Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bond gets some new side-arms

from Dr. No.

[M's office. M has called the armourer in to change out Bond's Berretta.]

‘Well, Armourer, what do you recommend?’

Major Boothroyd put on the expert’s voice. ‘As a matter of fact, sir,’ he said modestly, ‘I’ve just been testing most of the small automatics. Five thousand rounds each at twenty-five yards. Of all of them, I’d choose the Walther PPK 7.65mm. It only came fourth after the Japanese M-14, the Russian Tokarev and the Sauer M-38. But I like its light trigger pull and the extension spur of the magazine gives a grip that should suit 007. It’s a real stopping gun. Of course it’s about a .32 calibre as compared to the Berrett’s .25, but I wouldn’t recommend anything lighter. And you can get ammunition for the Walther anywhere in the world. That gives it an edge on the Japanese and Russian guns.’

M turned to Bond. ‘Any comments?’

‘It’s a good gun, sir,’ Bond admitted. ‘Bit more bulky than the Beretta. How does the Armourer suggest I carry it?’

‘Bern Martin Triple-draw holster,’ said Major Boothroyd succinctly. ‘Best worn inside the trouser band to the left. But it’s all right below shoulder. Stiff saddle leather. Holds the gun in with a spring. Should make for a quicker draw than that,’ he gestured towards the desk [at Bond's old Berretta holster]. ‘Three-fifths of a second to hit a man at twenty feet would be about right.’

‘That’s settled then.’ M’s voice was final. ‘And what about something bigger?’

‘There’s only one gun for that, sir,’ said Major Boothroyd stolidly. ‘Smith & Wesson Centennial Airweight. Revolver. .38 calibre. Hammerless, so it won’t catch in clothing. Overall length of six and a half inches and it only weighs thirteen ounces. To keep down the weight, the cylinder holds only five cartridges. But by the time they’re gone,’ Major Boothroyd allowed himself a wintry smile, ‘somebody’s been killed. Fires the .38 S & W Special. Very accurate cartridge indeed. With standard loading it has a muzzle velocity of eight hundred and sixty feet per second and muzzle energy of two hundred and sixty foot-pountds. There are various barrel lengths, three-and-a-half-inch, five-inch…’

‘All right, all right,’ M’s voice was testy. ‘Take it as read. If you say it’s the best I’ll believe you. So it’s the Walther and the Smith & Wesson. Send up one of each to 007. With the harness. And arrange for him to for him to fire them in. Starting today. He’s got to be expert in a week….”

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why is Jaws so dad-gum happy?

Because Ross of the Rued Morgue has got his Moonraker post up.

Poor bastards....

After nationalizing oil interests and disasteriously capping grocery prices for the People, Chavez continues his quest to wreck Venezuela by going after opposition TV stations because they spread capitalist propaganda. Students protest but, as Gateway says, looks like they've got a generation of communism awaiting them.

Meanwhile, the Daily Kos may not agree with what these stations are saying, but they will defend Chavez's right to crush dissent. And all this time I thought the left praised dissent as its own reward.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day

Thanks to the brave men & women who have fought and died for us and protected this country.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Happy posthumous Birthday Miles Davis

Since I posted on Dylan's birthday, why not do the same for Miles Davis whose birthday is two days later? After all, he's a huge giant in music, too.

I became aware of Davis at the tender but late age of 17, when probably my brother mentioned Bitches Brew after I said I wanted to listen to more jazz. It was a combination of his autobiography and the albums 'Round About Midnight and Milestones that shook my music listening world. The book was a who's-who reference to jazz that I found infinitely liberating and informative. He was a pretty uncompromising character, but in his way, fair. And of course, talented. He wasn't just a great trumpet player, but an intuitively great organizer and band leader. Much of his genius was in knowing who to recruit. He also knew what sound to pursue in a manner that was uncanny. Even as early as Birth of the Cool (1950)when he was in his early twenties he was making his stamp. I'd list the great musicians he discovered and worked with if it wasn't so many. The Quintet: Davis, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones - were an unlikely bunch, but Miles melded them into one of the greatest bands ever. There list of Prestige and Columbus recordings are all masterpieces. And then he went on to do other great things: Kind of Blue, all the Gil Evans stuff, Bitches Brew and the rest of the fusion-jazz material. His albums were about the coolest things I'd ever heard. Like Dylan, Davis is one of the enormously innovative white flame artists that usually die young, but somehow managed to have a long career and lead several movements in music. Who has a bigger name in jazz?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Mr. Dylan

