Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

My Photo
Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hammer? We Haz One!!

I Have No Idea Why The YouTube Window Is So Wide...

After many fits and starts and headlong sprints in the wrong direction, I believe my quest for a warhammer is nearing completion!

First blogged about way back in January, my search for a skull crusher has involved several purchases of hickory handles and steel hammerheads, but the winning combination was eluding me.

Even this chrome-plated beauty didn't pass muster.  It needed a full-length pick handle to be even marginally wieldable.

Conan the Barbarian I ain't...  Just too damn heavy.

So, back to the search.

I stumbled across some kids on YouTube hammering things, and they looked like they might have a winner.

Check it out:

Now, I'd sooner pluck out my pubes with Channel lock pliers than give my money to BudK, but I found a seller of that particular "M48 tactical hammer" on eBay!

And now it's mine!!

It ain't perfect.  The handle's a bit slim for my taste.  I'm gonna try a couple of paracord wraps on the grip area and see how that works.  

Failing that, I can remove the head and transplant it into a nice length of hickory.

Either way, the zombies better buy a helmet!!

Not that it would do them any good...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Oh, No... Not Again!

Celebration Or Bitch Session?

Another trip around the sun has been completed.  Fully 45 revolutions have been made since I first shuffled upon this mortal coil!

45.  Damn.  That's f*#&^$ng OLD!!!

For the most part, I suppose I ought to be grateful.  I'm alive, employed, got a vehicle and a roof over my head, and barring any major complications, life will keep trundling right along.

OTOH, I'm in marginal health, unmarried with no kids, fat as a boar hog, and growing more solitary & introverted as the years go by.

So, is life good, or does it suck?

Hard to tell sometimes.  Right now I'd say it has the distinct aroma of Suck, but it could be a hell of a lot worse.

I was quite encouraged by all the well-wishes on Facebook.   I know most wouldn't be there if FB didn't remind you, but I'm guilty of that, myself.

Hmmm.  45.  I'm gonna have to crack a beer or two and think about that for a while...

Friday, July 26, 2013

Canuckistanian Quik-Draw??

It's Like Jousting With Mops On 50cc Mopeds...

I'm a big fan of the Cowboy Action shooting, but in the case of this quickdraw competition, I think they might be gaming it a bit too much.

Lemme 'splain...

With the Cowboy Quickdraw, you've got a sport that values speed over all else.  You're shooting either blanks against a timer, or popping a balloon, or hitting a plate with a wax bullet, none of which require more than minute-of-barndoor accuracy.

Like the IPSC Open class, the equipment has evolved to support this speed habit until the cowboy quick draw gear is composed entirely of gun-like objects, good for making noise, but entirely unsuited for their original purpose, which was inserting lead into your opponent.

This, to me, is missing the whole point of a quickdraw competition.   The OK Corral and the streets of Deadwood were not lined with steel plates and balloons.  It ain't enough to scare the crows, you've got to have the ability to get lead on target lickety-damn-split.

But not with these guns.  Here's an example:

Typical of the sport, it's got a modified hammer for fanning the gun.  The barrels are usually replaced with an aluminum pipe, and the cylinder might be aluminum or zamak as well.  Put a 255 grain lead slug through that, and it'll blow up.  It's meant just for blanks or wax loads.

I like the shooting stance.  Modified Weaver, or is he leaning into that Neo/Matrix bullet time pose?

Here's a "duel".  Yank, slap and put that balloon down!


Here's a custom rig. Like the rail holsters used in IPSC Open, it's great for this game, useless for anything in the real world...

Oh, there's skill involved, as well as a shitload of fast-twitch muscle reactions.  I just don't think it transfers over into the real world.  Let's see them do it with a "Stock" class Single Action Army and 1890's style gunleather!

'Course, that's just my opinion.  I'm as full of shit as the next guy...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Pocket Full Of Pee

I Can't Believe I'm Actually Telling This Story.

Sigh.   The things I do for good health...

I've got a checkup with my regular doc in the morning.  The semi-annual appt. with the Cardio Doc was last week. (It went well, thanks for asking!!)

 For all the sh!t that's gone wrong with my carcass, it's maintaining fairly well.  Every 6 months I go in for a visit.  They typically both agree that A) I need to LOSE WEIGHT NOW and b) otherwise, you're doin' all right. Come back in 6 months...

Then, they fill half a pad of scrips for the meds to keep things running OK, and off I go for another half-year.

The regular Doc appt. requires a certain amount of blood & urine, though, provided in advance.  So, Monday morning I went in to his office at the crack of dawn to provide some.

