Thursday, January 31, 2008

I guess it's par for the course...

...but still, what is it with some people?!
Following up on yesterday's post about the thin-skinned sharpshooter who can take anyone down with a single round of .22LR, I had to ask him something. So I did, below, in plain text.

bloodthirsty warmongering Texan said...

You know, one well placed round from a single shot .22 pistol will kill a thief burglar, or attacker just as dead as it would if you totally obliterate his head with a torrent of automatic weapon fire. Or do you have a lucid argument to that?

Why does it have to be a choice between a single-shot .22 or belt-fed automatic weapon? Why not something in between? Like, say, a Model 1911 pistol with 8 rounds of .45, or 9 rounds of 10mm? As for the single round of .22, if you want to bet your life on that round's ability to stop an attacker no matter his size or any other condition, be my guest, but as for me I'd prefer to have a little more room for error -- notwithstanding those with little to no experience of firearms who ask asinine questions like "who NEEDS more than that?"

And out cometh the whiny bitch again.
I'm sick and tired of having my words taken out of context, and twisted just so you gun nuts can use them to insult me.

Geeeez, I bet you guys jerk off to gun magazines, don't you?

If you idiots had read my post, you would have seen that I am on your side, as distasteful as that is for me.

So, it doesn't matter what your particular favorite weapon is, you have the Constitutional right to own it as I stated plainly in my post.

If I was as obssessed with ANYTHING as you mental defectives are with guns, I would have had the good sense to commit myself.

And his reply to me:
And by the way, bloodthirsty warmongering Texan, your user name says all I need to know about you and your buddies. Why don't you all go find a war somewhere and lease yourselves out? Maybe then you will get your bloodlust out of your system.

Cripes, what a judgmental asshole. Note he had absolutely nothing to say about what I actually said, just the handle I chose. Maybe people like that defending themselves with single-shot mouseguns against 275-lb. ex-college football players strung out on meth wouldn't be such a bad thing. If they made it out alive maybe they'd see the utility of having as much firepower as they could manage, and if they didn't make it out alive, well, how about we just call it survival of the fittest?

Ooooh, good stuff early in the mornin'...

"....we were diggin' and siftin' from five to five, sellin' everything we found, just to stay alive...the gold flowed free like the whiskey in the bars, sinnin' was the big thing, Lord, and Satan was his star...."
I always loved the Marshall Tucker Band, and that's probably my favorite song of theirs.

8:37 am: "Fly away, with me tonight...take me on a one-way flight, in your lovin' arms...and everything's gonna be all right..."

9:35 am: "Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin' for a train..." Not Janis, but Roger Miller. Interesting how some of those old songs are so good in multiple genres...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hey, I just learned something new!

In addition to "Faded Love," Willie Nelson and Ray Price also recorded a duet of "San Antonio Rose"! And a quick trip to Amazon yields this. As much as I love that old country I can't believe I never knew those two actually recorded a duet album. I might have to pony up for that...

Oh my, another of those songs I haven't heard in yeeeears, 10:58 pm..."Lord, it's been ten bottles, since I tried to forget her, but the memory still lingers, lying here on the ground...if drinkin' don't kill me, her memory will..."

What do you say... someone who's woefully ignorant of firearms and the situations in which they're used and lets his inner whiny bitch out when someone tries to educate him?

All I said is I don't see a NEED to own anything other than single shot rifles and pistols. And that's my OPINION! So get off my back!

Sure it's your opinion, Sparky, but it's dangerously devoid of any knowledge of how defensive situations go down, in addition to ignorant. And it makes you look like a petulant ass when you tell people more knowledgeable than you to shut up.

Now, I have no love for criminals who are willfully trying to take the lives of myself and my family, and who try to steal my property. But if I can prevent them from doing so with one small caliber bullet, and I can, why would I need to blow him into an unrecognizable mass of tissue and blood? Wouldn't that be non-essential overkill?

If a criminal can be stopped by wounding them with one shot from a small caliber weapon, why would we need to use a multiple shot weapon using armour piercing shells? Unless a burglar is trying to break into my house with a tank, I think a .22 or a .38 is sufficient for protection.

Sweet-bleedin' Jeebus, PSH in abundance here! One small-caliber bullet. Unrecognizable mass of tissue and blood. Whatever, dude. Personally, I'd prefer at least six of something at least 0.357 inches in diameter, with a speed of about 1450 feet per second. As it happens, I have eight on hand in my nightstand, each with a diameter of 0.451 inches and a speed of about 825 feet per second. If you would like to take that as a definition of "small-caliber" (I am betting you wouldn't, though), then that's cool, but as for that single-shot bullshit, I like to leave as much margin for error as I can get away with. Which, in my case, is where those other seven 0.451-inch diameter projectiles come in. Whiny bitches' qualms about "non-essential overkill" (more like non-existent) be damned.

(h/t SayUncle)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hey, the only Garth Brooks song I am not tired of...

here: "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)," his first hit record, from 1990. But, if I NEVER hear "Friends In Low Places" again, it'll be way the hell too soon...

Ooooh, more Hag right after that! "That red bandana tied around your auburn hair, you look like you oughta be somebody's wife somewhere..." I was surprised to see Pat Green & Cory Morrow cover that song on their Songs We Wish We'd Written cd, for as far as I can tell it's not one of Hag's better-known records. They did a great rendition of it, too.

Random Musical Musings: Conway Twitty & Merle Haggard

Earlier this morning these guys played Conway Twitty's 1981 No. 1 hit "Tight-Fittin' Jeans." I've always loved that song, thought it was one of his best, but more and more in the last few years, I wonder. If the woman in the song wanted so badly to be a "good ole boy's girl," then just why in the hell didn't she go after one? It sounds to me as if she was settling for less than what she really wanted. I suppose more than a few would offer various reasons for that, but in the end, do they really matter? I am guessing the answer is no, if it's to the point that the married woman in question is bar-hopping alone. Maybe I am over-analyzing that song, or maybe I am just hopelessly old-fashioned.
(Ooooh, old-school Johnny Cash, 9:27 am: "Big River," 1958. Oh, HELL YEAH! Right after it, one of my favorite Waylon Jennings records, "I'm A Ramblin' Man," 1974.)

