Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Because everybody needs a second fridge

1000 words, part 7:

Have a happy New Year!



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Light posting fare here

Only because the Holidays are the time that I spend entertaining family (and a few friends). So instead of reading fare, I get to do eating fare.

This week will have a pizza party for the college friends, all homemade from scratch. The recipes are posted elsewhere on the blog (tags: pizza, more pizza) and are very tasty.

This Saturday, I host an annual family party for the relatives on the East Coast. The past many years the menu has consisted of roasted prime rib, a scampi-style shrimp of my own recipe, and numerous side dishes. All of this served with good wine and loving fellowship.

This year, I am planning to mix it up slightly. Instead of the traditional baked potatoes, I will do a twice-baked version as well as a pan of Au gratin Potatoes Alfredo. And, instead of prime rib, I will be doing a couple of whole Tenderloin roasts (Chateubriand), one wrapped in bacon, one plain.

I post this only because I have not ever done a whole tenderloin before...(yes, I am living dangerously). I have researched many recipes-including Alton Brown's slow-roasted version-coming to the conclusion that there is no 'right' way to roast one, but that it is easy to do incorrectly-no matter the method. Any pointers my readers have (Brigid?) would be welcomed.

I hope you all had a merry Christmas. I pray that we will all have an amazing new year. Stay safe.



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Restaurant Recommendation

Texas de Brazil Churrascaria in Fairfax, VA (the website has music, turn your speakers down before clicking). This place has beautiful decor and a lively atmosphere. The food is amazing. This is not a place to go to if you are a vegetarian. (If God didn't want us to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them so tasty!)

The format is pretty simple...get seated, understand the explanation about your red/green chip in front of you, and try not to load up on the salad bar. One price covers all you can eat of salad and MEAT (~$50/per person); and drinks, dessert, tax, and gratuities are extra.

Place your drink order and go get a plate at the salad bar (try the Lobster Bisque!). Leave some room when you do because when you turn your chip from red to green, a swarm of young men with long spears full of roasted meats will descend upon you as if you haven't had a meal in weeks. :)

I flipped my chip over, and the guy with the perfectly-roasted leg of lamb shows up and carves a slice, followed in rapid succession by the bacon-wrapped filet mignon, the garlic-roasted top sirloin, the chicken parmesan, the pork parmesan, the brazilian sausage, the plain filet mignon (!!), and the flank steak. I had to turn my chip back to red because of all the attention.

Pace yourself here. As long as you can find room in your stomach for more food, it will be brought to you. Late in the meal, a skewer of perfectly-cooked lamb chops made the rounds, but I was too full-having just finished my (mumble) filet mignon. One of my table mates did get a lamb chop though, and her contented purring told me all I needed to know about it.

All of the meat is salt-crusted prior to spit-roasting to a perfect medium-rare. You can request no-salt, and can also request overcooking medium, medium-well or well-done. With the quantities you can eat here, the price for the meal is quite reasonable.

I highly recommend this restaurant. Maybe we can do a blogger dinner here in the spring? I will definitely be going back there again.



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Defensive Gun Use in Utah

Jay_G at MArooned has the link (DGC #111).

This story is a tragedy, but not for the reasons many are stating. The dead choirboy (sorry, some comments at the news article site are calling him a "good man") was arrested earlier in the day on Domestic Violence charges. Meaning, he was abusing the woman (not his wife) that he was shacking with. The police haul him off to jail, and he is slapped with a 'no-contact' order.

In the world of good intentions, said choirboy would realize the error of his ways and go get a motel room for the night, removing himself from the premises. Also in the world of good intentions, everybody kisses and makes up and life goes on normally.

In the real world, thugs who beat up on women tend to take offense at being told by said women to go away. Even more so when the law gets involved. Then they get a mite peeved at the restraining order. Add a little gray-bar time, and the likelihood is that the thug is going to return to the scene and finish the lesson he was trying to teach when he got arrested the first time.

The gun-banner (fantasy) mindset is that good intentions matter, that children (I think that means anyone under 26 nowadays) should not be able to access their parents guns (nor know how to use them), and that the police will protect people since they are the 'only ones' who should have force of arms. Additionally, chivalry dictates that the strong thugs will never prey on the weaker women, and that once things go to the courts that the issue is resolved.

This tragic case has reality coming home to destroy the liberal gun-banner fantasies in a very concrete way. No restraining order will keep a criminal abuser away from his intended victim, as the act of abusing the victim is already a crime. The police will not protect you. Children should be properly trained about guns in the home, and when appropriate, taught how to use them effectively. Guns should be accessible to those same 'children' so that they can be used defensively. And, finally, thugs generally don't listen to reason, and criminal thugs do not obey the law. They usually only understand force.

