Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Banned from the pond jump?

A couple of weeks back, Daughter found this guy in a water shut-off box.  (Click photos for full image.)

Somehow, the little amphib had lost his right "hand", and just had a stub at the end of his "forearm".  It didn't seem to dampen his enthusiasm or mobility, although there were some other toads that didn't want him competing in the pond jump.

The Back Forty, north of The South 40:

More importantly, across the street from Chicken-E!

Just when you think you've got a bad job, consider working as a steam presser at a dry clean store in August:

Back when trucks were made of metal:


So, the loop-levered carbine, favored sidearm of Lucas McCain, Josh Randall, and Rooster Cogburn - well, it wasn't actually used in the Old West - it's a Hollywood invention.

Fifteen or so years ago I flirted with the idea of customizing my '94 or a Marlin with a loop lever, but after some thought concluded that spending [then] $140 for the lever, plus fitting/gunsmithing costs, wasn't such a good investment.

Probably for the best.

Ted for Veep?

Even though another round of  'Condi for VP' rumors have made their way around the talking head circuit, it appears the former NSA and SecState is resolutely uninterested in the job.  Which is probably a shame, because she is better qualified for the job than the current incumbent and his boss, in addition to the last 12 months' worth of Republican wannabe challengers.  And she'd doubtless bring some much needed energy and excitement to the R ticket.

But, as my folks taught me, "if a lady says 'no', it means 'no'".  Although, in politics, this may not be strictly true.

So, assuming she truly has no interest in the #2 position, may I boldly suggest...Ted Nugent!

Given that Mittens, for as much as he seems to project a strong manager image, doesn't exactly excite much of the Republican base, it could really give some testosterone to the ticket.  Sidebar: You'd think that after 3-1/2 years of høpe & change in our wallets, 401-Ks, and balance sheets, that even Dan Quayle could take the WH back, in a cakewalk.

But politics is a funny animal.

Why, in your view, is it so important for sportsmen to vote in this election?

Which is exactly why we need some raw, animalistic, unfiltered, undiluted, unfettered, peel-the-paint-off-your-walls, get-it-from-the-mainline, rock-n-roll double gonzo wango tango power to jolt this campaign into high gear. 'Cause, folks, if we screw this one up like 2008, our country's toast.

America faces tough choices between becoming energy independent without impacting wildlife, water resources and the environment. Is it possible for us to do both? If so, how?
No, I don't think YMCA is on his set-list.

As I see it, Mittens could exude a slightly more charismatic than I Robot persona, managing all the minutiae - most of the wonk stuff. But for pesky hotspots, like Kim Jong Ding Dong pretending he's going to launch the biggest, baddest Estes rocket at the U.S. west coast, or Mahmoud Imanutjob promising for the 1473rd time to annihilate Israel, or President Assad chasing his own people around with flamethrowers and helo gunships - well, wouldn't it be nice if our new POTUS could politely pick up the red phone, dial up the dictator du jour, and say "Hey, I understand you're probably a really swell guy - I'd like to invite you and Mrs. Dictator to join Ann and me to watch the yacht races at Newport, maybe a pickup badminton game with the boys afterward. But we seem to have some troubling policy differences, so to smooth things over, I'm sending Vice-President Nugent first thing in the morning to visit with you."

The Zebras Last Hurrah

Instead of a spare 707 or 737 or 757, VP Nugent's AF-2 would be an AC-130, escorted by F-22 Raptors, and filled with Gibsons and Marshall stacks, and not a few of Uncle Ted's Marine friends and their toys. Before landing, they'd make a couple low passes over the host country's presidential palace or mosque-a-rama or whatever, playing some Cat Scratch Fever for for psyops effect. Instead of the MCM walking down the stairs in a suit, he'd roll out the back ramp in his zebra-painted Bronco, do a couple donuts on the tarmac, and screech to a stop just inches away from the host dignitaries.

What is your No. 1 conservation concern in regards to hunting and fishing?

"Hi, I'm Ted Nugent.  Whaddya say we talk about some peace, love, and understanding?"

Gotta Serve Somebody

Brandon's more likely to play Snoop Dogg¹ than Dylan - nonetheless, he does remind us that in Matthew 6:24 we're told that a man cannot serve two masters. If we give in to our sin nature, even the little 'no-one-will-find-out-ones', we're giving God the Heisman (the stiff-arm, not the trophy).

