Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Tonight being movie night, Herself and I pulled something off the rack at our local Video Store, curled up on the couch with the puppies and proceeded to watch ...

... Red Riding Hood.


Let me explain. No, there is too much, let me sum up:

"Take everything you like about werewolf movies, and give it a hearty, three-step soccer kick right square in the wedding tackle."

There is one, tiny redeeming feature: At least the werewolf doesn't sodding sparkle.


I'm going to have to watch Dog Soldiers just to get rid of the saccharine aftertaste.


Monday, February 27, 2012


In comments, Gentle Reader Jack Zedee states:


just confirmed via ICANN renewal and notification address for smoke and thunder was

1730 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Suite 1014
Washington, DC 20036

admin named just as admin"

Okay ... can someone translate that for me?

I understand that the address comes back to the HQ for the Violence Policy Centre, but is this a separate verification from the redirect found by others yesterday, or is it related?

Is this new evidence independently verifiable?

In other words -- and do forgive me the pun, but I simply cannot resist -- is this the smoking gun, or is it more circumstantial evidence?


Saturday, February 25, 2012


I was puttering about on a nice little Saturday morning, when my Inbox started exploding.

Turns out that I may not be as low-profile as one might have wanted because the subject of the previous post has apparently found my little scribblings:

"Your profile goes up today. Look for it and check out my reply to Bud Helms too!"

Huh. No.

Because I am, by nature, one who likes to have others understand why I do what I do (and because you -- quite frankly -- are too much of a cully to figure it out on your ownsome) I will tender some sort of explanation.

I don't like you.

You are one of those annoying little caitiffs who believes that any PR is good PR, and so you have Lindsey Lohan'd your way through the gunny side of Blogworld, trailing slime in the comment sections of prominent bloggers as you shout, "Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!"

I have little doubt that you think this spastic display of bile-spewing is cutting edge! Cool! Unique! Nobody's ever seen this before!


Much as I'd like to pat you on whichever end might be considered a head in your species, put your little macaroni-picture of a web-site up on the side of whatever rock you were up-chucked on by whatever nauseated gastropod donated your genes, before telling you how cute and how smart you are -- I can't.

You are an oiksome opportunistic little parasite who has decided that he can get something -- fame, money, a sheep that won't file rape charges, whathehellever -- from the hard work of others.

I don't like parasites like you. Others in Blogworld state that they hate parasites like you -- but hating something requires that the person doing the hating give a tinker's damn about that target of his hate -- and I really couldn't be arsed in your case.

I don't hate tapeworms, and I don't hate you. I don't hate ringworms, or flukes, or pinworms, or leeches, and I don't hate you. Because hating you, just like the rest of your parasitic buddies, would require a level of caring about you that I simply can't muster.

Oh, I've little doubt that you've probably already posted some cutesie-poo little insulting profile of me (that is, let's be honest here, more about you standing on a table and shrieking, "Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!" than actually insulting me, but I digress), and I'm sure that somewhere there's a village that's just ecstatic over that accomplishment.

I'm still not going to your web-site, because I'm not going to feed the latest Internet tapeworm (that's you, by-the-by) who's hoping to sponge off of the gunnies on the Internet.

In the unlikely event that you've managed to make it this far through my post, I'm going to reiterate that you DO NOT have my permission to post any of my intellectual property beyond the minimum allowed under the Fair Use statutes; and that you DO NOT have my permission to use any of my intellectual property for your personal gain.

Toodles, child. Here's a pork-chop necklace. Go play with doggies. Somewhere else.


postscript: Yes, little tapeworm, I deleted your comment on the other post that inspired this one. And I tagged you as 'Spam', so that any further comments from you will go right down the Internet khazi, like the parasite that you are.

Nothing but love,


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Arr, me hearties!

I discover today that there is a ... hmm ... new? website out there that is claiming to be a "social networking site for gun-owners" which is called -- IIRC -- "Smoke and Thunder."

Sounds like a mildly interesting idea, until I learn that this same web-site is creating profiles of famous gun-bloggers and hanging onto said profiles apparently hoping that the afore-mentioned famous gunbloggers will come over and claim the already-created profiles.

Probably for some nominal fee.

To my mind, that's more than a bit sleazy, but it seems to be the price of living in the Age of the Common Man.

Then I learn that the same site is busy trolling the comments of popular gun blogs, insulting particular gun-bloggers and may be helping itself to content that belongs to popular gun-bloggers.


This goes beyond sleazy and right up into full-on dacoit-hood.

