henry, eight weeks and frisky.

Here, have a new puppy video. Watch Henry play with the kids, and be educated about dinosaurs by Quinn at the same time.


monday search term safari CIV.

“they was arguing over a beer”

That’s a really common and dangerous pastime in low-income areas. It often leads to faces being punched, and occasionally to caps getting busted in someone’s ass, which strikes me as a bit extreme in a dispute over what is invariably budget yellow pisswater.

dachshund dead

Q: How do you tell your dachshund is dead?

A: He’s not eating.

punched in the face

It’s what often happens when they was arguing over a beer just moments before.

solar moped

Please, someone make a Vespa powered by solar panels. Then we’ll have a photo op vehicle for green-energy-pushing politicians that’s even more ludicrous than the Segway.

washing machine dog

It may look like it’s the perfect doggie hot tub, but the little stinkers don’t do so well with the spin cycle. Dogs are “hand wash or professional clean only”.

knívleysur maður er lívleysur maður!

My favorite Viking proverb—“Knifeless man is lifeless man.” I still don’t understand why people would choose to not carry the most useful tool devised by our species, and it downright annoys me when they claim some sort of halo for their “civilized” attitude.

where is the serial number on an olivetti lettera 22 typewriter

It’s engraved on the metal frame in the right top corner of the body. You need to move the carriage to the left to see it.

easiest way to convert full auto marlin .22lr

Leaving aside the pointless nature of converting a 10-shot gun into a machine gun, what you’re Googling there is a federal felony that will get you an extended stay at Club Fed. Even if you could convert one easily (which you can’t), and you burp out your rimfire ammo in ten-round bursts—where are you going to shoot your highly illegal machine gun without drawing unwelcome attention?

how feasible is it to move to montana?

Pretty feasible, I think—find a place to live, rent a U-Haul, point toward Montana. You don’t even need a visa or exchange your currency, unless you’re from California. CA Government I.O.U.s are not valid tender outside of that state.

blade length in new hampshire

New Hampshire has abolished all restrictions on blade lengths and deployment mechanisms for knives. If it has a blade, you can buy, own, and carry it—switchblade, butterfly, gravity knife, Klingon p’tahk carver, whatever. Just don’t commit any crimes with it, and we’re good. Isn’t it just the height of paternalistic condescension when the state tells its citizens that they can’t be trusted with sharp things in public?

legal thievery in blue.

This is a classic asset forfeiture abuse case:

  • Waitress, known to be in a financial bind, is tipped $12,000 via cash in take-out box given to her by a stranger.
  • Waitress takes the cash to police.
  • Cops confiscate it because their drug dog conveniently alerted to pot smell on the box, therefore the cash is seized under  asset forfeiture provisions.
  • Waitress goes public; cops offer her $1,000 “reward”. Waitress turns down the reward and sues.
  • Eventually, PD recognizes the massive PR blunder and unwelcome attention and decides to return the money to her.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the box never smelled of pot, and that if a drug dog ever came close to it, it was prompted by the handler to alert. The fact that they offered her a thousand bucks to shut her up just reinforces that opinion—“finder’s rewards” for asset forfeiture drug money are unprecedented. They saw $12,000 in a box, and decided that OF COURSE it had to be drug money, and don’t we need a new light bar for unit 244?

How’s that War on Drugs coming, America? This kind of stuff happens too often to report. It has turned otherwise law-abiding people—the ones you want on your side, Thin Blue Line—into distrustful adversaries, and cops into something regarded not unlike an occupying army by a lot of people. (What kind of lesson have you taught that waitress and her family, and what kind of attitude will they have toward the police for the rest of their lives? Do you think they’ll ever report anything to you again?)

Asset forfeiture is evil. It was intended to strip assets from drug kingpins, but like RICO, it has been expanded to fit the needs and desires of the state, and now it’s the default position of LE that if you carry more than an average amount of cash on you, it must be drug-related. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that giving the cops a financial incentive to seize property is a very bad idea.

Sadly, nothing’s going to change any time soon, because a.) the War on Drugs is great business for the State at all levels, and because b.) if you oppose that kind of nonsense, you’re clearly a pot-smoking libertarian who’s fine with people driving down the road snorting lines of coke off the dashboard.

And in the meantime, drugs are cheaper and more readily available than ever, our cops dress and arm like the 1st Marines about to invade Iran, and public trust in law enforcement is down the shitter. Getting the government to declare a war on something is a perfect recipe to have that something in abundance a few years later, and yet another edge of the Constitution lit on fire as the new Something Enforcement Agency employs 100,000 and sucks down a few billion in cash every year to keep the racket going.

