the place.

Mere near

Sometimes I empathize with reporters trying to do a good job. Take Alan Fram of the AP for example.  He was assigned the overnighter on today's scheduled votes on  S.649 -- the Big Gun Control Bill. As is known from here to Planet Zangaro, the key to this thing is the Manchin/Toomey amendment to dink around with Feinstein's original language on background checks.

Like everyone else in the media, Fram probably began by buying the Obama adjective  "universal,"  then switched to "enhanced" and "expanded" when even the anti-rights left quietly abandoned  -- as untenable -- their lie that the checks would be within a dozen parsecs of universality. And that led the poor ink-stained wretch to:

"Just over half the public — 52 percent — expressed disapproval in the new survey of how President Barack Obama has handled gun laws. Weeks after the Newtown slayings, Obama made a call for near universal background checks the heart of his gun control plan."

"Near universal" is a valiant effort, but an impossibility in a context of reason, as in the emo mother's wail that dear sweet Snooki is nearly a virgin but, unforunately, also nearly pregnant.

Even competent journalists must work in a linguistic setting controlled by the loudest liars on every side of a hot issue. That's not because they necessarily want to, but because their sound-bite-conditioned audiences expect it, a general readership that, in fact, would be lost without buzz words.

And reporters themselves become similarly conditioned.  They shouldn't, but they do. That's one reason you never read a mass-media report that the term "        (adjective)  background check" is, all by itself, a lie.

It does not examine your "background." It scans records compiled by bureaucrats and associated -- correctly or otherwise -- with your name. The same sorts of records kept by the same sorts of data entry drones that screw up your bank balance, credit record, IRS standing, medical history, and even from time to time, criminal history.

Even with 100 per cent accuracy, the Inner Party's database has a probability of being irrelevant to "who you are."  Take mine. I have a 23-year rap sheet consisting of guilty pleas to two nefarious failures to heed a snow-removal ordinance plus a speeding bust. This proves irresponsibility -- the very quality Sen. Feinstein believes prima facie evidence of unfitness to bear arms. Think that's a silly argument? Please recall a New York effort a few years ago to deny gun permits to folks who failed to pay parking tickets on time.


Back to you, Alan of the AP: Take no offense. That piece is a good summary of what we face in the Senate today. Besides, I'll bet that in a world less saturated with meaning-free gobbledygook, you wouldn't even think of typing "near universal." 


For  meticulous followers of the Senate sausage mill, the Manchin/Toomey amendment is S.Amdt 714 to Feinstein's main bill which is S.649.  The media reports that eight votes will be taken today, and if you have the stomach to follow closely, the bill itself and all amendments are detailed here.

Apr 16, 2013

If it helps us evaluate the quality of information we're getting from our electric teevee sets about whodunit in Boston, we might consider this:

For a few days, the prosecutor shootings in Kaufman County, Texas, commanded the air waves. Virtually every on-air performer conveyed the notion that our culprit was a cabal of racist, ex-con, anti-government, gun-clinging skinheads.

Upon further review, authorities and the media now suggest that the prime suspect is a fat, middle-age, former government employee with hair, a law degree, and a conviction for stealing government computers.

So no matter who Rachel Maddow decides to blame for the Boston bombs during any given on-camera take, we might want to reserve judgement.

Apr 15, 2013


Without drama, in the absence of  televison cameras, some Boston people  you never heard of, and never will, make a difference --  undoubtedly more of a difference all of the horrified on-air performers and grandstanding politicians combined.

A simple Google place  offering a bed and a meal to other Americans and guests displaced by the terror bombing near Copley Square.

Tip-up porn

I'd have to be more careful with shot placement if I ever had to use one in a serious minx-up, but this little Beretta has always given me a mildly serious case of want. I couldn't begin to articulate why, maybe just an unhealthy fixation on oddballs.

I think it was Matt Helm who once found himself in one of those interminable arguments about "What caliber for (whatever)?" He brushed it off with, "You can kill an elephant with a .22 Short if you're willing to wait for the poor thing to bleed to death." Only metaphorically true, of course, but it makes a point.

A Monday Morning Mash

1. My friend John in ultra-urban Arizona spent hours looking for .22 Shorts for his friend who owns a Beretta Minx. This crap has been going on for a long time now -- long enough to get me questioning my usual iron resistance to goofy conspiracy theories.