On my drive home last night, I was jamming to the Hag. I downloaded the Down every Road box set onto my iPod, and as I was parking the truck "Ramblin' Fever" was playing. C'mon, sing along, you know the words...
"I caught this ramblin' fever long ago, when I first heard that lonesome whistle blow,
If someone said I ever gave a damn, they damn sure told you wrong,
I've had ramblin' fever all along..."
There's no telling how many times I've heard that song in the last ten years, and still I am not tired of it; I can say the same of pretty much anything else in the Hag's catalog. Sometimes I wonder how I'd feel if I had come of age when all those songs were hit records and were getting played several times a day -- or if Hag had been treated by radio as Garth Brooks was when he came along, i.e., "every time we play 12-in-a-row, you will hear Merle Haggard," as one of the radio stations did with Mr. Brooks in the town where I was raised. Or WAS Hag treated that way? Comments?
Oh, speak of the devil! 9:46 am: "Aaaalways wanting you, but never having you...makes it hard to face tomorrow, 'cause I know I'll wake up wanting you again...." another of those songs I still haven't gotten tired of...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Spontaneous Trigger Time

Yesterday I was sitting around the house with absolutely nothing to do, so I thought I'd pull out the Dan Wesson Razorback and get myself some trigger time. It'd been a while since I'd taken that pistol for a drive and I didn't have any handloads readily available, so I swung by the local Academy to pick up a couple of boxes of the only 10mm they had in stock, the 200-grain Blazers loaded to 1060 fps. It'd been about a month since I was behind the sights of a gun and it felt damn good to be back out there, even if I was settling on ammo that wasn't loaded to its full potential -- although, to be fair, the Blazers are a fun way to kill time and just shy of 500 ft-lbs of muzzle energy it's pretty respectable. And it could have been worse...I could have had the little Walther PPK the guy next to me had, that was jamming on every third pull of the trigger. As it was, though, the Razorback ran like a champ, and I was more accurate with it than I thought I'd be considering it'd been so long since I'd shot it. I really ought to see what it'd do with some of those 155-grain Hornady XTPs backed up with Accurate No. 9...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I love that Texas music, especially Roberl Earl Keen...

here: "Well, I went out last Sunday, with my little Mary Ann, she said, please stay till Monday, and she grabbed me by the can...She laid a big one on me, surprised me with her tongue...but her surprise was waitin' there between my cheek 'n' guuuuum....."

Oooh, MORE good stuff! 10:39 pm: Willie Nelson, "Stay A Little Longer," 1978. Quite different from the original, but still a KILLER record, with the trademark harmonica, acoustic & electric guitar, too...

And another GREAT cover, 11:27 pm: "Sometimes, I think it's a shame, when I get feelin' better, when I'm feelin' no pain..." I first heard Deryl Dodd's cover of this old Gordon Lightfoot song on Dallas-Ft. Worth's 99.5 the Wolf in late 2000-early 2001. He had been off the scene for a few years, and that was his comeback hit of sorts -- at least as far as the Texas scene goes, because as far as I know the record never garnered any significant nationwide airplay. It was a shame, too, because I always thought Deryl Dodd was a real Texas talent. No wonder the establishment pukes didn't appreciate him...

11:57 pm: the last song on KILT's Texas Roadhouse for the evening, the title track to Miranda Lambert's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend cd. People just thought Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" was edgy...and I was among them, until I was reminded of this song.

Another one of those "Hell yeah!" moments...

here, another one of those old songs I ain't heard in way too long...
"There ain't no good in an evil-hearted woman, and I ain't cut out to be no Jesse James...and you don't go writin' hot checks, down in Mississippi, and there ain't no good chain gang..."

A bit of lunacy for your Sunday morning...

...from the Houston Chronicle:

It was a lofty idea: Formulate a British "statement of values" defining what it means to be British, much the way a document like the Declaration of Independence sets out the ideals that help explain what it means to be American.

Because of the peculiarities of its long history, Britain has in modern times never felt the need for such a statement. But in an era of decentralized government and citizens who tend to define themselves less by their similarities than by differences of region, ethnicity or religion, the government felt that the time was ripe for one.

The proposal, part of a package of British-pride-boosting measures announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government last summer, raised a host of questions. What does it mean to be British? How do you express it in a country that believes self-promotion to be embarrassing? And how do you deal with a defining trait of the people you are trying to define: their habit of making fun of worthy government proposals?

I can't find the words to describe this. I mean, seriously, it just defies comment, but I'm gonna give it my best shot...
This is what once-mighty England has come to? A government program to make people proud of their nation? How ironic it is, too, that the author of this piece compares this government program to our Declaration of Independence, since it was England that we were declaring our independence from. And Britons still have their lives, of course, but if they even had liberty, they lost it long ago, along with the pursuit of happiness. Which, of course, would explain why the government felt the need for such a campaign. I mean, if they were free to do whatever they chose, don't you think they'd be a little more proud to be Britons? I think it's worth asking why one doesn't need to do this sort of thing in America, or in Texas. (Incidentally, I think it's also worth asking why the reporter indirectly characterized this asshattery as "worthy.") For some reason the words of Johnny Cash's "Ragged Old Flag" come to mind...
"...And she's gettin' threadbare, and she's wearin' thin,
But she's in good shape, for the shape she's in..."

For what our country's come to, I think there's still some truth to that observation...

"...You know, when I was in school, we used to sing it somethin' like this, listen here...oh, beautiful, foooor, spacious skies, for amber waves of grain..."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Question That's Been Answered

Caleb says he never understood the .357 Sig. He's not the only one.
I've heard it said that this bottlenecked cartridge was an attempt to replicate the ballistics of the .357 Magnum in an autoloading pistol. That makes sense and with, say, a 125-grain bullet at about 1350 fps it ain't too shabby. But still, why? This objective was already met with the 10mm, which as far as I can tell is a good bit more versatile than the .357 Sig. I guess the Sig would be good for smaller-framed pistols, but I can't help but wish the 10mm had been given more of a chance...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Naked Hypocrisy

Welcome, War On Guns, Illinois Carry, and Reason: Hit & Run visitors! Main page is here, pull up a seat & stay a while!

Several other bloggers have already addressed Sylvester Stallone's anti-gun hypocrisy, but I did hear something a bit interesting on the Rush Limbaugh show in the truck today. Transcript here, but here's what I heard...

I actually did a lot of research on these people. They actually believe what they're doing is right and that someday there's going to be this mystical moment and we're all going to join hands and sing "We Are the World," and when the truth is, Rambo says, "War is natural. Peace is an accident." That's a fact of life. It's unfortunate that we can start a war in five minutes, but it takes us a hundred years to make peace. So what comes more natural? So what he's trying to tell these people: all the medicine, all the Bibles, all the optimism and this naïveté; doesn't work in a savage world.
How ironic it is that the fictional John Rambo is so much smarter than the real-life Sylvester Stallone, who says things like, "We need one person in an influential position to stand up and tell the truth about gun control lobbies... Until America, door to door, takes every handgun, this is what you're gonna have... this is an escalating problem that’s eventually going to lead to, I think, urban warfare...It [2nd Amendment] has to be stopped, and someone really has to go on the line, a certain dauntless political figure, and say, ‘It’s ending, it’s over, all bets are off. It’s not 200 years ago, we don’t need this anymore, and the rest of the world doesn’t have it. Why should we?"
The above was in my head as Mr. Stallone was elucidating on Rambo's motivations, as he talked about what's been going on in the country formerly known as Thailand, and as I cursed him for being a blind, hypocritical son of a bitch for not realizing or refusing to see that stripping Americans of their right to arms would lead to the very same thing eventually. I know Rush has only been a supporter of the RKBA to the extent it helps the GOP, but it was still quite disheartening to see him bring Stallone on his show like he was some sort of conservative hero. I guess Stallone has done us all a favor to the extent his movie propagates the message that optimism and words will only take one so far, but I would love to have seen Rush ask Mr. Stallone why he thinks that door-to-door disarmament makes him any different than the guy who tells John Rambo it's never right to take a life. But I guess that would have been asking too much.

