Friday, March 26, 2010

Almost forget

Wherein now with new content

niger and congo
dumped Tiger
Queen Section

Friday, March 19, 2010

Buffett's Top 10 Investing Secrets

Wherein I would never say he's lazy

  1. Margarita mix
  2. shark hats
  3. Parrot hats
  4. Attractive backup singers
  5. Restaurant chains
  6. minor league baseball teams
  7. Landshark beer
  8. Biloxi casino
  9. t-shirts
  10. Gullibility of fans willing to buy anything with his name on it, despite the fact he's been coasting on moderate talent for over 20 years

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Banzai charges don't work

Wherein another Neal Stephenson quote

So I see that Moe Lane (why, is there grass there?) writes (and links to Cryptonomicon): *Or a Banzai charge, of course: but as Neal Stephenson once noted, the interesting thing about Banzai charges is that THEY DON’T WORK.
If by "once noted" he means Stephenson wrote a book that contained a character that said banzai charges don't work, then yes.
"For us, living or dying is not the important thing," Goto Dengo says.
"Hey! Tell me something I didn't fucking already know!" Shaftoe says. Even winning battles isn't important to you. Is it?"
Goto Dengo looks the other way, shamefaced.
"Haven't you guys figured out yet that banzai charges DON'T FUCKING WORK?"
"All of the people who learned that were killed in banzai charges," Goto Dengo says.
As if on cue, the Nips in the left field dugout begin screaming "Banzai!" and charge, as one, out onto the field. Shaftoe puts his eye up to a bullet hole in the wall and watches them stumbling across the infield with fixed bayonets. Their leader clambers up the pitcher's mound as if he's going to plant a flag there, and takes a slug in the middle of his face. His men are being dismantled all around him by thoughtfully placed rifle slugs from the Huks' dugout. Urban warfare is not the metier of the Hukbalahaps, but calmly slaughtering banzai-charging Nipponese is old hat. One of the Nips actually manages to crawl all the way to the first base coach's box. Then a few pounds of meat come flying out of his back and he relaxes.
Shaftoe turns to see that Goto Dengo is aiming a revolver at him. He chooses to ignore this for a moment. "See what I mean?"
"I have seen it many times before."
"Then why aren't you dead?" Shaftoe asks the question with all due flippancy, but it has a terrible effect on Goto Dengo. His face scrunches up and he begins to cry. "Aw, shit. You pull a gun on me and start bawling at the same time? How unfair can you get? Why don't you kick some fucking dirt in my eyes while you're at it?"

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

1. circus
2. banana
3. nixon. oops, off by almost a couple hundred years.
4. Mikey
5. An economist at a dinner party
6. Euphrates and ??
7. allergic to oranges.

Open carry

Wherein it's been awhile since I last dropped a Neal Stephenson quote

Over at Reason, you can read about,
One goal of the "open carry" movement, The New York Times notes, is to encourage liberalization of concealed carry laws. California, for instance, is one of nine states where concealed carry permits are issued at the discretion of local officials, which often means that only the politically connected receive permission to discreetly pack heat. But California law (PDF) allows you to openly carry an unloaded gun without a permit, provided you are outside of designated "gun-free" zones. Hence the holstered coffee drinkers letting it all hang out at Starbucks

Which, of course, reminds me of this scene from Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. While Randy sits in the Mcdonald's parking lot, across the street from Novus Ordo Seclorum:
In the lot of the 24 Jam, Mike or Mark has joined three other elvish looking sorts in black cowboy hats and bandannas, whom Randy can identify based on the length and color of their ponytails and beards. There's Stu, a Berkeley grad student who is somehow mixed up in Avi's HEAP project, and Phil, who invented a major programming language a couple of years ago and goes helicopter skiing in his spare time, and Craig, who knows everything there is to know about encrypted credit card transactions on the Net and is a devotee of traditional Nipponese archery. Some of these guys are wearing long coats and some aren't. There is a lot of Secret Admirers iconography: t-shirts bearing the number 56, which is a code for Yamamoto, or just pictures of Yamamoto himself, or big fat question marks. They are having an energetic and very happy conversation though it looks a bit forced because, to a man, they are carrying long weapons out in plain sight. One of them has a hunting rifle, and each of the others is slinging a rudimentary looking gun with a banana clip sticking out of the side. Randy thinks, but is not sure, that these are HEAP guns.

This scene, not surprisingly, has caught the attention of the police, who have surrounded these four with squad cars, and who are standing at the ready with rifles and shotguns. It is an oddity of the law in many jurisdictions that, while carrying (say) a concealed one shot .22 derringer requires a license, openly carrying (e.g.) a big game rifle is perfectly legal. Concealed weapons are outlawed or at least heavily regulated, and unconcealed ones are not. So a lot of Secret Admirers who tend to be gun nuts have taken to going around conspicuously armed as a way of pointing out the absurdity of those rules. Their point is this: who gives a shit about concealed weapons anyway, since they are only useful for defending oneself against assaults by petty criminals, which almost never happens? The real reason the Constitution provides for the right to bear arms is defending oneself against oppressive governments, and when it comes to that, your handgun is close to useless. So (according to these guys) if you are going to assert your right to keep and bear arms you should do it openly, by packing something really big.