Saw this pic over at CW’s place (part of his fantastic Open Road series) and I could not help be amazed at the fact that people adhered to the traffic circle even though it was covered with snow.

Then it occurred to me that  the picture was doubtless taken in Germany or one of the other OCD countries, and the lone tracks which do  bisect the circle were probably made by a lost American tourist.

Quite Rightly So

Perry De Havilland has a few choice words to say about this little situation:

Japan aims to change the way Japanese names are written in English by putting the family name first, the same way they are written in Japanese, in a triumph for conservatives keen to preserve traditional ways in a fast-changing world. Education Minister Masahiko Shibayama proposed the change to Cabinet ministers on Friday and the government will now study how to implement it, the top government spokesman said […] Foreign Minister Taro Kono raised the suggestion in May saying foreign media should write the prime minister’s name in the traditional way – Abe Shinzo.

And Perry’s response:

Shinzo Abe can fuck right off, because that is not correct when using English. Follow your own heathen customs when using Japanese, old chap, but no government gets to decide how English is used, that sort of bullshit only happens in France and Japan.

Perry and I have had our issues in the past because I’m conservative and he’s a librarian, but on this topic we are 100% in accord.

Still No Need To Panic

OMG the Second Amendment is in danger!!!!!!!!!!!!

According to Rasmussen, 24 percent of survey respondents “favor repealing the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment which guarantees the right of most citizens to own a gun.”

In other words, about one in four of the respondents don’t want the Second anymore.  Why is this statistic a load of fear-mongering bullshit?

  1. We don’t know the composition of the survey sample — who was surveyed, where they lived, age groups, and so on.  So we don’t actually know how representative that sample of people is of the population as a whole.
  2. Popular sentiment means diddly-squat when it comes to amending the Constitution (for all those who were too busy wanking or sleeping during Civics lessons, or who never saw Schoolhouse Rock).  51% of the people might want to ditch the Second, but that’s still irrelevant.

Wake me up when the percentage of support for eliminating the Second grows to a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate — like that’s ever going to happen — or even if it does, let’s see if 38 of the 50 state legislatures agree to ratify the amendment.

Note to the Left:  there’s no magic wand and pixie-dust here;  if you want to make guns disappear, you’ll have to do it through the normal legal process, or (as Beta-Boy suggests), by forcible (and illegal) confiscation of all guns in private hands.  Good luck with that, too.  You may get just a little pushback, as the modern idiom goes:

Angular Beauty

I think the 1980s get a bad rap about just about everything (although I will agree that the female shoulder-pad thing has deservedly been tossed in the trashcan of history).  I generally enjoyed the 80s music — Level 42? Oh, mercy! — but I have a soft spot for many of the era’s cars as well.  Here’s one, the Lancia “Rally” 037 Stradale:

From the boffins at Classic Driver  comes this little bit of history (with my emphasis added):

The Lancia Rally formally debuted in March 1982, and homologation was certified on 1 April 1982, by which time 207 examples had been constructed. The 037’s first competition test was the Tour de Corse in May 1982. Although the new car finished a promising 9th overall, Lancia recognized that the 1982 season would be used for intense development rather than a championship run. The year ended with Markku Alén and Ilkka Kivimäki taking their 037 to a strong 4th-place finish on the RAC Rally. The following year, 1983, saw Walter Röhrl and Markku Alén lead the Martini Racing Lancia team to wins at Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse, Acropolis, New Zealand, and Sanremo on its way to the 1983 World Rally Championship—Lancia’s fifth championship and the last WRC title by a two-wheel-drive car.

Does anyone still wonder why I would take one of these beauties in a heartbeat?  And here’s how one would get access to that superb little 2-liter engine (which delivered 200hp in the street car, and 280hp in the rally version):

I’ve only ever driven a Stratos (breathtaking, literally) and the pretty little Fulvia (the ultimate lady’s car), but I would sell somebody else’s firstborn to take a Stradale for a spin around, say, Lake Como for a day or two… with Level 42’s Mr. Pink (or ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man) blasting through the stereo.

There’s the 80s for ya, man.

Gratuitous Gun Pic — Smith & Wesson 627 Performance Center (.357 Mag/.38 Spec)

Okay, we need to get some rules straight around this here back porch of mine.  The proper order of things is that I post pics of beautiful guns and engender uncontrollable gun lust amongst you, O my Readers.  You are not repeat NOT supposed to send ME emails of your guns which cause me distress, because as any fule kno, I am completely at the mercy of beautiful guns and have been known to auction off children to be able to buy said visions.  (Not my  children, of course;  children I find wandering in the streets.)

An example of this kind of untoward behavior (the gun-bragging, not the kidnapping) is shown by Reader PC from the Great State of Texas, who writes thusly:

“I carry an S&W 627 Performance Center revolver (.357 eight-shot, N frame). Lobo Gunleather makes an inside waistband holster that, when coupled with Perry Suspenders and no-tuck shirts, carries as easily as a small Glock.”

Here’s a pic:


I do declare that this is quite easily the most beautiful stainless revolver S&W has made in ages, if not forever.  And eight rounds in the cylinder?

“Hand me mah smelling salts, Prissy.”

S&W also makes a 2″ snubby version (which I think is the type Reader PC carries, from his description);  but for me, the 5″ barrel as pictured is the business.

Were it not for the fact that the Performance Center models retail for well north of a grand ($1,200 at our local Academy aaaargh), I’d already have bought one by the time you read this.

As it is… oh, mommy.  I am so weak.

I hope I’ve made myself quite clear about this bad behavior from Readers.