You can tell it’s spring at last here in the Great Land when the sound of snow machine motors is replaced by ATV motors.
We don’t yet have a snow machine (in the 48 you call them snowmobiles) but we have two ATVs, a big six-seat Polaris Ranger for taking guests on tours, and a neat, agile little Polaris Sportsman that I mostly use for getting out in the woods after grouse or just indulging in one of my favorite activities – woods-bumming. If you like the outdoors and live up here, one or both of these machines is a hell of a handy thing to have.
This is Masayuki Suzuki, who does a lot of soundtracks for Japanese television and so forth, in addition to pure musical work. I’m not sure what genre he falls under, but these two songs are from the soundtrack of an anime called Kaguya-sama: Love is War, they’re kind of fun, and a little different than our usual servings. Enjoy.
This could be, as someone once said, a “big effin’ deal.” Bonchie over at RedState had this to say:
In the biggest news to come out of the Supreme Court of the United States since Roe v. Wade was overturned, the Court has granted a review of Loper Bright Enterprises vs. Raimondo. In its deliberations, the court will deal with the question of whether to overrule the infamous Chevron Doctrine, a ’70s-era precedent that granted broad powers to the bureaucratic state to interpret vague, often narrow statutes with near zero accountability.
This would of course affect my own industry a great deal, but I suspect it won’t happen overnight; even if the Supreme Court follows the Constitution and rips the guts out of the bureaucratic state, it will take years for the necessary implications of that decision to trickle down. The libertarian in me loves this, even if the compliance-consultant side of me is a bit concerned about my living (yes, the irony of that is not lost on me) but as I say, it will take a while, and I expect I’ll retire before too much changes.
Warren Zevon was badly underrated. He made some pretty good tunes, and while he’s best known for the rollicking Werewolves of London and Excitable Boy, my favorite of his works (from the 1978 album Excitable Boy, in fact) was Lawyers, Guns and Money.
I’d point out that, in a just world, Hunter Biden would be singing a similar tune; except that his situation has not arisen from bad luck, but from bad judgement, and therefore his own damn fault.
An indubitable sign of spring only Monday past, as our juncos have returned. Dark-Eyed Juncos are somewhat migratory; they stay rather late in the fall and are usually the first migratory birds to return in spring.
It’s interesting. In all the years I lived in the city, I paid only nominal attention to the turn of the seasons. Since returning to a rural lifestyle, I’ve become much more aware of the great circle the year makes, not just with the weather but with the creatures around us. Soon the robins will return, then the swallows, the sandhill cranes will be overhead on their way to Arctic nesting grounds, and we’ll be in the full bloom of our short, mild, beautiful Alaskan summer.
OK, plenty of folks have been saying that it’s time for the political Right to start playing hardball, me among them. (This is relevant, I promise.) Too many in the GOP seem to be worried more about continued invites to Georgetown cocktail parties than adhering to what are supposed to be ‘conservative’ principals – much less, you know, promoting actual liberty.
If they want some inspiration, they should tune in to the 1975 Nazereth tune Hair of the Dog. The refrain includes:
Now you’re messin’ with a A son of a bitch. Now you’re messin’ with a son of a bitch.
The Right could learn a thing or two from that. I think they need a few more sons of bitches in the Imperial City – and yes, I think that was part of Donald Trump’s appeal. Here, then, is that tune. Enjoy.
Bears are just one of the wildlife-related things we deal with, living in rural Alaska, of course. We had a black hanging around for a while last summer, and while I stood watch a few times while Mrs. Animal was working in the greenhouse, I never got a good clear look at him – or else he’d have been in the freezer. Black bear is downright good eating, and the season is open up here year ’round, with an annual bag limit of three. And there’s a reason we keep a chest freezer that’s big enough to double as a crypt for a Pharaoh of old. So, maybe this year.
Something a little different this week; you’ve all seen here, in previous installments, my fond memory of the great Johnny Carson. Well, in this show, he had as his guest on the Tonight Show another great, Ann-Margret.
In this episode she puts on, as a preview for an upcoming performance, a musical number that will knock your socks off – among other things. (Also, it must have been chilly on that stage.) Unforgettable is something of an understatement here. Enjoy.
Granted, Alaska is all about aviation. The Great Land wouldn’t be what it is without aviation, although most of what makes the state work isn’t big airliners but the smaller civil aviation types, including the famed bush pilots. But I never would have thought of taking a big airliner and turning it into housing. Excerpt:
Jon Kotwicki, the owner of FLY8MA Flight Training in Big Lake, purchased the airliner as part of a housing project for students who attend the training facility. The 727 will join a DC-6 and DC-9 already parked at his property, and has big plans in store for it.
