Archive for the ‘That stuff’ll kill ya!’ Category

Save Ferris Tam

November 10, 2012 - 6:42 am 5 Comments

Ok, I know we’re starting to sound like a one-note monkey here asking y’all to open your wallets, but fuckall if I’m going to let that stop me on this one. Posting this from the road is a pain in the ass, so I’ll be brief.

Tam has a problem.

Lawdog and Old NFO and others you can see linked there (sorry, shitty keyboard makes linksmithing a pain in the ass- details are at LD and NFO’s) are working a solution. Go click over to them, open your wallet up, and do some direct good for one of the people who caused us to start blogging in the first place, and her links to us are a big reason we got enough traffic starting out to even keep bothering trying to gin up the stuff y’all seem to inexplicably like. There’s prizes and shit. Go. Donate.

Finally

October 29, 2012 - 8:50 pm 7 Comments

Ok, my apologies for the delay. I know everybody else has had their Kilted to Kick Cancer rewards up for a while now. Right around Blogorado o’clock, my project at work went on the chopping block, to simplify, so the day job has been in panic mode for the better part of the month. Combine that with functionally all of my non-work hours being absorbed by various other commitments, free time has been at something of a premium.

That said, time to make good. The audio of The Waxing is available here, and will be going up in the sidebar once I’m done editing this post. I had to pull in a favor from FarmGirl to get this cleaned up and in a useful format, and it amused her greatly, so there is also a sped up version that sounds like Alvin and the Chipmunks available here. Big thanks to FG for the help; this would still be sitting in my to-do pile and wouldn’t have the bonus comedy version otherwise.

The songs are still coming. I promise they’re not forgotten, and pretty much everybody who was crazy enough to send in for the drawing has said “Just post it!” so I’m going to save a step of picking winners and just do that. You all won, hooray!

Thank you all very much for your donations. To have raised $2400 just from my blatherings on the internet for such a good cause is humbling. I mean it honestly when I say I hope you all enjoy hearing me suffer for every penny (and yes, there was a lot of alcohol involved. Duh.).

Don't Try This At Home

January 25, 2012 - 7:01 pm Comments Off

Via Chas, a story of a fellow who planned to live off the land for a year in Scotland. In a battle of man vs. wild, winter won and he is presumed to have died of hypothermia. (His body was not found for weeks so it’s difficult to tell.)

OK, couple of home lessons beyond just “don’t do that, are you retarded” for those of us in the audience who are of an independent, outdoors-loving bent who find survival skills useful and interesting to know.

1. The vast majority of survival courses and training aren’t oriented to “living off the land”, they’re oriented to surviving for timespans of a week or less. All sorts of things become problems over longer time periods, because our bodies cannot handle certain kinds of stressors indefinitely, partiuclarly persistent calorie deficit and especially acute shortage of protein and fat.

2. While it is correct to observe that we evolved as hunter-gatherers and that there are societies of hunter-gatherers all over the world and in all climes and locales, it is important to realize that physically, we evolved in savannahs where hypothermia isn’t really a problem. We are not designed for, say, northern European winters. While the evidence for the capability of humans surviving in Scotland is present in the Scottish, it’s also important to realize two other things.

3. When we arrived in places like Scotland, we did so with all sorts of pre-existing cultural knowledge and technology that rendered us better able to adapt to things like Scottish winters. When we arrived, the landscape was also vastly different; we became primarily agrarian long ago and the land now reflects that reality.

4. Humans evolved as hunter-gatherers and later succeeded in environments they were not physically designed for because they are, at core, a group-living species. All of our life history revolves around it. A group of humans can divide and pool labor to get more fuel, more shelter, more water, more care for the sick and injured, and more vigilance and defense from danger in a way a lone human just can’t compensate for. If you plan to survive off the land, you’d better bring some friends if you’re planning to do it all that long. Even Bear Grylls doesn’t really travel alone.

NSFW PSA

July 13, 2011 - 3:35 pm Comments Off

Man Dies In Bondage Scene

Exactly what it says on the tin, though as typical the story is reported as more of a lurid man-bites-dog sort of thing than “man dies in tragic unnecessary accident”.

If there’s anything I’ve learned as an adult, it’s first that way more of the people you know are having a lot more and a lot weirder sex than you’d ever have expected, and second that talking about it is the Worst Thing In The World outside the few spaces it’s frankly discussed in. So let’s have a little talk for the benefit of what I am quite sure is a larger subsection of my readerbase than I or the vanilla folks reading would suspect.