Ten years ago you couldn't get a picture of the man because he wore a hoodie and kept to himself - his face well hidden. Now days, he's sporting some fine cowboy attire and struttin' his stuff again.

Here's one of many personal favorites of mine: the Hard Rain version of "Shelter from the Storm".

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The SMERSH dossier on Bond

Although the Commies collapsed long ago, we still don't have the complete file on what they knew of Bond. This is from From Russia With Love:

First name: JAMES. Height: 183 centimeters; weight: 76 kilograms; slim build; eyes: blue; hair: black; scar down right cheek and on left shoulder; signs of plastic surgery on back of right hand (see Appendix A); all-round athlete; expert pistol shot, boxer, knife-thrower; does not use disguises. Languages: French and German. Smokes heavily (N.B.: special cigarettes with three gold bands); vices: drink, but not to excess, and women. Not thought to accept bribes.

This man is invariably armed with a .25 Beretta automatic carried in a holster under his left arm. Magazine holds eight rounds. Has been known to carry a knife strapped to his left forearm; has used steel capped shoes; knows the basic holds of judo. In general, fights with tenacity and has a high tolerance of pain (see Appendix B).

Although the appendices were not included in the novel, Appendix A would have been from Casino Royale when he ran into a SMERSH assassin (who was hunting someone else). The SMERSH agent carved the SMERSH emblem on Bond's hand. M later made Bond get a skin graft to cover it. Appendix B could have referenced the torture Bond endured in that same story, but also could've referenced his torture in Live & Let Die when Mr. Big had Bond's finger broken.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Disney's reaction to Farfur - curious

Not that they don't have a point. They do. Still, I can't imagine a children's show anywhere else on the planet that wouldn't have Disney lawyers paying them a visit. Of course, you need laws for lawyers.

Speaking of Disney and copyrights, watch this tutorial.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

...and the beavers grinnin'.

Wagstaff's got all your Smokey and the Bandit needs fulfilled over at Ed Copeland on Film. Everything except the movie, that is.

Friday, May 18, 2007

WARNING: Never Try to Reform the World Bank

That's the message loud and clear. Wolfowitz's only crime was trusting the Bank's ethics committee when he tried to recuse himself from negotiating his girl-friend's contract. They rejected him. I believe they acted in bad faith because he tried to reform the bank. He was naive to think they were on the level. They successfully put a "cloud" over him to force him out. Good going, guys! Chalk one up for corruption! The NPR lady doing the report this morning (sorry, can't remember her name) suggested that after months of paralysis at the Bank caused by this scandal, Wolfowitz is gone and now the Bank can concentrate on reform. To that assessment, I'd like to add: horseshit. The Wolfowitz smear is the Bank's response to reform.

Wolfowitz concluded his resignation statement with the line: "Change should not be feared, it is something to welcome." He was talking to deaf ears.

The Journal is about the only paper I know of that has been seriously writing about the story.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Did you know yesterday was Mass Graves Day in Iraq?

I'm guessing no if you relied on TV news and major newspapers. I know I missed this moment of silence. This International Herald Tribune piece was pretty much the only mention - outside of the blogosphere. I found it at GatewayPundit.

I noticed over at the Falwell Postmortem Party at the House, Black 74 could not tell the difference between Falwell and Saddam.