“That is our flight school that we are building there off of Hawk Lane and Big Lake,” Kotwicki said. “[The planes] will serve as student housing for students who are coming to do flight training with us from afar as well as an Airbnb.”
I guess it makes a certain amount of sense; go to flight school, live in an airplane. I guess we’ll see how it works out. Now then:
I never was a huge fan of Billy Joel. He was good enough, but I just never really got into his style of music. But most artists good enough to get album deals usually have at least one good song in them, and boy, howdy, did Billy Joel have at least one great song in him.
That song, of course, was Piano Man. It’s a wonderful, iconic tune that put Billy Joel on the map, and whatever I think of his general style, he deserved the fame this song brought him. Here, then, is that tune; enjoy.
At some point, you would think that the empirical evidence would be overwhelming. When the Aurora, Colorado Batman movie theater shooter attacked, there were seven movie theaters showing “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20th within 20 minutes of the killer’s apartment at 1690 Paris St, Aurora, Colorado, but the killer picked the only theater that had signs posted that it was a gun-free zone. His first target had been an airport but he worried about their “substantial security.” Similar stories have occurred at malls such as in Omaha and Salt Lake City or the Lafayette, Louisiana movie theater. Despite teachers carrying guns in schools in 20 states, all the shooting attacks at schools have occurred in schools that ban teachers from having guns. Given that people are allowed to carry their permitted concealed handguns in the vast majority of public places, if these mass public shootings were random, 95% or higher of these attacks would take place in areas where permitted concealed handguns were allowed. Instead the reverse is true, with 98% of those attacks taking place where general citizens are banned from having guns. At some point, it would seem obvious that these attacks aren’t random.
They aren’t random, of course; there is ample evidence that the shooters, in planning their atrocities, chose venues where they were not going to meet armed resistance.
Vince Vaughn explained what should be obvious to most people in an interview in the UK edition of GQ:
“It’s well known that the greatest defence against an intruder is the sound of a gun hammer being pulled back. All these gun shootings that have gone down in America since 1950, only one or maybe two have happened in non-gun-free zones. Take mass shootings. They’ve only happened in places that don’t allow guns. These people are sick in the head and are going to kill innocent people. They are looking to slaughter defenceless human beings. They do not want confrontation. In all of our schools it is illegal to have guns on campus, so again and again these guys go and shoot up these f***ing schools because they know there are no guns there. They are monsters killing six-year-olds.”
Monsters, yes, but not so stupid that they can’t choose venues that will allow them to carry out their rampage well within the time it takes for law enforcement to intercede – and this is a world in which we have police departments like the cowards in Uvalde as well as the heroes of Nashville. Speaking of which:
Media Matters then attacked Vaughn by pointing to a flawed report by Bloomberg’s Everytown, but of course, Media Matters doesn’t respond or even acknowledge all the errors that have been previously pointed out with Bloomberg’s report. See also here. Killers often openly talk about their desire to attack where no one is there with a gun to stop them.
UPDATE, ADDED EXAMPLE: In the planned Church attack in Detroit, the person planning the attack note one reason to picking his target:
Of course John Lott is damn good at this business. But what he doesn’t offer in this article is a solution. That’s not an easy ask, but one possibility might be local or state level laws placing part of the liability for the results of mass shootings on the venue; make it easier to bring suit in civil court for businesses that deny patrons the right of self-defense. I’m not sure how such a law would work; I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play on on television. But it’s a fact that many potential mass shootings have in fact been stopped by armed citizens; see this list for examples.
It’s abundantly clear that the status quo is costing lives. It would be great if we could count on people to examine the facts and arrive at a dispassionate, rational conclusion, but let’s face it, that’s pretty much a lost art in the United States today. Just look at Congress or our last four or five Presidential elections as proof.
This is the Uberti 1873 Cattleman Bird’s Head revolver, in .45 Colt. The basic gun is a clone of the famous Colt Model P. I’d prefer to have the 3″ barrel option, even though that would preclude my hot .45 Colt loads; I think the gun would handle it but it would be a handful to shoot.
Why do I want one? I’m not entirely certain. It would make a nice backup piece to my belt guns in the big .45 Colt (a Smith & Wesson 25-5 and a Ruger Vaquero) or a decent CCW piece in its own right. But I think I’d like to have one mostly because I think they’re cool. And that’s reason enough, right? Of course right.