But hey—legalizing pot would send the wrong message.

all growed up, that one.

On her blog, Jessica sums up the essence of golf in one perfect paragraph:

This week in the state where I live, there is a large golfing tournament of some kind. Beers are $2. You can also get egg salad sandwiches. The winner gets a jacket.

Jessica is one of my oldest Intertubes pals. We’ve known each other since the days of MSN on Windows 95, which to you young whippersnappers is the Internet Dark Ages. We had to pay by the hour, our computers had to dial phone numbers to get onto the Infodata Superfreeway, Apple was perennially a week or two from bankruptcy, and porn was slow.

Anyway, I’ve never actually met Jessica in person, which is a weird thing to be able to say about someone you’ve on-again, off-again talked to for seventeen years or so. (I ‘ve been owing her a lobster dinner for a decade and a half now.) I started blogging in 2002 after reading her blog, and my little affectation of typing my blog post titles in all lowercase letters with trailing period comes directly from her old blog. She stopped blogging at some point, but got back in the saddle recently, and there’s a noticeable qualitative difference between the old and the new. She has turned into a fabulous writer.  And even though I’ve heard her voice on the radio, and I know she sounds nothing like Daria Morgendorffer, I read her blog post today with Daria’s voice in my head.

What a weird and fabulous thing, this Internets. You meet the most interesting people. (For varying values of “meet”.)

monday search term safari CIII.

ducks living in blow-up boat

See, that’s why we need Rick Santorum in the White House. He will put a stop to that sort of immorality.

letter envelope and pen

I don’t like to use them for production work, but fountain pens with italic nibs (“calligraphy pens”) make lovely lines with varying line width depending on stroke direction. There’s one you can buy at Staples or from my favorite pen pushers at JetPens. It’s called the Pilot Plumix. They’re about $8 and come with one ink cartridge. Just stay away from the Sheaffer calligraphy pens–those are junk.

happy dachshund

A happy dachshund is one who eats. Dachshunds live to eat, even more so than other breeds. When they’re not eating, their predominant moods are “belligerent” or “SLEEP MODE ACTIVATE”.

how to storyboard a novel

I don’t routinely storyboard my novels, but I did so for one of my current works-in-progress, an Urban Fantasy/paranormal mystery. Because the plot had to be airtight and planned out well in advance, I storyboarded that one using a method I borrowed from Jo Knowles. Find the freely available storyboard printable pages, and use one panel per chapter. Make a sketch inside the panel visualizing the main event or mood of the chapter, and write a one-or two-sentence chapter description underneath. Incredibly useful for keeping all your ducks in a row and seeing the flow of the story.

pretty girls in the street

See, that’s why we need Rick Santorum in the White House. He will put a stop to that sort of immorality.

olivetti lettera exclamation mark

They don’t have one. Omitting it let them save a key, because you can make the exclamation mark with the ‘ and . characters. Make a period, backspace one spot, and strike an apostrophe right above the period.

sarnafil pvs

Our Sarnafil roof is three years old, and we’ve had zero problems with it. It turned a leaky metal roof into a watertight slip-and-slide that clears its own snow load. They’re expensive, but well worth it.

can you carry an assisted opening knife in MI

Glib answer: you can carry anything almost anywhere as long as you’re willing to accept the consequences if you’re caught with the item. I don’t know MI knife laws, but I think it’s pretty sad that regular law-abiding people need to take to the Internet to find out if their home state allows them to carry a particular tool in their pocket. My own home state of New Hampshire did the smart thing a while back–they got rid of all the onerous knife restrictions that were put on the books because some legislators in the 1950s had their horn-rimmed glasses fog up in panic after they watched The Blackboard Jungle and Rebel Without A Cause. Plus, you know, switchblades. We know what kind of yutes like to carry those. (Hint: it rhymes with flop.)

hipster with powerbook

The hipsters carry MacBooks now, ever since they retired the PowerBook name in 2006. On the other hand, you could probably score hipster points again by sitting at your local indie coffee shop with an original Sony-built Powerbook 100 running Mac OS 6 and WordPerfect.

what makes marko kloos so damn sexy?

