27 April 2005

A bit o' plagiarism to liven the spirits...

I have been seeing my psychiatrist, Dr. Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-fried-digger-dingle-dangle-dongle-dungle-burstein-von-knacker-thrasher-apple-banger-horowitz-ticolensic-grander-knotty-spelltinkle-grandlich-grumblemeyer-spelterwasser-kurstlich-himbleeisen-bahnwagen-gutenabend-bitte-ein-nurnburger-bratwustle-gernspurten-mitz-weimache-luber-hundsfut-gumberaber-shonedanker-kalbsfleisch-mittler-aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm. I think thats how he spells it. He suggests hiting myself on the head with bricks and singing "Its a Long Way to Tipperary" while standing upside down in the shower. I suggested that he ought to rip out his toenails and superglue them to his forehead. We don't have the greatest relationship, really. Today I was late for my appointment; I usually reckon on five and a half hours and it took me six hours and 53 minutes, with a 25 minute wait at Frampton Cottrell to stretch me legs; only I had to wait half an hour to get onto the M5 at Droitwich. Then there was a three mile queue just before Bridgewater on the A38. I usually come round on the B3339, you see, just before Bridgewater. I decided to risk it 'cause they always say they're going to widen it there. Yes, well just by the intersection there where the A372 joins up. There's plenty of room to widen it there, there's only grass verges. They could get another six feet, knock down that hospital. Then I took the coast road through Williton - I got all the Taunton traffic on the A358 from Crowcombe and Stogumber. So you see. Last week on 'Party Hints' I showed you how to make a small plate of goulash go round twenty-six people, how to get the best out of your canapes, and how to unblock your loo. This week I'm going to tell you what to do if there is an armed communist uprising near your home when you're having a party. Well obviously it'll depend how far you've got with your party when the signal for Red Revolt is raised. If you're just having preliminary aperitifs - Dubonnet, a sherry or a sparkling white wine - then the guests will obviously be in a fairly formal mood and it will be difficult to tell which are the communist agitators. So the thing to do is to get some cloth and some bits of old paper, put it down on the floor and shoot everybody. This will deal with the Red Menace on your own doorstep. If you're having canapes, as I showed you last week, or an outdoor barbecue, then the thing to do is to set fire to all houses in the street. This will stir up anti-communist hatred and your neighbours will be right with you as you organize counter-revolutionary terror. So you see, if you act promptly enough, any left-wing uprising can be dealt with by the end of the party. From the plastic arts we turn to football. Last night in the Stadium of Light, Jarrow, we witnessed the resuscitation of a great footballing tradition, when Jarrow United came of age, in a European sense, with an almost Proustian display of modern existentialist football. Vimally annihilating by midfield moral argument the now surely obsolescent catennachio defensive philosophy of Signor Alberto Fanffino. Bologna indeed were a side intellectually out argued by a Jarrow team thrusting and bursting with aggressive Kantian positivism and outstanding in this fine Jarrow team was my man of the match, the arch-thinker, free scheming, scarcely ever to be curbed, midfield coguoscento, Jimmy Buzzard. At least one ageing football commentator was gladdened last night by the sight of an English footballer breaking free of the limpid tentacles of packed Mediterranean defence. This is of course symptomatic of a new breed of footballer as it is indeed symptomatic of the whole genre of player. I am not a looney! Why should I be tied with the epithet looney merely because I have a pet halibut? I've heard tell that Sir Gerald Nabardo has a pet prawn called Simon and you wouldn't call him a looney; furthermore, Dawn Pailthorpe, the lady show-jumper, had a clam, called Stafford, after the late Chancellor, Allan Bullock has two pikes, both called Chris, and Marcel Proust had an haddock! So, if you're calling the author of 'A la recherche du temps perdu' a looney, I shall have to ask you to step outside! WE WOULD LIKE TO APOLOGIZE FOR THE WAY IN WHICH POLITICIANS ARE REPRESENTED IN THIS POSTING. IT WAS NEVER OUR INTENTION TO IMPLY THAT POLITICIANS