Dec 31, 2014

Ogden Nash: Realist

Tonight’s December thirty-first,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it's midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year!

Nevertheless, Happy New Year, Friends.  As Travis McGee observed, sometimes a guy gets lucky.

Dec 24, 2014

Proving that low-cap magazines are also dangerous

I tend to doubt the chief said this, but who knows? Anyway, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch alerts its readers to the next big thing in guns-that-ought-to-be-illegal:

He (the local police chief) also said the 9 mm gun found on the suspect had five rounds in the chamber and one round in the magazine. He also said the gun was "defaced."

Somewhere in the nation's Capital someone is drafting a new law to forbid private ownership of high-capacity chambers.

Eh, Representative Pelosi?  Eh Senators Schumer and  Warren? Those things can be even more lethal than shoulder thingies that go up.

Another Shot in the Dark (or) Fleet Street Explains All

One event.  Two headlines and two ledes:


Tense scenes in Missouri after police shoot another black teen 


(Reuters) - An 18-year-old black man was shot and killed by police late on Tuesday at a gas station in a St. Louis suburb near where unarmed teen Michael Brown was killed by a white officer in August, police and local media said.



BERKELEY, Mo. (AP) -- A suburban St. Louis police officer shot and killed a man who pointed a gun at him at a gas station, police said.

Well done, Reporter  Suhr, with a nod to your editors on the St. Louis bureau night desk.


Each version appeared about the same time, shortly before 7 a.m. Each reporter  had access to the same information.

It took Reuters five paragraphs to get to the second most important point: The dead man had pointed a pistol at the cop.   Reporter Johnson and his editors decided Ferguson and  its protests were more important than the apparent facts in their spot news report. What's a little incitement to riot  when you are reaching for headline drama?

Dec 21, 2014

From my drystone hut

I woad my pistol with blue bullets and dream of the gentle Celtic maiden.

(The Solstice is an unpropitious day on which to announce yourself as an Angle. Or Saxon.)

Dec 19, 2014

The Pocket Pool Caper

I agree with my rulers in the federal trademark office. The brand name ComfyBalls is vulgar.

But in a saner world the federal language police would never be involved. We would all express our  attitudes by buying or refusing to buy pouched panties for vain males because of the name, price, or product merits.

In money, the bureaucratic dance is too small to move the needle on the most sensitive tax-money pissaway meter, but I still wish someone would pop for an audit. I suspect denying the Norwegians their trademark cost something like the price of a small bridge or a few month's of supply for a company of Marines.

Hmmmm. If I decided to build a money meter and called it the "Pissaway," would the feds send me nasty letters and later, if I refused to comply, nasty cops?


Please don't tell me about a "legitimate state interest" in forbidding coarse language and conduct. If you do I'll start yammering about Congressman Weiner and so forth.


I wonder if the Norwegians really designed ComfyBalls to more comfortably house a rolled-up odd sock.

Dec 18, 2014

Private to Tam

The EM. You're almost there,  Sweetheart.

With only a little more technological devolution you'll be psychologically ready for an F.

A most versatile camera. For instance, if you misplace your hammer in the spring, the Nikon will serve to pound your tomato stakes. (Best Practice Recommendation: Remove the Tn viewfinder, if so equipped,  first.)

Try THAT with your Leica Arrrrgh4.


Dec 16, 2014

Most depressing; guns all over the place

Down Under

This guy Monis is a follower of Mohammad, maybe only incidentally to the point here.

Not incidentally,  he has long been credibly implicated in hate-mail harassment, rape, and murder. He is also a resident of an Australia approaching its third decade of "no guns" -- except for guys like him, thugs.

One of the first guns Canberra banned back in the 1990s was the pump shotgun,  which is what Monis used to take a restaurant full of hostages and set off a three-fatality scuffle down in Sydney yesterday.  He invaded the joint knowing that none of his victims had the slightest chance of opposing him with equal force. Law-abiding subjects of the Queen, they meekly surrendered their self-defense rights years ago.

He would have lacked that confidence in much of the United States where any large random gathering may easily contain a few law-abiding citizens of the Republic, armed and quite willing to meet his force with their own.

No one pretends that victims shooting back create soft and lovely resolutions to murderous situations. When a thug waves his gun, any time, any place, the atmosphere becomes ugly and bloody,  but some immediate equality of force between the good guys and the bad leads to the chance of a better solution than, "Oh My, Cyril, I do hope someone has notified the authorities."

