Sunday, June 29, 2008

Solomon Kane

Oh, this could be good. Really good. Especially with James Purefoy (aka Marc-Antony in the HBO series Rome) playing the lead. As long as it doesn't go the Van Helsing route, I'm excited.


As an R. E. Howard fan, I hate to admit that I've never read any of his Solomon Kane stories. Time for a Half-Price Books visit. And if the artwork is any indication, this is gonna be good stuff ...

Taking a stand

Husband and I went to a movie on Friday, and some teenage twerps in the back of the theater started pelting our row with candy. Not the worst thing to ever befall humanity, but it was rude and uncivilized -- and a gummi-bear thrown with appreciable velocity can sting. My immediate reaction was annoyance, but I ignored it thinking it would stop. Husband meanwhile was getting agitated. When it didn't stop, I wanted to move to another seat. My husband's instinct, however, was to go wring some necks. This upset me, which was weird. I'm all for self-defense, and especially for the civilizing of teenage barbarians, but here I was being Neville Chamberlain and thinking it would all just go away if we ignored it. So I left to get the manager, and when the little jerks saw this they ran out of the theater. My husband followed them out, cornered them by the restrooms, and gave them his scary soldier's glare and told them that if it happened again he was going to break some necks. Brown-trousers time for the little thugs, and they swore they'd never do it again.

What was so odd was my immediate instinct to: 1) ignore; 2) run away; 3) balk at the idea of taking a stand. I think this is what drives much of the gun-grabbing and anti-self-defense, let-the-police-take-care-of-it attitude. Who wants to cause a ruckus? It's scary and messy. If we ignore it, it will just go away. Well, no, it won't -- thugs get emboldened every time people fail to take a stand. How about letting the authorities take care of it? Leave alone the fact that the police can't be everywhere, I remember reading an interview with incarcerated criminals, and they said that getting caught by police wasn't what scared them. In fact, getting scolded and thrown out by a theater manager is probably a badge of honor for little badasses, but having your mortality brought to your immediate attention by an angry, scary man who isn't worried about a lawsuit is a whole different thing. Looking back, I'm quite pleased my husband took care of it. It's likely the thugs will recall The Great Gummi-bear Incident of '08 before pestering folks for sport again.

The key is balance. The peaceniks are right about one thing -- violence isn't the solution to everything. So my influence on my husband has been a civilizing one (i.e. he doesn't get into bar-fights and street-fights anymore), but I need to let him prevail in situations like this, because, for all the discomfort rocking the boat causes, the world needs men scaring the daylights out of junior barbarians.

Firefly Season 2?

I just noticed that Kevin at TSM has a link to "Firefly Season 2" in his sidebar, and it looks like someone is trying to drum up support for a on-demand version of a second season for the cancelled show. I quite liked Firefly, but something about it bothered me that I could not quite articulate at the time -- and I find, several months after first watching the episodes, that I am not returning to watch them the way I do with Star Trek. Last month Vox Day posted some thoughts on why the show failed, and I agree with at least two of his points: there needed to be more world-building and the forced characterizations did not work (the few that existed in Star Trek did not work, either, but the worst offender -- Tasha Yar in Next Gen -- quickly left the series).

My own opinion: another reason the show failed to catch on was the tone of its sexual content. Star Trek did not shy away from sexuality -- there were plenty of exotic and sensual characters, and Kirk and Riker must have each bedded a different woman every other week -- yet there was something sweetly goofy about the way sexuality was handled on Star Trek that made it all in good fun. But in Firefly it felt smutty, and while that may appeal to a particular demographic, it turns off others in droves. It turned me off, especially the "companion" character. Based on my extensive study of the matter (interviewing myself), I find that the typical geeky female sci-fi fan (me) cannot identify with an overly-feminine glorified prostitute. In fact, I found myself grinning with morbid glee when the brothel-tarts were getting blown-away in one episode, and the lesbian bit in another episode -- which seemed like a blatant appeal to a certain demographic -- made me go blecccchhhh. If a second season is forthcoming, I hope the smut-factor is dialed down. Way down.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Leap of faith

Russell Crowe on his decision to be baptized at age 43

“I do believe there are more important things than what is in the mind of a man,” Crowe said. “There is something much bigger that drives us all. I’m willing to take that leap of faith.”

