Armageddon in Progress

May 23rd, 2016

As closely as I can tell, Deathwalker turns six months old today. Here he is three months ago:

100_0902

And here he is today:

100_0995

I didn’t get him all in frame, but there’s 22-24″ worth of destruction lying there. For those of you who aren’t up on your Cat Statistics, a “regular” adult cat weighs about 8 pounds, which is what our six month-old Instrument of Death weighs right now. So he is going to get bigger. How much? I have no idea. See, normally you start with this little ball of fluff with sail-like ears and camel-sized paws, and then the critter grows to the proper size to balance the ears and paws out. In Deathwalker’s case, both the ears and paws continue to grow along with the rest of him.

And when he’s not planning his latest attack:

5...4...3...2...

5…4…3…2…

He’s just delighted to be here. For instance, I changed out and cleaned the litter box, which was cause for Great Celebration:

Mine! Mine! All Mine!

Mine! Mine! All Mine!

(All of that litter on the floor started out inside the box. He didn’t even use the litter for its’ intended purpose for several hours. He was too busy jumping in the box and gleefully flinging the litter around. I finally had to chase him away so I could sweep everything up and stick the lid on the box. Sheesh)

Right now he’s sacked out charging his batteries in anticipation for this evening’s session of mayhem and destruction, which will likely include me bleeding.

Typical

April 16th, 2016

If two or more cats have allowed you to live with them, you will see this fairly regularly:

Man Bites Dog!

April 16th, 2016

In a manner of speaking.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/16/mountain-lion-filmed-prowling-around-residential-street/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

(Auto-play video alert! The soundtrack is a slinky jazz piano thingy, so it’s not at all bad)

Isn’t it interesting that a large cat who could easily turn a cop into a lunch buffet got tranked, carted off and then released, instead of shot the way we too often read about when it’s a harmless family dog? I mean, check this simple search out:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=cop+shoots+dog

Page after page of stories about cops shooting dogs. In fact, the auto-complete showed “cop shoots dog” in second place, just behind “cop shoots unarmed man”.

But they’re our “heroes in blue”, so it’s all good.

More Kitten

April 4th, 2016

The really great thing about a kitten is that every day you get More Cat! As of now, Deathwalker is 4.5 months old and is just about 7 pounds. He’s gonna be a big ‘un.

Seen on the Almighty Internets:

When in doubt, it goes over the side

When in doubt, it goes over the side

And without further delay, Kitten Pix!

Ur computer, mai pillow

Ur computer, mai pillow

Srsly, mai pillow

Srsly, mai pillow

4.5 months, 7 pounds, and looong

4.5 months, 7 pounds, and looong

100_0935

What wire? Ignore the saliva,

What wire? Ignore the saliva,

The closer you are, the cuter ai gets!

The closer you are, the cuter ai gets!

Surprise Surprise!!!

March 28th, 2016

News just breaking about a shooting at the US Capitol.

Bet it was one of those white bitter-clinging tea party white guys.

Oh, wait.

http://www.wdef.com/2016/03/28/capitol-shooting-suspect-believed-to-be-tennessee-man/

WASHINGTON (WDEF) – Authorities have identified the alleged suspect of the Capitol Shooting as Larry Dawson of Antioch.

News 12 has obtained photos of the alleged suspect.

One person is reported as injured after they were struck with shrapnel.

Capitol Police records show that Dawson had an active bench warrant for assault of a police officer and unlawful conduct on capitol grounds at the time of the shooting.

66 year-old black man, FYI. Who supports the $15/hr. minimum wage. What a shock, right? Another lefty activist loses it and starts shooting.

Expect the usual idiots try to punish us, gun owners who didn’t do anything. Because that’s what they do.

But there’s more!

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/274498-capitol-police-man-was-shot-after-drawing-weapon-no-officers

Suspect in custody after shooting scare at Capitol; no officers hurt

Well then. So long as our heroes in blue were unscathed, it’s OK. Sheesh.

