Archive for September, 2011

Quote of the day.

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

“Now let me tell ya,” he continued, “On television they’re always hitting the cap of the gun and fanning it real fast so it looks good.”

“I always aim before I shoot,” O’Brian answered.

“Why, that’s right!” Jennings said. “A man couldn’t hit a flock of barns shooting the way most of them movie gunmen do. He’d be jerking the gun so much that he wouldn’t be able to aim at anything.”

Actually, this is just an excuse to link this historical piece from the LAT, featuring Hugh O’Brian (who played Wyatt Earp in the ABC TV series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp”) and Al Jennings, “an admitted bank robber, train robber and cattle thief of the 1880s”.

What I like best about this piece is the huge photo at the top of Jennings and O’Brian shooting Colts, and the equally large photo at the bottom of Jennings, O’Brian, and two police officers.

“Jennings was showing Hugh O’Brian, TV’s Wyatt Earp, how Colts were handled in the old days when neighbors became alarmed, called police.”

Turn out the lights, the party’s over…

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

…and the Astros finish the season at 56-106.

Their .346 winning percentage doesn’t quite qualify for the list of worst teams in history, but we’re sure the Astros tried their best to make the list. We salute their efforts this season, and hold out hope for 110 losses next year.

Edited to add: We would like to point out that the Texas Rangers, our gold standard for futility in baseball, had the following records in their early years:

1972: 54-100, .350 winning percentage.
1973: 57-105, .351 winning percentage.
1974: 84-76, .525 winning percentage.

Yes, even at their most rock bottom and pathetic, the Rangers have never lost as many games in a year as the Astros did this year.

TMQ watch: September 27, 2011.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Did TMQ spend the off season reading epic fantasy novels? (WCD wonders if Easterbrook is a big Game of Thrones fan. But we digress.)

Seriously, “great heroes”? “Muscular men with square jaws”? “gleaming heroes”? Who is TMQ talking about? After the jump…


Case brief: Terry v. Ohio.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Posted for your mocking pleasure.

Here’s what 1276 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland looks like today, according to Google Street View:

View Larger Map

What wine goes with an extra-long cheese coney and tots?

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Chain restaurants like Sonic (in one location) and Burger King (at least in their Whopper Bars) have started offering beer and wine. Unfortunately, this has turned into a great pain for little benefit:

“Candidly, they’re not utilizing those products very much at this point,” he said. “It doesn’t look like it’s a big deal to consumers — it’s clear they come to us to have an extra-long cheese coney or an all-beef hot dog.”

(Our first thought is a big mouth-filling Cabernet. Other suggestions welcome in comments.)

The LAT asks the same musical question the FAA is asking: how do you keep planes from going into the crowd at Reno?

And the FBI apparently paid a deputy in the LA County Jail $1,500 to smuggle a cellphone in to an informant. You’re telling me a government agency would do something illegal? Why, the next thing I know, you’ll be telling me that government agents used form letters from BATFE to buy guns with taxpayer money, and then provided those guns directly to the drug cartels!

(Edited to add: Fox News. Hattip: Snowflakes in Hell.)

Nasty, big, pointy teeth! (#2 in a series)

Monday, September 26th, 2011

In this case I don’t think carrying your gun will be much use, sadly.

Young girl goes fishing in Tom Bass Park. Young girl catches fish. Fish turns out to be Pygocentrus nattereri, aka the red-bellied piranha.

Chron takes the opportunity to get hysterical about invasive species (including the freshwater stingray) suggesting that it “might” be possible for piranhas to survive a Texas winter.

But all it takes to get a box holding a dozen live, red-bellied piranhas or a freshwater stingray or any of dozens of fish banned in Texas delivered to a door in Texas is an Internet connection and a credit card.

The Chron won’t tell you, but we will. Here you go. And here’s your freshwater stingray.

Your loser update: week 3, 2011.

Monday, September 26th, 2011

NFL teams that still have a chance to go 0-16:

Kansas City
St. Louis

Approaching the end of the season, the Astros are currently at 55-104.

Who is killing the newspaper editors of Texas?

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Well, not killing, exactly. But Lawrence pointed out to me a few days ago that there’s a trend…

First, Christopher Lopez quit as editor of the El Paso Times after close to three years on the job.

Next, Fred Zipp quit the Statesman after eight years as editor.

And finally, Robert Rivard quit the San Antonio Express News after 14 years as editor.

I don’t quite know what to make of this. I don’t follow either the El Paso or San Antonio papers regularly, but I know Zipp presided over a large buyout of Statesman staff before resigning. (I also know the paper was up for sale at one point, but the owners didn’t get any offers that they liked.)

(Hattip other than Lawrence: TSFKA “Romenesko’s MediaNews”.)

Edited to add 9/25/2011: Things just got even more interesting. Brett Thacker, who was apparently the second-in-command at the Express-News, is also leaving. And two of the paper’s top columnists also resigned. The South Texas Pistolero has a very good post up over at his site covering these developments; I commend it to your attention.

Seriously, guys. Tecate?

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Three Covina men are behind bars after they allegedly stole a 30-pack of Tecate beer from a market and attempted to escape but crashed a car and hit an employee who chased them, then one ran through a car wash and another left behind his ID.

You couldn’t have found a better beer to steal, as long as you were stealing beer? I think we can make this a general rule of thumb: if it comes in a 30-pack, it isn’t worth screwing up the rest of your life for.

Also, what is up with that guy in the middle’s face?

Black comedy.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Last night in my “20th Century: Triumph and Tragedy” class, we were talking about World War I and the capping of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by the hapless Gavrilo Princip (who used a FN Model 1910 chambered in .32 ACP: yes, another John Moses Browning design).

One thing that I really wasn’t totally conscious of was that Princip was not acting alone; I think I read somewhere previously that someone had thrown a grenade at the archduke’s car, but missed, and filed that away deep in my subconscious.

Anyway, that someone was Nedeljko Čabrinović, who threw the grenade, missed the archduke’s car, hit the third car in the procession, and then…

To avoid capture, Čabrinović swallowed cyanide and jumped into the River Miljacka to make sure he died.

The blackly comic aspect of this is: the cyanide that Čabrinović, Princip, and the rest of the conspirators were carrying had expired, and all the pills did was make them vomit.

The river Čabrinović jumped into? It was 4 inches deep.

And, of course, the only reason Princip was able to shoot Ferdinand in the first place was that the Archduke’s driver turned down the wrong street, directly in front of Princip, and then stalled the car while trying to turn around. If Ferdinand had been in a Mercedes, would World War I have been averted? Or would it have been some other “damn thing in the Balkans“?

Geek update.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Remember when I noted that HP was bringing back the 15C?

Yeah. Well. I’ve been keeping an eye on their website since I posted that; the 15C has been in “coming soon, please keep checking back” status up until yesterday, when the status changed to “out of stock, please check back soon”.

A company called Samson Cables does have them listed on their website; I placed an order yesterday and it has supposedly shipped. (When I ordered mine, Samson Cables was charging a premium. But not a 50% premium. Not that I have anything against folks making a profit.) Updates will come when the package arrives.

TMQ watch: September 20, 2011.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

“Is Cam Newton already a football god?” Without even going past that headline, we’ll suggest that the answer is “No”: rather, Cam Newton is Gandalf the Grey, the NFL is Middle Earth, and the Lombardi Trophy is the One Ring.

Hey, it makes about as much sense as last week’s extended Narnia analogy.

After the jump, “yes” or “no” to TMQ’s question…