2.I'll ask her to do something about the slightly frizzy hair, but Rep. Martha Blackburn of Tennessee will be offered a high position in my First Administration. This morning on the teevee she characterized the Gosnell murder/abortion case as 'horrible" rather than "horrific." This persuades me she might refrain from  using "impact" as a verb. In this language-murdering 21st Century, that qualifies anyone for cabinet-level office.

3.  Global warming, anyone? The Plains weather continues to suck. If this kind of weather hangs on for a few more weeks, we're only a middlin' Tambora eruption from a rerun of 1800-and-froze-to-death. If you look at your weather graphic on your telescreen, you'll see a splotch of white about the size of Europe splashed across the country from Oklahoma up to the western Great Lakes. That's real snow, cold and pearly white, reflecting heat back into space at a time when The Good Earth should be soaking up warmth for the 2013 growing season. We'll probably be okay, of course, but it never hurts to remind the climate politicians of how little it takes turn an 8,000-mile diameter rock into a pretty snowball.

4. Nothing else impacts on my mind this morning. So have a nice day if you can, otherwise endure.

Apr 14, 2013

Shall I shoot the bastard?

The fellow in St. George, Utah, did not. He racked his pistol slide.The burglar  ran.The homeowner gave chase. The thug tripped and the homeowner held him under the gun until police arrived.

I call that a near-perfect result, although I understand an opposing view that anyone who invades your bedroom at 4:45 a.m. needs killing, and even that this world is an incrementally better place for each violent criminal who is quickly and economically dispatched to the next. 

That incident is the peg on which the AP's Adam Geller hangs a report on the various views of armed self defense.  While is far from a bad report, it manages to avoid two points most of us find important.

(1) Geller cites studies and experts (often self-styled) who argue that because America suffers less reported crime now than 20 years ago, the need for armed self-defense  is reduced.

This confuses two separate issues. Fewer thugs doing violent things across a nation of 320 million souls is a welcome fact but meaningless to exactly one decent human being facing a criminal in an existential moment when his choice is life or death.  Phrased less abstractly: "This son of a bitch is in my house, threatening me and mine. Killing him immediately is one of my legitimate choices." There couldn't much urge at that moment to ponder the latest FBI crime report. 

(2) Geller reports that more Americans are arming themselves for purposes of self-defense than 20 years ago*  but misses the opportunity to explore the fact as one cause of reduced crime. 

Again,  you and I are in familiar territory here, although the generality of wire service readers probably is not. 

A thief or rapist or killer wants what is yours, but he wants it minimum risk. While he is willing to risk arrest and a protracted trip trough the criminal justice system, he is loathe to chance immediate career termination via  "bang" -- a would-be victim's gun. He looks for the truly unarmed victim from  little gun-free zones to big places governed by such as the Sullivan Act.

It would be more fun to snark the Geller piece to death, but, as I said, it seems to be a honest effort to contribute something useful to the debate.

Apr 12, 2013

Pass it to know what's in it...

Remember about 36 hours ago, before the cloture vote, some of us were  missing and poaning about not being able to find an actual text of the bill to disarm everyone except criminals?

It turns out we had company in high places.

Mike Lee of Utah -- pretty much on our side -- brought up the minor detail. Frisco Feinstein said me too, but it seemed to bother her less.

Apr 11, 2013

Memo to the IRS

Welcome to my blog, and I hope you enjoy reading it more than I enjoyed  sending you that check day before yesterday. It again amounted to the price of a very nice Colt 1911 which, as you may know, is a robust yet concealable  heavy-caliber weapon capable of accepting high capacity magazines.

(It usually doesn't,  because most fellows like me tend to tuck it in our pants and a special big magazine is uncomfortable. Too, a magazine in my pants that sticks out a long ways may, depending on exact positioning, confuse certain onlookers about my social intentions.)

But anyway,  as I say, welcome to my site, and I really don't care if you read it because when I publish something  to one and all, I think I agree with you that I indeed do give up what you fellas and gals are calling an "expectation of privacy."

Now, about my email:

Piss off.

If the first place, it's none of your damned business what I write to the pretty lady in Ohio.

In the second,  you are wasting money. Even if i did forget to report the profit (about $8.50 if I recall correctly) from that garage sale I held back in 1997, I doubt I would detail it in an electronic letter to my spiritual advisor or my vet.