ARE WEAK-KNEED, POLITICAL TIME-SERVERS WHO ARE CONCERNED MORE WITH THEIR PERSONAL VENDETTAS AND PRIVATE POWER STRUGGLES THAN THE PROBLEMS OF GOVERNMENT, NOR TO SUGGEST AT ANY POINT THAT THEY SACRIFICE THEIR CREDIBILITY BY DENYING FREE DEBATE ON VITAL MATTERS IN THE MISTAKEN IMPRESSION THAT PARTY UNITY COMES BEFORE THE WELL-BEING OF THE PEOPLE THEY SUPPOSEDLY REPRESENT NOR TO IMPLY AT ANY STAGE THAT THEY ARE SQUABBLING LITTLE TOADIES WITHOUT AN OUNCE OF CONCERN FOR THE VITAL SOCIAL PROBLEMS OF TODAY. NOR INDEED DO WE INTEND THAT VIEWERS SHOULD CONSIDER THEM AS CRABBY ULCEROUS LITTLE SELF-SEEKING VERMIN WITH FURRY LEGS AND AN EXCESSIVE ADDICTION TO ALCOHOL AND CERTAIN PRACTICES WHICH SOME PEOPLE MIGHT FIND OFFENSIVE. WE ARE SORRY IF THIS IMPRESSION HAS COME ACROSS, because tonight's the night I shall be talking about of flu the subject of word association football. This is a technique out a living much used in the practice makes perfect of psychoanalysister and brother and one that has occupied piper the majority rule of my attention squad by the right number one two three four the last five years to the memory. It is quite remarkable baker charlie how much the miller's son this so-called while you were out word association immigrants' problems influences the manner from heaven in which we sleekit cowering timrous beasties all-American Speke, the famous explorer. And the really well that is surprising partner in crime is that a lot and his wife of the lions feeding time we may be c d e effectively quite unaware of the fact or fiction section of the Watford Public Library that we are even doing it is a far, far better thing that I do now then, now then, what's going onward Christian Barnaard the famous hearty part of the lettuce now praise famous mental homes for loonies like me. So on the button, my contention causing all the headaches, is that unless we take into account of Monte Cristo in our thinking George the Fifth this phenomenon the other hand we shall not be able satisfact or fiction section of the Watford Public Library againily to understand to attention when I'm talking to you and stop laughing, about human nature, man's psychological make-up some story the wife'll believe and hence the very meaning of life meaning of life itselfish bastard, I'll kick him in the Ball's Pond Road. Some people have made the mistake of seeing Shunt's work as a load of rubbish about railway timetables, but clever people like me who talk loudly in restaurants see this as a deliberate ambiguity, a plea for understanding in a mechanized ethos. The points are frozen, the beast is dead. What is the difference? What indeed is the point? The point is frozen, the beast is late out of Paddington. The point is taken. If La Fontaine's elk would spurn Tom Jones the engine must be our head, the dining car our esophagus, the guards van our left lung, the cattle truck our shins, the first class compartment the piece of skin at the nape of the neck and the level crossing an electric elk called Simon. The clarity is devastating. But where is the ambiguity? Over there in a box. Shunt is saying the 8:15 from Gillingham when in reality he means the 8:13 from Gillingham. The train is the same, only the time is altered. Ecce homo, ergo elk. La Fontaine knew its sister and knew her bloody well. The point is taken, the beast is moulting, the fluff gets up your nose. The illusion is complete; it is reality, the reality is illusion and the ambiguity is the only truth. But is the truth, as Hitchcock observes, in the box? No, there isn't room, the ambiguity has put on weight. The point is taken, the elk is dead, the beast stops at Swindon, Chabrol stops at nothing, I'm having treatment and La Fontaine can get knotted. How to defend yourself against a man armed with a banana. Now you, come at me with this banana. Catch! Now, it's quite simple to defend yourself against a man armed with a banana. First of all you force him to drop the banana; then, second, you eat the banana, thus disarming him. You have now rendered him helpless! Now you want to know about the pointed stick, eh? Oh, right. We want to learn how to defend ourselves against pointed sticks, do we? Getting all high and mighty, eh? Fresh fruit not good enough for you eh? Well I'll tell you something my lad. When you're walking home tonight and some great homicidal maniac comes after you with a bunch of loganberries, don't come crying to me!

