Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I'm Losing My Flippin' Mind

Didja ever have one of those moments when you're sitting in your skivvies and brushing out the cat, debating whether or not to quit your job and move to Idaho, when you suddenly start singing "I Feel Pretty"?

Nah, me neither. Just checking.

Good News That I Can't Talk About

Did you ever have one of those times when you've got a great blog topic, but you just can't post it? Not that you're incapacitated or anything, but due to reasons of confidentiality you're just not at liberty to say anything.

Well, now is one of those times, but I'm just so flibbertigibbeted about the whole thing that I gotta say something.

Suffice it to say that someone whom I thought was being an enormous penis for reasons unknown is in fact *not* being an enormous penis, and for a very good reason. They still need to atone for some communications issues, IMHO, but I'm nothing if not the accepting type.

They've had quite enough Kool-Aid, though. Time to get back on the rum barrel with the rest of us.

Wish I could say more. Perhaps someday I can. I'm just happy to have a partial answer.

Dog Tales By Dash

Dash of Boiling Point has a great post up today about Old Yeller.
As far as I'm concerned, if you can read the book or watch the film and not get all sniffly at the end, you've either never owned a dog, or you're just a cold-hearted wretch. Probably both!

Good post, Dash. This song's for you, courtesy of Confederate Railroad!

Chorus: She never cried when Old Yeller died
She wasn't washed in the Blood of the Lamb
She never stood up for the Star Spangled Banner
And she wasn't a John Wayne fan
Her baby blue eyes had the warning signs
That woman was bad to the bone
She never cried when Old Yeller died
So do you think I'll cry when she's gone

So desperate I answered an ad in the Personals
Hoping to find me a date
A good lookin' non-smokin' full figured Leo
Was looking to find her a mate
We hit it off; we got it on; my love was growing so strong
Then I started seeing a side of that woman
I should have seen all along

Repeat Chorus

I can't believe I just didn't see
The writing there on the wall
Listening to those Barry Manilow records
Was just one of her character flaws
Sometimes she was rude; unnaturally crude
But this good old boy let it pass,
But when she cussed in front of my mama
I told she could kiss my ....

She never cried when Old Yeller died
She wasn't washed in the Blood of the Lamb
She never stood up for the Star Spangled Banner
And she wasn't a John Wayne fan
Her baby blue eyes had the warning signs
That woman was bad to the bone
She never cried when Old Yeller died
And I ain't gonna cry when she's gone!

One Man, One Vote, One $55,000 Bribe!

I'm all kinds of amused over the quartet of Tennessee legislators getting busted in a bribery sting. Sure, it's a bit of schadenfreude on my part, to be certain, but I'm just glad to see the FBI doing something other than shake down librarians for their patron's reading lists.

This guy, the ex-Sen. John Ford,(who just formally resigned his Senate seat) should have known better. You never NEVER dress like a cheap Mafioso hood while you're in office! It just attracts all kinds of attention from people with pre-signed RICO warrants!

OK, John, here's a few fashion tips on how to look trustworthy & statesman-like, instead of flashy & dodgy. You must cease & desist with:

a) The pinky ring. I've never seen anyone wear one who wasn't a little shady, myself included. (I have long since renounced the habit)

b) The French cuffs and cuff links. Dude. This ain't 1978 anymore.

c) The gold watch. Just a bit flash for a civil servant, John. Go for a Timex.

d) The shaded glasses. This is the big no-no. Only people who desire to hide their eyes wear tinted glasses indoors. The only reason to hide your eyes is a need to keep others from reading your intentions. You're not playing poker, Ford, you just look like a scumbag.

This was the caption of the picture:
Sen. John Ford, D-Memphis, is shown during a committee meeting Wednesday, May 25, 2005, in Nashville, Tenn. Ford is one of four state lawmakers indicted Thursday, May 26, in a federal bribery investigation. Ford is also charged with witness intimidation, which includes telling an undercover agent that "if he caught someone trying to set him up he would shoot that person, kill them, so there would be no witnesses," the indictment says.

Hmmmm... Yep, definitely a scumbag. Hope he gets 20 years.

Where'd The Weekend Go?

Damn, that was over way too quickly!

I didn't have quite the weekend I was expecting. Rockhauler was due to come down for a visit, but apparently there was such an abundance of rock that needed to be hauled up in the D/FW area that he had to bail out. As a result, I couldn't buy him the huge chunk of grilled dead cow that I'd planned on, but rather than save the money like a thrifty little squib, I just spent it on something else. More on that later in the week.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Indy 500 on Sunday. I was joined for most of it by Little Bee Boy. (who herefore and forever more shall now be referred to on this blog by his usual nom de guerre of "Zibig". The name change was necessary due to a lamented but expected "flight of the Little Bee", rendering the old moniker obsolete. Sorry, buddy! It wasn't meant to bee, er.. be.)

Anyway, it was a fine race, and for a few minutes there it looked like Danica Patrick could run away with the whole ball of wax. Alas, fuel management and lack of polished driving skills tripped her up in the end, and she dropped from 1st to 4th. Nevertheless, it was an *outstanding* effort by a rookie driver, and as she gains experience, she's gonna tear up the IRL tracks! Kudos to you, Danica! It's nice to have a woman on the track that doesn't pancake into the wall after 30 laps!

Monday was spent holed up in solitude. Well, as much solitude as one can have when two yowly cats are forever begging for treats or a pristine litterbox. I don't suppose I can blame them. The thought of using a can that hadn't been flushed in three days would make me yowl too.

I cleaned out Bob's bowl this weekend, 'cause it was looking sorta greenish. I don't think I've mentioned Bob here before, mostly 'cause Bob doesn't really generate a lot of blogging ideas. Bob's a betta, also known as a Siamese fighting fish. His role in life is mostly blowing bubbles to make a nest, and then hiding underneath them. Every morning I toss in some food, and he makes ugly fish faces at my fingers, and won't eat until I back away from the bowl. I'm fairly certain if he had a scuba setup for fishes and opposable thumbs, he'd strangle me in my sleep. Bob's just that type of fish. Even the cats leave him alone. That's how mean he is.

So, nothing really exciting to report, as you can see. Just another weekend spent in sloth and decadence. Just the way I like it!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

How To Waste Food

I *Knew* I Should Have Gone To Jack In The Box...

It was beastly hot yesterday afternoon when I finally rolled back to Casa Capitan after a day of out 'n' about. Saw 'Revenge Of The Sith', ran some errands, bought some ammo for the upcoming blogshoot.

I was quite peckish upon my return home, and just didn't want to eat anything hot, which ruled out most of my usual fast food remedies, and the local pizza shops as well. Nope, gonna have to whip up something for myself.

Aha! There's the little packets of tuna! I'll mix up a little tuna salad, let it chill in the fridge while I go take a shower, then park in front of the fan and watch TV with the bowl of tuna and a sleeve of crackers.

A good plan! Well, it was a good plan until I get almost all of the ingredients in a bowl, and discover that there's not a lick of Miracle Whip or mayo in the house. Damn.

OK, no panicking... I'm a pretty good experimental chef. What can we substitute? I've already swapped out chopped green olives for apples, and sweet relish instead of dill relish. What's here that's a close analogue to Miracle Whip?

Why, look! Two full bottles of salad dressing! No, not the MIracle Whip-type of salad dressing. This is a bottle of 'light' Ranch and regular blue cheese. I'm opposed to most forms of 'light' foods, so I figure, "what the hell!" and dose the tuna salad up good with the blue cheese dressing, then stir it all up. I like blue cheese. How bad could it be?

I had no idea...

Friends & neighbors, that tuna salad tasted like Satan's suppurating sulfurous scrotum after a hard day condemning souls to Perdition. It was so awful that the cats, who normally love all things tuna, wouldn't go near the bowl. I'm pretty sure the flies that usually hang out around the trash bin out on the back patio decided to go hang out on some local dog poo, it being a tastier locale than the tuna I dumped out.

Shoulda used the Ranch dressing, methinks.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Want Some Cheese With That Whine?

What an asshole...

It seems Robby Gordon don't wanna play with girls. He's whining that Danica Patrick has an unfair advantage racing at the Indy 500 because she weighs 100 lbs less than the other (male) drivers. He's not going to race at Indy "until the IRL does something to take that advantage away."

Hmmm. Let's see, Robbo. Janet Guthrie races at Indy, no one says a word about driver weight. Lyn St. James races at Indy, no one says a word about driver weight. Sarah Fisher races at Indy, no one says a word about driver weight.

I think Gordon's just scared of getting beat by a girl.

Hey, Robbo... Want to lose 100 lbs? Try removing your humongous head from your tight arse and let some of that backed up sludge out!

Friday, May 27, 2005


Dammit! Just knock this nonsense off right now! I told y'all way back when this kind of smut was unacceptable!!!


Can't y'all just go back to fetishizing Judy Garland and Cher??

Leave Batman alone!!

Sigh. This is not enough to make me homophobic. Just sorta homoannoyed.

Via Boing Boing, which I ought to quit reading if it keeps this up.

Frozen Guinness Pops??

That's Just Not Right...

Click the pic!

Found via Boing Boing

A Weekend Of Erudition And Civility.

So Get Yer Ass In The F#@%!ng Toob, Beeeyotch!!!

Here's another gratuitous plug for the Bacchanal on the Comal, or the Tunes, Tubes and Targets Blogfest!

We want your warm bodies in attendance! Hell, we'll take your cold zombie bodies! Just be sure to spritz yourself with Febreze if you undead types bake in the sun for any length of time. We'd sure hate to get you confused with LC Beth's BBQ ribs!

