All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!



DEA officer stops at a ranch in Texas, and talks with an old rancher.. He tells the rancher, "I need to inspect your ranch for ill*gally grown dr*gs."

The rancher says, "Okay , but do not go in that field over there," as he points out the location.

The DEA officer verbally explodes saying, "Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me." Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removes his badge and proudly displays it to the rancher. "See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish.... On any land.. No questions asked or answers given. Have I made myself clear? Do you understand? "

The rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores
A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life chased by the rancher's big Santa Gertrudis Bull......

With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems likely that he'll get gored before he reaches safety. The officer is clearly terrified.

The rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs.....

"Your badge... Show him your badge!!"


So What?

It was one of those nights when you drive
Right by your own street and you wonder who's running
Your hands and your feet and your car becomes a capsule
Sometimes you can hide
Last night I just wanted, I wanted to ride
"Drive My Car" by David Crosby
(CNN) Singer-songwriter David Crosby hit a jogger with his car Sunday evening, a spokesman said.
The article goes on to explain that it was all an innocent accident.  The jogger was running on the wrong side of the road and the sun was in Mr. Crosby's eyes.  Further we are told:
"David Crosby is obviously very upset that he accidentally hit anyone. And, based off of initial reports, he is relieved that the injuries to the gentleman were not life threatening," said Michael Jensen, a Crosby spokesman. "He wishes the jogger a very speedy recovery."
My first reaction to this story is "so what?".  We don't normally have a story about a jogger getting hit by a car in national news.  This time its different.  This time the guy driving the car is a big time (although ageing) hippy song writer and folk rock star.

The "news" in this case is all about David Crosby.  He wasn't intoxicated in any way.  Apparently that bit of information is surprising or otherwise unusual enough to merit mention. Mr. Crosby is very sorry and hopes the guy gets better and all that jazz.  Because, Mr. Crosby is a nice man.

One thing we aren't told, is the name, or anything else about the guy who got hit, other than he was hurt bad and his injuries aren't life threatening. 

On the other hand we have Crosby mentioned by name 11 times in a short news blurb.  The cop they quoted got his name mentioned more than the poor guy who is laying on his back in a hospital someplace in California.

Mr. Crosby isn't the problem (other than hitting the guy).  The problem is that we live in a country where the focus in this story isn't the guy who got hurt.  The focus (and by implication why we should collectively care) is that this was an EVENT that happened in the life of a celebrity.  


Of Crossbows

I like some of the stories that the Daily Mail runs.  Not the celebrity tabloid stuff.  That's simply dull.  I enjoy stories like this one about a 2,200 Year Old Crossbow.  I think history and archaeology are interesting topics.  I don't need sensational headlines to get my attention. 
The Terracotta Army crossbow that could shoot twice as far as a modern-day rifle: Archaeologists unearth 2,200-year-old weapon at historic Chinese site  
 FWIW the Terracotta Army is a large collection of statues made out of clay.  As far as I can see in the article the crossbow looks to be made out of clay as well.  Maybe it wasn't and the coloration is a result of being buried.  I guess we don't know, but that might have been a detail to investigate.

Second point:
The crossbow, which was found intact this week, could have shot an arrow up to 2,600 feet - about the length of nine football pitches, the People's Daily Online reported.
Historical texts indicate that its firing range could have been up to 2,600 feet, according to Huashang Newspaper, which is double the range of an assault rifle, which is about 1,300 feet. 
I'm a bit of a firearms hobbyist.   I don't normally think of shooting distances expressed in feet.  I think in terms of yards.  So 3 feet to a yard, lets to the math:

2,600 feet for the crossbow is 867 yards.  Pretty darn respectable.

1,300 feet for a modern assault rifle? That works out to 433 yards.

This is going to come down to a question of which rifle we are talking about.  An open sighted AK style rifle or a open sight AR platform chambered in a 22 cal round do have an effective range of about 400 yards.  That isn't the whole story of course.  I've shot AR's past 600 yards and of course 30 call, 338 cal and 50 cal rifles shoot to 1,000 yards and beyond.  Heck modern rifles are capable of hits on man sized targets out to 1 mile and beyond.

You can't expect Brits writing for other Brits to know too much about firearms.  Guns are after all scary and its amazing that they were able to keep a stiff upper lip long enough to type the story in the first place.  So we'll give them a pass on this because, its about as close as you'd expect them to get anyway.  If you look at it from a narrow point of view the author isn't too far off.

We still don't know what the crossbow was made out of.  If it was clay, like the rest of the Terracotta Army statues, it wasn't actually a weapon, it was pottery.  Pottery doesn't shoot anything at all.  It just sets there.


GFF: Avalanche Edition

When seconds count help is only hours away.  Self rescue and buddy rescue are the most effective methods in most outdoor emergences.

 Here's how its done:


Reason to home school #37

Reason to home school #37

PE class looks a lot like playing catch and hitting grounders to your kids in the back yard.

For my birthday this year I bought a baseball glove on-line and had it sent to the house.  That way it looked like Mrs. Ipsa ordered it.  Plus the kids got to tease me about my getting a "secret" birthday gift in the mail.  Mrs. Ipsa was in on it. 

I did this because I hadn't bought a baseball glove since 1984.  Ipsa Jr. likes baseball.  He's getting so he can almost throw the ball hard enough that it stings a little to catch it with my bare hand.  Both my son and daughter have discovered that they love playing catch and shagging balls in the yard.

I can hit a couple of FARRRR ones (basically a pop up that would go over the second baseman's head) and my kids think its a centerfield over the wall home run.

Hank Aaron never had fans as appreciative as mine.


Priest in Customs

A very distinguished lady was on a plane arriving from Switzerland.
She found herself seated next to a nice priest whom she asked:
"Excuse me Father, could I ask a favor?"

"Of course my child, What can I do for you?"

"Here is the problem, I bought myself a new sophisticated hair
remover gadget for which I paid an enormous sum of money. I have
really gone over the declaration limits and I am worried that they
will confiscate it at customs. Do you think you could hide it under
your cassock?"

"Of course I could, my child, but you must realize that I can not

"You have such an honest face Father, I am sure they will not ask
you any questions", and she gave him the 'hair remover'.

The aircraft arrived at its destination. When the priest presented
himself to customs he was asked, "Father, do you have anything to

"From the top of my head to my sash, I have nothing to declare, my
son", he replied.

Finding this reply strange, the customs officer asked, "And from the
sash down, what do you have?"

The priest replied, "I have there a marvelous little instrument
designed for use by women, but which has never been used."

Breaking out in laughter, the customs officer said, "Go ahead Father.