Thursday, April 27, 2017

First we had intentionally ripped jeans. Now we have intentionally dirty jeans for sale.

And these dirty jeans can be yours for $425 from Nordstrom.

No, really.

Mike Rowe, who always has a commonsense take on hard work noticed this.

Finally – a pair of jeans that look like they have been worn by someone with a dirty job…made for people who don’t. And you can have your very own pair for just $425.00.

Here’s the official description, from their website.

“These heavily distressed medium-blue denim jeans embody rugged, Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty.”
...

"Not real mud. Fake mud. Something to foster the illusion of work. The illusion of effort. Or perhaps, for those who actually buy them, the illusion of sanity."
Rowe goes on to say that these jeans are just a "costume". And to a certain degree he's right. But so much of our clothing is to project an image. For instance, I wear a suit and tie when I meet with clients in my law office, as opposed to shorts and a t-shirt. Guys who go to the gym (even just a little) a lot wear cool workout related stuff when they're out on the town to project that image. We all know a person who ran one 5K, got a t-shirt, and wears that t-shirt all the time.

But you have to sort of be closely related to the clothes you're wearing, or otherwise you're just playing dress-up. For instance, it wouldn't make sense for me to wear a Quiksilver t-shirt around, because I don't surf. I've never surfed a day in my life. For me to wear that shirt would be to be simply playing dress-up. Nor would I wear some Army-style jacket as a fashion because, again, I would feel like I'm just playing dress-up.

So where do these jeans fall? To me, it's gauche. It's "rich guy pretending to be a poor guy" kind of thing. No one has dirty jeans because they choose to - you get dirty jeans like that from working outside doing manual labor. And here, there selling that look for an exorbitant rate so rich folks can have that "look" without going through the labor. So it's sort of a way to wear a working man's uniform without actually being a working man. What the heck?

I wonder if you have to pay extra for the dip ring worn into the back pocket.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sneering Televangelists of the Left

It's what I've been saying all along. "Sneering at the masses and how it helped lead to Trump"
She touches on the broader point when she says “the tone of these shows [is] one imbued with the conviction that they and their fans are intellectually and morally superior to those who espouse any of the beliefs of the political right.”
All of these sneering folks remind me of televangelists of the left, who deliver sermons to their faithful progressive audience, and tell them how evil and horrible their enemies are.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fresno Shooter Kills Three - Taken Into Custody Shouting "Allahu Akhbar"

From Reuters:
A gunman who went by the nickname Black Jesus killed three white men in downtown Fresno, California, on Tuesday, and fired at another before he was taken into custody while shouting "Allahu Akhbar," police said.
We may never know this guy's motives.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Night Infiltration Exercise at Ft. Jackson


Last week, Brad Warthen was nice enough to invite me as his guest for the night infiltration exercise at Fort. Jackson. It was important not to be late, since we were all guests of the commanding general, Major General John "Pete" Johnson, and when a Major General is your host, you don't show up late.

I picked up Brad especially early, since he, like Stephen Maturin, often gets sidetracked when trying to get out the door. I helped him along, and we made it to Ft. Jackson without incident. I saw a few friends, including Shaun and Allison Cranford, and the other Mr. Caskey, Micah Caskey. If you don't know Micah, he's a great guy. I'm so proud that he's in the Statehouse, and I expect big things from him...but I digress.

In any event, the event was about 160 soldiers who were in their sixth week of training. Basic training lasts ten weeks, so these are soldiers who are transitioning from being yelled at by authoritarian drill instructors to being taught things by these same drill instructors, in more of a mentor manner. The soldiers had to craw about 75-100 yards through dense, difficult sand in almost no light. Machine guns were shooting over the top of them with live rounds, and they also simulated artillery rounds with explosions in buried boxes.

The video is what I shot with my camera's video function looking through the night vision optics that the General was kind enough to provide to us civilians. You can see the tracers of the machine gun rounds impacting on the berm behind the soldiers crawling low.

It was a wonderful demonstration of how the Army can take regular civilians and who volunteer and turn them into soldiers. We got to hear from the soldiers afterwards, and it was inspiring to hear about why they volunteered, what they hoped to accomplish, and what they had learned so far in their six weeks.

In General Johnson's lecture beforehand, he made it clear that the competitive advantage the US military has over other armed forces is the training our soldiers receive coupled with the values that the United States has. Our soldiers trust each other, and we (as civilians) trust our armed forces in ways that other countries don't. The values that our citizens bring to the armed forces makes our fighting forces better and stronger. China may have a greater number of soldiers, but they don't have our NCO strength and experience.