The Mainstreaming of Fabbers

March 26th, 2016

3D printers, or what we cognoscenti refer to as fabbers, are becoming increasingly popular. Even better, they are turning up in places that one would never imagined just a year or two ago. Today, I will highlight two that I tripped over just the other day: one is toy-like, and the other is a flat out toy made for kids.

The first one is here:

http://www.sciencealert.com/this-99-device-transforms-any-smartphone-into-a-3d-printer

It uses the white light from a smart phone to perform the magic. Downside is that it needs a special formula to make it work. As a practical matter, it seems that it’s best use would be making wax castings so one could generate moulds for lost-wax casting in something more useful, like metal. The folks who are developing this put up a Kickstarter and made over 500% of their initial goal in the first two days, so you know the interest is out there.

The second one is this:

http://www.sciencealert.com/screw-barbie-mattel-s-released-a-3d-printer-so-kids-can-now-make-their-own-toys?utm_source=Article&utm_medium=Website&utm_campaign=InArticleReadMore

This one looks even more interesting. Instead of reams on impenetrable code, it uses a GUI that resembles the Sims game that’ll let you basically point and click to generate the item you want to make. As it stands, it doesn’t produce a doll (or whatever) in one go, but makes the bits and pieces that are then put together.

The part I like? It’s called the Thingmaker. That’s the name of another Mattel product from back in the 60’s, which I had, along with nearly every other kid on my block. The old one was very different: it was a heating unit into which you placed a mould which was then filled with a plastic goop. You baked it (the stuff turned a darker shade as it did so) and then you took the form out and plunked it in some cool water so you could get it out of the mould. It’s the sort of thing that would never be marketed today, and I have the memory of burns, blisters and other related insults to attest to that.

Preach It!

March 26th, 2016

http://thestarphoenix.com/opinion/columnists/rifle-nearly-100-years-old-works-better-than-a-lot-of-new-stuff

I finally bid by silent auction on a very cool antique, a 1918 Lee Enfield rifle of the type used by Commonwealth infantry in two World Wars. This one was long ago remodelled for use as a hunting rifle, with much improved, micrometer sights and the wooden stocks cut down in front to reduce weight. It appeared to be in excellent condition. Any finish on the action and barrel was long gone, but the bare steel underneath was gleaming grey and all but unblemished by rust and pitting. Generations of owners had looked after this gun.

This would be a No1 MkIII*, which was used exclusively by Australia during WW2 (and was commonly used by Indian troops as well), and is the basis for the 7.62NATO Ishapore variant that many of you have.

I also found the rifle to be surprisingly accurate. At 60 paces, though iron sights, I managed a group small enough to cover with a credit card.

Original, untouched Enfields are quite expensive these days, but a sporterized No4 rifle can be had for under $300 and you can prettily easily find one for less than that. Those plastic aftermarket stocks are quite ugly, but they feature longer buttstocks and the design will lower your eye to pretty much perfectly line up with the sights. Prvi Partizan makes ammunition for around 75 cents a pop, and the brass is very heavy around the web (the place where the dreaded case stretch happens), so the initial investment can be amortized by reloading. Especially if you neck-size, which you’d want to do anyway since fireformed brass matches the chamber and greatly enhances accuracy.

More Kitten!

March 24th, 2016

I’ll start out by noting that “blogging with a cat” is a very different thing than catblogging. (Ooo! Let me walk on the keyboard! Wires! Screen blocking! (Many years ago, someone in all seriousness claimed to me that cats cannot process two-dimensional images. F*cking idiot) What’s that arrow thingy moving on the screen!)

Last night, the Kitten ran the FloCat gantlet and invited himself up here onto the desk. If he gets within range, Florence will swat the impertinent little runt, but has otherwise decided to ignore him. We’ll see how that works out for her, snerk. He’s about four months old right now, and is somewhere between six and seven pounds. Note that he’s still several weeks away from the kitten-to-apprentice-cat growth spurt. I’m hoping for a decently sized cat outta this deal, somewhere around fifteen pounds of Feline Entitlement.

