Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sounds Like Snake Oil To Me!

This Has GOT To Be A Joke!

Some things just leave you speechless...

Let me quote the article:
A woman receives a snake massage at a snake spa in Talmei Elazar, Israel. The snakes therapeutic value was discovered after the owner let people hold them after her act. "Some people said that holding the snakes made them feel better, relaxed," said owner Ada Barak. Now she uses a combination of big snakes for deep massage and little ones for light massage, though all are non-venomous.

Jaysus H. Tapdancing Keerist! WTF kind of New Age hopey-changey tree-huggy bullshit is this?

I have cared for snakes before. Big one, little ones, venomous & non-venomous. Every single one has the annoying habit of crapping out big stinky mostly-liquid turds with no warning whatsoever.

Aside from the dubious pleasure of having a big snake slithering along my unclothed back, and poking his little forked tongue down my asscrack, at some point the snake will extrude a wad of semi-digested rodent between my shoulder blades. That, to my mind, pretty much negates any relaxation I might have had up to that point.

This part gets me as well... "The snakes therapeutic value was discovered after the owner let people hold them after her act."

Her act? Dancing Ada and her python revue? Dirty Ada and the disappearing boa?

Sigh. Just another "if it feels good, do it" pseudo-therapy. FWIW, I have discovered the therapeutic value in taking a huge dump while playing Yanky My Cranky. It makes me feel better and more relaxed, but you don't see me doing it on other people...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wabbit Wedux

Apologies To John Updike...

Some time back I brought you the tale of the Surrealistic Bunny, where a rabbit appeared out of nowhere to visit me in my driveway, then vanished back to the dimension from whence it came.

Well, the wascally wabbit weturned.

OK, it was another rabbit, another driveway, and another town entirely. Still, how often can one expect to have these lagomorphical visitations in the domestic vehicular storage milieu?

I pulled into the driveway last night, and slowly hopping across it was this big white rabbit with long upright brown ears. Looked a bit like this one:

I stopped the truck and got out, leaving the lights on and the engine running. You'd think a big 4x4 all lit up and growling would send a bunny scampering off, but this one just casually sat there and nibbled the grass next to the driveway.

Not wanting to scare it off, I asked "Excuse me, Mr. Bunny... Where did you come from, and why are you eating my yard?"

He had no response.

I walked up to it cautiously, and while it evaded my touch, it didn't seem all that worried that I was following it around. Eventually, I got tired of Mr. Bunny's antisocial attitude, and went to shut off the truck.

As I gathered up my things to take inside, I shut the door and saw that Mr. Bunny had hopped over next to me, and was giving me that bunny stare up on his two hind legs.

He wanted my cheeseburger and fries. I could tell by the way his nose twitched.

Well, the last thing I need hanging about is a carnivorous rabbit. So, I wandered next door to the Maison d'Hillbilleé to see if any of their critters had escaped.

Sure enough, the bunny was theirs. It had tunneled out of the back yard, and had been terrorizing flower beds all day. It was quickly gathered up and returned home, and all was well.

Except my fries were cold. Wascally wabbit's Wevenge!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Extra Fancy 1911 Grips!

Something Else I Can't Afford...

I much prefer a brushed stainless finish to polished, but I sure do like the look of the turquoise grips!

My maternal grandmother made several trips out west to the Navajo & Zuni reservations, and was quite fond of turquoise jewelry. No doubt if she had been a 1911 fan, she might have owned something like this pistol. Alas, her taste in pistols ran to tiny vest-pocket .22s, not full-size autoshuckers!

These are listed at Collector's Firearms as faux turquoise grips mounted on a Colt Custom Shop .38 Super. If they were the genuine article, those slabs of blue rock would likely cost more than my Springfield Armory 1911A1 did brand new... The blued finish on mine has seen better days, plus it's got a mismatched barrel, so a set of grips like these would be like putting thoroughbred racing gear on a burro.

All the same, I'd like to own a "courthouse" or "BBQ" .45 Auto some day. I'd been looking around for someone to do a custom set of sterling silver grips. I've got one full set and two partial sets of sterling flatware handed down from long-dead relatives, and I'll likely split Mom's set with my sister someday. So, no lack of fancy eatin' tools. I've considered taking all the weird pieces I'm unlikely to use, like the shrimp forks and demitasse spoons and making sterling grips with a built-in family heritage.

To add to the family heritage angle, it'd be cool to have the grips engraved with a version of my grandmother's flatware pattern, but it's very tempting to seek out someone who can inset some quality turquoise as well!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Adios, Chowdah!

