Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

One of the photos at the CBS.com page would only be two-thirds as surreal without the random banner ad that popped up under it.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This.


If someone is trying to take your gun, it's Game On. You're all the way in it, right then. They're not trying to get it so they can trade it for a coupon for sneakers or video games at the next police turn-in.

The Protocols of the Elders of WTF?

Oh, Seattle! You're the best! California used to be the home of looniness in this country, but the Bay Area is now the home of stodgy establishment companies like Apple and Google, while the epicenter of hippie weirdness has obviously migrated north since the Summer of Love.

First you have the mayor pardoning a Tofurky for WASP Imperialism Day, and then you have your own Ferguson protests, where some banner-carryin' Seattleites show they're down for the cause of what is this I can't even:

Whaaaarrrgarrrbblll!
Jesus, it's like a reflex with these people. I'm kinda surprised they didn't manage to work George Bush in there somehow.
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Remember: It's not _______ when we do it!

So the New York Times had a bit up back in June that I just now discovered (it takes a while for the mail coach to get from civilized Manhattan to the old Northwest Frontier) in which they rank the counties of the US in "livability" based on several factors, such as education, median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy, obesity, and distance in kilometers from Central Park.

I made that last one up, actually.

You'll note that it's very cultured and Progressive to say that the best places to live are where there are high household incomes, good education, and a minimum of obesity and folks on disability. Conversely, it would be the height of Conservative bigotry to say that you don't want to live around poor fat dumb crippled malingerers.
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Monday, November 24, 2014

Streaming Video...

From FaceBook:
msnbc has live video
15 mins · Like
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Two cop cars with all the windows busted out, several dozen bricks thrown at the po-po.
11 mins · Like
Man, the holiday lights make for a surreal riot.
11 mins · Like · 3
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ProTip: When the po-po say "Get your ass out of the street and stop throwing things at law enforcement or you will be arrested!" what they're trying to tell you is to "Get your ass out of the street and stop throwing things at law enforcement or you will be arrested!" It's not in code.
6 mins · Like · 4
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Hey! Officer Friendly and whoever's playing Center Field for the rioters: Be careful where you lob those pyrotechnic CS grenades. You catch a vehicle or building on fire and shit will get real in a hurry.
EDIT: Cop car on fire. It's like I'm psychic.

Overheard in the Restaurant...

The view from the Bistro's porch. We ate inside because 40mph winds.
Went out for lunch at the Canal Bistro with Bobbi today, because I was nursing a serious saganaki mojo.

She had a Greek salad and a gyro and, having polished off my seared cheese, I ordered a cup of Turkish coffee to sip while she finished her meal. Well, having paid, I was lost in thought nursing my third thimble-full of prescription strength caffeine when she asked if I was ready to go.

Me: "Huh? Oh, okay..." *slugs down remainder of fincan*

RX: "You're not supposed to chug that!"

Me: "It's okay..."

RX: "What's your heart rate?"

Me: *checks carotid pulse* "About normal."

RX: "And that's...?"

Me: "I dunno. Two-, maybe three-hundred beats per minute?"
"Hang on, updating Facebook status."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

♪♫ Movin' on u-up! ♪♫

♪♫To a de-luxe leather driver's seat in the sky!♪♫

So, as Bobbi has alluded to several times, her Hyundai Accent was reaching that point where the various urgently needed repairs would probably cost a multiple of the vehicle's NADA book value and even were they done, she'd still be left with a rusty '02 Korean penalty box.

The "To-Do" list on the dry erase board in the kitchen had featured "CAR" for quite some time and so, when her friend the Data Viking came down to visit yesterday, we turned "let's go look at cars before the movie" into "we can watch the movie next weekend, let's you go 'head and buy a car and get this done with."

She settled on an older Lexus RX300, with high miles but good service records and super clean & straight. At her average monthly mileage, it's likely got another five to ten years left in it with proper maintenance, and while it's the FWD-only variant, it's got a lot more ground clearance for the snowy alley than the Accent did.