I generally approve of pretty much anything that goes on in the bedroom between any number of consenting adults, so long as it follows the “safe, sane, consensual” mantra that the BDSM community likes to chant, but not everything can be done safely or sanely no matter how hard the idea turns your key. One of these things is tying someone up and leaving them alone: no matter how simple and nonthreatening it may seem to play with those boundaries just by leaving the room and leaving the person helpless, all sorts of things can happen to a bound person that will threaten life and limb that the person tying them up has no way to foresee or prevent. Whether it’s cut off blood flow, a heart attack, or in this case an airway compromise, it is entirely possible to accidentally kill someone by restraining them if you’re not there to immediately take care of any problem. This is Don’t Go There, This Is Not A Simulation territory, period. Not every fantasy is possible to fulfill without unethical behavior on someone’s part, and it becomes unethical when there’s a real risk of accidentally killing your partner.

Or, there’s one other possibility in this scenario that the article doesn’t mention that is also “don’t go there” territory, and that’s that he was never left alone at all and his partner accidentally choked him to death as part of a breath play scene, then fled because she or he had just, you know, committed manslaughter in a way that would get no sympathy whatsoever from a jury. Breath play- or choking if we’re going to be franker- is another surprisingly common fantasy that is really, really flat-ass dangerous to execute; if you won’t take it from me, take it from someone who knows, in detail, just why. This isn’t a thing that’s only dangerous if you’re “extreme” about it and choke someone until they pass out and turn purple, this is a thing where their heart can stop on you seemingly at random. Dying from asphyxiation because you’re using oxygen debt to enhance an orgasm doesn’t just happen to people hanging from their belt in the closet, it can happen even if the person cutting off the air has the recipient fully hooked up to hospital equipment.

Always stay with a bound person. Breath play isn’t just play, it can kill you out of the blue. Avoid these two poor choices as well as the equally poor choice of keeping exotic predators, and you can avoid becoming the subject of the headline “Owner of Killer Bear Chokes To Death On Sex Toy”. Nobody sets out with that in their life plan.

Bad For You

July 7, 2011 - 3:09 pm Comments Off

In the vein of Blunt Object’s post on irrational articles about diet and health that focus on macronutrients as though they were inherently bad or good for you without considering that what makes for a “healthy meal” is largely contextual, here we have an article about somebody who managed to overdose on 5-hour Energy displaying the same kind of fundamental issue.

What’s really striking about the article is that it focuses on the fact that 5-hour Energy has caffeine in it and gives the story a frame of caffeine addicts looking for their next hit, including a quote from a nutritionist saying that the energy in energy drinks comes from caffeine, with the B-complex vitamin cocktail being “purely for glitz”.

This would not be remarkable if it had been the caffeine that put the subject of the story in the hospital, but it wasn’t- it was the niacin, also known as vitamin B3. Normally it’s very difficult to overdose on B vitamins because they’re water-soluble and leave with urine, but front-load enough niacin by main-lining energy drinks as though they were coffee and you’ll box your liver good and hard, as this woman did. The article acknowledges that her actual problem was niacin overdose, which makes the overall caffeine-junkies message of the article as strange as it is.

The underlying reason both for why it would pass as normal to be written that way, and for the woman in question to think it would be okay to knock back that much “energy drink”, is the same issue as Blunt is talking about in talking about fat or sugar as though they were evil; caffeine is a thing that is “bad for us”, and vitamins are “good for us”, regardless of whether the caffeine is in high enough doses to actually hurt us or if vitamins can kill us in their overdose as well as their lack. We need vitamin A for proper vision and gene transcription, among other things, but in excess it will break your bones and is a teratogen for developing fetuses*. Selenium is an essential trace element, but ingesting it in milligrams rather than micrograms will kill you very dead.

The more you examine the pattern, the less sense it makes. Sodium is an essential substances for nerve transmission we need plenty of and will die without, but it’s on the “bad for you” list in media narrative. Potassium is involved in exactly the same biochemical process as sodium is and will shut down your kidneys and potentially stop your heart in excess, but it’s on the blanket “good for you” list and the possibility and dangers of hyperkalemia are rarely mentioned if you’re not a medical student. This particular example has a simple enough explanation- we use sodium chloride to flavor our food, not potassium chloride, so it’s much easier to ingest in amounts exceeding “enough”- but it still doesn’t really explain why either substance is normally discussed and thought about as entirely bad for you or entirely good for you, especially as the effects of not enough sodium can be felt by anyone who spends several hours working outside in the heat with water alone to sustain them- not exactly a rare scenario. One man invented an industry on the problem by putting lemon juice and sugar in what was essentially a bottle of Ringer’s solution, a lightly modified version of which you will find hanging from IV stands in hospitals, used for rehydration.

Perhaps the only real take-home message here, besides “healthy is contextual, not an innate quality”: if you’re a caffeine addict needing more, stick with coffee. They put all kinds of other crap in energy drinks your body isn’t as able to cope with in excess, like vitamins.

*Vitamin A toxicity is more hazardous because it’s fat-soluble. Researchers attempted to solve this problem by making a water-soluble version, which suffered from the drawback of being ten times more toxic in that form.