He ended up spending most of the night up here, and when I woke up, he was at the window serenading the various fauna at the bird feeder. Of course, he eats all of them, and equally of course, they were studiously ignoring him.

But you’re not here for me blathering on about the cat. You’re here for the cat pictures!

String! You will not escape!

String! You will not escape!

You are doomed, String! Accept your fate!

You are doomed, String! Accept your fate!

Ooo! Unka Jeff's blawg! Read it to me!

Ooo! Unka Jeff’s blawg! Read it to me!

PS: I introduced him to Q-Tips. His reaction was “WHAT IS THIS WONDERFUL THING? WHY HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING THIS FROM ME?” Which was the same reaction I got to crumpled up pieces of paper towel. And foil balls. And, naturlich the Almighty String. Heh.

Two Nations, One Border

March 24th, 2016

Today we have some entertainment. And some humor, too. Just try not to think about that this idiot can vote.

The Place: University of North Dakota

The Person: Heidi Czerwiec, Professor of English (Ed: that explains a lot right there)

The Situation: The good Professor looks up from her computer and sees a pair of ROTC students on a training exercise, all camo’d out and carrying training weapons.

Her reaction? She shakes her head at nearly grown men playing soldiers and goes back to work. Hah! Wrong! She completely loses her sh!t and dials 911. You cannot tell me you’re surprised at this, right? RIGHT?

I could go on about this individual, but as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is her ‘About’ page (Smugness and pretension ahead! You have been warned!): http://www.heidiczerwiec.com/about.html NB: I have not looked any further, as I intend on eating sometime today.

Now, you or I, had we somehow missed the part that ROTC is to be found on nearly every college campus, would have gotten kinda sheepish when the 911 operator informed us that this was a normal ROTC exercise. Maybe even apologized for overreacting and wasting the operator’s time. That’s you or me, but we’re not Professors of English at the University of North Dakota, no sirree! She goes and writes a letter to the local news organ to express her shock and outrage:

http://www.grandforksherald.com/opinion/letters/3990525-letter-military-maneuvers-startle-already-stressed-und-campus

You really should read the whole thing, as there is hilarity to be found in nearly every sentence. I’m going to excerpt some of the highlights so I can make fun of her.

I look up from my office computer to see two figures in camo with guns outside my window. My first thought is for my students’ and my safety: I grab my phone, crawl under my desk and call 911. The dispatcher keeps me on the line until someone can see if ROTC is doing maneuvers.

I can barely talk—first, with fear, and then with rage when the dispatcher reports back that yes, in fact, I’ve probably just seen ROTC cadets, though they’re going to send an officer to check because no one has cleared it with them. They thank me for reporting it.

I’m sure that any time you’ve been responsible for minors, or in some other in loco parentis situation, the very first thing you did when seeing a potential threat was to crawl under the nearest piece of furniture. Sure you did.

A few minutes later, a university officer calls me back—not to reassure me, but to scold me for calling 911. He says ROTC has permission to do this exercise. When I tell him that this was news to 911 and that they encouraged me to call whenever I see a gun on campus, he seems surprised.

He also tells me that ROTC will be doing these exercises for the next couple weeks.

So I reply that I guess I’ll be calling 911 for the next couple weeks—and I will. Every time.

Because Muh Feelz overrides common sense and the gratuitous use of public resources? Puh-leeze. She goes on to cite “tensions” on campus. Now, it’s been awhile since I was at university, but when I was there, the worst thing I had to deal with was the small group of extremely polite students camped out by the door to the food court protesting the Shah. Oh, and the campus cops looking for any reason to issue a parking ticket. Or wondering if I should ask out somebody.

