Friday, January 27, 2012


I've left the caer just twice this week and yet I woke up this morning with a very unpleasant bug.  The cats are happy to have me on the sofa to drape themselves over, except the sneezing and coughing thing.

Excuse me while I return to contemplating how it is that my head can be so completely stuffed up and still produce so much snot...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Something Fishy

It's cold and dark and I'm in the midst of my seasonal morph into Homo sapiens ursus - like the bear that ursus refers to I don't want to do anything but hunker down, eat, and sleep until someone tells the days that they need to be longer so I can play outside after work.  Trouble is, my weight and cholesterol say that I need to be more careful of the eating part, and move my office job body more. 

I've been on a sort of binge on burgers in recent months but normally I don't eat a lot of meat.  That's not because I object to the eating of meat - it's because of the conditions of factory farming.  But it's a nuisance to have to go someplace out of the way to get a humanely raised piece of whatever I'm craving and then wait for the frozen-brick-hard thing to thaw in the fridge.  And they won't let hunters sell game meat - I've got no objections to eating something that was alive one moment doing whatever it naturally does and dead the next.  We tend to eat too much protein in our culture, but we do need some.  So I've been trying to learn more about fish - how to choose it, how to cook it, and how to eat it.

For most of my life, I didn't like fish unless it involved batter and deep frying - I thought fish tasted fishy otherwise.  That's still yummy, but, again, there's the excess calories and fat thing.  My opinion of fish started to change when I had my first taste of really excellent seared tuna with ponzu sauce.  Well alrighty - let's re-think this!  It occurred to me that my family didn't come from a place where fish were readily available - a poor mountain-top farm serves up chicken, pork, and beef, and the nearest stream of any size was a good ways away and contaminated with mine run-off.  And who has time to fish when you are trying scrape a living off a small farm, anyway?  So the rare occasions when we did have fish may not have reflected a particularly broad or skillful understanding of it.  Maybe there could be something beyond deep frying and Mrs. Paul's fish sticks.

It's my nephew's fault that I cook much at all - several years ago he gave me The Cook's Encyclopedia of Thai Cooking  for Christmas, and that led me out of the darkness of canned, frozen, and processed products into the world of fresh and carefully balanced flavors.  A new cookbook has followed every year, and this year's hit the jackpot - For Cod and Country, a collection of simple but delicious recipes for fish and shellfish that is focused on fresh and sustainable.

My culinary adventures with fish have a lot of assistance from the fish counter manager at our local grocery store - she has a passion for her product, so a morning run for ingredients for dinner presents me with an immaculate cooler full of fresh fillets and whole fish just received that morning.  The end result since New Years Day has been dishes such as stewed catfish and black-eyed peas with chunks of catfish so light they dissolved in the mouth; tilapia with roasted spaghetti squash, caper yogurt, and a smoky balsamic reduction that is excellent on other roasted veges; eggplant stuffed with smoky tomato-anchovy ratatouille; and this week's crowning glory of trout and autumn squash with roast garlic and toasted pecans.  All far more easy to make than the names sound, and all delicious.

Since I make two servings at a time, my freezer is full now, so I need to subsist on that for a while before my next cooking adventure so that things don't sit in there too long.  I may switch cook books next, too - I'm thinking maybe Goan style clams and mussels from my Fresh Indian book may be next.  I have to say that it's all WAY better than anything I ever tossed onto a baking sheet out of a box.  And not a bit fishy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today's Diversity Lesson

Is from Andrew Klavan.  As a conservative, I know I'm responsible for everything from bad weather (I don't drive anything that involves the word "compact" because I'd lose it in my street's potholes) to Gabby Gifford's shooting (because somehow I made Jared Loughner crazy, I guess).  So a lesson in cultural sensitivity may be helpful in my quest to not make people who are nut-ball fanatics not be nut-ball fanatics.  Oh.  'Scuse me.  Did I say that?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Morning Giggle

From my in box this morning, some of them made me laugh.  The one at the end definitely: Occasional violation of the 4 safety rules involved. 

"Best Of" Gun Accidents 2011

Friday, January 20, 2012

Flaming idiots use flaming....

Well, you can read it at The Smoking Gun.  Gotta say, I wouldn't have thought of this use for this particular object.  Guess I'm just not drunk enough.

