Saturday, March 31, 2012

You should read these.

I know I'm really late to the party here, but the truth is Baen-type books don't normally hold my attention. I think of Baen as the place where pulp fiction went to die, and some of their writers seem intent on torturing it for as long as possible before it expires. Seen one armored super-soldier, seen them all. And of course why would anybody want to write a single book when he can make more money by padding his already outworn concept with half a dozen books in the same story line? That's what Baen does, it seems to be all it does, and some people like it and that's fine but I really don't. So the Larry Correia Monster Hunter books, while I've naturally heard of them, didn't really sound all that attractive.

The formula, of course, is as familiar as can be. What if monsters really do exist? What if they've always existed - vampires and werewolves and assorted sorts of zombies, and that's just the ones that aren't all that dangerous. And what if their shadow world is shared by cadres of humans intent on hunting them down and keeping their numbers under control in a very straight-forward manner? Hell, this bit's so old the good guy's been played in the movies by Peter Cushing.

So like I said, I've heard of Larry Correia's Monster Hunter books but for various reasons that seemed excellent at the time I didn't exactly rush to Amazon to stock up on them.

Boy, was I stupid.

It needs a lot of talent to take formulas beaten to death by Baen and Hammer Films, and write books within those formulas - extremely faithful to those formulas - that makes a jaded reader want to make the world go away so he can just sit and devour them. And really wish, at the end, that he hadn't read so fast.

Correia's characters are familiar as can be, but he animates them with action and dialogue that makes them as real as fictional characters can be. It's really hard to mix horror and humor without going all one way or the other or just collapsing into slapstick, but Correia handles it as smoothly as I've ever seen it done and with an ironic wit that makes you really like these people. If some of his villains are just there to be punching bags, well, that's what hordes of undead are for but the main characters, hero and villain alike, are for the most part fully realized people you want to know more about.

These are very good books. If you like action novels at all, you should read them.

Friday, March 30, 2012

When Philosophers Have to Run for Office...

The attack ads will be opaquely wordy.

Wait'll they see Kant's rebuttal. Nietzsche's medical records are soooo leakable...

A succession of nice days...

Her Majesty has approved this weather.
God, I love Spring. It's so ... not winter.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cabinet doors for the Lair...

The finishing assembly line. This is in the garage of D&L's straw bale/earth bag project house.

D has been a godsend for my kitchen project (Hell, he made these doors out of scraps without even telling me he was doing it) and L is a perfectionist when it comes to finishing wood. D will tell you that's why it's a "project house" and not a "house," but that's another story.

Anyway, I'd have just slapped a coat of stain on them, but that's not the way it works when L is around. So this afternoon I'm going back for sanding and the second coat of clearcoat. It ain't done till L says it's done.

Purdy, ain't they?

Oh, man. Now I'm bummed.

Earl Scruggs dead at 88

This is the first guy to get me interested in the five-string - and also the first guy to discourage me in it. If I couldn't play like that - and I sure couldn't - I didn't want to play.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Oh, stop blaming Obama.

The first time I ever got on an airliner, I was going to spend the summer with my older brother. No way I was going without my most prized possession:

Yeah, it was a piece of crap. But it was MY piece of crap and I loved it.
And it wasn't riding in the baggage compartment, either. I brought it right on the plane with me.

Wanna know what happened? A stew smiled and asked if she could put that in a closet for me.

Yeah, I'm a little nostalgic about that.

But that was then. Now, I'd probably have been proned in the parking lot and carried off to God knows where.

Obama didn't do that. Oh, he loves it and he's made it worse. But he didn't do it.

For the rest of the year, we're going to hear weeping and wailing, gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair over the impending second term of the Big O. The GOP has done it again and will soon nominate the latest shitpoke whose "turn" it is...

Mitt the Wonder Romney!
His hair alone can conquer galaxies, and I'm pretty sure Marie Osmond is going to want her teeth back after the election. But Obama will probably bury him. The incumbent usually does, unless the opposition gives voters a better reason not than wonder-boy here. And even if he wins, so what? You think Mitt (RomneyCare) Romney will really keep his empty promise to repeal ObamaCare? Right. Right after Reagan disbands the DOE. No, you'll spend your time more effectively looking for a GP who takes cash under the table. When OCare kicks in, they won't be rare. Doctors gotta eat, too.

See, the most amusing thing about Obama is that his first-term slogan,
is largely correct.

HERESY! I hear the conservatives screech. TO THE STAKE WITH THE UNBELIEVER!

Really? Name one original thing - other than OCare, which I concede - that Obama has done to take your freedom away. No, I said original.

NDAA? Tell it to Jose Padillo.
Signing statements? He's got a long way to go to beat Bush's record there.
Executive orders? C'mon.
"Free Speech Zones?" Again, Bush.
Didn't close Gitmo? Who opened it?
Drone wars? Bush.
"Economic Stimulus?" TARP.
Eric Holder? John Ashcroft.

Have things gotten worse under Obama? Sure they have. I'm not here to praise Obama. If Mitt Romney's Hair wins the election, things will get even worse under him. Just like when Dubya replaced Clinton - Surprise! - things got worse.

Actually, back then they got much worse. And he was the one who was going to save us from Gore, who was billed as nothing more than Clinton Jr.

Now I'm listening to radio gasbags losing sphincter control over Obama's gaffe with the live mike in Russia. Did he really say anything you didn't know? Presidents always go nuts in their second terms. Politicians love it when they don't have to run for office anymore. It means they can stop lying for a while and just express their inner psychopath.

It's not the president. It's not the president's party affiliation. IT NEVER MAKES ANY DIFFERENCE.

Who picks the candidates? Who votes for them, and who pretends they're important?

Look at these shitheads. Obama, Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, whoever. Is there a single one of them - Okay, Ron Paul did surprise me, I admit it, but he sure won't be the nominee - that you'd allow to watch your dogs while you're on vacation?

And one of them is about to be declared the "leader of the free world." Sheesh.

Left wing; Right wing - same stinking carrion bird in between.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In other news, Charles Manson tapped for lead in Ghandi remake...

Seen pretty much everywhere I looked...

Jane Fonda to play Nancy Reagan in 'Butler'

As far as I can tell, it's a movie about a White House butler. Seriously. Can't wait to see who they'll cast as Ronnie - Al Sharpton, maybe...

This is the sort of movie I was just born to not go see.


Trayvon Martin's mom files trademark papers

SANFORD, Fla. – The mother of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin has filed papers seeking to trademark two slogans based on his name.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filings by Sybrina Fulton are for the sayings "I Am Trayvon" and "Justice For Trayvon." The applications were filed last week.
Ooookay, then.