Same reason I converted.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What happens to the gun-ban crowd when crime fails to rise in DC?

So here's my prediction, that crime in DC will not rise after the locals start arming themselves. What will the gun-ban folks say when that happens? I heard the mayor of Atlanta, Georgia talking on NPR today about how they won't feel safe if their handgun ban is overturned by the courts. I didn't even know Atlanta had a handgun ban, and I can't seem to find anything about it online. Maybe they're referring to the ban on carry in parks that was just overturned.

Anyway, the question still stands. When gun-ownership in DC inevitably goes up, and crime remains the same or drops, what will they say? This is a very good opportunity for a demonstration of the guns != crime mantra. On the other hand, if the economy dips we could see an increase in crime, especially in a cesspool like DC, so that might work against us. I think in the long run we will see crime remain the same or decrease in DC. Time will tell.

Carry on!

Indeed! You know Google would never change their stupid logo to reflect this remarkable decision. I swiped this from Kevin, BTW, because I find that I am quite fond of this image:

Carry on!


I do love me a manly-man

... especially when he's protecting a woman. Tim McGraw drags a fan onstage and nearly belts him for roughing up a woman in the audience.

(Bonus material in the vid: Scarlett Johansson is taking part in the political process -- I'm so excited!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Euphemisms? We don't need no euphemisms

A couple of months ago I got grumpy about euphemisms vis-à-vis a post at SayUncle about a "gentlemen's" barbershop. To quote myself
If you like to indulge in something, own it. Call it what it is. In that spirit, I offer the following to any entrepreneur who wants to open his own barber shop that appeals to a certain kind of man: Titty McGee's Good-Time Haircuttin' Shop.
A little tongue-in-cheek, but mostly not.

Then I see today, by way of Lileks, that some Minnesota screwball who managed to get himself shot dead in a courtroom was similarly unenamored of euphemisms. He was a purveyor of pornography with a store called "Lookin’ Fine Smut and Porno." In the spirit of fairness, I've got to give credit where credit is due. No attempt whatsoever to put a refined face on that. And I love Lileks' own suggestion: "Smut and Nothin' But."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Do you feel lucky?

Please welcome Dirty Harry's Place to the Fudge blogroll. After a two-year stint as guest-writer/commentator/movie critic at conservative film blog Libertas, Harry has struck out on his own. This'll definitely be a daily read.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back from the woods

I made it home from shoot-fest 2008 out in the woods. Here's a short video clip of me shooting a reactive target with my Savage .300 Win Mag. The target is kinda little, as it's the first one we tried. It's out at 100 yards sitting on the stump to the left of the paper target. I also enjoy the sounds of gunfire while I'm talking after the shot. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Heading back to the hills

Oh, what fun was had last year up at my buddy's cabin. Well, it's that time of year again. Lots of shooting fun, hiking, and drinking beer around the campfire with a bunch of rednecks. What could be better?

That's me shooting my Ko-tonics barreled AR-15 in 6.8 SPC up at the cabin last year. I just checked and I have exactly three rounds of .300 Win Mag loaded up, so I need to put some time in on my press today before I head up tomorrow. Good thing I checked!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Grow-ops in national parks

In the post at MM (see below), I get the not-so-new news that national parks are prime growing grounds for drug cartels
"This is massive-scale agriculture that is threatening the very mission of the national parks, which is to preserve the natural environment in perpetuity and provide for safe public recreation," says Bill Tweed, chief naturalist at Sequoia National Park. "[Growers] are killing wildlife, diverting streams, introducing nonnative plants, creating fire and pollution hazards, and bringing the specter of violence. For the moment, we are failing both parts of our mission, and that is tragic."
I lean towards libertarianism when it comes to drug use (particularly marijuana) -- but as a mildly-crunchy conservative, this really pisses me off. Next time I see some ecologically-minded peacenik toke up, I'll be tempted to punch him in the face.

