BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin's presence in the lower 48 means the Arctic ice cap can finally return.

calendar   Saturday - April 30, 2016

still here

sorry, I got lost on the internet today. That happens sometimes.  Something said in the comments on an earlier post is making me want to go gun shopping again. Always a dangerous moment, as I can spend days daydreaming and looking stuff up.

I think I want a Marlin 1895 LTD II, only a new one built on the XLS machinery. The LTD II was rather like the 1895 Cowboy, only with 22” barrel and pistol grip stocks with checkering. Fine by me! I’d like to go with a Skinner aperture sight, and I’d really like some nice fiddleback maple stocks somewhere down the customizing road.  Well, Freedom Group, which took over Marlin several years ago, has come back with some new models and a big promise of care and commitment. We shall see ...


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Almost perfect. Just needs a hefty octagonal barrel and the peep sight. And the big lever. this one is brand new, a fancy wood version designed, sadly, to live in some collector’s gun safe. Suckage, extra plus.


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Eeeww. Eww!! OMG, a moldy canoe paddle that shoots bullets. Gross. Nothing but practical. Make it go away, oh please I’m begging you.




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Oh thank you. For a minute there I thought I was going to loose my lunch. I must have the pretty boomstix.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/30/2016 at 06:55 PM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun Control •  
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calendar   Friday - April 29, 2016

wilderness living here in NJ

So I’m having my first cuppa coffee outside on the patio this morning, trying to wake up on this dark damp and dreary day. The birdies are waking up too, making a racket. Alerted by the sound of the sliding door opening, a couple of our outdoor cats have come up out of their den and are stretching and thinking about begging some breakfast.

And I hear a crunch crunch crunch of bracken breaking and a soft low “woof” sound. I look down the cliff, and out of the brush saunters a bear, not 30 feet away. A black bear. A pretty nice size black bear, this is no cub. I’d guess about 6 feet, nose to tail? Maybe 175lbs? I’m no judge, but this one’s got a big round rump, doesn’t seem leggy, and the ears are pretty small. Of course, Mr. Bear is all fluffed up this chilly morning, so it’s hard to tell. And my, what a nice shiny pelt you have, all thick and long, dark as licorice. And your little snout on your big fat round face looking up at me. And then my brain kicks into gear.

HOLY. SHIT. A BEAR!!!

Suddenly there are 6 kittehs on my patio. Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, boing; they came flying in at full speed from under the bushes. And are all staring down the hill, while the bear is staring back up at us. “You stay up here, you stupid cats.”

And of course I don’t have a camera on me ... at 6am, who does? But I have my little foldy cell phone, so I whip it out to take a picture ... and of course, the thing has turned itself off in my pocket as usual. And it takes more than a minute to turn on and initialize. So I just stand there, and Mr. Bear keeps walking, following the little stream down there, past the vulture baths and crunching his way along. Right towards the work yard for the condo maintenance guys, who don’t come in until after 8. So I sent them a text. What else could I do? Right; I drank the rest of my coffee.

A bear. Friggin’ CRIVENS!!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/29/2016 at 09:42 AM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsDaily Life •  
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calendar   Thursday - April 28, 2016

nice idea but wasteful

How I spent my summer vacation    My morning’s fun task.

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One can’s worth barely covers one side of a pair. Traffic flows o the dry side.

An official, professional line painting machine and plenty of ammo. 6 cans of Rustoleum inverted line paint ($25) is enough for one thin coat of paint on 5 speed bumps.

What a waste. But it fries fast! The best solution is a brush and a gallon of real paint. Sweep it clean, leaf blower away the last bits of dirt. Paint the left or right side of a pair of speed bumps. Put up some traffic cones and give it all day to dry. Come back tomorrow and do the other side.

The gallon of paint does twice as much as the 6 pack of spray cans, and cost $6 less. Oh, and it lasts about 4 times longer too, and covers better. And cleans up with water.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/28/2016 at 05:12 PM   
Filed Under: • work and the workplace •  
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Socialism’s End Game

I’ve got to make this quick ... I have to get out and paint the speed bumps today. Oh boinky!!


Venezuela Sinking: Government Workers Draw Full Pay

For 2 Day Workweek. Union STILL Annoyed!!



Caracas [maybe that should be “Carcass”? ]– After President Nicolas Maduro’s announcement that public offices in Venezuela will now open only Mondays and Tuesdays, many employees are saying they will use the time off to stand in the crawling food lines that have become a common sight throughout the country.