Dean Barnett: 1967-2008

One of my daily routines is listening to talk radio during the commute to & from work. On the drive home, the show usually gets pre-empted by some sporting event, but for 45 minutes or so, I'll get to listen to Hugh Hewitt's show on 1070AM.

Hewitt can stick in my craw sometimes, but one of his frequent guest-hosts Dean Barnett was never anything but a pleasure to listen to.

To my great regret, Dean passed away yesterday after a lifetime struggle with cystic fibrosis.

Dean Barnett hailed from Boston, and there was no mistaking that Hahvahd Yahd accent. Aside for his unfortunate habit of rooting for the Red Sox, (but still infinitely better than rooting for the Yankees) he seemed like a stand-up guy. He displayed a quick wit, an excellent grasp of the issues, and was always a gracious talk radio host.

Below (borrowed from the Weekly Standard) is a partial lineup of the farewell messages written about Barnett. I can only hope when I pass on, I'll have this level of good will and respect directed at me!

Hugh Hewitt,

John Podhoretz, Commentary

Jennifer Rubin, Commentary

Jim Geraghty, National Review

Mark Steyn, National Review

Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review

Peter Robinson, National Review

Ace of Spades

Allahpundit and Ed Morrissey,

Jim Treacher

Patrick Ruffini, The Next Right

Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic

Michelle Malkin

Jon, Exurban League

Ed Driscoll

Paul Mirengoff and John Hinderaker, Powerline


Stop The ACLU

Gateway Pundit

Sister Toldjah


Dirty Harry's Place

Protein Wisdom

Robert Bluey

Mary Katherine Ham

Monday, October 27, 2008

OK, This Is Creepy...

Those Who Ignore History Are Doomed To Repeat It?

I've had this film on my mind the past couple of days.

Anybody remember the Tim Robbins flick 'Bob Roberts'?

Watch the trailer and see how many parallels you can draw to the Obama campaign...

Election Woes

Sometimes, You Just Can't Be Too Vulgar

I've been mostly quiet regarding the upcoming election. I've already got my candidate selected. It's not the one I wanted, but given a choice between a centrist egomaniac that occasionally disregards the Constitution, and a Marxist egomaniac who actively rips up and pisses on the Constitution, the choice seems pretty clear.

No, what keeps me from diving into the Election 2008 kerfuffle is a lack of adequate vocabulary to describe my frustration with the press.

See, this is where I regret not being in the military and learning from the DI's how to curse in a profound and lyrical manner...

I can't come up with a good acronym or nickname for the mainstream media. 'MSM' just seems overused, and doesn't really address their complete leech-like adherence to the Democratic Party's bunghole, eagerly swallowing talking points & felching up DNC marching orders, then farting them out on the evening news.

So, I've been pondering the following names...

"Syphilitic Scribbling Whores"

"Festering Talking-Head Knob-Gobblers"

"Jaundiced J-School Jizzgarglers"

"Poxed Press Corps Prostitutes"

"Perfidious Palsied Pigfuckers"

"Crotchrotted Contumelious Cocksuckers"

"Worthless Wart-covered Wankers"

It's just so got-damned infuriating. You've got the Dems lying, cheating & committing fraud at every opportunity, and the press just rolls over and does nothing but wait for the next dose of concentrated bullshit.

The problem is, even when the election's over, the press will still be Obama's whores.

Sigh... where's my bottle of bourbon?


Nothing's Tastier Than Hot Italian!

Yes, my dear Monica... There's a distinct possibility of 'Turning Japanese' whenever your picture is on my screen...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Fit Has Hit The Shan?

Pray For Their Livers!

I've had this song stuck in my head for the past three days...

Surely it's a coincidence that there's a gathering of bloggers at Eric's place this weekend?

I'll have to ask if the Elderly Brothers have added this tune to their set list!

"Send Lawyers, Guns & Money!"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Baboon Pirates - The Fourth Year

Feliz Cumpleaños A Los Piratas Babuinos!

1460 days of fun. 1848 posts.

Numerous blogmeets and mini-meets. Many, many bloggers met in person.

Uncounted comments and emails. Hardly any trolls!

Thanks for sticking around and reading what gets scribbled on the wall.

I'll keep at it until it quits being fun, or they drag me out feet-first!

Best of 2007-2008

You Are NOT Allergic To Pot...

Surrounded By Gibbons

TGI Friday's Continues To Suck

And Now... My Testicles!