Well, they are definitely full of it.

Lest anyone think that the Occupy folks aren't costing us anything - remember police overtime.  The occupiers have to be protected from the truly homeless who want them to share the food the unions are providing.  Not to mention the future costs of repairing the damage of the areas they've been squatting in.  And apparently in Baltimore they've seen fit to just take over someone's house.  I have a solution for that but it's the socialist state of Maryland so I doubt it would fly.

The latest addition to the American taxpayer's bill for this is quite appropriate.  According to the U.S. New and World Report's "Washington Whispers", we get to pay for their port-a-potties.  I guess we should just be grateful that an alternative to a police car is being provided.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

No more cookies.

Granted, I try not to eat a lot of sweets - I have enough problems with weight without that.  But every once in a while a box of Thin Mints seems like a good idea, especially when proffered by cute little girls outside the local grocery store.  But as of today, no more Girl Scout cookies.  And the problem isn't my blood sugar level.  It's my blood pressure level after reading Cathy Ruse's "Say No to Girl Scout Cookies"

I hadn't thought about how much of the money goes back to the kids who work so hard to raise it - 10%.  Well, I guess that's more than 1 %, so the Occupy folks won't fuss.  But 90% goes to the Girl Scout business itself, and that seems like prime Evil Corporation territory so I'm waiting to hear from the Companies Are Bad folks.  All those parents who take time out of their days to make sure the girls have their meetings, projects, and sales are all volunteering their time to make sure the bureaucracy gets a regular pay day.

Not having  had a little girl in the house for many years, I haven't paid attention.  I didn't realize that a decision had been made to let boys who dress as girls in.  Bad enough there are parents who encourage gender confusion at a young age - this isn't the same as a tomboy in jeans, but little boys who think they are little girls.  No matter what some fool psychologist says, little boys and little girls most definitely have different parts.  Not to mention different genetic structures - there's that whole x and y chromosome thing.  That's called nature, and those who attack my opinions on this as the rantings of a religious nut can please explain to me how I am scientifically inaccurate when I observe that nature built male and female structures that serve different functions.  So little boys with their little boy parts belong in Boy Scouts.  If their parents think that's an issue then they can get off their media-seeking butts and form a Gender Confused Scouts if they want. 

Even that is not the kicker.  The kicker is Planned Parenthood's involvement.  You know, the people who make statements like "young people understand that they are entitled to sexual pleasure and how to experience different forms of sexual pleasure is important for their health and well-being."  And then they make a lot of money killing the inconvenient end result of an act that has as its primary function the survival of the species.  They have particularly excelled in making sure brown skinned varieties of Homo sapiens don't survive, a policy they've had since the group's founding.

100 Questions for the Girl Scouts has just that, and plenty more.  Unfortunately.   And while the slime hasn't worked its way into all Girl Scout councils, it is most definitely there and spreading. Enough that there will be no more Thin Mints in this house.

Oh, and, before anybody protests, that's my choice.  Planned Parenthood is all about choice, isn't it?

Friday, January 13, 2012

And they want a bailout?

Apparently, Greece hasn't learned a thing from it's current financial troubles. And they've just taken a step that should eliminate all possibility of any bail-out.  According to the AP, the Greek government has now extended the category of "disabled" to pedophiles.  Also exhibitionists, kleptomaniacs, pyromaniacs, compulsive gamblers, fetishists and sadomasochists.  According to the Greek Labor Ministry, the categories were included for purposes of medical assessment and "allocating financial assistance."

Get that?  A country already facing financial ruin and and begging for help from other countries has now decided that people who prey on children deserve as much financial assistance as, say, a person born blind.

Time to turn off the money spigot, and to make it clear why.  Let them burn down the whole country.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

California man shoots intruder and is called ... a hero.

