Friday, March 30, 2012

Girl Friday - 3/30/2012 - Ashley Brooke

I present this week's Girl Friday with a wink and a nudge to Rick Santorum. Rick, Dude, I'm probably going to vote for you in the Primary - and I'd definitely vote for you in the General Election against President Obama - but seriously.

I'm pretty sure that Porn has to be WAY down on the list of things that need attention right now.

Miss Ashley Brooke


Hit the jump for more - and they're even safe for work (unless you're Amish). Know how hard it is to find decent quality non-pornographic pictures of a porn star? I slave over this stuff.... hard, hard work I'm tellin' ya.

And I do it all for you. I hope you appreciate that.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

There is no finish line....

From ABC News...

SEOUL, South Korea - At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have "more flexibility" to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him "space."

The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were let into the room for remarks by the two leaders.

The exchange:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it's important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

Translation: I would love to roll over and expose my soft underbelly, but I have to keep up this facade for a couple of months to fool the gullible sheeple.... but if you'll play along and give me a little time I think you'll be more than happy with the transformation post-election.

This is what worries me more than anything about the upcoming election. There's been lots of dissatisfaction expressed by those on "my side" towards the current crop of Republican Candidates. Some folks, many of whom I respect a great deal, have even gone so far as to express the opinion that these "big government Republicans" would be just as bad if not worse than President Obama 2.0.

While I myself am less than enthusiastic about our choices this time around, I don't buy the "they are all the same" argument one little bit. As bad as the first term of the current President has been, I shudder to think of facing a second term under such a liberal ideologue unfettered by concerns of re-election.

Even if Conservatives controlled the Congress - 4 more years of such a divisive, race baiting, true-believer in Liberal Dogma could damage this country past the point of no return.

This is a War - not a Battle. We didn't get into this situation over night. We have fed and grown our Leviathan steadily over the past 200+ years. It pervades not only our government, but also every layer of our society including the Republican Party. The idea that we can sweep that away and emerge victorious by electing a single "perfect" candidate in one election is a naive Conservative Utopian dream. In my opinion its just as dangerous a vision of Utopia as the Liberal version.

The battle for the United States will never be over. There is no finish line. Some days we will loose a fight, some days we hold our ground, and some days we will suceed in beating back the Leviathan and make genuine progress. But we never get to do an end zone dance and spike the ball. As much as I dislike politics, and I do seriously hate it, I've come to realize that I have to remain engaged and involved. I have to keep up the fight - whether that fight pitches me against a Liberal Democrat or a "Conservative" Republican. The nation's future depends upon it.

To totally mix my metaphors.... I used to play chess quite a bit. In College I played virtually every day. Got pretty good at it. It can be an aggrevating game when things aren't going the way you would like them to. More than once, during game play, I saw someone get so pissed off that they flipped the board over, scattered all the chess pieces, and stomped away from the match.

In a way, I can see how that would be viscerally satisfying in the short term. However, not one of those people every won a game with that strategy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Jersey Shore

.... circa 1905.

jersey shore 1905

Hmmm... No Snooki in sight.

jersey shore 1905 crop

Found via Shorpy, where you can see the original photo much bigger.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Girl Friday - 3/23/2012 - Serinda Swan

This week's Girl Friday is a Canadian transplant - having been born in Vancouver and brought up in Hawaii.

Serinda Swan

Serinda Swan3

Hit the jump for more...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring has Sprung

Aside from the barage of insects and bad outlook for another searingly hot summer that the mild winter and early spring have brought us - its really nice to have everything waking up in the garden.

The drift roses I planted last summer have doubled in size and are covered in rose buds...

peach drift rose

The Banksia Rose is bloomed out bigger and better than ever...

lady banksia rose

Its not supposed to be scented, according to the internet plant experts, but Mrs. Paladin says it smells wonderful when we open the back door onto the deck. We'll get a good 3 or 4 weeks of bloom time out of it before the blooms fade and I prune it (way) back for another year.

lady banksia rose

Friday, March 16, 2012

Girl Friday - 3/16/2012 - Gemma Atkinson

This week's Girl Friday is an English model and actress who has several different "looks". There is one feature, however, that remains constant.