Employees will see no changes in their salary, Maduro said during the televised announcement.

Victor Urbaez, who works at the state-owned communications company Cantv, said he has mixed feelings about the new measures.

“Seventy percent of Cantv employees reject this decision,” Urbaez, who is a union member, told Fox News Latino. “We think it affects production and, even though we are getting paid, we will be unable to do the overtime work that increased our wages,” he said.

Most Venezuelans reacted with disbelief to the news of the two-day workweek, a new emergency measure looking to contain the growing energy crisis.

The country’s socialist administration already gave nearly 3 million public workers Fridays off earlier this month, and on Monday initiated daily four-hour blackouts around the country.

Yet experts say it is unlikely the new measures will produce a real positive effect on the electricity crisis, since 63 percent of the country’s energy consumption is residential, according to official data — if people are not working or studying, the reasoning goes, they will be in their houses consuming more energy.

Venezuela. Where they have loads of oil, and are almost literally pumping money from the ground. Collapsing economy, energy crisis. Food lines. No toilet paper. Brown outs, grid shut downs.

And don’t you just love it? The government employees union is pissed that the austerity move pays their people 5 days wages for 2 days work. Which was all they were probably doing anyhow. But now, boo hoo, they can’t pile on the overtime. For doing more nothing. Horry Clap.

The one thing I like about South American tin pot nations is that it’s almost a guarantee that somewhere there are still a couple of warehouses full of old Mauser rifles. Thousands of them. Looks like it’s about time to start melting the Cosmoline off them once again. Viva la revolution!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/28/2016 at 12:57 PM   
Filed Under: • Politics •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 27, 2016

File under WHAT THE HELL?: 9/11 Memorial Guards interrupt Choir students signing the National Anthem

I only wish I had nothing today. Because I think Nothing would be a better situation than this.  Choirs are proverbial for purity, honesty, and intelligence. When we talk of the scum of the day, what do we say? “He’s no choir boy.” So who has the nerve to hassle an actual choir?

Oh. That’s right.The people getting paid to guard the 9/11 memorial.

http://fox59.com/2016/04/26/middle-school-choir-ordered-to-stop-singing-national-anthem-at-911-memorial-gets-apology/

The Waynesville Middle School choir from Waynesville, N.C. was visiting New York City for a three-day trip last Wednesday when they stopped at the 9/11 memorial and decided to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” out of respect for the dead.

They never got to finish.

Before the song was over, two National September 11 Memorial & Museum guards walked over and told the students they had to stop singing.


Some of these guards didn’t even remove their hats out of respect, as you can clearly see in the video.

So, why might you ask? So glad you did that! Let’s have a look see.

According to the 9/11 memorial’s website, groups wanting to perform must first obtain a permit.


What’s that you say? A Permit? Let’s find out more about this. And indeed, yours truly managed to dig another juicy fact up.... though it is from See-BS. But I think you’ll forgive me when I point out what this means…

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/school-choir-stopped-from-singing-national-anthem-at-911-memorial/

Groups wishing to perform at the Sept. 11 memorial are supposed to apply for a $35 permit. The North Carolina group did not.


So, in short this was about monies. That you must apply for a permit to have a performance on public/gubment managed land. Ok, I have my misgivings with the extent the permit system has gotten to but this is a fairly reasonable limitation. HOWEVER....

Let’s look at that wording again. Really, Really, REALLY look at it.

Groups wishing to perform at the Sept. 11 memorial are supposed to apply for a $35 permit. 


Is there ANY INDICATION WHATSOEVER- has ANYBODY ALLEGED AT ALL- that the Choir *WISHED TO PREFORM* at the memorial beforehand? NO, I THINK NOT. What they Came Wishing To DO was to visit the memorial and pay respects to the three thousand~ murdered innocents that this memorial pays tribute to.

“We just wanted to show respect to the people who lost their lives,” another student added.

In short, the time during which they could in any way have been construed as “wishing to preform” must have been after they got into the Memorial itself, with a astonishingly small window of opportunity to file for a permit, pay the money, or solicit profit, publicity, new students, or in short ANYTHING THAT WOULD USUALLY MOTIVATE PEOPLE TO PREFORM. Which is what the law was mostly meant to REGULATE, mind: use of public spaces for premeditated agendas, ESPECIALLY for profit ones (which is a reason why you don’t see as many advertisements filmed at the White House even when a certain Neo-Bolshevik is not in it). And of course to make sure that the government gets its’ fair share (such as it is) for it.

