Saturday, April 19, 2014

Welcome Rain

No outdoor Happy Hour today.  We're getting our first serious rain this year and it's a rain unlike the usual hit 'n' run cloudbursts we normally get.  The system is a large, slow moving band of rain that's best categorized as a slow-soaker.  The system looks like this:

That otta be good for a couple o' hours o' rain.  Bring it ON.

Saturday: The Magic Man!

Final score, Game One: Datsyuk 1, Boston 0.

That's the way to start, Boys.  Don't let up and keep on as you've begun coz Boston ain't gonna roll over and die.


Updated, somewhat later:  Are ya confused about the post title?  Well, there's an app for that:

Friday, November 08, 2013

Cheesy Videos XXX (That Would Be 30, Not Some Kinda Pr0n Clip)

Wherein we ask Siri a question...

Who'd a thunk it?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Just Checkin' the Box

That would be the box that sez "post at least once a day."

I dunno why that card was rejected.  I would have bought a box or two of those about 40 years ago.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Today's Happy Hour Soundtrack

Rodney Crowell...

Tired ol' story, sad but true
We mama's boys have got it in for you
Our faults are many, our virtues nil
We never loved you and we never will
Ah, come on now girl, it's time we both come clean
This mean old world runs on sex and gasoline
The lyrics to this tune made me laugh, but I suppose they WOULD.  I like the way Rodney skewers a number o' subjects here and his words ring TRUE, in that tongue-in-cheek sorta way.  The tune itself is pretty bouncy and catchy, as well.  That doesn't hurt.

In other news...  We went out on a beer run to our Local Likker Locker (no, there's no broadening to be had here... it was all new favorites, like 90 Shilling Ale and Snapshot) but the first thing we did before making the beer run was to affix the playoff flag to The Tart, like this:

That's last year's pic but ya get the ideer, right?  Yes, we're a day early since the Beloved Wings don't play until tomorrow evening.  OTOH, we're right on time coz one can't ever be TOO early, yanno?


An Automotive Geezer's Birthday

That would be the Mustang... 50 years old today.  From the Hemmings Motor News daily newsletter, this:

You can read the whole article here and it's pretty interesting stuff for a gear head.  Oh, and the car's for sale... only $55,000.00 and it could be yours, unless there's a bidding war.


'Nuff said.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Broadening Our Horizons LXXIX

We've been saving that New Belgium/Cigar City collaboration brew for an auspicious day... which is to say a warm and gentle sort of day... for to enjoy it.  That day arrived today, whereupon it was (a) warm and (b) without Force Six or better breezes on the Beaufort Scale.  So, just for starters...

That's just before we poured Round Two.  And how was the beer?  Very good, thank ya.  I was prepared to not like this beer after reading several reviews at the Go-To guys' site for all things barley, hops and water.  Here's one such review:
Light amber color. Nice see through. Rich, creamy head with exceptional stick and smooth foamy lacing.

Aroma is clean with hints of malt and spices.

Biscuity malt flavor with hints of butter and diacetyl. Herbal leafy hop, descent balance. Touch of spices without a hint of heat. Yeast is not prominent as expected.

Sturdy medium bodied. Smooth, creamy texture. Slight warmth from the alcohol. Well carbonated.

Descent (sic) brew overall just weak for a pepper beer. Lacks the spice level and heat I was hoping for. Just a little dull in my opinion.
I would respectfully disagree.  If Buddy wanted "spice," then perhaps he should have sprinkled three or four drops of Tabasco Habanero Sauce into a Miller Genuine Draft, and Walla!  Mission Accomplished.  There's more to chile than fire, however, and I was impressed with the way the NB/Cigar City guys managed to capture the taste... as opposed to the fire... of chiles in this beer.  I won't go into any lengthy digression about chile but suffice it to say there's a HUGE flavor element in the wide varieties of chile one finds in this world.  In its own very subtle way, this ale managed to capture the spice and lingering flavor of the two varieties of chile... Anaheim and Marash... used in the brew.  This is a very well-done beer, both as concept (delivered!), and drink-ability.  The first round went down fairly quickly and we're halfway through Round II, as we speak.