All $pammerz Must Die!!!

Reckless Mediation

Pulling The Plug

Where The Wild Things Are, Houston Edition


Exploding Squirrels

The Sword Of Destiny

Things You Never Knew You Needed...

Looks Like Stormy Weather...

Daylight Home Invasion!

"Best Of" Archives

Best of Year Three

Best of Year Two

Best of Year One

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bad Times Ahead

Continual Crisis...

Pharmaceutical-grade Weirdness is in abundance at my place of employment. I've actually had to keep the nose to the grindstone the past couple of days, and my blogging has suffered as a result.

I got dispatched to The Man's großer Flughafen yesterday morning to conduct some training. Since Baron Richthofen and his Merry Men reside on the opposite side of The Man's Realm, it involved getting up before the roosters did in order to get there by 7:15 a.m. I am just not suited for early mornings, and it pretty much threw off my whole day, and is now working on effing up my week as I attempt to catch up with everything.

It's always fun to know you're doing some emergency behavioural training to stave off a possible lawsuit. When you're handed a class roster with a name circled in red with a notation "Make sure he stays for the entire class!" you can be pretty sure that you've spotted the miscreant...

In other exciting news, they're gutting our department. A whole chunk of folks are getting handed off to another area, and taking with them the few people worth socializing with. Another person resigned, and her departure will lower the charisma factor of the staff by about 200%. Sigh. I'm told it's a money deal, but I've also noticed our ex-pimp Oberstleutnant has staked out the nice corner office recently vacated by that section's manager, so I imagine he had a hand in their departure.

Oh, it gets worse. Instead of hiring a brand new person (unstained by ennui or corruption) for a hole in our section, the powers-that-be have deigned to give us one of the bitter old harridans from the Admin area. Sometimes bitter old harridans can be fun, especially if you're a grumpy reclusive curmudgeon, but not this one. She's big as an ox with an ass two axehandles wide, and has a voice like Wolfman Jack. Oh, and she's a germ freak and had her sense of humor surgically removed at puberty. That ought to make meetings ever so nice to attend!

I think tonight might be a drinking night... I smell a whiff of single malt scotch in my immediate future.

Monday, October 20, 2008

An Eventful Weekend

I Was Completely Vertical All Day Saturday!

Much ado in H-Town for El Capitan!

Friday morning started off with a celebrity encounter. I'm not one to get all giggly over the Hollywood folks, but this cat was one of the headliners in two of my all-time favorite comedy movies, 'Trading Places' & 'The Blues Brothers', so it was kinda cool to see him cycling through town.

I'd heard on the radio that Dan Aykroyd was in town to open up the latest House Of Blues restaurant/nightclubs. I'd missed the radio interview, and he'd apparently just left the studio.

Anyway, I'm rolling down Memorial heading towards downtown, just past the park, and I spot two full-dress Harleys up ahead. The riders are wearing cycle club leathers, which is unusual to see on a weekday. They're just putt-putting along, so I ease up to the rear bike, and see it's a woman hanging on to a big Santa Claus-lookin' dude, and she's got a House Of Blues leather jacket on.

"AHA!" sez I. I know who these bikers are!

Sure enough, the lead biker was Dan Aykroyd, all dressed up in House Of Blues leather gear on some kind of ginormous Harley. They peeled off on the Shepherd exit, and though I yelled "WINTHORP!!!" I'm sure he didn't hear me through the helmet and over the big engine.

Probably for the best...

Saturday was busy from start to finish. I was up early to run various errands and get my ears lowered at the barber shop, then up to the Cisco Kid's place to meet some friends for a BBQ for most of the day.

The weather just couldn't have been better. We sat outside all afternoon, cooked & devoured chicken and ribs, drank beer & scotch, smoked big fugly cigars, and shot a BB gun at defenseless soda bottles. We even had animal encounters. The creepy praying mantis, we only shot cameras at. The rat in the green house? The Cisco Kid settled his hash with a clean headshot, and all was well.

I tried the pale ale from Southern Star Brewery, a small craft brewery located in Conroe, just up the road. Their "Pine Belt Pale Ale" will please fans of hoppy IPA's, but if you're not into bitter beers, it might not be your cup of brew. It comes in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans, and I really don't recall what I paid, but it was around $7.

Sunday? Sunday is a day of rest, after all, so I napped like a hibernating bear that's been given an I.V. drip of Thorazine and Versed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Baboon Pirates Clip Show!

If You Re-Edit It, They Will Come Back!