Remember, kids: If you ever use the words "I am Trayvon" in a sentence, you need to send his mom a buck. I'll start carrying a notebook to keep track of my debts.

H/T to Weer'd.

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's Also the Definition of Crazy.

I did not make this up. (scroll down a bit.)

Took a vacation from the internet...

Early Saturday, Landlady and M showed up at the Lair. They'd come up together on Friday night, so they appeared just as I was beginning to clean up the Lair so people wouldn't (have evidence to) know what a slob I am. Ah, well.

They brought my stuff! I have no mailing address, so sometimes I have to send stuff to Landlady's house and wait for her to bring it up when she comes.

New axe handle (work in progress)

Chimney brushes (already broken in.) In fact, my neighbor J just left from helping me fit the new section of chimney pipe that allows the whole thing to telescope enough that it no longer takes two strong men to clean it out.

A new kindling hatchet, just like the one belonging to M that I've been using all winter (so small it's useless for almost anything else, but the perfect thing for splitting kindling an inch from your fingers.)

And, for a treat, I finally get to read the Correia Monster Hunter books. (Used books on Amazon are totally the way to go here.

Saturday I made progress on the kitchen cabinet front. If I'd remembered to take my camera I'd have shown you the kitchen's beautiful new cabinet doors, which are now stained and waiting for clearcoat. When I originally made the counter and cabinets last summer I made doors from plywood, just edging them with a router. They looked terrible and I wasn't at all happy with them, but then they saved me by warping all to hell. I now have a complete set of new ones, much nicer. They'll be going up in the next couple of weeks.

Also got paid for a couple of local gigs and went to town Saturday afternoon, so now I'm still broke but the cupboards are no longer bare. So Uncle Joel's a happy hermit!

Sometimes you just gotta lighten up.

Brava, Claire!

Love and Freedom
Yes, our freedom is imperiled. Every person reading this is well aware of that. We could all list hundreds of threats to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And of course, if we actually cherish freedom, we’ll be doing something(s) to keep it.

But if we actually cherish freedom, we’ll also enjoy what we have of it. And what we have of life. And we’ll balance the “fighting” side of our lives with the “living” side.

Right now. Not in some imaginary future when all the politicians and bureaucrats have gotten out of our way and the handful of remaining laws (if any) are to our personal satisfaction.

But NOW. Because if we can’t embrace our freedom now, when can we?

Hard as it may be to believe (HA!) I was once just this side of a candidate for the funny farm. Seriously, I was paranoid as all hell, to the point of hiding in dark places with a loaded shotgun. Love freedom? Yeah, I loved freedom but it was like the kind of love you feel when you see the object of that love turned into a gory smear on the Interstate. I was ready to die, and all I asked was that I get to take some enemies with me.

That's no way to live. And it took a long time to ask myself the question Claire asks us all,
Why do we choose — and it is a choice — to be so freaking grim? Why do so many of us feel that if we’re not at some psychological watch-post 24 hours a day we’re somehow failing in our duty to ... freedom?

George Herbert, whoever he was, said "Living well is the best revenge." I have found that true. So many people, too many of whom have Internet pulpits from which to scream, have not quite grocked that simple fact and spend their time hollering about "lines in the sand" and such. That has its charms, and I've done it myself, but what does it really accomplish? If the enemies of freedom are really evil, in their effect if not their stated intentions, what good does it do to structure your whole life around hating them for it? That only makes them important and importance is, after all, exactly what they want. Yes, activism has its place - god bless the activists. But a good belly laugh is also an excellent answer to their depredations. The one thing a bully - especially one who's bullying you for your own good - can't STAND is to be ignored. Or noticed only to the extent of laughing at them.

At some point, if you really want to be free, you need to just get on with being free. If you wait for the world to free you, well, let's face the fact that neither you nor I will likely live that long.

Don't just dream about freedom. Don't just wish the world were free, and for god's sake don't spend your days and nights railing helplessly about all the ways your freedom has been stolen. Be free. Go out and DO freedom.

Does that mean breaking the occasional rule? Oh, hell yes. That's the fun of it. Ride your motorcycle without a helmet. Pour copious amounts of salt on your non-FDA-approved hamburger. Buy your kid a Happy Meal. Carry a gun without a permit. Hell, build a house without a permit. Braid somebody's hair without a license. Get your favorite rifle a barrel with a bayonet lug. Blow something (not yourself or innocent others) up. Do it just because it annoys people. Or it would, if they knew about it. It's not necessary to tell them.

It's the only life you're ever going to have, so have more fun! Who ever said life has to be a life sentence?

I know I've said it before, and judging from the comments when I say it I'm pissing into the wind but that's okay: Nobody can make you free. Nobody can give you your freedom and nobody can take freedom away from you. All anybody can really do is make you more sneaky. Freedom, in this world at least, isn't a set of established liberties that everybody has agreed to respect. It's an ATTITUDE, and you need to take it for yourself and LIVE it. You can be free on a private floaty island of your own, and you can be free in the deepest dungeon. A slave is someone who waits for others to free him, so don't be a slave.

And if you need the words of a philosopher to make it all okay, then I give you the enlightened words of the Divine Ms. M (NSFW):

Friday, March 23, 2012

Top of the world, Ma!

Fresh air, sunshine, what else can a guy ask?

Oh, yeah, being done with this dumb job. And today I'm done. Got all the way to the top of West Mesa, one back-breaking rock at a time.

What's best, I get paid tomorrow. Which is good, because looking at the larder, Uncle Joel needs a grocery run.

I'd better be a good boy, because I'd really suck on a chain gang.

How can I find effective lightsaber training?

Because this isn't it.

Daughter sent me this. Apparently she's not over the Star Wars bug quite as much as I hoped.

We need more effective finger control.

Finger "gun" lands dad in jail

This is how it starts, you know. First you're pointing fingers, then your kids are drawing pictures of guns in school. Next thing you know, you're mainlining religious slogans and mowing down Frenchmen. The index finger is a gateway weapon. In the Big O's second term I expect bans.

Not saying it wasn't stupid. I'm at my stupidest when I get mad.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Let's hear it for South Side values!

Michelle Obama: 'South Side of Chicago' Values in WH

No, seriously. I think.
Michelle Obama: For us, it's the values. The thing that we try to do is make sure -- the residence is on the second and the third floor of the White House. And what we want to have happen is when they get off that elevator and walk in to our residence that it feels like the south side of Chicago, the same values, the same rules, the same sense of responsibility.