A special invite also to the Bexar County crowd. It's an accident of planning that both our events ended up on the same weekend, but please drive a few miles north and join us for some of the bash! I promise to keep my snarky remarks about the mutant grackles that live by the Riverwalk to a minimum!

Go here, let Zippo know you're coming! Don't be shy! You've got 4 weeks to hang out at our blogs, email folks, and get to know people! We don't bite!

Just a month to go, my little chickadees! We're gonna have big fun!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Post That Will Not Die

More Pearls Of Wisdom. OK, Not So Much Wisdom... Just Don't Eff Up Like I Did!

A long long time back I posted a rebuttal to something written by my friend Andy. I gave it an off-color, cutesy title that I thought was just all kinds of spiffy at the time.

Boy, do I regret it now! I'm slowly moving up the blogging hierarchy, and the search engines are beginning to take a greater notice, whether due to more traffic or just more of my krep that's out there.

I'm now getting at least 20+ hits a day from Google, Yahoo, AOL, and similar search engines, and a depressing number of the search queries are hits off that one blogpost title.

What was the title? Well, I don't want to give the searchbots more ammunition, but it involved bl()w j()bs, r1m j()bs and h4nd j()bs. Oh, my.

Now, I get hits off of the most disgusting search queries than you could possibly imagine. See, it's not always just those terms. Most often, it involves other random words from my blog.

Now, I'm seeing queries like 'bab00n rim j()bs' and 'b4by hand j()bs' and even 'Grandma bl()w j()bs'.

There are some goddamned sickos out there! Keep the Effin' hell away from my blog, you pervs!

So, you new bloggers take a bit of advice from Uncle Cap. Watch how you title your posts!

Carnival Of Comedy

The latest Carnival Of Comedy is up over at IMAO. I posted my hand goo story, though it's not really all that funny.

Well, except for the bunghole part. That was pretty funny!

Go have a laugh!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Day Of Reckoning Arrives...

Thy Remarks On My Eval Are As The Footsteps Of Doom!

Had my first employee evaluation from The Man this afternoon. It was 4 months behind schedule, but Hey, who's counting!

Well, actually, *I* am. It's hard to take your "Meets Expectations" grade in the Productivity category seriously when the evaluator didn't get it done on schedule. In fact, I believe the only reason I got the evaluation now was that The Man has decreed that all evals are to be done by the end of May.

It's not a bad review. A 4.13 out of a possible 5, for you number crunchers out there. I even successfully lobbied to have the "Keep communications professional" remark removed from the eval, since the one time I've had cause to flay someone via email for egregious stupidity, I was careful to not make any remarks that couldn't be backed up with facts, and managed to make the offender look like a clueless ninny in a non-confrontational manner. After all, it wasn't MY decision that the aforementioned ninny forwarded my remarks outside the department. Hmmmph. I should get "Exceeds Expectations" on Corporate Warfare. Unfortunately, that category doesn't exist.

The scary part is that I essentially got 86 out of 100 possible points mostly by just showing up and going through the motions. That either speaks highly of my ability to make Shinola from a pile of shit, or people around here aren't used to seeing the type of person who yanks rabbits out of hats for a living.

OK, that's kind of vague. A better way of saying it would be that my initial (and only) effort on tasks tends to be better than what a lot of people slave weeks over.

That's not meant to be complimentary on my part, mind you. It's just that I have procrastination and sloth honed to such a fine degree, I rely on my innate wordsmithing skills to pull my ass out of the fire more often than I should. One of these days, I'm gonna miss the trapeze, and it'll be seriously ugly.

It's given me some things to think on, though. If I actually put some serious effort in, I could make some significant leaps and jumps up The Man's ladder. Now I just need to decide if I want to.

Lady, Start My Engines!

Gratuitous Ogling Alert!

Well, I found the driver I'm gonna root for this weekend.

Watching the Indy 500 is an annual event for me. I never miss it. Don't call, don't drop by, don't even send me a letter on Race Day, 'cause I'll ignore you or slap duct tape on your mouth and tie you to a chair until the 200 laps are over. I'm not much of a sports fan, but this is one I love.

Part of it is the traditions and long history of the race (which is also why I like the Kentucky Derby), and part of it is watching grown men drive methanol-powered go-karts at 220 mph in a circle for 3 hours. You can't really explain it, you just gotta watch it!

Now usually, I pick someone to be against. Kind of like betting on the 'Don't Pass' in craps, really. Allowed, but generally frowned upon. Back in the days when that arrogant bastard Emerson Fittipaldi was winning the 500 with depressing regularity, I used to send mental death waves to his wheel linkages in hopes he'd pancake into the wall. Alas, that never happened.

Other years, it's usually the pole-sitter that earned my wrath, but often it was the doofus rookies that can't seem to let a year go by without making a mistake that leads to a 10 car pileup and a race delay.

This year, though, I've got a driver to get behind. Hopefully VERY close behind!
Danica Patrick is not the first female driver at Indy, but she's definitely the most... photogenic!

Mmmmmmm... Hot Wimmen and Fast Cars! Damn, spent too much time staring at the picture. If you'll excuse me, I need to go sentence a few kittens to death.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Ewww. This Is Just Some Funky Sheeeite.

Unguents & Lotions & Cremes, Oh MY!!"

OK, I'm a rough & tumble he-man kind of guy, so my knowledge of cosmetics and emollients is a bit on the low side. I buy shampoo that's not too smelly, and soap that washes away clean, and the periodic replenishing of toothpaste & deodorant supplies. Beyond that, I'm at a loss as to what the rest of all that crap in the personal care aisles are for.

I'm getting tired of the white-knuckled syndrome, though. No, I'm not referring to my grasp of the "OH JESUS!" handle in the car when riding with my slightly age-addled Mom, but this odd situation where my hands seem to be drying out.

It's weird that I get this condition in Houston, where the humidity stays about 98% for 11 months out of the year, and the remaining month in monsoon season it's at 105%. In spite of all the moisture, though, by the time I get to work, my hands are all dried out, and even the crusty & flaky bums at the bus stop say "DAY-umm! That's one ashy-skinned white boy!"

I figure some lotion ought to do the trick. Naturally, instead of getting a huge 15 gallon bottle with the heated dispenser and super-squirty nozzle, I start off in a modest fashion, just grabbing a small bottle of random stuff out of the 99 cent trial-size bin at the grocery store. Fruit Of The Earth. Never heard of it. Dunno what's in it. The label says Aloe Vera. That stuff ought be good, right?

This is the nastiest shit I've ever spread on myself, and that says a lot, given my sordid past. I'd sooner stick my hands in a bucket of warmed-over cosmolene. Not only does it retain the oiliness on your skin for about half an hour (and this is for a gumdrop-sized squirt, not half the bottle), it's a bright white color that refuses to fade into your skin. Hmmmm. Better look at what's in this crap.

Aloe Extract - OK, that's slimy, but acceptable.
Water - Probably pulled from Love Canal.
Mineral Oil - basically liquid vaseline
Cetyl Alcohol - Had to look this one up. Solid alcohol? Weird.
Glycerin - Rendered fats
Stearic Acid - aka Beef Fat
Cucumber extract - ???? Hope they squeezed them well.
Wheat Germ oil
Sunflower seed oil
Sesame oil
Other scary-sounding chemical things

Well, no feckin' wonder this crap's greasier than a bunghole on a chili contest judge! You'd think they could cut back on 5 of those oils, and still manage to keep your hads from drying out.

Hmmmph. Back to the store. I have a sneaking suspicion I could pour a few drops of my favorite cologne in a bucket of lard, stir it up, and have a better lotion than these frou-frou merchants. Sure, I'd have a pack of dogs following me around all day licking their chops, but I could use the company.

A Momentary Lapse Of Reason

Things got a bit emotional this morning.

I was actually having a pretty good day, at least as good as a workday can be. Got up on time, fed the cats & Bob the Fish, and had time to catch the news before starting the SSS routine. My headache that had persisted all day yesterday was nowhere to be found, much to my relief. Two beers and 800 mg of ibuprofen probably helped there, along with locking the cats out of the room so I got uninterrupted sleep.

So, I'm sitting in my chair, letting the fan air-dry me a bit as I get dressed. As a long-term resident of Houston, I know better than to venture outside while even slightly damp, lest you immediately cover over in mold & mildew. Well, OK, you don't really do that, but it's better if you don't give the humidity a head start on soaking through your shirt.

Then I get to the fun part, buttoning the collar. Now, I don't have the most svelte of necks, and I kinda screwed up while re-sewing the button on the shirt collar, so buttoning it requires more dexterity than usual. Add to that the glacial advance of arthritis, and some mornings it's just a massive PITA to get this particular shirt buttoned up.

Well, it just wasn't happening today. Either my fingers were just off-kilter, or the stars weren't in proper alignment. After literally 10 minutes of fucking around, I just kind of snapped.

I really should have just changed shirts much earlier. After the first 3 minutes, though, you've got a certain amount of time and effort invested, and you'd like a return. After 6 minutes, it's just pure stubborness. After 9 minutes, it's pure Red Curtain OF Blood rage.

Next thing I know, I'm holding onto two shirt halves, and buttons are scattered all over the floor. I'm not quite sure I needed to reach that level of blind rage that early in the morning, and my poor shirt agrees with me.

Damn, I kinda liked that shirt, too.

Monday, May 23, 2005

It's All Aboot The Duct Tape!

Greetings, my little chickadees.