But Wait. There’s more.

According to the 9/11 memorial’s website, groups wanting to perform must first obtain a permit. The Waynesville students didn’t have one, but did get verbal permission from a security guard that day, music teacher Martha Weathers Brown said.

Maybe she’s lying, but the See-BS page also echoes this.

Chorus teacher Martha Brown told Fox that one security guard at the memorial plaza had given the students permission to sing, but another guard told them to stop.


So in short: this started about monies. That you cannot preform certain acts of reverence (like a memorial tune, which just googling “Dirge” will show is one of the oldest forms of human musical expression known) on your own time, for nonprofit without bowing down and kissing the ring of BigGov for the privilege before paying up. Even if doing so would require a rather obscene expenditure for the occasion and- in this case- precognitive abilities. Because some half-wit overwrought bureaucrat somewhere decided that something like THIS could be reasonably viewed as a Performance.

And on the other hand: this is about Gov mugs not being able to get their right hand and left hand on the same page, because if we assume the teacher is honest (which granted may be a question) this NEVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED- the very thing that got the memorial staff wringing their panties out- unless ONE OF THEIR OWN hadn’t told them it was A-Ok. Only for a few others to go in and contradict it.

If there was one story to epitomize one reason to distrust government abilities and people- not the big, spectacular, horrifyingly damaging ones like Benghazi or Clinton’s email server, but the mundane, every day things- this would be one of them. It ENCAPSULATES just how greedy and incompetent this unfeeling blob that we pour trillions of dollars, many people, and immense trust in can be when given openings to get too big for its’ britches. I just wish it didn’t have to happen like this.

Which brings me to the final snippet.

Brown added that she understands why they were told to stop and used it as a teaching moment about respecting authority, showing students that these rules are in place to protect a sacred space from people who might want to be disrespectful.


I’m sorry, but WHAT?

How can you respect authority that Can’t even make up its’ own mind?

How is a permit based cash grab demand based on a Highly Tortured reading of the term “preform” going to protect this hallowed ground?

Let me emphasize that this land is not private property. This is a NATIONAL MEMORIAL. It belongs to WE THE PEOPLE. And if there is a reason for it to exist AT ALL it is to honor the memories and allow for mourning of the murdered dead (ya know, kinda like this!) And here we have tweedledee and tweedledum interrupting a CHOIR doing that and trying to state that their authority (which is again given in trust to them by WE THE PEOPLE) gives them the right to interpret bureaucratic minutiae like this.

I am not an anarchist. I am not even sure I agree with the saying that “The government that governs best governs least.” I do believe that governmental authority DOES play a highly important role in maintaining and preserving our freedoms and other things.

BUT I ALSO KNOW THAT THERE ARE FIELDS WHERE THE AUTHORITIES DO NOT AUTHORIZE IN, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO.

To quote the thing that empowers these authorities....

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


So now the Memorial staff are saying they’re oh so very sorry, the guy reacted incorrectly, you’re welcome to come back..blah blah blah. Maybe they even mean it. But I think in many ways that it is less important than the fact that this happened at all. That some small cogs in the Federal juggernaut honestly thought that This of all things was worth worrying about or treading on their coffers. And the fact that even the teacher is telling them this is a lesson about “respecting authority.”

If we cannot go to lawfully mourn and remember our dead at the location dedicated Specifically to it- if we are forced to put what is essentially Deeply Inoffensive expression under scrutiny for fear that it will offend some bit of overwritten and invasive statutory or regulatory law- then I do believe we will have lost just a little bit of our freedom, and the terrorists who committed this massacre will have won a victory. A little victory, not the war, not something that gives them the Bag-tinted dystopia they want all over the world. But something that makes that victory Just A Little Bit Closer. And honestly if an invasive state keeps sticking its’ nose in and forcing us to heed it on this invasive level, sooner or later people might think that the change over to caliphate will be a matter of convenience.

What can I even say about this? I’ve written enough… so I’ll just ask that you please, Please read the Fox link. It has the video in all its’ nature. And consider letting our dear *employees* in the government know exactly what we think of this.