That a 17-year-old girl had to end this encounter with a gun speaks volumes about the situation. That she did so shows remarkable courage. The fact that she will have to live with this for the rest of her life is the real tragedy.

It is a terrible thing to have to take another's life, even in self-defense. Contrary to the media narrative (and Brady-VPC-Joyce spin), most gun owners recognize this. None of us are looking for a fight. But, to those who say that my 'stuff' is not worth my life I reply: "to the thug who wants to take it, it is". Therefore, I should be willing to meet that threat with a willingness to, and the ability to, return the same sentiment. In copper-jacketed lead, if required. God willing, I will never have to.



Friday, December 17, 2010

Light posting

The snark tank is running low, and there are things to do around the house which require my full attention. Expect light posting for a couple of days. In the meantime, do read the people on the sidebar. There's some great stuff to be found there.



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Defensive Gun Use in Virginia

The Right to Carry is the right of self defense in action. A gas station clerk in Virginia used his gun to save his life, and protect his employers property when 2 thugs armed with a TASER attempted to rob the store.

The story is archived on YouTube HERE.

Guns Save Lives.



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Different Fun Store, Different Result

Yes, I got something. I am just doing my part to improve the averages and keep the economy moving. :)

Went to the fun store

Didn't get anything. I am still looking for the right combination of price and value. The selection of used guns is pretty thin, unless you are looking for Mausers...and, I am not.

I will try again tomorrow...

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Good for flight planning. Not so good for relationships.

A fundamental misunderstanding

We have a sitting Supreme Court Justice, Stephen Breyer, who has exhibited a fundamental misunderstanding about our system of governance. He has just come out with a book, whose title displays this misunderstanding, and whose contents reflect a flawed view of Constitutional jurisprudence.

The book? Making Our Democracy Work

Justice Breyer, I hate to be the one to break this to you, as you should have learned this in high school Civics class. We are not a Democracy. We never have been. We are a Constitutional Republic. Please try and remember that the next time you deign interpret a document you obviously do not understand.



Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life

The true measure of a man's life is told in the depth and breadth and character of the friends that he has. It's a Wonderful Life may be fiction. But, it is truth writ large.

Or, as Lennon and McCartney put it in The End:
"...and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make".
When the time comes to measure my life, I want to be George Bailey.



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Blogroll Bleg

I have noticed a few hits coming from referring sources I don't recognize (THANKS!).

If you have me in your blog roll, and I have not reciprocated, PLEASE TELL ME! I am a firm believer in reciprocity, and will return the favor. I am sure my 9 readers would be happy to go see your stuff. :)

Drop me an email, or comment in this thread.



A small price for neglect

I have a generator. We purchased it after Hurricane Isabel left us without power for several days. We got to use it extensively for the aftermath of Hurricane Charley the following year.

My annual to-do list neglected to include running the generator every time change, and it looks like I will have to pay a small price for that neglect as it does not start now. I think that the last time I used it was more than a year ago. Saturday, it will go off to the local small-engine repair shop for cleaning, an oil change, and a tune up.

Having the ability to generate power is part of my disaster prep. Neglect is a horrible reason to be unprepared. I am fixing this ASAP, and looking for other holes in my preparations.

How are your preparations going?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

When the time comes

In the (now becoming more likely) event of civil unrest due to massive Government fraud, intrusiveness, and overreach, the Government would have to disarm the people to prevent their attempt to return to the Founder's Republic.

Fact: The Pentagon 'war-games' this exact scenario.
Fact: Posse Comitatus would be thrown out the window as NORTHCOM cracks down.
Fact: The largest army in the world is still smaller than the number of deer hunters in the United States, all equipped with highly-accurate long-range sniper rifles capable of piercing body armor common hunting rifles.
Fact: The only thing that enables our government's abuses is our willingness to tolerate them.

Do I really need to itemize the scams that are being perpetrated upon the citizens under the banner of fairness and equality? Or, Reparations by another name (Pigford)? Or asset stripping by the Banksters, and enabled by Congress and the Federal Reserve?

When the time comes, are the citizens of the Republic prepared? If not, why not? What are YOU doing to prepare? Got Food, Clothing, Shelter, and the means to defend yourself against those who don't, but who want yours? If not, why not?

Time is short.


Question to the Left

Why is it that every "solution" the Statist Left comes up with requires me to give up my treasure or my Liberty?

Fact: Equality of opportunity does not equate to equality of outcome, no matter how much you try to take from me. Quit trying to normalize failure.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7, 1989

A day which will forever be associated with the best that this world has to offer. On that day, 21 years ago, my son was born. Happy Birthday!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jurisdiction Question

In Virginia, do County Sheriffs have jurisdiction for speed enforcement on the Federal Interstate highway system? How do I prove one way or the other?