The blood draw was pretty much painless.  The head nurse, a cute little Hispanic gal, has it down to an art form.  I've got huge manatee arms, and veins are impossible to see, but she's got the Jedi Needle Trick down pretty well and just sort of feels it into the vein.  Three vials slurped out in short order.

The peein' in a cup?  Had to make a change to the usual routine.

See, the Doc's bathroom is about the size of a phone booth, and there's a sink, terlit, two trash cans and a cabinet already in there.  Once I cram my sizable self in there, there's barely room to unzip, much less direct a dribble of pee into a shot glass-sized specimen cup.

A note to the thin guys amongst you...  Not only is your schvantz clearly on display from above, you don't have 100+ lbs of  gut fat pressing down on your bladder.  Escape velocities are rather high to begin with, and things are not helped by trying to aim by guess and by Gush.  I mean Gosh...

So, rather than do a Pray & Spray routine, I just smuggled in some pee.
Hey, it's not like I'm trying to beat a drug screen.  It was my pee, just collected in a heavy-duty freezer Zip-Lock, tucked inside a second Zip-Lock for leak insurance and the whole shebang tucked in a pocket for decanting into the specimen cup.

Heh.  Next time, I think I'll just hand them the bag...

BTW, this is NOT the nastiest thing you'll read on the web.  There are some posts I can only dream about reaching their retch-inducing depths.  This one, f'rinstance...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Right-Of-Way For Ducklings?

A Good Place To Make Duck Pancakes!!

Interesting commute home the other night...

I was almost home, had just turned off the I-10 service road and was headed north on Gessner.  I was just about at the Whataburger when I slammed to a halt.

A momma Mallard was crossing all 10 lanes with her flock in tow.

Heh.  You couldn't rush her, either!  She just sort of trundled across, and would stop and quack at the stragglers until they sped up.
I had the truck all catty-whompus across 2 lanes so no one would whip around me in the turn lane and plow through the procession.  The van next to me has honking and flashing its lights at oncoming traffic.

Somehow they made it across intact.  Dunno where they came from, or where they were going.  That's an area not known for its wetlands...

Anyway, I had a silly grin on my face the rest of the way home!  Baby Ducks FTW!!!

OK, That Was Weird...

Microsoft Still Sux

And behold!!!  We have a blogpost!

Not for lack of trying...

After the PC upgrade last week, I had thought everything was running smoothly.  I could see YouTube again, and websites that had been inaccessible were useful again.

Of course, I'm still stuck with IE until I get a thumb drive with Chrome on it,  but it is what it is.

Until I couldn't access Blogger.

Well, I *could*, I just couldn't see anything on the 'make a post' page.  Been that way since last Wednesday.

I don't know what I did to access the page today, but it's back, so I'm posting while I can!

Sorry for the absence!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The New PC

Where's My 30" Monitor??

We're bureaucrats.  We fear change...

The wheels of modernization turn slowly in The Man's Realm, but turn they did, and after 5 years I've got a new PC.  This one's another HP, but running Windoze 7 and Office 2010.  IT's got an AMD A8 chip with 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB drive.  Wasted space if you ask me...

It's not hard to puzzle things out in the new OS and apps, but the big kick in the ass is that the IT department has finally clamped down on any sort of user initiative and locked us out.

I can change my wallpaper background and swap printers, but that's about it.  There's no adding programs.  (So long, GIMP, GoogleEarth, iTunes, and assorted other apps...)

They also scoured the games off.  Not even Minesweeper, for Pete's sake.

Well, it's bound to help productivity.  Somewhere...

They're also locking out websites.  Denny the GOC's site has been declared verboten.  It's probably the weekend titties.

Hmmmph.  Can't decide if this new PC is good news, or just sucks ass.  Leaning towards the suck.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Zombie Biology

Even The Undead Gotta Obey Physics!

Everyone's favorite zombiephobe Eric SWG posted something on FB the other day that got me re-thinking about a topic that's been stewing in my noodle for quite some time...

Eric said (and I quote...)  "...... "The nucleotide monomers are linked together by condensation reactions forming a repeating sugar-phosphate backbone with the nitrogenous bases sticking out from this backbone. The bond holding the nucleotides together is called a phosphodiester linkage."...... good lord......"

Good Lord, indeed!

That bit of molecular biobabble is describing the chemical bonds that hold DNA together, btw.  What does that have to do with zombies?  Nothing, but it did get me thinking about the various chemical reactions that keep the human body humming along.

Now, on to zombies...

Zombies are, according to legend and lore, dead.  Dead as fried chicken.  Which kinda begs the question, if they're dead, how are they able to lurch around and seek out brains for nourishment?

Now, all you zombie fans are bouncing up and down, waving your hands shouting "OOOOoooo!!   Ooooo!!  I know this one, Mr. Kotter!!    It's a VIRUS!!!"