In the TV biz, a clip show is a low cost way to fill a hole in your season's schedule. While your lead star is in rehab or the clink, you get your writers to slap together a brief intro and "outro", then have the remaining cast members reminisce about the missing star by way of outtakes from previous episodes.

It's cheap, quick to produce, and if you don't do it more than once a season, you won't piss off your fan base too much.

Me? I've got nothing on tap, so I thought I'd try a quick clip show.


(Or, Four Years Of Questionable Taste!)


Magic Meatballs

Crab, Orange & Radish Salad

El Capitan's Whirled Peas


Squid Stuffed Squid


Poultry Digits Doused In Mole Sauce

Charcoaled Calico Cat

Roast Possum, Apples & Sweet 'Taters

Panang Beef

Sausage and Potato Soup (Recipe donated by Walrilla!)

Nordic Stew

Chili For Real Texans

Mexican Casserole (Recipe donated by Army of Mom!)

King Ranch Chicken

Chili Dog Casserole


Mr. Green Jean's Green Beans

Green Beans Oregano
Green Beans Oregano (Revised)

Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts (Another Version)

Spicy Cheesy Grits

Golden Glory (Strong stomach required!)


Forgotten Cookies

Fresh Apple Cake

Pyracantha Jelly

Guinness Ice Cream

Chocolate Covered Cranberries

Strawberry Bread


The Elusive Green Dragon

Summertime Drinks

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Things I Never Knew Existed!

If You Build It, They Will Come!

Here's some fun things I've found on the Intarwebs lately.

For those pesky herds of roaming elephant in your alleyways, here's the ticket to efficient herd culling:

It's an M1 Garand converted to shoot .458 WinMag. For those unclear on the size of that round, it's roughly the size and diameter of a Sharpie marker.

Available from McCann Industries for $2500 + your gently-used Garand. Dunno about you, but I'm saving my nickels... loaded with Barnes copper/zinc solids, that thing will punch through a bulldozer.

I wonder where you get stripper clips for .458 WinMag? Hehehe...

Next up in the boomstick aisle, an AR-15 with an upper converted to shoot 5.7 x 28 mm rounds using an FN P90 50-round magazine. Available from Collector's Firearms for just over a grand.

This strikes me as a pretty good idea, for the most part. The 5.7 x 28 mm cartridge is a zippy little round just right for urban goblins and zombies at city-fighting distances. Something like this would make an ideal truck gun, but I do have to wonder what you'd do with the now superfluous 30-round 5.56 magazine still hanging out the magwell.

I suppose you could strip out the spring and follower and store your weed in there. Maybe a small first aid kit. Possibly even a custom made liquor flask!

Here we have two items off the WalMart website. I'll let the descriptions speak for themselves, though I should point out that if you have a hygiene problem that requires a pressure washer, you really ought to make a gyno appointment!

As for the guy? Well, you mix stripes, camouflage culottes, sandals and a Fidel hat, you got a serious douchebag, IMHO.

(WalMart eventually fixed their website...)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Britney Spears = Zerg Drone?

She Did Slim Down Awfully Quick...

It appears that the reigning pop-tart princess Britney Spears has a new music video out. Like most of her work, it's more video than music. I suspect if you peeled back the digital effects, overdubbing and careful editing, Britney's singing voice closely resembles the sound gophers make while being stomped by a careless buffalo.

I watched a snippet of the video and grabbed this screencap, 'cause I just knew I'd seen that face before:

It took a while, but it finally came to me.

It's Sarah Kerrigan, the Ghost Agent from Starcraft:Broodwar!

Book Report

Reading Is Not An Optional Activity!

Y'know, for someone that reads as much as I do, you'd think I'd blog about it more often.

Way back at one of the BlownStar blogmeets, I got in a discussion with Leslie and Hammer over our favorite literary genres, and I'd planned on writing some grand über-post on my extensive library, and my favorite authors.

Yeah, that'll happen sometime soon...

I've got seriously eclectic reading habits, and I think that's part of why I'm so reticent about bookblogging. I've met people that think me quite odd for actually purchasing books instead of using the library.

The true bibliophile knows, however, that when you just HAVE to look up a passage or a quote at 3 a.m., most libraries are locked up tight. If you don't have a copy on hand, you're shit out of luck.

So, I have more books than I can keep track of.

I re-read books often as well, even the crappy ones. Most times I can coax out something new with each reading. I'd get through my "To Be Read" pile quicker if I quit re-reading, but when the urge to revisit Dune or savage Pellucidar strikes, what can you do?