Going soft

Had a wonderful weekend with my youngest, home from college for a couple of days. After putting up the trees for Christmas, we took a photo of her. Then, to make her other commitments, she gathered her things into the car and left. And I shed some tears.

I know I am getting older. Do I have to get softer, too? Yes, I cry during Disney movies. Always have. But, I am not generally known for getting weepy just because my little girl drives off. Not usually. Why tonight?

The house seems much colder and more empty tonight in the stillness of her absence. Like a bright summer day was replaced by a cold winter night, all in the time it took for her car to climb the drive and go. Her perfume still hangs faintly in the air.

Now I am sitting here, staring at the lights of the tree...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Driving Across the Country, Part 4

I am awakened, disoriented, by the sharp turn of the wheel. It is dark and foggy outside the windshield. Ice patches punctuate the streaming monotony of the stark white line on my right. We are somewhere west of Kentucky in southern Indiana, dodging ghosts and phantom animals in the Hoosier National Forest. I have been asleep, fitfully, for only a few hours. It is almost 4:00 in the morning.

We cross the Ohio River about 45 minutes later. I am now awake enough to have a coherent conversation with my wife, who is getting sleepy. After touring the darkened downtown of Louisville, we exchange positions at a rest stop. Now it is my turn to fight the phantoms of fatigue and the ice on the road.

We had been driving east, in a window of clear weather between two storm fronts. The one preceding had left only a few days before, leaving dustings of snow and ice on the ground ahead of us. At every stop tonight, frost-covered door handles greet our arrival. State highway workers huddle in the warmth of their mop closets. Behind us, hundreds of miles to our west, another storm is chasing us. We are thankful to have mostly-dry roads as we speed home.

I stop in Lexington for food and fuel, hoping that some calories and caffeine will make the pre-dawn drive bearable for a few more hours. It doesn't. I have only been at the wheel less than two hours when I have to pull over. I had been fine, alert and lucid, when out of the blue I "head-bobbed". You know what I mean. One second you are looking at the road, the next second you are jerking your head up in a panic, hoping against hope that you are still in your lane and not about to die at 70 miles per hour in the middle of Kentucky. A rest stop looms ahead 2 miles away and I pull in. The sunrise 50 miles west of West Virginia was glorious. I am too tired to appreciate it. My wife has been asleep less than an hour.

We switch places, as she insists that she is good to go. An little less than an hour later, she pulls into a rest stop. We have both hit the wall. It is time for some real sleep for a few hours.

Except I don't really sleep. Oh, I got some. Maybe an uninterrupted hour, not much more. But, now I am alert. The sun is up. The frosted fixtures of the rest stop shimmer and twinkle in the morning sun. The air is cold and my breath fogs as I walk to the restroom to splash water on my face and wash the crust from my eyes. I have decided to press on. It is 10:00 AM.

Crossing into West Virginia begins the final leg of our trip. The route that I-64 takes through the state is a twisting panorama of river valleys, gorges, and passes, punctuated by the last of the fall leaves coloring the forested hills. The road is narrow, and shared with returning vacationers and trucks on deadlines. Everybody is going fast and following closely. The nervousness keeps me edgy and alert. The road's twists finally wake my bride up in Charleston. She feeds me coins for the toll workers so I can focus on the task ahead.

At 12:45 we cross into Virginia. For the past hour she has slept. She finally looks rested and it is time for another change. We trade places in Clifton Forge, after filling up the tank for the final time.

Southwestern Virginia horse country rolls by the window at a steady pace until we connect with I-81. Here, the road construction and the holiday traffic conspire to reduce speeds to a walking pace for nearly 10 miles. Traffic breaks up before we get to Raphine and the drive into Charlottesville goes swiftly. More horse country rolls by. This is the Virginia of Madison and Jefferson. Some of these farms date back to pre-colonial times, passed between the generations as tangible proof of quieter times.

We follow the Virginia byways and back roads through Civil War battlefields until we connect with the busiest route on the east coast, Interstate 95, just 20 miles from home. And it is crawling slowly...we are so close, and we are stuck in traffic again. We've driven 2,700 on the return journey and only the final day presented any traffic difficulties. Go figure. Finally, the road opens up again though, and we finish the final few miles at speed.

As we turn down the drive and park, it hits me. I am home.



Friday, December 3, 2010

Denninger on Aitken 2A Case

Karl Denninger hits this one out of the park.

Governor Christie would do well to issue a pardon, and an apology, to this poor guy. Follow that up with a dismissal of the overzealous AG who prosecuted the case, and a reprimand for the cops who arrested him. The judge has already been let go.

The serfs in New Jersey need to begin to act like citizens again, or else the Lautenbergs of the world will continue to subjugate them while stripping them of their wealth, dignity, and life.

Random Stuff

It looks like I will be getting a new position within my company in a couple of weeks. A lateral move, but one with greater promise in the long run. Yay me.