Because, of course the stuff is different. There are butlers walking around, you know? We didn't have that, you know. So, Barack and I really do work hard to, you know, figure out how you create those values in this other world that we know nothing about and we, you know, try to make sure the kids have chores to do.

Riiight. That's what they'll remember about the good old South Side neighborhood. Hanging around the street corners. Dodging pushers and hookers. No butlers. Chores. Uh huh.

And yet, this does clear up one thing. While many things remain uncertain about the 2012 presidential election, including why the GOP couldn't have found a grown-up to run against him, at least we know what Obama's campaign song will be...

Fast & Furious never boils, but continues to simmer.

At least some repubs are using it for fodder to harass the admin. I doubt we'll ever see justice in regard to the actual ATF, but at least it hasn't completely disappeared.

Agents appeared to have probable cause to arrest Fast and Furious suspect, documents show
On April 2, 2010, Phoenix Police stopped Celis Acosta. In the car they found eight weapons, none of which were registered to him. At least one, a Colt .38, had been bought just a few days earlier by Uriel Patino, who had already bought 434 weapons in the previous six months.

It is illegal to buy a gun for anyone other than yourself. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has argued it did not have probable cause to arrest Patino or Celis Acosta. These new documents suggest they did, raising new doubts about the agency's desire to actually bust the trafficking ring.

Two months later, on May 29, 2010, Celis Acosta was stopped again, this time driving a 2002 BMW 754i trying to cross into Mexico. Inside, border agents found 74 rounds of AK-47 ammunition and nine cell phones hidden in the trunk. ATF Special Agent Hope MacAllister and her counterpart from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Layne France, released him after he promised to cooperate in the future. MacAllister wrote her phone number on a $10 bill.

H/T to Mike, with best wishes for a quick recovery.

Saved by the email...

So this morning, while I was eating and getting myself bolted together I figured I'd head right out and finish that road so it'd be out of my life. Last night it was hurting me in the shoulders, this morning (and afternoon, and evening...) I could barely bend my legs. But to my surprise my back is in pretty good shape. Not looking forward to it, but let's get'r done.

Then I got an email, wanting to know where I was on my other paying project and reminding me of this little thing called a deadline. Instantly the rocks on the road got pushed back, and I don't think anybody heard me argue. That tied me to the word processor til a little after noon, and then (HA!) it was just too late in the day to head out to the mesa. So I went over to D&Ls and sanded down my beautiful new cabinet doors.

So I'm still ahead! Instead of knocking out one of the three projects hanging over my head, I got two. Of course those damned rocks are still ahead of me, but tomorrow's supposed to be an even more beautiful day than today. I'll head out there right after shit-shoveling.

Worked out well for the boys, too, as far as they're concerned. They were in Gitmo yesterday and they'll be in Gitmo tomorrow, but today they hung around the Lair for the morning and this afternoon they got to go play with D&L's dogs. Win/win!

Wanna know when you're having a good day?

You write a post criticizing a lesbian Buddhist.

It turns out one of your most faithful readers actually IS a lesbian Buddhist.

And she's not offended.

Bullet. Dodged. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Now if they'd gotten Neil Young to stand in the middle there, THAT would have been cool...

Brazenly stolen from KurtP.


"Four or five hours, it'll take," he said. Right.

I spent five hours on the road up the side of that frickin' hill. How much did I cover? I clocked it on the way down.

0.3 mile.

There are a lot of rocks on that road. Fewer than before - LOTS fewer than before - but still a lot. I guess I'm more than halfway done, but there are some bad patches left to do. And I've still got other things I must finish before the end of the week, and here it is Wednesday afternoon.

My back is gonna really hurt tomorrow morning, and I've got to go back up that damned hill.

Helluva nice day for it, though. When the weather turned fair again, it did it with a vengeance.

And what a surprise! It always is.

When an officer kills an animal, the Police Chief reviews it to determine if it was justified.

At a minimum, a fatal Rule 4 violation. Not that it matters when you're an Only One.

H/T to Balko.

Today I am a man...

Finally got linked on Uncle.

What's next? Blogmeets? T&E samples sent to my door?

Mother will be so proud. I'm going straight to the basement and tell her!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Um, Lady...

I am neither a lesbian nor a Buddhist, and I can't take Catholic communion either. But you know what? That doesn't hurt my feelings. Like you, I'm not a Catholic. Which means I get to do whatever I like. Except share in Catholic religious rites.

I never saw it as a big issue before. Apparently I was wrong.

What's with all the anti-Catholicism in the news lately? I'm pretty sure if I were a progressive and wanted to find something to complain about, I wouldn't have to make stuff up. What's next? They gonna write a bunch of whining op-ed pieces about how they can't join the Shakers and still have sex?

If you don't want to follow the rules, all you have to do is not join the club. That's why religions are better than governments.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Methinks the weird is already getting thick...

WTF, over?

I may lie awake at night, wondering.

Tin foil hats at the ready...

450,000,000 rounds is a lot of ammo, considering you're never planning to deploy overseas...

I mean, if I read that the Marines were buying up half a billion rounds, I'd just call it good planning - though I don't know what they'd do with that much pistol ammo. Dunno what DHS has planned for it either - but warm and fuzzy are not the feelings the speculations raise.

Hey, you know what I want to see? I want to see a company get a government RFQ like this and instead of responding with a quote, telling the .gov to pound sand. Not holding my breath, it's just something I'd like to see.

WTF does DHS want with that much .40 cal?


Little flashes of sunlight today, then the clouds roll in. One of these days I'm gonna need a laptop that the batteries can actually run for more than ten minutes at a time.

Snow/rain/wind/nasty yesterday, temperature steadily dropping all day. Didn't do a single useful thing. Today's worse: Winter's last gasp? Maybe, maybe not. Snowed last night, then the sky cleared and the temperature crashed. Cabin temp was in the thirties when I came down from the loft, and I think that's only the second time it did that all winter. When I went out to sweep off the porch and the solar panels, it was like dry sand. Here it is after noon, and the outdoor thermometer says the temp's barely above freezing in the shade. Seems strange after such a mild winter. At least so far today the wind isn't pushing the smoke down the chimney. So far.

I've got two paying gigs I should be working on, and the weather keeps me from both. Computer won't work long enough to work on the first, and no way I'm going up West Mesa when the snow has turned the clay and volcanic ash to snot. It's a long way down off the side of that "road."

