Sunday, March 25, 2007

“Things That Should Not Surprise Anyone (But Probably Will)”

I've been tagged by the Unforgiving Minute with a Meme (hot damn! first one...), the topic of which is: “Things That Should Not Surprise Anyone (But Probably Will)”.

1) Having a medical doctorate does not automatically imbue the receiver with wisdom, sagacity, compassion, or, most of all, common sense.

2) Spending $25,000 on a chromed-out Harley-Davidson that you ride on the weekends with your HOG friends doesn't make one a biker.

3) Buying a $2000 customized handgun doesn't confer god-like handling and accuracy skills upon the operator.

4) Equality of medical care does not equal quality medical care.

5) Being wealthy, "social elite", and in the legislature does not make guarantee any relation to informed, reasonable, or practical legislation.

The Saudi Morals Police: Keeping You Safe From Witchcraft Since 1926

RIYADH, 25 March 2007 — The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice is Saudi Arabia’s morality police. Its members roam the streets day and night looking for offenders of morality from both sexes. They randomly enter malls, restaurants and local and private establishments to enforce proper moral conduct. They also have the power to close shops during prayer times and asking people to attend prayers in mosques. In addition, they enforce the rule of gender segregation in public areas — with the exception of malls and hospitals. They also have the authority of confiscating material which they consider inappropriate to the Kingdom’s moral values. This material includes a wide variety of books and photos, pornographic material, sculptures, etc.

Hmm...shades of Monty Python:

NOBODY expects the SpanishIslamic Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope Prophet.... Our *four* *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise....

Q: What is the commission doing to catch sorcerers in Saudi cities. And what is their fate after they are caught? Could you tell us how many of them were caught this year and their locations? And what about the magic spells that are thrown into the Red Sea? How are these spells broken?

A: The commission plays a large role in capturing people who practice sorcery or delusions since these are vices which affect the faith of Muslims and cause harm to both nationals and expatriates. The commission has assigned centers in every city and town to be on the lookout for these men. As for their fate, they are arrested and then transferred to concerned authorities. The commission also has a role in breaking magic spells, which are found in the sea. We cooperate with divers in this aspect. After the spells are found, they are then broken using recitations of the Holy Qur’an. We do not use magic to break magic spells, as this is against the teachings of Islam as mentioned by the Supreme Ulema. But we use the Qur’an as did the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Once again, shades of Monty Python.

Direct to you from the cradle of Islam, via Arab News, The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily.

hat tip to Maverick News Media

Sunday Ugly Gun Post

This week, I present to you the companion piece to last week's ugly gun. Now, Dymphna at Gates Of Vienna has made the point that last week's gun wasn't really ugly, it more a matter of testosterone warping my aesthetic appreciation. Bowing down to the generally superior sense of fashion women have, I submit the Hello Kitty Personal Defense Pistol.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A Public Disservice

I recently read a post by Micheal Yon about his being evicted from his quarters in Iraq in his post here.

I sometimes think we have some high-ranking officers that don't don't give a damn about if we win this war; what's important is that they have absolute control over their particular fiefdoms, Lord and Master of all they survey. I was often told in the Guard that shit rolls downhill. After reading about the good Brigadier General Vincent K. Brooks, it's apparent that individual turds sometimes float to the top.

I'm doubtful that it will help, but I wrote and emailed this after reading Mr. Yon's dispatch:

Dear Senator xxxxxxxxxx:

I'm writing to you as a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-2004. I served with the 109th Medical Battalion near Mosul and at LSA Anaconda near Baghdad during that time. Those experiences brought home to me how different the reporting on the war can be from what is being experienced by the troops on the ground.

One of the best sources of information on our military units in Iraq, Michael Yon, is being denied access to facilities needed to deliver stories on the daily events occurring there. Mr Yon has covered various regions and units in Iraq, funded only with his own resources and donations from the readers of his website. The resulting reports have given our citizens a look at the military operations and living conditions at the soldiers level, rather than canned reports from journalists who rarely leave the security of their Green Zone accomadations. His reporting has been widely compared to famed World War II journalist Ernie Pyle for his willingness to place himself at risk to report the stories of our service members in the field.