OK, so it's a virus.  Big effin' deal.  That explains the contagion.  It does jack shit explaining reanimation, locomotion and digestion!

Again, according to legend and lore, once you're bitten by a zombie, or somehow you get zombie bodily fluids co-mingled with your own, it's just a matter of time until the zombie antibodies or spores (or whatever they are) spread through your system and cause massive failure of your organs.  Essentially, you're dying of an overwhelming infection.

So, now you're dead.  No brain waves, no heartbeat, no respiration.  There will continue to be some cellular activity, at least until the cells run out of fuel or get clogged up with waste and cease functioning.

Supposedly the zombie cells/virii/spores will take over your body, brain & organs and you'll re-awaken with an intense need to shamble about feeding on brains and spleens and pancreii.

Still, how does a dead body get up and operate??

I'll give you one freebie, just 'cause I'm cool like that...

Let's say the zombie virus has occupied and set up shop all along the nervous system.  It's packed untold millions of spores in your brain, and each nerve ending is just riddled with zombie cells.

In a normal body, electrical signals are sent from the brain and pass along the nerves.  Signals jump along the axons, dendrites and neurons, it's a cascade of positive & negative ions, all of it soaked in potassium and sodium and wrapped in a myelin sheath.

I'll grant that it's in the realm of possible for an invasive virus or spore colony to set up a network along existing nerves, and to hook up all those spores in the brain in a series like a set of marine batteries.  Put enough of 'em in the circuit, and you can generate enough power to push signals down the line.

So, I'll give you that one.  You can have the zombie brain tell the zombie body "GO FORTH AND SHAMBLE AROUND!!!"

However...  You still gotta move that body.

Muscles operate by contraction and relaxation, signalled by the nerves, and powered by adenosine triphosphate.  You get ATP through the oxidation of fats and carbohydrates, brought to the cells via the blood in the form of simple sugars.  I don't even want to get into glycolysis or the Krebs cycle.  Look it up if you must...

The cells do store a substance called glycogen, which it will burn in the absence of ATP, but once that's used up, that muscle is done working for good.

So, you can move that zombie, but just for a very short while.  Also, there's not many carbs to be had in consuming brains...

The next big issue with being dead, is, well, you're dead.  Once your cells stop respirating and replicating and digesting and excreting and doing all the things that healthy live cells do, they tend to break down in short order.

You rot from the inside out, starting in the gut where there's already a good supply of bacteria and chemical solvents.   Gravity takes its toll, as fluids soak downward.  Individual cells burst, or lyse, and what doesn't rot dries out.

Depending on environmental conditions, you either end up as a dry husk over a wet spot on the floor, or a fatty schmear that's partially saponified on top of your skeleton.

My point is, you don't have too long as a zombie before you just sort of fall apart as a matter of course.

So, no, a virus or a spore infestation just isn't enough to get a plague of undead wandering about.  There's got to be another mechanism at play.  It's likely a zombie in real life would just lay there and moan for brains for an hour or so before running out of juice.

That's got to make Eric very happy indeed!

Feel free to theorize in the comments!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The ODB Syndrome

Grossing You Out In Five Minutes Or Less!!

Well, it's been entirely too clean & proper around here lately.  Time for a bit of the ol' crapblogging...

Today's subject?  ODB.

No, not Old Dirty Bastard, though that could apply as a moniker for my bunghole.

In this case, it's Overly Dramatic Bowel, and it operates like this:

Step One:  Dropping a Deuce.  Take as long as you like, be as thorough as you can, it won't matter to ODB.

Step Two:  Finish up the process, including all necessary paperwork and re-garmenting of nether regions.

Step Three:  Flush, and head to sink for the obligatory ablutions.

Step Four:  ODB Says hello...

ODB:  "Say, uh... You're not finished yet!"

EC:  "Um, yes I am.  I just extruded half a mile of cable.  I'm done."

ODB: "Um, I beg to differ.  Get back on the throne."

EC: "Can it, colon.  You're just spazzing out.  Chill."

ODB:  "Nope, you've got to get reseated ASAP.  I'm about to release the Kraken!!"

EC:  "Got-dammit, I said I'm finished crapping!"

ODB:  "Hehehehe... You asked for it!!"

A feeling akin to Grond breaching the gates of Minas Tirith slams at my balloon knot.

EC:  "AAAuuuugghhhh!!   Jesus H. Tapdancing Keerist!  OK!  OK!  OK!  I'm sorry!  I'm sitting back down!!"

But you can't just sit back down.  It's too late for that.  You've got to duckwaddle your way in reverse, stripping off trousers and skivvies as you go, and pray that the resulting explosion won't spray shit all over the fuzzy rug.