Posted by Turtler   United States  on 04/27/2016 at 08:04 AM   
Filed Under: • Big BrotherDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsEducationGovernmentCorruption and GreedHomeland-SecurityJack Booted ThugsJustice - LACK OFNanny StateOutrageousStoopid-PeopleWar On Terror •  
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Super Tuesday: 5 takeaways

CNN.com

Trump rolls
Trump watched Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich form an alliance to divide and conquer states as they try to stop his march to the Republican nomination. He answered them with a 5-for-5 night and declared himself the winner of the nomination.
“I consider myself the presumptive nominee,” Trump said during a speech-turned-news conference in Manhattan’s Trump Tower. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s over.”
He declared Clinton easy to beat—easier than the likes of Jeb Bush and other Republicans he’s dispatched so far.
“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton was a man, she’d only get 5% of the vote,” Trump said. “The only thing she’s got going for her is the woman’s card, and frankly, women don’t like her.”
What about Cruz, his toughest primary challenger, who is vetting vice presidential candidates? “He’s wasting his time,” Trump said.

Clinton gets close to clinching
Big wins in Pennsylvania and Maryland have Hillary Clinton ready for a true pivot to the general election, and that means first trying to unify the Democratic Party.

Republicans are warming to Trump
The good news for Trump went beyond the size of his victories. Exit polls showed that Republicans appear to be warming to the idea of him as the party’s nominee, too.
Fewer Republican voters said they were casting protest votes. And Trump is the only candidate that a majority of Republicans in the states with exit polls—Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut—said they’d support in the general election.

Sanders’ superdelegate pitch
Far behind in the delegate count, Sanders turned his attention to superdelegates Tuesday night, making a direct pitch to the elected officials and party power brokers who largely support Clinton to change their minds.
“What we are seeing are national polls which have us 15 or 20 points ahead of Donald Trump—far more than Secretary Clinton,” he said at a rally in Huntington, West Virginia.

Ted Cruz is all about Indiana
Cruz knew it was going to be a bad night—so he ignored it.
Instead, he held a rally in the historic Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, a central location from the 1986 basketball classic “Hoosiers,” taking the stage 20 minutes before any polls closed, and any results were announced.

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Just grabbing a few bits from this, reading over the results for the first time since I just got home from work about a half hour ago.
That line of Trump’s about Clinton and the woman card seriously had my husband and I in near tears laughing.
Neither one of us had really been paying attention to the primaries today (we voted in the KY caucus last month) so we had no idea what was happening today.
Dear GOD, this election is shaping up to be one for the record books in entertainment. 


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Posted by Severa   United States  on 04/27/2016 at 09:00 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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nothing

What? Didn’t I put something up today? Crivens. Crap. I thought I had something. Must have dreamed it.

Damnation, all I do is sleep lately. Narcolepsy, allergies, resurgence of that old Lyme disease? Beats me.

Try again tomorrow.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/27/2016 at 04:00 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 26, 2016

Fearsome And Effective

Maximizing Terminal Effectiveness

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The new TSR shotgun slug from OATH. Photo courtesy of Oleg Volk.



I’m not really sure what to say here, other than “holy cow”.

This is the result of some cold, clear eyed engineering. The multi-billion dollar shooting and hunting industry can give you a nearly infinite selection of recommended calibers, cartridges, firearms, and bullet types, depending on what you are hunting and how far away your quarry is going to be when you shoot it.

There is another wing of what is pretty much the same industry that deals with self defense and home defense. They also can give you an endless list of recommendations, but almost never mention “hunting”, or what your “quarry” is. And in general, the distance is usually only a matter of feet, 25 yards or less.  It’s not a subject we’re really comfortable with, but when the ranges get much past 25 yards, then the focus group becomes “tactical” - military and militarized police - otherwise we’d be discussing weaponry for assassinations and cold blooded murder. Big no-no there.

One of the basic tenets of gun safety is that your are responsible. Period. But mainly, you are responsible for the bullets. Forever. From the day you buy them, to how you store them, to how you use them, how they fly, how they work on target, where they go after meeting the target, even right down to how do they impact the environment, no pun intended. Generally the hunter group and the tactical group aren’t concerned with the post-terminal performance of a projectile, and it’s never really been a primary talking point in the defense group. But in the real world, in a crowd, or in a neighborhood or apartment complex where the walls are made from little more than plastic covered thin sheets of wood chips held together with glue, a handful of spun glass fibers, and cardboard coated chalk with a bit of paint, then post terminal performance becomes a major issue. Because the truth is that most bullets potent enough to stop the bad guy in your living room will go right through him, right through the drywall/fiberglass insulation/chipboard/vinyl sided house wall behind him, right through the similar wall on your neighbor’s house next door, and still have enough power to kill somebody else if they have the misfortune of being in the way. And you are responsible.