His religion is mentioned above only to highlight the handiest excuse for Hellish evil, the faith factor, not exclusive to Islam.  His lawyer explains:

"This is a one-off random individual ... “His ideology is just so strong and so powerful that it clouds his vision for common sense and objectiveness,” the lawyer said.

Or, in other words, if your deity tells you to do something, go ahead, no matter how horrid. We will understand and make appropriate allowances.


In Newtown

One of the back doors to citizen disarmament  has for decades been intimidation of the industry that makes self-defense possible. A thug commits mayhem, sue the businesses.

And no nonsense seems too weak for a certain kind of special pleader:

“The AR-15 was specifically engineered for the United States Military to meet the needs of changing warfare,” attorney Josh Koskoff said in a release. “In fact, one of the Army’s specifications for the AR-15 was that it has the capability to penetrate a steel helmet.”

As though that is something new and  awesomely surprising.

Josh, it gives me a certain amount of pain to tab you as an historical  illiterate, or a charlatan, or both. (Though, on second thought, not all that much pain.) Military and civilian desire for powerful projectiles goes back at least  to the earliest days of the steel helmet. We can easily imagine a  Camelot wherein Arthur pines for a crossbow bolt powerful enough to "penetrate the steel helmet" of Lancelot  for diddling Guenevere. It is all very unpleasant, but hardly a cogent legal argument.

You may or may not get some mileage out of your negligent entrustment theory, but you merely pollute the atmosphere with bullshit when you spew such steel-helmet nonsense, probably designed, now that I think about it,  to begin polluting the jury pool.  Nothing like a good round of hysteria to get folks in a proper lynching mood.

Dec 13, 2014

Sin and Degradation in Everly

As you can imagine, it is a challenge to write about this without descending into the most adolescent depths of punnery.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office says a 17-year-old juvenile female is accused of supplying the vodka-soaked cherries to a 16-year-old juvenile male.

I limit myself to observing once again that some guys have all the luck.

Dec 11, 2014

Hip-Hop a Be-Bop

Well, that didn't work out quite like our government  planned. I guess Guantanamera doesn't sound cool in rap time. As well, Cuba is just too damned hot for break dancing.

The CIA needs  to get together with USAID and rethink, to seek a rilly rilly creative idea .

... Hey! I know! Let's put some itching powder in Fidel's wet suit.

Dec 6, 2014

Nautical Distractions (6)

Immediate drama is over for the youngest heir to Camp Jiggleview, of which I am Commandant.

He graduated from boot camp. We had an excellent visit and celebration at Great Lakes and environs. Now  he begins learning to just grind it out. Metaphor for life as well as an accurate description of most of the military experience.

It comes easier with compatible companions.

A Most Organic Loophole

A pretty fair bargain, a classy bullet for the M1 Carbine and zippy little loads for the 94 lever gun.

At 11 cents per, I'd have bought them regardless.  but the deal was instantly sealed when the seller warranted that every grain was certified gluten free. My continued good health is assured.

(Courtesy of a Facebook friend I learn that Whole Foods sells only gluten-free body lotions.)

And then there was a a fin* frittered away on the very rewarding...

No one needed to tell me this would be cage-free history. Benny has proven to me over many volumes that when he lays an egg it won't plop gently on to a padded and computer controlled conveyor belt.  You need to kick through the farm yard to find it. Bennie (All his closest friends call him Hef Benny. ) billed himself as a "social historian."

If that has any meaning at all, I guess he was.  While he frames his histories with fact, he adds all sorts of little pastels about why the characters do what they do. He's pretty good at it, but I suppose that just means I usually agree with him. For instance, while he goes easy on individual Mormons, you should read his nuclear attack on Mormonism.

(It fits logically into his bigger purpose, 1846 as a crucial year. Polk steals huge tracts of northern Mexico because whipping Santa Anna was a lock; Polk chickens out of 54-40 or fight and meekly settles for 49 degrees because he wasn't sure we could whip Britain; The Mormons move slowly and incompetently to Deseret; John C. Fremont again proves himself a Great American Dumbass.   And so forth.)

I recommend DeVoto. Keenly.

Yeah, it came from a home equipped with a large economy size Baldor grinder, but it cost almost nothing. Navy, RH Pal, 36. Mk 1.  I bought it partially to remind me to remind you that the "R-H" stands for "Remington - Hunting" and that it was retained by PAL when it gobbled up  Remington Cutlery.

... also to make sure my advice would be correct as to tightening up the dried-out leather rings which had shrunk enough for a quarter-inch of end play. You boil the handle  for a few minutes, then oil it with SAE 5. This also removes all traces of deadly gluten.


*fin = $5 in old-time hipster talk