New personalized Virginia Plate

Hat tip to Musings over a Barrel.

Virginia has come up with a new “Stop Gun Violence” license plate option

When I first saw it, I feared that the money from sales of the plate would end up going to some anti-gun organization, but a Republican amendment to the bill earmarks the funds for mental health programs, which I think is a fine purpose even if unrelated to violence or any particular tool.

With that in mind, I’m sorely tempted to order one of these for my truck who’s plates expire next month.

Paired with another accessory I have in mind, I think it would be a worthy addition:

What say you?


Custody Case

Indianapolis, IN – A seven year old boy was at the center of a Marion County courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulation requiring that family unity be maintained to the highest degree possible.

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried and said that they also beat him.

After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.

After two recesses to check legal references and confer with the child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Indianapolis Colts Football Team, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone.

Contributed via e-mail by CB


Revenge is at hand.

Remember a few weeks ago, when I related how I found that great bargain on the priceless memento of our President?

How I sent it to a friend of mine as a gift and how he responded?

Thank you so much for the Milton Bradley Commemorative Barack Obama “Yes We Can!” puzzle. I’m at a loss for how to show my most heartfelt appreciation. Email won’t come close. A proper response requires pen and ink on paper. Honestly though, I fear that alone will surely fall short as well. I’ll put serious thought toward how one might properly reciprocate such a thoughtful and beautiful gift from as dear a friend as yourself.

Well, his response came today.

All I can say is: well played, my friend, well played.

I must admit that I’m a bit torn.  Do I leave it in the packaging, helping to retain it’s obvious collector value and to pass down to my children and grand-children as a cherished heirloom?  Or do I open it so that I can grow and enjoy it as it was intended?

Anyone ever had one before?  How long do the plants live?  If I’ll only be able to enjoy it for a couple of weeks or so, It’s not worth ruining the collector value.

What say my faithful readers?


Aviation Maintenance humor

I started to leave this as a comment to this post over at Weer’d Beard’s place, but it got too long (surprise, surprise) so I decided to bring it over here.

His post was basically a link to a series of funny gripes purportedly written by FEDEX pilots and the signoffs that the maintenance people used to document the “solutions” to the problems.

The term “gripe” is slang.  The official term for a problem reported by pilots is a “discrepancy”, but pretty much everyone (at least in the Navy) uses the slang term “gripe”.

Not to rain on the parade but variations of that list have been around for a long time.  Where the list is supposedly from depends on where you find it.

I’ve seen similar lists (the “IFF in OFF position” one makes regular appearances on all of them) reported as actual gripes from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and even once saw them reported as being from the British Air Force.  I have to admit that’s the first time I’ve ever seen them being claimed by a civilian aviation community.

That does not reduce the hilarity though, and many of them are very similar to gripes aviation maintenance people see on a regular basis…which is what makes them so funny.  The best humor is rooted in reality.

This stems from the fact that the pilots generally know relatively little about how the equipment they are trained to operate actually works.  When I wanted to get under a pilot’s skin I would ask them “Why is it that it takes a college education to break an airplane but only a high school education to fix one?”…but I digress.

The funniest gripe I ever dealt with was when I was working on P-3’s when I was but a lowly Third Class Petty Officer.  P-3 Pilots don’t wear aviator helmets but use headsets with boom microphones similar to the picture on the right.

The Audio system allows the pilots to select specific radios to be heard in each ear.  The pilot can select one radio (or more than one) for the right ear,  and different radio(s) for the left ear, which can help them identify exactly who it is that’s talking to them based on which ear they hear it in.  It also helps to prevent the different radios from “walking on” each other and both transmissions becoming garbled.

I had a brand new pilot (actually still flying as a copilot) report that the audio channels were reversed.  I checked the radios and intercom system and they were working fine so I signed off the gripe “could not duplicate discrepancy” and didn’t think much more about it.

It is a faux pas for pilots to write gripes that get signed off that way because it often means they didn’t know what they were doing, so they get annoyed when we sign off their gripes as “could not duplicate”.

The next time the pilot flew (a different plane no less), he wrote the same gripe and complained to Maintenance Control because this was a “duplicate gripe” that had been signed off once already.  He was mad because I obviously didn’t know what I was doing when I made him look bad by signing it off the way I did last time.

The Maintenance Control Chief called me down to talk to the pilot.  I very patiently listened to him rant and rave about how incompetent I was for signing off his gripe when it obviously hadn’t been fixed because he had the same problem again today (it apparently didn’t even occur to him to be suspicious about the fact that he was having the exact same “problem” on two different airplanes).

