Breaking Rules

Sometimes it’s fun to break a rule. And there I am – on the road – no mask – dining out – shit-eating grin on my face. Don’t judge me. I remember the time, not THAT long ago, when everywhere was open, and all you needed was the money to throw down to get a nice meal at a nice restaurant. Sometimes you’d need to wait for fifteen minutes to get a table.

Today it’s like Prohibition, getting allowed into a speak-easy, eyeball through a slot in the door. Are you the police? “No”. Um, ok, the door opens and you can order a steak. “Are you sure you’re not carrying the Chinese Plague?”

“Do I look sick?” You slide the receptionist a Hamilton – prohibited cash. It wasn’t that long ago that cash was accepted everywhere. Today, plastic, but restaurants are closed because of the plague and plastic allows the transaction to be tracked. And in SoCal if you’re a business caught engaging in this sort of skulduggery, they cancel your license, turn off the water and power, and levy a heavy fine. But it’s not a drug deal, it’s a Ceasar salad, a steak, chimichurri, papas fritas and a diet coke.

LL – dining out

Once allowed in, you’re directed to a table, seated and they hand you a menu. Others look at you furtively – no mask.  They’re not wearing masks either, and they’re eating in a way that is prohibited by law. They avert their eyes, which return to the Porterhouse in front of them.

The prices have gone up, and you know that the tip is going to be more than you’d usually drop, but you’re engaging in illegal activity – a meal, without a mask, when everywhere else is closed. Pulling this clandestine activity off is something that the average folks either fear to do or they don’t have the right connections. They drive through and eat their McBurger out of paper, spilling the drink, served in a plastic cup in their lap when the rinky-dink plastic lid buckles.

Who would have thought that it would be like this a year ago? Absolutely nobody. But it is life on the road, trying to make a few gold Krugerrand to rub together…because gold–is gold, these days. Krugerrand have no $$ value stamped on their face and you can move them across national boundaries without declaring them as currency (No Currency and Monetary Instrument Report – they’re not currency). They are a commodity like diamonds or parsnips or pencils. Always opt for Krugerrand for that reason. And if the paymaster gives you a funny look because you’ve asked for Krugerrand for payment, ask them, “really”?

Thanks Democrats, you scum sucking curs.

And since I do most of my work outside of the US, it’s easier to get a clandestine meal at a nice hotel outside of CONUS, where most of the tables are now empty – because of the Chinese Plague.

Never fear, though I’m far away, the blog must go on.

 

An Interesting Perspective

Political Leanings by Race, Ethnicity and Educational Attainment, 2016

You can see (above) why the Donkeys embrace “Black Lives Matter”.

 

Before the Minié

Minie Ball

The Minié ball (a bullet shaped design) was well known in the US because it saw such wide use during the Civil War/War of Northern Aggression/War of the Rebellion. In the early 1850’s, James Burton, working at the US Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, improved the Minié bullet by removing the iron plug that was used in Britain and France at the time.

The Minié ball was easy to reload and made firing faster, it was easy to mass produce, inexpensive, and did horrible damage when it struck the target. The bullet often disintegrated when it hit, causing a massive exit wound, it blew off limbs and shattered bones leaving amputation as the only option.

But what came before?

Produced by the Manufacture Royale de St-Etienne in France c.mid-1840′s based on the Mle1829 smoothbore percussion carbine. .69 caliber rifled barrel, Tamisier bullet using the Thouvenin stem system, percussion lock, yatagan-style sword bayonet.

One of the firearms up for adoption by the French army under king Louis-Philippe, making use of the Thouvenin system of 1844. Before the Minié system became the norm across Europe there was still a problem with issuing military rifles to all troops, the long reloading time that came hand in hand with cramming a tight fitting bullet in a barrel to grip its rifling upon being fired out of it.

Lead being a relatively soft material, several solutions were put forward to use smaller bullets that would then be rammed into gripping the rifling only when fully inside the barrel, which would solve the problem. The Thouvenin system achieved this by ramming an ogival bullet with the depressed face of a specially fitted ramming rod onto a steel stem at the very bottom of the barrel.

image

Although the system worked -through some elbow grease on the soldier’s part- it was passed in favor of the Minié system by almost all parts of the French military due to reliability issues in expanding the bullet uniformly.

 

I was wondering what I should put here. Maybe a food map?