Impact shock. Temporary wound channel. Permanent wound channel. Nervous system damage. Vital organ damage. Maximum exsanguination (rapid and massive blood loss). These are how bullets kill things.

And this is where the OATH TSR slug comes in. It’s designed specifically for all of those categories for use on thin skinned low density low muscle mass animals at short ranges. In other words, people. It fires a blunt ended 602 grain, 72 caliber bullet (12 gauge) at 1200fps. That’s huge. And the slightly cupped blunt end delivers maximum trauma. qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq2222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222211111111 [kitteh is helping me post!!!] Within an inch of penetration the sharp edged copper petals have peeled back, creating blades that cut a 3” diameter hole. Maximum permanent wound channel. Maximum exsanguination. And all that kinetic energy just slams into the target (maximum temporary wound channel), slowing the slug down so that it comes to a stop after only 10-12” of penetration. Post impact responsibility. And a giant hole gives you the best odds of doing major nervous system and organ damage.

The idea of a projectile that greatly expands on impact is nothing new. Bow hunters gave up fixed broadhead arrows decades ago, and now most use these swing-wing points that turn into double switchblades on impact. Superior aerodynamics, maximum tissue damage and blood loss. They really work!

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OATH also makes similar, albeit smaller, bullets for popular handgun calibers. They look like they ought to be quite effective too, but not quite up there with the TSR. This thing looks like it was made to blow people in half. It’s a bullet made for killing. Which poses an ethical conundrum or two” What bullet isn’t made for killing? And, if one exists, wouldn’t killing someone with one be some kind of cruelty, making their death last longer than necessary? In those Girl With A Dragon Tattoo books that were popular a couple years ago, there was a sub text where all the characters were offended that the murderer had killed somebody with “hunting bullets”, which had the heinous property of expanding and creating a larger wound channel. I guess they thought the killer should have been nicer and just used non-expanding FMJ bullets. Because he was just shooting them out of anger, not from any real desire to kill them? How ghetto an attitude, coming from a Swedish socialist. So, if all bullets are for killing, then isn’t the one that does the job fastest the most ethical?

If this bullet should be a paradigm shifter, then I think the word should be spread far an wide. Let everyone know that shotgun ammo exists that will turn the perp into red curry and still be “apartment safe”. Let them know that pistol bullets exist that works nearly as well. Then put “On My OATH” warning stickers in your windows.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/26/2016 at 01:01 AM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun Control •  
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calendar   Saturday - April 23, 2016

another season of league ending

Yup, we’ve come to the end of yet another year of bowling league.

This year’s team managed to fight our way almost to the bottom, and secured that plummet Friday night by losing all 7. We had a good time, but the bowling was almost all pure suck.

OTOH, I did convert the 4-7-10 split. First time ever. In more than a decade of bowling, I’ve made one 6-7-10, the right handed version of this split. And now one 4-7-10, the left handed one. One of each. In how many thousand games? It’s hard to do.

Once upon a time, back in the day when the sanctioning body, the USBC, was the old ABC there may have been a patch award for this. But the USBC has gone super cheap, and all the “fun” awards are gone. They want all the money for their super center bowling alley (one bowling alley, thank you, albeit a big fancy one) and the rest of the country can go screw. You know, I’m kinda pissed off at that.

We used to get a monthly bowling magazine delivered, at least 10 times a year. Gone. Now they have some .pdf thinger online, some jazzed up crap that “turns the pages” when you click the mouse. Bandwidth sucking garbage IMO. But they must be saving a fortune on printing and mailing.

We used to get annual awards for accomplishments, like the above split, or the Big Four split, or an All Spares game, or a Dutch 200. That died a slow painful death. Once upon a time the award was an embroidered iron-on patch. They couldn’t make up their minds with the designs, so some years we had key chains with lovely cast bronze 3D coin sized award fobs. Some years we got a POS clear plastic fob and the award was a slip of paper that went in the middle. Crap. Luggage tags. Zipper pulls. Patches. One year we had gorgeous enameled lapel pins. Things degraded further, and it became a simple rectangular refrigerator magnet. But at least those were annual awards, so you got something for your dues. Now they’ve decided all that “bling” is lifetime based. Bowl a 600 Series, get the patch once, and that’s it. No recognition ever again. And that’s sad, as I really like the lapel pins and wanted to complete the set. But now it’s over’ once you’ve been in a league for a few years and reached your level of growth, you’ve won pretty much every award you’re ever going to get. I don’t think our secretary handed out a single patch pin or magnet this year. Not one. This kind of sucks.