Also got a call from my neighbor D. Seems he went ahead and finished the beautiful new doors for my kitchen cabinets, using scrap from the tongue-and-groove he and L covered their new house's ceiling with. He wants to come over next Sunday and finish the job, which means I need to get over there and sand the doors first. But power tools won't work in this weather any more than old laptops do.

Supposed to clear up in the next couple of days, though. What's left the week, when it happens, is going to be busy.

That sepulchral laughter in the background...

Is coming from some guy named Breitbart...

...whom, I confess, I thought was kind of an asshole on the rare occasions when I gave him any thought. Yeah, sure, everybody enjoys hoisting liberals by their self-righteous petards, but that doesn't excuse using their tactics for your own lying aims, which is what he did to Shirley Sherrod, Though what he did to the aptly-named Weiner couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

As for Holder - yeah, this is not new. Actually I find his frankness rather refreshing. I also think he shouldn't be able to get a job as a county clerk, but nobody asks me. This is nothing but a classic example of why people should not have power over other people.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Go read this.

This is short, and exactly to the point. Go read.

Oh, and then come right back. My blog is WAY better, and not cluttered with all that icky skin, and those expensive guns, and the beautiful photography of same, and, ...

Ah, screw it. I'll come with you. Lemme just turn out the lights and get my hat.

H/T to Guffaw.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Here's something Chris Rock can't do...


Always be ready for shit to happen...

...because it will happen to thee.

Yesterday a little bit of it happened to me. Could have been worse, but it would have been a little better had I been better prepared.

I knew it was going to be a busy day, by my standards. I didn't know how busy, and I didn't get back till going on evening which is why there was so little posting yesterday.

First, being Friday, it was shit-shoveling day.

The weather's supposed to get bad, and indeed this morning there's not much sun and the gusting morning wind says "bad weather coming." So since I don't know when it'll get nice again, I thought I'd better go ahead and pay Landlady her firewood tithe. Long story.

If I were the sort to name manure piles - which I'm not - I'd call this one "Joel's Hill." Nobody's added a single fork-full to that pile but me. I'm getting kind of proud of it.

This is Spirit, a mare so pregnant she might not even be pregnant anymore as I type this. Supposedly, on the trail she's "awesome." In her corral, she's got the personality of a friendly cinder block. Or at least one that's not actively hostile. Not unpleasant, just not very interested in palaver. Clean it up and go thy way, shit-shoveler.

This is Visioness, my sweetheart. She'd be a lapdog, if you let her. I take these pictures because she's been sold and will soon be gone. I'm gonna miss her.

And this is Comet. He's almost a year old now, and definitely goes through phases. Right now, he's my little buddy. Up till a few weeks ago he was so exuberant about it he could be dangerous to be near. Lately he's been more tractable. He doesn't know it, but he's about to become a gelding and maybe that's a good thing.

Okay! I put the boys in Gitmo, delivered the wood, shoveled the shit. I went home and worked on another paying gig for a few hours, and now I've got to go visit the neighbors. S&T live a few miles away, up the ridge and across the plateau. They built a house on the top of a little mesa, and I really wish I could show it to you. It's so gorgeous, it's like this secret treasure out in the middle of frickin' nowhere.

This afternoon I've got business with them. They wanted me to look at this old Honda ATV that's got problems. It turns out they had other things in mind as well, all of them good (for me.)

Here's a tiny bit of the view from their front yard. This place is amazing, and if I tried to describe what they had to do before they could stick two boards together on top of that mesa, you'd laugh and call me a liar.

Well, we looked over the ATV - nothing will fix that poor thing short of an overhaul that'd probably cost more than the faded old thing is worth. Then he had a bunch of scrounged 2X4s he'd expressed an interest in letting me take off his hands. And then, he wanted to discuss another gig.

This one's going to be a bugger, but first he had to show me where it is. T is on the board of the local property owner's association, a phrase which out here doesn't have the Nazi-like connotations it does elsewhere. Mostly it's a thankless job that involves having people yell at you about the condition of what we laughingly call the "roads."

We got in his Jeep, an old steed even more battered than Landlady's, and we drove out into the desert. We drove and we drove. Nine miles we drove, over and around and through and then up, till we got to the top of West Mesa.

The road from the bottom of West Mesa to the top is quite steep, and extremely rocky. In the very best weather only a capable 4X4 can get up there, and you'll worry about your tires ever inch of the climb. People own property up there, heaven knows why, and they've been complaining about the rocks.

You know how you get rocks off a road here? Not with a grader blade, that just digs up more rocks. No. You stoop over, pick up a rock, pitch it to the side. Repeat.

I can do that. I won't like it, but I can do that. It'll pay about fifty bucks to pick up all the tire-breakers from the bottom of West Mesa to the top. Hey, it's a gig. And the scenery's nice.

None of this trip had been on my already busy schedule, but I'm flexible. Actually all the work I'd planned was done, and this was just a pleasant little jaunt. Until T's Jeep broke down.

Some problem with fuel pressure, I'm guessing. T thinks it's the fuel pump, and he could be right. Personally, given the symptoms, I think it was the pick-up filter under the pump but I can't know for sure. All I know is we were stranded a good way from home. Neither of us had planned the trip in advance, and neither of us were prepared for the stranding. Neither of us had a phone with us, for example.

My phone, my water, my rifle, my tow strap were all safely in Landlady's Jeep. Which was miles away.

Sometimes, if you let it sit, a pump that's acting up that way will go ahead and start the engine and let it run a little ways. And that's how we limped the Jeep most of the way back to his place. It took a long time. Finally, about two miles from his place, it refused to go another inch.

We got out and started walking, and that's when we finally ran into a bit of luck. After not seeing another soul for hours, we weren't ten minutes down the road when one of T's neighbors came by and gave us a lift to his barn. Then at last my tow strap came in handy. We got his Jeep safely home and said our goodbyes.

The boys had been in Gitmo far longer than I'd planned, and were probably thinking they'd been abandoned forever. They can be drama queens about that. So I re-hitched the trailer half-full of lovely linear lumber and headed back across the plateau.

I love this drive.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Would a police officer LIE? Story of an isolated incident.

William Grigg's latest:

To someone who doesn’t belong to the coercive caste, a total of 6 arrests out of 166 “total incidents” isn’t an impressive ratio. The concept of a “self-initiated significant incident” seems downright ominous. This is the portrait of a government-licensed bully bent on manufacturing cases, rather than a peace officer devoted to protection of persons and property.

Civil Asset Forfeiture may, in the fullness of time, be remembered as the worst idea the extinct "western civilization" ever dreamed up.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kinda says it all...