One of your lawyer guys defends your sneaking, unconstitutional practices with,

"...if a service provider fought the (subpoena only, no warrant)  search request, it would likely result in "protracted litigation," meaning that any leads from the emails would be "stale" if the IRS ever obtained them."

So, you mean that all you have to do is claim administrative inconvenience as an excuse to pry open every confidence of my life and I'm supposed to light up with an awed understanding. Like Zing go the strings of my heart?   

Still grinding the gun-politics sausage

Let us honor the filibuster. Think of it as a precautionary dose of Valium to be taken before doing something massively stupid.  Or counting to ten before you ballkick the boss.

You don't even need to use it. The mere threat settles things down. Three weeks ago, it looked like the left would insist on trying to gut the Second Amendment and, in consequence, face at least 41 senators saying "no" at great length and handing HIs Ineptness the place where the pants fit tight.

That would have been the optimum result, but it really wasn't in the cards. The national drama contest  after Newtown all but guaranteed that we would lose something, just as did the World Trade Center bombing.  When the mobs circle up for a an intense tear jerk, it's hard to stop them, harder yet when they're led by  our wet-eyed national primo and his dependable cadre.

At the moment it appears we will lose something but could actually gain a mite from the Toomey-Manchin "compromise" designed to ward off the filibuster. The New York Times reports:

The bill also enhances some gun rights. For instance, it would allow gun owners who have undergone background checks within the past five years for a concealed-carry permit to use the permit to buy guns in other states, and it would relax some of the restrictions on hunters traveling with their guns through states that do not permit them. It would also allow active members of the military to buy firearms in their home states, currently prohibited when they are stationed outside their state.

Tearing down the iron curtains of state borders for interstate gun purchasing  is long overdue, even if it depends on holding a Mommy-May-I Card from our state bureaucrats.* So is expansion and clarification of the federal innocent-passage doctrine. 

What we lose is our right to make our own judgements about people to whom we, as private citizens,  can responsibly sell or trade our guns. In return, America will gain precisely nothing. Inter-thug trading in Glocks will continue merrily, especially in neighborhoods like ones our president organized before beginning his climb up the federal pay scale.

The content of the Senate bill as reported here needs to be viewed cautiously. A wide internet ramble turns up no actual legislative language..

The Toomey web site is as close as I can come to a draft of the legislation.  I suppose you can trust it to the extent you can trust any elected nabob to tell you the truth.

 (The actual bill may not yet be written. Picture Mountain-Dewed young staff munchkins spending this night hunched over word processors, large bags of chemically flavored  corn chips close at hand.)


*I hope no one reminds the gun-ban left of a consequence they can't see. When the state CCW becomes some sort of national pass for firearms purchases, the demand for them will soar. Okay by me, but I expect the Feinstein gang will develop  a new interest in the price of Depends.

Apr 8, 2013

Dry-fire your way to misery

It's a coincidence on a par with His Ineptness uttering two coherent sentences on the same day.  Two bunged-up firing chambers on two pretty .22s purchased at the same loophole? Impossible.

Both the Challenger and the Speedmaster went shooting with us Saturday. The pistol worked only as an awkward single shot. A round would chamber but not extract. The rifle wouldn't chamber a round at all. In firearms, looks usually don't lie, and these two were stunners for ~1960s production, moderately used, carefully cleaned and maintained.

And dry-fired by click-happy mad men. Each carried a disabling burr at the firing pin strike point. The good news is that both Browning and Remington made barrel removal easy.  A few cautious strokes with a fine rat tail file and a finish polish of 220 emery smoothed things up.

I knew the Challenger fired dependably despite the slight indentation left by the uncushioned firing pin, but I was worried about the  Remington, unnecessarily as it turned out.

Lesson emphasized: We click our .22s at our peril.


Fortunately we took lots more iron with us, so the afternoon was in no sense lost. The grandson got a plenitude of coaching as he broke in his new 10-22, but he seemed to enjoy it anyway.


And after a hard day of creating noise and smoke, what could be more relaxing than a nice ride over the lakes and the spring countryside in J & K's new 182?

Sure, I rather approved of Margaret Thatcher, but

I can save you quite a bit of time this morning if you're the sort of person who gets up, pours a coffee, and clicks the electric teevee in hopes of getting a general sense of what is happening in the world today.

Across all three cable news channels there is but one story, the passing of Ms. Thatcher. Friends, I'm afraid she's going to be dead almost as long as Michael Jackson. 