From KMPH, Fox 26 in California:
KINGSBURG, Calif. (KMPH) - A Kingsburg man opens fire, and now the father of four is being called a hero.
Deputies say he shot a man who broke into his home.
It happened at a house in Kingsburg, just after midnight, last Friday morning.
39-year-old Adan Duran says the intruder first broke into his truck, took a hammer out of his own tool box and tried to break in through the garage. When he couldn't, he went to the front of the house where he was confronted by two dogs that bit him.
Duran says he attacked the dogs and kept going.
He used the hammer to break the living room window, where Duran was waiting.
"When I see him come to me, I shoot at him," said Duran.
He fired one round from his .357 magnum revolver in an effort to protect his four children and his wife, who were all home.
"I don't like somebody to put one finger on anyone in my family," said Duran.
The intruder was hit in the thigh.
"I never think about killing him. I want to stop him," said Duran.
And he did.
The intruder fell back, and the father of four stood over him, holding a gun to his head while waiting for deputies to arrive.
"He told me ‘I want to kill people.' I told him, you move one finger, I'm going to shoot you on your head," said Duran.
His wife and kids had all locked themselves inside a bedroom - and stayed safe.
Duran says this is the first time he's ever aimed his gun at a person.
"This guy want to kill my family. I don't want that," said Duran.
Tulare County Sheriff's Deputies say the man that broke into this house, is 21-year-old Zaiven Ridley.
Deputies say he's from the Sacramento are but he walked to the Kingsburg home where he was shot.
He's still in the hospital, and deputies are still trying to figure out how he got to the Valley, and why he targeted the house. 
No charges will be filed against Duran, deputies say, in this case, it was legal for him to shoot the person who broke into his home and threatened to hurt him and his family.
Looks like not all of California is terminally infected by anti-gun liberalism.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm in love.

It’s come late in life for me, but it has happened none the less. And I had to have help – I don’t know enough about such things to deal with this completely on my own. So Murphy’s Law stepped in and made the introductions. And I was immediately pretty sure that This Was The One. 

Handsome.  Elegant.  Perfectly proportioned in relationship to my short self.  A second date at Occupy Peacemaker, and I was sure. Once again Murphy’s Law stepped in, and he returned from his Christmas trip home with my new love:

Absolutely beautiful M-1 carbine made by Plainfield Machine Co.  Wood in perfect condition.  Barely used. Feels wonderful, like it was made just for me.  Shoots like a dream.

Today was range day, a perfect day for it, and I took possession of my new love.  Much pistol work first, with some training from ML on close encounters of the drawing your concealed weapon kind, as well as a lesson in retention. (Note to self - purchase real leather belt this weekend. This imitation crap can't take the stress.)  I am not a good multi-tasker;  pushing away with left hand and stepping back while sweeping shirt/jacket back and drawing and firing is going to require practice.  And yes, yes I can draw the .38 and find it in my hand with my shirt still wrapped around it.  In real life I hope I would have enough presence of mind (or enough sense of self preservation) to fire anyway but I wasn't going to put a hole in a perfectly good shirt for training.  ML had also repaired the H&R .22 and it is amazing how different it feels after several months of using firearms - it feels fine now whereas at first I didn't like it.  I still can't use it double action - I can pull that trigger way back but not quite far enough.  But single action feels good.

Finally, the M-1.  First time up - 25 yards:

50 yards:

100 yards (the shot in the 7 ring at about 11 o'clock is from ML's Springfield, which he was sighting):

And, finally, I finished messing up Murphy's Law's target at the 200 yard line - a cluster to the lower right and then I got the range:

I'm happy and excited - it was a terrific day at the range. Thanks, Murphy's Law, for bringing my baby home and showing me how to properly use it.  Thanks, Aaron of the Shekel, for parting with such a fine gun. 

Now I gotta go clean a bunch of guns...

Monday, January 9, 2012

D.C.'s Occupy Gets Schooled

I think I'm in love...


I've been around, but when not working busy with other stuff.  A good friend's mother died unexpectedly last Thursday, and my friend and her hubby, saturated with all the stuff the aftermath of such things requires, stopped by last night.  They just needed someone other than family to talk to for a while.  So we talked about whatever they wanted to talk about and killed rather more than a bottle of wine and they left just before midnight. 

Seemed I had just crawled into bed when my cats were all climbing all over me and demanding breakfast.  It was getting light so I staggered down and filled the bowls.  At which point my head had cleared enough to realize that the light wasn't coming from the east.  Moonlight.  Flippin' moonlight from the mostly full moon.  It was 4 am.

I am SO too old for this...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Santorum speaks up.