I keep multiple books going at the same time. I've got my office book for lunch & breaks; my travel book for bus stops and restaurants; my in-the-truck book, in case I finish the office or travel book, but I usually can't resist starting it while waiting at red lights...

Also, there's the nightstand book, for before-bed reading. There might be two or three nightstand books, depending on what mood I'm in. Currently, I'm working through Liberal Fascism, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and the latest John Ringo Posleen War novel.

I'll try to post a recommended book once a week, if I can remember to do so. Usually when my blogging slacks off, it's because I'm curled up with a good book!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mr. Green Jean's Green Beans

A Quick & Easy Potluck Dish

OK, it's possible that Mr. Green Jeans never had a bite of these beans. The recipe might have actually come from either Captain Kangaroo or Bunny Rabbit. Maybe even Mr. Moose.

In any case, we're rapidly approaching the potluck season. Every office, church, fraternal organization, bridge club and den of thieves will be holding multiple potluck dinners for the next three months.

This is an easy, almost foolproof recipe that rarely fails to draw compliments. It takes less than 15 minutes to make (not counting overnight marinating) and can be made with one dish and one utensil (assuming you'll use your hands for mixing. Me, I spring for a spoon. What's one more utensil to wash, anyway?)

OK, here we go...

Mr. Green Jean's Green Beans

Procure a large serving bowl. If you've got a Tupperware version with a tight-fitting lid, so much the better. Otherwise, set aside some foil or plastic wrap. Use a laundry marker to write your last name on the bottom of the bowl, otherwise that rat-bastard from Accounting will steal your Tupperware like he did last year.

Into the bowl, dump two well-drained cans of french-cut green beans. Use a quality brand like Green Giant or Del Monte. Store brands are often full of stems and grasshoppers.

Slice and quarter a large red onion. Remove the woody core ends and the papery outer layer. Slice the onion into thin slices, just as thin as you can manage. Scatter the onion strips over the green beans.

Pour over the green beans and onions a large bottle of Zesty Italian salad dressing. You can use Creamy Italian or Newman's Own, or even one of those mix-it-yourself kits with the spice envelope and the little cruet.

Use your hands or a spoon to stir everything together and get all the beans & onions coated with the salad dressing. If you've got Tupperware, just put on the lid, burp it tight, and commence to shaking for a few minutes. Play some Tito Puente for your salad shaking accompaniment.

You can serve immediately, or you can leave in the fridge overnight to let the flavors meld. If you felt like adding some diced pimientos or a pinch of garlic powder, that's entirely up to you.

Mucho Gusto, y'all!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nice & Rough!

I Like CCR, But *This* Is The Definitive Version!

Wow. This is so good, it puts chills down your spine.

FWIW, I was probably still in diapers when this was recorded...

How's That Kool-Ade Taste?

Straight From The Pelosi/Reid School Of Journalism

Articles like this are why I never read the Houston Chronicle for news anymore. On the got-dam business page, no less...

Hell, I don't use the Barnacle for wrapping fish, for fear the dead fish will register to vote Democrat in the next election.

Here's a taste:
You've been bamboozled.

In the search for a scapegoat in this economic crisis, some pundits and politicians lay the blame on a "welfare state" law that "forced" bankers to make ultra-risky, high-priced loans to uncreditworthy borrowers.

From radio and TV commentator Laura Ingraham to former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, they say the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act is the root of the subprime contagion infecting the credit markets and ailing the stock markets.

The problem is that's hogwash.

Usually the comments are about even between supporters and detractors. I quit reading after the 3rd page, and hadn't seen but one comment that approved of the article.

Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ. I knew you journos were leftists, but I assumed you'd perform your fellating and rimjobbing of His Obamaliciousness with just a tad more discretion...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

That Was Unexpected...

When Will Bourbon Drop In Price?

I must not have been paying attention to the falling prices at the gas pumps. Last time I filled my tank, we hadn't had a market crash nor bailed out the banks and insurance companies. Cost me $3.44/gallon, as I recall. Highest I ever paid was $4.02/gallon last spring.

Filled up today at $2.93/gallon. A far cry from the low of 87 cents/gallon I used to pay back in high school, but I'd much rather have a $70 tank than an $85 tank.

OTOH, my retirement account looks like Vikings have raped & pillaged my mutual funds...

Win some, lose some, I s'pose...

Friday, October 10, 2008


No, I Won't Go See The Chihuahua Movie!