26 April 2005

"Fear of dying has increased as many of America's citizens and elite institutions have become increasingly irreligious, even anti-religious. One major consequence of secularism is fear of dying. After all, with no God and no religion, this life is all there is. It is no wonder that the secular are far more attracted to pacifism than the religious and far more likely than religious Americans to believe that American troops who have died liberating Iraq have wasted their lives." -Dennis Prager

Interesting point, and one that brings to mind (what else) The Simarillion. In particular, the story of Numenor. As the men of Numenor drifted apart from the Valar, they became increasingly self-centered and proud, and began to almost worship themselves. They started to fear death, and then were more and more obsessed with the idea. Etc etc etc. Read it yourself. I'm tired and my brain is fried, studied late last night. Just thought the observation to be somewhat poignant.

Yeah, I'd rant more, but I've got nothing. No-thing. I've got to get back to work.

19 April 2005

Tribute to Blackcurrants

This is going to be a revelation of another one of my weird, obsessive sides, so brace yerself.

The blackcurrant...oh what a berry. One that we Americans hardly know! So far I have had the pleasure to sample a handful of blackcurrant products (there's naught more than a handful anyway around here!). They include: a blackcurrant jam and a red currant jelly, Twining's Blackcurrant Tea, McVites blackcurrant digestive biscuits, Lindeman's Cassis Lambic, Unibroue Ephemere (blackcurrant version), Mathilde Cassis, and I'm sure a couple other things. But I've just sent off a check to a New York nursery that is trying to bring back the blackcurrant in the US, and I'm going to do my part by cultivating currants in my backyard.

Moving on...

Watched "24" last night, second time I've watched it and actually paid attention. Very entertaining show, although the pseudo-soapy "personal" moments when the world is hurtling towards annihilation and those in charge pause to say..."hey, how are you doing, I heard Trevor was back with Maureen, even though she just learned that Clarissa had come out of her coma." Bollocks. But nonetheless, very good and gripping TV show...understanding that I'm a person who can almost never stomach serious TV shows. Last night it skewered the terror sympathizers in the ACLU/Amnesty Int'l pretty well. Tools of the enemy, all too often.
But here's my idea...I noticed to some degree of amusement how similar Kiefer Sutherland sounded to Jason Bateman (of Arrested Development) in his voice. After thinking of some humorous applications of soundtrack editing (to overdub selected A.D. dialogue into "24"), Debra and I realized what would really be funny...an Arrested 24 episode. Tobias as the evil mastermind Habib Marwan, George Sr./Oscar as the president and vice president, GOB as...oh anything, he's masterful. And Buster as the huge African-American CIA interrogator..."heyyy brother!". No really, this is funny stuff. Seriously. Lucille could be the martini-wielding CIA chief...the woman they put in those roles are comically about 20 years too young, anyway.

And yes, my gunfever is wafting here and there. Lately I've been somewhat taken with a copy of an MP5 PDW, the supercompact H&K submachine gun in civilian format. Small, powerful, and quick-firing. Although honestly, a rifle has advantages, still. END POST!

18 April 2005

A few crazy ramblings as the day winds down...

First off, I'm quite ready for the DVD release of Team America. Best action movie ever. Best puppet movie ever. Best musical ev....well, South Park Bigger Longer Uncut was pretty sweet, I'll call it a tie. Best Jerry Bruckheimer movie not directed by Jerry Bruckheimer, ever. No but seriously I'm eager to watch my favorite N. Korean dictator sing his sad, sweet song, one more time.