El Capitan has a splitting headache, and 4 hours of work left. He is not in much of a blogging mood, so while waiting for the Motrin to kick in, he's gonna post a few quotes from his favorite (and only) TV show from Northern Canuckistan. Then, he will go hide in the bathroom with the lights off for his lunch hour lest his cranium explode.

The Red Green Show is a long-running sketch comedy from our neighbors to the north. The shows are set in the Possum Lodge at Possum Lake, near the wonderful town of Port Asbestos. Try to imagine combining a fishing show, a home repair show, a splash of maple-syrup coated Oprah, and have all that wrapped up in lots and lots of duct tape.

I first ran across it on the PBS station up in Dallas, and still try to catch a few episodes here & there when I can. Naturally, I am stymied in this attempt in Houston, as our local PBS station leads the free world in Extreme Suckitude. Their idea of a comedy show is asking me to donate money every 4 months when they don't show a single BritCom. Heh. As if.

So, if you have a chance to watch Red Green, grab your roll of duct tape and give it a go. It never fails to make me laugh.

Here's some selected quotations from past shows.

Dalton Humphries: Well, your dad taught you about the birds and the bees, didn't he?

Red Green: No, he just gave me a book by Mickey Spillane called "Kiss Me Deadly" and he said this is what married people do. I thought he meant shoot each other and have car chases.
Red Green: [singing] Oh, I know a guy with a car named Sue, he was the butt of many jokes / He had named his car after his wife, 'Cause it's hard to start and it smokes.
Harold Green: Where does cheese come from, anyway?

Red Green: I'm not sure but I think butter comes from leaving milk out too long.

Harold Green: Maybe cheese is butter that has been left out too long...

Red Green: Yeah, could be... but I always thought cheese was a urine product. No, maybe that's cheez-whiz.
Red Green: Men are like gas, they take up the space available.
Reg Hunter: "Vegetarian" is an old Indian word meaning "I don't hunt so good."
Red Green: Remember, you may have to grow old, but you don't have to mature.
[the "Men Anonymous" pledge, or the Man's Prayer]
All: I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.
Red Green: So I guess the moral here is "Never throw a used fuel pump from a Russian Rocket Missile into Possum Lake."
Red Green: The Red Green Show is kind of like the flu; not everybody gets it.
Red Green: If my dog had eaten as much homework as I said he did, he'd be passing firelogs!
Glen Braxton: It is physically impossible to drink a 5-gallon pail full of water, while lying down.
Earl Battersby: We now have a drive-thru window to serve all your live bait needs. But we've had to go to containers; people feel just a bit skittish about driving through a school zone with a lap full of frogs.
Red Green: [singing] Oh, they're weighin' the fish at the fish weigh-in, down at Mercury Creek / The prize is a boat and a bucket of bugs for the biggest fish of the week / I caught me a nice little sunfish, it's gonna make me a winner / Not from the size of the fish itself, but the ball bearings I fed it for dinner.
Red Green: We now come to the part of the show called "If it ain't broke, you're not trying!"
Red Green: Well, I'm not gonna be calling the U.S. Air Force, Harold. What do I say? We've got a missile? They take that as a threat, we're in real trouble.
Harold Green: Well, then, contact the Canadian Air Force.
Red Green: Harold, it's after six; he's gone home.
Red Green: Now, I know a lot of you teenagers don't like to hear advice, but communication is an important part of life. And besides, who cares what *you* think?

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

My fave mid-price steakhouse, Texas Land & Cattle, just sent me a coupon via the Sunday paper. It's for all-you-can-eat smoked sirloin, my favorite item on their menu.

Heh. Silly rabbits!

Either they will toss me out bodily (and it will take a mess of 'em for that), or I will bankrupt them, or at least blow their profit margin for that day. Well, that or I'll suffer a simultaneous gastric rupture, massive coronary, and crippling stroke.

It will be worth it!

You day traders out there... I recommend going long on short-term beef futures.

Friday, May 20, 2005

More Wisdom Of The Manolo!

It is the Day Two of the EuroVision Song Contest, and The Manolo, he is making the super-fantastic fun of these EuroTrash songsters.

El Capitan, he reads the wisdom of The Manolo, and he is giggling not in the mildly amused, discreet way, but in the hiccupping, belly-jiggling, tears-in-the-eyes manner of the louts and the enfeebled.

El Capitan says, go, read the poking of the fun by The Manolo, and have the good giggles before the end of the Friday!

Day One

Day Two

UPDATE!Day Three

Toons, Tubing, & Targets!!!

Dump The Kids At Gramma's Place, and Come Have A Blast!

I've been a bit pokey in getting this posted, but I'll make up for it by posting it every week until Zippo has so many RSVPs he's hollering for mercy!

We're gonna have fun, kiddies! Good music at Gruene Hall Friday night, tubing down a river on Saturday, and shooting large caliber weapons on Sunday! Somewhere in all that excitement, I imagine we'll squeeze in some eatin', drinkin', jawin' and bloggin'! I'm also gonna twist some arms to make sure we do at least one meal at the Grist Mill!

Head to this page, and let Zip & Beth know you're interested. Hell, drop a note in my comments, and I'll pass the word.

Come out from behind those monitors, you bloggers and blog-readers! We wanna meet ya! We don't bite! (very hard, anyway...)

See you there!

Carnival Of Recipes #40!

Lots of good stuff over at Curmudgeonry! Jordana Adams, the Chief Pontificator (and also a way cool person, 'cause she's using a email address!) has knocked together a pretty darned good Carnival of Recipes this week!

Go check out the Carnival! Cook up some vittles! Share them with me!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

More Required Reading

Turn off the TV, shoo away the cats & kids, go get a fresh cup of your preferred tasty beverage, and settle in for the latest by Bill Whittle.

Sanctuary Pt. I

Sanctuary Pt. II

The man's a national treasure. He oughta charge for this stuff!

Oh, wait! He does! BUY HIS BOOK!

More Fun Quizzes

You scored as Existentialist. Existentialism emphasizes human capability. There is no greater power interfering with life and thus it is up to us to make things happen. Sometimes considered a negative and depressing world view, your optimism towards human accomplishment is immense. Mankind is condemned to be free and must accept the responsibility.









Cultural Creative








What is Your World View?
created with

Panang Beef

No, It's Not Something Nasty Involving A Cow!

I haven't posted a recipe in ages, and I'm stuffed full of yummy Thai food right now, so I thought I'd share the wealth and give y'all the recipe for my favorite Thai culinary obsession.

It's a curry, but don't let that scare you off. Most people upon hearing "curry" usually imagine a nuclear-yellow thick soup that will peel the skin off your tongue. While this can be true (often deliciously so!), this curry is quite mild-mannered, and even pale-skinned Yankees can eat this one without turning beet red and sweating through their scalp.

I've been eating this dish on a regular basis from the little Thai joint near my building downtown. I try not to go there more than once a week lest I burn myself out on it, but that's hard to imagine since it's so darn good.

I had to play around with several recipes before I found one like they make at this place. Sure, it would have been easy to ask the owners for their Panang Beef recipe, but while I enjoy their food, I'm nervous about getting near them. See, the wife of the duo has got this really freaky expression when she talks. She's very friendly, but when she recognizes you and smiles, her eyes open up real wide, and her lips pull back from her teeth about 2 inches, and with her pale skin and tiny nose, she looks exactly like a skull chattering at you in a thick Thai accent. I'm worried that if I get too close, she'll eat my face off.

Y'know... I'm just assuming that's beef. Hmmmm... wonder if they're connected to the disappearing homeless person problem downtown. I always thought "Sweeney Todd's House Of Thai" was an odd name.

I digress...

Here's how you make it. It'll take about an hour altogether.

First, put a bunch of rice in your rice cooker and cook it. You DO have a rice cooker, don't you? You'll want to serve this over a bed of rice. I prefer basmati, but any long grain rice will do.

Next, make sure you have the following ingredients:

1.5 - 2 pounds lean beef, cubed (you can use chicken or pork, too)
2 cans coconut milk
5 tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste Use less if you're a chili-heat weenie, but not much less!
1/2 cup yellow or red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup red bell pepper (optional)*
1/2 cup Thai Basil stems and leaves (optional)*
6-8 kaffir lime leaves, minced
2 tbsp Thai Fish sauce (or nuoc mam)
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp Tamarind paste

*Note: I don't like basil all that much, nor red bell peppers, so I omit these. Still, you might give it a try. The red bell peppers do add needed color for presentation, if you're making this for a party. When I'm alone, I could give a damn about how it looks!


In skillet or pan in a bit of oil, brown meat on all sides. Set aside on paper towels to drain.

In medium saucepan, heat 1/4 of a can of coconut milk on medium heat. When it starts to bubble, stir in the curry paste and lime leaves. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds until paste starts to brown.

Stir in remaining coconut milk into curry paste. Increase heat to high, bringing mixture to a boil. Allow to boil for about 5 to 10 minutes or until it reduces by a third.

Reduce to simmer. Add beef, basil leaves, onion, fish sauce, tamarind and sugar. Let simmer until it reduces further, and gets thick and goopy. You'll see a lot of red chili oil float to the top. Do NOT skim this off! Stir it back in!

Garnish with red bell peppers, serve over rice. Will serve 4 normal folks, or one Texan.

Now, likely there are foodie snobs out there turning up their noses since I have the temerity to suggest making a Thai recipe, and not being 100% authentic and making my own curry paste.