I finally got out to the movies the other night. The Ed Harris/Viggo Mortenson western Appaloosa was finally released, and I'm not one to miss a western flick.

It's based on the novel of the same name by Robert Parker. If you're a fan of the Spenser detective novels, you know Parker's work. He does just as well with a horse opera as he does with a Boston P.I.

Overall, it's a pretty good yarn. Harris & Mortenson play Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, two itinerant gunmen who contract with frontier towns to establish law & order.

Jeremy Irons plays the lead Black Hat, and there's a scattering of other famous faces in the cast as well. Keep a sharp eye out for James Gammon and Lance Henrikson. One's lost so much weight and the other's gained so much, they're nearly unrecognizable.

The producers strove for an old-fashioned western, free of revisionism or political subtext. The bad guys are very, very bad, and the good guys are not much better. They also worked very hard on authenticity. The costuming and weaponry were first-rate, and even the hairstyles were what you see in old daguerrotypes and tintypes of the period.

Gunfights are pretty authentic, too. These aren't long drawn-out affairs, with Peckinpah slo-mo and multiple angles to show spurting blood. No, it's a slow face-off, then BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM and then there's dead people lying in the dusty street. The quick & the dead, as it were.

There's a couple of problems with the film. The dialogue was masked from time to time by the background noise or the soundtrack. That might have been the fault of the theater, though. Also, there's a significant change in the plot dealing with the Indian encounter. I understand why they made the change, since they swapped locales from the northern plains to New Mexico. Apaches aren't Kiowa, after all. Still, I liked the novel's resolution of that encounter much better.

The biggest problem is the female lead, Miss Potato Head. To have to listen to the main actors repeat (numerous times) how pretty she is was just not right. Renee Zellweger is about as pretty as a festering boil pulsating on your taint.

She looked pretty much like this throughout the film, albeit with red hair and a tan:

So, if you can stand seeing Ed Harris make kissyface with Miss Potato Head, you'll be OK with that part of the film. The rest of it is a whole lot better!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

People Just Suck

Double The Penetration, None Of The Reacharound

Just getting home. It's almost 11 p.m.

Some genius in The Man's turkey army applies for a federal grant worth several meeelyun bux. It gets awarded.

Fine print calls for mucho paperwork to be submitted to Uncle Sugar within 45 calendar days of grant disbursement. My section has a major chunk of that paperwork as a primary duty.

Are we told of grant application? No.

Are we told of grant award? No.

Are we told of grant paperwork deadline? YES!!

We are told on day #36. We now have 6 work days to complete 20 work days of number crunching, paper shuffling and assorted tomfoolery.

There's no effin' way this is gonna get done.

So, who's ass do you think will get roasted by The Man & his semicircle of Nazgul if the grant gets revoked? The cockmunch who sat on it for 6 weeks, or the department that failed to produce the report by the deadline??

I'll give you one guess...

You know what REALLY chaps my hide? They did this same exact thing to us last year, too.

People just SUCK!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Om Nom Nom Nom!!!

Are We Really Sure Gluttony Is A Sin??

Just so ya know...

Whataburger has put their Honey BBQ Chicken Strip sandwich back on the menu. Three chicken breast strips on a bun with two slices of Monterey Jack cheese & that thick, sweet honey BBQ sauce!

Can you tell I'm a fan of this sammich? I saw the sign Tuesday morning, and have eaten one for lunch & dinner both yesterday and today. Buuuurp....

Get 'em before I do!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Smokin' & Shootin'

Sometimes A Cigar Is Just A Cigar...

This past weekend was the 12th annual West Houston Smoke & Powder Crawl. I've been an attendee for the 9th and the 11th Crawls, and this year's event was just as much fun!

I'd invited the Cisco Kid along for the trip. He enjoys a good cigar as much as I do, and he's a shooter as well.

We met the crew out at American Shooting Center, and were given our stash of goodies. Richard, the organizer, asks several cigar companies to kick in some samples, so there's usually something new & interesting to smoke. He's asked us to review some of the cigars, so I might try to do that before too long. I've never reviewed a cigar beyond the "Tastes pretty good!" stage, so we'll see how that goes.

We had a good sized crowd this year. 11 shooters in total, if I counted right. It was a bit of a warm day, so I was more focused on staying in the shade than running around counting people.

I brought along the Springfield Armory .45 auto, and the Ruger .357 Magnum. I almost brought the S&W .22 auto for some low-cost plinking, but it's a major PITA to take apart for cleaning, so I left it at home.