It's a daily challenge.

Drop it Like it's Hot - We Got A Problem from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

The Billy Idol bit?  Meh.  Not a fan, but it was kinda funny, I suppose, for those of a certain age.

BTW, my "street name" is Donn Dogg.  (Yeah, right...)

¹ I assume y'all realize that if the background music hadn't been identified as being Mr. Dogg's, I wouldn't have known it...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Girlz gotta have shooz

Last weekend, I showed my Daughter an ad with some sneakers in it, and asked her to see if there were any she liked.

She circled four pairs (out of about a dozen or more featured), ranking them #1 (twice), #2, and #3.

Well, they didn't have one of her #1 choices in her size, but I managed to get the others (hopefully) in the correct size.

Daughter ranked these #3, #2, #1

BTW, these came from the JCP outlet store.  The same JCP that has Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson.  So maybe I'm not so closed minded as the progressives believe. 

Weekly wrap

  • I came home from work Friday and took a nap - I think I got some bad burritos.
  • There are still honest people in the world.
  • A friend is involved in an upcoming movie about sportsmanship.  And life.
  • An email prayer list from a church where I sometimes attend study groups solicited prayers for a brother who is witnessing to a Jehovah's Witness.  My mind conjured up scenarios for witness vs. Witness.  (Yeah, I occasionally read Mad magazine as a kid - maybe I was thinking of Spy vs. Spy.)
  • Perhaps they could have a Witness-off, sort of like a dance-off.  But one of the denominations does not allow dancing (interestingly, it's not the Jehovah's, which only prohibits public suggestive or immodest dancing).  That won't work.
  • Then I thought it could be like a poker game: "I'll see your John 3:16 and raise you a Romans 8:34."  Another no-go - neither allows gambling.
  • Finally, I imagined theological ninjas battling it out.  But the thought of Indiana Jones possibly being nearby told me that perhaps wasn't a good idea either.
  • Rats! - In any event, I hope the discussion went well.
  • I don't remember the last time the JWs came to my door.  The Mormons, er, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, do come around from time to time.  They seem to be a little touchy about the 'Mormon' label, but we visit amicably.
  • Is there enough punishment in Hell for this guy?
  • I'm height/weight proportionate (6'1", about 198# - trying for 192), but I'm not 'buff'.  Maybe there's still hope in the romance department.  (The charts say I am incorrect about the H/W thing - when were they printed, the 1950s?)
  • Oh, no!  Another teacher involved with inappropriate contact with a student?  ;-)   Say it isn't so!
  • Doing background for that last bit, I learned that Welcome Back Kotter ran at the exact same time as my high school career.  I also did not know that Gabe Kaplan is now a big time poker tournament player and commentator.
  • Thankfully, this is not video from Corner's Mexico trip zip-lining.
  • It's fair to say I'm not much into the Olympics.  But I am proud of this lady.
  • In the late '60s and early '70s, my Dad was a competitive skeet shooter.  He learned wingshooting from dove hunting in the fields in southern Kansas as a kid.  He's not a 'trick-shooter', but I would wager that even today, in his 70s, he could hit better than 90 of 100.
  • Back in the day, our fireplace mantel was lined with trophies for 100-straight.  I used to reload some of his shells - back before progressive presses.
  • #1 Son caught a 5# catfish at Eagle Mountain Lake last week:

  • Said catfish promptly became fish tacos:

  • I was once skinny like that.
  • Same son has also been promoted to apprentice mechanic in the shop where he works.  Plus, he's registered for his fall Aviation classes.
  • Several days ago I was thinking about a Kingston Trio live album, recorded in 1966, near the end of their career in a three week engagement at the [then] Sahara Tahoe.  Because their label, Capitol, had already released live recordings, the two LP set was offered on Tetragrammaton Records.
  • I'd been meaning to research Tetragrammaton, to see what other artists they represented.  It turns out the label was founded by Bill Cosby and a couple other guys.  Its roster included Deep Purple, Pat Boone, Bill Cosby, The Kingston Trio, and some other acts I'd never heard of.  It went bankrupt in 1971.
  • But it was my research on Jehovah's Witnesses that finally tied all of this together, as I learned only today that Tetragrammaton is the term for the Hebrew theonym YHWH, which we know as Yahweh.
  • Isn't the Google cool?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Don't Y'all Think This P.C. [stuff] Has Done Got Out of Hand?