I asked him very politely to demonstrate the problem for me and went out to the airplane with him.  We climbed into the cockpit and powered up the systems, he sat in the copilot’s seat, flipped the boom mike around and put the headset on his head.  He then proceeded to select UHF1 in his left ear and did a radio check with Maintenance Control.  “See!” he exclaimed.  “I’ve got the radio selected for left ear and the audio is coming from the right.”

I didn’t say a word.  I grabbed the earpieces in my hands, took the headset off his head, flipped the mike around again and put the headset back on his head so that the mike was coming from his left ear rather than his right and said “try it now.”

He didn’t even bother trying it again.  He uttered some expletive or another and just stormed off the plane…probably more embarrassed and/or mad at himself than mad at me.

I signed off the gripe: “Screwed Pilot’s head on straight, checks 4.0 on ground power.”

I don’t think that pilot said two words to me again that entire tour of duty.


And its 5678sdfg for the WIN!

The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t. Not without your help. But you’re not helping. I mean: you’re not helping! Why is that, ZedgarDOS? They’re just questions, ZedgarDOS. they’re written down for me. It’s a test, designed to provoke an emotional response… Shall we continue? Describe in single words only the good things that come into your mind about… your mother…

In comments directed to the person who stood by filming while this was going on

Hat tip to Artful Articulations


Your funny for the day

Remember the lunatic Richmond bartender with delusions of adequacy that I linked to a couple of days ago?

The one so eager to debate that he doesn’t allow comments on his own blog?  The one who is so courageous and confident in his position that when he leaves a comment on other blogs (like, say, this one) he does so anonymously?  The one who, rather than actually discussing the issue or even trying to make a point,  just posts a link to a picture of himself looking rather like we would expect a raving lunatic to look?  Yea, that guy.

Well apparently he has been completely unaffected by the strong reaction that his rather spirited post engendered in gun owners…so unaffected, in fact, that he’s now “redacted” that post from his blog.


Anyway, he’s now claiming that he want’s to “debate” the issue in public.

Yes…the guy who won’t permit debate on his blog, and who’s debating skills on other blogs so far has been restricted to posting links to pictures of him making a fool of himself, all the sudden wants to calmly and rationally discuss the issue.

Gee, I wonder how that “debate” would go.

I was tempted to take him up on his offer for about a half a millisecond…which is about how long it took me to realize that only an idiot would try to “debate” with a screeching, poo-flinging monkey who’s entire argument consists of screaming obscenities and insults at the top of his lungs.

I’m thinking that a better plan, now that the offending post has been removed anyway, is just to let the issue drop and allow Mr. Jack Lauterback to fade right back into the well-deserved obscurity from whence he crawled a few days ago.

Wrestling with pigs and all that.


April Fools Jokes

As most readers know, I grew up in a small rural community in Indiana.

To be specific, I grew up on a farm about 5 miles north of Tipton, Indiana, the county seat of Tipton County.

The place is so unexciting you’ll notice that, other than physical description like population and area, the Wikipedia articles for the two are pretty much the same.

There’s only so much you can say about wide expanses of corn and bean fields (although the entry for the town does include mention of the annual, world famous (I’ve got a story about that I’ll tell you someday), Pork Festival).

Don’t get me wrong. I still consider Tipton County to be my home (even though I’ve lived away from there significantly longer than I lived there) and it was a great place to grow up.

Anyway…I wasn’t an actual witness to the event, but my father related the story to me once while we were at his mother’s home for some family gathering or another.

Basically, the County newspaper, the Tipton Tribune, which generally consisted of about 4 pages, half of which were the comics and classified ads, published a Front Page Story on April 1st of some undetermined year in the past (for all I know it may have been before I was born) about how the Tipton County Courthouse had had its clock tower severely damaged when it was attacked by a Pterodactyl.

The story was complete with a picture of the beast attacking the clock tower and the tower itself virtually destroyed.

Keep in mind that this was before the age of digital photography or the “special effects” that would make creating such a picture easy in this day and age. They went to a lot of trouble to make the picture and make it look realistic.

Apparently, when my grandmother saw the paper, she swallowed the story hook line and sinker. She wasn’t completely convinced that the story was an April Fools joke (they had a PICTURE of it for Pete’s sake) until the next time they went to town and saw the intact clock tower.

What’s intriguing to me is that my Dad found the story so funny, he actually kept a clipping of the news story from the paper. My mom may still have it somewhere…I’ll have to ask her some time.

Anyway, I always enjoyed that story (and the uncontrollable mirth it always brought to my dad) and personally nominate it for induction into the April Fools Joke hall of fame.