One of those days. It's ticking me off, too, because you've never seen a more gorgeous day in your life. I even had some neighbors drop by this morning, S&T from a couple of miles away, actually offering me some work!  It was work I had to turn down, for practical reasons, which put me into even more of a funk but I sure appreciated the visit.

Nothing much is happening around here today, and nothing seems to be happening in the internet-accessible part of the world - at least nothing I find amusing, so here are some funny pictures.

A little perspective on the "Obama Flag" thing...

Carl nails it down.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Not sure why, but this makes me sad.

Encyclopedia Britannica has printed its last set.

It's like the day I heard Orson Wells died. I was never even much of a fan, but still felt like something important had gone away without notice.

I'm...PRETTY sure this is a joke*...

But then I wasn't sure about that double-barrel 1911 at first either, and it turns out to be sort-of real. Whatever: We report, you decide.


*Yes, of course I know. I'm old, ugly and have a small penis but there's nothing wrong with my reading comprehension thankyewverymuch.

I'm an old fart!

I knew it! This confirms it.
If you’ve never uploaded naked photographs of yourself, you are an old fart.

If you know how to spell, you are an old fart.

If you ever waited to hear your favorite song on the radio, you are an old fart.

If you remember when being radical meant hating the government, rather than relying on it, you are an old fart.

Some of these go pretty wide of the mark, of course, but some made me laugh. My personal favorite:
If you still feel a twinge of dread seeing a phone number with a lot of “9″s and “0″s, you are an old fart.
Hee ... I'd add "If you even know what that means, you are an old fart."

The "Gun Culture"

I've never liked that phrase. I own an axe, and all my neighbors own axes, but we're not part of the "Axe culture." We all own milk crates, too. Are we part of the "Milk crate culture?" How about measuring cups? I see one on the counter right over there. It's next to a can of creamed corn. The "Creamed corn culture?" I don't think so. Cameras, radios, toilet paper - they're all common accoutrements of our "culture," whatever that is, but they don't define it. So why guns?

Oh, it's not a serious question. I think I can answer it. Guns are controversial, and toilet paper is not. But that underscores my dislike for the phrase, because who perpetuates the controversy? Not the people who carry guns, but the people who demonize them, and their carriers.

I suppose I could even make a case for it, even if I don't like it. In fact, one time I did. "An armed society is a friendly society," I said. Meant it, too. Still do.

But I still dislike that phrase. I am not defined by what I carry on my belt. I dislike it when people try to define me in that way.

This came to mind this morning as a result of reading this CSM article, linked by Claire. It's actually a pretty good article, for MSM, and touches - actually lingers - on a matter that's been on my mind lately, which is how state-level activists have turned the anti-gun world on its head in the past twenty years. We owe those people, and we should be learning from them in other freedom-related areas.

But I still dislike "Gun culture." Call it an unreasoning prejudice. I am not a member of the "Gun culture," any more than I'm a member of the "Torn T-shirt culture." I'm an adult. Adults carry their weapons.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This is what's wrong with electric cars...

Different Styling, Same Performance.

Well, let's be fair. Same range. Other performance specs probably differ somewhat.

Back in the '90's, when I still had a career, I worked for a major Japanese auto manufacturer. I was their principal technical training developer for the U.S. And so when the company thought maybe it wanted to market its new electric vehicle, I got involved. You can't sell vehicles if the dealership techs don't know how to fix them, and this one would have left them scratching their heads.


It was a minivan, and I must say that in many ways it was a beautiful thing. Zero to sixty acceleration rivaled that of the best gas-powered minivan - which, okay, isn't exactly Ferrari-like, but minivans have their charms in an urban environment. Inside, you'd never have known a difference except that there was no engine noise.

Well, you'd never have known a difference for about the first forty miles. Then you'd notice a major difference - there would be no second forty miles. I was offered a chance to take it home over a weekend, and had to turn it down. The only way to get it home, other than stopping overnight for a recharge, would have involved a flatbed truck.

Oh yeah, and the battery tray cost about $100,000 to replace, and replace it you would in less than 100,000 miles. The honchos came to their senses and never actually marketed the vehicle. I suspect they lost a subsidy bid, but nobody ever came out and told me so.

This is the thing that's wrong with electric cars: The cars are ready for prime time, and they have been for decades. But the batteries are shite, and apparently plan to go right on being so.

A message from your friendly neighborhood SWAT team...

Or else.

H/T to Balko.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Might want to stay indoors today, America...

The geeks are out in force. (Sorry - there's a really lame pun in there, and I swear I didn't plan it.)

Saw this dumb article, and just a few minutes later I ran into this dumb picture.

I'm really, really, very extremely happy Daughter finally (mostly) got over the Star Wars thing and took up a more realistic hobby. Now she dresses in armor and gets bashed with wooden swords. Much better.

Gotta get myself together here...

Sorry about the light posting. I've felt really punk the past few days, and can't seem to get excited about anything. The days have been very pretty, a little wind in the afternoon but temps in the shade well into the fifties and plenty of sun. I should be out in it right now, or at least back to work on the Lair. But sometimes I get into moods where all I can do is sit around.

I'll also admit that I'm not getting much joy out of staying warm since the chimney fire a couple of weeks ago. Every time I get the fire really crackling, all I can think of is a column of fire trying to set my roof alight and I want to hit it with a fire extinguisher. I'm kinda back in wear-a-sweater mode, which is stupid. It feels stupid, and I hate feeling stupid. Gotta shake this.

My old TMM friend Ilo Jones sent a very generous care package, which I put to the intended use over the weekend. She asked me how much it would cost to get the chimney brushes and poles I need, then sent five times that much. Thanks, Ilo! So this weekend I finally got on Amazon and ordered the tools, plus some other wood-cutting stuff. The remainder goes into the TUAK fund.

The other stuff includes a fiberglass handle for my axe, which supposedly is secured with epoxy instead of a wedge. The one I've got is only on its second season and is already about to come right off. I could fix it with more wedges, but I know a failing game when I see one and really hate it when axeheads are flying around the yard. Still, sometimes I get into a worrying mood and the notion of epoxying my good axehead to anything gives me a mild case of the hives. This'll likely be the last handle it ever sees, and I hope it's a good one. As I've said before, good axes are expensive and hard to come by. Crappy ones are everywhere.

Still, the other "tool" purchase definitely belongs under the "extravagance" heading. M has this great little Fiskars hatchet...

