Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Like Guns Song...

I can't believe this isn't all over the internets:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Hello, Mr. Woods?"

"Jim Adboss from Cadillac. We're all ready to shoot your new television spot for Escalade and OnStar.

Oh, you don't have the script yet? Picture this, you see the lights of an Escalade speeding away from an angry blonde woman waving a golf club...

What do you mean, you won't do it? Mr. Woods, you survived a wreck in an Escalade, and OnStar contacted you while you were being attacked! You can't BUY that kind of publicity!

Plus, there's a great tie in with Ping and Tag Heuer, we could co-op!

Well, Mr. Woods, I understand that. But we DO have you under contract...

Are you REFUSING to do the endorsement and contracted advertisements? Well, you know you'll have to refund our payments and pay a penalty fee...

Thank you, Mr. Woods, and good luck."

"Mr. Chairman, it worked! He refused and quit, we'll be getting our money back!


Yes, sir, we CAN get a blonde model and a golf club. And you're right, we DO own the OnStar tape..."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Bloodless Victory For Islam!!!

"Yah, Ahmad! This is truly brilliant! Did Staghounds give you the idea, when he wrote back in 2006, "Next year, look for a terrorist plot involving exploding underwear. Then we'll have to fly naked."?

If only the Infidels never wake up, and realise that we do not really care about their stupid airplanes!

So many victories! First, of course, the panic. Then another panic the next day, over our "legitimate businessman" with a "health problem". Did you see those suitcases on the runway?

Then, I admit, you were right about the pre planning! To have Hassan call the Americans and pretend to be our operative's father. You knew the Godless Satans would talk about it. Now no one will call to warn, knowing the Americans will reveal their treason to God to the world!

Then, to have two Guantanamo releases blamed for planning the operation! The Enemy was already tearing at himself over the Brothers in Cuba, now it will be even better!

I expect you are right about the best part of your strategy, too. That the Frances Oldham Kelsey principle will mean that no matter how many martyrs we report, each one will receive their full attention!

All for the price of a ticket and some underwear!

Allah is truly great!

Hand me that prepaid cell phone and New York telephone book. Let's see... Mrs. Emanuel Goldfarb. Things are going to start happening to her now! Hello, Terror Warning Line? First, I want you to know that I am recording this call..."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Umaru Abdul Mutallab is a Genuine Hero...

We are always crying about "where are the non criminal Moslems".

We finally find one- Umaru Abdul Mutallab put his actual life on the line to save Western strangers from murder.

And what do we do?

1. Ignore his warning, and

2. Make sure that every Moslem on earth knows he did it.

Thank you, Mr. Mutallab. Your reward is having to look over your shoulder forever. Your children win the same prize!

And anyone who is thinking of telling the Americans something?

Remember that what you did and who you are will make every front page and television screen on the planet.

I remember how crazy SOME segments of the chattering classes went over the "outing" of Valerie Plame.

Whoever the "source" is who told about Mr. Mutallab is a traitor to the United States, an enemy of humanity, and an active supporter of Al Quaeda. He or she ought to hang.

The news outlets who provide this information to our enemies and Mr. Mutallab's future killers are equally allies and helpers of the murderers.

And if Mr. Mutallab or his family want to hide out at my house, they are welcome.

(Yes, I'm listing his name. In hopes that maybe someone will pick up on the idea of shutting the @#$%^&* up next time.)

Security Theater Needs a Better Director...

Look, if you are going to lay the suitcases out all in a line like you think they are dangerous, it probably defeats the illusion to have the baggage tossers STANDING AROUND RIGHT BESIDE THEM.

Seriously, it doesn't take John Woo to notice this stuff, people!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Neighbour Irritant #8

Off to the country for the week end, so turn it up!
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Neighbour Irritant #6...

No embed, so click on the blue letters for Cascada's "Last Christmas".

Plus, bonus candidate for next year-

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Neighbour Irritant #4...

Boarhound Day in France...

Whoa! What day with the Boarhounds!

The meet was at the Empress Eugenie’s pavilion on the edge of the forest of Compiegne.

Each clearing in the forest, called a carriere, has a signpost to tell the name of the next carriere. In Compiegne, each one also bears a red strip.The red strip shows the shortest route to this pavilion. Her Majesty was apparently a ball of fire in some other department than terrain recognition.

It’s good to be the empress.

It was a joint meet with local pack (M on hounds, chain collars, black/maroon livery) and visitors (orange collars, blue livery). Same as last time, when I committed my hunting crime.