Yup, I got a kick out of this..

I wonder, would these nimrods like some cheese with that whine?

Members of a black ministers group on Thursday called on Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas to resign for sending e-mails depicting national civil rights figures Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton getting zapped and reduced to a puff of smoke.

The e-mail, obtained by Channel 13 and aired on a recent news segment, includes a copy of an editorial cartoon that shows Jackson and Sharpton looking up at a star in the sky. A bubble over their heads reads: "Oh, wishing star, we wish for an end to racial strife and bigotry."

In the next image, the two leaders are gone under a puff of smoke.

"Poof," the cartoon reads.

"I wish all this hatred and bigotry would just go away," said the Rev. Robert Jefferson, pastor of Cullen Missionary Baptist Church and member of the Houston Ministers Against Crime, an organization that works with law enforcement officials. "He sent it to his staff promoting hate against black folk. We are not going to sit by as our public officials sit around being bigots."

I'd say the bigots in this situation were Sharpton and Jackson, but that's just me. And you can add Quanell the Tenth to that list as well. The fact is that these people have made racial bigotry their stock in trade, and their bread and butter. Without said racial strife and the attendant publicity it brings, they would all sink into the obscurity they so richly deserve. As for the hatred and bigotry the good (sic) Reverend speaks of, well, whether he wants to admit it or not, the people the cartoon lampooned are just as hateful and bigoted as any Klan member. And the sooner he and his fellow grievance-mongers figure that out and cast the lot of them aside, the better we'll all be.

Another good '80s tune for your Friday morning...

here: Alabama, "My Home's In Alabama," from 1980. Though the boys from Fort Payne were another of those not-so-traditional acts from that decade, I still think they put out some great music and this song was probably their best. As a Texan, I know I can certainly relate; even though I wasn't born in Texas, it'll always be home. I was not that big on their later music, but a mention of mainstream country in the '80s just wouldn't be quite complete without a mention of them.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Somebody tell me again...

...why we should ride the McCain horse to November? (h/t AlanDP)

As if there wasn't already plenty of evidence that Senator John McCain is the wrong choice for pro-gun Republicans in the Presidential primary, the Columbus Dispatch has added one more item to the list:

The specter of Mike DeWine as U.S. Attorney General.

*snip* a member of the House, DeWine supported the Brady Bill, which required a waiting period and criminal background check before a gun could be sold. When he ran for the Senate in 1994, he backed the Clinton Gun Ban. In 2006, Human Events Online named DeWine among the Top 10 anti-gun U.S. Senators. And shortly before his defeat, DeWine took a position in opposition to legislation which barred gun manufacturers, distributors, dealers or importers from frivolous lawsuits designed to put them out of business.

So, if for some strange reason that ghastly combination made it to power, we would have a President who has taken a dump on the First Amendment and and an Attorney General who would take a dump on the Second. Would I vote for that? Mmmm. Let me think on that. NO. But it seems, alas, that some people might...

Oh, boo-hoo, people. Get a grip. The truth is the GOP had produced several reasonable candidates for the presidential nomination. None are “perfect,” but neither are you. A vote for any of them will require from you an end to the thrust-lip tantrum. You’re going to have to wipe your little eyes, haul up your drawers and - egad - do what Reagan would have done; he would have looked for the candidate who he felt was - taken all-in-all - best for the whole nation, not just for some little one-issue subgroup; he would not simply vote for his comfort zone.

In unserious times, and vacations from history, it is possible to hold oneself aloof from a process and declare, “fiddle-dee-dee, I’ll think about voting next election!”

It cannot be said enough: we are in serious times. In this election you do not have the luxury of complacently waiting for the next bus because you don’t like any of these drivers. In this election, you either get on board and take the damn uncomfortable, bumpy ride with the rest of us, or you marginalize yourself into irrelevancy on your little bench.

That sort of preening, self-righteous horseshit is exactly why I stopped reading The Anchoress long ago. I just couldn't take any more of it. As Mike Hendrix over at Cold Fury said, this "serious times" line gets trotted out pretty much every election and it's wearing quite thin. Furthermore, that whole "looking for the perfect candidate" thing was a straw man if ever there was one, and the people who accuse the dispirited Thompson backers of looking for that perfect candidate ought to be well and truly ashamed of themselves. It's not that any of the other candidates aren't perfect -- indeed, they're all far from it -- but that they don't even rise to the level of good. Fred Thompson wasn't perfect -- witness his since-recanted support of McCain-Feingold and opposition to tort reform -- but along with Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul he was damn good, and about the closest to perfect the GOP field came. The remainder of the GOP field could barely get elected in Texas as Democrats. I know well that politics is going to involve some sort of compromise now and then, but I think I'm just gonna have to borrow Mr. Hendrix's words here because I couldn't have said it any better: "if every conservative principle is to be abandoned one by one because each and every election is just too critical to at last take a stand in support of them, would one of you more mature, moderate pragmatists let me know when you are finally ready to defend them?" As for the Anchoress and her ilk, the whole sorry lot of them can take that attitude, stick it someplace dark and smelly and ride it straight to hell.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Another good one, from a local boy...

here: Mark Chesnutt, "I Just Wanted You To Know," a No. 1 hit from 1994. That's always been one of my two favorite Chesnutt tunes, along with his later remake of the John Anderson record "Down in Tennessee." I haven't heard either of those songs on the radio in ages, but the latter wasn't even a top-20 hit for him. It was still a great song, though...

Oh my God, I haven't heard this song in YEARS! 11:50 am:
"Hank, let's talk about your daddy, tell me how your mama loved that man."
"Well, just break out a bottle, hoss, I'll tell you 'bout the driftin' cowboy band."
"We won't talk about the habits, just the music and the man..."

Well, there goes the republic...

It was good while it lasted:

A Statement from Fred Thompson...
Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.

Well, here we go, boys and girls! Quite possibly our best shot at getting a conservative in the White House gone. I don't know what lies ahead, but I don't know how it could be anything but bad considering the choices we're likely to face in the general election. I can't help but agree 100 percent with what Kevin Baker says here:
I've about had it with the political process. While normally I would pull the lever for the nominee with (R) next to his name if for no other reason than Supreme Court nominees, I don't know that I can bring myself to do that this year. Instapundit comments about "teaching the Republicans a lesson" that they seem immune to learning. I'm not concerned about that now. I know they won't learn. I know that the people running for office who actually have a chance of winning shouldn't be given access to the levers of power.

I'm at the point where I know things can and probably will go as they have gone in the petri-dish of the UK, and I don't see any way to stop it. I'm at the point where I almost - almost - want to help pull it all down.

FV@K IT. I'll write-in Thompson on election day.

All hail President Clinton.

