How Easy Is It To Buy An AR-15?

I bought this one today with no background check.

Nerf AR-15

Fires 9000 rounds per second. When will we learn?

 

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The Birmingham Zoo Hates Modern Conveniences.

Bham ZooImagine if you will, in Rod Serling’s voice, that you are in a line, a line for admittance to a zoo, a zoo in a suburban setting. You are told by the ticket checker that you may keep your drink, a drink sitting in the cup holder of a Graco brand stroller. “But,” says the attendant, “you have to throw away the straw and lid.”

There are all manner of idiocies that we endure as a matter of course in our daily lives. We rarely question them and are less likely to have the time to do so when parenting. But such is life with a three year old: your zoo experience is either filled cradle to grave with “What’s that,” “Can I have _____?” and “Is that poop?” or with near napping silence.

Silence was mostly the case yesterday, which allowed me a lot of time to pontificate on the subject of straw/lid prohibition. Continue reading

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The Press of the Infinite Black

My wife’s latest short story is up. Enjoy.

Rene Sears

I’m delighted to say that my story “The Press of the Infinite Black” is live at Galaxy’s Edge magazine, available to read now on the internet, or in print or digital from Amazon or B&N.

This story started out as one thing and then morphed over the course of writing it. (This happens to me a lot.) This one started out as the relationship between a girl and her starship computer when everyone else is hibernating, but over the course of writing it, I realized that what she was leaving behind and what she was going to would have more impact on her.

I’m very grateful to Mike Resnick for buying the story. It’s an amazing ToC that I’m honored to be a part of.

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I Got a Pro Trump Email, and I Fixed It.

Gmail-LogoI received a viral email touting the supposed virtues of Donald Trump. I give you the email in it’s entirety, with italic commentary by me in brackets:

Peggy Noonan wrote about Trump this weekend in her Wall Street Journal Column

Trump – Things You Might Not Know About Him

[I’m a big fan of Peggy Noonan. That’s why I knew right away that this was not written by her. For one, she’s a good writer. Who ever put this load together is not. It may be that she wrote about him the weekend before this nonsense was committed to pixels, but this is not what she wrote.

Secondly, “RINOs” is a dead giveaway. Few outside of the Trumpenproletariat use the term RINOs anymore. For a while it was used by conservatives to describe more liberal members of the party, Chris Christie et al. But as Jonah Goldberg said, only 40 or so percent of Republicans describe themselves as conservative. He was kidding about it, but he rightly pointed out that it’s conservatives who are RINOs because they are in the minority.

That is until the self described anti-free trade, pro-censorship, anti-constitutionalist yahoos that like Trump because “At least he fights!” whatever that means, picked up the mantle and declared themselves “Conservative.” You can put a feather in your cap, but that doesn’t make you macaroni.

Third, Noonan’s columns are available for all to see here. Guess what’s not among them. If you want to know the true author of “Trump – Things You Might Not Know About Him” you can Google the title. Turns out the article wasn’t an article at all. It was a post on investorvillage.com (linked here) by someone known as bigjake59. I’m not certain as to whether he speaks only for himself or for the 58 previous bigjakes, but it’s not quite the endorsement that Peggy Noonan would be. Of course it’s possible that bigjake59 copied this from another non-Noonan writer, but I’m not putting in the effort to do anything but show that the WSJ this aint.

As if the WSJ, or Noonan for that matter, would use numbered paragraphs.] Continue reading

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Another from The Rah-Rah Football Site.

Thank You Jim, Doug, and LaneI know, I know. But I should be praised for my restraint. My team just won the national championship for the fourth time in seven years. That’s pretty good cover for some obnoxious behavior that I didn’t engage in.

I did take some time to thank the play callers for, well… you can read about it here. There’s lamentations about passing and my stuttering blues career to boot.

We’re all lucky that this is not a post about the new dashboard for WordPress or how they think we want to format pictures in our posts. That would be a vicious invective about tiny little people who messed with something that wasn’t broken to justify their positions. This post is not about that. Football. Not the pictures I can’t show. Football.

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And Alexander Wept For There Were No More Sharks To Jump.

Credit: Notions Capital (Flickr Creative Commons)

Credit: Notions Capital (Flickr Creative Commons)

This has been a glorious week for Trump watchers.

First came a letter from The Donald’s personal physician of thirty-nine years, Dr. Harold Bornstein, who seems to have the same penchant as his gilded patient for superlatives.