Quote Black 74: "For me, actually, Falwell is right in there with them [Saddam & Zarqawi]."

I'm no fan of Falwell, nor am I a fan of dancing on his still warm grave (I save that pleasure for terrorists), but the first difference that springs to my mind is the body count. An estimated 300,000 dead have been found in the mass graves in Iraq. Call it a lack of moral equivalence, but that makes one of the men worse than the other...and considerably so. Perhaps if NPR would kindly spare a mention of something like Mass Graves Day in their broadcast, the American people would better remember that we are in Iraq for a reason - nay, many reasons. Below is a map - though I'm not sure how old it is, of the suspected mass graves in Iraq.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Out with the old, in with the new

Here's wishing Sarkozy good luck with his job ahead.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

James Bond on women, marriage and kids

from Diamonds Are Forever

“Are you married?” She [Tiffany Case] paused. “Or anything?”

“No. I occasionally have affairs.”

“So you’re one of those old-fashioned men who like sleeping with women. Why haven’t you ever been married?”

“I expect because I think I can handle life better own my own. Most marriages don’t add two people together. They subtract one from the other.”

Tiffany thought this over. “Maybe there’s something in that,” she said finally. “But it depends what you want to add up to. Something human or something inhuman. You can’t be complete by yourself.”


“Buy me another drink and then tell me what sort of woman you think would add to you.”

Bond gave his order to the steward. He lit a cigarette thoughtfully. “Somebody who can make Sauce Bearnaise as well as love,” he said.

“Holy mackerel! Just any old dumb hag who can cook and lie on her back?”

“Oh, no. She’s got to have all the usual things---“ Bond examined her. “Gold hair. Grey eyes. A sinful mouth. Perfect figure. And of course she’s got to be witty and poised and know how to dress and play cards and so forth. The usual things.”

“And you’d marry this person if you found her?”

“Not necessarily,” said Bond. “Matter of fact, I’m almost married already. To a man. Name begins with M. I’d have to divorce him before I tried marrying a woman. And I’m not sure I’d want to do that. She’d get me handing round canapés in an L-shaped drawing room. And there’d be all those ghastly ‘Yes you did No I didn’t’ rows that seem to go with marriage. It wouldn’t last. I’d get claustrophobia and run out on her. Get myself sent to Japan or somewhere.”

“What about children?”

“Like to have some,” said Bond shortly. “But only when I retire. Not fair to the children otherwise. My job’s not all that secure….”

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

James Bond on anticipating getting a mud-bath

from Diamonds Are Forever

Outside the bus [parked at the Baths] the smell of sulphur hit Bond with sickening force. It was a nauseous smell from somewhere down in the moiling stomach of the world. He moved away from the entrance and sat down on a rough bench under a group of dead looking firs. He remained there for a few minutes, steeling himself for what was going to happen to him through the screen doors and trying to shake off his sense of oppression and disgust. It was partly, he decided, the reaction of a healthy body to contact with disease, and it was partly the tall grim Belsen-like chimney with its plume of innocent smoke. But most of all it was the prospect of going in through those doors, buying the tickets and then stripping his clean body and giving it over to the somehow obscene things they did in this grisly ramshackle establishment.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Final? Car Count after socialist lose French Election:

At least I assume all the 590+ youths arrested were not bitter Islamic youths, otherwise that would have been reported right? That leaves bitter young socialists - another group prone to violence when they don't get their way. The total number of cars torched: 730. Over seven times the French average - so it looks like Sarkozy's already seen success in increasing the 35 hour work week. And the amount of tear gas that was needed to disperse the mobs (see above) must have contributed greatly to Global Warming - perhaps more than all the cow farts in India on that same night. I base that estimate on irrefutable scientific fact. Debate is verboten.