There are times I don't share Kevin's pessimism, but this time around I do. What does it say about the Republican Party that they wouldn't get behind a candidate like Thompson? He had his flaws, but on the whole I think he was the most reliably conservative candidate with a chance to win. Ron Paul would be great, but the fact is that his foreign policy proposals drive many voters away who would otherwise cast their vote for the GOP ticket. No matter what, though, I will still not cast my vote for McCain, Giuliani or Romney. If that puts Obama or Clinton in the White House, well then, so be it. I'll tell you what I WILL be doing at my earliest opportunity, though, and that is, going to my friendly local FFL and asking him to get me a price on an AR-type rifle, most likely at this point a DPMS AR in .308. Before they farkin' get banned, again...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hey, what about shooting back?

Welcome, visitors from A Keyboard And A .45! Main page is here, pull up a seat 'n' stay a while!

Via The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, we have this, from the leftists at the Anti-Defamation League, who quite obviously have learned nothing from the extermination of six million of their brothers and sisters:

Gun violence and the caching of dangerous weapons are commonplace among extremists. If states lose the right to regulate firearm ownership, it would help violent bigots in their efforts to create an America based on hate and intolerance.
Now, there's only one way, really, that the "violent bigots" mentioned here would actually be able to create an "America based on hate and intolerance" -- and that is, if the people who would be the targets of said hate and intolerance sat there and took that hate and intolerance and did not, say, SHOOT BACK. As Aaron Zelman of the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership said, "If every Jewish and anti-Nazi family in Germany had owned a Mauser rifle and twenty rounds of ammunition and the will to use it, Adolf Hitler would be a little-known footnote to the history of the Weimar Republic." And, of course, Hitler was a far more formidable foe than the boogeyman the asshats at the ADL are so afraid of. I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again because it fits -- I used to think no one deserved the consequences of going disarmed and unable to protect himself, or herself as the case may be. But I don't think that anymore, and even less when I see members of a group such as the ADL advocate leaving the door open for disarmament and slaughter. And if it was someone like Abraham Foxman or Glen Lewy being marched off to the camps, it would be nigh well impossible for me to muster up even a shred of sympathy. It's not as if history isn't crystal-clear on the consequences of letting the all-powerful State do as it wishes in regards to the tools of self-defense.
"Hey, I tried to tell you, f*cker. Six million of your brothers and sisters dead because they couldn't fight back, and your day's coming soon. But noooo, you wouldn't listen. Think about that as the bullet goes in your brain."

Oh, and this comment at the Rott was so good I had to pull it in its entirety, even though foul language follows...

God damn you, Abraham Foxman.

Hashem Yishmor another Jew should ever listen to a single syllable that falls from that festering hole underneath your nose, you willfully ignorant, purposefully stupid piece of shit.

When Foxman and his ilk are done their work, we’ll all be following Ghandi, and allowing our persecutors to exterminate us in order to maintain some ‘higher moral ground’.

You know which ground I prefer, you fucking coward?

The kind I ain’t buried in. You see, people cherish very little so much as not being dead- and if killing someone who wants to harm me or mine makes me a bad person, then I’ll see you in hell, Foxman…

No doubt you’ll beat me there.

I'd say that about sums it up perfectly...

Monday, January 21, 2008

What a way to close the day... Ricky Skaggs, "Highway 40 Blues," 1983. I am tired, but that song always gets me revved up. Ricky Skaggs is a master of the bluegrass-tinged traditional country, and he put out some great songs during the 1980s as well. If I remember right he did the original version of "Waitin' For the Sun to Shine," which Lee Ann Womack masterfully re-recorded on her There's More Where That Came From cd. I think "Highway 40 Blues" and "Cajun Moon" are probably my two favorites from him, though...

George Strait Set List, Alltel Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas, Jan. 12, 2008

A-yep, been gettin' hits from this search, so here ya go...

Deep in the Heart of Texas
The Fireman
Check Yes Or No
Seashores of Old Mexico
Carrying Your Love With Me
Amarillo By Morning
Honk If You Honky Tonk
I Just Want To Dance With You
There Stands the Glass
Ocean Front Property
How 'Bout Them Cowgirls
It Just Comes Natural
I Ain't Her Cowboy Anymore
Give It Away
A Better Rain
Cowboys Like Us
The Chair
I Can Still Make Cheyenne
I Hate Everything
Write This Down

High Tone Woman
Folsom Prison Blues
The Cowboy Rides Away

Ooooh, HELL yeah! Now playing here, 10:47 am: "Oh, come with me Lizzie, and the stars will write your name...and if you still think I'm lying to you, look a-yonder, there comes the rain...step back non-believers, or the rain will never come...someone keep that fire a-burnin', somebody beat the drum...he said, some may think I'm crazy for making all these claims, but I swear before this day is over, you folks are gonna see some rain..."

Another great moment from the '80s...and they just keep

here: "...he gets off on country music, 'cause disco left him cold...and he's got young friends into New Wave, but he's just too friggin' old...and he dreams at night of Woodstock, and the day John Lennon died, how the music made him happy, and the silence made him cry...yeah, he thinks of John a lot now, and he has to wonder why..."

For the uninitiated, that's "Old Hippie," the Bellamy Brothers No. 1 record from 1985. I liked the Bellamys, but nothing else they did quite measured up to the greatness of that record. I was a young'un back then, but I think it'd have been interesting to see how many people could relate to that song when it was out. 4 minutes and 3 seconds of relevant social observation that was not preachy or cliched. That's a rarity in popular music, to be treasured when it does come down the pike. I am glad to see this song still gets played these days.

And another, from the year before! 10:27 am: "Pardon me, you left your tears ooooon the jukebox...."

And another great one, but this one was from 1975, 10:30 am: "Always wanting you, but never having you, makes it hard to face tomorrow, 'cause I know I'll wake up wanting you again..." I have that one on my iPod, along with 99 other Haggard gems, some well-known and some not-so-well-known. Those 100 songs can be found on the Capitol-issued Down Every Road four-disc box set from 1996. If you're a Haggard fan it's something I cannot recommend highly enough. The folks at Capitol even managed to get most of his MCA and Epic hits on there, although I did miss "Yesterday's Wine," "Cherokee Maiden" and the live version of "Okie From Muskogee."I think the last two were from Capitol, but overall those are just minor omissions.

Realization of the dream? Not quite...

On this Martin Luther King Day, we have this, from the Houston Chronicle...

Clement said she is heartened by the prospect of the nation getting its first black or female president. Such a victory, she said, would set the stage for "a better nation and a better world."

Such a development, she said, would represent a significant realization of King's dream of a color-blind society.

I don't agree. Personally, I think that when you look at the beliefs of both the black and female candidates in this race, we'd be getting more of the same old identity politics that have plagued this nation for far too long. Just look at the reaction Oprah Winfrey got from her announcement that she was backing Barack Obama for president:
It started with a message on her website entitled "Oprah is a traitor" and rapidly expanded to include several discussions that attracted hundreds of comments.

In the original post, a reader called austaz68 said she "cannot believe that women all over this country are not up in arms over Oprah’s backing of Obama. For the first time in history we actually have a shot at putting a woman in the White House and Oprah backs the black MAN. She's choosing her race over her gender."