I did quite well in the cigar shoot-off. We used some of my shoot & see targets, and shot 10 rounds each at 15 yards for lowest score, using a zero score X-ring. 4 people used long-barreled .22 pistols. There were a couple of 6" bbl .38s, and a couple of 9mm autos. I used my 3" Ruger Speed Six with Winchester White Box 110 grain JHPs, and absolutely went to town. If I hadn't gotten a twinge of buck fever, I would have won going away, even with that short barrel. As it was, I had one round out of the scoring area, and two completely off the paper, but the remaining 7 shots were grouped dead center & you could have covered them with a teacup.

Even with the three flubbed shots, that was good enough for 2nd place. Cisco Kid took first place shooting his Beretta NEOS .22 auto. So, to add to the big pile of cigars, we won... even more cigars! Woohoo!

Afterwards we went to Paul's Boat on Hwy Six for seafood & more cigars. I had a quite tasty piece of red snapper stuffed with whatever it is they stuff seafood with. The gecko in the rafters and the buzzard on the dumpster from last year joined us again, which was nice.

I had to miss the rest of the crawl to deal with the battery issue mentioned in my previous post, but I'm sure everyone had a great time.

These are held every year about this time, so if you're a cigar fan and a shooter, (ah, that would be Dash, Walrilla and the Layabout Sailor!) mark your calendar for #13 coming up in 2009!

Monday, October 06, 2008

2.4 Volts? $384, Please!

The Butthurt Centers On My Wallet, As Usual...

2.4 volts. That's all I needed.

To keep everything in good running order, my truck's battery needs 14.5 volts coming off the alternator. Last Friday, the battery light popped on on the dashboard, indicating that something was amiss.

The guys at AutoZone were most helpful. They ran a check on the battery, and it looked OK, but when I fired up the truck to test the alternator, all I got was the automotive equivalent of a dying gasp. Dead as fried chicken.

The battery was under warranty, and since their charger was on the fritz, they swapped me a brand new battery. They then tested the alternator, and 12.1 volts was all it was cranking out. Enough to start & run the car for a couple of days, perhaps, but little things like headlights, radio, A/C drained the battery right down.

My serpentine belt was really worn, and that might have resulted in enough slippage to cause the alternator to fritz out, or it just might be a bad alternator or voltage regulator.

Or gremlins. Never rule out gremlins!

So, off to the repair shop this morning. I caught a break on the scheduling side, and there was an open slot today. In fact, they installed the belt & alternator while I waited. I took longer waiting to have the parts delivered from the supply shop!

So, $270 worth of parts, $85 in labor, and tax & assorted fees brought the total to just under 4 bills. Painful, but it could have been worse. This does put the kibosh on any trips to distant blogmeets in October, though, which annoys me greatly. It's like there's automotive gremlins that insist that my truck remains within the Houston Metro area...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Radial Rides

"My Cycle's A Circular Motion..."

No, not "radical rides", radial rides!

I've always been a fan of radial engines. They're just the thing for powering a propeller. A ring of cylinders with their pistons pushing a central cam, all spinning one driveshaft... Add a fuselage, wings and a prop, and you're off to the wild blue yonder!

Custom motorcycle makers are an inventive bunch, and sooner or later it was inevitable that one would put a radial engine in a bike frame, just to see what would happen.

Here's an example:

It looks sweet, but there are inherent problems. The bottom cylinder heads are bound to pick up lots of road grit and trash, and you don't have a lot of ground clearance. Also, as seen in the second pic, the transfer case needed to convert the engine torque 90 degrees is a sizable chunk of metal, making me wonder where your left leg is supposed to fit.

Now, this second example eliminates the differential by placing the engine sideways, so the spinning driveshaft is in line with the rear drive wheel. There's still a transmission in there to gear down the engine, but it seems more rider-friendly.

There might be a problem cooling the rear cylinders, though, and since they're placed right under the rider's crotch, I'd hate to have them overheat and start throwing a rod or explode!

Impressive? Yeah, from an engineering standpoint. From a badass bike perspective? I dunno. I just don't see a hardcore biker going the radial route.

Now, if you were to use this engine? THAT would impress me! It's a Lycoming 36 cylinder 127 liter radial engine putting out around 5000 horsepower. Put that on two wheels, and you've got the Badass Biker crown all sewn up!

