Oh ye of little faith

My new spokesweasel, in progress. Cute as a button, inne?

This is for NBPundit of Gulf Coast Pundit, who apparently doesn’t believe I’m actually working on building sweasel.com. Hey, do you think it’s easy to steal someone else’s code and disembowel it? Do you? No. Theft is hard. It’s a lot harder than sitting around doing nothing, which is my strong suit.

I’m also reluctant to unplug myself from the WordPress fambly too hastily. Seems to me, once it got spidered in, this site zoomed up the Google ladder faster than other web sites I’ve built. And I like the tagsurfing thing — you know, clicking on a post category shows other WordPress blogs talking about the same thing, rather than going to an archive of this blog. That’s probably a php switch I can change (yeah, see…php. I’m having to learn new stuff, too).

I suspect you can host off-site and still participate as a WordPress blog, I just don’t know how to do it. There’s almost too much documentation on WordPress — on my way to find answers, I get distracted by the shiny things and the buzzy noises.

Sticks and stones may break my bones

Hey, that last post reminded me of something that pisses me off. Yes, I know it’s hard to imagine anything pissing me off…

I mentioned my trunk was full of wadcutter bullets. Are you familiar with the term?

“Bullet” proper refers to the slug — that ball of lead at the end of the doohicky. The whole enchilada — bullet, case, gunpowder and primer — is called a “cartridge”.

Most bullets are rounded. This tears a star-shaped hole in a target, which kind of closes up after the slug passes through. This isn’t very good on a firing range; from way down at the shooter’s position, you can’t really see where your shot went on the paper. (Or, in my case, whether it went on the paper. I’m a pretty average shot).

A wadcutter bullet is flat. This punches a nice, neat, round hole in the target, which can be seen much more easily from a distance. You wouldn’t choose it for a self-defense round, but it’s great on the range. (A semi-wadcutter…oh, guess, Einstein).

In the world of ammunition, wadcutters are pretty benign. But they sound so dadblasted evil. Wad and cutter — two ugly words made uglier together.

So I was watching this crime program. I think it was one of the CSI’s — yes, we’re coming to the “pisses me off” part. Those programs never get things 100% right, particularly when it comes to guns.

The clue in this case was that the victim had been shot with a .38 wadcutter. Now, that’s a fairly interesting clue for a deepstupid program like CSI. And I think, as a nod to their subject matter expert, there was some mention that the round was used on firing ranges.

But the writers were so in love with the sound of the word “wadcutter” that they never explored what it meant. Like, what would the implication be in helping prove or disprove premeditation in a murder case? Instead, the word was simply repeated for effect.

“The lab says it was…a …a…wadcutter.” <gasp!>

Stupid Hollywood.


Now, a Safety Slug, on the other hand, is a kind of an an evil fucker. It’s a handgun cartridge with pellets in the nose instead of a single slug. A shot-shell, basically. The “safety” part comes in because it doesn’t have much penetrating force — it won’t go through the target or the wall and hit Grandma in the parlor. It doesn’t ricochet or do much damage to solid objects. It will, however, chew a big ugly hole in meat at close range. Weasel reminds readers that we are made out of meat.

I had to take a basic firearms safety course when I joined a firing range. The instructor recommended that we buy a Ladysmith for self defense and load it with Safety Sugs. He speculated that this would be a nicer-sounding thing to explain to a jury after chewing big ugly holes in some two-legged, VCR-boosting meat one dark and stormy night.

As opposed to, say, a Laughing Assassinator loaded with Molten Slugs of Butchery.

Civil Disobedience, ctd.

Here’s the problem: too many people don’t know the difference between right and wrong and legal and illegal. And here’s the difference: you can pretty much work out right and wrong all by yourself, standing naked in the shower asking yourself the tough questions. Whether or not you’ve broken the law may take a whole chain gang of expensive law-talkin’ dudes working a cliff face of local, state and federal statutes.

See, we call our elected officials “law makers” because that’s what they do: make laws. All day long. Churn them out like butter cookies. Some of the laws are important and necessary. Some are unimportant and unnecessary. And some laws are on the books for the sake of the lovely money we have to give the state to comply with them, or atone for breaking them. Local taxes would buck like a pony without the cash provided by law-scoffing weasels such as yours truly. You’re welcome.

Still, it’s not that I didn’t know driving an unregistered car was illegal. It’s that I wasn’t convinced it was wrong. And, anyhow, I had a very good reason to let the registration lapse: I’m pretty sure the renewal notice fell behind my desk. Sure, you know, after a while you do think, “say, I haven’t seen a registration renewal notice in a while…” or “the little date sticker on my license plate represents a whole millenium gone by.” But after that first few years, what are you supposed to do? Call up the Department of Motor Vehicles and say, “boy, is my face red!”…?