Oh, but sanction your league because of the insurance!! Insurance?? Yes, your secretary will be bonded, so in case they get mugged with the league cash, or run off to Tahiti with the prize fund money, your league is covered. Dude. Dude. Seriously? I doubt if there is a bowling alley in the country that doesn’t work as the banker for every league that it hosts. Pay your dues every week into the little blue envelope. The treasurer takes the cash, counts it up, and delivers it to the front desk. Who immediately take their linage fee, duh. And then put the rest in your “account” in their safe. And if they get robbed, they have business insurance. So the bonded/insured thing is a dud, and no reason to be sanctioned.

Oh, but we’re the keeper of the rules! We make the rules! If you weren’t sanctioned, how could you enforce the rules? Well let’s see ... oh, this is a tough one ... um ... as honest adults, we could all agree to abide by the rules, and if we had to we could argue it out. Or ask mommy. I mean, make an Appeal To Authority and get the judgement of the bowling center owner. And that’s good enough.

Oh, but tournaments! You need to be sanctioned to carry and official national average and do tournaments!! True. You are correct. So the one guy in 300 bowlers who actually gets involved in tournaments, let him get sanctioned. The rest of us can use the money to fill up the gas tank.

Hey, don’t forget 300 games! Those rings! That bling! The fame, the glory!! Eat me. You stopped giving away 300 rings years ago, even the cheaped out rhodium ones. Your own stats say that more than 50,000 300 games are thrown every year. And with the price of gold being what it is, and the introspective awareness that bowling is, well I don’t want to admit it but, rather a sad activity most of the time ... Not too many people are going to drop a grand or more to get a big jock ring to celebrate the one perfect game they’ve thrown. But one of those enameled pins would be nice, thanks.

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Actually it may be the case that USBC never has had an award for the 6-7-10, only the Big Four.

Oh shut up Donny.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/23/2016 at 10:49 PM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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calendar   Friday - April 22, 2016

have I seen everything yet?

Sometimes I feel like Marlin Perkins living here, out on the edge of our own Wild Kingdom in our backyard. Last week it was rummaging bears. Last year it was Doe Fight, with the female deer up on their hind legs hoofing the daylights out of each other; a regular Last McNugget battle.

Yesterday I looked out the window and saw a great lump in one of the trees here at the edge of the cliff. WT?? Turned out to be a turkey vulture. Just sitting there on a branch, his wings just hanging limp and akimbo. Then I noticed another lump in a nearby tree. And another up in that one. And down there, down at the base of the hill, what’s that tussle in the long grass? We had half a dozen of the big birds right outside the door, and they were going after something down in the bushes but good. Uh oh. Count the patio kittehs! But try as I might, I couldn’t make out what they were doing. One after another would jump off a high branch and kind of flutter down, nearly out of sight, where a big pile of deadfall crosses over the head waters of a little brook that springs up down there. After a few minutes they’d leap and flap up onto some other half fallen trunk ( we still have dozens of downed trees from hurricane Sandy several years ago ) and just hang out limply, ruffing up their neck feathers and twisting their blood red heads about. Are they fighting? Is this a breeding ritual thing? Is there a large dead animal down there?  I couldn’t tell.

I walked down there this morning, from the road on the other side. Plenty of brambles, but not too steep. It turns out that the brambles grow in arches that form sort of a tunnel network, and that there is a fair amount of flat open ground along the brook. And where there’s a bend, there’s a nice little pool of water about 5 feet across and maybe a foot deep. The birds were bathing in it. Drip dry vultures, who knew?

“Well of course”, says the know-it-all Internet. “And here’s a video, naturally”. And links to amazing photos!! And source documents!!

Well, fine. I swear, the Internet is so vast it can suck the wonder right out of life. But it’s different when it’s 20 feet away, where you can hear it and smell it too. Another day of life here in the wild.

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just one of thousands of pictures found online


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/22/2016 at 03:26 PM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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Peiper Update

I just got off the phone with Jen.