Waylon Jennings once sang Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand?

Well, it seems that the nit-wittery that is political correctness, which had its beginnings in being sensitive to others' points-of-view, has done got way out of hand, to wit:
  • Chick-Fil-A, a privately owned corporation, says it supports traditional values.
  • Mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco denounce Chick-Fil-A because franchisees support Christian groups that support traditional families (i.e. one man + one woman). 
  • The company's CEO Dan Cathy, does not denounce his or his franchisees' support of traditional values, and, in fact, confirms them.
  • Note that CFA is not discriminating against gays in hiring or serving - it's just not following the script that gay advocacy groups and the progressive movement say that it should.  They didn't write a check to Westboro Baptist Church.
  • It seems that tolerance and acceptance are no longer sufficient - there must be no dissent from their agenda.
  • I don't hate on the gays - they can do as they wish - but I won't be forced to celebrate gayness.
  • I usually prepare my own meals on weekends, but today I enjoyed a spicy chicken sandwich with Pepper Jack cheese and ranch dressing from the CFA near Grapevine Mills Mall.
P.C. isn't limited to the U.S., of course. 
  • This past week, Greece suspended female athlete Paraskevi Papachristou, a triple jumper, from participating with that nation's Olympic team for remarking: "With so many Africans in Greece, the mosquitoes from the West Nile will at least be eating some homemade food."
  • The remark was deemed racist.  Can someone explain this to me?
  • I could understand if the remark somehow demeaned Africans - but it simply says there are a lot of them in Greece.
  • If I observed that there were lots of Italians, Chinese, and Mexicans in Little Italy, Chinatown, and Little Mexico - would that constitute a racist comment?
We are living in odd times.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pet Sematary

Mine are buried at Pine Hill Pet and Horse Cemetery, north of Bowie.

But that's not what Pastor Brandon's talking about in this first installment of Drop It Like It's Hot!, a series designed to help Christ-followers, new and old, turn from sin, even those cute little ones that we often seem to believe are harmless and tend to keep around as 'pets'.

Drop it Like it's Hot - Sin is Hot from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

Trouble is, sin-pets don't always stay cute and cuddly.  Like the Mogwai Gizmo, they can go from this:

...to this:

And no one wants to have to enter the:

Especially after midnight.

More gun control, anyone?

In a recent post over at Bag of Nothing, the blog's host, Keith, linked to a tweet by actor Jason Alexander, commenting on the Aurora tragedy.  While I don't agree with Mr. Alexander's reasoning or conclusions, I did find it refreshing that he articulated a fairly civil discourse, rather than the typical vitriolic rant one tends to see from those in the entertainment industry.

In today's Foxnews.com, is an essay "Why I own an assault rifle", which runs more in line with my point of view.  Sidebar: The designation AR-15 is often thought to mean "assault rifle" - it's actually ArmaLite Rifle, for the Fairchild ArmaLite Corporation, the company that originated the Eugene Stoner design (scaled down from the AR-10), and later sold the manufacturing rights to Colt.

I was going to comment on Keith's post, but, uh, the length of the comment exceeded the character count allowed in WordPress.  So I guess I don't speak/write in soundbites.  Maybe that's why Todd the Blogger is always asking "Is this going to be a long story?"  Go figure.

Anyway, here's the response I was going to post:

Keith, I agree that Jason Alexander presented his thoughts reasonably well (and not as condescendingly or snarkily like a Jon Stewart, Michael Moore, or Bill Maher), but, in the main, I disagree with his conclusions.  Here are a few reasons: 

• The 2nd Amendment was not written to preserve hunting rights, nor is it about limiting arms possession or use to a select few.  The prefatory phrase today might be better understood as "We need to make sure people are well-practiced in the use of guns."  At the time, the fledgling Republic had a deep-rooted mistrust of a standing army to protect the borders, and no money to afford one anyway.  So basically, they were saying: "Let's all amongst ourselves stay in good practice (well regulated), and we'll enshrine/enumerate this right (shall not be infringed) so that future government(s) don't try to take it away."
  The bazooka/tank/napalm/nuke argument is a canard/red herring.  It does not in any way represent gun ownership in America, and I think fairly compelling evidence of this is that the often vilified NRA has never lobbied for private possession of any of those.