To the best of my knowledge I have not ever really been a full-on "gun-blogger" and I tend to believe that my recent cycle of low activity has caused me to fall off of the radar in the Blogosphere, but in case it hasn't allow me be perfectly clear:

1) I will not be joining this site "Smoke and Thunder", so if you see my name there, it isn't me.

2) Nor do I give the site "Smoke and Thunder" any permission what-so-ever to use anything written by me on this site, or by me on any Internet forum or medium, beyond the minimum amount permissible under the "Fair Use Doctrine".

3) Furthermore, I deny the site "Smoke and Thunder" permission to use any of my intellectual property, wholly or in part, for financial gain.


In closing, I should like to offer the observation that if one is about to make a complete and total ass of oneself on the Internet, it might be considered prudent not to choose a
nom de cyber that rhymes with "Blunder", "Chunder", "Dunder", or "Plunder".

Take that advice as one will. Or not.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

But, but, but ...

This last weekend my cell-phone was finally rendered hors de combat.

It's been kind of spotty for the last year, fading in and out at irregular intervals, but what kind of did the needful was my agency hauling off and giving me a whole bunch of new responsibilities all of a sudden.

My agency tends to run on e-mail. to the point that I can state, firmly and with no exaggeration, that when the e-mail server goes down, you can feel the incipient panic in the air.

Anyhoo, my beloved cell-phone ganked on me, so I walked into the local Three Letter Acronym store, cell-phone lovingly cradled in my cupped hands, showed it to the lass behind the desk and whimpered, "Fix it."

Sayeth the lass, "I've never even seen on of those before."

I gently point out the Three Letter Acronym Mega-Corporation logo on the case, what matches the one over the entrance to the store, and she starts looking in her computer, blinks for a moment and says, "Wow. They haven't made those in a while."


Sensing an opportunity to make a sale, she starts asking questions. Where do I work, what are my needs, that sort of thing. I remember a gentle admonition from someone Higher In Rank Than I that I should really consider getting a phone that can receive e-mail, so I mention this to her.

Then she starts pulling cell-phones off the display and piling them in front of me, all the while delivering what is probably a well-rehearsed patter that involves the names of phones that have been lifted from an astrophysics lecture.

I raise my paw, look down at the pile of shiny glass and say, "These are all smart phones, right?"

"Yes, sir, that's exactly what you need!"

I poke something with a fruit logo and enough computing power to run the entire 1960's NASA program with an index finger.

"Do you have a smart phone that's been sitting in the corner and eating paint chips?"

She blinks at me. A lot.

I continue, "I need to be able to speak to people, I need to send texts and I need to get e-mail. That's it. I don't need a fingerprint ID lock, I don't need a GPS, and I don't need to play YouTube videos. I need a phone. Preferably the digital equivalent of a smoky fire and a blanket."

There was a lot more blinking. I got the impression that there was some kind of IF/THEN loop spinning behind her eyes, but probably not a Blue Screen of Death.

"The ability to function after being bounced off someones forehead is a plus." I added, helpfully I thought.

She had to go get a manager.


So, I am the new owner of what the manager insists is the dumbest smart phone he could get ahold of.

We'll see.


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

In which the respect due my lofty position is expressed

"We," announces Faithful Minion #1 with a certain amount of relish, "Have A Problem."

I look up from the pile of paperwork that seems to have adopted my desk as it's ancestral breeding ground to see a young lady at the Intake desk. Short, nervous -- not unexpected considering she's under arrest for something -- maybe 80 pounds.

I look back to where someone has sent me a request for permission to look for mop handles, "Call the kitchen, get her a sandwich." Someone needs my okay to go look for bloody mop handles? Seriously?

"Ah, boss, she's deaf."

"Okay. Give her her cell phone, let her send a reasonable number of texts."

An inmate has sent me a request for information on getting a divorce while in jail. "Didn't I just sign off on a proxy for this one to get married?!"

"PD seized her cell phone. I really think we need a dinosaur."

Huh? I look back out to the Intake Desk where the Wee Lass is poking a finger at some equipment with a puzzled air.


I hie myself from the desk and wander out to where our 18-to-22 year-old guest is looking from Faithful Minion #2 to the Brand-New, Just Purchased At No Small Expense 1973-era TDD machine has been plunked down in front of her.

"This," I announce to my Faithful Minions (in tones that emphatically do not resemble in any way -- despite slanderous assertions by folks higher in rank than I -- a Tyrannosaurus delivering the lecture 'Mammals: An Evolutionary Failure'), "Is what the deaf used to use for communication in the days before texting and e-mail."