That said, would we buy a sixer of this every week were it available 12 months out of the year?  No, we wouldn't.  But the brew was insanely delightful as a one-off... and sometimes that's exactly what you want.

So Very F*cking WRONG

By way of Puck Daddy, yet another FBFU*...

And there's this about that:
All that said, this map may not be that accurate. Lots of fans may like their NHL team without "Liking" their NHL team. Which would mean Facebook's information is woefully incomplete. It could be that there's just one NHL fan in New Mexico, and he bleeds burgundy and steel blue, for instance.
Nope.  Not even.  I know for a freakin' FACT that there are a lot o' New Mexicans who bleed red.  "Burgundy and steel blue?"  Not around HERE, Gentle Reader, not around here. We see more than a few Wings jerseys in our travels around THPoNM, most especially out at Cannon Airplane Patch.  Do we see Avs jerseys?  Well, mebbe... it's possible, I suppose... but we ignore the unpleasant things in life most of the time.

So.  The playoffs begin tonight with three games on tap.  I'll likely watch the Flightless Birds play Columbus (and root for the BJs) followed by the Anaheim - Dallas game.  The REAL action begins tomorrow and there's this about that:
Not every team that succeeds in the playoffs is the favorite, right? These three teams stand the best chance of being this year's dark horse.

Detroit Red Wings

When was the last time you heard "Detroit Red Wings" and "dark horse" in the same breath? Still, that's what they are, as they will face the NHL's top regular-season team, the Boston Bruins, in the first round. This has been a difficult season for the Red Wings, who have gone long stretches without top players Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Jimmy Howard. But a new generation of Red Wings has emerged, led by scoring sensation Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan, which has more than picked up the slack. With Datsyuk back in the lineup and Howard back to form after a rocky season, the Wings don't look like a wild-card team. And they're not. The culture of winning is strong, and coach Mike Babcock is as good a tactician as there is in the game when it comes to making adjustments on the fly and planning for the rigors of a playoff series. Throw in the experience of guys such as Daniel Alfredsson (who's still searching for his first championship) and the under-appreciated Niklas Kronwall and would it surprise anyone to see the Red Wings make a run? The almost universal answer across the hockey world is a resounding "No."
That would be Scott Burnside, writing at ESPN.  Most of the "experts" are predicting a short series with Boston quickly eliminating the Beloved Wings.  Those experts said the same sorts of things about the Wings last year, who eliminated Anaheim (the West's Number Two seed) in the first round and took the (ultimate) Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks to OT in a game seven before falling.  I'm not predicting the same sort of thing this year, mind you.  But it WOULD be nice.

*FBFU: Facebook F*ck Up.

We Still Have a Long Way To Go

A couple of graphics from an article about the state of America's beer industry in The Atlantic...

Sigh.  Bud Light sold about five times as much beer (in dollar value) as the entire craft beer segment in these United States.  The good news is craft beer sales are growing and the majors are losing market share... but there's still an incredibly long way to go.  Still and even, 1.882 BILLION dollars in craft beer sales is pretty damned impressive.  America's beer industry is rather healthy, methinks.  As for us?  We'll keep doin' our part.

There's a lot more at the link, including the top imported beers in the USA.

Updated, somewhat later.  This subject hit the Twitterverse, too.  One such:

I like that "low information drinkers" thing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New! Improved!

That would be Weather Underground's new look...

I like it.  All of my weather screencaps originate with Wunderground.  I used to be a Weather Channel kinda guy... both teevee and web site... but I quit when TWC hired that insufferable scold DOCTOR Heidi Cullen.  From a post I put up in November of 2006:
Oh, and for the folks at The Weather Channel: stick to your knitting and spare us the global warming sermons. You’re very good at what you do, which is weather reporting. On the other hand, I find Dr. Heidi Cullen, Climate Expert, (ed: dead link mainly coz TWC fired her ass) and her "commentary" annoying as all get-out. Stop it.
I dropped out of the Weather Channel fan club shortly after that.

