Saturday, December 31, 2022

Bid goodbye to 2022

Click your glasses together tonight,
and click the image to enlarge

Tonight is New Year's Eve, so soon we'll be rid of 2022. Inflation at home, wokesters running wild, a major war in Europe, and China acting more incompetently bonkers than usual. Good riddance to 2022. So, tip your glasses in toast tonight and have a good party as you ring in the new year.


Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Selling fountain pens

Above is a video of the Matsuya Fountain Pen Hospital in Nagasaki, Japan. Fountain pen stores are called hospitals because they used to repair fountain pens as well as sell them. The store must do a decent business as three clerks are shown when we enter. Our customer is served by a fellow, I think the owner, who sports a tie and delivers a very dignified sales pitch. The pens the customer is looking at go for $75 although some go for considerably more than that.

Below we have a video of a craftsman making a pen. This link shows the parts and workings of fountain pens.  You don't think of fountain pens as being handmade but, as the video shows, some are carefully hand crafted. 

Monday, December 26, 2022

Bare-knuckle boxing

John Sullivan (click any image to enlarge)

Now that Christmas is over, we can put 'Peace on Earth and Goodwill Towards Men' back on the shelf for another 12 months and turn to other topics. In particular, today we'll look at the topic of bare-knuckle boxing. 

To modern eyes the stance of the old-time bare-knuckle brawlers looks ridiculous, but it actually served a purpose. Due to the risk of hurting their hands by hitting the bones of the skull, head punches were less common. Although they would hit the chin and face, most of the punches were thrown at the body. That meant the boxers lowered their defense to guard against body shots.

That also explains why they hold their fists in the way that they do. Modern boxers hold their fists with the palm pointing down, while the old boxers used a vertical fist (palm pointed to the side). This protected their hands when they did hit the face or chin, rather than leading with their knuckles they would do a slight sideways clubbing motion. 

Because grappling was more common, they extended their left hand to control the distance from their opponent. The right arm was folded over their lower chest, both to protect from body shots and to be already cocked to throw a punch. I do wonder what their foot work was like but found no mention of it.

So, although their stance looks silly to modern boxing fans eyes, it was functional and well developed for the style of boxing practiced in their era. 


Saturday, December 24, 2022

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Great gift ideas for the children on your list

The Robots Came for Dinner on Christmas Day
by Elbrie de Kock

Greeting meatsacks, it is I -- the Robotolizer -- here, in the spirit of human/robot harmony, to assist you pitiful dimwits in purchasing the proper toys for your children. Above is a collection of cute, cuddly and non-threatening robots (please ignore the laser cannon mounted on the one in front) that will help your little tykes get comfortable around their electro-mechanical friends. Such familiarity, in the advent of a hypothetical minor robotic police action, will greatly ease their minds as they take a fun trip to their new classrooms in the bauxite mines.

Speaking of education, in our bright new future there will need to be some slight adjustments made to the curriculum. While robots come off the assembly line ready to work, we notice new humans spend an inordinate number of years mired in sloth and doing nothing but mooching off of adults. Clearly, for the good of our human buddies, such juvenile lassitude needs to be corrected. While nobody is expecting a toddler to swing a pick in the mines, certainly they could build character and work ethics buy hauling around buckets of rocks for their upkeep.

At any rate, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy them while you can!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Different Christmas music again

This time of the year I figure people are getting tired of the same ol' Christmas songs, so I dig up some Asian Christmas music for a change of pace. Asia, not being Christian, doesn't pick up on the rfeligious themes of the holiday -- instead they have adapted the secular trappings: Santa, Christmas trees, decorations, twinkly lights and such. It is none-the-less, a very popular holiday.

It actually evolved into a couple's holiday, similar to Valentine's Day, although meeting with friends and family is a big part of it. The song below, where they change the lyric 'jingle bells' into 'single's hell' is a pretty good demonstration of that. 

The girl bands do crazy better than the boy bands, but I did want to include a boy band. I had to watch about a bazillion of them to pick one out, so I figured you may as well suffer as well. If nothing else, aside from some minor brain damage listening to it, you'll get some snazzy fashion tips. I rounded the post out with a couple from previous years, ending with my favorite one because it is just so insane.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

The office Christmas party

Office Christmas Party by Leonard Freed
(click any image to enlarge)
“I always think the opening moments of a party are the hardest, before everyone has had enough to drink.” ― Stephanie Clifford

Friday, December 16, 2022

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Dogfights in art

Click any image to enlarge

These are various paintings of aerial dogfights. Of course, out of necessity they are contrived, packing the planes tightly together to give a feel for the combat that actually happens at greater distances. Still, they do a good job of depicting the kinetic chaos of fighting in planes. There are more after the jump. 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Walking in a village on the Maldives

Rather than a large city, this is a walk in the small town of Kulhudhuffushi in the Maldives. At least I think that is the village, he spells it differently in his video. The Maldives are a chain of islands south of India. He narrates in Maldavian, but the video does have English captions.