So from now on, the University will let everyone know when a TX is going to happen, to include a personal alert just for Professor Snowflake. Sheesh.

In case that wasn’t enough snark for you, here’s the take from a milblogger:

http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=64959

Bad Apples Working Overtime

March 23rd, 2016

As you know, we are regularly assured that all the unnecessary violence and insults perpetrated upon the citizenry by their employees in the police department are due to “a few bad apples”. Apparently one of the attributes to being a “bad apple” is the ability to transport oneself into any department at will, because those “few bad apples” sure do get around.

http://kxan.com/investigative-story/caught-on-video-lawsuit-disputes-deputys-version-of-arrest/

LOCKHART, Texas (KXAN) – A Central Texas man says home surveillance video was the only thing that kept him out of prison after deputies showed up one night and arrested him. Now he’s hoping for vindication through the courts via a civil lawsuit.

The complaint contends not only did they arrest Lawrence Faulkenberry, police were untruthful in their official reporting of the incident. At the time, they were responding to a call from the man’s son that his dad was drunk and waving a gun around.

The way Lawrence Faulkenberry tells it, a family argument had broken the peace and quiet of a Caldwell County evening two Januarys ago. The father of the teenager, Faulkenberry says he went outside to cool off.

[Editorial aside: anybody under my roof who thinks that calling the cops to win an argument is a good plan is going to need different living arrangements, because they won’t be living with me any more.]

Faulkenberry’s own surveillance video shows the lawmen approach on foot, their guns drawn.
He stood stock-still except to raise his hands in the air. The video is silent but Faulkenberry says a sergeant ordered him to turn around so handcuffs could be put on.

Reading the arrest report from that night, Deputy Michael Taylor wrote:
I observed Lawrence Faulkenberry push Sgt. Yost with the left side of his body and elbow into a tree causing him to fall and injure his left shin.

Even slowed down, in the grainy video it’s hard to see where Faulkenberry might have pushed – and where the sergeant’s leg sweep put everyone off balance.

In his report, Deputy Taylor conclusions were more concrete: I observed Faulkenberry forcefully resist deputies while attempting to lawfully detain him…

Faulkenberry’s criminal record shows no violent issues and he’s been out of trouble for more than a decade. Deputies charged Faulkenberry with:
•Felony Assault on a Public Servant
•Resisting Arrest – a Class A Misdemeanor
•Aggravated Assault with a Firearm

Deputies never recovered a handgun — Faulkenberry says he doesn’t own one.

Court records show bond was set at: $807,500.

Sheriff Daniel Law tells KXAN he spoke to the deputies about how they could have handled the situation better.

“I don’t know why they approached him, [knowing he might have a gun], but I wasn’t there,” he said.

But he says in his view, nothing rose to the level of a suspension or firing. An email from the County’s Assistant DA Jordan Powell confirms the deputy who wrote the incident report received no formal discipline.

“I called my attorney,” says Faulkenberry. “I told him ‘I didn’t do it.’ He’s like ‘there’s three officers who say you did. You got proof?’ I was like ‘yeah, I got a video.’

After ten days locked up at the Caldwell County Jail, Faulkenberry’s lawyer says a court magistrate saw the video and dropped the bond. KXAN confirmed the DA’s office declined to prosecute and Faulkenberry returned home. His teenaged son had spent the week and a half at a friend’s house.

[And you can stay there, you little shit.]

I suppose this is a good story. After all, the coppers were well-enough satisfied to bury this poor guy in lockup for a large chunk of his life instead of an actual burial. For which they would have gotten a paid vacation while it was being “investigated”, and then a likely commendation/raise.

But don’t concern yourself, Dear Reader: it’s only a few “bad apples”, the overwhelming majority of our armed employees are fine upstanding people who scrupulously conduct themselves within the confines of the law.

PS: I have a bridge for sale, too. It’s located in a well-known northeastern city. Cash only, small bills please.