After a while, this worry blended invisibly into the general atmosphere of dread; one more ounce of heft in the supernal Clownhammer of Righteousness suspended over my head. There are too many other, more interesting things to think about day to day.

And the hammer fell.

 

I squirted onto Route 1 from a little sidestreet under the nose of a cop. Why was there a cop there? Because it’s a lousy, dangerous place for a Stop sign. People blow through it more often than not. Good sense says “so take it down”; bureaucratic sense says “revenue opportunity!”

And why is a traffic cop’s first question usually, “do you know why I pulled you over?” Is this a test? What happens if I answer wrong? If I say “speeding” and it’s really “rolling stop,” do you get to charge me with both? If I say, “I have no idea,” have I violated some Driving While Moron statute?

Doesn’t matter. I was in a whole ‘nother universe of hurt. License and registration? Oh, dear. I pulled a wad of crumpled paper out of the glove box and pawed through it. My best shot was to take an old yellow garage invoice and twist it into a charming origami swan in hope he would clap his hands with delight and go away. Dammit, I knew I should’ve learned origami. I gave him the newest registration I had. It was seven years old.

“This is seven years old,” he said.
“Yes, well, it’s the newest I could find. It really is expired, I’m afraid.”
He went back to his car.

What happens to people who drive around on an expired registration? I wasn’t sure, but I had an idea it didn’t usually involve several more cop cars, including a paddy wagon, pulling up on the shoulder pinning me in. My little patch of Route 1 was all lit up and sparkly, like the Ice Capades. I sent my brain to the Blank Place and waited. A long, long time.

Finally, one of them breaks away from the huddle and walks up to me. I wasn’t sure if it was the same one. They were all dressed alike, like some kind of uniform.

“Right. Now you’re going to have to start telling us the truth,” he said sternly.
“I am telling you the truth,” I said. “My car registration is expired.”
“This plate is registered to a brown Ford Torino,” he said.
“Yes, well…my registration has been expired for a long time.”

He took three steps away, froze, turned on his heel and quickly walked back to my window. “Are you telling me this car has been unregistered for so long they’ve re-cycled your plate number?

Yeah. Ha. Suprised me too. And a Torino! They stopped making those in the Seventies, didn’t they? God knows what fascinating criminal mastermind he thought he had on his hands. Poor guy. He looked visibly deflated. I’d embarrassed him in front of his cop friends.

His buddies turned their lights off and drove away. He said, “okay, we’re going to have to tow your car. You can’t drive it until you get the paperwork straightened out. Is there anything in the car I should know about?”

I thought for a second and said, “my trunk is full of ammunition.”

Then it got interesting

 

It has to be said, I get away with a lot of this because I live in one state and drive mostly in another. Processing cop-type paperwork for an out-of-stater can be an unrewarding pain in the ass, I gather. But this one time, it worked against me. Massachusetts has some of the most anal-retentive gun laws in the country. You have to have a license to buy BB’s. I shit you not. I had all the right paperwork to drive around Rhode Island with a thousand rounds of .38 caliber wadcutter ammunition in the trunk, but who knew where I was at, where I was at?

He was pretty tense and irritable by now. He walked me around back and made me open the trunk. Slowly. Like he was afraid I was going to whip them out and start flinging deadly projectiles at him with my hands. Real hard.

He took away the Big Box o’ Bullets and called for someone else to tow my car and take me away. Sadly, they didn’t handcuff me or frogmarch me or anything exciting like that, but I got to ride in the back of the police car. It was stripped down to the bare metal and there was something like a huge gummy hairball on the floor.

I said to the lady, “it looks like somebody hocked up something interesting back here.”
“You have no idea!” she said cheerily. I got the impression she was the cop taxi a lot. Maybe that’s what they do with girl police.

Pretty anticlimactic from there. I did some paperwork. I called a car rental place and had a car delivered. Next morning, I took the old plates down to the Registry (“woo! I haven’t seen plates this style in years,” “Yeah, it’s been in garaged for a while”) got new plates, put them on my car, paid everybody off and away I went. When I compared the cost of the tickets, tow and rental against the cost of keeping my car in registration for seven years, I was either five dollars to the good or five dollars worse off. I forget. Learn my lesson? What lesson?

Here’s the fun part: he had to give me my ammunition back. Turns out my Rhode Island credentials covered me. A box of a thousand rounds isn’t all that large, but it’s heavy for its size. This one had been in my trunk for a while, sharing space with an opened quart of oil. So — get this — it’s heavy and very greasy. Yeah, and that thing had been set down all over that police station. Everywhere it went, I saw a big, square, dark, greasy, permanent stain.