  The AR-15/.223/5.56NATO rifle does not fire farther or with greater lethality than a typical hunting rifle, and it's not just for killing/mayhem.  AR15 variants today are widely used in competitive and recreational shooting.  Because it's made with modern materials (aluminum/plastic) and methods, it's lighter - allowing more ammunition to be carried.  Among the states that don't disallow centerfire rifle hunting (many northeast states limit to shotguns with slugs or buckshot) prohibit the .223/5.56 caliber as lacking sufficient power for deer hunting.  Lastly, the explosion of AR manufacturers in the past 20 years or so has nearly every manufacturer producing some AR variant - and they sell like hotcakes (but not to me - I'm more Old West).  But there has been no commensurate increase in crime committed with this type of firearm.
"...if someone wants these weapons, they intend to use them...[possibly] on people."  That's a conjecture, and he's welcome to his opinion.  I buy insurance, but hope I don't have to use it.  Basically, there's just not a valid cause-effect relationship here.

• I agree with Mr. Alexander on a couple of points: In the context in which the shooting occurred, I don't know that a CHL licensee could've done much, if anything, to mitigate the carnage.  Also, I'm sure many will excoriate and belittle the actor as a result of his articulation of his views.  I may mostly disagree with him, but his right to express his views is equal to mine, and as noted earlier, I appreciate that he didn't try to dismiss all gun owners as hillbilly crackpot knuckledragging wifebeating morons.  Maybe if others who believe as he does, behaved as he does, there might be more dialogue.

I don't own an "assault" rifle, AR-15, AK-47, SKS, or otherwise.  But I know people who do, and those I know are responsible citizens and shooters.  Demonizing gun owners, or certain classes of firearms because they look "intimidating", does nothing to address or prevent the pure evil that a determined deranged person is intent on delivering to innocent people.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Slippery slope

Well I'll be jiggered...

It seems that Jarhead's outfit (notice I did not say 'former', as it's understood - Once a Marine, Always a Marine) has contracted with Colt Defense to produce some 4000 newfangled M45 Close Quarter Battle Pistols for our warriors.


My, my.  Does that not bear an uncanny resemblance to John Moses Browning's Model of 1911?

Why yes, I reckon it does.  Apart from the CeraKote-style finish, beavertail grip safety & Commander hammer, BoMar type rear sight, accessory rail, and goofy looking grips (so I'm partial to exotic wood grips), its innards are essentially - possibly totally - identical to my SS Series 80 Mk IV.

Now don't that just beat all?  And in an adult caliber, no less!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Catholic humor

From a Methodist Pastor friend who knows I attended Catholic school:

A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Trappist became marooned on a desert island.  They found a magic lamp, and after some discussion and meditation, decided to rub it.  Lo and Behold, a Genie appeared (just like they're supposed to) and offered them three wishes.  They deemed it only fair and equitable that each would get one wish.

The Jesuit said he wanted to teach at the world's most famous University, and poof, he was gone!

The Dominican wished to preach in the world's largest Chuch - poof, he was gone!

Then the Genie asked the Trappist, "What about you?"

The Trappist replied, "I'm good - I already got my wish!"

I went to the Google to see if I could find an illustration of some Trappists - Found this black & white image, dated 1957 and titled "Refugee Monks in Rome". Studying it for a couple of moments, I realized I could identify five of the eight: Fr. Denis, unknown, Fr. Matthew, Fr. Roch, unknown, Fr. Aurel, Fr. Julius, unknown.

The photo was taken more than a dozen years before I met any of them.

In 6th grade, Fr. Aurel rapped me on the head with a recorder for talking in class or being a smart-aleck (maybe both - go figure). Years later he kicked the habit, ditched the ascetic scene and got married. Fr. Matthew had a very sly sense of humor. In 8th grade, Fr. Roch taught Religion, and sex ed. His clinical description of copulation could have put you to sleep, save that the discordant juxtaposition of the subject matter and the delivery seemed, to us, hilarious. In our freshman year, Fr. Denis threatened to call students at 2:00 a.m. to recite the quadratic equation. And on possibly more than one occasion, Fr. Julius may or may not have kicked me out of the library for: talking, eating, shooting spitwads, playing paper-ball volleyball over the study carrels, or leaning back in the chairs (and falling over) – pick any combination.