So saying, I dial the number in front of the Wee Lass and place the phone handset in the TDD cradle with a flourish.

"Ohhh," sayeth the Faithful Minions.

There is a long pause. A really long pause. The Wee Lass pokes the TDD with a suspicious, and more than slightly uncertain, index finger. A Faithful Minion clears her throat.

"Sooo ... she types into the ... PBB ... and it talks to whoever on the other end?"

"TDD. No. She types into the TDD here and the message comes up on the TDD on the other end."


I realize what's coming just before my Faithful Minion opines, "Since she doesn't seem to know what the hell that PBB is, the chances of there being another one on the other end of this call ..."

I raise my hand, sigh the sigh of a man beset by the inequities of dealing with young people -- children, really -- and ask, "How have you been communicating with her?"

"Oh, she reads lips."

Good. I turn to the Wee Lass and -- enunciating fully -- I ask, "Is there another number you would like us to call for you?"

The Wee Lass stares at me with one eyebrow cocked up. There's another long pause, broken by Faithful Minion #2 announcing: "She reads lips. I don't think she reads moustaches."

I feel my eye twitch as Faithful Minion #1 muses, "I think she can read moustaches. It's just that the moustache was saying: '
In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu lies dreaming.' Or something."

I pivot to look at my Faithful Minions. Innocent faces, the lot of the little buggers.



Tuesday, February 07, 2012


During WWII the British Isles were under credible threat of invasion by the Axis forces particularly in the early years of that war.

Local Defence Volunteers -- name later changed to Home Guard -- were men who had been rejected for active military service, but who were tasked with providing defence for England while the active military was busy elsewhere.

A great deal of the time, the LDV were armed with only what they could bring from home, and even in those days, the only thing most of them had that would go "Bang!" was a two-barrel fowling piece.

And most of the ammunition readily available for the shotguns was light shot -- unfortunately what is good medicine for grouse at fifteen yards might tend to put you closer to an errant Fallschirmjager than one might like.

The solution was called a "ringer" in England, and a "cut-load" in the United States, and was an old poachers trick to turn the paper-hulled shot shells and side-by-side shotgun into a nasty medium-range thumper.

The execution was simple: the old paper-hulled shotgun shells generally had two thick felt wads between the powder and the shot column. One simply made a spiral cut through the paper hull of the shell at a location between the two wads -- making sure that the cut overlapped, and that the ending of the cut was about an eighth to a quarter of an inch below the beginning of the cut.

When a normal shell was fired in a shotgun, the hull remained attached to the base and the end opened up to allow the shot to fly down-range in a cloud.

In one that had been modified into a "ringer" or "cut-load", this would not happen. Instead, the hull would separate from the base and the entire paper hull -- shot and all -- would exit the muzzle in one solid mass. The shot would not leave the hull until it came into contact with a deer -- or a German paratrooper.

It was -- more or less -- a giant paper 12-bore Glaser safety slug.

Old Africa hands going into the bush hunting birds would slip a couple of "cut-loads" into their pocket in case something with teeth tried to get up under their hat with them as they were potting birds for the evening meal, but I really thought that the practice of "ringing" had died out with the paper-hulled case, and that it wasn't really possible with modern plastic-hulled cases and modern pressures.

Turns out that I was wrong:

Just because some tricks are old, doesn't mean they're not effective.

Folks, two things cannot be cautioned enough: if you use cut-loads, feed the cut-load directly into the chamber by hand. If you try to put cut-loads into a tube magazine eventually they will come apart and dump powder, shot and other nastiness into your shotgun's innards; and

Check local laws. This is an old poacher's trick and well-schooled game wardens may look askance at finding you on the dove field with a pocket full of shells modified for deer-whacking.


Thursday, February 02, 2012

Cue panic in 3 ... 2 ...

This probably doesn't come as a shock to long-time readers, but I don't check my e-mail as often as I probably should.

That being said, I logged in this morning to discover an e-mail from a nice lady at advising me that I had been added to the media list for the NRA Annual Meeting in April of this year.

*blink, blink*

"Oh, good," sayeth my lady, as she looks over my shoulder, "Better make some reservations. Here's the name of the hotel."

This here is what us finely-trained law enforcement types call "A Clue". I have a suspicion that Herself has been Arranging Things.

I've actually always wanted to go to an NRA Annual Meeting ... but as Media?

Me, who frequently gets Interview confused with Interrogation?

And I'm pretty sure there are going to be a lot of people Breathing My Air there.


If anyone needs me, I'll be out back, hyperventilating.


Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Now, that's a fairy tale!

Well done! Well done, indeed!