It’s interesting that the Utah dish is “funeral potatoes”? Nebraska has “runza”? I do know what Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Oysters are, but I do not partake. Click on the map to enlarge it, and scan it. Are there any foods that sound strange to you? Clearly, I haven’t been getting out enough. It’s weird that I know what scrapple is, and have eaten it for breakfast…

 

Old School Persuasionsometimes less lethal

23 COMMENTS

  1. Regarding your illegal activities, just remember what ZZ Top said/sung, “Every girl’s crazy about an unmasked man!”

    Minie balls were and are awesomely destructive. Since black powder has an upper velocity limit, increasing bullet size and mass makes up for, compared to smokeless powder, relatively slow bullet speed. Kind of like getting hit by a bowling ball going fast. Lots of splash damage. Stories abound about limbs being torn off.

    But, well, totally cool invention. Made loading so much simpler and faster.

    As to the French, well, post Revolution was a boom-time for scientific and industrial achievement. Though I can’t imagine having a bayonet as long as the barrel of the gun.

    • When a big, lead ball (whether a Minie or just a big 75 cal Brown Bess) strikes a bone it shatters the structure of the bone. Not much option but amputation even if it happens today. The doctors who read this blog may with to weigh in.

  2. Runza = a Nebraska based fast food chain offering burgers and old-style crinkle-cut fries and their “signature” dish, the “Runza” sandwich, kinda like a Stromboli, approximately. Overall, I’d rate the chain as a bit behind Culvers or the Kansas-centric Spangles, but miles ahead of the McDonalds, Burger King, Hardee’s bunch.

    • When I worked in Omaha, I introduced a new employee to Runza. A week later he came over and said “Frank, I hate you….I’ve been eating at Runza every day for this last week.”
      The runza was established by a Germans from Russia group that moved to the US and settled in the Lincoln, NE area. The restaurant has tried keeping tight control on where they get their food stocks – especially the beef. As I have not lived in Nebraska for a number of years, I don’t know how well they’ve kept that up, but their bacon cheeseburger was always my favorite.
      I also have to search long and hard to find french fries as good as the ones they used to make when I lived there.

  3. I believe Ed lives in Michigan, where a commie governor “Gretch” rules with an iron fist. Michigan cops hate Gretch as much as New York City cops hate DiBlasio.

    I am not surprised one bit that Michigan police are not inclined to enforce Gretch’s draconian idiocy.

  4. You rabble you…good on ya…looking fairly content out there among the crazed general public.

    Taco Tuesday tonight…Laramie is more independent than Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins, but the “tone” feels strange nonetheless. Soon to submit a permit for a pole barn (you know, to keep me “safe” from myself while paying for the privilege). Apparently – I KID YOU NOT – the County built a special disinfecting room for plans, and sumittals are done outside the front door. “Masks in public” are now REQUIRED by Mr. Health Director O’ Edict Master. I won’t be donning a mask while I’m there handing over the plan set…unless they ask me to mix concrete.

    “Daft idiots in charge”, more dangerous than white trash with money…and mostly (actually, ALL) on the Left. I am simultaneously amused and not amused.

  5. Ate out yesterday here in the Revolutionary Monarchy of Rhode Island.

    You have to wear a mask to get in the door, and then sign a Confession of Counter-Revolutionary Thought (for “contact tracing”). After that you take off the mask and eat like a normal human being. Every other table can be occupied, or you can sit at the bar (as we did, no wait that way) . The bar has a bunch of goofy plexiglass dividers in arbitrary places. Servers and other staff mostly wear masks and gloves?

    I don’t know that these bizarre requirements have any effect upon contagion, but they seems reasonably effective in destroying commerce, cowing the electorate, and enhancing surveillance.

    Had a good lunch anyway.
    -Kle.

  6. At least they got the Kansas favored food right. Love my ribs done Kansas City style. Missouri’s should be the same. That ravioli is more a St. Louis thing. Mountain oyters are nothing but bull balls and aren’t as bad as they sound. Some years back I was talking to a waitress in an eastern Colorado restaurant about them. She told me of a customer from NJ ordering some apparently thinking they were some sort of seafood. Upon finding the truth he sort of put them back on the plate. I don’t believe I have to describe the graphic.

  7. We’re headed out to the Sonny Lubick Steakhouse for dinner next week. We were supposed to go there for our anniversary, but that was right when “Peak Hip” occurred, and I was in some pain, and just wasn’t up to it. And Emperor Polis has decreed “Masks Everywhere!”, so you wear one going in, and take it off when seated. Haven’t noticed any averted stares, as a lot of people out here are getting pretty tired of this farce.

  8. Glad you found a place to eat and some gold. Nice. And I like the bayonet. Used to see them used as fire tools when I was a kid in England, I always liked that.

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