Great memories.

h/t: John K.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A hit counts, but a missile cost ya...

However, this French missile supposedly is "low cost", has a six hour loiter time, 62 mile range (I'm assuming this is a telemetry limitation, as it seems pretty clear it's travelling over 10 mph).

I don't know in what ways this differs from the US UAVs, though I'm given to understand that ours are guided by satellite, which creates latency issues.

Just curious if the timing of this press release is somehow designed to elicit support in the US for the UN Arms Treaty?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

His Side of the Forest

When I was about 8 or 9, I read the book My Side of the Mountain, about a boy inspired by Thoreau's writings, who leaves the city and makes his home in the wilderness (in the Catskills, I think).  Many years later I saw the movie with Theo Bikel & Teddy Eccles, but it wasn't as good as the 'theatre of the mind' I'd had while reading the book.

My Side of the Mountain.jpg

I think the urge to live for a time in the wild has always stayed with me.

This guy has done just that.  Though I can't condone the squatter mentality (it wasn't his family's land), or growing the dope, I do give the guy credit for his concealment ingenuity and carpentry skills:

If he had built one of Jay Shafer's tiny houses instead of that 10x20' Taj Majal in the woods, he might not now be homeless (and in jail)...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Gunboat Diplomacy

Funny pic - wasn't looking for this but found it while looking for something else on the internetz. 

Man, I'd be really uncomfortable with my $10,000 machine gun precariously balanced in a $400 boat.

Caption Contest: Full-Auto Outboard

Has RPM re-enlisted to keep RAB from invading Chico?

With the muzzle pointed the other way, he could ditch that Minn-kota.

How cool is this?

From Taylor & Company/Brownell's.

Conversion cylinder to allow firing of .45 Colt cartridges in Ruger Old Army cap-n-ball revolver.  Viewers of Pale Rider may remember Clint/The Preacher using a similar [Richards] cartridge conversion in the movie.

Unfortunately, it costs quite a bit more than what I paid for the revolver.  They also have them for popular repro Colt and Remington blackpowder six guns (as does Cabela's, as well).

Edit: Cabela's sells spare/replacement BP revolver cylinders, but not cartridge conversions.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another Song

No, really, Another Song...from the Carpenters' psychedelic period:

Mid-week musings

  • Since I'm not personally an entrepreneur, I'll leave it for others to be indignant, but it's a mind boggling thing to me that this country's President says that successful people didn't earn their success.  Did Young Dr. Frankenstein swap his brain with the Vice-President's?
  • It's also fairly comical watching the WH damage team try to spin the story that he was 'taken out of context'.  The logical contortions they have to create have an Alice in Wonderland quality to them.  Those folks are gonna be plumb wore out by election day.
  • An online Startlegram headline reads that "...black columnist [William] Raspberry dies..."
  • Really?  The guy was twice nominated for, once awarded the Pulitzer Prize.  He was a journalist and wrote columns for the WaPo, syndicated to more than 200 papers.  And yes, he was also black/African-American.
  • I don't remember any headline reading "White newsman Mike Wallace dead at 93".
  • The term 'mutual mystification' came into my lexicon this past week (and you thought I drove an Infiniti).
  • In the context, it referred to the notion of the interchange between a salesman and his prospect, after a presentation, in which each praised the other, looked forward to doing business together, yadda-yadda, essentially blowing smoke up each other's [skirt].  Of course, no sale was made.
  • It reminded me of much of the business and economic reporting these days - lots of words, but little information.
  • Kinda like my blog, but not so acceptable in a respectable publication.
  • A woman who works for a prison, who held her daughter's naked boyfriend at gunpoint in a closet, has had charges against her dismissed by a judge who quoted singer-songwriter Jim Croce.
  • The boy mighta been better off by just saying "I love you" in a song.
  • My goal in life is to see a Supreme Court decision quoting Don Henley.
  • Suspicious package?  This guy probably doesn't care a thing about Marlin vs. Winchester.  That junk gonna fall out regardless.
  • AmazonLocalDeals in my inbox today features discounted Kickboxing classes.
  • Great!  Wonder if they also have some deals on suitcase-sized boomboxes?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hypocrite Pastor?