As for me? This is more my style! I'm told it's powered by a Jaguar V-12 engine. Plus, there's room on the handlebars to mount a water-cooled Browning .30 cal, and I'm sure I can squeeze in the margarita machine somewhere.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

You Know You're From The Gulf Coast If:

Usually You Can Tell Us By The Blank Stare...

Sent to me via email this afternoon:

You know you're from the Gulf Coast if:

1. You have FEMA's number on your speed dialer

2. You have more than 300 'C' and 'D' batteries in your kitchen drawer

3. Your pantry contains more than 20 cans of Spaghetti O's

4. You are thinking of repainting your house to match the plywood covering your windows

5. When describing your gutted house to a prospective buyer, you say it has three bedrooms, two baths and an open air feel to it

6. Your SSN isn't a secret, it's written in Sharpie on your arms

7. You are on a first-name basis with the cashier at Home Depot/Lowes and Sutherlands

8. You are delighted to pay $4.00 for a gallon for regular unleaded

9. The road leading to your house has been declared a No-Wake Zone

10. You decide that your patio furniture looks better on the bottom of the pool.

11. You own more than three large coolers.

12. You can wish that other people get hit by a hurricane and not feel the least bit guilty about it. (well maybe a tad)

13. You rationalize helping a friend board up by thinking it'll only take a gallon of gas to get there and back.

14. You have 2-liter coke bottles and milk jugs filled with water in your freezer.

15. Three months ago you couldn't hang a shower curtain; today you can assemble a portable generator by candlelight.

16. You catch a 13-pound red fish - in your house.

17. You can recite from memory whole portions of your homeowner's insurance policy.

18. You consider a vacation to stunning Tupelo, Mississippi.

19. At cocktail parties, women are attracted to the guy with the biggest chainsaw.

20. You have had tuna fish more than 5 days in a row.

21. There is a roll of tar roofing paper in your garage.

22. You can rattle off the names of three or more meteorologists who work at the Weather Channel.

23. Someone comes to your door to tell you they found your roof.

24. Ice is a valid topic of conversation.

25. Your drive-thru meal consists of MRE's and bottled water.

26. Relocating to South Dakota does not seem like such a crazy idea.

27. You spend more time on your roof then in your living room.

28. You've been laughed at over the phone by a roofer, fence builder or a tree worker, and probably one of each.

29. A battery powered TV is considered a home entertainment center.

30. You don't worry about relatives wanting to visit during the summer.

31. Your child's first words are "hunker down."

32. Having a tree in your living room does not necessarily mean it's Christmas.

33. Toilet Paper is elevated to coin of the realm at the shelters.

34. You know the difference between the "Clean Side" of a storm and the "Dirty Side."

35. Your kids start school in August and finish in July.

36. You go to work early and stay late just to enjoy the air conditioning.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Better Stock Up Before Obama Makes Us Quit Clinging To Our Guns!

This just showed up at Collector's Firearms:

It's a sporterized Swedish Mauser Carbine in 6.5 x 55 mm with a Williams peep sight. Date on the receiver is 1917, and the folks at CF claim it's in excellent condition.

I'm *SO* tempted to go put this on layaway, but I have some reservations.

Here's the benefits...

*It's a great caliber for anything in Texas, barring some really enormous feral hogs.

*It's the perfect size and price for a "disposable" truck gun. Meaning, if someone breaks into the truck & steals it, I'm not out a lot of cash.

*With the micrometer peep sight and the inherently accurate 6.5 x 55 round, it's perfect for anything out to around 250 yards. Unless you go for antelope way out west (which I am not inclined to do), you generally won't take a shot much past that hereabouts.

*I don't yet own a Sveedish Mauser.

*The low recoil makes it suitable for almost any shooter.

*The stock looks like a solid, well-crafted piece of lumber, and for a sporterized battle rifle, the overall quality looks good. It's not a "Bubba Special".

OK, the downside...

Collector's has it for only $250. Why?

Being a premium firearms boutique, they usually tack on a tariff of $100 past usual market price unless there's something demonstrably wrong with the gun. I'd expect this one to run $350-400 at the CF shop. Sure, it's got no collector value after sporterization, but it appears to be a solid piece with no obvious abuse.

So, what's the catch? Could the barrel be shot out? Won't hold a zero? Does the chamber look like a 20 year old garbage disposal?

I might just have to go have a look-see for myself... Hope it's still there on Saturday!

UPDATE: Waiting for the weekend was a tactical error! Rifle is already gone!!

Fishy Funnies

Well, Those *ARE* Called Hurricane Fences!

Meant to do this post about two weeks ago. Ooops...