Blah blah blah fire blah blah blah

June 29, 2011 - 9:42 am Comments Off

Thanks, all, for the well wishes. This morning reports that we’re up to 3% containment, which beats the hell out of 0. Our place has not burned, and currently looks rather unlikely to. We’re getting bored with looting, so hopefully we’ll be able to get back to bitching about poorly done science articles and giving politicians more specific instructions regarding where they may stand in order to die in a fire as they so need to*.

Fire doesn’t seem to have gotten closer than about 4-5 miles as the crow flies from our place, and the fire chief has good things to say about the fuel levels between current fire location and same. Unless Murphy decides we need some extra pounding, there’s a decent chance we’ll be home by the weekend, especially if that containment number goes up significantly in the next day, day and a half. There isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell it’d be fully contained by then, but maybe y’all will get your news reports of me on the roof with a bottle of whisky and a garden hose after all.

*Dear elected officials: I know you must be seen to be Doing Something. However, when you go rushing up to be On Scene, unless you are in the executive branch and have some authorization to mobilize assets, the only Thing you are Doing is Being In The Way. Get the fuck off our mountain, Congressman douchebubbleLujan, or if you won’t do that, do us some real good, drink a lot of water, and just ask the nearest person in the funny jacket to point you towards the heat.

Update: Latest reports indicate that the 3% containment is a containment line between the fire and our part of town. Heading home soon.

Fire Update

June 27, 2011 - 11:41 am Comments Off

We aten’t dead.

Immediate danger has not passed, but has been mitigated. Latest report says the crews got a good backburn in between the fire and the town that seems to be holding, and that the main danger is on the west side of the burn, which is the side not containing us. It’s by no means a sure thing, but the fire chief seemed reasonably optimistic, with the caveat that the wind can still kick us in the nuts.

Bugout lines have been drawn, and we’re packed to within a 20 minute launch capability, and we’ve got a target to land at with all critters and vitals.

Reports that I intend to deal with this situation by climbing on the roof with a bottle of whiskey, a garden hose, and hurling profanity at the fire until it goes away are mildly exaggerated, but not ruled out as a plan.

Update: Evac on. Play nice while we’re gone.

…and end without.

June 26, 2011 - 4:53 pm Comments Off



12 mi. SW, high winds, dry, hot. Status info. Content may be light.

Smoke.

May 12, 2011 - 4:52 pm Comments Off

Since Santa Fe is a liberal hippy-nest filled with people operating under the mistake impression that they’re your mother and know what is best for you, some while ago, the town enacted a fairly draconian smoking ban. It’s not the worst in the nation, but the fact that I have to make that point is damning enough on its own. Recently a friend was complaining that her town enacted a similar ban, but that the fine was only $100 per night for the joint violating the ban. I thought about looking up what the Santa Fe fine is like, but that sounded like too much effort, and besides, the whole notion kicked the squirrel on a exercise wheel that passes for my brain, and I had An Idea.

I don’t smoke, myself. I enjoy cigars, but not regularly enough that this sort of ban directly impacts me. But just because it doesn’t directly impact me doesn’t mean it isn’t still a load of steaming horseshit cobbled together by some helicopter parent with delusions of adequacy. What needs to happen, and which sadly almost never does, is that these meddling, mewling crybabies need to be told that they are not, in fact, the boss of everybody and that they are cordially invited to go fuck themselves with a steam shovel. To that end, I want to open a bar, or bar & grill, or hell, just a damn warehouse room with some chairs and a soda machine. The establishment will be named “Smoke Here.” Just to make sure everybody is on the same page, I’ll put a disclaimer on the door:

The smoking ban is bullshit. You’re an adult, you can smoke here if you want. There will be people smoking in here, so if you’re a goddamn crybaby that has to meddle with shit that’s none of your business, go somewhere else. Pay attention to your own kids or something. But given the type asshole that does that shit, your kids are probably in here anyway. So just fuck off.

P.S. The bartender is kind of an asshole.

Bar food will all be smoked as well. Smoked bacon, smoked salmon, smoked jerky, you get the idea. Every fifth drink gets you a free cigarette. Even better, just while writing this I realized I could combine two of my ideas in one and offer Angry Hour once or twice a week. And if any petty little pisspot bureaucratic dictator who thinks just because he’s got a clipboard and the official “I’m Your New Mommy” badge means he’s got the biggest dick in town wants to swagger up to the place, whichever patron successfully figures out why there’s a woodchipper and a garden hose out back gets free drinks for the night.

So, any venture capitalists out in the audience?

Good News from the NRA Convention

April 30, 2011 - 10:12 am Comments Off

Weerd has it.

This looks about the same as it did in Phoenix in ’09, though I don’t see the white-haired murder-supporter that looked like he was going to take a swing at me for asking about Deadeye Lon in his picture. Haven’t even changed their “Irony? What’s that?” slogan yet.

Good. The sooner a company that thinks using a murderer as a celebrity endorsement goes out of business, the better. HS Precision: Women and Children First.