Well, time is a factor in my life, and red curry paste is a mixture of dry chili pepper, shallot, garlic, galangal, lemon grass, cilantro root, peppercorn, coriander, salt, shrimp paste and kaffir lime zest. It takes a lot of time to gather the ingredients, prepare them, and grind the paste, time that I don't really have. I don't make my own fish sauce, either. The neigbors complained last time I had a 55 gallon drum of fermenting anchovies on the front porch, so that project had to cease.

Also, making your own red curry paste involves acquiring something called galangal. I don't know what galangal is, and neither do you. So, just buy the premade paste and do the best you can. The Thai people will forgive you!

Hope y'all enjoy it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

So Many Blogfests, So Little Time!

Man, I wish I could swing going to this party, the Alamo City Blogfest 2005. I'm gonna go see my nephew get oiled up and watered down at his baptism/christening thing at a church in Buda that afternoon, so I won't be able to make it.

Damned shame. Look at some of their proposed contest categories. I could take at least 5 of those without even trying hard!
Most like their blogging persona in person
Most unlike their blogging persona in person (unexpected)
Farthest distance traveled
Most unexpected real-life career
Yee-Ha! The life of the party!
Most Geek-ish
Least Geek-ish

Oh, well. I'll still be at the New Braunfels bash that evening! I hope you will too!

How To Annoy El Capitan - Method # 4547

This kind of corporate behavior is inexcusable!
Colorado man says Budweiser distributor fired him for drinking Coors
Associated Press

DENVER — Ross Hopkins still likes to drink Bud, even though he says a brief tryst with a Coors beer cost him his job at a Budweiser distributor...

...Hopkins, who was a warehouse supervisor for the distributor, said he was not wearing a uniform or representing American Eagle when he was at the bar in May 2003 with some co-workers. He said he had ordered a Budweiser but a waitress brought Coors. He decided to drink it because he didn't want to wait...

If you're going to guarantee me a lifetime job with decent benefits, in return I might be able to agree to only consume your products. These days, however, corporations will sell you down the river just to bump their quarterly return a couple of percentage points. They do not deserve, and can not earn the kind of loyalty demanded here by this pack of assholes.

Now, if the guy was on his route, in uniform, and slurping down a competitor's brew, yeah, by all means call him on the carpet. Off duty, though, is off duty. Your ability to dictate my behavior to me ends when I leave your parking lot at 5 pm.

This kind of behavior by companies cannot be allowed to stand. It's wrong to demand your employees drink only your beer, it's wrong to demand that U.S. automakers don't drive imports, and it's wrong to force people not to engage in any legal activity once they're on their own time!

Where might this lead if other people catch on?

"Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Capitan. In spite of your 20 years of service to Land o' Lakes Butter company, we caught you putting margarine on your toast. You're fired! What? Doctor's orders to lose weight? Well, too bad. Maybe he'll hire you!"


"Gee, Mr. Capitan, I'm afraid we're gonna have to let you go! You see, you work for the City of Poughkeepsie, and we caught you traveling over to Jersey City! We don't allow that!"

Now, for all my ranting and raving over free markets and unrestrained capitalism, I am NOT advocating that the guv'mint step in. This needs to be a market decision. So, let 10,000 people write to Anheuser Busch and to these shitheels and let them know that all A-B products are not going to be purchased for the foreseeable future, and they might just change their mind and their batshit policies.

Fortunately, I find most A-B brews to be unpalatable swill, anyway, so it's not real hard for me to bypass the Michelob Amber Bock for some Shiner.

For the record, all the beverage people I've ever met (manager level & up), be it beer, soda, whatever, are generally all this fanatical about brand loyalty. Guys, you're selling sugar water and fermented rice juice. Take a deep breath, and get the fuck over yourselves!

Swallow Your Drink Before Reading This One!

'Cause I Horked Up A Spray Of Limeade All Over My Keyboard!

I was perusing the latest on Tiffany's blog Blown Fuse, and nearly ruptured myself reading one of the comments, posted by Harvey of Bad Example.

A while back, Tiffany was ranting about the public antics of sorority chix (and deservedly so), and some random TriDelt bowhead came across her post and just *had* to stand up for her sisters.

Naturally, she got a quick drubbing from the peanut gallery, but Harvey's comment just slayed me.

"I don't like TriDelts - they taste like Monistat."


So true! so true!

I'm Surrounded By Babies!

They're Everywhere! They're Everywhere!

Meet Anwen Ruth, the brand new daughter of my friends Andy & Laura. She made her appearance last night at 9:30 pm, and just like her Dad taught her, she chose to do the deed in an unconventional fashion!

I couldn't be more pleased with their good fortune! Way to go, guys!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Weekend Survey #11

Well, it's been a while since I've lifted something from Sheila's blog. It's one in what looks to be a series of weekend surveys she got from this blog, and naturally, I couldn't wait for the weekend. Or, I procrastinated too long to do it last weekend, take your pick.

1. Name three people you consider heroes.
Teddy Roosevelt
Jimmy Stewart
Anyone who's ridden a rocket into space.

2. What qualities attract you to others?
Loyalty. I don't play the fickle friend game. Either we're friends, or we're not. Let's not fuck around about it.

Discretion. Friends help you move. REAL friends help you move bodies.

Having an open mind, and the ability to change. Like it or not, the world is in shades of gray, not a black/white dichotomy. If you can't flex, you're gonna break.

3. What qualities do you think other people are attracted to in you?
I honestly haven't got a f#*$&ng clue. I possess a moderate wit, a head full of extensive but scattered knowledge, and I'm a pretty good listener, mostly 'cause I don't like unloading my issues on someone else. Beyond that, I'm about fresh out of pleasant qualities.

Oh, wait, there is something. I don't mind making trips out to the airport to pick up & drop off people.

4. Where do you want to go today?
To the nearest habitable planet with a shipload of like-minded individuals.

5. What's your favorite curse word?
Goddammit!! Why'd you ask me that! Goddammit!!

6. What lights you up and blisses you out?
A big fat minnow of Skunk #1. But since I live under the threat of random urinalysis, I'll go with a Sonic Lemon Slush with about 3 fingers of Absolut Citron added.

Oh yeah, better go for a good novel, a fresh glass of iced tea, and world peace while we're at it.

7. What qualities do you dislike in others?
Being too full of yourself. Trust me, most people aren't all that special. Even the President of the U.S. is replaceable.

People that try too hard. Just relax and be yourself. Of course, if "yourself" is a raging egomaniac, we're gonna have some issues.

Zealotry. Take a chill pill, dude. You can re-commence converting the heathen or chastising the wicked on Monday. For now, just have a beer and let's chat.

8. Do you speak any foreign languages?
I've got enough Spanish to get a drink, a meal, a room, a woman or a fight in Juarez or Nuevo Laredo. I can understand a good deal of written French & Italian, but can't speak either worth a damn.

9. Recommend a book you think readers should check out.
Emily Post's Guide To Etiquette. The proletariat truly have appalling manners these days.

10. Angels are to cargo nets as _____ is to swimsuit mishaps. inane analogy question...

11. Name at least one person you'd have a fling with (besides your significant other - I'm looking for celebs here.)
My Monica Bellucci fascination is extremely well documented by now! Julianna Margulies and Jennifer Connelly also have express permission to eat crackers in my bed at any time.

12. What happens when we die?
Having been the instigator of numerous cute little Bambis and widdle fuzzy bunnies sudden and violent demise, I've watched the death process up close. By process of extrapolation, and the possible existence of human souls notwithstanding, I'm kind of thinking we just fade to black, and become a chunk o' cooling meat once the synapses die down. I'd like to think there's an afterlife awaiting us all, but despite the claims of snake-oil salesmen for the past 10,000 years, none of us will ever really know until its our time to die. Maybe not even then.

13. Do you believe in anything supernatural?
Not really. Does the collective unconscious qualify? How about karma?

14. How would you rate George Bush's job performance?
C minus. If he locks down the borders, supports a national sales tax, and tells the U.N. to go fuck themselves, I'll raise it to a B. Arranging a Buddy Holly-style plane ride for Teddy Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Schumer, Barbara Boxer and Cynthia McKinney will earn him enough extra credit for a B+.

15. Why is the sky blue?
'Cause purple would clash with the oceans.

Love Is...

Remember how I said in the '100 Things About Me' post that I had a endless capacity for tasteless humor? Well, these gems made me laugh hard enough to almost bust a rib!

The premise for this website is, these are the rejected submissions for the ancient "Love Is..." cartoon submitted by fans.

Here's a sample. Absolutely freakin' hilarious! But not kid friendly!! Be warned!

Go check 'em all out! Don't laugh too loud!

Found via Silflay Hraka.

WARNING!! Cute Baby Alert!

Diabetics Are Warned! Excessive Sweetness Ahead!

Just got another batch of photos of little Sammy from my sister. He's up to 11 pounds already! Pretty soon we can go out for wimmen and brewskis!

My sister didn't caption the photos, but I can imagine pretty well what's going on. Right now I think he's watching CNN on their living room TV, and getting pissed off at the liberal slant. Or, he just wants his diaper changed.

Here Mom (and *damn* does it feel weird referring to my little sister using that term...) goes to check on the diaper, and Sammy raises hell 'cause she's blocking the TV screen! Well, that or he wants a shot of Maker's Mark bourbon.

OK, that's all for now!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Four Things

I'm kinda light on ideas today, so I'm 'borrowing' this one from Lady Mac. She in turn "totally ripped it off" from someone named Sheri, so I guess we're all just swapping memes like STD's! Well, OK, like a common cold. I've only met Lady Mac once, after all!