Unfortunately, Brigadier General Vincent K. Brooks, who used to be the Chief of Public Affairs, has decided that Mr. Yon's reporting is not acceptable to him. Thus, he has evicted him from the small trailer used as a secure area to store the cameras, computers, and other personally purchased equipment. Internet access, essential to independly posting reports, is no longer allotted to him. He now scrapes by on the generosity of individuals willing to give him a few moments of access at random times to post his stories. This goes beyond being a disservice to one independent journalist. It denies our citizens a high quality source of information on current events, necessary to an informed opinion on one of the most important activities our nation is engaged in. As an example of this, please read one of his posts here:

which demonstrates the value of his reporting.

I urge you to look into this. Mr. Yon provides a voice for our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen. He gives our citizens a set of eyes and ears on the ground so that we may know what our familiy members and friends are experiencing without being filtered through a military or civilian Public Relations agenda. He's worth far more than what he's asking: a small room with internet access.

Sincerely Yours,


I hope something reverses this situation. He's one of the few honest dealers of information we have.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

More Fine Musical Selections

Only 13.5 hours of working on hearts today! What will I do with all this spare time? Once again, I wasn't allowed to touch the stereo system in the vascular lab. Thus, for the first few hours I got to listen to vintage '50's "Doo Wop". Personally, I think there's a lot of music from that era that's really good. Jerry Lee, Elvis (pre-fat), etc. But song after song of some guy singing in a falsetto, then hitting a bunch high notes like he's getting a prostate exam from Arsenio Hall gets old fast (if you can't tell why you don't want a guy like him on the giving side of a prostate exam, you've never had one). Later in the afternoon, I had a totally new music experience: Frankie Yankovic, the world's scariest looking accordian player. I associate polka music The Crusher, a professional wrestler out of Minnesota in the '80's who used it as theme music. Not with a physician screwing electrical leads into diseased heart tissue.

The time is coming: I will inflict my personal collection of Johnny Cash and Tool on the unappreciative masses in the lab. No complaints allowed.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Musical Torture

Worked 14 1/2 hours doing hearts (internal defibrillators/cardiac ablations) today. That's a long day, but tolerable anymore. What is soul-crushing however, is being forced to listen to the following soundtracks over those 14.5 hours:

Mary Poppins; The Music Man; various Elvis tracks (don't mind this, not that I own any); South know you're tired when "Gonna Wash That Man Outta My Hair" comes on and you start singing "gonna stomp that man right into the ground/gonna chain whip him for coming around" and announce you will be creating a new biker musical using all the melodies from South Pacific (Was forced to see this live starring Robert Goulet during my first marriage. Not conducive to happy thoughts, other than an old Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Will Ferrel as Robert Goulet, which gives me flashbacks to being drunk on Iraqi moonshine in a moldy tent, watching the sketch on a laptop with 14 other guys at the same time.); Grease.

I was able to shoehorn some Best of Santana in there for an hour to preserve my sanity. Also, I've had to listen to an approximately eight year old Ron Howard sing Gary, Indiana enough times that I permanently have a pathological hatred of that song. Tomorrow I will have to listen to much Hendrix(NSFW) to counteract the horrible feminizing effects.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

(h/t to The War On Guns)

A long time ago, I was a police reservist in a small town. I have a lot of sympathy for police trying to do their job, as they deal with a lot crap on a daily basis. It takes a lot not to become cynical, resentful, and generally fed up with humanity. However, being a gun owner, and a devout believer in "leave me the hell alone / don't screw with me & I won't screw with you" philosophy of life, I have no sympathy when those individuals with egos bigger than their brain abuse their badge. Extra points to the homeowner for unorthodox use of a taser.

It's good to know not all judges are convinced the Constitution is a "living document" open to local changes upon the judiciary's whim.

Bringing A Whole New Meaning To The Term "Foot Fetish"

Safe for work, although disturbing in new and unusual ways.

Hat tip to Garfield Ridge.

Sunday Ugly Gun Post

It's the same color as the Pepto Bismol I want after looking at it!

Friday, March 16, 2007

felony castration without malice and felony maiming without malice

No. 1: I would have never, never, been able conceive of coming up with the arrangement of words in the title through my own imagination.