I'm not going to lie that part of what had me show her the RX was the way she insisted that the new vehicle be winter-capable and able to take 8-foot lengths of pine board, but also every time she got to talking about the Jaguar XJ6 she had back in the day, her eyes would get all unfocused and misty as she'd describe the hushed comfort of the leather-lined cockpit. I think that Lexus's crossover ute could probably satisfy both yearnings pretty well. We're getting into winter weather here, and Bobbi deserves the joys of seat heaters in her life.

There's the added bonus that Euro Motor Works, the shop that did such a great job helping me out with the Z3, advertises that they want you to think of them "as the "dealership alternative" for service on your fine European or Lexus vehicle," so she can get it worked on there for projects too big to tackle at home.

(Another Plus: Working on starship engines sometimes requires going out into bad traffic at odd hours or in awful weather, and I'm also not going to lie that I feel better knowing she's doing it in something that gets much more stellar ratings in NHTSA crash tests than the Accent.)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sorry 'bout that...

Been out most of the day today helping Bobbi go car shopping.

Alas, despite leaving behind me a careful trail of grappa and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano leading to Roseholme Cottage, neither one of these beasties followed us home.
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Fairly Unbalanced

The Pauline Kael Award for the week goes to Sophia McClennan at Salon.com for this piece, yet another turgid, smug rendition of "Ha-ha, stupid NASCAR-Americans and their talk radio and Fox News!"

The money quote:
"And despite the hype, it is not Stewart, Colbert and Oliver who are stirring up the partisan spin.  Sure they attack Fox News, sure they call out the outrageous positions of many Republicans, but they go after the Democrats too."
That's right! They call out the outrageous positions of Republicans for being too conservative, but they also go after Democrats for not being liberal enough. If that's not bipartisan, I don't know what is!
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Isn't he the Decider, though?

I swear to gawd, in order to talk politics in this country, you need to have a spectacular case of selective amnesia.

Let's cast our minds back a few years, okay? Here are a couple visual aids:

 




Remember? That stuff really happened, right? Other people remember it, too, and I'm not in some strange parallel universe where it didn't happen?

Because this morning I have liberal commentators smugly and self-righteously talking about the virtues of the executive branch taking unilateral action in the face of a balky legislature. Meanwhile, conservatives are engaging in an orgy of pearl-clutching and all but throwing themselves on the floor in a hold-my-breath-until-I-turn-blue hissy fit about how "[w]e have a monarch, not a President, and impeachment is the only viable solution."

Jeeze, looking around, you'd think that this was some kind of unprecedented constitutional crisis and the executive and legislative branches had never been at loggerheads before.
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Lucky Gun

I have to agree with this post. If the only reason you're thinking outside the box is because your box is all busted and you fell out one of the holes, you need to get it fixed so it works right before you go thinking outside it.

I mean, I like the idea of a CCW pistol that has an integrated light and laser and is devoid of sharp corners, but...
  • A pistol-mounted flashlight is a pretty specialized tool, and one that Cletus and Lurlene (and Officers Cletus and Lurlene) all too often think turns his or her pistol into a flashlight. No, Cletus, it's for illuminating things you're shooting at while both hands are hanging onto the gun; the flashlight in your pocket is for flashlighting stuff. If you're waving your gun around under your car looking for your dropped keys, it's time to start wondering whether you need to be trusting yourself with a gat in public.

  • An included pocket/belt clip. Because that's what people need more encouragement to do: Carry guns with unprotected trigger guards in poorly-secured ways that allow them to go clattering across the food court floor with sometimes noisy consequences, like that guy in Knoxville with the derringer back in the day.

  • No sights. Don't even get me started about your point-shooting gun-fu. Sure, maybe you'll need the gun to shoot some dude at contact distance... and maybe you'll need to shoot back at some looney tune dressed like a Batman villain halfway across a movie theater, in which case aren't you going to feel a little silly...

  • ...with a 12-ounce .380 sporting a twelve-pound trigger? I mean, yeah, I carry a little .380 with a graunchy DAO trigger... in my coat pocket in winter, just in case I can't get to the real pistol under my coat in time.
Little guns like this are great for backup guns or if your workplace/lifestyle make it absolutely impractical to carry something bigger, but all too often they're used by folks who view them as ballistic lucky rabbit's feet.  This little pistol is aimed squarely at that demographic.
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