Here we go:

Name four books on your bookshelf: Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, Kitchen Confidential, Guns, Germs & Steel, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

Name four DVDs Movies in your collection: Only four? OK, howzabout... Dazed & Confused, A Bridge Too Far, Topsy-Turvy, and Casablanca. Eclectic? Just a little bit!

Name four things on your walls: A homemade Texas-shaped plaque/shelf thingie holding a $300 bottle of champagne, a framed poster of the battle flags of the CSA Texas divisions, Maxfield Parrish prints, pirate regalia.

Name four things in your wardrobe: ugly-ass business slacks & button-down shirts for M-F, cotton & linen slacks, loads of collared shirts for weekends.

Name four artists in your music collection: Annie Lennox, Jimmy Buffett, Frank Sinatra, Kid Rock

Name four real life stores you shop at regularly: Central Market, Half Price Books, HEB, Wal-Mart

Name four things in your bag: I call it a carryall, but I'm sure my friends (behind my back) call it a "murse" or man-purse. I gotta have at all times: Shout stain-wipes, 'cause I'm a slob. Sunglasses. Daytimer. Pocketknife.

Name four things in your cupboard that are in cans: smoked oysters, Mexican hot pickled carrots, Niblets corn, Clam chowder.

Feel free to spread this one around!

The Germans... The Germans!!!

"Yes, You Did! You Invaded Poland!"

OK, I couldn't resist tossing in an inappropriate (but extremely funny) Fawlty Towers quote into my little screed against German Nationalists. To get the whole scoop, see the episode titled, by coincidence, 'The Germans'.

Why go nuts over Nazis? 'Cause the poxy Krauts have invaded my email! They apparently needed some lebensraum in my inbox, because the anschluss started this weekend. About 10 times a day for the past zwei days, I get another random piece of email from somewhere, all in German, and all having something to with the regrettable state of affairs in Der Vaterland.

I'm not really sure what these emails say. All the Hochdeutsch I know, I learned from war movies. This does me little good with emails or conversing with actual Germans, mind you, but it does do wonders for scaring the odd Frenchman I run across. Usually, I get to keep whatever they drop as they hightail it in the opposite direction.

I tried running these emails through Sherlock, which has a pretty good translator, but I'm thinking these von Ribbentrop wannabes are using a lot of slang, and the resulting translations are kind of garbled. Here's an example:
To understand that yearning of ethnic German with landsmen in Germany becomes very quite suitably again intercoursing, must registered understand a deep of the moosehead feeling in the national socialistic concept of people relationship in the most logical extreme. To Amerikanischers a intercourse of the different European ethnic groups, that a bigger untenable population of Whites, an ethnic homogeneous partnership do not support the skin diver suit, when basis of that of compactness national is almost inconceivable on an emotional height. Yet without this deeply rooted sense of the member, white Americans of annihilation racial almost more certainly stand within two hundred years vis-à-vis. Fortunately however is to be understood at least possible, national intercourse on an intellectual height, with which big wads of hope that an loving basis can be formed by the men with large melon heads. This social circlejerk and infusing of the educational base in white Americans correct accordingly is for the promoting of a European racial partnership in the United States one of the large goals of the national alliance.

I'm guessing some pinhead signed me up on account of my refusal to embrace their liberal mindset. After all, if you can't convince someone through reasoned argument, then obviously they're a closet Nazi and need to be put on the Hitlerjugend mailing lists.

well, I've signed a few people up for "Stop Bedwetting Now" help manuals back in the day, so this is just karma taking a chunk out of my tailsection. So be it.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Think Happy Thoughts!

The goal is a child who will rebel against her parents and vote conservative in 18 years!

My favorite besieged Blue-Staters, the Andy & Laura Anarcho-Socialist Pagan United Worker's Collective Domestic Co-op Coalition, are about ready to bring their first child into the world!

Laura's had her Central Baby Processing Unit churning along for about 9 months, and the progress bar is right at the 99% mark! They should be downloading little Anwen Ruth any day now.

Y'know, politics is politics, and we often disagree, but one thing we can all get behind without reservation is a healthy newborn, with no difficulties for the mom, either.

Wish 'em well, friends, neighbors and readers. I'm Fed-Ex'ing a big wad of happy thoughts up to Dallas this week, and I hope you will too!

Good luck, my friends!

Carnival Of Cordite #13 Is Posted!!

Well, I coulda sworn it was 12, but the Grand Poobah of the Carnival decreed it was to be a baker's dozen.

Any way you count it, it's worth dropping in!

Go read!

Can't Wait To See How This Ends!

Mess With Divas At Your Own Risk!

Blogging early in the morning is problematic for me, as I don't often have all my social filters running at full speed. You know, those little mental gizmos that tell you what's gonna be OK, and what's gonna get you tarred and feathered?

I dropped by Christina's place, and saw the reference to the latest 25 word challenge. It's a story by many authors, each of whom advance the tale by exactly 25 words.

The subject this week was sex & romance, and due to the early hour, or low weekend traffic, there were only two sections completed. Naturally, I had to add something. That darn over-developed Absurdity gene of mine kicked in, though. I'm afraid they won't like the direction I've spun the tale.

Let's see how the divas handle this! I'm hoping for some creativity to follow this one up! I'll be quite put out if my section gets "disappeared". You never can tell with divas...

UPDATE: Bah. Trying to throw a group of sex-crazed bloggers for a loop failed miserably. My little monkeywrench didn't even slow them down as they went galloping madly for the naughty bits. You'd think they'd never had sex before, the way they oozed and panted their way through their 25 words. Sigh. Try for a little creativity, end up in a Harlequin Romance.

Friday, May 13, 2005

You Want Some Pie? I'll Give Ya Some Pie!!

I just now noticed that there's a pile of Cohiba cigar ashes and a couple of Tecate cans left lying around in my comments section, meaning that the rare Grey-Plumed Zippo was roosting there for a bit.

He suggests that I go to N'awlins and have a Key Lime Shooter at Margaritaville. Heh. Silly Zippo! I've got some Pie waiting for him!

He might have forgotten, but the crown jewel in my long-neglected Booze Reviews is this recipe for a shooter called, coincidentally, Key Lime Pie!

When he gets the date nailed down for the Brew Naunfels BlogBash, I'll start laying in stocks of booze to concoct a 55 gallon drum full of these tasty shooters. We'll all get a load on, and sing Buffett tunes until the polite yet stern men with their shiny silver bracelets drop by to tell us to cease & desist.

After all, it's not officially a party until either:

a) The cops show up
b) Someone yacks on the stereo
c) Someone tips over the bong, soaking the carpet in bongwater.

Hopefully, we'll see all three before 10 pm. And I'm SO glad it's not my stereo!

Finally Back To Normal!

I'd link to the story, but it's on the Crudicle's front page, and likely to change soon.

Sculptor David Adickes repaints the mustache on his 36-foot-high statue, The Virtuouso, at the Lyric Centre downtown today. Building management had the mustache painted black in March, infuriating Adickes. Today, the artist was hoisted in a cherry-picker, paid for by U.S. Property Management, who still refused to comment, and returned the mustache to its original white.

Pic Copyright Larry Reese/Chronicle

Finally! I've had to ride by this thing every day since it was defaced! Glad to see it's back to normal.

It's Not Plagiarism, It's An Homage!*

Boy, try to do something nice for people...

I sprinkle in a few tips for new bloggers as part of the New Blogger Showcase, and look at all these reprobates lifting my idea!

The nerve! Hey, guys! Try some original content sometime!

{Set Sarcasm Mode: *OFF*} (heh, like I'd get those three trolling this place for ideas...)

*As for the title of this puerile attempt at Friday snarkiness, it comes from an electronic exchange I had with a widely-published author of science fiction. It seems that in one of his novels, he for all intents and purposes copied directly from the screenplay of the movie 'Zulu', changing only the setting and the names. It was so blatant at one point that I had to go pop in the videotape just to compare the two.

I bitched about it online, in the usual SF bitching forum, and the author was kind enough to condescend to reply to one of the unwashed masses. I believe his direct quote was "Ah. We call that an *homage*." implying that I was incorrect, unpublished and ignorant all in the same sentence.

Needless to say, my purchases of his work have since fallen off drastically.


I read a bit of advice the other day that's been keeping my ponderer pondering. I wish I could remember where I picked it up, but in essence the advice was to NOT do a reciprocal blogroll. It's nice that others put you on their links page or buddies list, but if you're not reading their stuff, then you can't really recommend them based on their current output, therefore why advertise them? I can agree with that in theory, but I don't know if I can comply. If someone's linking to me, it's not that much trouble to return the favor. The fact that I'm slow to put people up on my blogroll is more a matter of procrastination than a reluctance based on their blog content.

OTOH, I really haven't had someone link to me that I've seriously disagreed with, so I haven't had to make that judgement call yet. To be honest, the odds of bloggers like Oliver "Dunderhead" Willis and "Screw 'em" Kos linking to me are astronomically remote, but there's no way in hell I'd feel obligated to reciprocate.

I've had a bunch of folks in the last month link me, and I'm starting to feel bad that I haven't expanded my blogroll. I'm procrastinating worse than usual this go-round, 'cause on the last update I screwed up and made the batch of graphical links 5 pixels wider than the others, and don't really want to go back and fix them, cause it's a massive PITA. Still, I need to do it before I start on any new ones.

So, until I get the urge to go .gif-tweaking, here's a selection of folks that have linked me, and I'm just way overdue in giving them some recognition. Drop in and check 'em out.

Straight White Guy - Eric's all over the blogosphere. He's people that *knows* people! I've dropped in his place from time to time, but I'm gonna have to start reading more often, 'cause he's in tight with my dueling partner!