No. 2: It gets weirder (h/t to Ace of Spades).

One Big Melting Pot

Customer service and faith clash at registers. I wonder if this gives left wing bacon lovers a headache: on one hand, this person is imposing their religious beliefs on other people, in public; a behavior frowned upon by the "enlightened" in our current society. On the other hand, as a living example of diversity (all hail diversity), we should respect this person's important cultural contribution that enriches us all.

If your convictions conflict with your job, get another job. In my career field, there are some procedures I would not be part of. That's why I work for an employer that doesn't do those things. Yes, there's actually a point past which I'm not willing to whore myself, and would have to quit. I understand when your personal beliefs make you refuse to engage in a behavior. Doesn't mean that actions don't have consquences.

The UN: Bringing Peace & Security (to everywhere no one will hurt them).

Gunmen attempt to kidnap UN refugee mission chief in Gaza: Fox News is reporting that now the UN will withdraw from Gaza, as the locals apparently don't appreciate their efforts. Here is one of the fundamental reasons I laugh at people who think black helicopters and blue helmets will ever be a threat: the UN runs from conflict faster than a greasy burrito through a spastic colon.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Death By Work

I think my employer is trying to kill me through my job. Go in early, put on non-breathing, full wrap 20 pound lead apron, set up sterile field/table, assist physician for a couple hours during case, clean room/process images as fast as possible, get next patient and repeat until several hours after scheduled end of workday. Go home, sit down, come back in middle of night to do some more, then go home: repeat process all next day.

I've got a lead apron that looks like it's developing unknown lifeforms on the lining, and it's generating interesting smells depending on the room temperature.

I wonder if my local library has any openings for a job requiring sitting in a chair for hours on end with an occasional foray into the stacks?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Germany Being Overrun By Unwelcome Immigrants

See the whole story here. I see they're congregating in cities, as there's less chance of being shot there. Just like other types of opportunistic scavengers!

Sunday Ugly Gun Post

Another former Arisaka, this one apparently sacrificed by arts and crafts dabblers. This has got to be a rifle for display only; you'd hate to take the risk of getting a scratch on the stock out in the field.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Apparently, Miracles Do Happen

(Photo by Oleg Volk, A Human Right)

Apparently Washington D.C. residents are having firearms rights restored to them. I never, never thought I would actually see this happen. This popped up on MSN when I got home from work. I'm ecstatic for these people, as it's been decades since honest citizens have been able to legally protect themselves. I expect there will be a wave of purchases, along with surge of "blood in the streets" editorials in their local media. Note the quote in the article:

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty said the ruling could put more guns in the hands of young people. "I am personally deeply disappointed and quite frankly outraged by today's decision," he said. "Today's decision flies in the face of laws that have helped decrease gun violence in the District of Columbia."

If this doesn't demonstrate someone who's living in an alternative reality, nothing does.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Latest Purchase From The MODs

Photo courtesy of The Russian Mosin Nagant Page

Last weekend our local gun club held it's annual gun show at the fairgrounds. Rotten weather diminished both the number of vendors and customers, but for our area, it was still worth going. Although the prevalent arm at these shows is the 12 gauge sporting shotgun, there's usually a small but consistent number of milsurp dealers. This time I was I was torn between an ancient Italian infantry rifle that had been arsenal(Terni) converted from it's original blackpowder chambering to 6.5mm and an impressively refurbished Soviet M-44. The Italian, which had seen a lot of wear, was missing the front sight blade, and used the Mannlicher clip system of loading. However, it was an unusual find for this area, and had an almost baroque appearance that I love in the old blackpowder cartridge arms. The price tag was $200. The M-44 was fairly common, and of standard Mosin appearance (which, in my view, is somewhat inelegant). In it's favor: Excellent arsenal refinishing, matching numbers, came off the production line in 1944, The Wife thought the wood was "pretty", I have and can easily get more ammunition for it, and $95 out the door. The M-44 won, and feels like a pretty good deal compared to the same or worse condition M-44s a couple blocks away at the local Fleet Farm for a hair under $200.