Borepatch has purchased his first gun since escaping from MassUtopia and heading toward a free country (Georgia). Go and congratulate him.

I intend to finish the "Driving Across the Country" series tonight or tomorrow, and then posting a few photos of the more interesting things we saw. Don't expect profundity, it is just a travelogue.

My State Legislature will pick up the new session in January. I intend to continue to press for reciprocity with all states for CCW permit holders, even though I firmly believe that Vermont (Constitutional) Carry should be the law of the land.

I intend to actively work to defeat Senator Jim Webb in 2012. He may be pro-2nd Amendment in principle, but he is orthodox Democrat everywhere else and that means anti-freedom, pro-statist. He needs to go.

One more thing, I will be on vacation the rest of the year, starting 12/11. If there are any goings-on planned, let me know. I would love to meet some of you virtual friends.



Thursday, December 2, 2010


Ambulance Driver has a new post up that is a must read. The post is entitled "Stains" and is a deeply-moving tale of a rough night in the life of a Medic. Go and read it. Right now.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Driving Across Country, Part 3

Saturday morning dawn broke over Monument, Colorado to crystal blue skies and temperatures in the low teens. Our hosts woke us up to the smell of fresh coffee, bacon and eggs, and hot pancakes. We had had a good night's sleep and were well rested, ready to begin the final leg of our journey.

We tooled around the local farmlands, taking in the sights while on our way East to connect with Interstate 70 in Limon. On the way east, we passed a school zone: "50 MPH when flashing". Now that's the kind of school zone I could get used to. A couple of dirt roads and a state highway or two later, we connected with the interstate for the long haul East.

Rolling hills gave way to vast expanses of flat farm land as Eastern Colorado ranch land became Western Kansas farms. I have never understood until now just what was meant by "America's Bread Basket". Now I do. For the next 400 miles, all you could see in any direction, horizon-to-horizon, were farms. Vast expanses of board-flat, freshly harvested fields of wheat and corn, with an outbuilding or farmhouse every couple of miles, or so. I was in jaw-dropping awe at the vastness of the farmlands in Kansas. For the next 7+ hours, the view was an ever-changing variation on the same theme.

As we neared Topeka, the farms began to gain the occasional oil pump, and a few more cows, too. It was time for more fuel, for the car as well as our bodies. Steak 'N Shake was good, the gas was ethanol free, and we were ready to head to St. Louis. We fired up the car as the sun set in the west and re-joined the procession of people traveling into Missouri. The Kansas City turnpike runs you through an interesting set of twists, turns, and transitions until you are across the river and into Missouri. Royals Stadium is lit like an empty crown this wintry city night as we blast through town.

The road is still crowded this Saturday night as we continue on arrow-straight to the east to our next driver change in St. Louis, 3 hours away. I had never seen the Gateway Arch in person and intended to stop there and take it in. The trip to St. Louis was uneventful, and a bit uninspiring in the dark. Just tail lights and troopers to keep you on your toes.

We arrived at the Gateway Arch right at 11:00 PM local time. The park was officially closed for the evening, but we parked in the lot next to the historic church and walked over to see the arch up close. It was beginning to get a bit cold out, high 20's, but was still clear with no breeze. My bride and I held hands as we strolled through the park to take some pictures up close.

When we got back to the car, I had to get my hard case out for my XDm-45. We were about to drive across a firearms "no-man's land" as we were to continue on through Illinois. I popped the trunk and got my keys, case, and my vitamins and pills out and brought them up to the cab of the car. Immediately after (rapidly) securing the gun, spare magazines, holsters, etc. into the case and closing it in the trunk, a police car drives up to the front of my car. The park police cops get out on either side of me, flashlights drawn, and start asking questions...

Actually, nothing bad came of it. They wanted to know if we were OK. I kept smiling as I told them we were changing drivers, and I was just taking my vitamins and prepping to go to sleep while my wife drove. Flashlight #2 asked where I was going...I told him home to Virginia, at which point Flashlight #1 noticed the plates on the car and told his partner (who was closely examining my Gadsden Flag sticker in the back window) that we were OK and then they left. An interesting encounter. Even though at that instant I was no longer armed, it still felt like an official "contact". And, while Missouri states you have no duty to inform the officer about any weapons, I was not absolutely sure that I wasn't on Federal lands at the time. I kept my mouth shut about any guns, and this meeting was quick and professional.

Once we cleared the park, we crossed the "Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge" into East St. Louis, IL to get a cuppa and some go juice. I am not sure what should be said about East St. Louis, except that it felt like I disarmed too soon for my own good. Ah, well. As a law-abiding citizen, I do what I have to do. Even when it feels wrong...

I would tell you about southern Indiana, except that I was asleep through most of it.

More in Part 4