All in all, the Night Infiltration Exercise was a wonderful demonstration of the great work they are doing at Ft. Jackson. Everyone here in Columbia should be proud of the great work that takes place right next to our fair city.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

US Drops MOAB Bomb in Afghanistan, Using the "Mother of All Bombs" for the First Time in Combat

Apparently, it was dropped on a tunnel system in Afghanistan, and possibly in retaliation for the death of a Green Beret.

It sort of remind me of this scene from the first season of The West Wing:



I don't want to get bogged down in nation-building in Afghanistan again, but hey: It's also not the worst thing to kill a bunch of ISIS guys with a big ol' bomb if we're already killing them with bullets. Zero US casualties from dropping giant bomb today.

It also might have the side-effect of showing the crazy guy in North Korea that we might just drop one of these on him if he gets out of line.

I also like the idea that if we lose a guy - one guy- the enemy loses an entire mountain. Utter destruction. A dis-proportionate response.

Civis Romanus Sum.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Free Laundry, Courtesy of Pope Francis

As they say: "Cleanliness is next to Godliness."
Pope Francis has opened a free launderette in Rome in the latest of a series of initiatives aimed at poor people that has included help with housing, showers, haircuts, meals and medical care.
His Holiness even includes the detergent and fabric softener for free. Nice guy, this Pope.

Monday, April 10, 2017

News Roundup for Monday, April 10, 2017 - Double Secret Probation Edition




Happy Monday, campers. It's officially springtime now that the Masters tournament has come and gone. Break out your shorts and sandals during the weekends, and make sure you've got plenty of sunscreen.

Here's a roundup of some of the news stories going on:

1. Nikki Haley was booed at a "Women in the World" summit. Tolerance and respect seem to be in short supply if you don't agree with liberal positions on things.

2. Lake Katherine home prices have rebounded following the flooding. "It was a forced revitalization".

3. The City of Columbia is looking to shut down the Pour House in Five Points. It sounds like they've had enough of the problems associated with this place. I bet this place has already been on double-secret probation for awhile now.

4. Russia and Iran are threatening to hit back at US if we strike Syria again. Maybe we should explain to Russian and Iran that Syria has been on double-secret probation for quite some time now.

5. Sergio Garcia wins the Masters. Glad to see he finally got a major win.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

We're in for a blow.

Apparently, it's going to rain today. A lot.


Schools are closing, things are shutting down, people are bugging out. Apparently, there's going to be some heavy weather coming. Batten down the hatches, reef the sails, and make fast. We're in for a blow.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Aubrey-Maturin Book Report Update


Just to give everyone an update on my reading, I've made it 61% of the way through The Thirteen Gun Salute, which is, incedentally, the thirteenth book of the Aubrey-Maturin series.

I've been enjoying the books and my Kindle immensely. Now that I'm deep into the books, the characters are like old friends, and I enjoy hearing about their exploits. For me, the Kindle has been a wonderful replacement for the old leather-bound books I've pictured above. True, the Kindle isn't leather bound and doesn't smell like rich mahogany, but it allows me to highlight, share passages, jump back and forth easily, and I never lose my place.

Best of all, unlike a real book, I don't have to worry about a dust jacket getting creased, or setting a glass on it and it getting a water-ring. It's actually much hardier than an actual book. And the space savings? Forget about it.

My goal is to make it through the entire series before the Fourth of July, so I can start in on the Marine Corps Reading List that I've already set as my next goal.

What is everyone else reading?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

News Roundup for Wednesday, March 29, 2017

 Lots of things shaking in the news this week. Here are a few:

1. Brexit is happening. It sounds like Great Britain going through with the breakup. I beleive the next step is where it asks for its old CDs back and the old t-shirt that it left at the EU's apartment in Brussels.

2. Friday is the day that the Gorsuch nomination goes to the Senate floor. It's still unclear if the Democrats are going to filibuster him and force the Republicans to change the rules in what is being called the "nuclear option". If Democrats were smart, they'd keep their powder dry over this, and fight on a subsequent nominee. But they have to appease the rabid base, so it looks possible they're going to die on this hill.

3. Gamecock Men and Women basketball teams both reach the Final Four. Everyone expected the women to be in the Final Four. No one expected the men to crash the party. Should be an epic match-up for the men against Gonzaga on Saturday

4. Speaking of events on Saturday, the Carolina Cup is also this Saturday morning. Break out your sun dresses and bow ties, it's a tradition unlike any other.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Greetings From the Big Apple!


That's Permanent Press, Jr. in front of the "Big Apple" at the arrivals terminal of JFK airport. He and I are in New York for a weekend of sightseeing, Gamecock Basketball, and eating some hot dogs.

Tomorrow morning, we're off for the Museum of Natural History!