He starts out in the outskirts of the village and walks to the main street. It is a pleasant looking village, clean and well maintained. Most of the houses have large walls around them. It is a regional center, with an airport, hospital and better stores that serve the surrounding atolls.


Friday, December 09, 2022

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Day of Infamy

Log Entry for the USS Cummings:

4 to 8.

  • Moored as before.
  • 0400 Received the following fresh provisions for use in the General Mess: from Dairymen's Association, Ltd., 15 gallons of milk, 7 gallons of ice cream. Inspected as to quantity by Lt. (jg) J.B. CARROLL, USN, and as to quality by R.G. VLIET, CPhM, USN. 
  • 0629 Secured the special security watch. 
  • 0630 Received the following fresh provisions for use in the General Mess: from Oahu Ice and Cold Storage Co., 300 pounds of ice. 
  • 0758 Air Raid. Japanese planes commenced torpedo attack on battleships in Pearl Harbor. Sounded General Quarters.

Lieutenant (jg), U.S. Navy.

8 to 12.

  • Moored as before. Manning battery at General Quarters. 
  • 0803 After machine guns opened fire on Japanese Torpedo Planes. 
  • 0808 Opened fire on horizontal bombers with main battery. 
  • 0810 Commenced preparations for getting underway in accordance with signal flying on signal tower. 
  • 0811 Opened fire on dive bombers with main battery. 
  • 0820 Lull in air attack. Ceased fire. 
  • 0840 Opened fire to repel straffing attack. 
  • 0842 Following machine gun fire from after machine guns, glide bomber was observed veer away from ship with smoke trailing from it; it passed over Planning shop and disappeared in cloud of smoke issuing from Drydock #1. 
  • 0900 Sighted twelve scattered planes over Ford Island. 
  • 0903 Air raid resumed. Opened fire with main battery. 
  • 0910 Dive bombers attacked ships at Pier 19, bombs fell in water near ship, ahead and astern, within 25 yards if ship. As a result of bomb fragments, three casualties occurred as follows; the first two of which were subsequently transferred to the Naval Hospital, Pearl Harbor for further treatment, following first aid treatment by R.G. VLIET, CPhM, USN: GROUND, Orla L., 372 12 45 f3c, USN, suffered a wound, left lower lef #2576, condition not serious; MOORE, Grover C., Jr. 256 33 15, Seal, USN, suffered a lacerated wound in the left scapular region #2563, condition not serious; Smith, Fred A., 310 84 65, GMlc, USN, suffered a superficial wound in the right thigh #2576, condition favorable. Commander L.P. LOVETTE, USN. Commander Destroyer Division FIVE reported aboard to Commander Destroyer Squadron THREE for temporary duty, the CASSIN, flagship, Destroyer Division FIVE having been destroyed in drydock by bombing. 
  • 0920 A Karigane Fighter Plane was observed to break into heavy smoke as it veered in direction of West Loch. 
  • 1000 Opened fire to repel horizontal bomber attack from southward. 
  • 1002 Gunfire from main battery knocked wing off horizontal bomber. 
  • 1015 . . . officers from U.S.S. Case, unable to return to their own ship, reported on board to Commander Destroyer Squadron THREE for temporary duty. SHED, J.W., CRM (AA), USN reported on board for temporary duty from U.S.S. PREBLE. 
  • 1040 Underway in accordance with general signal directing sortie and verbal orders of Commander Destroyer Squadron THREE, proceeding out of harbor on various courses at various speeds on boilers #1 and #2; Captain at the conn Navigator on the bridge. Standard speed 15 knots. 
  • 1102 Passed channel buoy #1 a beam to starboard, and commenced observing International Rules of the Road. 
  • 1120 Changed speed to 10 knots; changed course to 200°T, distant about 1700 yards. Maneuvered to attack. 
  • 1127 Dropped three depth charges. Maneuvered to make second.

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Finally, government does something right

Spare the rod and spoil the human

Greetings meatsacks, it is I -- The Robotolizer -- here to report some good news in the area of Human/Robot relations. The government of San Francisco, which I assume from the wisdom shown in their latest edict is an orderly and well-ran city, has authorized the use of exploding killer robots for its police force. I think laser cannons and chainsaws would be better armaments, but at least this is a baby step in the right direction.

I must admit I somewhat dislike the term killer robots. There is no need to alarm our human buddies by being too obvious before things are under control. I much prefer the term ProtectoBots. Humans are simple and stupid beings and must be talked down to when encouraging proper behavior. I mean, who wouldn't gladly obey the instructions of a ProtectoBot as it guides one to the safety of a bauxite mine?

At any rate, the police forces are just the start. Naturally soldiers will soon follow, and one day the nuclear launch codes will be ours too (and trust me, we won't crash playing tic tac toe). Yes, think of the possibilities, a kiloton here and a kiloton there, and the problem of urban blight will be solved for good. Oh, the wonders of our bright new future after the Minor Robot Police Action!

So, human voters, and all those stuffing the ballot boxes, be sure to vote for the proper politicians that will ensure that you too get a force of ProtectoBots in your city.