In this case, I'd say schaedenfreude describes perfectly what I am feeling right now. How ironic it is that the leftists talk about tolerance and diversity, but when it's their preferred group that gets slighted, the mask comes off! I must admit, that's a sweet, sweet irony indeed.
But no, King's dream of a colorblind society most certainly is not realized yet. It will only be fully realized when, in addition to a black man mounting a viable candidacy for president, those who call black conservative luminaries like Clarence Thomas and Michael Steele "Uncle Toms," sellouts or whatever other pejorative they can dredge up are called out for the bigots they are. I'm betting we have a loooong way to go to get there, though...if we ever do, that is.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A-yep, I love it...

Now playing here: "...Well, I've tried everything, baby, to get along with I'm gonna tell you, what I'm gonna do...I'm gonna stop my cryin', gonna leave you alone, and if you don't think I'm leavin', big mama, just count the days I'm goooone..."

10:28 pm: "...and it's uuuup against the waaaaalll, redneck mother..."

Sunday Morning Radio Musings

I still have that great Arkansas station on here that I've been listening to and raving about, and been thinking that the words of the Houston Press' John Nova Lomax were just about right, as he spoke of Country Legends 97.1 during his marathon 24-hour spin around the Houston radio dial...

Cox, the owners of this station, pissed away a golden opportunity here. When Country Legends debuted, it shot straight to the top country slot. A slow slide set in thereafter. There is only one DJ on the station -- the rest of the week, Country Legends is simply a jukebox, one that spits out the same lame songs way too often. ("Hello Country Bumpkin" once an hour, it seems.) If Cox had given this station even a little TLC -- hired some old-school country DJs, involved the listeners a little, played less country-pop pap -- it coulda been a contender.

I like a lot of the music they play on 97.1, but that whole so-called jukebox radio thing is something I just can't stand. Too much radio DJ talk is bad, of course, but it'd be great if Cox had taken the same route with 97.1 that the folks at Clear Channel apparently took with this Little Rock station. I mean, I'm hearing stuff on this station that I NEVER hear anymore outside of Rowdy Yates' Saturday-night country gold show on KILT or that I haven't heard at all. I don't know how much of that has to do with the fact that the station has a full DJ staff, but it's great that, just for instance, I can call in and request a song. Can't do that with Country Legends, or, for that matter, that incredibly irritating Jack 103.7. ("...Playing...what we want!" Kiss my ass.) Much as I hate what Clear Channel's done to American radio, they do get things right once in a while, and 106.7 the Wolf is one of them. I don't know where terrestrial radio is going to go, but I will say this much....if it does keep going toward the automated jukebox format, I'll be going to satellite. I know people who have it and every time I can get to tune in, I think, "Wow...this is great." We'll see how it goes...
Now playing: Jerry Reed, " comes Ayyyyy-mos!"

Another oldie but oh-so-goodie.... "It's a cheatin' situaaaaation, just a cheap imitation....doin' what, we haaaave to do, when there's no love at hoooooome..."

And another! 10:16 am: "I've been living in hell, with a bar for a cell, still paying, for my cheatin' crime...oh, and I've got, a loooong way to go, still doin' time..."

...and I said, "listen bud, I've traveled every road in this here land, I've been everywhere, man..."

So I was doin' the blog-run this mornin', and I came up on this delightful little number over at Leslie T's place....

And if you're a Texan or wish you were, you'll smile too!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Haven't heard this 'un in a whiiiiile....

Now playing here: Gary Stewart, "Out Of Hand," 1975. "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)" was the hit he became known for, but the one I just heard is my favorite from him. Honky-tonk at its finest...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ooooh, but I only wish...

More referrals, via the Sitemeter, this time from Austin... "george strait recorded there stands the glass".
He did? I would love for someone to point me to where I could find it. I would die a happy man! Ha...I think I've said it before, but I'll say again that I'd love to see George do one of those albums of nothing but the songs that influenced him. If it was recorded at a place like Gruene Hall that'd be even better. I don't think he'll ever go back to that, but a George Strait fan can dream, eh? Even a covers album recorded in the studio with his road band would be good, though. He's taken them into the studio for several album cuts over the years and they sound great. To name a few, the studio version of "Milk Cow Blues" was recorded with the Aces for the Chill of An Early Fall cd, as well as "Lovesick Blues" and "Home In San Antone," the old Bob Wills standard. Oooh, another idea...a Strait Western swing album, drooool....

Thursday, January 17, 2008

...yes, I do love this song...

"...if I die before I wake, feed Jake...he's been a good dog, and my best friend, right through it all..."

I get referrals, and ideas, too...

...from Gladewater, up in the East Texas Piney Woods, "Dan Wesson shooters club."
I don't know of anything like that that exists outside of cyberspace, but it is a pretty neat idea, for shooters of a particular type of gun to get together and talk about their guns. Personally, I think it'd be great to get together with, for example, other Dan Wesson Razorback owners and talk about what kinds of loads they drive through them, mods for them and general shop talk like that.
And here's another interesting idea. I don't think it's so original either, but then neither was the last one. I think it'd be neat to get a bunch of shooters together and have maybe an IDPA-type shoot-off -- with the same gun in the same scenario. Using the above example, you could give five shooters five Dan Wesson Razorbacks (or insert your gun of choice here) as close to exactly alike as you could get them, and may the best shooter win. Sort of like IROC for gunnies. Thoughts?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A-yep, that's about right...

Rolling down the High Road, I saw this, from L. Neil Smith:

...during any election season, a lot of comparisons are invariably made between politicians and "ladies of the evening". Some individuals with different values than mine might call me a square, I suppose, but I have never sought nor ever employed the services offered by the latter. Knowing history and human nature as I do, however, especially the history and nature of politicians -- and keeping in mind all of the tragedy, destruction, wastage, and death for which even the least of their ilk is historically responsible -- I have always believed that such comparisons were a grave insult to prostitutes.

Consider: did a prostitute ever show up on your doorstep demanding that you fork over a significant fraction of your income, whether you want her services or not? Did she have an entire bureaucracy of goons to threaten you and make sure you pay up? Has a prostitute ever thrown you into prison or stolen your house or car because you wouldn't pay her?

Has a prostitute ever told you what religion to practice or how to practice it? Has she ever threatened to censor you or punish you for something you wrote or said? Has she ever shut down a single newspaper or radio or TV station? Has she ever demanded that you purchase a license from her to hold a meeting or a march, or put you on a list of suspected terrorists just because you wrote her a letter she didn't like?

Politicians do that sort of thing all the time....
An excellent point, one that should be spread far and wide, and then we have this rather trenchant observation over at Mr. Bane's place:
Libertarians are always saying that if they can get the gun nuts and the pot heads together, they would run the country.

I think that the basis of the libertarians is that you accept that there are liberties that you may not value but other people do and together you have to willing to fight as one for the protection of both.

Sounds about right to me, although sometimes I wonder how many of the "potheads" are for more government intrusion into other people's lives via odious measures like the Assault Weapons Ban. By the same token, of course, you could say that there's a fair number of gun owners who are all for things like the War On Some Drugs. But somehow I think there's more than a grain of truth to the above-quoted observation. It'd be quite interesting to see what would happen if a candidate went after those two voting blocs with the message that an attack on one liberty is an attack on all of them. Somehow I don't see that happening any time soon, though, and it's a bit disheartening...

thought for the early morning...