In remembrance of me.

Civil Disobedience Lite

I got the new Weaselmobile inspected Friday, and now I’m 100% street legal for the first time in…I don’t know. Twelve years? I’m like, “yeah, go on — pull me over! I’m clean!” My damn papers are never in order. I’d like to say this is a defiant act of civil disobedience. A madcap libertarian thumb in the eye of authority. Truth is, I’m just incredibly lazy and apathetic.

I discovered a secret dangerous for a slacker to know: there’s still a whole lot of play in the steering of this police state…ummm…bus metaphor…thing…of ours. Yes, even in George Bush’s AmeriKKKa, you can still scoff a whole lot of law before they pitch you in Guantanamo. Have you ever driven past a rusty old rattletrap of a hoopty and thought to yourself, “that thing can’t possibly be legal”? You’re right — it probably isn’t.

See, modern America filled with baffled immigrants (legal and otherwise), befuddled old people, rattled addicts, unglued nutballs, muddled drunks and good old-fashioned, home-grown, perfectly natural deeply stupid people. I call these people my posse. A cop looks at us far-goners and what he sees is paperwork and hassle. You wouldn’t believe how often we get a pass.

My life of crime started with the car inspection. I moved here in 1978 from a state that didn’t do car inspections. I never heard of such a thing. When I finally I did hear of such a thing, I called the Department of Transportation.

“Is this an inspection state?” I asked, feeling all good citizen-y about following this up.
“Whu?” said the woman at the Department of Transportation.
“Do you do car inspections in this state?”
“Whu?” said the woman at the Department of Transportation.
“Does this state require cars to undergo an annual safety inspection?”
“Whu?” said the woman at the Department of Transportation.

I hung up. Dammit, I tried. This, my friends, is what Weasel calls a Sign from Above.

After nine years on the lam, I finally got pulled over by a policelady on a Providence sidestreet. She was nice about it, but she started off with totally the wrong question: “Do you know you have no inspection sticker?”

If you are not a GENIUS improvisational liar, there is no good, cop-appeasing answer to this question. Thinking quick, I remembered lessons learned from my friend at the DoT. I said, “oh! Ahhhh…hahaha…mmmm.”

She asked for license and registration. She began to speak very slowly. She said, “do you know what a car inspection is?”

I said, “Ha! Ohhhh…yah. Huh. Yah.” At this point, there is simply no good lie for me and thus she has heard no words of any identifiable language come out of my mouth. She frowns, looks at my license and begins calling me by first name, soothingly. This is probably standard police retard-deflecting procedure. Unfortunately, there was at this time a small but critical typo on my driver’s license. One tiny, insignificant consonant had been switched, transforming my perfectly ordinary given name into a stupid word. Alas, she did not know this and I had forgotten it.

“Now, Stupidword,” she said gently.

Oh, Christ almighty. Caught by surprise, I couldn’t help myself. The MORONLAUGH slipped out. “BAH!!!!” I barked in her face enthusiastically, “no, no, no…hahaha…” Big grin. Hand gestures.

“Now, Stupidword,” she interrupted, patiently, “you take this piece of paper to a gas station, and you say, ‘I want my car inspected,’ and they’ll inspect your car and put a sticker on it saying it’s okay to drive. Do you understand?”

Man, I hope that lady got her Merit Badge in Empathetic Moron-Wrangling. She sure earned it. She didn’t even give me a ticket; just a written warning.

In the 29 years since I phoned Civil Servant Brainiac, I have submitted to inspection six times: thrice automatically after buying new cars and thrice under duress after getting tickets. Inspections are about $25 a year. Tickets are about $50 apiece. I have, therefore, spent $150 in tickets and saved $575 in inspections — not counting what I would’ve had to spend to bring some of my more X-treme shitboxes up to code. Note that the tickets had no effect on my insurance rates, or the math might be very different.

The other tickets were perfunctory and uneventful. Except that last one. Another lady cop pulled me over right in front of my own house. That shouldn’t be allowed, should it? Isn’t that, like, automatic King’s X?

The cats snubbed me for a week.

Now, if our front porch doesn’t run away, and take the back steps with it so I have to sleep on the doormat, I’ll tell you next time how Uncle Wiggily Longears got popped for a car registration seven years out of date and uttered the six words that make any routine traffic stop fun again.

Harry Potter Naked!!!!

harrypotternude.jpg

Okay, it turns out, I’m not all that comfortable with the topic of Little Boy Penis. I just wanted some of that sweet, sweet Googlebomb action.

