What a weak end to a week desperately in need of an ending.
And thus, a weekend is born.
Here we are.
I’ve got a new project I’m trying to get done, because it’s well nigh BBQ season and I’m just not feeling my Weber smoker anymore. It’s fine, I guess, but always a bit of a pain in the ass. The brick and mortar smokehouse is gone; I’m not going to try that again. From here on, I’m going to keep it non-permanent, which is a type of temporary I guess, but we’ll save that kind of talk for another time. The problem with the Weber is that 1) I have a bitch of a time keeping it at temp and 2) vertical smokers are by design direct smokers. I prefer indirect because it’s better on the food and with the proper design the fire doesn’t need much tending. The brick and mortar smokehouse was a horizontal, offset design and it worked phenomenally well.
There are tons of offset horizontal smokers on the market, but they cost a pretty penny and it’s no fun just buying something.
So I’m going to build myself an Ugly Drum Smoker.
Sure, it’s vertical, which means direct(ish) heat, but from everything I’ve read and seen, they’re airtight and keep a consistent fire for many, many hours. It doesn’t seem too complicated to build, but the one issue I have is trying to find a suitable 55 gallon metal drum to use. First, everything in Southern California is plastic. We’re awash in 55 gallon plastic rain reclamation barrels, but the metal ones seem to be a precious resource. Used ones get sold to scrap-metal hounds as soon as they’re posted to Craigslist or anywhere else online. It’s especially hard to find anything for the food-grade drums that are less likely to poison the food. Sure, I could buy a brand new, never-used drum, but between the cost for a new barrel and the cost to ship it to my door, plus all of the other components and hardware, it’d be cheaper just to buy on offset smoker.
So I guess the hunt is on.
In other news, everything kind of sucks, from the head down.
A buddy of mine was just given this as a wedding gift by his new father-in-law. He wanted to know what I thought of the gun, because he’s not too familiar. I told him I’d never had any experience with one, so we’re heading to the range this weekend to put it through the paces.
I don’t know, at first blush, I like the simplicity and the utility of it, but frankly I don’t have the hat to pull it off I think.
One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer
New Orleans Street Singer
Folkways Records | 1959
But the Feds will figure out a way.
They’ve got a crack team devising the Fee Schedule as we speak.
Besides, more and more, people are more than willing to go along for the ride at their own expense.
Anyway, I just want to note that it appears people are going especially nuts lately, both locally and nationally. As white hipsters buy out the landlords of latino gangbangers, a bit of a once-dormant gang war has re-emerged in these parts, scrapping over “turf” that’ll be over-run with artisanal cheese shops and avante-guard art galleries in just a matter of months, unless the bottom falls out of the real estate market before then, but what are the odds of that.
The crazy people on the Internets and the late night radio swear that what’s making everyone else crazy is the
Three-Wolf Shirt Four-Blood-Moon thing happening, or that happened, or that is about to happen. I really don’t know what in the Hell they’re prattling on about. But that’s their theory.
My theory is the theory you all are already familiar – too familiar – with at this point. It’s all going away, people can sense that, and everything else is just about charting a course through the chaos as we begin our descent down the southern slope of this nominal civilization. One interesting thing I’ve noticed, though, is that so far the ones predisposed to shirking the social imposition of participatory behavior are the ones seemingly most invested in everyone else adhering to it. For example, the old man who tried to pick a fight with me at the train stop the other day – 72 years old and frail and likely armed but extremely agitated – this man was looking for a fight, and will eventually find one that will be the end of him.
We can see this in the broad scope as well. The chick who seemingly faked her own abduction for some reason; the chick who tried to burn down a yoga studio for some reason; the woman who cut her husband’s penis off twice in a matter of hours for some reason – and that’s just off the top of my head from the past week. There’s more of this, much more.
A few years ago, when I was thinking about the coming decline, I’d incorrectly figured that the first people to give up the restraints of civilized behavior would be the thugs and predators out for increasingly easier prey. While this has been true to an extent, honestly it’s the people who I’d classify as weak that are the ones flipping their biscuits en masse.
That doesn’t mean much, it’s just an interesting note.
Keep your head on a swivel out there.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is recognizing Andreas Guenter Lubitz with inclusion in the prestigious FAA Airmen Certification Database … Transportation safety experts strongly recommend against flying with an uncertified pilot. FAA pilot certification can be the difference between a safe flight and one that ends in tragedy.
– Staff Report on Homicidal Co-Pilot’s ‘Prestigious’ 2013 FAA Certification
FAA recognizes Andreas Guenter Lubitz – Rheinland Pfalz-based pilot sets positive example
(September 18, 2013)
The BBC cans the popular, non-PC host of the mega-popular Top Gear, hunts down those who blew the whistle on a long-time pederast.
That’s hitting just about par, then.
Anyway, since that should pretty much do it for Top Gear as we know it, I suppose it’s worth sharing a couple of the better segments from the series:
Huckleberry Vs Our Simple Affirmative Action President – Down Goes Our Simple Affirmative Action President! Down Goes Our Simple Affirmative Action President!
That was anti-climactic, huh?
Not a crushing defeat, certainly, but due to several poor choices on the part of my opponent (something he’s certainly used to by this point), he put himself out of it early. Just a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation reveals that there is no way he can catch me, because while we both have three of our four Final Four teams remaining, we both have picked two of the same teams. His only divergence from me is Duke going to the Final Four, but that won’t be enough. Every other team he has slotted to move forward I also have slotted to move forward. He is entirely shut out of the East bracket with nothing there left to move.
I, on the other hand, still have a fairly good opportunity to run up the score, and I hope to do so with gleeful abandon, just as our friends from the poor side of Raleigh, the Wolf Pack of N.C. State did.