And I read some disheartening reviews of the Spanish CETME rifle I was set on...and still am somewhat set on, admittedly. Apparently it was manufactured by blind, spasmatic monkeys drunk on rancid sangria, and it is somewhat a crapshoot to get one that reliably fires and functions, without putting a lot of work and money into it. Hmmmm...at least, thats the pessimist version, probably advanced by the poor souls who did get stuck with a shoddy gun. But, a $400 version of a gun that normally costs $3000 or so? Not a bad deal, and one should expect to have to deal with some problems. Although it is more disheartening because the gun's principle role will be tactical home defence...a field in which reliability is tantamount. Realistically, getting a basic semi-auto AK-47 with a banana clip would be a decent solution. But I'm way too anti-communist to settle on that icon of the Soviet Union...not to mention that virtually every potential or real enemy of the past 50 years has used it or a variant. No, I think I'm still interested in the CETME. It's the ideal solution for me, if I can get one to work reliably. And the Dragunov rifle is out of the running as well, at least, as a "next purchase". Maybe someday I'll get one just to have fun at the range with, but its only use off the range would be tactical, medium range sniper duty. And it isn't even very good at that, compared to more serious sniper rifles such as the M40 or the...BARRETT. The FAL (FN-FAL, L1A1) is still in the running, a well-reputed rifle that has a simple aesthetic and nice reputation. If those Belgies make their rifles like they make their ales, then I'd have little worry about. But anyway, basically I'm looking for a good tactical rifle that has a high rate of fire, a powerful cartridge, and a large magazine capacity...so if the need arises, God forbid, one could put a stream of rounds through a door or even a wall. Sure, a 38 special snubnose is great, and probably one of the best all around solutions, but knowing you've got only six rounds...there would be some comfort in knowing you could fire off a warning shot or two, or lay down suppressing fire, without running empty. So Debra can have the 38 (it's hers anyway), to back me up. It doesn't hurt that she's an excellent shot! But yeah, I can't help but think that the AK is a very feasible solution...I mean, its well reputed, it is powerful, and it has a reputation for reliability. It is marginally cool looking, I confess. And even though it is Soviet, it ultimately was a post-war ripoff of the Germans. I can't remember what the name of the rifle was, but the Germans basically designed the AK in 1944, and the Russians adapted it. Oh well, we will see. (UPDATE A FEW DAYS LATER: Looking very seriously at a mid-range, decent FAL rifle. Perhaps a bit less cool looking than the CETME but high quality and powerful.)

And yes, I know its a bit silly to run through all these tactical scenarios but its just me, I suppose.

Been listening to the U.S. Navy Hymn, "Eternal Father Strong To Save". Very stirring, I remember it from Reagan's funeral, it was the most moving part of all that I heard. I will post the lyrics below:

Eternal Father! strong to save,
Whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
Who bids the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea.

O Saviour, whose almighty word,
The winds and waves submissive heard,
Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
And calm amid its rage did sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

O sacred Spirit, who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
Who bad'st its angry tumult cease,
And gavest light, and life, and peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go,
Thus ever let there rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

08 April 2005

China gearing up for a showdown...

It's time for us, the American people, to get over our Vietnam traumas and figure out exactly what price we are willing to pay for what. Because the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan were hardly wars compared to what a Taiwan conflict would be. Would we pull together and put all our collective muscle into defeating expansionist aggression? Which isn't to say I can't see the other side somewhat, I'm not here to argue for or against our Taiwan policy, that's beside the point. The point is, if we were directly challenged, our fleet in the area was attacked and who knows, even sunk, would that stir up a long slumbering giant in us that would never give in? Or would it make us recoil in despondent shame, meekly accepting defeat, while the Leftists cheered and rejoiced to see their hated homeland brought low into abject contrition and weakness?

God forbid.

As someone who has a strong affinity for the US Navy (having initiated the first stages of application to Annapolis as a high school student with plans of submarine duty), I would say that while Iraq and Afghanistan have been ruled by the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, a Pacific conflict would give the Navy the lion's share of the workload, as in WWII (Marines are no longer as strictly defined as amphibious troops as they once were). Here's my outlook. If they sunk every last one of our ships, we'd build another fleet, steam back and kick their collective asses back to the mainland. And, for once, Japan would be on our side! Not necessarily a bad ally to have (we of all people should know that from WWII!).

Say they sunk that second fleet, and came over and landed in California. Okay, that's fine...but they aren't getting any further east than the junction of I-70 and Blue Ridge, at least until they pry my Enfield from my cold dead..........
Good morning Funkadelic Friends.


Sorry, just had to link to it.

Amateur punditry has lost a bit of savour to me this morning, and I don't feel driven to expound upon my brilliant conceptions to a vastly absent audience. I'll leave that to the pros. Today.

I had a nicely composed, rather loquacious post written about the Schiavo case among other things recently, and when I clicked submit, the filthy swines (I'm cleaning up my language here) gave me a script error or something. Click back in hopes of finding the text...no dice. Filthy, filthy swines. Brilliant words lost into the void of cyberspace.

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