...which I've been using all winter and it has really impressed me. Decent small hatchets are hard to find, though like axes the crappy ones are everywhere evident. For splitting kindling, a good hatchet is not what I'd call first-tier essential but can make a cold morning go away quicker and with less chance of a dull blade sliding off the grain and mashing a couple of fingers into gangrenous pulp. (Yes, it's been that kind of mood.) So this one has found a place in my heart (not literally) but I need to give it back. And so while I was buying stuff on-line I impulsively bought one just like it. Except mine won't say Gerber.

That's the sort of purchase that always leaves me feeling like a self-indulgent fool. I can live without it and arguably should, since there are other, more useful and less sexy things the money can go for. But sometimes, y'know, you put your hand on a tool and think, "This is just right. I need one just like this." Knowing all along that you don't really need it, that you could spend less money on something that would work almost as well, but...

Aw, screw it. I've gotta shake this mood. I'm gonna turn this thing off and go for a walk with the boys.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Setting aside the sheer BLASPHEMY, this still looks really dumb.

Saw this at Endo's blog, which has more information.

I note that the video is extremely light on performance information, except that the guy with Niska's accent manages to empty a magazine without a jam. Once. Maybe that's indicative of the pistol's reliability. Points of impact? Not mentioned. Fact that you'd probably need about a 90" waistline to conceal it? Unimportant. Likelihood of going straight to pound-you-in-the-ass prison if you ever used it in a defensive shooting? Near certain.

I'm fascinated more by the fascination with multiple-barreled handguns than by the guns themselves. I once had opportunity to put a whole box of ammo through a COP .357, and what I most recall - though the list of reasons why I'd never want to own one arising from that session was lengthy - was that the four barrels all consistently shot to four separate points of impact. Consistently. We fired it off sandbags just to be sure. Kinda soured me on the whole concept.

But what the hell? Go for it. Lemme know how it works out for you. Fair warning: Their website sucks to an astonishing degree. Looks like somebody got so busy being artistic they neglected to add much in the way of information or navigability.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

This could explain a lot.

Not feeling it today. Cloudy day, stomach's upset, sitting around most of the day reading Landlady's Steven King books. It seems I was right, all those years ago, about the Dark Tower books: So far it pretty much sucks. But it'll take thousands of pages to suck in fullness, and no doubt that made King a bargeload of money. So it's okay then.

Anyway, not up to being snarky under my own power today. Here's a funny video I stole at random from Weer'd.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Two in the chest will stop those pesky heart problems, fer shur...

Sigh. Yet another of those once-helpful things you might want to consider never, ever doing...
Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., a former Marine who had heart problems and wheezed if he walked more than 40 feet, triggered his medical alert system pendant. The system operator came on the loudspeaker in his one-bedroom apartment, asking: “Mr. Chamberlain, are you O.K.?” All of this is recorded.

Mr. Chamberlain didn’t respond. So the operator signaled for an ambulance. Police patrol cars fell in behind — standard operating procedure in towns across America. Except an hour later, even as Mr. Chamberlain insisted he was in good health, the police had snapped the locks on the apartment door.

They fired electric charges from Tasers, and beanbags from shotguns. Then they said they saw Mr. Chamberlain grab a knife, and an officer fired his handgun.

Boom! Boom! Mr. Chamberlain’s niece Tonyia Greenhill, who lives upstairs, recalls the echoes ricocheting about the hall. She pushed out a back door and ran into the darkness beneath overarching oaks. He lay on the floor near his kitchen, two bullet holes in his chest, blood pooling thick, dying.

Simple Justice
points out the obvious result of all this...
Shockingly, the White Plains Public Safety Commissioner declared the shooting "warranted" because, well, they invoked the First Rule. Not that it wouldn't have been a good idea for the police to have remained calm and de-escalated the situation, calming an old man who might have been in some emotional distress. After all, they didn't know what was happening, which means they had to break into his room. Sure, he told them he was fine at the door, but the police can't trust the word of the person they're there to save.
Of course they can't. You might have drugs in there. Or a dog, or something.

Remember, whenever you might be tempted to call a cop, the First Rule of Police Work: Make it home alive. It's a pretty good rule for life, too, but those of us who are not cops interpret it in another way. To a cop, it has come to mean kill everyone who frightens you. To a "citizen," it means - among other things - stay the hell away from cops.

It depends upon what the meaning of the word "assassination" is...

"Some have called such operations 'assassinations.' They are not, and the use of that loaded term is misplaced. Assassinations are unlawful killings,"

Oh, Bill. What have you wrought?

Y'know, that used to be funny.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's the little things.

Regular TUAK readers are aware that the Secret Lair, in addition to instant communication with world leaders (for the purpose of issuing vile insidious ultimatums), retractable camouflaged roof for launching and retrieving flying vehicles from its location within an extinct volcano, and a giant pool of voracious man-eating sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads, is also equipped with:

A Real Flush Toilet!

Yes! This was very exciting last summer, when after struggling with my home-made septic system all bleeping spring, it finally worked. Hey, you try living without one for five years.

Now, pause for a moment and savor the irony with me. I spent all spring basically re-inventing the septic tank system. I sifted frickin' pebbles out of the frickin' wash for the leech field. I improvised, I revised, I devised, I extemporized, I stole lines from Harry Harrison without attribution. I imprecisely copied things from the internet. Did you really think this was going to work?

It works perfectly. What I've had trouble with, again and again, is the toilet. Which was made in a factory.

Last night I did my business before retiring for the night. I pushed down on the little chrome lever, an action I'm pretty sure will never get old. Everything was fine until the lever reached the bottom of its throw, when there was a slight noise inside the tank and the lever's movement suddenly became much more free than we like things to be - you know, when it's a mechanical device chained to another mechanical device.

Yup - chain pulled out of the flapper valve, or whatever you call it.

So what? Happens all the time, right? Yeah, except that this ain't suburbia. The only (joke of a) hardware store within fifty miles closed last summer for lack of - I dunno, plausible deniability or something. It might take weeks to find a replacement! Aargh!

Then I remembered ... When M installed his first "free from CraigsList" toilet in M's Dome, the tank turned out to be cracked. We never got around to hauling it to the dump. Did it still have its plumbing bits? Was there a valve I could salvage?

Yes! Once again Joel's mastery of the Art of Scrounge comes to the rescue. That sound you don't hear in the background is my Real Flush Toilet, once again flushing properly.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go feed the sharks. Good day, Mr. Maher! Right this way!

No. I wouldn't vote for her, either.

'Remember your history?' Hell, Eric, you can't even remember your own speeches!