I know I’m being set up here, but that’s my favorite search term ever. I suspect it’s just a natural property, or maybe it’s that German accent combined with my unbridled masculinity. STOP LAUGHING.

far horizon traders review

My dear wife bought me a FHT leather satchel for my birthday almost two years ago, and it has worn in very nicely. It was very reasonably priced, very well made, and arrived quickly and well-packaged without any hinky business, so I’m giving FHT two thumbs up.

it’s not rape if she’s a tease

I don’t know why people need to keep pointing this out because it seems rather simple to understand as far as social yardsticks go:

If the other person said or indicated “no” at any point during the whole thing–if he or she didn’t freely consent and participate without any threat or use of force or coercion–then it’s motherfucking rape. I don’t care if she walked down the street stark naked except for a pair of six-inch heels–if you forced or coerced her in any way, it’s rape. It’s not that hard.

things you don’t want to hear at a gunshop

“Can I still buy a gun if I have a murder conviction?”

“I’ll take this one. According to prophecy.”

“Say, do you know when the bank across the street opens?”

“Uh, can I buy, like, just one bullet?”

“The Voices say I want that AR-15 carbine over there.”

“Don’t even try to rip me off. I know all about guns. I play Call of Duty every day.”

“I want that Taurus Judge. It’s a hand-held shotgun. You don’t even have to aim the thing.”

“This one is just like I used to carry in the teams. Why, this one time in Fallujah…”

“I need a clip for my gat.”

“Whaddaya mean, ‘background check’?”

“What kind of rifle would you use for a lying, cheating deer who ran off with your best friend?”

“Will this go through a cop’s vest?”

how to write a military novel

I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll recap because it’s really easy to write a military novel. Just write whatever novel you want, and then make an editing pass and insert ranks in front of every character name. Presto!

“Corporal Bella woke to find Lieutenant Edward watching her from the foot of her bed…”

And that’s the take for this week, friends and neighbors. Tune in again next week for a new round of Search! Term! Safari!

who keeps ordering those nightly pepperoni pizzas to corcoran state prison?

The California prison system released new pictures of Charles Manson, now 77. Turns out that a swastika tattoo between your eyebrows doesn’t really dress up your appearance at any age.

I want you to pay close attention to something mentioned in the article, though:

In the past five years, Manson was punished for threatening a peace officer and for possession of a weapon, the latter happening in October when Manson was found with a sharpened pen, Thornton said.

Manson received notoriety when he was found to be in possession of a contraband cell phone — twice — the latest in January 2011.

Read that again, and let’s recap:

This man is one of the nation’s most notorious mass murderers, if not the most notorious one. He is almost eighty, and he has been in prison for over forty years. He is in a place where the government has complete control over him and his environment. The Bill of Rights does not exist for him.

And they can’t keep him from repeatedly obtaining contraband cell phones.

If that doesn’t make you realize that the War on Some Drugs and the TSA security kabuki are complete bullshit, you can’t be helped. If they can’t keep a cell phone out of a septuagenarian’s high-security prison cell, they can’t keep anything out of anywhere.

my password? sure! it’s two words. first one starts with “f”.

I want to believe that the latest corporate idiocy–some hiring managers asking for Facebook passwords from prospective hires for the purpose of “background screening” them–is some sort of urban legend. Having worked in the corporate world for quite a while, I have to concede a better-than-even chance that this is actually taking place.

The problem that almost anyone with a brain and twelve seconds to think about that issue (which excludes 75% of all corporate mid-rank managers I’ve ever worked with) has already pointed out is that even if the candidates willingly surrender their Facebook password, the hiring manager leaves the company open to slam-dunk discrimination lawsuits. If you go through a candidate’s Facebook page and read that she is gay, and you don’t hire her–can you prove that you didn’t pass her over because of her sexual orientation? How about a candidate’s religion or marital status?

Obviously, this is a bad idea all around from a legal perspective. But there’s another aspect, one that immediately occurred to this former IT monkey and network administrator before he even considered the discrimination angle:

Do you, as a hiring manager, want to hire people who are willing to surrender the password to their private information at the mere prospect of a paycheck? if they let you snoop around in their lives just because you may hire them, what do you think they’ll do with your confidential corporate information–your trade secrets, your network passwords, your financial information–when they have a more concrete incentive?

Of course, the employee pool these days is made up to a fair degree of people who have been conditioned to walk through metal detectors, wear see-through backpacks, and submit without question to the school resource officer and his friendly Constitutional expert Rover, so I imagine that most job candidates fresh out of college wouldn’t even blink at such a request. But I’m a pessimist when it comes to stuff like that, which has the advantage that a.) you’re right more often than the optimist, and b.) you can only be surprised positively.