Several people from R's part of the world were there too, three riding
and three car following. R. and F. went with their English friends, and I managed to promote THE GREAT ride along.

M. was the driver. He's a whipper in to another pack, and very dedicated. Another passenger was C, a groom for the same pack and equally focussed. The fourth passenger was a non hunter, the beau of one of the other grooms.

He's a police officer, and on his second day with hounds. There was much fun with him, first in making certain he was off duty! He entered into the spirit of things, putting on a ski mask at which I said, "Terroriste!" and C. said, "Hunt Saboteur!". So we called him "Le Chameleone".
So off we went. Quickly we got into very home like territory, hilly and rough.
As best as I can figure out,the boar hounds use a two group system. Some of what we would all tufters or strike hounds hounds draw for the bacon of the day, while the rest go in a truck. Once the quarry has been settled upon, the main body is put on the line. It's called, in defiance of hunting tradition, exactly what it is- l'attaque".
"Non, mon pieds sont froid"...
This may not be the very best career enhancement strategy, Directeur...

This attaque followed the sanglier heading right handed across this ride. Hounds ran on, straight to our right. M. said hold hard, so we did- a rustling in the bushes, and CRASH!
It was ON!
The field was scattered immediately,
and it was devil take the hindmost. Our driver drove like this little truck was a horse, in the back it was assume crash positions.

The English held up well
but the rest of the day was a bit of a blur. I think I have dain bramage from the martini shaking, but I'd gladly go again.

Yet even in my stunned state, I remembered that it's generally possible to see more from a higher elevation...
So on the day went. Eventually the sandwich du jambon was caught, and to the courree. I love to see a child being well brought up...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

With the Buckhounds in France...

There are those who say that the Roebuck is the most challenging quarry, and that hunting him is the greatest test of hounds and staff. Agree or disagree, we had a good day with the Chevreuil hounds today.

And yes, it does sound like Chevrolet.

This was a bit of a homecoming for me, the first time I hunted in the north of France it was with this pack. I was there by accident, sent after stopping for hunting directions into the saddlery in Chateau-Thierry. When I hove up in the forest, I was a couple of minutes late. I was taken in by two women in a little car, one of whom spoke much better English than I did French. It was a good day, and the courree in the darkness wasn't the end of it. The night was one of those icy, clear skied, star spangled ones that make the trees crack. After the hounds had their reward, the horn players kept going. People brought out wine, logs were thrown on the bonfire, and it continued into late in the night.

My non-English speaking pilot and her husband took me back to their house to make sure I had good directions out. When we went in, the place was exactly what you would expect- deer horns, hunting prints, typical.

But here's the thing- it was an apartment. And not just any apartment, but one of those soul destroying Le Corbusier "machines for living" tower blocks. Amazing.

Anyway, we drove up to the meet, again in Compiegne. Husband of pilot was the first person we saw, followed shortly by pilot herself. Her English was no better, but my French slightly improved.

And she makes the BEST apple crumble I ever put into my mouth!

Her car was full though, and there were three of us, but she found us someone to follow.

We were made welcome, and we could see at a glance our guide would be excellent. In every hunt Ive seen in France, there's been a Niva.

And that Niva has been there, right far more often than wrong. So, with a cry of Cherchez La Niva, we moved off.

They were slow to find. Lots of busy roads caused the typical problems.Early on, a large stag ran out of the forest right in front of us. Hounds were not hunting him, but he did not want to wait to see if they were. He was alone, which is odd.

I am sure he said, “You women wait here, I am just going out to get bread for breakfast. I will be right back.”

When hounds did find the deer, they stuck.
The chase was in wide loops, covering a large area, but did not go far away from where we found. The hounds’ music was clear in the cold air. I think scent was not good, but the hounds worked hard. People were keen to get to the next viewing spot. Well I remember myself like this, "No, boss, he really needs to go out...

Eventually they ran him down.

Back to the meet. Some of the hounds were patient...

Some more focussed.

After the curee,
the humans had their own

with food and wine by the fire. No one bit anyone, at least not that I could see. I met two people who had hunted coyotes in the U. S., with the same pack but some 15 years apart. Small world!

Christmas Neighbour Irritant #2...

Yes, it's peaceful and predictable, until about 1:44, and then, something unexpected.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Game Sense, Serious Hunters, And Other Phenomena

I love to see dedicated hunters. We're all dedicated to a degree, of course- it takes time, trouble, and money to go out at all, not to expand on our psychiatric conditions.