Hearing "I'm sorry it didn't work out, but we can still be friends" is a bit like hearing your mother tell you when you were eight years old, "I'm sorry your dog died, but you can still keep it."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More Musical Observations: Records & Venues

(Oh, YEAH! Now playing here, 8:27 am: Merle Haggard, "The Fugitive," 1967.)
Reader Greg, in comments to yesterday's post...

Absolutely agree on King George and his act. Paid $5 to see George in the early 80' he has my money for every CD he has put out (plus albums; you know, those big round discs in a cardboard jacket...
Haha! I may be young, but not that young. I remember listening to my uncle's albums way back in the '80s, when I was growing up. I don't remember him having any George Strait records, though I'm sure they had to be around there somewhere, because he's always been a huge George Strait fan. I couldn't tell you for sure, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised if he's seen the Strait man as many times as I have. Next time I see him I'll ask him about that. Would that I had been of age to see King George for $5. I have come pretty close, though; the last couple of years he's been at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, I snagged tickets for about $16 apiece. Granted, they were in the nosebleed seats at Reliant Stadium, but hey, it's George Strait, I certainly am not going to complain. I was happy just to be there! Venues like Alltel are just great, though. I think it seats about 18,000 people. That sounds pretty big, but even on the lower level, where I was, there was a great view. I was telling someone as I was there that if I couldn't see George in one of those standing-room-only holes-in-the-wall, a venue like Alltel Arena was the next best thing. But I'll take George where I can get him...
(Now playing here, 8:47 am: Lacy J. Dalton, "16th Avenue," 1983. "they walk away from everything, just to see a dream come true, so God bless the boys who make the noise on Sixteenth Avenue...")

Monday, January 14, 2008

Observations from Saturday Night

So yeah, I went to see George Strait Saturday night at the Alltel Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas, a little more than 400 miles from here. To date that's the longest distance I've driven to see George Strait or anyone else. But it was quite worth it, even if it was more or less the same thing I've seen more than 10 times prior to that night. As a matter of fact that's one of the things I've always liked about seeing George Strait live -- you know exactly what you're gonna get, and you know it's gonna be good. There's a lot to be said for that kind of consistency, especially after 27 years of going at it. There are a lot of people who say George is boring because he just stands there and sings, but as for me I prefer to think of that as him letting his music speak for itself. Besides that, the adrenaline rush I get from hearing songs like "There Stands the Glass" and "Folsom Prison Blues" is worth more than any kind of bullshit theatrics anyone could come up with. I must admit I was surprised that "Milk Cow Blues" and "Take Me Back To Tulsa" were not on the set list -- just as the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo aren't quite complete without George Strait or Clint Black, a George Strait show isn't quite the same without the extended "Milk Cow Blues" jam. But they more than made up for it with the "Folsom Prison Blues" encore. And I was also pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of "Ocean Front Property" and "Carrying Your Love With Me." I had not heard that last one in a a couple of years, at least that I remember, and I had never heard "Ocean Front Property" live. It just goes to show you, even someone as predictable as George Strait is capable of some surprises now and then. I don't know if George will keep touring to the point that I'll be able to see him 20 times, but I wouldn't be surprised if he does make it. You better believe I'll be there, too.
Little Big Town was the opening act this go-round, and they were pretty good. They have quite the stage presence. I really liked "I'm With the Band," and I found myself wishing they'd do an encore performance of Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way," because it was THAT good. Speaking of cover songs, I find myself what they could have done with "Seven Bridges Road," yep, the harmonies were that good, too...I may have to check them out further as well. So many cds, so little money!
Oh, and if you like a GREAT mix of old and new country, you need to check this station out. I discovered it on the drive in and found myself going back to it again and again. More than once I found myself saying, "Awww, YEAH!" when they'd play one of my favorite songs...and I bet you will too!
Now playing, 10:27 am: Merle Haggard, "Branded Man," 1967. One of those "Awww, YEAH!" moments, indeed....
And another! 10:35 am: Alabama, "There's No Way," 1985.
Ooooh, and another! 10:56 am: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, "Dance Little Jean," from about 1984, I think...
And another! 11:01 am: George Strait, "Let's Fall To Pieces Together," from 1984, my favorite tune from the Strait man...
Oooooh, another one! 11:04 am: Cal Smith, "Country Bumpkin," from 1974.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Random Observations From The Road

...after 888.9 miles since 9:00 yesterday morning...
1. Nickelback's "Side Of A Bullet" sounds a lot like something Metallica would have done on its ...And Justice For All record. I like most of what I've heard off that Nickelback cd. I need to get off my lazy arse & go pick it up.
2. I could never make it as an over-the-road trucker. I love to drive, but I can only take so much at one whack. And don't even get me started on eating. I had IHOP after George last night and it was great, but I couldn't afford to eat so well every day. I stopped a few times for drinks & snacks, but there's only so much of that I could take, too.
3. Jeff Foxworthy is a hell of a lot better as a stand-up comedian than he is as a radio show host.
4. Kix Brooks...well, he ain't the world's greatest singer, but but he isn't any better as a radio show host than Jeff Foxworthy. (Ironically, my favorite Brooks & Dunn song -- "Mexican Minutes," an unreleased cut off 1993's Hard Workin' Man -- has Mr. Brooks singing lead on it. Go figure...) Oh, and...
5. George Strait has still got it. More on that later. ;-)

Saturday, January 12, 2008 what was that about staying out of the primaries?


Government files amicus -- on DC's side!

Quick read: Gov't says, yes, it's an individual right. BUT we join with DC in asking Court to reverse the DC Circuit, because it applied strict scrutiny to the DC law. It should only have applied an intermediate standard. That is, the legal position of the US is that DC CIrcuit was wrong, a complete ban on handguns is NOT per se unconstitutional, it all depends on how good a reason DC can prove for it.
Interesting. And this is from an administration that most if not all of us probably thought was much more friendly to liberty than the likes of, say, Rudolph Giuliani.
But remember, guys, it's not a good idea for the NRA to get involved in primary politics because we might end up alienating someone who would basically tell us to go to hell anyway! I would call what I am feeling right now schadenfreude, but considering it's my own misfortune, it's just a general feeling of pissed-offedness.
And with that, I am off to Little Rock...y'all be good. ;-)

Friday, January 11, 2008

"...and today he joined up with Jesus, wearing shiny pearl snaps..."