Grendel's Dragon - Linked up with me as a result of the New Blogger Showcase. New, but a lot of promise! Plus, he's a Bucs fan, so that's just all kinds of cool with this pirate!

Down For Repairs - The illustrator of the Bloginatrix!

Lollygaggin - I dunno how she found me, but I'm sure glad I followed the link on the server log back to her! This is some funny, funny stuff! I was amazed at the similarity of our blogrolls, so I'm not too surprised we collided. Go see how things play in Peoria!

Ramblings' Journal - If you want to read the blog of a black conservative, (and they're rare around these parts) here's the place to go. I know Lashawn Barber gets all the press, but Michael King is eminently more readable, and you don't have to wade through hip-deep moralizing. A good man, and a good blog.

Numenous Thoughts - Wish I could tell you the full story here about how I discovered who this blogger was. The puppy gave it away! That's all I'm saying!

That's all for now. Gotta go price plane tix to New Orleans!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Run, Condi! Run!!

'Cause We Want A Heaping Serving Of Pate De Hildebeest!

Couldn't have said it better myself!

Brava! Brava, la donna forte!!

Decisions, Decisions...

Choosing The Path Of Most Persistence

As an unusual move on my part, I was laying plans to have lunch catered in to the entire office for my birthday. It's completely unlike me to show this amount of largesse for people I mostly don't associate with, but it would also be the week prior to my one year anniversary. (and subsequent transfer from probationary employee to lifetime feeder from the public trough) A grand gesture like that would be memorable, and earn me a few tickmarks in the goodwill column.

Plus, I really like springing surprises on people. This would be kinda fun to do, just 'cause no one ever does anything like it. That's me, Mr. Excitement...

However, there's a big however standing in the way. There's now a move afoot to have a blogmeet in New Orleans at approximately the same time period. The cost for the trip would be roughly equal to the cost of feeding 35 people. I can't do both, unless I have PB&J sammiches and Kool-Ade brought in.

I can easily swing one or the other without damaging the pocketbook too much. It's already a given that my Q2 2005 purchase of a G5 iMac is gonna be pushed back, possibly to Xmas. Ditto the digital camera. I also haven't fixed the AC in the PimpSled, and with summer coming on, that's gotta happen soon, lest I melt into a puddle of chilidog-flavored ooze one hot afternoon.

Bah. I miss the private sector. Piles of money, and the occasional bonus, as well. A bonus while working for The Man means you don't have the toilets explode from faulty maintenance.

Maybe I oughta flip a coin to decide.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Best Laid Plans...

Damn, someone stop this woman before she travels again!!

Christina of Feisty Repartee is on a blogmeet rampage! I can only assume the earth-shattering disappointment of not being able to attend the Texas Blogfest in March has addled her brain, and she's trying to make up for it in a whirlwind of blogmeets around the country!

I would have called it quits after the Wreckyll in Jekyll, judging from the reports of that intoxi-fest. Nevertheless, our intrepid bloginatrix heads first for San Antone, to the upcoming BBQ picnic/Meet & Greet. Then, there's her upcoming trip to New Orleans to hang out with this guy and a random assortment of hard-travelin' bloggers.

Zippo is lining up a BBQ at his remote hideaway in Brew Naunfels, but knowing a bit about how hard it is to peel people away from their daily lives, I hate the thought of trying to get the same group of people to attend all these sessions. I suppose we should just accept the primacy of Christina's legendary planning gene, nominate her the Official Organizer for Lone Star Bloggers, and just hop onto whatever merry-go-round swings nearest our neighborhood.

I'm sorely tempted by the N'Awlins trip.. It's been more than a few years since I've been there. OTOH, New Orleans in the middle of the summer is just about miserable unless you're wrapped in ice packs inside a walk-in cooler. As tasty as those frozen daquiris and Hurricanes are, when you're drunk, it just makes the heat unbearable.

Lots to think on. Wonder if they have a good shootin' range in New Orleans?

¡Ay Caramba! A La Cama Con El Capitan

Not much blogging yesterday. Despite a weekend of sloth and non-productivity, my batteries just wore down yesterday afternoon, and I barely made it home before falling asleep. It was so bad, I almost didn't wake up when the bus hit my stop, and I had to go sit in the sun for a while before I felt I could drive home without nodding off. I got home, checked email, then dove headlong for the bed. Aside from waking up around 2 am due to a cat sitting on my chest wanting to go out, I slept straight through, almost 12 solid hours.

I suppose my poor diet and odd hours are to blame. I've tried to eat the occasional salad and take my vitamins, but I'm just not up to cooking a balanced meal after the evening commute, so my food intake for the past 2 weeks has been mainly of the "fast & out of a bag" variety. I've also been less than diligent about my blood pressure meds, so that's also got to be a factor in the 'generally feeling like a worn-out rag' mode I've been in.

Doing OK today. The major stress-factors on the job have been completed, so now it's just a slow coast until Hizzoner gets around to some overdue obligations before I have to go into panic mode again.

Hmmm. I feel a Joe Walsh moment coming on... just a sec...

"I can't complain, but sometimes I still do! Life's been good to me so far!!"

OK, I'm better now.

Hope everyone enjoyed the New Blog Showcase. I gotta say, there's a lot more work in hosting them than there is in just submitting a post! I'm scheduled to host a Carnival of Cordite (gun-related) in July, and I'm thinking about doing a Carnival of Recipes sometime, just 'cause I've been so lax about cooking. It's a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. Give it a try sometime!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Kingdom Of Boredom

I'm trying of something positive and uplifting to say regarding the movie 'Kingdom Of Heaven', which I viewed last night. I am, however, drawing a blank. It's just not that good a movie.

It wasn't the Islamic love-fest that the hard right wing blogs say it is. It's not full of Christian Crusaders putting babies on pikes, as the Moonbat crowd claims. It seemed to find a balance between the two religions, in terms of having an equal number of assholes on either side.

The lead actor was too young for the part. The lead female looked more like a suburban mall-rat/goth grrrl than a princess of Jerusalem. The only other female in the movie with any length of face time was dead for her entire scene. The swordplay was sloppy, the trebuchets flung flaming cans of gasoline impossible distances, and like the last couple of Ridley Scott features I've seen, the entire film was kind of a murky grey color, even in the blinding desert sunlight.

It didn't completely suck. It just wasn't very good. Your mileage may vary.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Because You Were Wondering...

I did indeed open up the letter. It was short & to the point, thanking me for the gift, relaying a certain amount of disappointment, but no rancor was heaped upon me. It included a nice photo of the newlyweds, and an invite to re-establish normal diplomatic relations.

So, all is not perfect, but it coulda been a lot worse.

Now you know!

May 2005 Range Report

True to my procrastinating nature, instead of spending Saturday afternoon detailing the Caddy as previously scheduled, I blew it off in favor of something enjoyable. What the hell. Baked-on bird crap kinda adds character to the old gal.

Instead of doing something responsible, I went to the shooting range to break in the new Ruger Vaquero. Seemed like a good idea at the time, anyway.

I'd never been out to the American Shooting Centers out near Hwy 6 & Westheimer. It's back in the Addicks Reservoir area, not far from West Oaks Mall. I wasn't sure what to expect, but found it a pleasant, well-run facility, at least for pistol shooting. Fees run $8 per shooter & 1st firearm, with $4 for each additional gun. They've got a pro shop onsite with loads of goodies and ammo, and I picked up a box of 50 .45 Long Colt rounds for $20 in addition to the range fee.

They're all about the safety rules at ASC, which I have no quibble with. There's multiple range officers on hand, and they all keep an eagle eye out for potential problems. Shooting periods last for about 1/2 hour, followed by a cease-fire and a walk-by inspection to make sure each gun has its action open or cylinder out. Finally, after warning people not to handle any firearms until the range goes 'hot' again, you are allowed to replace your targets on the backstops, using the supplied stapleguns. (Believe me, the stapleguns are an unbelievable luxury! I'm used to using everything from thumbtacks to scotch tape at some ranges I've been to!)

They've got 7, 10 and 15 yard pistol ranges, and some 20 yd and longer ranges for .22 rifles and shotguns. I didn't check out all the rifle offerings, but I did see a 50 yard and 100 yard range for big-bore work. The website says they offer up to 300 yard rifle ranges. They've got facilities for skeet shooting and sporting clays, but I'm not wealthy enough to support that hobby!

The range was busy, but there were enough open lanes that there was no waiting list. I dumped all my gear at a 10 yd slot, and waited to post my targets. There's a roof over all the lanes, so ear protection is a must once you get underneath it.

There was a really diverse crowd there Saturday. Quite a few college-age kids with .40 S&W poppers, a few older types with really pricy race guns, and several families shooting everything from .22 to .44 Mag.

I bought a couple of bullseye targets and a couple of silhouette targets, and alternated between the Vaquero and the 1911A1. I put 100 rounds through the sixgun, and 150 rounds through the auto, and learned several things.

First, I'm a sloppy-ass pistol shooter. While all the rounds I sent downrange would have easily fit inside someone's torso, there was very little effort made towards grouping unless I slowed down and put my mind to it. I prefer the old one-handed bullseye marksman stance, one hand on hips, the other straight out towards the target. Not as efficient as a good Weaver stance, but my opinion is that if it comes to combat pistol work, you better plan on having only one hand available, anyway.

You're gonna have a flashlight in the other, or else be reaching for reloads, or dragging yourself behind cover. Best to practice using both hands, but one at a time, IMHO.