... Ok. Two Features.

Gemma Atkinson


Hit the jump for more...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bad Guys Don't Wear Signs

I feel like I'm pretty good at "reading" people. I've developed a fairly accurate bullshit detector over the years, given the fact that people lie to me during the course of my job all day long.

Still, its very important to recognize that no matter how good you are at reading people, and threat evaluation, you shouldn't let your guard down and rely too heavily on that gut instinct. There's no violence in the police dashcam video below, but it does illustrate the point perfectly.

Bad People don't always look like or act like bad people.

The man that the Officer was talking to in the video is Richard McNair, and Richard McNair is a cold blooded murderer. Just a couple of hours before this video was shot, McNair had escaped from a Federal Prison in Lousiana where he was serving two life terms plus 30 years for murdering two people and seriously wounding a third in a botched hold-up. Previous to this particular escape, McNair had also managed to escape from both a city jail and a state penitentiary.  

McNair's story is pretty fascinating if you ever have a chance to read about him. Lots of near misses while he was on the run. After the Police Officer in the video above let him go free, McNair traveled all over the US and Canada for over a year before eventually being recaptured and returned to prison. He's very clever, and even more importantly has the ability to appear "normal", calm, collected, and non-threatening. Even the fact that he gave the Officer two different names while being questioned wasn't enough to set off warning signals.

He just didn't feel like a bad guy.

I wonder if the people he murdered thought the same thing?

H/T Radiolab

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Die like a hero going home....

Too rainy this past weekend to go flea market hopping, so Mrs. Paladin and I took refuge at the movie theater. We saw "Act of Valor", which was a wonderful movie. There's a quote from Shawnee Chief Tecumseh at the end that spoke to me:

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.

Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."

Monday, March 12, 2012

From the workshop - Ingraham Desk Clock

Mrs. Paladin had been needing a clock for her desk at work. She liked the style of an old Ingraham Alarm Clock that we found so I fixed it up as a desk clock for her. This is how it looked before:

ingraham clock before

Metal bodied alarm clocks like this Ingraham Meteor are pretty easy to find. Old alarm clocks are all over ebay, flea markets, etc. Many of them are non-working (like this one was), but its usually not due to damage - even though many are listed as "wound too tight" or "over wound".

It's virtually impossible to "over wind" a clock like this unless you are really forcing it beyond the point where you can wind it by hand. More commonly, the light weight oil used to lubricate the movement has dried out over time and stuff is just gunked up to the point where the clock won't run. Relaxing the time and alarm springs to open them up and then soaking the entire movement in a solution of clock movement cleaner (followed by proper oiling) is usually all it takes to get a stuck movement back to ticking away.

But I didn't do that on this clock - and the "ticking away" part was the primary reason. Mrs. Paladin works in a Doctor's Office and these clocks tick REALLY LOUDLY. So, I replaced the old movement with a quartz one. The shaft hole in the face had to be enlarged to fit the new movement and I had to epoxy some small magnets inside the pot-metal case to hold the steel back in place - since the back was orginally attached to the old movement. None of the mods were very complicated or time consuming.

Repainted the case in the color of her choice and that's about all this quickie project took.

ingraham clock after

Friday, March 9, 2012

Girl Friday - 3/9/2012 - Monica Bellucci

This weeks Girl Friday is always worth a second look...

Monica Bellucci

monica bellucci 5

Hit the jump for more....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Four Rules

They are important. No matter what type of weapon you're dealing with.

POTRERO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities in California say a 33-year-old San Diego County woman has been killed by a cannonball fired by her husband and another man.

U-T San Diego ( ) reports the woman was found dead at about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday after the ball slammed into her home at the Twin Lakes Resort mobile home park in Potrero, a tiny community near the Mexican border.