Pastor Brandon says so.  And also instructs us to be fishers of men and women.

Summer Series - High 5 - The Invite from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

A bit of recoil...

You'll probably want to use a thick Kick-Eez pad with that.

A pox on all direct mail senders!

From a recent mailbag:

I can hear just fine, thank you.

And I don't need any Vjagra, Cyalis, or Lavirta (they're always mis-spelled in those emails) either.

At least I don't think I do...

I'm trending

Wal-Mart must be reading my blog:

Yeah, those are first aid kits displayed along with the bicycles.

An argument that settles nothing

From Guns & Ammo online:

Think Venola is trying to look like 'The Gunner's Guru' with that hat?

It's probably about as hackneyed as NASCAR's "Ford or Chevy".  (I own two Fords, but I wouldn't say that makes me a Ford guy.)

1911 or Glock?  (I don't own a Glock, but based on owner loyalty, they must be doing something right.)

9mm or .45ACP for self defense?  (Here again, I don't currently own a 9mm, but have heard it said that it's adequate if you're protecting yourself from malevolent Europeans, but on the light side for American perps.  I don't seem to hear any criticism of the .40 S&W.)

.30-'06 Springfield or .270 Win.?  Seriously?  .270, of course.  Although even Jack O'Connor is reported to have said (according to Jim Carmichael) in his later years that the .280 Rem. might be a better cartridge.

Winchester or Marlin?  Another no brainer.  See, this is kinda like Hanes vs. Jockey.  The Hanes have leg openings a bit on the generous side, so from time to time your junk may fall out one side or the other.  When you operate the '94 lever, the entire top of the receiver is open and unsupported, and half of the rest of the mechanism drops out the bottom.  Jockey has a smaller leg opening, and a pouch panel in front, to keep stuff where it belongs.  Same with the 336/.444/1895 action, which is fully enclosed, rugged, and operates smoothly.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Always the lowest price!

My folks spent thousands of dollars a year to send me to prep school - so I guess that makes me a preppie.

For just forty bucks, I can be a prepper:

Was $68!

Probably beats my meager rations of potted meat, Vienna sausages, pouches of tuna, and crackers.

Wouldn't you like to be a prepper, too?

Speak it and live it, live it and speak it

Do both, even though sometimes it means people may call you a hypocrite (but that's part of next week's sermon).

Summer Series - Power For Living from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

Another celebrity gone

I don't follow TMZ or the like, and if it weren't for the hooligan antics of some of today's young "stars", I probably wouldn't even know their names.

Of course, then there are also those stars who were a bit, maybe way, before my time, which brings us to Celeste Holm, who is today reported among those no longer living, at 95.  I post this because Ms. Holm is one celebrity whom I actually met.

In the waning days of my pre-driving youth, I was at Six Flags (the real one), with a couple of my cousins, and, uh, my mother.  Yeah, kind of like the Wayne's World walk of shame.  Anyway, standing on line for the LaSalle Riverboat Adventure, my mother keeps asking me, "The Donald, don't you think the woman ahead of us looks like Celeste Holm?"


"Celeste Holm, the actress."

"Um, I never heard of her."

"She was in Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma on Broadway."  (I had heard of Oklahoma, both the state and the musical, having lived in Tulsa from, like '62-'67, listened to the soundtrack on reel-to-reel, and performed Oh What a Beautiful Mornin' in 7th grade music class - No, I am not about the Glee, but thanks for asking.)

"OK, still never heard of her."

"Well, I'm going to ask her." 

[My thought bubble:  Beam me up, Scotty! Where the heck is the Starship Enterprise transporter when I need it most?]

"Excuse me, but would you by chance happen to be Celeste Holm?"

You know how those lines at Six Flags are, so there I was, stuck, like Martha and the Vandellas - No where to run to, nowhere to hide.

"No, I am not by chance Celeste Holm.  I am Celeste Holm."

Actually, it was a pretty clever response, and following a mercifully brief comment like "Well, I've always admired your work" or somesuch, my mother let the dear woman go back to peacefully standing in line.

I did later watch her once or twice when she co-starred with Gerald McRaney on CBS' Promised Land series.