Through sheer force of will, you keep your ringpiece clenched tight, and get ass firmly planted on the porcelain before the turtlehead breaches the nether gate.

ODB:  "plerp... pa-plorp...plink."

Total volume?  Less than a quartet of jelly beans.

EC:  "You filthy asshole!  Is that it??  You had me thinking there was a pony keg of poo needing to come out!!"

ODB:  "Buwahahaahaaaa!!  Got you again!!  You always fall for it!!!  Muwahahahaa!!!"

Sigh.  Overly Dramatic Bowels.   Effin' drama queens...

Friday, July 05, 2013

Yet Another Fried Day

They Don't Warn You About This In Kindergarten!!

I was piddling around with the retirement calculator on The Man's pension website.  I'll actually have enough points to retire in another 10 years, assuming they don't jack up the magic number again.  Currently it's age + years of service  = 75, and you're free to jump ship.  There's rumors that the # will kick up to 78 or even 80 in the next 5-10 years.  We shall see.

It's a moot point in my case.  I'll still be too young for SocSec, (assuming that's still solvent...) and unless I choose to go work elsewhere, my pension alone would make for a life of cardboard boxes and cat food.

So, it's work, work, work until I die, or Obamacare denies me coverage for something and I'm pushed out onto that figurative ice floe to meet my fate.   Sigh.  Row faster, peons.  The shipowner's in a hurry to get to Cap d'Antibes...

I had the worst chili-cheese fries ever imagined by man.  The only way these could have sucked worse was if they were made with that godawful goop they use for chili-related purposes up in Cincinatti.

These were from Carl's Jr., a new burger chain to the area.  I really enjoyed their Bacon Guacamole burger, and their grilled codfish sammich is quite tasty as well.  The CC fries?  Not so much...

The chili consists, as far as I can tell, of salt, Grade D Industrial Ground Beef (think Taco Bell filling) and cumin powder.  No recognizable red chile, and the resulting color when dosed with shredded cheddar looks closer to school lunchroom vomit than a proper Bowl of Red.

Never again...

Think happy thoughts for my buddy Festus.  He blew a gasket up in his cranium, and is currently parked in the ICU while they sort things out.  He's doing OK so far, it seems, but the Powers That Be really need a new whipping boy.  I thought the worm had finally turned for Festus, but it seems he was due a few more slings and arrows before he settles down to bank an outrageous fortune.

And finally, I saw this and got a giggle.  I thought "Well, there's a clever idea, but I can't think of a single situation where I'd ever be in a position to find out what they taste like."

Perhaps they're the key to boinking the scary/sexy Claire Forlani from those "seedious" Dewar's Scotch commercials...

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The Nose Knows

Now In Smell-O-Vision!

I've griped before about shoe manufacturers constantly changing styles, so that when you get a shoe you really like, you can't replace it once you wear them out 'cause that model is no longer made.

I'm going to expand that gripe to pit-schmear.    Why can't the makers of antiperspirant/deodorant stick with one particular "flavor"??  I was extremely partial to Speed Stick's Fresh Lime, but they haven't made that in eons.

Nope, each time you go to the store to restock, there's a slew of different aromas, none of which remotely match the name the marketers have paired with it.  There's "Wild Surf" or "Jungle Breeze" or "Poughkeepsie Sunrise" or some other name that smell mostly like a douchebag's sock drawer.

The latest olfactory assault came it the form of Gillette's "Game Time" AP/Deo stick.  You'd think "Game Time" might smell like a cool fall afternoon, with BBQ smoke and beer fumes wafting out of a stadium.

Nope, this stuff smells like Brylcreem mixed with cinnamon powder.  Guess they were aiming for Howard Cosell chewing on a Danish.

Feh.   I'm going back to Right Guard aerosol.  Thick clouds of chemical vapor...

Had a beer jones recently.  As much as I like the stuff, I just don't drink all that often to justify keeping any around.  Still, it keeps getting hotter, and a cool glass in the evening sounded better & better.   So, I packed home a 12'er of the local microbrewery's finest.

St. Arnold's Brown Ale is quite tasty, but 4 bottles into the 1/2 case, it's beginning to cloy a bit.  That sweet aftertaste is getting sweeter after each sip, and I'm finding myself wanting a bottle of IPA to scrub out the palate.  I'm not a total hophead, but I do need a bit o' bitter with my suds, I'm finding.

I'm thinking about picking up a 6 of their Elissa IPA, and trying to do a Black & Tan mix, and see if the sweet and bitter complement each other.  Probably not, but it's worth a try...

I think I've finally found my warhammer.  Stay tuned for details!