Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, February 28, 2014

Sinus Plague: The Aftermath

Wrapping Up This Snotical Rodeo

Oh, my achin' (Fill In The Blank)...

I *hate* being sick.

Fortunately, I'm almost past it.  One or two more days of sniffling & coughing should see the great Snot Eruption of 2014 left to the history books.

I can't stress enough to y'all how a basically healthy body makes all this so much easier.  Once you start having to take fistfuls of pills everyday, the drug interaction problems make finding relief almost impossible.

I've blogged before about how the anti-coagulants make taking aspirin, NSAIDS, or any other blood-thinning pain reliever/fever reducer a bit problematic.  When the Snot Monster attacks, you *really* want to be able to pop a few of those and not worry about popping major blood vessels.

Maxing out on the decongestants is also a problem if your blood pressure is high.

What did work:

Steam.  Nice steamy steam, from boiling water poured into a bowl and snurfed up whilst a t-shirt was stretched over the bowl to catch all the vapor.  Next time, I'll have some Vick's Vapo-Rub or mint oil to schmear in the bowl first.

Saline wash.  I'm a bit leery of the whole Neti pot idea, but they make a sterile saline spray that does wonders.  Nothing like a blast of salt water up the snoot to clear things out and kill bugs.  I was imagining intra-skull napalm strikes on the Snot Monsters.

Gatorade - Goes down easy, not too sweet, not too salty.  Great for replacing the fluids that have leaked out of your facial orifices.

Bourbon.  Don't know that it helped.  It certainly aided my comfort, though.

Now, I just need to find someone that delivers chicken soup...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blow Me, Springtime!

"You Look Like Death Chewin' On A Cracker..."

I am so wiped out right now...

Got the cedar fever/pollen allergies in a major way.

Haven't really slept in 4 days, and I can measure my snot production in cubic yards, like pouring concrete.

Ribs and abdomen feel like that side of beef in the 1st 'Rocky' movie.  Damn coughing...

Lesson #1, don't get fat.

Then you won't have high blood pressure and other ills, and can still take a decongestant that actually does some good.

Can't wait to get home and sluice everything out of my forehead with the saline wash.

More later, if I'm still amongst the living.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Warning To An Arthropod

Verbum Sapienti Satis Est!

To the katydid that's residing in the yew bush near the porch light:

You are buzzing @ 110 decibels during my evening cigar time.

It is harshing my mellow.

I don't know who you are.

I don't know what you want.

If you are looking for a female katydid to screw, I can't help you there.

I don't have whatever it is that katydids eat.

But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career.

Skills that make me a nightmare for insects like you.

If you leave my porch now, that'll be the end of it.

I will not look for you, I will not pursue you.

But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Case Of The Giggles

More Randomosity From Sweat City

OK, before I begin, can we start by agreeing that the 1981 movie 'Heavy Metal' is essentially adolescent jerk-off material?

Oh, it's a cult classic, but let's be honest.  It doesn't hold together very well as a movie, the animation is 2nd rate at best, and if it wasn't for all the rotoscoped titties and the rockin' soundtrack, it'd be gathering dust on the remainder rack with 'American Pop' and 'Wizards'.

Last weekend, I'm flipping channels and drop in on 'South Park' right at the beginning to the episode "Major Boobage", their homage to 'Heavy Metal' and Eliot Spitzer.  It's a brilliant take-off of the movie, and I get a good laugh every time I see it.

Fast forward to Sunday evening, and I'm getting into my truck about to head home after an afternoon at the cigar shop.

This guy walks past, and he's probably in his early to mid-50's.  Receding hairline, more salt than pepper, and he's got an impressive spare tire preceding him.

And, of course, the neck tattoo.  Tucked in behind his ear is the "Taarakian Symbol" from 'Heavy Metal'.

Y'know, the one on the smokin' hot warrior babe?

Dude.  What have you done to yourself??

There's Fan-Boy-ism, there's wish-fulfillment, and there's just plain pathetic.  If you can't fit into the outfit, you probably ought to skip the tattoo...

I got a case of the giggles, and just couldn't quit.  Sorry, dude.  Just couldn't help it...

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Sum Of Its Parts

Raising White Elephants Would Be A Cheaper Hobby...

The longer you spend as a gun collector/accumulator, the more often you'll get one of those complete head-shaking moments as the oddities of the gun trade come crashing down on you...

F'rinstance, the cost of building a custom firearm from scratch.  You'd think you could save some money by buying all the parts and slapping it together yourself.

Well, maybe, maybe not.

In the case of my AR build, it was really a wash.  The total cost came out to be as much as a NIB mid-grade AR, but it was about 90% exactly the way I wanted it, as opposed to the 60-70% feature package you'd get off the shelf.