The Vaquero shot pretty much to point of aim, but the tiny sights made that aiming point a bit iffy at times. Also, when I tried to do a quick follow-up shot, it often went high or over to the left (or right, depending on the shooting hand) telling me I was jerking the trigger and not waiting to get the gun fully on target before touching off the followup round.

After shooting the Vaquero and retrieving the target, I was surprised to find red plasticky threads embedded around the bullet holes all over the paper. I'm thinking that the box of Black Hills ammo used a wax gas-check behind the lead bullet, but that's just a guess.

The 1911A1 is shooting low for some reason. I first noticed it at the Blogfest shoot, but it was first apparent when I started using the reloads I bought at the last gunshow. The Winchester whitebox ammo shot a bit low, but these rounds are definitely using a slower burning powder, and the rounds are grouping 3" below point of aim at 10 yards. I need to call the company that sold them and see what the deal is. I shot all the reloads except for 10-12 rounds, so I'll stick with the Winchester for my practice fodder.

Half the shooting low issue is my point of aim. I'm used to lots and lots of .22 rifle shooting, and "balancing" the entire bullseye on the tip of the front sight, instead of aiming for the middle of the bull. When I concentrated on aiming dead center, I would pull the rounds up, but I kept falling back to habit for the last 3-4 rounds in the mag.

I definitely need to shitcan the el cheapo $8 .45 mags I bought last year in favor of some more Wilson Combat mags. I had mags fail to drop clear on eject, mags fail to hold open the slide after the last shot, and one that insisted on wedging itself in the well, and having to be yanked free. Even at $25 apiece, the Wilsons are gonna be worth it!

So, looks like the Vaquero is a keeper. I really need to get into reloading, or I'm gonna spend my retirement money on ammo. 40 cents a bang is a bit high for regular shooting.

I'll be back to American Shooting Centers, too. Nice place, and well worth the range fees.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

New Blog Showcase!!

The Baboon Pirates Edition, Full Of Buccaneer Primate Goodness!

If I'm counting the editions correctly, this is the 11th New Blog Showcase. Unfortunately, we didn't even get 11 participant submissions via the regular channels. I'm thinking we need some advertising from one of the giganto-bloggers to kickstart this thing, but I can't afford the kind of coin it would take just to top the Puppy Blender's regular ad revenue.

On that note, I wonder when the first blogger Payola scandal's gonna hit?

Well, ya gotta go with whatcha got, so here's this week's edition. I've supplemented the sparse submissions with a few blogs I found, and I've interspersed the entries with some advice for the newbies. Not that I'm that far from newbie-ness myself!

Nomen Est Omen
S. Faolán Wolf brings us a brand spankin' new blog, Nomen Est Omen. While Faolán claims membership in the Shitty Blog Club, it's actually not bad at all. Faolán pursues a subject near & dear to my heart by cursing out the idjits who allow their kids to grow up unattended and feral as wild hogs. They probably smell like little hogs, too. The post is called "Dear Downstairs Neighbors". Go give it a read!
New Blogger Hint #1: Try looking at your blog using a browser different from your usual choice. Your blog may look all kinds of spiffy in IE, but may be a pile of gibberish in Opera or Firefox.

Health Business Blog
David Williams brings us the Health Business Blog, a well-written and medical business oriented blog. In other words, it's worlds apart from the usual vulgar blogs I'm reading!

He's got a good report on the Single Payer Healthcare System up in Montreal. Opponents of socialized medicine might want to give it a look-see.
New Blogger Hint #2: Watch the order that your sidebar items load. Often your little bells & whistles depend on a remote server, and if that server's down or lagging, your blog hangs on loading. Most readers won't wait more than 10 or 15 seconds for your page to load. If they get a blank screen and a spinning hourglass, they're outta there, and you've lost a potential reader. Consider moving all non-local items lower on your page, or redo your code so your sidebar loads after your main section loads.

Sapphire Soul
My buddy Zippo was wowed by the artwork and the first post on this site. He's now lurking here every day, probably drooling over his Parrothead tee shirt. I can't say that I blame him! It's a great looking site, though I do have to move off of Safari and into IE to see it correctly. (See Hint #1!)
Here's the post Zippo thought worthy of consideration.

New Blogger Hint #3: Embedding funky loud music, fart noises, screechy hollering animals, or the moan-track from p()rn films into your blog *REALLY* PO's the people accessing your blog from work.
Elyas Bakhtiari brings us, a left-leaning blog, but one that's well-written and funny, unlike most of the humorless lefty blogs out there! The Official Bush Press Conference Drinking Game is an absolute riot, but that's not the one he wanted to submit.
His submitted post concerns a topic both Cons & Libs can agree on in principle, the eradication of smallpox. It's worth your time, so go check it out!
New Blogger Hint #4: Not everyone's on broadband yet, Speedy McLAN. You want universal access for the greatest amount of readers. Bogging down your site in Java and Flash might look good to your dorm-mates, but the umpteen million poor schlubs still on dialup just hit their 'BACK' key after waiting for your page to load.

Atlas Shrugs
Pamela at Atlas Shrugs almost got a full write-up in this week's New Blog Showcase. Unfortunately, hers is not a new blog, and I'm a rules-followin' kind of guy, at least regarding something given into my care. Pamela, the next hint's for you! (Due to extreme hotness and political leanings, I couldn't axe her submission completely...)

New Blogger Hint #5: Before submitting posts to Carnivals, make sure you're aware of the ground rules, and the general tone of the Carnival.

Common Folk Using Common Sense
Shamalama is a "stoothearted lad" bringing you the perils of the eeevil Phil A. Buster. He's a groosh Scottish bairn, so go check out his blog, lest ye be laid aboot th' heid & shoulders wi' truncheon stout!

New Blogger Hint #6: Please use a color scheme that doesn't induce epileptic fits, or those that remind one of diaper-changing time. Thanks.

Techno Freek
Techno Freek at his eponymous blog wishes to introduce you to Apple's new OS named Tiger, but he's got a rather aged blog as well. Bad Freek! No Cookie! This is for new blogs! Go look up Pamela and start a Carnival of the Semi-Rejected!

New Blogger Hint #7: Running ads or Blogbegging when you're blogging on a free service is kinda tacky. I mean, it's not like you're paying for bandwidth charges or anything. At least get your own domain name before you start diluting your product by shilling for someone else.

Grendel's Dragon
Mike at Grendel's Dragon wants to tell you all about Frank Rich's tour de farce. It's hard to say if Mike is fisking the column, or just mocking it. Either way, it's a fun post, and you should go give it a read!

New Blogger Hint #8: To those wishing to increase your traffic, ain't no way quicker than to enter a few carnivals! Check out the automated Carnival submission page courtesy of The Conservative Cat. Don't worry, Blue-Staters, we won't tell your local ACLU chapter you've consorted with the enemy in the name of increasing your hit rate. Gee, taking proactive steps to increase your readership... that's a little like capitalism, isn't it? Better not tell anyone!

That's all of the regular submissions! I thought it was a bit light, so I went looking for a few cool blogs still in their 90 day warranty period. Here's what I found:

Asian Invasion - Misadventures in Hong Kong
Big Trouble In Little China! Read about an expatriate Kiwi in Hong Kong!

my smoky mtn. home
Now, this person has an ENTIRELY different worldview than I do. Odds are if we met in real life, we'd run screaming from each other. Nevertheless, Amy looks like she's got the hang of the blog thing, even this early in the game.

Lauran blogi
Knitting in Finnish. WTF. I thought knitting blogs were an urban legend. Obviously not, and they've infected Finland!
Well, I'd wear the Kittyville hat, anyway.

Mar's Eau du Blog
Blogger Monkey-monomaniac describes this blog a "Just a strange-smelling heap of bloggy goodness". It seems a bit bare now, but I'm almost certain there was more info up earlier. Somehow I learned that he is a Canuck out of Guelph, Ontario.
I've been to Guelph. Believe me, it's just a load of fun to ask a native where you're at, and when they say the name of the town, you whip out your airsickness bag you saved from the plane, and ask if they're going to need it. Usually they start grumbling about "imperialist Yanks" for some reason.

DogBlog tells the tale of a couple of English Setters traveling to a new home, courtesy of Susan, who does Rescues for unwanted dogs. Good job, Susan! Two biscuits for you!

Smoker's Inferno: A Quitter's Journal
Smoker's Inferno: A Quitter's Journal hits really close to home for me. Just reading it made me want to go get a pack of Camels. Good blog, and good luck quitting the death sticks!

OK, that's all for the Baboon Pirates edition of the New Blog Showcase! Next week we turn it over to the capable hands of Beth, The Imperious Leader of My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

See you there!

Friday, May 06, 2005

Aiiii! My Eyes!

This Is Just *SO* Wrong!

Look if you dare. (Link possibly NSFW)

UPDATE: Some people are not able to see the pic on Rob's site due to the bitmap format and the picture name, which may hang up your anti-p()rn filters. Though it deeply grieves me to do so, I've put it up on my server, and you can view it by clicking here. I am not responsible for your eyeballs imploding, though!

All Things Being Equal, I'd Rather Be A Snarly Rat

Or At Least A Well-Regarded Nutria

I've long since stuck my TTLB Ecosystem meter way down at the bottom of my blog. I got tired of seeing my ranking slide backwards from Flappy Bird to Slithery Reptile. Also, the server goes down quite frequently, and I wanted it to load last and not hang up the blog content.

Imagine my surprise when I look today and discover I've reached the Adorable Rodent level! Of course, this will not last, I'll be back to egg-laying and nest-building as soon as the Carnival Of The Vanities traffic dies off.