Jay was released from the big hospital to a local rehab center, but was there for only a day and a half before he had to go back. I gather he needed a few more tubes stuck in him for proper drainage or irrigation or some such.

Poor old Peiper is NOT a happy camper right now, but it sounds like he is mentally alert and in stable but serious condition.

That’s all I have.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/22/2016 at 02:43 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 19, 2016

flower power

We’re having a very confused Spring here after our oddball winter. Everything is opening at once, and everything is opening early.

So here are a few pictures of the paring lot garden, with nearly everything in bloom at once. I went out of my way to put in bulbs that would open and grow are various times, so that the whole place would have something blooming from April to October. Alas, not this year.


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So you can see just how far I got with things last year. It’s still pretty raw. I haven’t laid down any mulch, I haven’t even raked the area out, I didn’t get rid of all those stones I sifted out. And now I’ve got a litter of kittens living under what’s left of the pallet of soil. Right. Well, it will get better. And there will be a nice strip across the front with annuals. And some lilies off on the right side. And so on. And so on. I’m giving myself a couple of seasons to get it squared away; I’m no professional gardener.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/19/2016 at 03:24 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Sunday - April 17, 2016

Turtler’s Game Corner: UFO Alien Invasion

After about half a month of preparing for moving, working on a few odd jobs, and getting school in order, I can finally come back and hack out a post on here. Well, thanks for holding down the fort Drew. Life has kind of been a bugger for me lately, though I should be thankful it is still better than many. Please keep your prayers and thoughts with Peiper and his wife.

I know there are dozens of things happening in the wider world for me to talk about, but right now it’s the start of a new week and I just want to catch my breath, kick back, and Relaaaax! So when I sat down I realized I wanted to make a post about something I enjoy doing in my off time, and which some of you might be able to enjoy doing as well. But which is still at least a little bit topical to the hell-in-a-handbasket way of the real world.

So without Further ado, allow me to present you with....

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EXPLOSIONS!!!!!


Ok, more specifically the explosions- and everything else- in a little thing called UFO: Alien Invasion. Some of you might have heard of it before, some of you might have played it before. But I figure that there are probably at least a few other videogamers out here who would enjoy it, and that in a time like this at least a few people who aren’t that would be able to appreciate it..

I figure the best way to introduce it would be to give a

It is the year 2084. You control a secret organisation charged with defending Earth from a brutal alien enemy. Build up your bases, prepare your team, and dive head-first into the fast and flowing turn-based combat.

UFO: Alien Invasion is a squad-based tactical strategy game in the tradition of the old X-COM PC games, but with a twist. Our game combines military realism with hard science-fiction and the weirdness of an alien invasion. The carefully constructed turn-based system gives you pin-point control of your squad while maintaining a sense of pace and danger.

Over the long term you will need to conduct research into the alien threat to figure out their mysterious goals and use their powerful weapons for your own ends. You will produce unique items and use them in combat against your enemies. If you like, you can even use them against your friends with our multiplayer functionality.

UFO: Alien Invasion. Endless hours of gameplay — absolutely free.


Yeah, you read that right… UFO: Alien Invasion is ABSOLUTELY FREE. It costs exactly NO MONIES. NADA. GOOSE EGG. You can (and I’d suggest should) download it from here: http://ufoai.org/wiki/Download

I’d probably have to rate this game as one of the real gems you can find online if you like strategy and tactics. It isn’t the newest thing in the batch and it doesn’t look like a modern Triple A title- though I do think it looks good in its’ old way, and the globe is breathtaking.

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(Yes, this is what it really looks like in gameplay.. and this still doesn’t really do it justice compared to how it Moves.).

But what really makes it sparkle is the sheer *Depth.* There is an awful lot of depth to the game, from being on the worldview map deciding where to place bases like you’re a command in chief pointing at a map, taking emails, and tracking allied and friendly aircraft. To being down on a base managing what it researches or builds, to probably the heart of the game: meeting the enemy on the ground, where your squad and theirs fights it out for the future of a world one turn at a time. All the while trying to keep your coalition above water and close the tech gap.