Friday, July 13, 2012

From left field...

...a rare Richard Carpenter lead vocal:

Songwriting credit to Paul Williams/Roger Nichols.  One assumes Herb Alpert provided the brass.

No, I don't think Darth Vader was Richard & Karen's father...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Judge Roy Bean for President!

Over this last weekend, Daughter suggested we view The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.

My protest was brief non-existent.  The following night, she brought out Three Amigos, during which I fell asleep - but not to worry there, Jefe, as I can pretty much recite the entire screenplay anyway.

Bob. Is. Bad.

You can't not like a movie that has Andy Williams singing the theme song, can you?

Here, Bob learns a lasting lesson about impugning the character of Miss Lilly Langtry.


It's not my birthday, and not currently thinking of letting go - just a reflection.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chicken-foot, anyone?

Following the armistice in the Korean 'police action' in 1953, military strategists and geopolitikal analysts raised the notion of the 'Domino Theory' - that the fall of a nation to communism would cause others in the region to do likewise. The argument was not without merit.

But this post is not about Southeast Asia, where today communism's advance appears to have stopped at Laos - it's about the Western Hemisphere, where the 20th century world's foremost enemy of communism is rapidly devolving into a second-tier socialist state. Having read Robert J. Ringer's Restoring the American Dream, I had surmised in the early '80s that the United States with it's burgeoning entitlement mentality, would pass, in opposite direction (like the escalators at Penney's), former staunchly communist nations, as the latter gradually liberalized into varying degrees of market economics. 

So, of what dominoes do I speak? Well, from recent headlines, let's start with Stockton, CA, which on June 28 filed for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy, the largest U.S. city ever to do so. Alliteratively, looming not far behind, are Sans Diego, Francisco, y José, and at the state level, Sacramento. And don't forget the City of Angels.

And it goes on.

But not to pick on California, as Honolulu, Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Chicago, Detroit, Harrisburg, Baltimore, Norfolk, Yonkers, and the Big Apple are teetering as well. From my zero gravity chair atop my van down by the river, and channeling my inner Matt Foley, I can't help rhetorically asking: "Dad, I don't see so good with these glasses - are those cities in red or blue states?"

Finally, let's not overlook Scranton, PA, whose mayor, in defiance of a court order, froze all municipal salaries, including his own, to minimum wage, and cut all overtime - hoping to ward off bankruptcy for his city.  As it was against a judge's order, it likely won't stand, but it should make for some interesting theater.

Elsewhere in the news, the Capitulator-in-Chief and SecState are poised to sign a United Nations arms treaty on July 27 that, if ratified by the Senate, would ostensibly give the U.N. dominion over U.S. gun policy.  If you've ever attended a Renaissance Festival and wondered what it would be like to live as a medieval peasant, just watch and see what happens this fall.

A not unpleasant peasant...

...but this is more what I pictured.

Oh, and don't forget to vote 'D'!


I hope I have sufficiently established in my writings here that I don't dislike guns.

But here is an exercise in total silliness:

"Hey y'all, hold my beer an' watch 'is!"

Besides, I don't see any attachment points left for a Swiss Army Knife, electric shaver, toaster, clock radio, or GPS...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Gesehen bei Sprungdorf

I'm hopeful that the forecasts are correct, and we'll get some rain Sunday through Tuesday.

But I don't have this kind of faith:

On a sort of related note, I saw a large (32-36') cabin cruiser eastbound toward Mineral Wells by the hospital yesterday.  The kind that takes a three or four axle trailer and barely clears the overhead traffic lights.

It was a nice ship, but it had a mud line about 18-24" up the hull, where it'd been resting on the lake bottom.  Makes me glad I don't own a boat.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Charley might not like it

...but he'd still be welcome to attend.

Summer Series - Red & Yellow, Black & White from Keystone Church on Vimeo.

I don't know about the crying at a Tyler Perry movie.  But a dog movie, like, say, My Dog Skip - well, let's just say that's a different animal.  A man who don't cry at a dog movie ain't got no heart.

Past Blast

So I'm driving along MLK Boulevard in...Mineral Wells, when I notice this church.

Wow - I don't think I'd seen that name on a building in almost 35 years.