The Ruger .22/45 homebuild got me about $800 worth of pistol for $600 and change. (Labor NOT included... that's a write-off!)

The devil's in the details, though.  You can really jack up your budget once you start spending on the small fiddly bits.

I've been looking into building a Commander-sized 1911 in .38 Super.  While the slide, frame & barrel would run less than $700, once you add in the sights, springs, safeties, trigger, screws, etc., you're back up in the $1100  range, and you haven't even paid for the barrel/slide fitting by the local 1911 guru.  Might as well get that custom Kimber!

I had an opportunity to grab a Luger P-08 bare frame for mucho cheapo, and I almost bit, until I found out that replacement parts might as well be whittled out of 18K gold.  Again, you'd be better off paying $1100-1500 for a reliable shooter than trying to piece one together on the cheap.

I don't even want to get into the cost of building a custom bolt-action rifle...

Anybody else got the do-it-yourself bug?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Taking The Final Ride

At Least It Wasn't A Got-Damned Prius...

I saw a fairly distressing sight on the way to work the other morning.

It was a brand-spankin' new Caddy XTS with hearse coachwork.

It was...  not right.

See, when you take your last ride, you want a bit of dignity.  Traditionally, a Caddy or Lincoln provided that by giving you a wide-bodied chassis in which to build a suitably elegant hearse.

Well, Caddy don't build land yachts no more...

Trying to fit a hearse body on the modern Caddy frame made it look like you were building a hearse out of a Buick Skylark.

The only way you could fit a casket in the back was to tie down the corpse and slip it in sideways.


This is OK:

This is NOT!!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Models For Motorheads

What Were Once Hobbies Become Vices

Back before I discovered girls, guns, booze & assorted herbal supplements, I spent quite a bit of time building models. 

The first few as a pre-teen weren't very good.  I had a SPAD biplane that ended up resembling a lopsided boomerang, and a Formula One racer that never got beyond the frame and chassis stage before half the parts got lost.

Even after I managed to complete some builds, they were usually glue-soaked wrecks, rarely painted and often dispatched with handfuls of firecrackers.

But, I did eventually get better.  Learned how to use a sprue cutter, X-acto blade and emery board.  Learned to paint parts while still on the sprue. Even learned advanced painting techniques (highlighting, washing) and how to get those got-damned decals off the slip sheet and onto the plastic without bubbles.

I'd go years without building anything, then the bug would strike and I'd be snipping parts and sniffing glue.  I spent an entire semester building a full-rigged sailing ship for Dad, and a B-17 with a 4 foot wingspan.   Did a giant model of  WWII destroyer, and several Star Trek ships.

Haven't built anything in quite a while, though, until I saw this on eBay:

It seemed just the thing to introduce my nephew into modelmaking.  It can sit in the box until he visits, then we can work on it together, and if it takes 2 years to complete, no worries.

It only cost $30 or so.  Cheap entertainment, anyway.

What I really wanted, though, was this one:

A vintage 1/4 scale Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial engine.  See-through, with all working parts!


Y'know how much it eventually sold for on eBay?  $610 + $30 shipping...

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Cause For Concern?

Or, Much Ado About Nothing?

You can always tell a brother-in-law.

You just can't tell him very much...

Almost 10 years into the marriage between my sister & her husband, I'm still on the fence about whether I even like the guy.

Oh, I don't think he's a bad person.  He's never given my sister reason to doubt his fidelity, and he absolutely adores his kids.  He doesn't drink hardly at all, never acts the fool in public, and I can't think of one time I've seen him raise his voice in anger.

Still, he's one of the World's Top Experts in any field you care to mention, and that makes any kind of conversation a PITA.  There's also the XBOX habit.  My sister calls herself a "Call of Duty" widow.

And. of course, he's got the money management skills of a U.S. politician.  They've been skirting near the edge of insolvency for most of their marriage.

So, why the concern?

He's quit his job to take a new position in another town, and they're planning a bankruptcy and mailing their house keys back to the bank and walking away on the mortgage.

Of course, they still need somewhere to live, and they've asked my parents for a sizable "loan" to get them settled.

Now, normally, this would be none of my business.


My parents have never really had two nickels to rub together.  Their current nest-egg comes mostly from Dad's share of his mother's estate, and Mom's retirement dividend from her pension. Aside from that, they have Social Security and two small pension funds.

With Dad nearing 80, and Mom not too far behind, I'm quite concerned that they have enough not only to cover their remaining years, but enough to cover any medical issues that might arise.

It's their money, their daughter, and they're gonna do what they feel they ought to do.

Still, I just get the feeling I'll be paying the bill when the waiter leaves the check...