Have No Fear, The TSA Is Here

Thank goodness we have the Transportation Safety Authority to keep us safe since 9/11. Otherwise these guys might have smuggled some boxcutters or nailclippers. You know, the really dangerous stuff.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Dumb & Volunteering Not To Reproduce

If you're stupid enough to volunteer for this, you deserve to be shot in the 'nads.

Monday, March 5, 2007

How Varmint Hunting Should Be Done

This gives me a serious case of envy.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Personal Avatars

Sent The Wife a Southpark avatar I made for her (above). The Wife wanted to know how to make one for herself. Sent her here, and this is what she came up with. I was suprised when, as she's not military nor as interested in guns as I am, she said "this is me when they come to get the guns". I have a great wife.

Sunday Ugly Gun Post

Here's an Arisaka a home craftsman got his hands on. This was in an antique shop in eastern Iowa, available for the low, low price of $250. Now all it's good for is replacement parts, or to complement that nice leg lamp in your living room.

Without Recourse To The Law

If true, this is sickening (h/t to Gates of Vienna). I'm inclined to believe it based on my experiences in a town I once worked in. We had a fair number of non-english speaking hispanic employees of the local egg production industry come through our health clinic for various problems (such as the first time I ever shot a chest x-ray that showed active tuberculosis). While my relation to these folks involved imaging for respiratory problems and on the job injuries (such as the man who complained about his arm aching after falling at work; I think it had more to do with with the very poorly healed fracture and deformed bullet lodged in the bone...Me to Translator: Has he ever been shot? Translator to Me: He says no, never) I ended up doing some firearms training for one of the female healthcare providers when she started receiving threats from a portion of that population. Apparently it had to do with her knowledge of several rapes and beatings of women at the plant who felt that reporting this to law enforcement wasn't an option for them. Not to mention that the above translator (employed by said egg production facility) was later arrested by the State Patrol after shooting his ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend, snatching his (traslator's) daughter by the woman at gunpoint, and running for Mexico down the Interstate.

While I'm not in favor of the currently lax efforts of the Federal government in enforcing our immigration laws, NO woman or child should be subjected to this. My gut feeling is that this would be an excellent training opportunity for scout-sniper teams to practice their observation skills reporting border crossings, and their shooting skills the moment some subhuman filth engages in assault and rape.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Drive On

3.5 hours of clearing snow today. I am truly sick of this.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Crap Storm

Got a call at work from my wife telling me we had some water dripping down down one of our walls. Boss lady lets me head home to evaluate problem. Walked out the hospital doors into a two-block visibility snow storm. Arrive at home, and yes, there is a small drip coming from where a vent pipe is housed. A suspicion starts to form. Said vent is on top of the flat roof of our addition. Memory serving, vent is about eight inches high, give or take. Time to squeeze ample butt through a second story window and evaluate this in person. Hmm, window seems to have shrunk since the last time I was through it last summer. Where's the vent? Oh wait, I think I see part of the top of it. Yep, that's it. Ok, start digging with snow shove I've brought with. Oops, plastic shovel is bouncing of the hard packed snow. OK, I'll try further out. Repeat previous two sentences about five times until I'm at edge of roof, where I'm able to get some leverage. Under the foot of alternating layers of heavy wet snow and compacted sleet, is a nice layer of ice at least an inch thick left from last week's major storm. Shovel snow off roof over to buried vent. Begin wondering, how much weight is actually on the roof right now? Decide I'd rather not think about that. Clear away snow covering most of the vent. Now I need to get the ice up, since I can see water moving around under it when I'm walking. Go back to edge of roof and begin carefully breaking up ice without damaging rubber roofing surface. Break shovel #1. Crawl through window, go get shovel #2, go back through window doing graceful Parachute Landing Fall on snow on roof. Clear away ice, check roof, looks okay. Decide to remove more snow and ice from roof to diminish weight. Get half of the snow off, break shovel blade #2, and try to commit suicide by slicing wrist on broken plastic handle at same time. Decide it may be time to see how the leak inside is doing at this point. Go through window, decide to rest in bathtub under window for few minutes since I'm laying in it flat on my back anyway. Get up, stagger downstairs. Behold!! Leak has stopped. Reward self with extended sit on couch and computer time. Decide not to go outside anymore today unless life depends on it.