Still, it's nice to move up the evolutionary ladder, even for a short while!

Carnival Of Cordite #11 Is Posted!

The 11th Carnival Of Cordite has been posted over at Pajama Pundits!

There's lots of gunny goodness over there, so go give it a read!

That is all!

Oh, Man... I'm Scared Of This Thing.

When Your Past Comes Back To Haunt You

Remember last month when I completely forgot to attend a friend's wedding? Well, I didn't forget exactly, I just somehow moved the date back a week, and the participants, family and assorted friends didn't go along with my clever scheme.

Well, I felt terrible about it, and put on the Mental Hair Shirt and flogged myself unmercifully. I sent an apology and for weeks heard not a peep about my transgression.

Until yesterday.

I get home from work to find a tiny little envelope waiting for me. Now, if it was a package that was ticking, that I could understand. This is either a thank you note for the apology gift I sent, or it's an envelope full of anthrax, either real or the verbal equivalent.

I just can't bring myself to open this thing. Part of me wants to read it, yet another part doesn't want to know if she's telling me to kiss off forever.

You have to understand the players involved to know why my trepidation is so great. My friend, let's call her TxDemFemme, has a bit of an uncompromising nature. At a college party, my friend Andy crept into her room in the wee hours of the morning, and snapped a photo of TxDemFemme where she had passed out fallen asleep. She's held a grudge against him ever since. Now, with feuding potential like that, what are the chances I'll get off light for missing her wedding?

Sigh. This sucks. I mean, it's not like we've been particularly close for the past few years. She'd moved on to a different circle of friends, as had I. Of course, there's also the long-term boyfriend/new husband that took over as the resident on-call handyman and dinner partner. Still, I like her, enjoy her company, and would just as soon stay on the "Friends" roster.

The answer's in that envelope. One of these days, I'll open it.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

You'll Hate Me For This...

I tried all day to resist posting this tale, but I just couldn't hold back anymore. 15 more minutes and it would have been moved to the Irrelevant pile for another year. Damn my lack of self-control!!

Mayonnaise was invented in 1756 by the French chef of the Duc de Richelieu. After Duc de Richelieu beat the British at Port Mahon, his chef created a victory feast that was to include a sauce made of cream and eggs. Realizing that there was no cream in the kitchen, the chef substituted olive oil for the cream and a new culinary creation was born. The chef named the new sauce "Mahonnaise" in honor of Richelieu's victory.

We, of course, know this today as mayonnaise. Love it or loathe it, it's used for sandwiches, salads, hair conditioning and even lubrication. (of Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby car axles, you pervs! Get your minds out of the gutter!)

Did you know that 'Mahonnaise' was responsible for a holiday? It's true! When the Emperor Maximilian* took power in Mexico, he brought not only the French Foreign Legion into Mexico, but also French culture and cuisine. The Mexican nationals were enchanted by the new food flavors and techniques. They were especially enthusiastic about mayonnaise and hollandaise, the emulsified sauces so different from their salsas and molés.

Alas, when Maximilian was toppled from power, the supply of olive oil for the mayonnaise waned. Soon it became just a treasured memory. In the days before refrigeration, attempts to store mayonnaise in the Central American heat failed, often leaving many ill with food poisoning. 

Finally a solution appeared! In 1912, a New York deli owner named Richard Hellman was able to pack mayonnaise in glass jars, allowing it to be safely transported and stored. The Mexican ambassador to the U.S. purchased a large amount, in excess of 12,000 jars, to be distributed across Mexico. Arrangements were made with Huerta, Zapata, Madero and Pancho Villa (in the midst of a civil war!) to honor a cease-fire so the delicacy could be shipped safely.

The mayonnaise was loaded aboard a steamship departing from New York harbor and destined for Veracruz. All Mexico waited in anticipation. Tragically, the ship encountered heavy seas, and foundered off the coast of Jamaica, consigning the entire shipment to the briny deep.

The Mexican people were devastated, and swore to always mark the occasion of the tragedy, which is why to this day the Mexican people still have a day of remembrance...

Sinko De Mayo!

*Yes, I am aware he is a Hapsburg from Austria, but he was put in power thanks to Napoleon III. Don't nitpick a joke, dammit!
Hope you enjoyed the joke! It's not mine, but I spiffed up the story a bit!

Another New Toy

It's An Addiction!

So, I'm bopping around town last weekend on my semi-regular sweep of area pawn shops looking for DVDs (Found one place selling them for $3.25!) when I ran across a cutie sitting on the gunrack of a shop over on Hwy 6. Now, I wasn't really in a rifle-buying mood, and in fact had told my buddy Little Bee Boy just the day before that I wasn't shopping for guns until this fall. Still, no harm in looking, right? Heh, yeah, right!

I will say that a bit of self-restraint held me back. It was a good price on a very good looking BRNO 8mm rifle, but as I said, I was DVD shopping, and also just didn't feel like filling out a 4473 form that day. So, I left without a gun purchase.

I couldn't stop thinking about the rifle, though. What I know about Mauser clones, though, you could fit in a small cartridge box. I knew BRNO is or was a Czech arms maker, and had a good reputation for quality firearms, but not much more than that. I called in the services of the resident expert on all things related to Germans and Guns. Rockhauler went and found some beefy tome on Mauser bolties, and we ID'd the beast as a VZ24, probably made 1935 or thereabouts.

I've never been a huge fan of Mauser rifles or their clones, with the exception of the 1903 Springfield. They've always struck me as kind of clunky and overly heavy.

Not being a fan does NOT denote lack of respect, though. The Mauser action has dominated the field of bolt-action rifles since its introduction. Like Sam Colt's Single Action Army, and John Moses Browning's 1911 .45 Auto, it's a design that's mechanically sound, and hard to improve upon.

Mauser-armed Boers perforated British troops with fiendish glee in South Africa, as did the Mausers of the Spanish down in Cuba against our army. In both cases, it motivated the perforees to rethink their weapons style, and in our case, we dropped the Krag-Jorgenson in favor of the 1903 Springfield with its Mauser-based action. The Brits exchanged their old Lee-Metfords and long-barreled Lee-Enfields for the improved SMLE design in 1902.

My previous experience with Mausers had been with Rockhauler's KAR98 models. Many times he's dropped a bag of 8mm surplus rounds in front of me, and said "Shoot all you want!" Between the steel skullcrusher buttplate and the stout recoil, I could usually manage 40-50 rounds before I needed to get some padding between me & the rifle. I should've taken pictures of the bruises that resulted from that! There were colors not found in nature coming up out of my shoulder!

I needed a beater/SHTF rifle, though. One that's low-cost, can travel in the trunk in a gun case for weeks at a time, and not attract too much attention when pulled out. My SKS, with the 30 rd mag and red-dot sight is a bit flash to be carrying around. Makes the GFW's nervous.

I decide to go take another look at the rifle, but since I commute downtown via the METRO Park & Ride, I can't get out to the shop on the far west side of town until after they close. I just *know* if I wait until Saturday, the rifle's gonna be gone.

I jet out of work a bit early this Tuesday, squeeze my posterior on the first available bus heading west instead of waiting for a less-crowded one, race to my car, and then drive like a bat out of hell, reaching the pawn shop 5 minutes before they closed. The rifle's still there, and I took my time looking it over.

What attracted me to it was the quality of the wood. Other than a few minor handling dings and a couple of small cracks underneath the fore end, the wood is beautiful, a nice blonde-colored hardwood, not a laminate. It's either never seen a coat of cosmoline, or a previous owner has completely stripped the wood, refinished it, and re-lacquered afterwards. I tend to think this might be the case, as there has also been some checkering applied to the area just under the action. It's good work, with perfect outlining, sharp checkers and very little variation in the individual check sizes.

All the bits and pieces are there, with the exception of the front sight hood (which I would have removed, anyway). The bolt handle and safety have been polished down to a shiny finish, and someone has worked on the bolt itself, as there's a nice slickness to the action. The bolt body and extractor have been jeweled.

The action and barrel are still a deep blue, and judging from the looks of the stamp marks and manufacturer's markings, it's not been re-blued. The bore's a little dark, but the crown is excellent, and the rifling's nice and crisp. The screws are about universally buggered, though still usable. Why everyone doesn't invest in a set of gunsmithing screwdrivers is a mystery to me!

I'm surprised the pawn shop bargained with me. After calling them to let them know I was coming, and considering how long I checked out the rifle on Saturday, they should have known I was a sure thing. Still, when I expressed reservations at paying $159.95, the pawnbroker dropped the price to $125 without missing a beat. SOLD!

I know Mausers have gone for under $100, but I have a sneaking suspicion this was someone's project rifle, and I got a 200% return on my money in terms of the work already done. No, I'll likely never get someone to pay me $250 for it, but if there's also been trigger work or a barrel-bedding done that I'm not aware of yet, I might just have one hell of a shooter on my hands. I've lined up a gunsmith to give it a lookover before I take it out to a range. While the work looks good to me, for all I know, the previous owner just handed his Dremel tool to an orangutan, and paid him in bananas.

Now, I wish I could show you a picture of this beastie, but Mom has yet to release her death grip on the digital camera so I can use it. Apparently if you do not take a picture of your new grandkid every 30 minutes or so, they fade into oblivion. That's her excuse for not returning it, anyway.

Here's the next best thing, a similar Brno VZ24, though not nearly as pretty as mine!

The next Blogfest shoot needs to be at an outdoor range! Y'all gotta try this one out! I may have outsmarted myself, though. This one's too pretty to use as a 'beater' rifle. I may just have to go acquire another one that's not quite so nice!