Category Archive 'The Right Stuff'
18 Apr 2021

North Carolina Man Tosses Attacking Bobcat

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From Jalopnik:

A North Carolina man and woman were attacked by a bobcat in their driveway earlier this week, and things got real crazy, real fast. What starts off as a sleepy suburban morning becomes a chaotic scene, culminating in the man throwing the bobcat and yelling “I’LL SHOOT THE FUCKER!”

The day seems to start off innocuously enough, as the man and woman begin their morning by loading things into a Ford Explorer. To the side is a fabulous Ford Freestyle, a vehicle that never got its proper due despite being a wagon.

The man bids good morning to a runner and turns to the Explorer. He carries a tray of food and what looks like coffee, which he then sets down on the hood right after reminding himself that he needs to wash his car. I mean, coffee on the hood is a risky move already, but it pales in comparison to what’s next.

14 Apr 2021

Robert Boyle: Be Like Him!

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05 Apr 2021

Let me die a youngman’s death

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Let me die a youngman’s death

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I’m 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I’m 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber’s chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I’m 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
‘what a nice way to go’ death

— Roger McGough

HT: Vanderleun.

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Personally, I think John Buchan imagined “the best death” even better in his 1900 novel, “The Half-Hearted.”

24 Oct 2020

The Punch Tavern, Fleet Street by John Bulmer

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No social distancing, no masks, no screens, no kids, no women, just well dressed men having a drink and a smoke after work.

A perfect Friday night.

18 Oct 2020

These Guys Have the Greatest Posters

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(click on image for link to larger version and sales web-site.)

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I like just about all of them.

10 Oct 2020

Sir Peregrine Worsthorne (22 December 1923 – 4 October 2020)

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For once the Times outdoes the Telegraph in its obituary of a colorful British figure.

If you have to die, it’s nice to have so as to be memorialized like Peregrine Worsthorne.

It was said of Sir Peregrine Worsthorne that he wrote as he dressed, with style and flamboyance. His bow ties, spongebag trousers and Leander socks were combined with wavy, collar-length silver hair, giving him the appearance of an aesthete on his way to the Athenaeum Club. To complement his exhibitionist tendencies he had an amused, fluting voice and, unusually for a High Tory Fleet Street editor, he was considered something of a flaneur and a bohemian. He was also a man whose engaging recklessness was, on occasion, his undoing.

As a commentator he could be salty, moralistic, reactionary, contrary and even, on occasion, self-contradictory, but he was rarely, if ever, boring or predictable. On Desert Island Discs in 1992 he chose as his luxury item a lifetime supply of LSD. His columns, meanwhile, were less formal argument than a series of assertions, often enough strikingly original and elegantly expressed, but sometimes merely silly, or so outrageous as to disturb even his most unflinchingly right-wing readers. For much of his career he longed for an editorial chair as well as a polemicist’s pulpit; when it finally came, its sweets were short-lived. …

In 1961 he became deputy editor of the newly founded Sunday Telegraph, a post he was to hold for the next 15 years (complementing Welch, who was deputy editor of the daily from 1964 to 1980). He was then associate editor until 1986.

He wrote in the first edition of the paper and, in some ways, thereafter became its personification. The values he was to espouse in his political columns for the next 36 years were not for the faint of heart: they were to include an argument that voluntary repatriation was the answer to Britain’s supposed immigration problems, for example, as well as a vigorous defence of Ian Smith’s white minority government in Rhodesia. His views on homosexualists, as he was wont to call them, could seem especially unpalatable. Despite his experience at his public school, Worsthorne castigated Roy Jenkins in one editorial for his tolerance of “queers”.

It became clear that the editorship he was waiting for would never come as long as Lord Hartwell was proprietor. Hartwell admired Worsthorne as a controversialist but did not think him staid or reliable enough for the editorial chair. There was some evidence for this view, in his professional and also in his private life. He had married in 1950 Claudia Bertrand de Colasse, a Frenchwoman previously married to an RAF officer. Yet, as he described with remarkable candour in his 1993 autobiography Tricks of Memory, it was far from a conventional marriage, and he was far from a faithful husband, with many liaisons, prolonged or casual. They had a daughter, Dominique, who is married to the potter Jim Keeling.

The Worsthornes mixed in a notably raffish set, including the journalists Henry Fairlie, George Gale and Paul Johnson and the dons Michael Oakeshott and Maurice Cowling. By some of these friends’ standards Worsthorne was temperate — an early bout of jaundice made heavy drinking impossible — but his life was chequered with comically untoward incidents. Over dinner in a Brighton restaurant, he and the late Vanessa Lawson, then the wife of Nigel Lawson, later of AJ Ayer, decided to exchange shirt and blouse while sitting at their table, an episode reported back to the proprietor by a mauvaise langue among his colleagues.

When appearing on an early-evening programme in 1973 to discuss the abrupt resignation of Lord Lambton from the government, he became the second man, after Kenneth Tynan, to use a well-known monosyllable on television, lightly remarking that the public did not “give a f***” about the affair. This brought a period of suspension from the paper’s pages.

In print, Worsthorne was almost as unpredictable. He was no dialectician, no scholar, indeed, and (despite his aspirations) no intellectual. His attempts at serious political thought were repetitious but persuasive even at column length, still more so in his one book in this vein, The Socialist Myth (1971).