The storytelling is also pretty good. The backstory lore is… probably average to above average, with the world of 2083 being a rather peaceful, idyllic place where super-nations and federations live in relative peace and increasing prosperity and freedom, even for places like the Middle East. The actual backstory I’d say is hit and miss with a few liberal buzzwords thrown around but nothing that offensive (unless you figure working with the UN is offensive in and of itself.... and by the off chance you DON’T playing politics with your funding nations will swiftly change your mind). On the whole I’d probably say there are some things that come across as incredibly optimistic or off tone, but others that sound incredibly prescient (like what happened to the US because of reckless deficit spending and China’s totalitarian expansionism before it fell). But I’d probably say that it comes across mostly like they wanted to establish one big happy world to juxtapose it against the coming darkness.

But the actual story over the game is quite good and (from what I’ve been told and can figure out) relatively scientifically sound (or “hard") as far as Sci-Fi goes. Don’t expect the enemy to let you get complacent, because there will be a lot of twists and turns before the end, and it’s obviously where most of the lore attention and juicy technological red meat went into. And wisely so!

So, I’d highly suggest you give it a try, for something that *might* have you coming back a lot.

Now, I’ve tries to explain why I like this. But what makes it topical?

Well, this game- and ones like it- is probably one of the great anti-terrorist epics in recent game history.

Yeah, you heard me right. Because while the enemy are aliens and the game is set in a relatively utopian world (again, including the MENA, Africa, and Asia...), the means and messages are far more down to Earth than Angela Merkel is. You see, the enemy you face are terrorists in how they act and behave, they just happen to be aliens terrorizing the Human Race. You’re going to be facing an enemy that will spend much of its’ time dropping violent squads in cities, indiscriminately murdering whoever they can before trying to get out just as suddenly as they struck. Trying to identify and pre-empt these attacks and strike at the heart of those waging murderous war on you is the heart of the game. And it will not be an easy one, because this will be a rather long war and all the while you will have to keep a weak kneed public and their politicians from losing their cool and simply surrendering to the terror, and yourself from being wiped out by attrition against an enemy that seems to have no trouble replacing its’ cannonfodder.

Yeah, that’s not familiar at alllllll....

In a way, it’s a chance to spend some hours away in the kind of position that you might dream of. Or have nightmares of. The chance to lead a combined, international fight to understand and destroy an enemy that endangers everyone and seeks to shape the world in its’ image. To make the calls and avoid the mistakes that Merkel/Obummer/InsertNameHere has. But at the same time that means that you will have nobody to blame more for defeat than yourself.

So hope you guys enjoy. If things like this are popular enough, I might make these kinds of “Free Game Spotlights” a semi-regular feature. >/br>

I’ll probably will try and get more posts after a day or so. But until then, I’ll be killing some digital terrorists of the human and alien varieties.... 




Posted by Turtler   United States  on 04/17/2016 at 06:18 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesFun-StuffInternationalMilitaryScience-TechnologySelf-DefenseTerroristsWar On TerrorWar-Stories •  
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must be spring break

beats me where all the posters have gone. I thought I had three helpers there for a bit.

Ah well. It’s not like I have been spending much time here lately. It isn’t a case of writer’s block, or even one of boredom. Well, boredom with politics and world events, maybe. But not with the old blog, per se.

No new word from Jen, so I guess Peiper continues to recover in hospital. Poor guy. Let’s hope there’s no lasting brain damage. And I STILL haven’t written him. I am the worst friend evah.

Right. Things are looking better for my mother and brother ... there’s an awesome story there that’s been going on for the past couple of months, but it’s theirs to tell or not. But it’s awesome, and even has explosions in it.

Kitteh keeps having her little seizures, so she’s up to a half pill in the morning and another half at night. Poor Dizzy.

My gardens are waking up with vigor. The daffys are up and roaring, and the tulips aren’t far behind. Hyacinths are all fat and happy and aromatic. Sweet. No deer damage this year, hurray!! Crocuses are out, although smaller than I expected. I think even the lilies are sending up fronds all over. But the “super tough” Russian bush didn’t make it through the winter, and I’m not seeing any growth at all yet on the ornamental grasses. But hey, it’s still early in the season. I’ve got to get out there and do some weeding, haul some more rocks away, lay down some more mulch, and dig out the front strip of dirt and replace it with straight up black topsoil to build the bed for the summer annuals. And I can see how my impatiens bed was used as a litter pan all winter long by the patio cats. Maybe I’ll just drop a couple bags of fresh soil over that and plant from there, instead of digging around in the poop pit with my hands. Thanks kittehs. Thanks a lot. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/17/2016 at 01:15 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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