Her name hasn't been released.

State fire Capt. Mike Mohler says the men told authorities they were working on the cannon nearby when it went off. Mohler says one man was treated at a hospital for injuries he suffered when the cannon went off.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Flea Market Finds

We had a great time at the Canton Flea Market Saturday. Beautiful weather and lots of interesting stuff around to browse through. I came home with a couple of things that I have absolutely no use for, but thought were cool none the less....

Toledo Torch 1

If you're my age you'll remember seeing these roadside around construction zones. Its a Toledo Torch, sometimes known as a smudge pot. These were used before battery operated warning light blinkers were common. The design is simple and effective. The body holds fuel and a wick burns for about 24 hours on a full tank. Its weighted on the bottom so that if it gets knocked over it automatically rights itself.

Toledo Torch 2

They still make these, oddly enough, and you can get replacement wicks.They are used mostly for outdoor/deck lighting and citronella burning - which is how I'll use this one once I clean it up and repaint it.

This was my largest find of the day:

Clayton Lambert Firepot

The woman selling it thought it was a camping stove.... I'd hate to haul this beast on a camping trip.

Its actually a Firepot made by the Clayton Lambert Mfg. Company. Clayton Lambert patented its designs for blowtorches and firepots in the late 1800's and continues to make them up into the 1970's. I have several of their blowtorches from the Teens and 20's. I found a firepot very similar to this one in a tool catalog from 1928, although this one probably isn't quite that old. A cast iron pot or tinner's hood originally sat on top and it was mainly used to melt lead and heat solder and soldering irons for plumbing applications back in the day.

Seems like as soon as I move something off the "to do" shelf in the workshop something new arrives to take its place in line :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Headstone Mystery

Mrs Paladin and I ran over to Canton, Texas Saturday for a thoroughly enjoyable Spring(like) trip to the big First Monday Trade Day Flea Market. On the way back home we spotted a small cemetery on the outskirts of Greenville, Texas that we normally can't see from the highway because of the trees. Took a little detour to check it out, as we often do when we spot such places.

As it turned out, the cemetery wasn't as old as the ones that normally interest us, but when we were circling through and about to leave we spotted this marker:

East Headstone Mystery

What caught our eyes was the dates on the headstone. The date of birth is the same for both the man and the woman, and the dates of death show the woman died one day after the man. Pretty enormous coincidence, huh? I'd really like to know the story behind these people but so far haven't had a chance to look into it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Stuff from the Workshop

Got some much needed time for tinkering in the Workshop this week. I've got a long line of projects that have been languishing on the dusty shelves just waiting for me to get all the boring day to day stuff of life caught up.

Mrs. Paladin bought this old paper cutter, because she and a mess of her friends do Scrapbooking and Cardmaking as a hobby and she likes to mix in odd old stuff with her tools.

papercutter before

She asked me to clean it up a bit and get it working well enough to use as a paper/photo cutter. I cleaned and sealed the wood parts, repainted the metal parts, and sharpened/adjusted the blades.

papercutter after

I've always kind of had a "thing" for vintage pencil sharpeners. I've had these two laying around for the longest time. The one on the right in the pic below was all jammed up because someone tried to use it to sharpen crayons at some point. Both of them have cracked/missing pieces of acetate on the body of the bin that catches the shavings.

sharpeners before

Here's one of them, done in red and black. To make the replacement panels for the shavings bins I cut out pieces from the clear plastic packaging from some stuff we bought at the store. I save flat pieces of plastic packaging for just this reason. I use it for all sorts of stuff like radio dial covers, gauge and clock covers, etc.

sharpener after

And here's my favorite from this batch.

dexter 3 sharpener after

I scanned the decal from the original broken acetate piece and then printed a replacement decal to go on the front of the bin. Both sharpeners work well now that they are lubricated and cleaned up.

Friday, March 2, 2012