Sure, I'd been baptized Presbyterian at six weeks, dragged to Episcopal Church a couple handfuls of times, and attended Catholic school, but the Church of God of Prophecy was something altogether different.

[Unison] "It was something different!"

The reason for my going to this denomination, as you might surmise, was a woman.  Well, at the time, said woman was 16 and I was 15, but you get the picture.  The church was in the Poly or Stop Six area of Fort Worth, a neighborhood with which this prep-school boy was totally unfamiliar.  (Yes, she was a white girl.)   It was the first time I'd seen folks a-layin' on hands, rollin' on the floor, and speaking in tongues - it kind of weirded me out, but, you know...the girl.  Anyway, we ended up going to Summer Camp together in East Texas, but scarcely saw each other that week - on account of the eeevil thoughts that teenagers might get in them piney woods after dark¹.

After a year or so, I lost track of her.  Then, in the mid-'80s, she called me, out of the blue.  She'd been shacking up with a doper in Ohio, but had gotten free from him and moved back to Texas.  We went out for drinks, a Ray Charles concert in the Botanic Gardens, and to her new church home: Word of Faith Family Church, in Farmer's Branch/Carrollton.  Yep, Pastor Bob's church.

We went to WOF a couple of times together.  This was when the church was trending and Pastor Bob hadn't yet been exposed as a charlatan.  Then, we drifted apart, much as we had seven years earlier.  I started taking being a Methodist more seriously.  I've not seen or heard from her since.

I like the church I attend now, though it's nothing I would've imagined attending ten or twenty years ago.

I just hope they don't start handling snakes...

¹ Although at one time I was crazy about this girl, I was raised well, and did not know her.

Z-max for Old West Zombies!

Surely the last post is sufficient evidence of the coming Zombie Apocalypse, if you haven't already been roped in by all the Guns & Ammo articles.

Over the weekend, I was treated to a recipe for cylinder-sealing plugs for blackpowder percussion revolvers (to keep the cylinder gap flash from igniting adjacent chambers - generally regarded as a bad thing).  My host showed me some of his DIY creations that he uses in his [repro] Colt Walker and 1860 revolvers.  They were a dull red or pink, due to a crayon being part of the recipe.

Well, last night I put together a trial batch, and made a cutting die from a [Wolf] steel .45 ACP  case with an oval cutout in the sidewall.  In use, they're pressed over the top of the seated round ball or conical projectile, prior to priming the nipples.  The small batch I made just about filled an Altoids tin:

So, I may have used a lime green crayon in my recipe, just in case James Denton & Chris Kattan and that kinda hot Indian chick need some help with the next old west ghost town zombie outbreak.

I'll be their Huckleberry...

You want a 'to-go' box with that?

He's gonna need one.  Or some friends to help share the feast.

Must've been fresh - he hadn't started dining yet.

As Jar-bert says: Carrion!


Ain't Nobody Feelin' No Pain

Featuring old time religion and hymns, train songs, Hank Williams pain songs, and Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

There are doubtless some nit-wits today who believe these United States achieved independence from King George by tweeting, occupying, and giving free food, housing and healthcare to everyone, but the fact is that serious-minded people took stock of the human condition, and discerned the inalienable rights that we possess.  And then they asserted said rights.  Fourscore and five years later, there commenced a test to see if such a nation could survive.

Over the weekend, we were guests of some fine folks who know something about freedom.  In part, they celebrated by firing this replica 1861 field cannon.

Two hundred thirty-six years after the birth of our nation, there are voices calling for a Revolution. But instead of throwing off the shackles of tyranny, taxation without representation, and slavery, they seek a government monolith with unfettered powers and unlimited taxation which will enslave spirited, hard working Americans to support those who will not.

There is debate today about whether our forefathers were or were not Christians, Deists, Agnostic or Atheist. It is less important to me what each Declaration signer's creed or faith was, than to recognize that their collaborative work product was, even if not divinely inspired, in alignment with our Creator's design for us. Today, our legislators create laws not only unaligned with God's purpose, but often in direct contravention.

Tomorrow I will remember my Creator God, the founding men and women of this country, and the generations of brave Americans who have upheld the unique proposition, as Lincoln said, "...that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

It's the same mindset I'll take to the polling place in November.

"Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should."- Ronald Wilson Reagan¹

¹ h/t The Survival Blog