It was 13 years ago this morning that I woke up to the very first day without my best friend in the whole world, my grandpa on my mother's side. He had gone to walk with God the day before, January 10, 1995. He had been sick for a long time, and I knew the day was coming when he wouldn't be here anymore, but you just can't really prepare yourself for such an occasion. We had his memorial service in the afternoon, and that's when it hit me that he was gone. I remember walking in the chapel there at the funeral home and seeing his flag-draped casket, and I got so weak I could barely stand up. I did my best to retain my composure through the service, but they opened the casket and I could barely stand to look at him in his pearl-snap shirt and blue jeans. I cried on my grandmother's shoulder till I didn't have any tears left, and I remember her saying afterwards, "You're gonna miss him like the mischief, but just remember, he's in a better place." I knew that, but Lord, was it hard. I remember two days after we buried him I was sitting at an Applebee's in Memphis, Tennessee and finding out that the Cowboys lost their playoff game and not caring the least little bit. I just wanted to go home, even though I knew what wasn't gonna be there anymore. Of course, the world started turning again, and I came to terms with it all, but those were the darkest days of my entire life. Incidentally, that flag now sits in a beautiful wooden display case on my desk...
Rest in peace, Pepaw. I love you.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Small Consolation, or the Snakes In Our Midst

There are those who say it's not a good idea for organizations like the NRA to get involved on the primary level of politics. I'll do my very best to keep that in mind when President Romney signs an Assault Weapons Ban Redux with no grandfathering or President Giuliani signs legislation putting into place some labyrinthine registration and licensing scheme. I really don't think it'll be more than infinitesimally small consolation, though. Politicians do reneg on campaign promises, I know, but it does seem a bit odd that someone like Romney would come out and say he actually supported the AWB -- considering it cost the Democrats both houses of Congress -- if he didn't really support it. And I don't remember it being a campaign promise that Romney would sign another ban, or for that matter that Giuliani would push for that licensing and registration scheme, but even so I am reminded of an old story...

A young girl was trudging along a mountain path, trying to reach her grandmother's house. It was bitter cold, and the wind cut like a knife. When she was within sight of her destination, she heard a rustle at her feet.
Looking down, she saw a snake. Before she could move, the snake spoke to her. He said, "I am about to die. It is too cold for me up here, and I am freezing. There is no food in these mountains, and I am starving. Please put me under your coat and take me with you."
"No," replied the girl. "I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite me, and your bite is poisonous."
"No, no," said the snake. "If you help me, you will be my best friend. I will treat you differently."
The little girl sat down on a rock for a moment to rest and think things over. She looked at the beautiful markings on the snake and had to admit that it was the most beautiful snake she had ever seen.
Suddenly, she said, "I believe you. I will save you. All living things deserve to be treated with kindness."
The little girl reached over, put the snake gently under her coat and proceeded toward her grandmother's house.
Within a moment, she felt a sharp pain in her side. The snake had bitten her.
"How could you do this to me?" she cried. "You promised that you would not bite me, and I trusted you!"
"You knew what I was when you picked me up," hissed the snake as he slithered away.

We know who the snakes are in our midst...what harm is it really going to do for the NRA to call attention to their clear record of poisonous bites?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A damned good question, indeed...

from Michael Bane, to all the Fred Thompson-bashers...

What would you have me do?

Support Romney? He's in favor of a new assault weapons ban. McCain? Close the gun show loophole and gut the First Amendment. Huckabee? Sorry boys and girls, I was raised a fundamentalist Baptist...I can't say I would look forward to an evangelical as President...especially one who believes in spending spending spending. I am a libertarian at heart...more government is by definition bad. Defend the borders; kill the terrorists and stay the hell out of my life!

Do I think Thompson's doing great? No. But I do believe he's the only man standing up. Romney and McCain want the Presidency so bad they would eviserate their grandmothers in the town square if they thought it would get them elected...they positively stink of ambition out of control...and that makes them exactly the kind of people I don't want running my country.

What would you have me do?
It's a legitimate question, and one that needs to be asked much louder and more often too, especially considering that it's still relatively early in the game. And the points he makes about Romney and McCain can't be denied by anyone who doesn't drink the GOP kool-aid. Never mind that New York fascist. If it's anyone but Fred Thompson or Ron Paul who gets the nomination, I am seriously considering writing in one of them for president and the other for VP. It's a critical time for the country indeed, but I would argue that's all the more reason the Republican wing of the Republican Party -- if you'll pardon the phrase -- needs to stand up and be heard, like, yesterday. It's only going to get worse if one of the others gets the nomination, especially Romney or Giuliani, because it sends the message to the national party leaders that they can get away with nominating candidates who disavow key conservative principles. No doubt the party leaders are asking themselves, "where else are those base voters gonna go?" Well, maybe if enough of us bit the bullet and showed them, maybe they'd pull their collective heads out of their fourth points of contact and start paying attention to the base again.
And in the wake of last night's primaries, I think once again of the NRA and what they keep saying -- and, just as importantly, NOT saying -- about certain presidential candidates. Mark Chesnut, from the January issue of America's First Freedom:
"Gun-ban politicians -- including many of the 2008 Democratic presidential candidates -- never blink an eye at 'common-sense' proposals like registration and licensing."
Yes, of course, pay no attention to the men behind the Republican curtain, yet again, no matter how bad for liberty any of them might be. Which is really starting to grind my gears that much harder. I like to think that NRA members are doing their own research and know well certain GOP candidates' abysmal stands and records vis-a-vis the Second Amendment, but I still don't think it helps the cause one little bit that the organization isn't calling attention to the various Republican candidates' stands as they do the Democrats. I am sorely tempted to write a letter to the NRA, but I must admit right now I am just a mite too ticked to say anything civil...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Some thoughts on the 2008 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo lineup...

As Leslie T says, there are some cool choices and a few clinkers too. Some riffs, off what Joey Guerra at the Chron's HandStamp blog had to say...

Faith Hill, March 4: The crossover diva last stepped onto the revolving RodeoHouston stage in 1999. Since then, she's scored huge hits but has recently come crashing back to Earth. Recent singles have flopped, she scolded a fan for manhandling her hubby -- and then there's Carrie Underwood. Hill reacted angrily backstage when Underwood was named CMA female vocalist of the year in Nov. 2006. Hill insisted she was joking. We're still not convinced.

Faith's early stuff was a lot better, though I did really like her 1998 Faith cd, the first big departure from the traditional country she'd been known for up to that point. I didn't really care about whether her reaction to Carrie Underwood was fake or not, because even if Faith had won the award it still would have been a continuation of the joke so much of modern mainstream country has become. Personally, I would much rather have seen Miranda Lambert be the success Carrie Underwood's become, the sometimes rock sound and image notwithstanding. I know at least one of my readers doesn't agree and that's ok; after all, beyond that difference we more or less have the same tastes. Speaking of Miss Lambert...
March 17: The Longview-born, Lindale-bred singer makes her RodeoHouston debut on the heels of sophomore disc Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, one of last year's best albums. Her searing, assured performance at October's Big State Festival was a perfect teaser.
That one ought to be a pretty good one. I'd be interested in seeing it, but we'll see after this weekend. More on that momentarily...