Glenn Greenwald points out certain, er, inconsistencies in the belief structures of individuals within the current administration. "Right" and "Wrong", it seems, depend entirely on whether you're currently on the side with power. Three years ago it was obscenely immoral for the administration to arrogate the power to spy on and capture Americans they say are working with them bad ol' terrorists. Now, the same people say it's fine to go right ahead and kill them. Due process? They gotcher due process right here, Achmed.

Here's aspiring government functionary Eric Holder, three years ago:
To those in the Executive branch who say “just trust us” when it comes to secret and warrantless surveillance of domestic communications I say remember your history. In my lifetime, federal government officials wiretapped, harassed and blackmailed Martin Luther King and other civil rights leader in the name of national security. One of America’s greatest heroes whom today we honor with a national holiday, countless streets, schools and soon a monument in his name, was treated like a criminal by those in our federal government possessed of too much discretion and a warped sense of patriotism. Watergate revealed similar abuses during the Nixon administration.

Attorney General Eric Holder, today:
Some have argued that the President is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or associated forces. This is simply not accurate. “Due process” and “judicial process” are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.

Oh, so there is due process! Well, that's a relief. And what does that new, improved "due process" consist of, since the government can no longer trust the judgement of its own courts? Here's SecDef Leon Panetta to clue us in:
"[The] President of the United States obviously reviews these cases, reviews the legal justification, and in the end says, go or no go," Panetta said.




We who are about to be declared terrorists salute you.

The older he gets, the righter he gets

Now if only he'd quit picking useless fights over religion...

Psst! Need a new Sweetie in your life?

Go talk to Claire.  There's a catch or two. If I qualified I'd take her myself.

Additional change to comments...

Sigh - No, this won't keep Claire and Gooch out of the Spam Locker, but...

Some people like to follow comments that turn into discussion threads, or see if anybody responds to their comments. They do this by "subscribing" to the thread. Except one of the long list of things wrong with the new Blogger "improvements" to the comment feature is that you can't do that anymore. Because that would be helpful and friendly.

Well, it turns out there is a setting that still allows subscription, and I've reset the comments to allow it. But it does mean we no longer get the pop-up box, which as a reader of others' blogs I've always preferred.

Tell me if the new format is too obnoxious.

UPDATE: Well. That was...obnoxious.

Received an email indicating that a reader couldn't comment at all. Which would explain the complete lack of comments.

Switched back to the old thing.

I hate blogger now. Before it merely annoyed me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It's like living in Bizarro America...

In a good way, to be sure.

I'm gonna guess it was sometime in 2004 I first heard somebody say state-level activists would now start going for "Vermont Carry," and I thought, "Right. As soon as we've got vest-pocket fusion plants, flying cars, and anarcho-syndicalist orbital habitats at war with each other.  With Amazon chicks in stretchy, form-fitting silver space suits. And rayguns. Then I'll start looking for the license requirements to go away. Til then, here's Joel not holding his breath."

Which is why you should never look to Uncle Joel for predictions about the future. I was a skeptic long before I was a believer. I only sort of became a believer because I could see it: It's right there. And I'm still not sure I believe it. Even though, like I said, it's right there.

The government conceding a right to carry arms is not the same as freedom. In fact, it says something to me about the government's attitude toward "citizens" carrying arms that I'm not sure I find comforting. But it's still pretty strange, to a guy who came of shooting age right around GCA '68. And pretty cool, in a "I still don't trust them" kind of way.

Hey, how 'bout we get some of those tireless activists to work on getting rid of the license requirement to drive a car? 'Cause that'd be really cool.

This place is weird.

Yesterday the forecast called for five days of peekaboo sun at best.  This morning, same site, it says five days of sun.

I need a better class of weather forecaster.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cloudy day.

Giving the batteries a break. Forecast not encouraging. Light posting predicted.

Monday, March 5, 2012

May I please mention a couple of things that bug me?

For the record:

It's "Rein in," not "Reign in." As in "rein in a horse," or cause it to slow down or stop.  "Reign in" makes no sense.

It's "Bated breath," not "Baited breath." Bated, as in moderated, lessened in intensity, or stopped. Not Baited, as if one has been eating fish.

That is all. Thank you for your attention.

We're Number Six! We're Number Six!

Hey, I got a very unexpected email from my friend and yours, Claire Wolfe. It seems that, somehow, TUAK is now the #6 referring site for her blog at Backwoods Home.

That's pretty cool. I never expected this dumb little blog to be on anybody's Top Ten list, except maybe "least-read blogs of all time."  But slowly, slowly we've been getting readers. I think by now we may have surpassed Tuan Phen's Cambodian blog about what-all he had for supper*.

Thanks to all those who hold their noses and come back for more info on what we-all had for supper**.

*Yes, I made that up.

**Fresh-baked bread w/various condiments

Bread Success!

Finally made a couple of loaves I'm not completely ashamed of.

But we're trying to get The Independent Spirit back on its knees, since Debra's been carrying the whole ball there. So you have to go there to read about it.

Wanted: Good recipe for dog.

I didn't sleep well last night.

I didn't sleep well at all.

I've got two little friends who are largely responsible for that. It was kind of a restless night anyway, and if I'd slept soundly I don't know that there would have been any problem. But every time I so much as rolled over, Ghost started whining.

Ghost whines when he wants out. Or when he wants in. Or when he just wants. He's not shy about letting his wishes be known.  On the other hand, Ghost is by far the smarter of the two dogs. He's been known to whine at me when Little Bear really, really needs to go outside. Because Little Bear just stands there and looks miserable, till he can't hold it anymore. This is not, I believe, altruism on Ghost's part. When LB needs to go outside, EVERYBODY needs him to go outside.

So I did not ignore Ghost's whining. I didn't ignore it at 10 PM. I didn't ignore it at 1:30 AM. I didn't ignore it at 3:30 AM.

On the occasion when I very grumpily came down from the loft at 3:30 and showed LB his tie-out cable, he just looked up at me from his bed as if to say, "Hey, WTF? I'm trying to sleep." LB was apparently not the cause of last night's issues.

I don't know what Ghost's problem was. But I hope he has worked it out by tonight.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Oh, I finally had to try it...

Everything I want to say on the subject of Sandra Fluke, whoever she is...

...has already been said.
I don’t want to know about these people. Stop telling me their names. Who decided this made sense as a way to discuss political issues? Is this a conscious strategy on the part of one side or another? Will they ever knock it off? Or has it always been this way, am I just wrong that it’s gotten worse in recent years?