Tax Day

From the Usual Source of these things...

I've done my duty.  I'll admit I paid up grudgingly but I still paid up.  The thing that pisses me off the most is that 83% of my Social Security income is taxable.  I used to be pissed that the state taxes my AF retirement but I'm over that now.  Sorta.

"Pay up, Sucka!"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Yet Even More Cigar Art, Packaging Division

We're running out of ways to describe the various and sundry iterations on this subject, which makes me think I shoulda done the Roman numeral thing like I did with the "Broadening" series.  Oh, well... too late now.

So, today's subject: the Ave Maria Reconquista, which comes in its very own individual wooden coffin box.  Like this:

I got two of these in today's mail along with a few other lovelies... so the humidor is restocked.  All I need now is some decent weather.  Tomorrow!

Added:  Forgot to mention that our beer is a perfectly-poured Left Hand Milk Stout.  We loves that beer.

The Obligatory WX Post

As in: WTF?  Yesterday we were in the 80s but today?  This:

No outdoor Happy Hour today.

They Grow Up So Fast

Quite literally, in this case:

What a cutie.  But I'm left wonderin' what she said in all those shots.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


We're just in from a beer and commissary run out to Cannon Airplane Patch and we saw this while we were perusing the beer selection:

New Belgium has gone batshit-crazy with their Lips o' Faith series of occasional brews and you can see there's a LOT of opportunity to broaden our horizons on the shelf!  That said, I bought just one bomber... the "Cigar City Brewing" one... which is ale brewed with two different kinds of chiles.  As for the rest of 'em?  I think NB may be tryin' too hard.  I'm not gonna buy a beer where I have to google the contents to find out what's in it... like Yuzu and Pluot juice... not to mention dandelion greens.  Say what?

OTOH, I give big props to the Class VI store's management for stocking lots and lots of good beers.  The Class VI has the best beer selection in both Clovis and P-Ville.

Now if you'll excuse me... I hear the verandah calling.

Saturday: Forty Years Ago This Week

Doesn't that just make ya wanna jump up and dance?  About that "40 years" thing...
And while you are in the mood for dancing, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Abba's Eurovision Song Contest victory in Brighton with Waterloo. This week's celebrations of their victory – they scored nul points from the UK – included a party at the Swedish embassy in London and a celebration at Tate Modern, which featured the mesmeric magic skills on Charlie Caper.
That's from the Usual Source of the Saturday videos.  And just so you don't have to click that link above, here's Mr. Caper doin' his magic tricks... from Stockholm.

That's cool, Charlie, but tell me: what about yer taxes?

Friday, April 11, 2014

In the Overnight Mail

There's this to begin with...

That's pretty clever.  Remember back in the '70s when "scientists" were warning us of a new impending Ice Age?  Well, so much for that.  We're all gonna drown now.

I don't have any gratuitous plane pr0n today, so how about some gratuitous rocket porn?

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle lifts off with the National Reconnaissance Office's NROL-67 payload. This was the 45th Atlas V launch since the inaugural flight in 2002.
The launch took place yesterday at Cape Canaveral AFS.

In other news... It's yet another late start, what with us pouring our first cup around 1215 hrs.  Our day was half-over before it even started.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Broadening Our Horizons LXXVIII

Well, yes.  And here's why we rolled out of bed this afternoon morning...

That's a Sammy Adams Porch Rocker, freshly removed from a "Beers of Summer" 12-pack and one small sip down in content.  My Go-To guys aren't at all impressed with this beer but I like it, on first blush.  The brew is MOST definitely "summery," with lots of citrus both in the nose and on the tongue.  I wouldn't drink these all afternoon on a hot summer's day but one to start with would not be objectionable at all.

Did I say "hot summer's day?"  I believe I did...

Close enough for a former gub'mint worker.  And now it's back outdoors to continue as we've begun.