Last week’s Eddie Money video prompted a comment from a reader, pointing out that the red-hot Latina in the video was actually Apollonia Kotero, who co-starred with Prince in his 1984 film Purple Rain. I might have spotted her before if I had seen that film since I originally did, in 1984, at the Midnight Movie in the old Waterloo Theater in Waterloo, Iowa. The theater served beer at the Midnight Movie, and there was usually a joint or two being passed around, which added a little… flavor to the experience.
In those days I listened to a bit of Prince as he got a lot of radio play, in addition to being a regular feature back when MTV was new and actually, you know, had music. I recognized his talent even though I wasn’t an enormous fan of his style (he was a quite good technical guitarist in addition to being a dynamic performer) but I did, and still do, kind of like the song Little Red Corvette. Here, then, is the official video for that song, just like you might have seen on MTV back in the day – enjoy.
Speaking of that, there was also Biden’s special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry, who during a Friday interview with Yahoo News insulted the intelligence of every American by not only cheerleading forthcoming new climate mandates from Biden, but also by proclaiming that it was okay for global warming fanatics to be wildly hypocritical because not only do they allegedly do the “carbon offset” thing but also because “they are working harder than most people I know to be able to try to effect this transition…”
This prompted a response by media critic Joe Concha, who hit the nail on the head.
“They can still work harder and get to Davos by flying the middle seat in coach on Aer Lingus,” Concha tweeted. “The elitism is utterly breathtaking…”
Breathtaking, if anything, is a gross understatement. Seriously, fuck these Davos assholes, and fuck John “Lurch” Kerry (who, by the way, served in Vietnam, as he constantly reminds us) and while we’re at it, fuck all the horses they all rode in on – and by horses, I mean gas-guzzling private jets.
In 1978 or so, I went to the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa, with a couple of buddies. We were there to see the main act, Foghat, and what a great show that was!
But that’s not who we’re going to present here today.
Before Foghat came on stage, the opening act came out. I remember one of my buddies looking at me and asking, “Eddie Money? Who the hell is Eddie Money?”
“Isn’t he that Two Tickets to Paradise guy?” I replied.
Eddie went on to have a pretty decent career after that, before his untimely passing in 2019. One of my favorites of his tunes was from his 1982 album No Control, the song being Shakin’. I remember listening to it quite a bit while wearing Uncle Sam’s colors, and I still give it a listen from time to time now. Here, then, is the official video (the smoking-hot Latina gal doesn’t hurt any, either) – enjoy.
A buddy of mine drew my attention to this piece on Gunbroker the other day:
I’m not sure what the deal is here. I suppose there is probably such a thing as DeWalt fanboys who would just love a DeWalt-themed Glock; another buddy who was in on this conversation noted that he had recently seen an AR-15 that was set up to look like a Milwaukee Sawzall, and I’ve seen Kitty-Chan (known as Hello Kitty in the States) ARs.
I guess I just don’t get it.
I know, every cat its own rat. I’ve often said that and I stand by it. If you want a Gatorade-themed Glock or a Star Trek AR, more power to you. I don’t get it, but you know, knock yourself out. I don’t have to get it.
This is, of course, largely made possible by the polymer-heavy construction of a lot of modern guns. It’s a little harder to carry out this kind of customization of a piece made of steel and walnut. And it’s also true that this construction has resulted in a lot of guns that can withstand some pretty awful conditions and still work. I recognize this; my own CCW piece is a Glock 36, which is ugly but sure shoots well for a 3″-barreled .45ACP, and it’s light, flat and easy to tote around.
Be that as it may – my Glocks are tools, just like a hammer or a pipe wrench. My affection I reserve for fine walnut and blued steel.
This isn’t a surprise. Alaska is generally rated as one of the top two most gun-friendly states in the Union, the other being Arizona (for now). The common statement made about the two states is “…if you like target shooting and competition, go to Arizona; if you like to hunt, go to Alaska.” I can see the thought behind that. Here in the Great Land, even the hippies have guns, and the most common motivation out here in the hinterlands seems to be keeping the freezer stocked and keeping critters away from your vegetable patch and the chickens.
I don’t really have a good feel for where this is going, though, in part because I haven’t done a lot of reading about it. The “pistol brace” thing isn’t something I’ve ever looked into, as it just doesn’t effect me, but with this moving forward, I can see I’m going to have to do some more reading. All of these things are tied in, of course, to the changing landscape that is the Second Amendment today, and I do know this case has the potential to yank the reins hard on the BATFE – and that’s a good thing.
I’m still on my classical music binge, so before I return to my usual old rock & roll cultural edification I’d like to bring one more (for now) bit I really enjoy. This is a 2016 performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no.1, by the Israel Philharmonic. This performance features the lovely and truly talented Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and the immortal conductor Zubin Mehta – on his 80th birthday. Enjoy.