But he was a wonderfully readable columnist, with a feline knack of puncturing specious arguments, of seeing through humbug with a single memorable phrase. He once argued ingeniously that the advertisements in newspapers were in a sense more truthful than the news pages. In the news, houses burn down and aircraft crash, killing and bereaving. In the ads, families live securely and happily in their homes, while flights land on time reuniting loved ones, a far more accurate reflection of everyday life. And it was Worsthorne who described the mood of the Thatcherite 1980s as “bourgeois triumphalism”, a phrase which has lasted longer than most coined by the left.

His leaders apart, Worsthorne was at his best writing Spectator diaries where he could be as irresponsible and malicious as he chose.

RTWT

06 Oct 2020

Trump & COVID

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19 Sep 2020

Work Problem in Australia

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HT: Ann Althouse via Bird Dog via Karen L. Myers.

15 Sep 2020

War of 1812 Veteran Fought at Gettysburg

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https://explorethearchive.com/john-burns-war-of-1812-gettysburg-soldier?sid=a7c5c9de8b6135a442b6cf37d5e484df&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Archive%20Weekly%20Newsletter%202020-09-14&utm_term=Explore%20The%20Archive
John Burns became a very early photographic subject after the battle.

The Archive:

[I]magine a veteran of the War of 1812 and the Mexican War fighting in the Civil War. That’s a span of more than 60 years—much longer than the 24 years that separated the beginning of WWII and the Vietnam War. Then again, during the 20th century, pivotal battles weren’t literally in our front yard.

An average 69-year-old might be happy to ride out his golden years from a rocking chair.

But not John Burns.

He fought in the War of 1812 and the Mexican War and even tried to work as a supply driver for the Union Army but was sent back to his home in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

He wasn’t too happy to be excluded from the war.

See, Burns already lived nearly twice as long as the average American of the time and was ready to do more for his country. But Gettysburg was much further north than the Confederates could ever attack—or so he thought.

Burns was considered “eccentric” by the rest of the town. That’s what happens when you’re fighting wars for longer than most people at the time spent in school.

When Confederate Gen. Jubal Early captured the town, Burns was the constable and was jailed for trying to interfere with Confederate military operations. When the Confederates were pushed out of Gettysburg by the Union, Burns began arresting Confederate stragglers for treason.

His contributions to the Union didn’t end there.

On the morning of July 1, 1863, Burns watched as the Battle of Gettysburg began to unfold near his home. Like a true American hero, he picked up his rifle—a flintlock musket, which required the use of a powder horn—and calmly walked over to the battle to see how he could help.

He “borrowed” a more modern musket (now a long-standing Army tradition) from a wounded Union soldier, picked up some cartridges, then walked over to the commander of the 150th Pennsylvania Infantry and asked to join the regiment.

This time, he wasn’t turned away, though the 150th Pennsylvania commanders did send Burns to Herbst Woods, away from where the officers believed the main area of fighting would be.

They were wrong.

Herbst Woods was the site of the first Confederate offensive of the battle. Burns, sharpshooting for the Iron Brigade, helped repel this offensive as part of a surprise counterattack.

John Burns was mocked by other troops for showing up to fight with his antiquated weapon and “swallowtail coat with brass buttons, yellow vest, and tall hat”. But when the bullets started to fly, he calmly took cover behind a tree and started to shoot back with his modern rifle.

He also fought alongside the 7th Wisconsin Infantry and then moved to support the 24th Michigan. He was wounded in the arm, legs, and chest and was left on the field when the Union forces had to fall back.

He ditched his rifle and buried his ammo and then passed out from blood loss. He tried to convince the Rebels he was an old man looking to find help for his wife, but accounts of how well that story worked vary. Anyone fighting in an army outside of a uniform could be executed, but the ruse must have worked on some level—he survived his wounds and lived for another nine years.

RTWT

Burns was photographed (being a hero in the North), had a poem written about him by Brett Harte, and has his own monument on the battlefield.

06 Sep 2020

A Car You’ll Never Own

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Jalopnik reports: Some unidentified gazillionaire ordered himself a special custom one-of-a-kind automobile from Aston Martin. It’s a V-12 with a manual transmission. Right on!

Features include:

Naturally aspirated 7.3-liter V12 from the One-77, tuned by Cosworth to a claimed 836 brake horsepower and 599 lb-ft of torque.

Six-speed manual transmission made by Graziano (The UK division of axle authority Dana) with a “bespoke motorsports clutch” that would probably cost more to replace than I’ve spent on car maintenance in my life so far.

380mm front, 360mm rear Brembo CMM-R carbon ceramic brakes.

Inboard springs and dampers from the track-only Aston Martin Vulcan.

Worked on by the team bringing the Valkyrie hypercar to life.
Finished in “Pentland Green” and satin carbon fiber with a Forest Green interior sewn by fancy leather outfit Conker Bridge of Weir which used cashmere on the headliner.

Also: The solid walnut(!) dashboard is Crown cut, whatever that means, and matches the wood shift knob.

Special bespoke clutch ?!

Cashmere headliner ?!

Pretty cool.

RTWT

10 Aug 2020

“Put your guns away. Keep on punching them in the head, but don’t shoot em”

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HT: Vanderleun.

03 Aug 2020

ANTIFA Leader Meets a Citizen

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