I mean the ones who show up, pay attention, and recognise that hounds and game are why they are there. Even (especially?) when the weather is awful, scent is poor, or against other difficulties. I saw someone not long ago who was out in defiance of a physical difficulty so severe that I was unable to believe it, and I don't think anyone I've told about it believes me either.

And I love to see people with game sense. That sympathy with hounds and quarry that tells them how the day will go. Even if, like the section chief in Shalamov's "Magic", they don't understand their special power.

They aren't the same things. Not so many people have either, and many who have one lack the other. In my most dedicated days I didn't have any more or less of a clue than I do now, not a lick of game sense. And I was once married to one of the game sensiest people I ever met, who was totally indifferent. To hunting, too, I mean.

But when someone has both, watch out!

They come in all ages and conditions.

Some are professionals, earning a living with horn or whip.

Some work on the fringes- grooms, second horses, or dealers.

Some are hunting bums- working just enough overtime, doing just enough surgeries, or waiting just enough tables to get into the field.

I saw some of these people on my recent trip and took a few of their pictures. Absence doesn't mean you don't belong here!

Of course, Sometimes its not the very best day.

But isn't this sort of thing better done at work?

Christmas Neighbour Irritants #1

Chasing Satchel in France....

Again in France, with a staghound pack.

The met was fairly crowded. The people at this hunt are particularly cheerful, which is saying a lot since hunting people are a cheerful lot and French hunters are a bit more overt than some others. So the rapport began with a few jokes.But once the actual reports started, all business.

I think because it was a Saturday, there were many cars, but almost no bicycles. The sky was gray and just as the hounds were called to move off, it started to rain.

In America, there would be almost no one there, and most of those who were would wear a rain coat. In England, there would be almost as many people as usual, but almost everyone would be wearing a rain coat.
I saw zero rain gear on these riders. The animals do not get rain coats!

The hounds moved off to hunt.

This Master is a very enthusiastic huntsman, and we saw that over and over.

Later, one of the hunters told me that if 99 hounds were on and one was lost, this man would go back for the lost one.

Huntsmen often refer to the founder of the Christian religion by name, but that was the first time I had heard one compared to Him!

Hounds were slow to find their cerf, it took them about an hour. But when they did, they found a good one. He was what the English call a "Spring stag", probably only two or three years old. He was very distinctive in colour, with a dark, almost black back. Unfortunately for him, it made him easy to identify!

At first, only a few hounds held the scent, and the Master stayed busy getting the other hounds onto the line. Every time they checked, he was in the forest encouraging them to find their cerf's line again, and calling on the ones behind.
One thing he does that I like is that he uses an English horn. I believe that is better for hounds, they can tell which horn belongs to “the boss”. That way the trompes talk to the people, and the huntsman talks to the people and the hounds.

This cerf was a good one. Unlike most, who will stop and lie down when they get well ahead of hounds, he ran and ran.

Like Satchel Paige, "Don't look back, they might be gaining on you!"

I believe that is especially challenging for hounds. They can get discouraged if they do not think they make progress. But these stuck on.

We were almost always able to hear hounds, and it was beautiful to hear. At first it was a few hounds hunting, and the others strung out calling, “I am lost!"
But gradually they closed up, and it became an orchestra rather than a string of traveling musicians. It rang through the forest like the bells of a town full of churches.

And most of the hunting was through forest- there was not the constant crossing of busy roads that we saw on Friday.
So both stag and hounds could work things out without much human confusion.

At one point Satchel ran right past us, with a roebuck beside him. They separated, and we waited to see what hounds would do. They were so far behind, we could not hear them.

But soon, we could. Gradually they came along, louder and louder, until they came right to us. They hit the place where the deer separated exactly fifteen minutes after- and stuck right onto the cerf’s line.

I thought, “Mr. Paige is in trouble if he lies down.”

But he didn’t. He never stopped. The next time we saw him, we waited for hounds- and again they came, still fifteen minutes behind.

When a hunt starts, I am 100% hound. But as the animal runs, as it shows itself to be clever or tough or brave, I start to waver in my allegiance. And sometimes, I change sides…

Eventually they ran him into a forest of tall older trees near the Oise. I walked in, and quite near me there was a brief hallali- but he got away somehow, heading for the river.

If he could get across, he might be able to escape! Not because hounds were losing him, but it was getting dark. Run, Satchel!

It was not to be, he could not get out of the river and he was drowned. He did his best, hounds did theirs, nothing was artificial. It was a hunt as it should be.

So back to the Rendezvous for the Courree. By then it was dark- black dark. And again, it rained hard. And like at the Rendezvous and during the hunt, no compromise with the weather or the darkness!

Just a lovely day.