8th Man, on the scene in Paris points out:

"Most people at my work were not Sarkozy supporters but were at least rational about the fact that it was democracy at work. So some people get together at Bastille ready to "fight" for something. What? I don't know. Do they want to throw rocks at police in an effort to turn over the results of the election in the name of being anti-fascist? Do they see the silliness of that? Burn someone's motorcycle in the name of the people? So how does that guy get to work?"

Monday, May 07, 2007

It's time for Disney's legal team to snap into action...

Hamas ripped off the wrong character this time. Didn't they know that Disney will sue? By the time it's all said and done, the real Mickey will have played them all as musical instruments. (found at Tim Blair's site)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Two story roundup

Congratulations to the fellow on the right. Okay, so I had to flip the picture so Sarkozy would not be on the left - in the spirit of "fake but accurate." I hope that isn't a metaphor for my perception of the man. At least he likes the U.S. more than the lovely socialist contestant or Villepin (shown here in a state of bloviating), for that matter, right? Not looking into any souls here, but I have to say I like what I see on a t-shirt like this:
UPDATE: And Royal was right to warn of increased violence if Sarkozy won: car burnings were up over 3 and half times - 367 cars were torched last night, which is well above the average of 100 car torchings on a typical French night. It's unclear how long France can withstand Sarkozy's hate mongering.

Second, the photos of Greensburg, KS are pretty horrific. Just to look at it, it seems amazing that only eight people were killed. Not to compare the actual severity between the two, but I couldn't help but think of the following Hiroshima photo:


This is like a riddle: how do you get hot rice from cold water? For thousands of years man has sought the answer to this puzzle. Japundit tells of an ingenius advancement in the preparation of rice.

As I'm about to post this, complete with a visual replication of fresh pure white steamy rice, I realize that just a few posts ago I was calling for people to turn in their rice sniffing loved ones so that the State could help them. And now, you may wonder, why have I posted this picture, which to an addict must look some form of erotica? I would point out that most of us are able to enjoy the look and smell of freshly steamed rice in a responsible manner. Why should we alter our behavior simply to accomodate a few who can't restrain their olfactory senses? And besides, this present story is science at work. And who among us has the audacity to dismiss science?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

This looks like a good one

Basic elements are here: Yûjirô Ishihara (front & center - with a pistol), Hideaki Nitani (on Yujiro's shoulder just below the scar - with a pistol) and Jo Shishido (the guy in the duster with a pistol who is triple-tasking: shooting, smoking and looking cool). Plus, some guy must've orded a knuckle sandwich in the top right corner...and is that a mystery dame in the lower left corner?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

M on the Moonraker cover-up, politicians and the Press

from Moonraker.

(upon Bond turning a major disaster of the Moonraker into a minor disaster – M. discusses some of the fallout to Bond during the debriefing…)

M. paused and put a match to his pipe. ‘If the story holds,” he continued reflectively, ‘we shan’t come out of this too badly. We’ve wanted one of their [Soviet’s] high-speed U-boats and we’ll be glad of the clues we can pick up about their atom bombs. The Russians know that we know that their gamble failed. Malenkov’s none too firmly in the saddle and this may mean another Kremlin revolt. As for the Germans. Well, we all knew there was plenty of Nazism left and this will make the Cabinet go just a bit more carefully on German rearmament. And, as a very minor consequence,’ he gave a wry smile, ‘it will make Vallance’s security job [director of Special Branch], and mine for the matter of that, just a little bit easier in the future. These politicians can’t see that the atomic age has created the most deadly saboteur in the history of the world – the little man with the heavy suitcase.’

‘Will the Press wear the story?’ asked Bond dubiously.

M. shrugged his shoulders. ‘The Prime Minister saw the editors this morning,’ he said, putting another match to his pipe, ‘and I gather he’s got away with it so far. If the rumours get bad later on, he’ll probably have to see them again and tell them some of the truth. Then they’ll play all right. They always do when it’s important enough. The main thing is to gain time and stave off the firebrands. For the moment everyone’s so proud of the Moonraker that they’re not inquiring too closely into what went wrong.’