Rounds 1 and 2
Huckleberry – 35 of 48
Our Simple Affirmative Action President – 32 of 48
Huckleberry – 82
Our Simple Affirmative Action President — 72
Our Simple Affirmative Action President’s Bracket
Well hey, look, the desk calendar says its Friday already.
Not sure I believe that, but so be it.
Due to UCLA’s improbable win, they’ll be teeing off tomorrow morning, bright and early, a little too early to drink even for me, so what a waste of a good opportunity. But don’t you worry, there’s plenty of basketball and bourbon and beer and BBQ on Huckleberry’s horizon this weekend. Other than that, I came across two pretty cool things at yard sales in the neighborhood recently. One was a two-stage 50 gallon air compressor that I picked up for $20. Just needs a little cleaning and the motor needs a simple going through, and it should be good as new.
The other thing is a WWI Swedish bayonet that fits the Mauser M96 rifle, not that I own such a rifle. The bayonet in great shape, but you can tell by the nicks on the blade that it was used for something at some point. According to the stamps on it, it’s worth a couple of hundred bucks, I nabbed it for $10. Poor old lady didn’t know what she had, and neither did I until I looked up the stamps later.
Out in the world, it’s worth noting that the very same Swedes are pushing their interest rates even deeper into negative territory, which is a kind of inflation if you think about it. Coming soon to a central bank near you, I reckon.
Also, Our Simple Affirmative Action President seems super keen on mandatory voting, just like all those free countries like North Korea and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq have, so you can clearly see where they want to go. If it seems as though the maddening crowd is becoming even more mad, screeching ever louder and going indiscriminately crazy at the slightest perceived provocation, remember that it’s so not because this is a beginning, but because it is an end. Even the caterwaulers sense that the bluffs have now all been called, the antes have all been raised, and there’s nothing much more to do than to put the cards on the table and see who wins, who loses, and who folds.
High card wins
Have a great weekend, y’all.
Get ‘em in.
Honestly, milling and building this seems as much fun to me as the thought of firing it.
Maybe I’m just sick that way.
Hey Man, Nice Shot
Reprise Records | 1995
You hear a lot of puffery and mummery about the amazing AI/ROBO-DRONE revolution brewing in the back offices of Google and Pets.com that insists the cure to all of our ills is a set of machines that make people even more dependent and less responsible for the affairs of their lives. And surely I can think of no more perfect complement to a populace who can’t do any of the intellectual tasks of their predecessors than removing the culpability for ambulation as well:
Chris Urmson, the director of self-driving cars at Google, is committed to ensuring the driverless vehicles are standard within five years — because he wants his 11-year-old son never to have to take a driver’s test. “My team are committed to making sure that [driver’s test] doesn’t happen.”
Not that it’ll matter much where his son’s robot car takes him, since a robot will also be working the job he would have had, and everyone else’s jobs too. Honestly, though, for all the hullabaloo about self-driving cars and wirelessly connected toasters and smart refrigerators that monitor your caloric intake, I don’t think we’ll actually get there, because the intellectual downward trend has or will very soon cross the axis of that required to successfully design, implement and maintain such an automated and interconnected world. And that’s actually the worse-case scenario, because we’ll get all of this in half-measures and best-laid plans.
As for the robot cars themselves, there are two reasons why I don’t think they’ll be a thing for a very long time, if ever.
If you think a fully automated transit system of cars and roads will lead to safer roads, you are hopelessly naïve or utterly insane. The more complex the technical system, the more bugs and issues will inhibit them; it’s one thing to need a jump start, it’s another thing entirely to be stalled out because of a boot error or EMF interference.
The more prolific these systems get, the more valuable targets they’ll become to hackers – it’s all fun and games until the first engineered 500-car pile-up that none of the people in those cars could stop or avoid.
And the one thing that no one ever seems to mention but will absolutely act as the deciding factor is that you are more valuable to the systems that control you as a tool of revenue generation acting with full agency on public roads. Local municipalities and police forces are not going to let you Roving ATMs shirk that burden so easily, no matter how many wet dreams they have to kill over at Google.
Here it is, March Madness will shortly be in full swing.
So let’s get crazy. I’ll match up my NCAA bracket against his, and see if I come out on top again.
You’ll remember that last year, despite seemingly crushed at the outset, I managed to rally for a one-point victory, a veritable buzzer-beater that was surely – must have absolutely – been a dagger in the Islamic Shock’s calcified heart.
A couple of notes – because the idiot picked two specific play-in teams to advance, namely BYU and Dayton, I’ve left those spaces blank, as the former was eliminated and the latter won after I’d already formatted the PDF with Boise State up 10 with 4 minutes to play. If Dayton advances, I’ll credit Our Simple Affirmative Action President accordingly.
Second, I filled out my bracket independently, before I saw the one filled out on National Television by Our Simple Affirmative Action President. I didn’t try to be sly and game out my bracket based on his. So no funny business.
If I had my druthers, I’d insist the stakes for this matchup should be Winner Takes The Presidency, but to be honest a part of me fears that the O-Force would take me up on that bet, and then I’d actually win the damn thing.
Our Simple Affirmative Action President’s Bracket
I can’t even begin to count the ways in which actual existence is funnier than any humorous fiction could hope to be.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mitt “The Stormin’ Mormon” Romney vs Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield:
But instead of another campaign, Romney is jumping into the ring — an actual boxing ring — with ex-heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, a Romney aide confirmed on Monday. “It will either be a very short fight, or I will be knocked unconscious,” Romney told the Salt Lake Tribune. Romney, 68, will suit up and face the 52-year-old retired boxer for a charity event in Salt Lake City on May 15. But don’t expect a knockout, Romney said the pair will “spar around a little bit,” assuring that “it won’t be much of a fight.”
So it’ll be like all of The Stormin’ Mormon’s campaigns, then?