Change comes to TUAK

Blogger may soon go the way of Netscape, if even such undemanding users as myself find it inadequate. Yes I know it's free, and I don't ask much of those who give me stuff free. But it surely is not without profit to Google or they wouldn't provide it. So why do they allow their soon-no-longer-dominant product to suffer under the kind of elementary and everyday-annoying bugs as have crept in?

I dunno, and don't consider it my problem. At my time and position of life, the days are too short for much indulgence in computer-related learning curves, but I can and soon will take refuge in that most golden of phrases, "I have a friend who..."

So: I have a friend who has forgotten more about web hosting than I ever even read about. In the near future that friend will help me move TUAK to its own domain, which will contain no place for Blogger and its many pesky, unsanitary bugs.

I can't say just when that will be, because my friend is gainfully employed and has - of course - other pursuits of her own which will quite reasonably take precedence over mine. But I have been promised that it will happen, and this lady has yet to fail to keep a promise.

So don't hold your breath, but do look for improvements and a new home for TUAK in the fairly near future.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A .45 without the nasty bits...

M often brings cool things when he comes to visit. After our session, he thinks he just might mod this into his carry gun. Because M also likes cool carry guns that not everybody else carries.

This is a Spanish Star 1911-ish in 9mm Largo. I like it! Considering it's older than me and has only been a little better cared for, it's very sweet-shooting. Good-going-on-excellent trigger, exceedingly mild recoil, puts bullets where you point it.

Downsides are a magazine safety (didn't know they did things like that in 1951) and an old-fashioned hammer/slide arrangement designed to take divots out of your fist. Since retrofitting a beavertail grip safety is out of the question - because the pistol has no grip safety - M figures he'll probably end up bobbing the hammer somewhat.

Oh, yeah - another downside would be the oddball caliber, but M has never considered that a particular downside. Plus he bought about 9 billion rounds of surplus ammo when he bought the pistol. Because he's M.

For around $300 and some loading dies, a guy could do worse.

Okay: Imagine for a moment you're the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice...

And from your mouth you utter this pronouncement:

"You'll heal." Seriously. That's what he said. Along with 'It's better to be scared, robbed and even injured than to be armed. Because otherwise somebody could get hurt.'

No mention in the news as to which particular lamp post he's swinging from. Probably his armed security detail saved him from the mob.

H/T to Unc.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The most important post you'll read today!

Just kidding - I never click on it when they say "I've got nothing."

It's a cold, blustery day, and even the boys don't want to be out in it. Nice and sunny, though.

Here's a funny picture. I'm going back to watching Pinky and the Brain videos.

If Statues had fantasies, I'm guessing this would be #1 on the list.


This is the fourth day of howling wind, and this morning it seems to be finding every little crack in the Secret Lair, or possibly making new ones. Fire's been burning for four hours, and only now my fingers have stopped hurting. It's not even that cold out, just a little below freezing, but I swear the wind chill factor must be hovering somewhere in the negative skillions.

Naturally, this morning the propane bottle decided to go dry, because why would it do that on a mild morning? Never has before. Shiver.

Got a late start on the 'pooter this morning, because the clouds rolled in thick just as the sky was starting to lighten. By an hour ago it was clear. You just can't trust the weather to do anything in particular - not in winter you can't.

So now I'm trying to work up the gumption to go shit-shoveling, after spending the morning pacing, rubbing my hands, and wishing for central heat. Those of you who rhapsodize about "off-the-grid" living: Try it for a few months or years. Yeah, overall I prefer it. But once in a while it ain't no rose garden.

I'm really ready for Spring now. I really should go: More later.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's a point I've occasionally tried to make myself. Usually goes right over their heads.

If they really thought we were the dangerous whackos they say they think we are, they wouldn't be so abusive. We've got all the guns.

H/T to Jay G.

I'm sorry he's dead and all...

He never did me any harm. Never really gave him much thought, to tell the truth.

But the only one with any real post-Monkees chops was Nesmith, as far as I'm concerned.

It's hard to be all that sympathetic...

A "Farm-to-Fork" celebratory dinner gets shut down by the "health department." Amazingly despicable officious inspector does amazingly despicable and officious things. Victims submit, whine, make video. Honestly, you'll get the message less painfully if you go to the link and read the text. Don't watch more than the first twenty seconds of the video, because things get really, really Birkenstockish really fast, and increasingly so until toward the end you'll want to join the "health department" yourself just so you can screw with them too.

But that would be wrong, folks.

I had no idea that the Health Department would become involved. I received a phone call from them two days before the event informing me that because this was a “public event” (I would like to know what is the definition of “public” and “private”) we would be required to apply for a “special use permit.” If we did not do so immediately, we would be charged a ridiculous fine. Stunned, we immediately complied.
Yeah, that 'immediately complying' thing wasn't even your first mistake. I mean, where to begin?

Okay, yeah, sure, the vile evil controlling uberbitch inspector in the first twenty seconds of the video would make excellent fodder for a hugelculture site. No doubt, but we all knew that. Let's move on. At what point do you stop actively cooperating? There's like a hundred of you and one of her, and nobody's waving guns. She made you jump through an amazing array of regulatory hoops, then showed up at the event and made you humiliate yourselves repeatedly, in completely absurd ways. Pour bleach on it? She's just screwing with you! There's no such law! You guys are upstanding, law-abiding citizens, to the point where I want to puke on your sandals. So make her take you to court, for god's sake! Have you no pride at all?

It's funny: Just yesterday a friend and I were trading emails on a similar issue. At what point do you stop submitting? It's a very difficult question, and not one where anybody else can legitimately say, "Why don't you shoot?" Though you do hear that sort of thing from provocateurs on the web. Hell, why don't the provocateurs shoot, and lead by example? Certainly Mr. and Ms. Birkenstock aren't going go, and nobody would reasonably ask them to. Once you're in the clutches of the Big Bad, shooting - or any other sort of active resistance - is elaborate suicide. But!

Who even let them know about this "public event?" I was involved in a subscription farm once, and it was really cool. Fresh veggies, more than I could even eat, for just a little work. I wish I could do it again. But not in such a way that the government even knew about it.

At what point do you stop submitting? Right From The Beginning. What you put in your stomach is your own business. It's private. Keep private things private. How hard is that? If they want to screw with you, let them find you first.

The first and fatal mistake here was even letting the government know about it. Full Stop.

H/T to Crusader Rabbit.

ADDED: BTW, read this.

I'll say this much for word verification...

It has been keeping a lot - a lot! - of really lame spam at bay. I'm suddenly up to my ears in it, every morning.

But so far it has all landed in the spam locker, which is where it belongs.  Unfortunately the occasional real commenter still lands there, too. Which is not where it belongs.