A Fun Quiz

Challenging, too... in which you're asked to identify 16 cities seen from space at night.  My results:

I was thinkin' 12/16 wasn't too shabby until I realized 75% ain't all THAT hot.

Re-Run, With a Purpose

Last year I put this up around this time...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's 22, Bitchez*!


The Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild completed the playoff field on Saturday by winning their regular-season finales on the road. The Red Wings beat the Dallas Stars 3-0, while the Wild defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-1.

That left the Red Wings in seventh place with 56 points and the Wild in eighth with 55. Both teams needed the victories because the Columbus Blue Jackets won their final game by rallying past the Nashville Predators 3-1. The Blue Jackets and Wild both finished with 55 points, but Minnesota finished eighth and Columbus ninth because the Wild had more non-shootout wins.
It sucks to be a Columbus fan today and I say that with all the respect I can muster.  The BJs had the second best record in the league during the month of April and could have really done some damage in the playoffs; I'd have been jes a lil bit worried if I were Chicago and had to face them in the first round.  Minnesota, OTOH, finished the season on a downward spiral.

As for our Wings?  We can beat Anaheim, easily.  We took two from them... on THEIR home ice... in back-to-back fashion in March and we're a lot healthier now than we were then.  Yes, this can be done.  Wings in six or less.


* "Bitchez" is a term of endearment among The 19.
Well.  Now it's 23.  And those poor ol' BJs made the playoffs this year, as well.  You'll note some people got on the bandwagon pretty early...

I've been telling SN1 the number on my next jersey just might be 14.  He's prolly the main reason the broken, battered, and bruised Wings limped into the playoffs this year.  I don't expect the team will do much in the playoffs given the number of key players that are still out, but at least we made it.


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

A (Very) Minor Milestone

We hit 6,000 today.

Six thousand posts in eight and a half years o' blogging.  Who'd a thunk it?

Slow Season

From the Usual USAF Source...
Slow Season for USAF Hurricane Hunters

The Air Force Reserve Command's 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Keesler AFB, Miss., flew a record low number of hurricane tracking flights this past winter, states a base release. In fact, it was the "fourth slowest winter weather reconnaissance season on record," according to a report from the Chief Aerial Reconnaissance Coordination All Hurricanes unit at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The National Weather Service typically tasks the 53rd WRS to gather data while flying over the Pacific Ocean, but did not do so this past winter in order to develop an analysis for cost-effectiveness, states the April 7 release. "The low number of flight taskings can partly be attributed to the fact that many of this year's storms moved West to East over land and did not start over water where reconnaissance flights could have benefited the forecasts," said John Pavone of CARCAH. The 53rd WRS had deployed previously to JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, to track hurricanes. "The models used by the National Weather Service are becoming more sophisticated and better at analyzing future conditions over North America," said Lt. Col. Jon Talbot, 53rd WRS chief meteorologist.
Wait!  How can this BE?  Weren't we told that we'd get more and bigger storms due to global warming climate change?  This isn't good news for the Hurricane Hunters who will miss those Hawaii deployments (but NOT the Elmendorf ones).

Speaking of those Hurricane Hunters...

A WC-130J from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron takes off in support of Operation Surge Capacity here (ed: Keesler AFB, Miss) April 5, 2014. Sixteen aircraft from the 403rd Wing took part in Operation Surge Capacity, a large scale training exercise designed to test the 403rd Wing's ability to launch and recover a large formation of aircraft and to execute airdrops. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Ryan Labadens) (Click for count-the-rivets size)

Those guys standing by the runway in the pic?  That's one of the fairways on the Keesler Airplane Patch golf course, with Biloxi's Back Bay in the background.  Keesler is a pretty nice base, appearance-wise.  I spent a couple of years there, in the aggregate, going to various electronics schools during my career.  I hated nearly every damned minute of my stays, especially the first time I was there in 1963 - 64.  Why then?  Because I lived in non-air conditioned splendor for an entire summer on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, with two room mates.  That's why.  I do believe Biloxi and its environs has some of the most miserable weather in all of the United States.