If I haven't made it obvious yet, I am pro-life.  No, let me change that.  I am PRO-LIFE.  I believe that every abortion takes the life of an innocent human being.  There is nothing, no reasoning (or lack thereof) that changes that.  No proof without a reasonable doubt that what is being killed is not human.  No proof that both a woman AND a man were not involved (in vitro included - there is still a biological father).  And no one can say to me that I don't know what it's like to be in a crisis pregnancy - been there, done that.  And helped others being encouraged to abort get through their own pregnancies. 

Thing is, I was pro-life when I called myself an atheist.  Scientifically, the idea that no human was killed failed.  Culturally, the idea that we could call that a choice, let that get ingrained into our society, then not develop a more violent society failed.  To allow it and then be surprised when people make choices that are harmful to others is ridiculous.  It fails logically.

Along the way, Bernie Nathanson, may he rest in peace, saw the light, and turned away from the monster he had helped create, using his own film, "The Silent Scream", to demonstrate the humanity of what is slaughtered.  "Roe", of Roe v Wade, became pro-life, as did "Doe" of Doe v Bolton, the case that really opened Pandora's box on the innocent, creating abortion on demand.  More and more women who worked for groups like Planned Parenthood have spoken out and published their memoirs of what they saw there.  More and more women who have had abortions are speaking out.  And more and more death certificates of those who were killed by these "safe and legal" procedures have become available on-line. 

So I am a single issue voter.  I will not cast my vote for a pro-abortion candidate.  The famous trilogy is "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness".  If the government does not protect innocent life, then the other two don't matter, for they become impossible to achieve.

So this bit of commentary by George Will, courtesy of Creative Minority Report, heavily influences my thoughts on who to vote for.  I've copied both the Will excerpt and CMR's comments:

I find it hard to believe I am writing these words. But the following is an excerpt from a column extolling the virtues of Rick Santorum written by, are you sitting down? George Will.
They (ordinary Republicans) crave fun. Supporting Mitt Romney still seems to many like a duty, the responsible thing to do. Suddenly, supporting Santorum seems like a lark, partly because a week or so ago he could quit complaining about media neglect and start having fun, which is infectious.

He can, of course, be tenaciously serious. On Sept. 26, 1996, the Senate was debating whether to ban partial-birth abortion, the procedure whereby the baby to be killed is almost delivered, feet first, until only a few inches of its skull remain in the birth canal, and then the skull is punctured, emptied and collapsed. Santorum asked two pro-choice senators opposed to the ban, Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), this: Suppose the baby slips out of the birth canal before it can be killed. Should killing it even then be a permissible choice? Neither senator would say no.

On Oct. 20, 1999, during another such debate, Santorum had a colloquy with pro-choice Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.):

Santorum: “You agree that, once the child is born, separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed. Do you agree with that?”

Boxer: “I think that when you bring your baby home . . . .”

Santorum is not, however, a one-dimensional social conservative. He was Senate floor manager of the most important domestic legislation since the 1960s, the 1996 welfare reform.
It was Rick Santorum who took the fight over partial-birth abortion to the Dems. It was Rick Santorum who exposed the monstrous logic of the pro-aborts in Congress. It was Rick Santorum. He has made his mistakes, mistakes he admits, but that is the Rick Santorum I know. That is the Rick Santorum I support. That is the Rick Santorum you should support too.

Oh, by the way. Did you see that Boxer quote above? Your life is not protected by the Constitution until they bring you home. M.O.N.S.T.E.R.S.
Yes. They are monsters.  And they've been voted into office by those who accept monstrous beliefs.  We will have no true freedom as long as these beliefs remain.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mail Box

From a friend.  My mother was a mail carrier for 26 years, but she never mentioned delivering to a mail box as unique as this one. (The neighborhood kids would, however, on occasion stick a frog in a mail box.)

New Years

And I'm feeling a bit brain dead...

Spent New Years Eve on duty at the local cold weather shelter.  Got home from church New Years Day to find a tree down on the lines and no electricity, so I retreated to a favorite local restaurant/bar, where I found other refugees from the street watching the Redskins game.  Been working on raking up leaves and putting down mulch. Other than that, I got nuttin to report - haven't even been paying attention to the news.