So you can safely leave your Telescreen blank and go do something useful. 

There is one exception. CNN decided that one other news development was worth a long treatment. They have hired Anthony Bourdain to do some fly-in-and-eat shows for them. 

Apr 7, 2013

But is is art?

                  "Still Life on Tractor"

         (From the artist's later bang period.)

Apr 4, 2013

A clip full of toilet paper, if you please Ma'am

We've all been subjected to a good a deal of deep, dynamic, unalloyed ignorance in the current debate.

We're used to it, of course. Every Second Amendment rights defender  is continually explaining facts at a kindergarten level.  "And the bullet goes round and round and it comes out here..."

Anyone who hasn't isn't in the game.

Occasionally, however,  despair is understandable. Somewhere in Colorado, adult Americans elected Diana to public office.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO): "I will tell you these are ammunition, they’re bullets, so the people who have those now they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available."

Setting aside the basic illiteracy of  "...these are ammunition," has this woman actually sat through the lengthy debate in America's  highest councils and come away assured that firearms magazines are as reusable as Charmin?

When dumb goes that deep, I doubt the synapses can be repaired. Stitch her lips shut. Roll her west from Wolf Creek Pass. Just to see if she makes it all the way to Pagosa Springs.

Note on the formerly free state of Connecticut

As written by free men and women some years ago:

Connecticut gun code of 1650:

"All persons shall bear arms, and every male person shall have in continual readiness a good muskitt or other gunn, fitt for service." 


As written this week by a quite different breed:

The bill text is here

It is tough going but probably essential reading. If you can't be bothered, I suppose a fair summary is this: "Your natural right of armed self-defense as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed; you may or may not be granted a limited privilege of preserving your life and property. We, your elected and appointed masters,will decide."

Crying solves nothing, but a tear or two here would not open you to any important criticism. 

Apr 2, 2013

It takes a Smith and Wesson to Beat the Sugar Shack Blues

The main problem here is a feeling like I'm getting to be a liberal hippie with a Gibson knockoff strapped to my 10-speed, looking for a commune and humming something by Joan Baez while dreaming of world peace and free love achieved by  eating nuts and berries and crapping in a hole in the ground.

About the only way I can restore psychic balance is by keeping in mind that real maple syrup is getting expensive enough to attract thieves.

That justifies strapping on the SW 645 and threading my macho saddle-leather belt through the slots on the tactical magazine holder -- the one that holds my extra clips back and forth like a real 21st Century ninja rather than up and down like an old Elmer Fudd.  I'm cocked and locked on sap-bucket patrol. Come on, Maple Mob, make my day.


It was supposed to be lower key than this. I figured two silver maple taps would get me a couple gallons of sap. I'd boil it down to two ounces and check one more thing off the bucket list.

Think about the Guinness tap in a busy Galway pub on Saturday night.

The sap ran free on Day One, and that night I reduced two gallons or so to about a pint of not-yet-syrup. Friends, that stuff is good, even at that thin stage.

So four more taps -- which produced nothing for 48 hours of wrong weather, then, today, better than eight gallons. It's all on the stove now, three burners worth in the three biggest pots I own. The crock pot is pressed into duty as a pre-heater. There's still a gallon of raw material in the refrigerator. And the taps continue to drip. I understand Mary Shelley better now.

It looks like I'll go on this way until Thursday when the weather gets wrong again and the buds get more robust. (The internet tells me  budding-tree sap sucks; the season is over.)

TBC, he says as he ambles off to put on a camo sweat shirt and dry fire his big, dangerous pistol. Whistling  Kumbayah.

Apr 1, 2013

A Happy Birthday to you, Time

On this date in 1988, the first edition of Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time was published.

Thank you, Dr. Hawking. I have read it three times. I confess that some of it is still somewhat unclear to me. (Who the Hell am I kidding?  I mean most of it.) But at least my cosmic ignorance of the universe can now be expressed more elegantly and in much larger words.

In the introduction to a later edition, Hawking reports with a certain measure of pride that he has sold more books on physics than Madonna has on sex. It occurs to me that I have read none of hers. And it further occurs that sex as she seems to understand it might cause me as many puzzled frowns as does the cosmological  wormhole.

Letter to Pyongyang

Dear Kim:

We're trying to think of a  nice new name for Pyongyang if you really decide to point a missle at us.

So far, "Crater Lake" is leading in all the polls.