“If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” may be the good doctor’s best line, evoking, as it does, the image of an exhausted but determined Harold Bornstein studiously poring over one-hundred and sixty year old medical records to see if Franklin Pierce was ever proscribed a vinegar tincture. Since surely men of science don’t just throw around words like “unequivocally” we can all rest easy in the knowledge that the GOP front runner is a finer physical specimen, troubled only by a brief bout of bone spurs that spared the Viet Cong from a huuuuuuugggge thumping, than not just soldiers like Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower but also collegiate athletes like Gerald Ford. Continue reading

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Meatballs From The Rah-Rah Football Site!

RBR Meatballs CaptureSince my most recent tailgating post over at rollbamaroll.com went up today I suppose that I should get around to linking to last week’s SEC Championship Game post. Long story short: it’s about meatballs and we won the game.

I also snuck in a pretty nice pseudo recipe (by which I mean I suggested a few things to spread on toast together) and kind of explained how to make a very tasty tomato-watermelon gazpacho that should under no circumstances be used as a Bloody Mary mix.

In the above paragraph, the WordPress spellcheck has come out against “snuck,” underlining it in a disapproving wavy red. Per The Grammarist, a web site I have never heard of until just now, “Snuck is new, originating in the U.S. in the early 20th century, but it has become remarkably common across all main English varieties.”

The early 20th century may be new by linguistic standards but that still means the word has been around nigh on a century before WordPress’s spellcheck dictionary. Get with the program guys.

I won’t go on about language anymore right now because I’m planning a post for later this week on something grammatically ridiculous that my wife insists is correct and one language rant per week is enough. Suffice it to say, she has lost her damn mind.

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The Right to Bear Arms

Charles Cooke put up an excellent article over at The Washington Post. To often the debate over guns becomes a debate about the second amendment rather than the natural right to self defense, from both harm and tyranny, that the amendment was supposed to protect.

At the time of the American founding, it was widely understood that there was a real danger in a government’s attempting to deprive the people of what Alexander Hamilton called their “original right of self-defense.” This is why, when it came to writing the Constitution, the anti-Federalists, who feared the government’s potential to become corrupt, refused to sign on to a more powerful national government until they had been promised certain explicit protections. Then, as now, their logic was clear: It makes no sense to allow the representatives of a free people to disarm their masters.

It’s important to remember that this is not an argument just about the right to own a thing. It’s about your right to life and liberty and the relationship between the state and the citizens that empower it.

Right now the president and his cadre want to take away the rights of those who end up on a list of suspected terrorists. No burden of proof is required. There is no appeal. If suspicion falls upon you, your rights are forfeit and you cannot own a gun.

This is actually being taken seriously by those predisposed to see guns as an evil. But what about your other rights. If the rights protected by the second amendment can be denied without due process, why not those protected by the first? If someone submits your name can you be forced to quarter troops? Denied your vote? You are, after all, on a list.

 

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Some Too Late Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers

RBR Leftovers captureNow that your turkey is past its eat by date I might as well post my leftovers article from rollbamaroll.com. You’re welcome.

It’s not completely useless. Christmas is coming up and I hear that some people bypass the preferable leg of lamb for turkey to mark that occasion. If you’re among that tribe, cut and paste the link and keep it in your hope chest or wherever until boxing day.

I’ve got another one of these RBR Tailgating posts coming up today: Meatballs for the SEC Championship Game Saturday against Florida. It’s hard to believe, but there are at best only three games left for the Tide this season, at worst two.

The season goes by too quickly. I feel like a kid in early August. Whatever fun you have is overshadowed by the knowledge that vacation is coming to an end and school looms.

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I’ve Hopelessly Complicated Something as Simple as a Hot Dog!

CaptureExclamation point indeed. You can read all about it at the rah-rah football site, but the long and the short of it is that I attempted to recreate Birmingham’s iconic “special dog” and ended up making a sauce that’s just that much better than any hot dog sauce I’ve ever had.

I don’t often brag on my concoctions, but this seriously has me wondering if the recipe is scalable and if so, how to get it bottled and on the grocery store shelves.

As it turns out, condiment king fantasies are a lot better than lottery winner fantasies. Embedded in the lottery fantasy is that inevitable moment at the country club or the mayor’s fundraiser when someone turns up a nose and says something along the line of “I don’t know why he’s here. It’s not like he earned anything.” And there isn’t a very good retort to that. “I risked two dollars on a ticket at a Stuckey’s!” doesn’t quite cut it.

But, as a condiment king, if you are at that same country club or mayoral function and your right to be present is questioned, you just pull back your seersucker jacket to reveal the revolver at your side and bellow “Sir. I say sir. Ima hafta take umbrage at that there disparagement!” and challenge him to a duel.

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