Alan Jackson, March 6: Another year, another appearance from this country stalwart. Jackson has been hitting RodeoHouston since 1992. A new disc is due in March.
According to Alan's website, that new disc, Good Time, hits store shelves on March 4. I love what I've heard from it so far, the first single "Small Town Southern Man." Jackson went back to longtime producer Keith Stegall with this set, and it sounds like the pair's going back to what got Jackson the reputation he's gotten in his almost 20 years on the scene. I'm looking forward to that. Seen Jackson live three times, and like George Strait he more or less lets his music speak for itself. This is definitely another one I'd be interested in.
Kevin Fowler, March 5: The Austin singer seems next in line for breakout national success. Recent disc Bring It On was full of mainstream hooks, and Fowler has the on-stage energy of Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney.

If Mr. Fowler did get that break-out national success with the sound he's become known for to date, that would be just marvelous. The new cd may well be "full of mainstream hooks," but it's still a pretty solid Texas country cd. I'll be interested to see how Fowler's career keeps playing out.
And finally this morning, the obvious question...No George Strait OR Clint Black? What the hell? Just doesn't seem like a complete Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with both of those missing. I've seen George twice at the rodeo and it's pretty cool. Not that much different from his regular show. BUT! Here's what I was getting at a minute ago. There will be a GS live show in my very near future, this weekend in fact. I'll be going to see the Strait man for the 14th time since 1996, this time at the Alltel Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas. A pretty good drive from where I am sitting, but I've done it before. And I can't wait! As it works out, though, tickets for the rodeo shows go on sale this weekend as well, when I won't be anywhere near a computer or a Ticketmaster outlet. So maybe it's good that George is sitting this year out....

Monday, January 07, 2008

...does it really HAVE to be that way?...or, Fred Thompson for President!

GeorgeH, in comments to Saturday's post:

I'm afraid it will have to be McCain.

Yup, I'm afraid of that too, although I don't really think it will HAVE to be. It's still quite early in the game, and I know Fred Thompson hasn't done well so far. But it would just be wrong to let that defeatist mentality take hold so early. I've said it before and I'll say it again -- with that kind of attitude we might as well just give up our guns and everything else now. It ain't over till it's over, and I suspect many if not all of those yelling "Fred is finished!" were the same ones telling us earlier to vote for Giuliani or Romney because they'd have the best chance of winning. Come to think of it, they're STILL saying that when they're not proclaiming Thompson's candidacy dead.
As for McCain, well, I more or less share Kevin Baker's opinion of him:
ANYBODY but McCain. He and everyone who voted for McCain-Feingold ought to be ejected from the House and Senate on grounds of violation of their oaths of office. And McCain should be tarred and feathered for good measure.

McCain-Feingold is probably the biggest skeleton in Fred's closet. I know well that he voted for that, and I don't excuse that. As big as that skeleton may be, though, I just don't see it justifying a vote for anyone else running on the GOP side, let alone one of the very architects of that odious legislation. And besides, as hard as I try, I can't see Fred saying something like, "I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt."
He's not perfect by any means, but I think he's the best we're going to get. Anybody but McCain, indeed. As of now, though, I'd like to change that to, "Nobody but Fred." And I don't mean that to be faint praise. I like Fred Thompson and am proud to say he's the guy I'll be supporting for President of this great land.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Random Saturday Morning Comments

First up this morning, via Cold Fury, Billy Beck isn't the least bit happy with all the lurrrve for Barack Obama, and I for one can't blame him one little bit...

This is disgusting and appalling. It is implicit and explicit repudiation of Martin Luther King's monumental "content of our character" remark, and the sentiment -- which is all it is -- is rampant today in the wake of Iowa....
...This man's skin color means nothing to me. And the very idea that it takes putting a black man in the White House in order to obliterate what is unquestionably America's original sin is an elevation of dirt-cheap emotion over reason. He is every bit the threadbare socialist that all the rest of them are, and that's what should be important...
He's absolutely right, of course, and that makes it all the more disturbing that the media's going along with this tripey Obama's-all-about-change gimmick. He ain't about change, he's just about more of the same socialist ideals that when implemented have caused untold misery for millions. He just wraps it all up in a shiny box with a pretty bow on it, not unlike gift-wrapping a turd. Come to think of it, said approach isn't that much different than the ones the slick marketers of Mitt Romney and Rudolph Giuliani are taking. They just don't have the race card to play.
Which brings me to this comment, seen at Michael Bane's place...
...who are we supposed to get behind in this race? Rudy? Mitt?

It boils down to this...

If Fred or Paul lose, we all lose.

That's pretty much the long and short of it, yeah...

Friday, January 04, 2008

More Constitutional Ignorance...

...and this time, it's from the starboard side...

...mark me, if the Dems take hold like you say, the Militia will come back to life with a vengance.

That kind of talk is just silly. If democracy doesn’t deliver the results you want revolution and militias are the only logical action?

I don't know for sure that revolution would be the only logical action...but still the question needs to be asked. If the "democratic process" put into place a government that overstepped its boundaries any more than it already does -- if, for example, the execrable Dianne Feinstein got the bill passed that she wanted that said, "Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in" -- what the hell other options are we left with? After all, that would be what "democracy" delivered! Does the phrase "tyranny of the majority" ring a bell to anyone? It's truly a frightening prospect to think what "democracy" could have gotten us had the American people woke the hell up in 1994 in the wake of Bill Clinton's so-called "assault weapons ban." I wasn't paying much attention to the gun culture back then, but I've heard it said more than once that the folks in power had the goal of at least partial door-to-door confiscation, and it wouldn't surprise me if they had ended up trying it. After all, we all remember what happened during the first two years of the Clinton administration. That's what "democracy" brought us. And it amazes me that some think we should have just sat back and taken that...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Gun Club Musings

So I was doing the blog-run yesterday, and Sailorcurt was talking about one of his local gun clubs and his not-so-good experience there. Yearly memberships cost at least $300, and that's just with the basic package which does NOT allow one use of all the ranges! Go read what he had to say for the full rundown. It seems the new owners of the range are looking for a different clientele than just the local average-joe shooters, and I guess that's their prerogative, but why even keep the range open to the public in the first place if they're so heavily courting police and military shooters to the virtual exclusion of the general public? They still let anybody come in who wants to shoot, but with the prices and attitude, why would anyone want to?
But I say all that to say this. That got me thinking about my own local gun club that I belong to, the Golden Triangle Gun Club. They don't have any kind of amenities beyond the ranges themselves and target stands, but for $50 a year plus membership in the NRA I can go shoot anytime I want, and I have my choice of shooting on anything from a 25-yard pistol range to a 600-yard rifle range. I heard they don't allow the .50BMG there, but I'd have to double-check with someone on the board of directors to make sure of that. And as far as tactical training and such, as far as I know the closest thing they have to something like that is the IDPA matches. (And, of course, they have cowboy action shooting and rifle matches too.) But without exception, every single person I've crossed paths with on the firing line there has been courteous and friendly and more than willing to share their knowledge. Just this weekend I was out there and struck up a conversation with someone on the board of directors, as I told him about wanting to get an Evil Black Rifle after the first of the year. (For the record, he said the AR was much better than the M1A, more accurate and much cheaper to shoot.) But every single person I've met on the firing line, from members to directors, has been a shining example of what the American gun culture is really about. And with the price of membership, I'd say I got a bargain and then some. I am a lucky shooter, indeed...