Oh, little magic people who live in the computer! Do not go away. Stay. Please. Weasel hearts you very much. See, Weasel drew you a picture for how much! What a big throbby heart Weasel has!

Stay, and Weasel will give you what you want. Mister Google says that is a thing called “panty pulling” and something else called “boobies.”

Very well! Pulling panties and boobies for everyone! Yay!

Oh, pooh! Here comes Mister Grumpy Assface Bossman guy. He is always ruining the pulling panties and the boobies.

Yes, yes…of course Weasel did the Q1 Objectives Report, whatever that is. Ssssss. Very fine job. Quick! And not so many tooth marks this time!

Going now.

Who are you people?

I haven’t even posted anything in a couple of days, and inexplicably I’m having my highest traffic day ever. No unusual incoming links, two paltry Google search terms and I’ve more than doubled on yesterday. Who are you and where are you coming from?

Is it because I’m not posting? Is that it? Does it count as a separate hit if you guys keep punching refresh? Are you betting I’ll have just enough juice before I croak to lean over and post ‘WAAAAAAUUUUUUGH!”…?

Oh, hey! Segue! I drew this at lunch. I was thinking about using it for a “Technical Difficulties — Please Stand By” graphic. But I keep toning it down and toning it down and it still doesn’t say “funny” as much as “creepy dead animal.”

deadweasel.gif

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not the tongue. It was even worse without the tongue. The tongue is, at least, a nod to a classic comic gag.

It’ll be better with type.

There! I’ve fed you! Shoo!

From me to you

To the person who just found this wretched hive of scum and villainy by doing a Google search for “Lurpak butter logo” — here you go:

Y’all come back now, y’hear?

To the rest of you, I highly recommend Lurpak. It’s nice butter. You have to pay through the nose for it at Whole Foods, but it comes from Denmark. You know, the place where those charming drawings of that nice Mr Mohammed came from. Buy it.

I shall call him…Adolph

They’ve changed the body design of the Miata twice. Once in, like, 2000 and again last year, I think. All upright, decent citizens prefer the original design. It had a round, cheery shape, with a toothless smile, squinty running lights and googly pop-up headlamps. It was a happy, goofy car. Anime on wheels. Kind of a Sailor Moon thing.

I just bought the second generation, and what a difference! Subtle, yet…not really subtle at all. Less round, more slanty. The fenders flare out, the smile is wider and more pointy, the headlamps are almond shaped and tilted. It still looks happy, but in a Satan-y sort of way.

And mine, saints preserve us, has a license plate holder stuck over the grill, making it look just like ol’ Godwin-bane hisself.

I love the way it drives, and I guess I like the way it looks. I guess. It’s very black. And shiny.

I volunteered to do an errand today (because NEW CAR! Duh). I drove the whole way listening to Best of Black Sabbath Volume I. And I didn’t really want to. I’m worried that it’s going to start pegging the blue-hairs lining up for the Early Bird Special next door. It looks…thirsty.

Maybe when there’s a license plate on the front, it’ll stop channeling der F├╝hrer.

Bought a car

Damn, I had to get rid of that rental car. I didn’t so much mind driving it — if they weren’t built for shit, I wouldn’t mind having a four-door Doofusmobile. It’s like driving a high school gymnasium. Stately, you know?

The problem was the radio. It had a satellite radio, which I couldn’t figure out how to drive. I just plopped down on the first channel I found and hung there for fear I’d get lost up the dial. Blue Collar Radio 103. Stand up comedy. The Foxworthy Channel, basically. It was plenty entertaining, but six days is a long time to drive around dying for a beer.

So I drove from Boston to New Haven to buy another old Miata. I found it on the internet — the dealer had shaved two grand off the price because a convertible is a hard sell in Connecticut in January. It is black. It is very, very shiny. It is seven years old, but I cannot absorb this because the year 2000 was, like, DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY in my head. I think we still have toilet paper we hoarded for Y2K (I don’t care if we can flush, but we better be able to WIPE in this brave new millenium).

My previous car was a model year 1990, but it actually was delivered in the Summer of ’89. One of the very first Miatas to roll off the assembly line.

You know what driving home your-car-minus-ten-years is like? Imagine you wake up tomorrow and get in your car and somehow everything in it is a decade newer and the complete opposite. It used to be white, now it’s black. It used to have a growly, throaty, farty engine, and now it’s whiny and screamy. All the manual controls are electrical. All the analog is digital. All the radio pre-sets are wrong.

It’s like aliens poured my car in a replicator and it came out the other side different. On a molecular level. On top of which they decide to screw with me for no good reason. It’s nice but…creepy.

That’s what it’s like.