“That’s not one of meat’s many uses.”

— Ben, from Full Throttle

It's just so... French

This story leaves me gasping for breath:

Norwegian authorities have fined a French tour guide nearly $1,500 for shooting a curious polar bear in the foot.

Officials later had to kill the animal, part of a protected species, the newspaper Aftenposten said.

The drama took place last month when the tour guide and her group of six tourists were waiting for a boat to pick them up at Van Mijenfjord after a land excursion.

A male polar bear suddenly appeared and started roaming toward them. The guide urged her group to run toward a nearby wooden structure but the bear followed.

The guide feared she would not have time to reload after a warning shot, so she wounded the bear in the foot. He hobbled away. Officials said she should have used emergency flares or other devices available to her to scare off the bear.

She was fined $1,436.

I’m surprised she didn’t surrender. Okay, cheap shot. What I’m really surprised about is that the moron survived. Let’s have a pop quiz. You’ve just been confronted by a giant carnivore that does not appear actively hostile. Do you: A) kill the bear, B) back away slowly and calmly while preparing to kill the bear if it charges, C) fire a warning shot to scare the bear away, D) panic and run, E) shoot the bear in the foot, or F) both D and E.

Perhaps the most curious line from the story is this one: The guide feared she would not have time to reload after a warning shot. So, she either had the wrong weapon for bear country or simply wasn’t competent with the right one, and because of this, she chose to wound a goddamn polar bear. Forget fining the nitwit, just ship her to grizzly country and let Ma Nature finish her off.

New toy: Motorola v600

Okay, I don’t really have much use for the camera side of my new cellphone; I’m a quality snob who thinks his 5 megapixel digicam is adequate for 4x6 snapshots and web galleries and nothing more, and I’m more interested in switching to larger film than to digital. Still, when you buy a new toy, in this case replacing my Ericsson T68 to get better reception and MP3 ringtones, you should at least try out the features.

How’s the camera? Functional for quick, on-the-spot documentation, but nothing more. For instance, when I was leaving the Reno Hilton (lame casino, skip the steakhouse, eat at Asiana) Wednesday morning, I spotted a big Harley parked on the sidewalk next to a large sign that boldly stated “No motorcycle parking on sidewalk.” That would have been worth a quick snap.

It takes 640x480 pictures, and claims to offer a 4x zoom. Zoom, my ass. This is pure marketing-speak. The viewfinder is what zooms; the resulting picture is either a 320x240 or 160x120 crop. Quality is nothing to write home about, but sufficient for amusement.

Other than that, the phone’s features are quite nice. It has the usual mix of vibrate, speakerphone, BlueTooth, GPRS, games, messaging, etc., and adds MP3 ringtones with quite reasonable fidelity. The reception is also living up to its promise so far, giving me a much stronger signal inside my house, where the Ericsson was prone to dropping calls unless I stood in the sweet spot facing the correct direction.

Motorola doesn’t support Macs for their phones, and Apple hasn’t added SyncML support to iSync, but they still work together over BlueTooth. You can copy phonebook entries, MP3s, and pictures back and forth, and with Ross Barkman’s modem scripts and configuration database, it was easy to set up GPRS and configure my PowerBook to use the phone for wireless Internet access.

And if you call me, everyone nearby will be blessed with the sound of The Carol of the Old Ones. I briefly considered the orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally, a classic geek sound file, but I still remember what happened when we used it as the out-of-paper noise on our NeXT printer, and my boss tried to print a large document while carrying on a phone conversation with his very young daughter.

It’s easy to switch to a secondary ringtone, so I’m thinking the opening song from Hand Maid May would work nicely.

Saddam on trial

It occurs to me that Saddam Hussein can’t lose. Oh, he can lose the case, and maybe even his life, but in the Court of World Opinion, anything he says can and will be used against Bush.

Saddam says, “We had no WMDs,” and the press shouts “Bush lied!”

Saddam says, “Yes, we were continuing to develop WMDs to use and sell,” and the press orgasmically cries “Brainwashed by his American jailers!”

Okay, that’s the Western press; the Arab press is more likely to blame it on the Jews, Bush’s secret masters.

Michael Moore will blame it on the people who wrote critical reviews of his magnum opus, FearAndHate 911.

A song for the times

Got dragged into an argument by some frothing Lefties who reached multiple orgasms during Michael Moore’s new propaganda flick, and found a song running through my head:

999 shells filled with mustard gas,
999 known WMDs,
put one down, into the ground,
998 shells filled with mustard gas.

Anime Endings: Mahoromatic revisited via Angelic Layer

After reaching the end of Angelic Layer, I found myself thinking about the unsatisfying conclusion to Mahoromatic, and I think I finally understand how it went wrong.

Warning: severe spoilers for Mahoromatic ahead. Safe for people currently watching Angelic Layer (hinthint). I’ll defer a full discussion of that ending for a while. I want to go back and watch the whole thing again first.


...sticks where it's supposed to...

Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, that one had recently had an unpleasant encounter with some pavement. And, purely for the sake of argument, let’s say that the clothing one was wearing mostly protected one’s body from being damaged by this encounter, but allowed a relatively small patch of skin to be, in the vernacular, “rubbed raw.”

What over-the counter remedies would one find best suited to dealing with this situation? My list (which isn’t at all hypothetical, more’s the pity):

  • Bayer aspirin
  • Bactine Pain Relieving Cleansing Wipes
  • Nexcare Non-Stick Pads (which, I'm pleased to report, do not, in fact, stick)
  • Nexcare Micropore Paper First Aid Tape (which sticks to hairy arms without subsequently removing said hair)
  • Band-Aid Hurt-Free Cleansing & Infection Protection Foam (which penetrates more deeply than the wipes)

First-aid products might not be a sexy market, but they’ve improved a lot since I last fell off of a two-wheeled vehicle, sometime in the early Seventies.

When Captain America is outlawed...

…only outlaws will have Captain America, I suppose. Cartoonist Scott Kurtz just discovered the hard way that a lot of the Left-leaning people who’ve been accused of hating America really do hate America. Even Captain America.

Last night, after the day started to wind down I logged into my favorite virtual world for some escape time. The City of Heroes game has been my online diversion of choice as of late. I really enjoy the game a lot.
I've tried just about every character type and I'm settling on my favorites. Last night, for fun, I decided to make myself a Captain America type hero...you know, go the whole patriotic route.

The typical reaction when his red, white, and blue hero appeared in public? “Ugh. I hate our country.” “How can you wave a flag of a country that kills other countries for oil we already have.” “Bush is an idiot.”

Kurtz’s response? A series of macros to quickly counter the reflexive anti-Americanism he’s running into. My favorite?

"I defeated Hitler's reanimated body to defend your freedom to say that."

Product Review: Zippo Z-Clip

I don’t have much practical use for a lighter, but I like carrying one around to assert my membership in a tool-using species (I also carry a pocket-knife, but have found no good excuse so far to carry around a wheel). So, when the folks at Zippo added a small cell-phone-style belt clip to their catalog, I was interested.

It’s crap. The clip snapped off of the damn thing within two days.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”