Friday Night Music: The National River, And A Bat

For those who don’t know the music I’ll be talking about here, a brief exposition.

The Moldau (Vlatan) River is regarded as the Czechs’ national river.  Read about it here, then listen to the music here (not the one embedded in the article).

The young conductor, Nejc Bečan, is one I’ve never heard before, but his direction of the orchestra is absolutely stunning, and the rendition of Bedrich Smetana’s Vlatan is the best I’ve ever heard.  It’s about a 15-minute piece, and it’ll make your evening.

Switching gears, here’s an old favorite, Strauss’s overture of Die Fledermaus.  But instead of an energetic young conductor, we have the old maestro Georges Pretre, and instead of a young orchestra, we have a performance from the seasoned pros of the Vienna Philharmonic.  It is probably my favorite rendition, and I’ve heard plenty.  It lasts about ten minutes.

Take, therefore, less than half an hour from your hectic routine, sit back, and enjoy.

Outstanding Comparison

I just watched Paul Harrell’s video comparison of the .357 Mag cartridge vs. the .44 Mag, and it’s the best yet.  Basically, he compares identical bullet weight and barrel length (to make it “fair”) in an empirical study, then compares “common” gun choices and bullet weights for a realistic evaluation.

But what impressed me was that he doesn’t bother with any of that ballistic gelatin nonsense.  Nope;  he builds a realistic effectiveness measurement target using pork ribs, pork chops, oranges (to simulate vitals tissue) and back ribs.  This is what I’d do if I wanted to get into what he does, on a full-time basis.

Watch the video for the full flavor.  It’s long — as they all are — because he’s serious about the topic.

As for his bona fides, he lists them all at the beginning of this video, and let’s just say that his skills, knowledge and expertise are more than adequate for the task.

He’s done many more such shows, so wave good-bye to your weekend if you dive into the Harrell Matrix.  That’s where I’ll be, if anyone asks.


Reader & Friend JohnC sent me this pic of a Smith Model 629, which had all sorts of electronic drool stains on it:

I have to say, the artwork is well done, and extremely tasteful.

And yet, I have a love/hate relationship with engraving.  On the one hand, I regard the gun as a tool, and adding embellishment like the above often seems to me to be like engraving patterns onto a screwdriver or a chainsaw.

On  the other hand, I will never love any garage tool as much or in the same way as I love my 1911 — or pretty much any of my guns, really.  Guns may be tools, in other words, but not quite so much.

My problem with adding engraving onto a gun is that it makes it pretty, and that means you start treating it differently, either in its actual handling or else in frequency of use.  Turning a range gun into a safe queen… well, I think you all know where I stand on that issue.

Over at the Daily Timewaster, C.W. often has pics of fancy guns, like these two:

…and once again, I’m somewhat conflicted.  While nobody can complain about the craftsmanship in either case, I just can’t get excited about it other than that:  appreciation of the artistry.

Even with fine shotguns, I’m of a more conservative bent.  Here are two examples, from Steve Barnett’s House Of Horrors, of otherwise identical Venere-model shotguns from Abbiatico & Salvinelli:

I love the first, but kinda “meh” about the second.  And of course it’s not just the Italians.  Here are three from J. Purdey, the ultimate stiff-upper-lip Brit company:

Love the first, “meh” about the second, and the last is revolting.

And all that said, I think completely untouched shotguns look like shop tools.  Here are a pair of Winchester Model 21s:

The first is foul, the second is sensational:  understated elegance, defined.

What say you, O My Readers?

News Review

Good grief but the news is getting boring these days.  No wonder the New York Times is creating fake news left, right and center (mostly about the Right, but that’s a story for another time).

We persevere nevertheless, just like Olympic athletes (two links):

just as absolutely nobody expected they would.  [/maxi-sarc]

oh great;  your mediocre products don’t suck enough already, but now you’re going to bugger them up even more by inviting under-qualified tokens to work on them.

right, Noam.  And your old asshole buddy Josef Stalin was just a peach of a human being.  You Commie fuck.

wait:  weren’t lack of pollution and fewer vapor trails supposed to be a good thing?  So the “good” things are now going to cause a “bad” thing.  Unless, of course, the “experts” who came up with this warning are as full of shit as all the other “experts” we hear from nowadays.  Ummmmm I’ll take that option for $400, Alex.

funny, I thought that the Brits were kinda the masters at this game.  And speaking of mastery:

and Augusta National is doubtless going to fold like a damp shirt in the face of this bullshit, just like they did when they allowed women to join the club.

One of Monty Python’s old sketches involved a group of contestants trying to answer questions about the writings of Marcel Proust.  As none of them could satisfactorily explain the rococo intricacies of Proust’s prose [sic], the judges instead gave the prize to the lady in the front row with the big tits.  That’s what I’m going to do now, by ending with some news that’s so irrelevant, so pointless and so silly, it is a perfect summation of how bored I am with the whole business.

it’s not my fault;  society’s to blame.  [/Monty Python]

Sports Note

As we speak, the Austrian F1 Grand Prix is only about  ten days away.  Yup, a starting ceremony dedicated to giving a blowjob to BLM, followed by the usual 95-minute parade lap.  I can hardly wait.

That said, I think the Russian GP is going to be even more boring:

Insty puts it best:  “People only buy Russian when they can’t afford the good stuff.”