Carry laws for national parks

There's a post at Michelle Malkin's blog about a proposition to extend state gun laws to national parks.

If you’re interested in this story, the Interior Department’s regulations are open to “public comment” through the end of June and their decision will reflect the amount and quality of mail they receive. You can add your own comment on the issue here.
How about some comments from the pro-2A blogosphere? Spread the word.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hollywood, Here I Come

That Ph.D. thing is already coming in handy. I get to be a scientific research consultant for a major motion picture*.

(*I need to check the non-disclosure agreement before I advertise what it is. It's probably fine, but just in case.)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Another Mass Knife-Attack in Japan

Seems mass murderers are not deterred by a lack of guns

A man police said was on a murder mission plowed into pedestrians with a truck in a crowded Tokyo neighborhood Sunday and then stabbed 17 people in three minutes, killing at least seven in a grisly attack that shocked Japan.


A 25-year-old man, Tomohiro Kato, was arrested with blood on his face. Police said Kato provided no motive for the attack -- other than he wanted to murder strangers.


Once rare, stabbing attacks have become more frequent in Japan in recent years as violent crime has increased. In March, one person was stabbed to death and at least seven others were hurt by a man who went on a slashing spree with two knives outside a shopping mall in eastern Japan.

The article also mentions the 2001 mass knife-attack at a school. And remember the 1995 Tokyo subway mass poison-attack?

Private ownership of guns is severely restricted in Japan. The problem of violence therefore isn't, as many assume, access to guns -- it's people who are intent on committing violence. When you restrict one type of weapon, criminals simply switch to something else. The one thing that put an end to the stabbing spree in Tokyo was someone (a police officer) threatening the killer with a gun. Since police can't be everywhere, guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens is the most effective way to protect the innocent.

UPDATE: Carnaby reminded me of two other mass-stabbing attacks in the news: this one in Germany and this one in China, both last year. From the article on the latter

In recent years there have been several fatal incidents at schools in China.

After a spate of stabbings in 2004, schools began employing professional guards to protect pupils.
Don't tell me it's about guns and the American culture of violence.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Dr. Fudge

So Stickwick beat me to it, but I'm almost done myself. Defend next week, then commencement on the 14th. Needless to say, or write, my wife is very happy. :)


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

No More Hockey Night in Texas


Still, it's admirable the Penguins stayed in the finals this long (thanks in large part to goalie Marc-Andre Fleury), as Detroit was definitely the stronger team. But those last two games were incredible, and the Pens played damn hard right down to the last second of the last game. You guys still ROCK!

Now when's that next season gonna hurry up and start?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Blogroll Addition

Please give a big "Heilsa!" to Ragnar Danneskjold as we welcome his 2A blog The Arsenal to the Fudge blogroll.

Monday, June 02, 2008

More Hockey Night in Texas

Oh, YEAH!!!


Penguins win Game 5 in third overtime!!! Yeah!!!

Marc-Andre Fleury is officially my favorite Frog!


Free Speech Watch in Canada

Free speech is under fire in Canada. McLean's Magazine and Mark Steyn go before the B.C. Human Rights Commission* in Vancouver today to determine if hurt feelings are a basis for squelching speech. This will have enormous repercussions for freedom of speech for our northern neighbors, yet you'll find nary a mention of this in mainstream media outlets. McLean's blogger Andrew Coyne will be keeping us posted on the proceedings.

Meanwhile, you can support Steyn by buying his book, America Alone.

[* As this editorial in the National Post points out, to call any of the Canadian HRCs a kangaroo court would be an insult to marsupials everywhere.]

Making War, Not Love

SoCon Or Bust discusses how modern views on sex are akin to warfare. (I suggest they change "liberalism" in the tagline of the blog to "secular humanism," since it's more accurate.)


Related: What are the most popular baby names in Milan? Mahmoud, Ahmad, and Hamid.

[h/t for both: Free Mark Steyn!]